Archive for July, 2009

Jen & Spenser

July 28, 2009

I’m pleased to introduce to you to Jen and Spenser. We spent a recent evening out at Champoeg Park and then in Aurora shooting engagement pictures. Let’s just say that my camera loves these two.

Watching these two interact is like watching a romantic comedy. They’re so very obviously head over heels in love with eachother and Spenser is one of those quiet but hilarious guys that knows exactly how to get a rise out his girl. We’d be in the middle of posing, and he’d whisper something to Jen and she’d immediately  throw her head back, laughing hysterically.  Jen has a great energy about her and it compliments her husband-to-be as perfectly as I’ve ever seen.  Her incredible sense of style and her vision for their session made my job easy!

I can’t wait for the wedding you two, I know it’s still a year away but it’ll be worth the wait!

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Well, in all of our gardening excitement it looks like Corey and I went a little overboard with the zucchini plants this year. Even if we switched over to a 100% zucchini based diet I think we’d still have enough to feed the neighbors. I’ve been doing a little world wide internet research lately trying to find creative ways to cook with it, and I’ve actually been surprised to find quite a few fun zucchini recipe ideas.

Last week in between editing sessions, I went out on a limb and decided to give Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies a shot, they had to be better than eating another zucchini salad… right?

The dough was quite a bit wetter than I had imagined it would be, I suppose that’s due to all the water in the zucchini. I even added some extra flour. When I pulled them out of the oven I was a little disheartened to see that they looked absolutely nothing like real chocolate chip cookies and more like pasty dough balls with green chunks in them. I think my expectations were a little bit too high.

I nervously bit into the first one that I scraped off the tray… it was anti-climactic. They weren’t bad, but  nothing to write home about. I really wanted to love them… and I think I could actually endorse them if I found a way to make them a little less bread like, and a little more cookie like (the extra flour probably didn’t help that cause).  I’m not going to give up though, and luckily I’ve got an abundance of the main ingredient. I took a few photos of the process, and I’ve pasted the recipe below. Let me know if you’ve got some advice, or a zucchini recipe that you like!

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1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cup grated zucchini

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup quick oats

1 cup granola

2 cup choc. chips

cream the butter and sugar, stir in egg and zucchini, add dry ingredients, drop onto cookie sheet. bake 13-15 minutes at 350.

To a photographer, Portland’s Pearl District is like a slice of heaven. I never get tired of shooting there, and I find great new backgrounds at every session. I simply love it. Megan and Travis’ engagement session was no exception.

We chatted as we made our through the busy city streets, stopping to shoot as often as inspiration would strike. The session gave me a great chance to get to know  their personalities and styles a little better in preparation for their December wedding up at Mt. Hood (which I’m 100% psyched for!).  I love shooting engagement sessions if for no other reason than breaking the ice. It’s so nice to show up on wedding day and feel like old friends!

I picked a few of my favorites below. I think the hand-holding shot will be finding a spot on my studio wall in the near future! 

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I woke up to a bright, overcast day and almost squealed with delight, I couldn’t have asked for better shooting conditions.  After a quick stop at Starbucks we hustled down the freeway on our way to Tangent (yes, Oregon has a town called Tangent), a small farm town just outside of Corvallis. It was the same drive that we make every other Saturday once football season starts (Go Beavs!), and thinking about tailgating and another shot at the Rose Bowl this Fall brought a big smile to my face. Today, however, Reser Stadium wasn’t our destination.

Corey dropped me off at the house where Nicki was getting ready with her bridesmaids. I walked into the room and was amazed at how calm, cool and collected Nicki was. She was even more gorgeous than I remembered from the engagement session last Fall. I couldn’t detect even an ounce of  ‘freak-out.’  She was all smiles as she finished up her hair and make-up. Soon after, we piled into the car and headed out to the farm.

As we arrived at the farmhouse it was so fun to see all the friendly faces running around getting everything ready for the ceremony and reception. It was quickly apparent that Nicki and Mikal have A LOT of people who love them and were determined to help make the day a success. They all did a great job of making me feel like part of the family and their warm welcome and quick smiles made me that much more excited for the day.

We found some great places around the farm to shoot. I think my favorite might have been the old semi truck. At one point during the day we were taking groomsmen pictures out in the road and Corey got a hilarious picture of me in a strange martial-arts-like shooting stance (see below).  I’ve gotta say, I look pretty hard core.

The ceremony was gorgeous as the sun burnt through the thin layer of remaining clouds. The cows were mooing, the mom’s were crying, and Corey and I clicked away as Nicki and Mikal made it official once and for all.

 

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Not long ago a photographer friend of mine mentioned the name Dane Sanders to me.  Who?  According to this friend he was some popular SoCal photographer who had recently written a book…  Big Deal, I thought, I have lots of photography books and sure don’t need another one.

In the months that followed, I felt like Dane Sanders’ name was everywhere. Have you ever been on the verge of buying something new and then magically started to notice that new thing  EVERYWHERE? That’s kinda what happened to me with Dane. I finally checked out the guy’s website and read some book reviews,  and soon caved  in and bought his book just to see what all of the fuss was about…. I flew through the book in two days, and lets just say the fuss was very well warranted. Dane’s writing blew any preconcieved notions I had of  it out of the water. Yes, it was a book about photography (sort of), but it was far from typical. In stead of tech talk, posing, and lighting tips he focused on attitude, self image, community, branding, and our photo industry as a whole. Trying to describe it to you won’t do Dane justice, but it suffices to say that I put the book down with a far different (and much better) attitude and a brand new motivation.

Fast forward a month or two… I heard through the grapevine the Dane was travelling the country speaking and giving workshops, and yes, he’d be coming to Portland. Photography workshops (especially good ones) are not cheap, and since I had already blown through my workshop/schooling budget for the year I quickly became depressed at the thought of missing out on the chance to learn from this man who had had taken on a celebrity-like status in my head.  Long story a little shorter, once Corey had read the book too, we threw our workshop budget out the window and I signed up up for Dane’s two day workshop, chalking it up to an investment opportunity we couldn’t pass up (and we were right).  In the week before the workshop, so many people had signed up that the original workshop location was too small. I called up Sara (another great Oregon photographer and the workshop coordinator) and offered my studio as a back up, back up location. In a crazy turn of events, she took me up on it. In a few short months I had gone from never hearing Dane Sanders’ name, to buying his book, to idolizing him, to having him come to my house for his workshop. Whoa!

The workshop was nothing like I expected, yet everything I had hoped for at the same time. With 15 or so folks piled into my little studio, Dane took us from a group of competing strangers to a close knit group of new friends. We even had an engagement photo shoot (with 15 photographers!) in my “under-construction” back yard! I’d venture to say that Dane’s workshop was one of, if not the most valuable one I’ve attended. So, if you’re a photographer and you’re reading this trying to decide if the Fast Track Roadshow is for you, rest assured that it is. And for my past and future clients who are reading this, the workshop reinforced my gratitude to you for trusting me with something as important as preserving your memories with my pictures, please don’t be strangers!

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Corey and I made our way from Portland down to Independence, OR  for Holly and Tim’s wedding. In preparation to fend off heat stroke, we both drank our weight in water as we sped along I-5. Oregon doesn’t get too many days of 95+ degree weather… but when we do get one of those days you can rest assured that we’re shooting a wedding in it. Not that I’m complaining… more like stating a fact.

We pulled into the parking lot of  the Green Villa Gardens and I had to scrape my jaw of the floor!  The venue was even more gorgeous that I remembered.  Then, as if the incredible garden wasn’t enough,  Holly had taken amazing and turned it into AH-MAZING!  From the paper lanters dangling from the trees, to the chic mason jar table candles, every detail was perfect.

The future Mrs. Tim Porter walked slowly down the garden path in her gorgeous mermaid style wedding gown,  her Chinese parasol purposefully tilted to one side and a great big, yummy gardenia in her hair.  The scene played out like a fairytale as she walked up behind Tim and tapped him on the shoulder. I had to stop shooting for a second and wipe the tears out of my eyes as he turned around and saw her for the first time that day. Watching a bride and groom meet has got to be one of my favorites parts of shooting weddings.

Holly and Tim were great sports all day long and let me drag them and the wedding party all over the place. We even had a chance to sneak out to the Independence airport and get a few shots of them with their getway plane (coolest getaway ever by the way).

Check out their wedding slideshow, and there are a few of my favs below – enjoy! 

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