Haley and Tristan’s August Portland Urban Wedding
Haley and Tristan had a perfect Portland urban summer wedding. Their smart planning and choice of great venues made it easy for me to cover as a single photographer. For example, I love the detail shots I was able to make during the getting ready process. Haley made that easy by selecting some great accessories and having them ready for me to photograph.
Girls Getting Ready
A comfortable, photogenic “Getting Ready” experience was important to Haley, so she wisely choose a beautiful suite at Portland’s iconic boutique Hotel Monaco to dress for her big day.
In order to not slow anything down, I arrived early and photographed the dress and all the detail items right away. As I always do, I mixed purely photojournalistic photography with a few artfully posed photos — not just of Haley, but her posse and family as well! Increasingly, dad gets a chance for a “first look” at his daughter’s dress – this can be a very meaningful and emotional moment in the day!
I ordinarily cover the guys Getting Ready too; but Tristan preferred to get ready in private, and of course, I graciously agreed to his choice.
It’s very important for the photographer to remember that a wedding day is an actual life event, not a photo shoot, so I always end the getting ready photography a half hour before the ceremony starts. This gives the bride and groom a chance to collect themselves privately. So I wrapped up with the girls, and headed over to the ceremony/reception venue — Urban Studio, located in the Pearl District of Portland, OR.
Sometimes couples to tell me they don’t want to spend a lot of time on the “formal” posed photos. At the same time, I know those photos gain value as the years click by, so I work fast, and keep it simple and fun. This particular hot August day, the couple wanted to keep it especially brief, so we picked a single location near the reception venue. Those kinds of choices are always up to the couple and their families — sometimes we will all go to several locations and take dozens and dozens of group photos. Other times, like today, we keep it simple and fresh.
Family groups go first! That way, they can head back to the reception venue to enjoy the cocktail hour. Next I shoot the bridal party, and then they can head back too. Finally, I spend some time with the bride and groom taking some of their formal photos together. On days like this, where the formal photos are not during the “pretty light” part of the day, I always plan to take the bride and groom out at least one more time when the light is better. But, you never know what’s going to happen on a wedding day, so I always take at least a few of just the couple while I have the chance.
Whenever I can, as soon as I’m done with the formals, I head into the reception hall to capture all the details that go into the set up — before the guests come in and mess it up! LOL.
This is a good time to grab informal family photos and guests enjoying themselves. Once people sit down, if the couple does table visits, I capture those either informally or posed, whichever the couple prefers. Then it’s into the speeches and other formal events of the reception. When the reception goes into the evening like Haley and Tristan’s did, I often take the couple out for a few minutes of romantic sunset, dusk, or night photography