Five on Friday

We're starting something new - Five on Friday!  Tune into this blog on most Fridays and find "five fabulous photos" that showcase a few special details from many of the weddings we've captured.  One week it might be all about the dessert table, another it might be some of our favorite reception candids.  Though getting those perfect bridal portraits is the best part of what we do, it's the details about the wedding that make us enjoy every minute of the job.

This week, we decided to showcase flower girls.  Everyone on the HHWP team happens to have a sweet young (and perhaps sassy) daughter who has just started kindergarten or first grade this year.  Consequently, we're all kind of teary over photos of adorable little girls, wondering where the time went as we ship our beauties off to school for the day.  So while these photos might not make you cry, they'll certainly make you smile since the cuteness of these little gals dressed to the nines is almost too much to handle!

Ok ok, so there were a few more than five showcased above...but sometimes it's hard to choose from so much cuteness! Happy Friday!

Dear Groom

Dear Groom (who is dreading the photos),

Are you feeling like you need a couple of shots of whiskey before you can endure a few shots from the camera?  Don't worry, we've encountered that before.  Many brides show up having planned every little detail, including what kind of photos she wants.  Most grooms basically just show up; albeit madly in love and ready to get married.  Don't get us wrong - we've certainly had couples where those roles are reversed, and we've met grooms that planned the little details and love taking photos.  But you're not one of them, so we decided to share a few things with you.

#1. You will be so glad you did it.  You might be nervous and less than thrilled around the camera, but in the end you will love spending part of your wedding day doing fun, goofy, giddy things with your new wife - and having each and every moment documented forever.  You will be kissing her, dipping her, loving her, spinning her around, snuggling her... and if you do that, those photos will be amazing and remind you every day how beautiful you both felt and looked on your wedding day.  Photos capture more than just images- they capture the memory of the emotions you were experiencing.  You will be able to look at your photos and re-live all those wonderful emotions.

#2. You hired us because we know what we're doing.  When we sat down to talk about your wedding, we showed you our portfolio and the work we are capable of.  By hiring us we consider ourselves bound to making sure we meet or exceed the standards of work we presented to you.  This means that we may have to take you guys out of the cocktail hour to do photos at sunset, or perhaps pull you out of the reception for a few minutes to do a night-time shot.  We will balance getting those perfect shots with letting you enjoy your day - we promise.  This ain't our first rodeo.

#3.  You often won't even realize we are there. The majority of the photos we take during the day is pure photojournalism - documenting every aspect of your day. We spend a large chunk of our time at your wedding just taking pictures of the things you are naturally doing to get ready; things you would be doing even if you didn't have photographers capturing those moments. However, sometimes, we are going to have to pose you. Sometimes one of us will be pretty far away using a telephoto lens, but sometimes you'll feel like we're all up in your face.  When we are that close, it will just be for a few quick shots.  Remember, the vast majority of the time, having a photographer means you won't even realize we are there.

#4. We love photographing the guy stuff.  The camaraderie, the friendship, the style. For us, the groom isn't second fiddle - you are obviously just as important as the bride.  We want to make sure you’re getting what you want and we want to make you look amazing as well. We aim to capture timeless, handsome, dapper and authentic photos.  We want to make your kids look back on your wedding photos and think ‘that was my DAD?!”.  We will photograph you and your best guy-friends together, having fun, being who you are.  Again, sometimes we’ll guide you into poses that make you look good, but mostly it will be pretty casual. 

So go ahead and take a shot to loosen up before we get started on the photos if you still want to.  But we're confident that you won't need to, because we're seasoned pros and we know how to make this the most comfortable experience for you.  And if that's not enough, just remember that your number one girl is going to be by your side...on your wedding day and for the rest of your life. 

A Stress-Free Wedding Day

Ok, so a completely stress-free wedding day might be a bit of a stretch, but we CAN help you have a joyful day.  You see, we like what we do, and we do it A LOT.  There are a million people running around putting the finishing touches on decorations and flowers and the dessert table and your makeup and...well, pretty much everything.  So step back, breathe, and let our timelines for the photos give you some respite from the chaos (for a little while, at least).  When you're relaxed and happy, your photos are, too.  The proof is in the picture:

There are several ways for you to plan your timeline, and we will work with you to make the absolute best use of your time. For those couples that are open to having a "first look", we have a recommended timeline that we have found to be the easiest on the bride and groom and their families, as well as maximizing our photo coverage.  What's our recommended timeline look like, you ask? Like this!

  1. Getting Ready Photos: 30 minutes
  2. First Look + Bride and Groom Formals: 60 minutes
  3. Bridal Party Photos: 30 minutes
  4. Family Formals: 30 minutes
  5. Bride and Groom regroup / Photographers prepare for ceremony: 15 minutes
  6. Ceremony
  7. Additional Family Portraits, if necessary, with any extended family members that were not available prior to the ceremony: 15 minutes
  8. Reception: Time to Party! At this time, we will coordinate our remaining time with your wedding coordinator and your DJ, to ensure that we capture all the important moments of your reception.

...Ready, Set, Go!

For couples that are willing to do a "first look", we can do all of your getting ready photos, family photos, first look and formal photos of you and your spouse, as well as all of your bridal party photos -- all before your ceremony! The best part of taking care of these photos right up front - you are fresh and looking your best and still have energy. We have found that couples that are willing to get as much of the "formal portrait" stuff out of the way as possible before the ceremony have the most relaxed and fun time the rest of the day. Its really hard when you have your ceremony, and then still have to take care of all those really important photos - especially when you really want to visit with your guests and get the party started!

The easiest way to start your timeline planning is to plot the definite times, and work around them - for example, the ceremony start time, the time you are allowed to arrive at your venue, and the time you need to leave the venue.

1. Getting Ready Shots (30 minutes):

Our couples should have all these items ready for the detail and getting ready shots prior to our arrival:
– Rings (all THREE rings if there is also an engagement ring)
– Dress
– Shoes
– Garter
– Bridal Jewelry
– Both bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets
– Anything else you want a picture of (i.e. invitation, sign, or any other special memorabilia or garment you’ll be wearing that day)

At this time it is important to note that we would also be taking photos of the bride getting the finishing touches to her makeup and getting into her dress. Some dresses take at least 15 minutes to get into, so make sure to leave room in the timeline to account for this; as well as travel time if the bride is getting ready off site from her venue.  Also, we know that getting ready can be hectic and thus the getting ready room becomes a tad disheveled.  Please make a conscious effort to assign someone to tidy up before the getting ready and detail shots begin to help keep us on track and make your photos look their best

2. First Look + Bride & Groom Formal Portraits:

This is your quiet moment, the chance to privately see your soon-to-be spouse... to soak in the day, enjoy each other, and get ready for the excitement ahead. After you've had a few moments, we'll dive in to your formal portraits.

3. Bridal Party Photos (Bridesmaids and Groomsmen) (30 minutes):

Please be sure that ALL bridesmaids and groomsmen are picture ready at the set upon time. The goal is to get as many photos prior to the ceremony as possible. We will do the bride's side, the groom's side, as well as photos of the entire group, and the bride and groom with each individual member of their bridal party.

4. Bride and family/Groom and family portraits (30 minutes):

To keep the timeline running smoothly, it is important that any family members on your shot list arrive on time and are picture ready. We also love to have a "family coordinator" - someone that knows the people on your list, and can help us call out/find the people you have listed in the correct combinations. This will speed up the process for family portraits tremendously.

5. Ceremony Prep: 15 minutes

About 15 minutes prior to the ceremony, we will be finding our positions and setting up equipment, as well as getting candids of your guests arriving to the ceremony site. 

6. Ceremony (time varies):

During the ceremony, our goal is to be as inconspicuous as possible. We won't miss the important shots, but we also will not be standing obtrusively in front of your guests for extended periods of time.

7. Additional Extended Family Portraits: 15 minutes

This is a great opportunity to grab a few more portraits for family that was not available prior to the ceremony - grandparents, cousins, etc.

8. Reception:

Let the party begin! For the remainder of the night, most of what we photograph will be candids. We will capture ALL the special moments - the grand entrance, first dance, father/daughter/mother/son dance, bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting, photos of your guests dancing, and the grand exit. During this time, we can snap a few photos of you with anybody who wasn’t part of the formal portrait hour earlier. We also love if there is a chance to sneak you away later in the evening to capture just a few minutes of that beautiful "golden hour" of photos with the sun gently setting.

CONGRATULATIONS!

A Very Special "Special Day"

Your wedding day is often referred to as "Your Special Day."  Joe and Esther are a couple that really put the "special" in special day. 

These two are a young couple, but when you watch them together, you become convinced they are old souls that have been connected for eons.  Esther is an antique collector and Joe is a farmer, and every sweet detail of this wedding was the absolute best representation of their love for each other and who they are as individuals. 

They have an amazing community of family and friends that treated this celebration like the party of the century.  Everyone gathered together and put in so much effort helping to create this beautiful wedding to celebrate this union. 

There are no more words to describe this wedding and the bond between these two - just feast your eyes on the wedding itself!

Congratulations, Joe and Esther, on your Special Day!

Forevermore

Jenna and Rick

Recently, we came across a story of a very public proposal between two very public people.  A heavy metal rock star and an actress, to be more precise (and now you can all Google it if we didn't already give it away).  Anyway, while it was a wild proposal by a wild fellow (and there was just a little cursing involved), something about the story touched us.  He brought his gal up on stage with her two kids in tow.  He asked for her hand, but then she asked him, "Will you love my children forevermore?"

He said yes.

One of the things that is so beautiful about weddings is not just the coming together of two people, but of two families.  And in many love stories, this includes kiddos. 

Rick and Jenna may not be heavy metal thrashers, but they are rock stars in each others' eyes.  And this past weekend, Jenna married Rick - and his adorable daughter.  We had the joy of photographing their engagement session as well as the wedding, which included this very photogenic little girl... 

Congrats to these two rockin' lovebirds - may you love each other, and that gorgeous little girl - forevermore in you new little family!

Love Story Portraits

Weddings are beautiful and amazing.  We know this.  We live this and we breathe this.

And yet you know that at some point during your wedding planning (whether the wedding is over or you're in the middle of the planning) you had the thought, "This is nuts.  We should elope all alone and just throw a party later."  You didn't have that thought???  Liar.

Well, the magnificent Heidi - yes, OUR Heidi - and her handsome hubby had that thought.  AND THEY DID JUST THAT!  A few months ago, they stood on gorgeous cliff in scenic Central Oregon and exchanged vows.  Fast forward to July, and they got all dolled up for the camera so Heather - yes, OUR Heather - could take those fancy-pants wedding photos for them. 

Lisa Christine Favorites-0028.jpg

And now we're in LOVE with this idea.  Ok, so eloping isn't for everyone.  But taking the wedding photos separate from the rest of the hullabaloo of a wedding?!  Yes, please!  It was so incredibly peaceful to watch two people so much in love celebrating their wedding and posing for their photos without the stress of the rest of the night, without the noise of the guests clamoring for certain photos, and without the pressure to finish injustthatmuch time because the ceremony or the reception is going to start.

We're so in love with this idea, that from now on we're offering separate Bridal Sessions as an add-on to our wedding packages.  It's so relaxing to focus on your bridal portraits independent of all the other photos you want to capture - and you spent all that money on the dress, might as well wear it twice! ;)

Ask us for more info on adding a Bridal Session to your wedding photo package.  And in the mean time, feast your eyes on more of Heidi and Jeff's amazing Bridal Session photos, because they are pure love and joy.

Feelin' Hot! Hot! Hot!

Brodie and Kimberly had a super fun and super HOT wedding day!  They celebrated their outdoor wedding on an evening when temps neared TRIPLE digits. These Oregonians didn't sweat though...and neither did we!  Ok, so maybe our little photographer bodies did actually physically produce sweat given all the running around we were doing to capture this day, but we certainly didn't "sweat," as photographing these two was piece of wedding cake.  Speaking of wedding cake - they didn't have one!  Guests enjoyed the couple's favorite doughnuts for dessert.

Their rustic and sweet wedding outside the Octagonal Barn at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse combined a traditional ceremony with whimsical personal touches - such as a reading from The Velveteen Rabbit.  We do believe this was the tallest wedding party we've ever photographed, as the shortest groomsman was 6 feet tall!  The bride was glowing and the groom couldn't stop beaming. It was a night to remember...did we mention it was HOT?!

I Still Do

"I DO." 

Those are the words that essentially make the wedding...well, a wedding.  I mean, Prince Humperdinck made the Impressive Clergyman skip right over "I Do," and that alone was enough to determine that Princess Buttercup had not, in fact, married the awful prince and was free to marry Westley. 

But why "I Still Do" - why would you need a do-over for wedding photos?!

We'll tell you why.  Because you eloped and didn't take formal pictures.  Because you didn't like your formal pictures.  Because you didn't have enough time to enjoy taking your formal pictures.  Because you got married in 1985 and your wedding dress was very 1985.  Because you got married in 2005 and it's a pretty darn good ten-year anniversary gift.  Because you've had three kids and the dress still fits.  Because you've had three kids and the suit still fits.  

Because you're still madly in love with your best friend, and you know that you've essentially been saying "I still do" every day since the day you first said it.  Do you really need a better reason than that?!

This year marks our third year of the I Still Do event.  It's insanely popular, and as of this posting, there are only two slots left!  This year's event will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015.  Contact us for more info or to sign up!

The Next Chapter

Engagements, weddings, pregnancies, babies...we get to photograph the next chapter that is a BIG DEAL in your life.  However, for so many of us, the next chapter isn't just these moments, it's every day in between.  We were reminded of this last weekend as one of our HHWP couples celebrated their first anniversary.

Jaclyn and JJ had a standout wedding ceremony at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland last May. They marched their giddy-little-selves around for all sorts of fabulous photos, because they were so darn excited they were bursting.

Like most of our HHWP couples, we've kept in touch with these two since their wedding.  We've been able to see how they've reveled in their first year of marriage.  The Crystal Ballroom location reflected their awesome personalities; the wedding ceremony reflected their love for each other; but its all those "normal" days after the wedding that we see reflecting their commitment to each other - the next chapter.  Happy Anniversary!

Magic

Weddings are magic.  Most folks have a preconceived notion of what a magical wedding looks like.  But we know better.  We know that the magic of love is found anywhere and everywhere, and we get to capture all the different faces of love when we photograph weddings. This rockabilly wedding from last weekend was no exception - it was anything but conventional, but believe you me, it was one of the most magical we've ever seen!  The love between these two is fierce, and that emotion was raw and omnipresent for this entire event. 

This bride and groom created a magical atmosphere by making sure every wedding detail reflected their personalities; from the bride's custom-made dress (by her mother-in-law!) to the records melted into bowls for reception decor.

Congratulations to both of you - it was an honor and privilege to capture the magic of your day and share it here!