I haven’t posted in almost a year, which is due to my decision to take a step back from wedding photography this year. After a huge year of transition, moving, and adjusting to life as a mom in 2017, I just needed a year to breathe, find my footing, and reevaluate.
In the meantime, I already had a couple weddings booked, and a some good friends got married and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shoot those nuptials, so I didn’t step away completely.
So what will 2019 look like? I’m still playing it by ear, but my books ARE open! I’m going to be taking on fewer clients because life with a toddler make everything more difficult and I want to make sure I have the time and energy to devote my best to each client, and also not completely drive myself into the ground and burnout.
I suppose this will end up being a sort of “year in review” but I wanted to go ahead and share the weddings I shot in 2018, starting with Maddie + Calvin! Maddie has been a good friend ever since I moved to Washington, and she’s been super close to my husband Dan for several years longer, so it was with great pleasure that I was able to capture her gorgeous, relaxed, wooded celebration at her family’s home in Packwood, WA!
Venue: Private Residence
Dress: Brides for a Cause
Floral: Liz Morrow Studios
I have been best friends with Kristina since we were awkward 13-year-olds (all right, I was way more awkward, okay?). When I became a wedding photographer, she became my model for styled shoots, yoga shoots, boudoir shoots, you name it, but I was always most looking forward to getting to be her photographer for her actual wedding. In December I got to do just that! With a couple close friends, we drove out to my family's waterfront property on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State to participate in her and Joe's elopement. I made her macrame altar backdrop and wooden arch, her bouquet, the flower crowns, and her veil, in addition to capturing it all on camera. My fellow matron of honor, Amy, is a photographer as well, so she was able to shoot a few photos of me walking Kristina down the aisle, and then we swapped again at the end so she could get some shots of me standing beside Kristina during her ceremony too. Everything about their ceremony was so personal, sacred, and unique.
Dress: Brides for a Cause Portland
Venue: Private Residence
Florals: Liz Morrow Studios
Officiant: Nichole London
When I was a kid my mom had this oversized tee that said "thirtysomething" on it. I remember thinking that being thirty was so far away, hard to even fathom. And here I am, thirty-something, with a kid, a house, a dog, a husband, a business. Growing up is a little bizarre. Maybe a lot bizarre. On my thirty-first birthday, I decided I'd commemorate the day with some photos of me and my little dude. This whole year has been very much about him, so it seemed appropriate. Plus, he's so cute, it's hard not to drag him into a photo shoot. These are some of my favorite photos of us together.
Caitlin was one of the incredible women who attended my Wildbride retreats back in 2016 and recently moved up to Portland, so we were able to hang out (and have some Corgi playdates with her gal, Tumbles, and mine, Dusty) over the summer. She and Tim always planned on eloping and they found the perfect spot in the middle of the woods near the Columbia River Gorge. As we drove up the road it suddenly felt like I was on the Avenue of the Giants in the Redwoods, which is decidedly one of my most favorite places on earth. Caitlin used to work in tech in San Francisco and when they moved to Portland, she quit her job and focused on her passion: sewing and drafting her own clothing! Yeah, people, she MADE that dress. She designed it and sewed it. Unreal.
If you're into corgis, unconventional wedding style, and saying vows beneath giant trees, you're gonna like this one.
This little one turned one last month and while I didn't opt for a crazy Pinterest birthday party, I did want to get some photos of him to complete my year of doing monthly photos, so we did a mini cake-smash shoot in the studio. Oddly enough, I basically had to force him to actually smash the cake, he just wanted to poke the frosting! He's never eaten anything sugary or sweet, so I think his mind was blown a little bit when he tasted the frosting.
This year has been the most challenging of my life. In my business, in my marriage, in my personal life, as a mother. I knew it was going to be difficult, but I was definitely not prepared for how intense the first year was. Jack is such a brilliant bright shining light in the world and I can't wait to see how he grows into a person who makes the world such a better place.
While I was in Joshua Tree a couple months ago, I wanted to create some images that were just for fun. No portfolio building, no shooting clients, just something creative and weird. I didn't have any concept going into it, I'd just found a cool old dress at the thrift store that had a frothy feel to it and I thought it'd make for some interesting images.
I want to do more creating for the sake of creating. A lot of times, those of us who create to pay the bills end up draining our creativity by never investing in making art for ourselves. It's hard because you feel like you're wasting time, in a way, shooting something that isn't going to add to your portfolio or attract more clients. But being able to feed your creative soul is really the lifeblood of a creative business. Constantly infusing your brain with new ideas and pushing the boundaries will always make you a better artist, and being a better artist makes you better at creating great work for your clients. It can be hard for me to remember that. You can't pour from an empty cup, they say.
This wedding dress in Joshua Tree is a match made in heaven. When I was living in Portland, I connected with the incredible Elizabeth Dye to style up one of her gowns while I was down in Joshua Tree back in September. The bohemian vibes were perfectly laid back and desert-hippie inspired. Brooke and I had a blast playing in the evening light, climbing on rocks, and spinning in the middle of the road!
It's no secret Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places on the planet. Last month I went down to visit my in-laws for a week and give them some time to hang out with their only grandchild, and while I was in the area I decided to see if I could rustle up a couple who would want to model for a session so I could get some new images for my portfolio, and Jamie and Jacob popped into my inbox!
We met up for a drink at Joshua Tree saloon and then headed into the park to romp around on rocks at Sunset. I'm so glad I got the chance to connect with these two, I had so much fun shooting with them and I'm jonesin' for more desert shoots now!
Jake + Rochelle's Crockett Farm wedding on Whidbey Island was so. much. fun. I met Jake and Rochelle while shooting Amy + Eric's wedding back in February where Jake was a groomsman. I remember seeing Rochelle and thinking that she was gorgeous and her smile lit up my camera while I was snapping dancing photos at the end of the night. When she contacted me asking if I was available to shoot her wedding I was thrilled, to say the least.
These two were such a blast, and shooting their wedding was like drinking a tall glass of joy all day. I was hella joy-hydrated by the end of the night (do people still say hella anymore? Just us kids who went to high school in 2001? K cool). Rochelle is as cool as they come, and she rocked an amazing white jumpsuit, which was covered up with a flowy skirt made from her mom's wedding dress until the big reveal at the reception! Amazing.
Congratulations, Jake + Rochelle! It was such a pleasure capturing your big day!!
Venue: Crockett Farm, Whidbey Island
Jumpsuit: Jill Stuart via BHLDN
Skirt: Handmade from Rochelle's Mom's wedding dress by Chelsia Berry
Catering + Desserts: Serendipity
DJ: Lisa Halstead
Band: Hot Club of Troy
Violinists: D n' A Violinists
Last month I had the pleasure of hiking down to Snoqualmie Falls for Kaeli + James' elopement! I think this might be one of my all times favorite shoots, and Kaeli + James were so laid back and up for climbing up on "just one more" rock for photos. Kaeli's dress was simple and stunning, and she even rocked some gold sequined chucks to match her gold dress! Sneakers were a brilliant choice since we were clambering around through rocks and driftwood all evening. Their ceremony was lovely and intimate, with beautiful violin played by James' sister-in-law who is a world class violinist, and Snoqualmie falls thundering in the distance.
Thanks for letting me capture your beautiful day, Kaeli + James! Congratulations!
Gown: Rachel Zoe, Emerson Maxi Dress
Venue: Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater