Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tonya & Roy--Leavenworth Wedding!

I have so many images I want to show you from Tonya & Roy's wedding!! If you want to cut to the chase and check out the slideshow, it's here!

That's Roy, above. That location was a little treacherous to get to, but I knew it would look awesome and be comfortable for them; it was about 87 degrees with very little shade this time of the day. I always have empathy for the guys in three layers of dark clothing on hot days!

But just LOOK how gorgeous and vivid the colors are! Keeping your ISO low and F-stop high (I believe it was at F13 for this shot) maximizes the color saturation...

Thank goodness for the trees! This ideal "open shade" location was great for closeups of Tonya...

Yep...I even asked the ladies to walk CAREFULLY along the rocky, narrow, and sometimes steep dirt path. The pond/stream is hard to see, but it was there and everybody made it without a hitch! Oh, and can I say, that besides Tonya's BFF Ashley who is the first on the left, each of her other bridesmaids were all of her sisters!

Oh my gosh, this moment...after the toasts, Roy's gramma presented him with his late-grampa's WWII medal and flying wings. THAT was something else...what an emotional, beautiful moment in their lives...

The Beecher Hill House has had weddings there since I believe, the 1930s! The interior of the mansion was beautiful and the "Bridal Bath" was no exception. . .

The ceremony location was framed so beautifully with the lush greenery and awesome view.

When I saw the bookshelves at one end of the Groom's Quarters, I instantly envisioned this shot for Roy. I really really love this one...

Oh, I wasn't going to leave the rocky stream until Tonya got a gorgeous shot there!

I am not a staunch-photojournalist (a type of photography style in which you do NO posing, direction, or interaction with the subjects at all) by any means, but I am always looking for the beauty that is right under your nose. It doesn't get any better than walking in a room and seeing this!

Here's the view back at the mansion from the ceremony altar...

Oh and the DANCES! They were so memorable...Tonya and her dad were both completely overcome with emotion during their dance...another timeless moment in a bride's life that I love shooting as much as I love chocolate, and that's saying something!

If I stare at this shot too much it'll make me want to hold my breath and feel a sob coming on! lol

When Roy broke out in air guitar, you can guarantee I jumped in there to grab that shot!

The men you see here have served our country overseas and because of this, exposed themselves to the darkest of the dark realities, war. On the other end of the spectrum, is their ability and desire to celebrate to joy in life deeply, enthusiastically, and with passion.... we can all take a lesson from these brave soldiers.

I also want to make sure we acknowledge the Army Wives...maybe you know an Army Wife and

if you do, you know what strength it takes to endure the months of time away from your other half. I learned that Army wives can create a closeknit family of sisters that support each other and mirror the support their husbands have for each other. It's a difficult and amazing reality that makes me so proud to know them!

The Wives and I had spoke about wedding portrait sessions that would help complete their own wedding stories, many of whom started and ended at the courthouse. I am now excitedly offering a Bride & Groom portrait session which includes a gallery wrap canvas wall portrait. I can't think of anybody else who deserves a gorgeous reminder of the extraordinary committment they made more than them! You can contact me through my website or visit my sister blog, Petite Weddings, for more information!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

This post will give you chills! How Roy Proposed!

Okay. So I'm going to start in the middle of the story and then do a flashback...

I'm meeting Tonya & Roy for the first time last year for a wedding photography consultation...everything is normal until I ask, "So how did Roy propose?"

When she started explaining, I realized that I knew this couple and not only knew their proposal story, I had been there and PHOTOGRAPHED IT!

Flashback: Last September, I was hired to come to Ft. Lewis and photo-document a client's husband coming home from Iraq after 15 long months, and after missing most of his precious daughter's first year of life. Remember this shot? It's of them and it's one of my all-time favorites....
It was emotionally overwhelming to stand in that gymnasium the day they all came home, just bursting at the seams with wives, mothers, girlfriends, sisters, fathers, brothers, sons and daughters...wanting nothing more than to hold their soldier and know they are HOME and safe...We waited for hours in that gym, and finally, FINALLY in marches hundreds of soldiers, and they stand in formation. The energy level, already high, just shoots through the roof. I'll never forget what it felt like to be there. And before they are allowed to break up and find their families, there was some business. First, a formal welcome. Second, a prayer. And third, one soldier was asked to come forward. It turns out to be Roy, who is a total stranger to me at the time. Tonya was requested to come forward and all of a sudden, Roy is down on one knee and the ENTIRE gymnasium erupts in deafening cheers as Tonya accepts Roy's proposal...

I didn't know who they were, and assumed the newspaper photog (pictured) would have gotten their info and provided them with closer, clearer images. So I had all but forgot about the proposal until I'm at their wedding consult and Tonya tells me about the proposal!! All of a sudden it all rushed back to me and I did get to give her the 3 shots I had...

Luckily, I got to photograph them once more and give her LOTS of shots to celebrate their engagement....

Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing their GORGEOUS Leavenworth wedding at The Beecher Hill House...can't wait to show you the images from their wedding!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Megan & DJ...Gor-juhsssss

Some of my favorite shots from July 12 at The Pioneer Park Pavillion in Puyallup....
"This is really IT!"
One of DJs ushers had just said "You guys look like a boy band!"
The breeze in her hair, the clinging arms and sweet gaze of DJs neice was such a gift to capture. One of the sweetest fleeting moments ever...
Oh! The candids of mothers and daughters...sigh...all I see here is beauty, poise (and amazing cheekbones) passed down from one generation to the next...
Just minutes before Megan became DJ's wife.....
Haven't we all been there?! Brooklyn really did take the hairstyling like a champ!

July 12 was a beautiful day for a wedding...Megan & DJ sealed the deal at Pioneer Park Pavillion in Puyallup.. DJ, look what you had coming!!!
This shot of Megan's flowergirls is a super fav of's also an excellent example of how stunning the use of color can be!
The lighting in the Pavillion was awesome that day...we had light coming from both sides when Megan stood here (and caterers worked behind the tall black drape)!
To direct guests to the correct entrance, this sheer drape was hung. Once the sun lowed and began to pour in, I couldn't have been happier! I get glowing bride shots any time possible, but this was just too easy!

I love it when the bride and groom truly love to dance...this groom could really move :)

The groom's sweet moves were brought to you in part by Mark of The Musical Outlet! He has a lifelong passion for music and was truly evident that night. There really is an art to leading a reception, and a great DJ can maintain the flow of events to keep guests stimulated, then create a fantastic, spirited environment for your guests to let loose, which in turn creates some awesome moments for your photographer to capture! One of the best DJs I've ever worked with! Mark's website is under revision, but you can take the first step to getting YOUR party started at 253.273.6299. Just check these dance shots out!!

It was a WONDERFUL wedding and I have no doubt that Megan and DJ will have an amazing life together as husband and wife!!! Their entire wedding slideshow is right here! Next up, will be my post on the Leavenworth wedding of Tonya and Roy!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Favorite Officiant, Pastor Greg Parsons

What do you see in common in these pictures below?

Give up?

It's THIS guy, Pastor Greg Parsons of Faith Family Church! I first met Greg in 2004 while shooting my husband's cousin's wedding at the church (that's Lindsey above with his adorable family). I just remember the ceremony being so moving...the pastor being so in touch with the couple, without being overbearing or cheesy.

Pastor Greg has an optimistic enthusiasm that gives off this beautiful energy that I imagine vibrates through the ceremony space into the hearts of everyone at the altar, and all the way to the back row. Seriously.

In his ceremonies, he talks ABOUT the bride and groom, and speaks TO them. He has a passionate but relaxed manner of incorporating practical truths about the commitment of marriage. If you aren't convinced that marriage is an amazing, holy union, then you just haven't been to one of his ceremonies yet.

And of COURSE, Pastor Greg talks ABOUT God in his ceremonies, and he talks TO Him. I absolutely love the image above....for me it's all about Pastor Greg and his connection to God and the heavens...


I've attended lots of wedding rehearsals. As you can imagine, some are short organized (or disorganized), some are long and detail-oriented, and some can leave party members like they've just rehearsed for "So You Think You Can Dance"! Plus, everyone is hungry. (Tip: Schedule dinner FIRST if you can, and rehearse afterwards! I've seen it done and everyone is so much more relaxed and content with a full belly! Extreme Tip: Schedule it on a THURSDAY so traffic isn't so much of a factor in getting there on time, plus, Friday can be a relaxing day to finish details and pamper yourself) Pastor Greg and his wonderful wife, Angie, take rehearsals JUST serious enough to get things clear, but not so serious that the B&G are worried that they won't do something right. If Angie comes to assist, you'll see she is one of those women that thrives when she works behind the scenes and has a pleasant confidence about her that no uptight, clipboard-wielding coordinator could ever compete with! She's just the kind of person you can feel comfortable knowing is there helping...

You can contact Pastors Greg & Angie at Faith Family Church, Milton, WA 253.922.7773.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dawn & Shane!

Remember Dawn & Shane's Engagement Shoot? Well on June 27th, their wedding day finally arrived!

It was a hot sunny day at my favorite venue, Laurel Creek Manor where I can get gorgeous photos like this!

If you've ever shot a wedding in full sun, you know how much more strategy and creativity it takes. The sun was doing down during the first dance and dances with parents, shining directly on them and changing by the minute. If you check out the slideshow below, you can see the difference in the shots depending on where I stood and whether I used the flash or not. What angle do you like the best?

Dawn & Shane also had the Chopstix piano dueling guys featured at the reception and guests could never say that reception was boring! Song request slips were at every table and they kept the live music crankin' all evening long... to view their entire wedding slideshow, you can view it here.