Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emergency!! "Photographer Performs Ceremony" (or, "I still can't believe I wore that scarf.")

I don't think I've ever sent a text while I am photographing a wedding. But right after the ceremony of Casey & Lindsey Knopik yesterday at the Historical Orting Manor, I reached into my bag and sent this message to Katelyn, MUA extraordinare and owner of Salon Ish, who had been working with me that morning:

Me: "Katelyn, I'm not joking. I just officiated the wedding."

Katelyn: "Whhhhhaaaaaaat!!!"

I have always aspired to be the kind of photographer...well, the kind of person, who, wants to have the inner focus and passion and quick thinking to do whatever any situation requires. I really do secretly like living on the edge; I enjoy the rush of the pressure of wedding photography, and I have been focusing my intention a lot lately on being "in the flow" with where my dream of traveling to speak on passion, enthusiasm, and purpose. (I even spoke on a live tele-class just this summer on those very topics.

But you wanna know went down at Lindsey & Casey's Wedding last Saturday, right??!!


Well, it was a combination of faith and teamwork mixed together with suspense and a wedding to save! The officiant made an honest mistake and believed the ceremony to begin at 7pm. But the rehearsal had begun at 7pm; the ceremony was at 5pm. So by 5:30, there was some genuine concern building when there was no sign of the officiant and no one able to locate his cell phone number. "I'll call the Mayor," Dave, the owner of Orting Manor said, "If she's home maybe she will be able to come right over and perform the ceremony." Casey and Lindsey hesitantly agreed, as if it somehow meant reluctantly accepting the reality that this marriage ISN'T going to happen right now the way they have envisioned for months.

So as everyone is putting thought into what in the world to do at this point, still holding onto hope that the officiant will pull up at any moment...and I think to myself...

"Should I tell them that I'm ordained? I mean, I could do this....No, that would be crazy. They'll be able to solve this. I don't want to be creating one problem (no photographer) to replace the prior (no officiant)."

But as the clock ticked away and I heard that at this point it was about 5:38pm, and I'd already photographed a few more portraits of the waiting bridesmaids and bride, I found myself standing with Casey and his father, Al (who was also the best man). I had changed my mind. This problem needed to be solved now and I believed 110% that I could solve it. "Casey. I'm ordained, and I can perform your ceremony." You CAN?" was Casey Knopik's response...and within MOMENTS, I Casey replied with the sound of complete confidence in his voice, "Well then I want you to do it. At least you KNOW us."

Immediately plans went into action; Brandon Hansen, groomsmen extraordinare, readily accepts the daunting task of photographing the ceremony of his best friend's wedding. Now. With pounds of professional Nikon camera equipment loaded onto his shoulders, replacing his own um, smaller, camera. I threw it in "P" and said a little prayer. Brandon had absolutely NO instruction from me, except for where on the lens to grasp in order to zoom in and out.

Secondly, Brian Dilks, groomsman/brother-in-law to Casey-extraordinare, had the forethought to successfully locate some pretty fitting marriage vows via his iphone, which was the last critical piece necessary to pull this off without a hitch...

...once everyone was assembled, I did something I never thought I'd do in a million years...I walked up the center aisle, tall and calm enough, and turned around to face the guests. I welcomed everyone, thanked them for coming, explained who I was, what the current situation is, and what the solution we came up with was. I was answered by a wave of applause and whoops of good will! It felt so amazing to feel the support in the air!

As a photographer, I've been a part of over 60 wedding ceremonies. But to serve as the individual that leads the joining of a husband and wife...what an incredible honor! (And it was SO fun to get to be the one who gestures, "All Rise" for the entrance of the bride)

Check out these shots Brandon got? Turns out Brandon is quite the triple threat; beyond his groomsman skills and photography skills, he and Casey are journalism majors with a heart for sports...all you Seattle sports fans (of COURSE that's you Sounders FC diehards!) out to check out their sports blog, .

A quiet moment of calm earlier in their wedding day....

On our way down the block to Orting's Summerfest in full swing, again, hours before the ceremony.

And proof that the reception went off without a hitch...and in case you were wondering, no, I hadn't planned ahead of time to coordinate my scarf that day with the color of the wedding. That was the first time I even WORE a scarf to shoot a wedding (already wearing 2 cameras around my neck and potentially risking fashion-inspired mild strangulation, I mentioned to the bridesmaids earlier in the day that the scarf was "experimental"). lol.
Sometimes the universe just knows what to do, and you if you listen in and go with it, remarkable things have a way of falling into place.
More images to follow!

Monday, August 23, 2010

What are your Anchors?

Hi Everybody!

As I gear up for the approaching season of family and senior portraits this fall, I'm especially focused on keeping the enthusiasm up for the long haul. As a lot of you parents out there can attest, sometimes your energy wavers....for me, the last week before school starts again is a BUSY one. But does it have to be uncomfortable? No. Filled with Drama? Actually no. It's amazing how habitual the "back to school" scramble can feel. With the help of an awesome skype session with Allan Knight , I'm armed with a great technique to practice, and it's simple to do.

What are your Anchors?

Anchors are anything that help to remind you how to refocus and get grounded again. From an anchor-point, you can orient yourself to your passion and desire for your day, or your life. When I'm anchored, decisions are easy to make. Worries fall to the wayside as enthusiastic action steps in front and center. Using anchors instantly makes me feel GOOD chases away the fear, shows me that the pressure I might feel at the moment is temporary and in most cases, a matter of perspective...what a relief it is to realize that!

My newest anchors are jewelry with wings; these anchors remind me to stay in the flow. A tealight next to my desk reminds me that I'm worth life's little pleasures (it also reminds me I'm almost out of tealights!).

Special people anchor us family, friends, mentors & coaches...and whether we can be with them physically or not, really is beside the point. It's the way these people make us feel and fill us up that is powerful.

Music is a potent anchor. I have specific playlists with everything from meditations, to music to pump me up, music to relax and go inward with...

Hobbies can be anchors! For me, any game that requires focus is good practice for me. Throwing darts, playing hacky sack, and even running on a treadmill without falling off have all been activities that make me feel good and bring me back to center.

How do you feel right now, and what are YOUR anchors? Could you be using them more effectively to stay grounded and enthusiastic about what lies ahead for you? Have you fallen out of practice of doing something that really brings you great pleasure? Or are you feeling nourished and bountiful because you regularly call on powerful anchors that keep you balanced?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rethinking Perspective

Hi Everybody!

I'm gazing at blue skies out my office window today and it can't feel much better. I have a two-part wedding boudoir session today; it started with the initial shoot several months ago, the "blonde" client. TODAY, months later, she is brunette and ready for shoot two! I've got a few tricks up my sleeve in terms of concept and I can't wait to surprise her groom with what we create today.

This entire summer has been one I will never forget. You know when you have those years that blend in and those other years that lift up, stand out as the benchmarks you gauge all other years from? Well 2010 lifts up for me big time. This is the year I began speaking and coaching on the psychology and photography business & "Passion & Purpose", as well as did a pretty sweet amount of traveling (Dallas, Kansas City, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Germany...San Fransisco and New Orleans left to go!) I photographed and met new family, new clients, new friends, and connected with old family and old friends. Traveling absolutely effects the way I think, and ultimately, the way I shoot. When I am lifted out of my computer chair and plopped down in a new environment, my wondering mind has new material to chew questions are delights emerge...

Everything that comes out of my mouth originates as a thought, and profound thoughts for me are born visually.

As we carve like a snowboarder into autumn in the next several weeks, begin thinking about family, friends, and who is important to you in your life. Is it time for me to create a family portrait for you to have hanging in your home for the holidays? Especially if you are one of my wedding clients from previous years, I'd love to create the next portrait you can't stop looking at.