On August 10th, 2015 Nick and Tori along with close relatives took the long trek up Lost Lake Butte in the Columbia Gorge to exchange vows. One year later we ventured back into the Gorge, Tori and Nick wearing their wedding attire, and captured a sweet belated elopement session. We arrived early on a Friday morning- well before the crowds. It was such a blast! What made this session all the more special is the history that Tori and I share. Our friendship goes way back. It all started when we lived on the same block as toddlers, one afternoon had a flower petal fight in the street, fell in love and the rest is history. It's surreal to look at how our lives have evolved over the years when it truly seems like only yesterday we were unicycling around our neighborhood (yes we were in a unicycle club), biking to the swim park, stuffing our faces with way too much taco bell and having Jock Jam's dance parties. Those were most certainly the days. And while our lives now are all the more sweeter and meaningful, I'm grateful for this life long friend of mine and the memories I cherish with her. And I always love it when I see a good man take on married life with someone I love so much. Nick you are a fantastic husband and a huge congrats to you both!
What an amazing weekend this was. My best friend of nearly 12 years married a wonderful man who loves the crap out of her. You can't ask for anything more for a friend that you love like a sister. When I look back on the Fall of 2004 when I started my first quarter at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) I remember being your typical awkward and insecure 18 year old. Cait was one of the first girls I met and as it turned out lived right next door to me in the dorms. That would be the only year she and I would live next door to each other or in the same state for that matter. But we have been a part of some of the most significant moments in each other's lives over the years. Like when we left school for two quarters and served in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She was my maid of honor on my wedding day and was with me only days before the birth of my first baby. When we road tripped to San Francisco and drove with her on her move back to Colorado. When I saw her graduate from her Master's program and all the special visits we have where my kiddos get to be loved on by Auntie Cait.
When she initially asked me to shoot her wedding I was a little unsure at first. Not because I didn't want to but because it can be a challenge for me to engage in a celebration when I'm shooting said celebration. I describe to people how my camera can act as a filter that divides me from the reality of what I'm shooting. I can't fully emotionally engage in an event I'm capturing because I can get too focused on producing a worthy product for my clients. In essence I don't want my pictures to suck. But I just wanted to be sure I could fully be present for her big day. Below you will see one image of Cait looking directly into the camera during the ceremony. My husband, who officiated the wedding, was telling her how she has become a sister to him. That if it weren't for her he and I would have never met and that he is beyond grateful his wife has a friend who stays closer than a sister. I was certainly a bit teary when he was saying this but now every time I look at that photo I get so emotional because I know she wasn't looking at the camera, she was looking at me. 12 years ago I was so afraid to go to college. I prayed that God would provide me at least one good friend during my freshman year. I never in a million years would have imagined He would provide me with my "closer than a sister friend," my best friend, my forever friend. And it was such a blessing to be a part of her special day, marrying a man who is nothing short of perfect for her. They are perfect for each other. Okay, don't being sappy now. Enjoy their day:)
A special family and a really fun session at Discovery Park in Seattle. Elli and I go way back and it was a joy to spend a morning capturing this hectic, exhausting, and beautiful season of their life.
It's a special thing when I get to shoot a wedding for people from the past. One of my best childhood friends (we're talking preschool age) was Kim. Some of my fondest memories as a kid growing up was with her and her loving family. Wrestling around with her Dad and being tossed into couches, uncomfortable sleepovers on their trampoline, unforgettable rafting and camping trips on the Deschutes and Grand Ronde river, Endless summer days of swimming, biking and in later years, driving around in Kim's turquoise Jeep with the top down blasting our favorite classic rock and OAR songs. Special memories indeed. So when her older sister, Molly asked me to shoot her upcoming wedding I was so excited. Excited isn't the right word. I was honored to be a part of one of the most special days of her life. It became evident early on in the day that this wedding was thoughtfully planned and done with intention. Camp Namanu in Sandy, Oregon was the setting for their wedding which is also where Molly grew up going to camp every summer. Irish traditions were sprinkled in and throughout the ceremony and reception and Molly did something which these days is not as common and waited to have her groom see her until she walked down the aisle. The cherry on top was quite possibly the best first dance song I've heard at a wedding- Bad Company, Feel Like Makin Love sung by an incredible live band! But most importantly these are two special people with an important story and an exciting future ahead. Congrats Sam and Molly and thank you for the privelage of capturing your wedding day!