Because Time, Apparently, Flies. | Portland Wedding Photographer

Can you believe we're halfway through December already? Seriously - where did September and October go? They must have scuttled past with their sunny afternoons and costume parties while my back was turned. November disappeared while I was looking the other way, too -- and now December is whirring by, headed straight into the thick of the holidays.

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2 Things I Adore | Portland Wedding Photographer

I'm one of those lucky girls who have totally incredible people for a brother and sister. Jeremy and Caroline aren't just the boy and girl who shared my childhood with me -- they've grown up and evolved into beautiful, funny, creative, smart, kind people and I feel lucky just to know them, let alone be their big sister.

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Giving List

A few weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to my clients, friends, and the online community asking for help. Seized by a need to do more than I currently do for our environment and its creatures, I felt an intense desire to give a percentage of my take-home pay from Luminous Studios wedding photography to environmental causes. But there are so many worthy causes out there that I simply had to ask for your help choosing just one or two to give to. So for the last couple of weeks, I've been compiling all of your ideas, and this weekend I've finally had time to sit down and make some decisions. And it is with excitement that I want to announce my selections for the 2010 Luminous Studios Giving List!

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Blog Feature! Making Wedding Photography Greener, on the Environmental Blog!

The Environmental Blog Feature - Green Wedding Photography Portland Oregon Last week I was delighted to be featured on The Environmental Blog!  John Tarantino is a local environmental blogger extraordinaire, addressing global green issues as well as a focus on sustainability issues in Portland, Oregon.   It's an honor to be included, and I'm excited to be connecting with some of the thought-leaders on environmental issues in our community.

Check out the blog post here under Green Tips: Making Wedding Photography Greener in Portland, Oregon

Oh, and folks - there are just a couple more days to contribute your ideas to my giving list!  If you haven't spoken up yet about a cause close to your own heart, please pop over to this post and comment with your thoughts!  I'll announce the final selection(s) this Friday, December 3rd.

Can you believe it's already December in a whole minute?

Green Wedding Photography

I'm not just a tree hugger; I'm a tree kisser. Okay -- admittedly, I don't actually kiss trees all that often (finding them to be rather rough and cool to the touch), but I have an abiding passion for trees, and for the natural world in general. Growing up in the then-small town of Sebastopol in northern California, I had old, untamed apple orchards and open fields for playgrounds. My brother and sister and I spent our leisure time tunneling in the tall grass and climbing trees. We didn't play video games or watch television; our recreation was the wild outdoors.

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kat + courtney's wedding in hood river (full post)

The word "fun" keeps bubbling back up as I try to sum up the day, because the couple and their entire wedding party were incredibly playful and excited about taking fun photographs. The see-saw on the property set the stage for a rambunctious photo session, I guess. :)

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Portland Wedding Inspiration on the Stove!

One of the exciting things about being a wedding photographer in my beloved city of Portland, Oregon is getting to know some extremely creative couples who bring their own brand of Portland quirkiness and originality to the wedding table. From custom pint glasses to band posters and record labels, Portlanders know how to bring their own funny, musical, bike-lovin', tree-happy, sustainable, stylish, crafty selves to their weddings, and make them truly one-of-a-kind. I'm always overjoyed to call this lush big town my home, but never more so than when I'm surrounded by like-minded creatives gettin' all DIY up in here. For the next few weeks, I'll be working on a special project to feature some of the coolest personal touches I've seen at weddings this year, and I'll also be putting together an inspiration shoot with my own ideas for ways to make a wedding truly Portland, my way. If you're nurturing an idea and would like to participate, let me know and we might be able to work it out together!

For now, here's one quick slurp of a preview, straight from Kat + Courtney's wedding (full blog post coming soon).

sarah + denise I boring, or I september 19, 2010

Sarah and Denise got married on Sunday afternoon in an intimate gathering at Sarah's family farm in Boring, Oregon.  Their love is palpable -- it's big and sweet and joyously giddy, and it was a delight to watch these two wed.  Their ceremony was officiated by a friend, and the day was peppered with funny and sweet moments. One of my favorite moments was Sarah + Denise's first look at each other from across the railed corridors; after seeing each other for a second from across the open space they just rushed to each other with such happiness; it was infectious.

Another great moment was the blessing reading during the ceremony; seven of their guests read blessings aloud, and almost all of them flubbed the reading somehow, causing ripples of laughter throughout the room.

It was also fun photographing Sarah + Denise playfully measuring their heights against the kitchen wall in the farmhouse, where generations of children have had their heights recorded.

But I think my absolute favorite moment of the day was the laughter that erupted when Sarah accidentally bit down on Denise's finger during the cupcake-cutting ceremony.

Yes, she drew blood.

Sarah + Denise, may you live happily ever after.

I've included a small handful of photos here, but be sure to go to the bottom of the post and check out the slideshow!



































carrie + jason I a jupiter hotel wedding I portland, or

Carrie & Jason's fun, rock-and-roll themed wedding at the Jupiter Hotel in Portland was a blast!  The wedding details were exquisite, and Vibrant Table's catering and floral design were outstanding.  Carrie's amazing, floaty dress was the work of Sonia Kasparian of Urchin reDesign, a local Portland boutique specializing in one-of-a-kind works of art crafted from "salvaged heirlooms and ephemera".  Carrie and Jason's ceremony was sweet and full of laughter; their crowd of guests were a joyful bunch with lots of fun personalities in the mix.  It was a fantastic celebration. This wedding was featured on Sassy Bride over the summer; check out the feature with the bride's story here!

Check out the slideshow at the bottom of the post.

seth + melissa | surprise proposal

When Seth first contacted me last March and asked me to photograph his surprise proposal to his girlfriend, I was full of questions.  What did he and his girlfriend look like, so I could spot them from afar?  Did he think she would be expecting his proposal?  What was the plan for the day?  What were they like as a couple?  Playful?  Passionate?  Down-to-earth? I always want to know as much as possible about my clients - to understand who they are and what they love - so I can capture the essence of their personalities in my photographs.  But I wanted to know even more about Seth and Melissa since I wouldn't get to meet them at all before this secret operation.

Seth was full of answers and plans.  We emailed back and forth.  An elaborate plot was hatched; I would pose as a photographer for the winery.  Seth emailed me an aerial map of the winery, with hand-drawn secret routes and instructions.  This was a spy mission!  So I was on tenterhooks when the big day finally came, dawning clear and bright in the upper reaches of Yamhill's most beautiful wine country.

As I drove out early to the beautiful WillaKenzie Estate Winery and scouted the tasting room and the picnic location Seth had found, I already knew I was about to witness something pretty special.  It was obvious from Seth's careful planning that he loved Melissa endlessly, and I felt lucky to get to be a part of their story.  But I never could have imagined how amazingly special it would actually be....

Check out the slideshow at the bottom.

P.S.  The pink ribbon on the signpost is a secret landmark Seth gave me to find the spot he'd chosen for the proposal....



dehlia + ryan I a portland wedding I september 5, 2010

Dehlia (DeDe) and Ryan got married at the World Forestry Center in Portland on Sunday!  Their wedding had a lush, earthy forest theme, and their little girl Ella, whom I photographed earlier this year, was a big part of the wedding and the day. After all the hustle of the day's preparations, the ceremony was focused, tender, and warm.  Happy tears abounded as DeDe and Ryan's self-written vows were read, Ella helped light the unity candle, and her canine buddy Jackson lazed peacefully on the floor throughout the entire ceremony.  The happy couple celebrated with a beautiful party in Miller Hall afterward, and it was a delight to see DeDe cut loose and soak up all the love after all the pressures of preparing for the big day! Big thanks go to Brian Bulemore of Abacus Photography for second-shooting; his photos will be available soon, so keep checking back for an update on where to find them!  Also, I had a great time working in tandem with Scott + Amanda of Ambient Sky Couture Imagery as they created their video of the day; I can't wait to see the finished product!

Click the slideshow below to view a few of the photos from DeDe & Ryan's wedding.