May
26
2015

{ELOPEMENT} LOVE AT WASHINGTON’S RATTLESNAKE RIDGE…

i am more than thrilled to have

JAQUILYN SHUMATE PHOTOGRAPHY

on the blog again with this breathtaking elopement. Jaquilyn and her husband, Travis, are the sweetest ever and after four years of knowing them on social media, i FINALLY had the chance to meet them in person last fall…it’s always been a favorite thing of mine to meet the photographers that have long supported this blog and that i have long admired. love these two and their cutest little family.

you simply MUST check out more from this talented team over on THEIR BLOG too.

“Opting for a simple ceremony that celebrated their love and devotion, Summer and Jordan chose Washington’s Rattlesnake Ridge as the location to share their vows. We joined the couple at the trailhead to start the hike, which gains 1,175 feet of elevation in just under two miles. In just under two hours, Summer and Jordan climbed to the majestic ridge overlooking Rattlesnake Lake and the Cascade Mountains. There we met up with their officiant (and her husband) and experienced a sweet, personal ceremony complete with handwritten vows, prayers, communion and, of course, beautiful vistas.

Experiencing such a momentous experience on a mountain overlooking endless forests added to the serene power of their elopement. After taking advantage of the evening light for portraits at the edge of the cliff, we raced down the hill in the dark using flashlights and the light of the moon to guide the way. Once we made it back to the trailhead, Summer and Jordan cut their homemade wedding cake.

From Summer: “We wanted to keep the focus of the entire day on the commitment we were making to each other rather than letting it get drowned out by all the traditional wedding details. An important goal was to create an experience in which Jordan and I could start our lives together in a way that reflected who both of us are as individuals and as a couple. Only having six people at the ceremony allowed us to relax and be ourselves and enjoy the experience without feeling like it was a performance. The words were just for us. The theme for our wedding was journeying and overcoming obstacles together. My favorite moment was standing at the top with my veil blowing around my face. I felt so beautiful in an epic setting. Every part of the day turned out perfect and exceeded our expectations.”

other wedding vendors involved included:

Hair: Misty Lashell Morrow of Arrow Hair and Beauty // Make up: Bride // Veil: Made by bride // Cake: Made by bride // Flowers: Flower stand at local gas station // Dress: French Connection // Bride’s Shoes: Glint from Nordstrom // Bride’s Boots for Hike: Mtng from Zulily // Bride’s Ring: Vintage from Antique Jewel Box on Etsy //Suit: Tailor-made by Noble Suit Co. // Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds //Groom’s Boots for Hike: Broken Homme

May
25
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE AT THE DESERT FOOTHILLS…

“Candace and Cary are not only a beautiful couple, but they are the epitome of casual sophistication. They are approachable and fun. You want to hang out with them and become their friend. And they’ve got style. This wedding blends these things so perfectly for them. Words from the bride:

“My inspiration was a vision I had of decadent white and candlelight in a friendly and warm place like a barn. I wanted the evening to be both sophisticated and beautiful, but also a night where everyone could let loose, be themselves and have a lot of fun. I think we really achieved that with the casual-elegant mix. Everything sparkled with chandeliers galore, but it balanced out with the exposed beams overhead and the dirt floor below. It was perfect.” “

as always, totally stoked to have

MIKE OLBINSKI

and his work on the blog again.  this guy just knows how to get it done beautifully.

stunning work as always from this guy.  yes, this guy is also Mike Olbinski the storm chaser.  i don’t know how he does it time again, but every love story is on point.  see for yourself on HIS BLOG.

other wedding vendors involved:

Equipment Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Phoenix//Reception Venue: Desert Foothills Events//Caterer: Put a Fork in It//Cake Designer: Tammie Coe Cakes//Event Planner: What A Day Weddings//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

May
25
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE AT SCOTLAND’S ISLE OF SKYE…

excited to bring you this beautiful wedding captured by

ELICIA BRYAN

the behind the scenes story is definitely a different one.  instead of hiring a primary and secondary photographer, this couple decided to hire two different photographers but as a collaborative team.  the above is from Elicia’s point of view. head on over HERE for more.

then stick around ELICIA’S BLOG for more of her latest work that you honestly really not miss.  this blog aways emphasizes wedding photography and the power of storytelling and Elicia’s definitely way up there with that, in my humble opinion.

May
24
2015

{EVER OURS AFTER HOURS} ARIEL RENAE…

#everoursafterhours serves as a learn the “why” behind their work, to get to know photographers and videographers that are the game changers or ones that in their tiny little corner of the earth are just getting it done.  i have always, ALWAYS, prided myself on the that community that i have the fortunate experience of knowing and featuring.  for the past five years, i have surrounded myself with such a beautifully talented community of wedding photographers and videographers.  so i’m just going to build on that this year and give them the spotlight they deserve.  i’ll be highlighting photographers almost every week.  but obviously if i have the time, i’ll be featuring more but it’s all dependent on the photographers who have the time to answer too.  it’ll be up on Sundays and it’ll just be a chance for photographers to kick back after shooting a wedding, grab a coffee, and have a lazy Sunday read.

pretty sure that

ARIEL RENAE

was one of the first photographers that made me decide what style i liked.  and when i say style, i mean the fact that i could finally point my finger and say that i preferred this blog to focus on the way wedding photographers story tell through their images.  Ariel has the magic touch when it comes to that.  every one of her shoots, whether it’d be an engagement, wedding, anniversary or family, tells an absolutely perfect story.  her images are always solid gold and i’ve been so very fortunate to feature her on here quite a few times and now the chance to know her more personally.

How did you get your start in wedding photography?

I had a friend ask me to shoot their wedding. I *really* didn’t want to do it because I thought shooting weddings was boring and lame, but they said to not think of it as a wedding and just shoot what I saw. I shot it. I loved it. Kept shooting them since then!

What is unique about your style of shooting?

I don’t know if it’s particularly unique, but I suppose part of my “style” or point of view is that I like to show and focus on the beautiful ebb & flow of a wedding day. Its really important to me that my images make the viewer feel like you they there, whether or not they actually were. Getting killer portraits that you’re proud of is definitely fun but I find the other parts of the day extremely fascinating and more of a challenge. I don’t know if I always achieve that, but that is what I’m always aiming for.

Include one of your images that is your most recent favorite and explain why you love it.

I chose this image because, for whatever reason, I love the time of the reception when (hopefully) the bride and groom gets to sit down, eat some food and they can take in everything that just happened. This couple was doing just that. They were taking in the moment and the day and the people and it was one of those things that was just naturally beautiful. I know that this photo isn’t the most exciting shot I’ve ever taken, but in all honesty, the in between, honest moments are the ones that make me really happy.

What do you struggle with the most? Business wise or shooting wise.

As far as the business part goes, at this point I struggle the most with balance. I have gotten better over the past few years (luckily, having kids kind of forced me to re-evaluate my time…) but it is still an aspect that I have to be extremely intentional about. Setting a “work” schedule for myself and sticking to it best I can is the only thing that currently keeps me sane(ish).

Where do you see wedding photography heading next? Where would like to see it go?

I honestly have no idea. All I can forecast is for myself and I just know I love what I do and want to be forever headed in direction of staying inspired and joyful and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

If you could send one message to the wedding photography world, what would it be? (Basically, your life motto)

I would suggest that Dr. Seuss was right on the money when he said “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Your than You” SUPER cheesy I know, but I’m not going to argue with a Doctor. I am me so if thats the only thing that sets me and my work apart from anyone else, I am just going to stick with that and not worry about anything else.

What drives you as a person and as a wedding photographer?

As a person and in my business, my family drives me. I want to do the best I possibly can at anything I do because I think that is the best example for my kids. I want that for them. For them to be happy in whatever they choose to do in life. So yeah. It all comes back to them.

What makes you confetti throw at the end of the day?

My family, again!!! But I am definitely a morning person… So if I could choose to throw confetti at the beginning of the day instead of the end, I’d do that!

thanks again to Ariel for spending time to share her mind.  her photography is absolutely stunning so i highly encourage you check out more of her work on HER SITE as well as HER BLOG.  trust me, you won’t be disappointed and you’ll get sucked into page after page of her beautiful work.

May
22
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE AT SOUTH AFRICA’S KRUGER NATIONAL PARK…

again, i am just in awe of who ends up sending submissions over.  this one all the way from South Africa!

huge HUGE thanks to

KNOT JUST PICS

for sending this South African wedding over.  and i love that Szerdi and Andy, the talent behind this photography team wrote this in their submission too:

” Every wedding we are a part of is a special glimpse into the lives of two unique people who love each other and their often crazy and amazing friends and family. That’s why our approach to every wedding is special and done around the people in it. We want the people we shoot to be relaxed on their day and feel like we are not there as an intrusion, but rather as a part of the memory making. We would rather be seen as old friends documenting a day unfolding over serious professionals directing all day and being “in charge”. We believe that a wedding is not just about the pictures taken on the day, but the process of the day, the emotions felt by everyone and trying to reflect that in the pictures. It is easy to have pretty pictures but it’s a skill to capture the feeling and emotion and atmosphere of the wedding experience. We want it so that when couples look at their pictures in 10, 20, 50 years’ time, they are transported back to the sights, sounds and feelings of that day. That  was what we want captured on our own big day. So we are sure other people want that too. That’s why it’s (k)not just about the pictures, but about so, so, so much more.”

most likely why i connected not only with their work, but them as well.

the KNOT JUST PICS team has been up to a lot more so you really ought to see it for yourself over on THEIR SITE.

May
22
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE AT VANCOUVER’S BRIX RESTAURANT…

always stoked to have repeat photographers on here just as much as having new wedding photographers on here.  it truly means a lot that they keep wanting to come back to be on the blog and i hope they know how much i appreciate their support.

one such photographer is

JUSTINE B PHOTOGRAPHY

so excited to have her work on here again with this Brix restaurant wedding.  no rainy day can ruin her talent with story telling through images.  stick around JUSTINE’S BLOG for more of her work too.

May
21
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT OREGON’S COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE…

so every once in a while, a submission will come in sent from a bride-to-be herself and not from a wedding photographer.  those submissions hug my heart, because it means that it’s more than just wedding photographers taking a gander at this blog and i’m just hoping a tiny little bit that means brides and grooms are starting to realize the importance of wedding photography.

“Brandon & I really wanted to capture the true essence of “us” in our engagement photos. We met many moons ago through a mutual friend, but did not start dating until almost 3 years ago. Many of our first special moments of our relationship were established camping on the Columbia River, between Oregon & Washington. He is a native Washingtonian and I am a native Oregonian. The river that “divides” our homes was also where we created our home together. Thus, we decided that having the Columbia River Gorge in our backdrop would be not only gorgeous and scenic, but would truly define the beginning of our love story.

 During our first few months of being together, camping was what we did most. In our engagement session, we made a campfire to symbolize the start of our relationship. In our campfire photos, I chose to wear a Free People slip and cozied up with a knitted sweater to add varying textures. We cuddled up under a Pendleton blanket, as Pendleton Woolen Mills is native to our home of the Pacific Northwest. In one of the photos, I am wearing a bracelet with two adjoining hearts. This bracelet is special and significant because it was the very first gift my father gave to my mother when they first got engaged. To me, it’s always been a symbol of the beginning of their love story and I wanted to incorporate it into ours.

 The Columbia River Gorge has spectacular sunsets with the river and the mountains when it’s not raining! We were blessed to have one of those evenings where the weather was in our favor (which is usually not typical for the Pacific Northwest!). There was so much to take in, which made our engagement session so much fun. We trekked along this hill and came across beautiful grassy areas open to the view of the river, awesome rock walls with bright and lush green moss for amazing backdrops, and crazy cool rock cliffs that we were able to walk out to the edge of. The views of the landscape, mountains, river, and sun coming together from atop of this hill were breathtaking and so romantic!”

many thanks to Larizza for sending this in and congrats to her and Brandon on their engagement!

thanks must also go to

CATALINA JEAN

for these gorgeous images.  her work is absolutely breathtaking.  see for yourself on HER BLOG.

shoutout to Beauty by Nicole Peterson for Larizza’s look.