Zenith Vineyard Wedding: Aaron + Whitney

A wedding isn’t just a wedding. It’s an event that integrates the personalities, vision, taste  and passion of two individuals. Never has that been more obvious to me than this wedding at Zenith Vineyards. For the first time ever, I was completely surprised by a twist in the ceremony. Aaron Pratt and Whitney Stevens have chosen to start a new legacy, instead of carrying the grooms last name the bride and groom will now be known as Mr and Mrs Shepherd. What a reflection of what marriage is…two families, two individuals coming together to start a new union.

In perhaps the funniest ceremony blooper ever, the wine tipped, starting to wreak havoc on Whitney’s veil right in the middle of the closing prayer. The silence was broken by Whitney and Aaron cracking up, trying not to overshadow the final “Amen”. You know a girl has some serious confidence when she can laugh at herself in the middle of her own wedding. I’m telling you, this couple was really really cool.

Photographing these two was such a joy. They were really able to embrace the moment and just be alone with their new spouse. This was really special to watch. The excitement starts to sink in, they hold each other,  laugh and settle down and just be themselves.

Thank you Aaron and Whitney for trusting me to capture your once-in-a-lifetime memories. At the end of the day I was exhausted and so satisfied. Crafting your wedding story was such a great honor and honestly, I had such a blast. Like really. It was so much fun. Many many blessings on your marriage- it’s so worth the work!  Cheers to many more years- Christa

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Have you seen their Pittock Mansion Engagement photos?

Florals: Little Wild Flower PDX

Hair/Makeup: Face Body Beauty , Michelle Lummus

Cake Artist: Myriad Cake Design

DJ:  The Aussie DJ

Posted in Portland Weddings | 3 Comments

How To Create A Wedding Photo Timeline

Dear Christa,

   When you’re talking with your brides, how do you make sure you have enough time for photos? Do you use their timeline or create your own and run it by them? I keep getting really confused communicating before the wedding on what happens when! Please help! 

Sincerely,

Running out of time 

Dear Running out of Time,

I think many photographers can relate to your plight. We’ve all been there, sweating bullets as the guests take the escort cards before you have a chance to shoot them…STRESS CITY.  The day of timeline is crucial and something I start talking about from the very first consultation with each bride. You must start this conversation early to ensure you have enough time day-of, and aren’t scrambling later. Manage your clients expectations for how long things take, educate them about the flow of the day and they will understand the importance of following your timeline.

zenith vineyard wedding photo christa taylor_0122

The first step to creating a schedule is to finalize their ceremony time. Once that is clear, you have a gauge for arrival and departure and can draft up a timeline based on the hours allotted in their contract.  For example, my most popular collections are 8-9 hours in length. For a classic 9 hour wedding with 5pm ceremony, it would look like this:

how to make a photo timeline for your wedding  I email a rough draft of the photo timeline to the bride, right after her initial consultation. Later you will send this to the coordinator and ensure that everyone is on the same page. I keep a folder on my computer of all the wedding ceremony times (11:30am, 2pm, 4pm, 4:30pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm) so I can review as needed.

Here’s a sample 4pm Timeline:

how to create a wedding photo timeline

 

Any other questions about timelines- just leave a comment below :)

 

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How to Shoot a First Dance

For years I struggled with how to capture moving subject in low light. It’s like a recipe for disaster. There I was, flash bouncing off who-knows-what, my mangled camera strap getting in my eyes and sweat pouring out of my hands like I was in the mojavi desert.

Not good.

It was time to do some research and stop panicking every time I heard the DJ cue the first dance.

Thanks to The Greys and Jasmine Star- I picked up some very helpful tips.

2 Flashes

I have 2 flashes, one is a SB800 (for Nikon) and the other is cheap knockoff brand by Youngnuo ($80 vs $400). I use Phottix triggers and put the SB800 on my hot shoe and the second flash on a table or stand in the background.

The flash on my camera I turn to TTL and set it to aim straight up towards the ceiling, the white bounce card in place. Using constant focus setting (for moving subjects). I then lock focus using the beam from the TTL flash and shoot away. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The second flash I set to manual mode (the cheapy only does manual mode anyhow) at 1/16th power, just a little pop of light for a cool effect.

Now, I’m sure I’ll continue to modify and perfect this system overtime, but if you need somewhere to start- that’s what I do :)

Here’s what it looks like:

oaks park wedding photo christa taylor_0118

 

1/125th 50mm f2.8 ISO 800

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this one I did not use a flash on my hot shoe, just ambient light. ISO 1000 1/200th 85mm f2.8

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1/160th f2.5 50mm ISO3200 (VERY dark in there)

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