What I’d Say to a Younger Me

castaway portland wedding photographer christa taylor

For a long time I was a little embarassed by my emotions. I would stuff them down under a composed exterior, the in-control Christa. It wasn’t until I met and fell in love with my own dear Husband that I finall became comfortable with embracing them.

Not only have I become more relateable (so my mom says, and you know she’s always right) but its made me a better photographer. Father/Daughter moments really do make me cry and seeing a groom’s fierce love for his bride gets me every time.

What I would say to a younger me is this: Let go of your emotional inhibitions and shoot with unbridled passion. Shoot it like you want to shoot it, deep down, not like what’s just expected of you or the way other photographers do. Jump out of the box sooner, stick to your guns and continue developing your signature look. Stop second guessing yourself in the moment and lead your clients right to the point you want them. Spend your time looking forward, stop being scared and jump. 

 

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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?

Many thanks to Jamie Rae Photo for her mad skills as my second shooter :)

Florals: Little Wild Flower PDX

Hair/Makeup: Face Body Beauty , Michelle Lummus

Cake Artist: Myriad Cake Design

DJ:  The Aussie DJ

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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.

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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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