A handful (or twenty) of some of my most frequently asked questions. However, please don't hesitate to reach out if yours isn't listed.
The same goes for you: an image in which you have your head thrown back, neck ever so slightly wrinkled, a hint of a double chin, full of joy and laughter, may be one that your mother or lover prefers, whereas you feel it’s a terribly unflattering reflection of yourself. Who’s right? Who’s images are these to judge? Because of this dichotomy of opinions, I include a lot of images. Fellow photographers may insist that editing down thousands of images to a well curated few is part of the photographer’s job (they’re not wrong, and I do do that) but I know all too well how it feels to be haunted by an image of myself that someone else insists is a true representation of me. So you pretty much get EVERYTHING, aside from blinks or out of focus or those images in which I accidentally take a photo of my feet while running to the bathroom.
I also try to keep in mind how you’re potentially going to display these photos and choose to offer plenty of variations for whatever your framing, printing, or digital needs may be.
As for a second photographer, I’m wholly capable of and thoroughly enjoy photographing a wedding solo, but since my first wedding in 2012 I’ve learned that sometimes it’s best to have a second talented set of eyes, ears, and lenses along. If the details and decorations are especially important to you or if your guest list includes more than ~125 of your people, we'll want to discuss including my second. They would make it more possible for me to take time dedicated away from the guests and details to be with you for portraits without missing a beat.
For smaller, more intimate weddings and elopements (typically ~50 or less, if any, guests in attendance) and those in which the details are less important, I strongly prefer to photograph these solo as I feel too many cameras can be distracting in smaller groups.
This goes hand in hand with how I approach a wedding day: I want it to be a realistic representation of what happened on the day rather than a trendy or manipulated creation of what I think it should be. I may clean up a few distracting elements for the sake of composition, accuracy, and tidying up the image (ex: a distracting Exit sign, a branch that appears to be impaling a groom, or stress acne that showed up the day before the wedding, or swapping a blinking grandma in a family photo with one where her eyes are open) but would rather not digitally manipulate someone’s natural appearance.
However, you're also able to request additional editing (head swaps or removal of people in group portraits, smoothing lines or bulges due to wardrobe; scars; etc) for a fee after I've delivered your gallery.
Tina Fey has a quote about Photoshop which I think resonates with how I approach things:
“Feminists do the best Photoshop because they leave the meat on your bones. They don’t change your size or skin color. They leave in your disgusting knuckles, but they may take out some armpit stubble. Not because they’re denying its existence, but because they understand that it’s okay to make a photo look as if you were caught on your best day in the best light.”
My contract goes into full detail about my reschedule and cancellation policies, but outside of the COVID-19 pandemic you’re able to reschedule or cancel your wedding up to one month (30 days) prior to the booked date. As with all things, communication is key when dealing with schedule changes so let me know as soon as possible and keep me up to date often when you’re considering a date change or cancellation.
As for reschedules or cancellations regarding weather, I embrace the elements and love what it can add to a story. If the forecast suggests rain on a wedding day I’ll bring along protection for my gear, but if you’re up for it I am always game to play in the rain or wind to create dramatic photos with you. It’s okay if you don’t want rainy photos, though! We can always reschedule due to weather, however mild or severe. If our health or safety is on the line (including but not limited to: fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme heat or cold, snow or ice storms) we will reschedule or adjust plans accordingly.
This is also my approach to wedding days: to tell the story of the day you two became a family. No gimmicks, no creating moments that didn’t occur organically, and as little Photoshop as possible. I offer some simple direction during portraits throughout the day, but my goal is to stay in the background and honestly document the day as it naturally unfolds, allowing you, your story, and your favorite people to be the focus.
In 2011 I took a few film and digital photography classes at a community college to learn the finer science behind crafting an image and spent my evenings and weekends photographing musicians at gigs in dark bars and venues with my original photography dreams residing within the pages of Rollingstone. I went on to photograph my first wedding in 2012 and fell in love immediately. I’ve learned over the last few years that I’m an autodidact and continue to educate myself through photography blogs, books, podcasts, workshops, and through the work of peers.
Fun fact: After flying in late the night before (I no longer arrive less than 24 hours prior to a wedding when traveling) I woke up the morning of the wedding with a fever of 102° but, in a pre-COVID world, photographed everything anyway. Also! The couple parachuted into their reception which made for a preeeetty epic first wedding.
The nervous energy has morphed into pure celebratory exuberance—often aided by a little alcohol—and connections are pinging across the room like electricity. There are funny and heartwarming speeches, powerful on the day but made even more so with the passing of time. Your high school friends and cousins realize they were in the same kindergarten class and your best man is spinning your aunt in circles on the dance floor. This day, which is so often considered a formal event and took so many months of preparation and meticulous planning, has suddenly become a huge, once-in-a-lifetime party with all of your favorite people. They’re all here for you, and your love, to celebrate the commitment you’re making with your person.
If we're doing a portrait or engagement session I'm not above all of us taking a shot to loosen up before we start, but only if you want to.
Many of my weddings and engagement or portrait sessions since 2013 have required travel and have taken me from New York City to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. As of 2021 I’m based out of Portland & Eugene, Oregon but my second love is traveling, so I’ll eagerly hop on a plane or train or boat to reach you. I’ve also had couples travel to Portland so they can make a little trip out of getting their photos done!
When my travel plans require flying for a wedding I arrive no later than 24 hours before the morning of the wedding to avoid any travel delays. This day before the wedding is often spent combating any jet lag while also location scouting to familiarize myself with your venue and loosely plan portrait locations, whenever possible. I try to lay low the day before to reserve my energy for the wedding day, but am usually available to document your rehearsal dinner, portraits, or other wedding-related event if we plan ahead of time.
Weddings and portrait sessions that require a flight will more often than not include a flat $600 travel fee I add to the total package (directly covers flights, hotel/Airbnb, and rental car/ride share/public transit) but this is dependent on the exact schedule of events, location, and time of year.
I’m always open to staying with you (preferably in a guest bedroom and not just on the couch, so I can spread out with my camera gear a little bit) or within your hotel block if this is more financially advantageous on your end. If you want to refer someone local to have their portraits/wedding/elopement/etc. etc. etc. done during the same timeframe I’ll be traveling for yours, you can always split the travel fee with them!
I have a short travel wishlist which you can find below, and am open to discussing a flexible travel fee for weddings or portraits taking place in these locations.
The way I shoot is natural, honest, and focused in documentary. For portraits I’ll offer guidance and some light coaching, but for everything else I encourage the day to flow as its intended, without my interference or a detailed list telling us what moments or memories we should artificially create.
If there are a few activities that may be considered out of the ordinary, key details, people, or special moments (ex: your grandmother just got out of a long stay in the hospital, you’ll be wearing your mother’s veil, or your best friend will be singing a song during the ceremony) please don’t hesitate to let me know about these so I can be on the look-out. For small wardrobe, jewelry, and paper goods, I’ll document these at the very start of the day so it’s best to have them set aside and ready for me when I first arrive.
The one and only shot list that’s important: I request and require a family photo list to keep us all organized. Without a detailed list (more on that below and in my Planning Guide) the flow of the day can quickly unravel in the span of 20 minutes due to stress, confusion, and missing aunties.
If you’re especially anxious or nervous leading up to the day (I would be) then this is a great opportunity to step away from all of the energy and spend a few precious, quiet minutes focused on each other rather than seeing one another for the first time in front of all your guests.
From a pragmatic standpoint, a first look also adds much more flexibility to other parts of the day as we can get family photos done before the ceremony and there will be more time for you to party with your favorite people afterwards. I always recommend having a first look but won’t pressure you into one if you would rather not.
A general rule of thumb is to allocate 1 minute per photo. For example: You have 28 different groupings you want photographed, we’ll want approximately 30 minutes for this. To be on the safe side I always tack on an extra 5 minutes which helps to make up for anyone who may be late or missing.
My favorite Oregon and West Coast-based florist is Sarah at Selva Floral, and my favorite NYC and East Coast-based florist are Tati and Eric at Kraft & Company.
If you live or will be near one of my upcoming travel dates at the same time, reach out and we'll see if I can add you to my schedule.
BONUS! I love to travel and am open to discussing a flexible travel fee if you're getting married in or want portraits taken in one of my wishlist locations.
Aug-Sept → NYC
Sept → Minneapolis & Iowa
Oct → LA & Palm Springs
UK & Ireland