When NYC photographer and author Colleen contacted me about the possibility of shooting her North Carolina wedding, I felt honored and flattered with a little touch of “that’s flipping AWESOME” thrown in. I love a challenge. I love walking into a situation that’s completely new and foreign to me and doing my thang. What I *really* love are the people I meet through this job of mine. I’m constantly amazed by just how small this world is. Had I not been featured on a blog, Colleen would not have seen my work and we never would’ve met. I never would’ve met Colleen or Sean or their families. I never would’ve been introduced to a “shot in a syringe” (<still marveling at the sheer brilliance of this). I wouldn’t have been witness to one of the funniest wedding ceremonies I’ve attended thus far. The list continues on and on here, so before I go into what a travesty it would’ve been to have never seen the beauty of North Carolina, I’ll stop and post some dang photos already. And if you notice LOTS-o-party shots, it’s because Colleen and Sean know how to throw DOWN!
A very special thank you to my dear, dear friend Sarah Bezila of Berrytree Photography for assisting and making the 6 hour roadtrip up from Atlanta with me to shoot backup. Mega love for this chick.
Venue: Magnolia Manor, Highpoint, North Carolina
Photo booth shots…. You NEVER know what you’re going to get with these! Haha! With a fun group like this though, I should’ve expected some hilarity!
- Amber Anderson Photographer Vancouver, WA Wedding Photographer
This post is part of a large circle of talented photographers, all posting something real and personal: a look into their lives. So, please click on to the next photographer at the end of this post…
There are very few things that I regret in this life, but I’m about to write about one of those. I knew this would come up eventually. My oldest daughter sat in my lap as I edited wedding photos. She grabbed my mouse hand to stop me and asked, “mama, can you finally show me pictures of you when you married daddy?” Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to do. Obviously explain to her that sadly, I, Amber Anderson, photographer of weddings, do not have wedding photos. I don’t. We don’t. There’s no album. There are no framed prints. We have nothing. We have a couple snapshots that family shared with us and I’m so incredibly grateful for those. Reasons. Excuses. I could write pages as to why we do not have wedding photos, but I’d end up weepy and popping in The Notebook and my poor husband would likely hide in the garage the rest of the night (can’t blame the dude), so I’ll skim over that part. Cross my heart, I’m not just saying this so readers out there drop everything and call me to photograph their wedding. I do not have wedding photos and it is something that haunts me 10 years into my marriage. This is partly why I believe that regardless of how I feel about how I look, I WILL have family photos of my family done every year. 10 years from now, I would regret not having those. I would. I know me and I feel like I know the future me pretty well already. I’d regret it (and likely resort to wine and The Notebook, yet again…)
Today, a wide-eyed, beautiful girl in my lap made me realize that my dress did no one any good packed away in a closet. Today, we unpacked it. Today, two little girls gently caressed the lace and wrapped themselves in tulle. They danced and twirled and admired themselves in the mirror. Today, my sweet baby girls gave me photos of my wedding dress that make this mama’s heart swell.
Now please, click on and make the full circle and read about the life story of: Jen Reif Photography
I smiled as I shot these. I smiled even bigger when I uploaded these for editing. We spent only about 40 minutes together, but in our short time, I learned that Princess Jasmine was a fav. I learned that even with flights, long days spent traveling, messed up schedules, time zone changes and being up past bedtime, those girls adore their mama and daddy and these photos show that the sentiment is obviously mutual <3 Thank you to this beautiful family for spending one of your evenings with me while visiting from Alaska!
I easily could’ve posted their entire session here, but for those of you on slow connections, I’ll spare you:
You know what’s beautiful? A groom who lights up, smiles and tears up at the first sight of his bride. A bride who is so full of joy that not a moment passes where she isn’t smiling. A groom that doesn’t typically enjoy being in front of a camera all day, but will take his bride’s hand and happily dance and hold her for as long as it takes. Eric and Shanna are all of these things and more. I feel that you can tell quite a bit about a person depending on the company they keep. Not just that, but by what that company reveals about you during wedding toasts… I learned quite a bit while photographing Eric and Shanna last weekend; all of it revealing what they mean to their families and each other. All of it beautiful. I felt so blessed to be part of their day and to have captured the beauty of the day.
A special thank you to St Mary’s Cathedral in Portland, the Multnomah Athletic Club, whose facility and staff are absolutely incredible to work with, and finally, Bash! Events NW. Jessica of Bash was wonderful. I can’t type out how thrilled I was to work with everyone! And a special thank you to dear friend, Jenica Lemmons of Lemon Drops Photography for your help! Love that chick.
Now, on to the photos… A stunning day, capped off by a Portlander’s DREAM! (hint: The Timbers may be involved!)
On her way to meet Eric for a quiet prayer, I asked Shanna to stop so I could shoot a close-up of her…then I saw her grandparents behind her and backed up because there was a moment occurring in front of me. I loved the way Shanna’s grandfather was watching her and the way her grandmother was holding on to him. The pride, the joy, the emotion; I love this moment. It speaks so much about how they feel about Shanna and it couldn’t be more real.
Now, for those of you who don’t know this, the MAC makes up part of Jeld-Wen Field, home of the Portland Timbers! When your reception is held on a big game night, you have to expect that you’ll lose a few guests to the excitement of the field! And who can blame them…I mean, not only did we have a fantastic view of the game, but we were playing David Beckham. Erm…I mean, we were playing LA Galaxy. But hello, Beckham was in the HOUSE!
And yes, our soccer fans were blessed with access to the field for a photo! GO TIMBERS!!
Good night, Portland!
Almost 1 year ago, I shot an engagement session for Kathy and Mike with good friend Sarah, of Berrytree Photography. I knew immediately that I LIKED those people. I’ve been so excited about being a part of their wedding day and once again, shooting with my Sarah. Now, let me tell you just a little about this wedding. It all took place at Ainsworth House in Oregon City, OR. It was my first visit to this venue and I have to say, I was impressed. Not even rain could sour our experience here! Kevin, the owner, made sure that every part of the day was perfect. He was a joy to work with. Truly. Mike and Kathy’s wedding was different than anything I’ve shot in the past. It was not just the joining of Mike, Kathy and their boys. This was a celebration of love and involvement of their families. Mike and Kathy had their fathers officiate the small ceremony. Kathy’s brothers were her bro’smaids (bro’smaids…awesome.) And here’s where we take an interesting turn: Kathy’s mother and family are Persian. What I witnessed, was an incredibly intimate ceremony that involved not only the bride and groom, but the families. Every bit of their day involved their loved ones. It felt special, intimate and beautiful. I’ll try to let the photos do the rest of the talking for me…I tend to ramble!
Here, Mike’s mother rubbed pillars of sugar over the couple to ensure a long, sweet life.
The sewing of the cloth symbolized the sewing of the mother-in-law’s mouth closed, so the couple may have peace and work through life without interference.
The bride and groom then seal their first kiss with a sweet taste of honey.
Now, I’m going to tell you that this wedding cake was very special; more special than most. This is called Willy’s cake. It’s a tradition in Kathy’s family. Willy was a soldier and when he’d come home on leave, he would make one request: that his mama bake him this cake. It became a tradition in Kathy’s family, beginning with Willy, to have this cake on birthdays and other celebrations. However, until this wedding, it had never been baked for a wedding. Not only that, but the bride herself made this cake for her own wedding. I can say with complete honesty, it was in fact, quite tasty