Wedding Portraits at Night

wedding-at-night-portland-oregon-davidbarssphotographer  I thought I would borrow/steal my title and post image from the idea previously posted by Atelier Pictures.  Thanks and sorry, guys.  I would echo much of what was said earlier about night time photography and portraits so I will be brief.   I nearly always try and capture some of the event at night whether it is a portrait or just an overall venue shot as it really shows the scene at that particular time and just captures the flavor of  the event in the evening.  You really get a lot of opportunities to catch some interesting and often colorful and even unusual lighting that you just can’t capture at any other time.  Have fun, take a break, and go capture something cool.  This is a fun shot just outside of The Amadeus Manor.

Please check out more of my work at David Barss Photographer.

Night Portraits

Atelier Pictures Wedding Photography - Night Portraits. During a wedding reception, when the craziness of the wedding day is nearing a conclusion, it can be great to take a short break to capture some night portraits.  It can be a time to take a breath, and enjoy a short moment together as a (very) newly married couple.  The darkness can focus you on each other and create an intimate shared moment.   The short break can also help energize you for the rest of the party!

For the photographer, taking wedding portraits at night can be a great time to capture a unique visual look that can’t be done during the day.   It can add to the richness of your wedding day story by capturing a different feel and set of emotions.  The summer months here in Portland are (usually) wonderful at night and getting outside in the dark can be a great way to enjoy the venue and each other.  As with all things weddings, if night portraits fit with what you want on your wedding day, do them!  If not, find what does, and make the day your own.

Atelier Pictures is Jonathan and Joshua.  We are Portland wedding photographers and cinematographers and we would love to talk with you about your wedding!  Contact us today; we would love to meet you.

It’s Always Nice to Have Help With Your Tie

its-good-to-have-help-with-your-tie-jamie-bosworth-photographer Big guys and little guys have to wear ties occasionally… probably not often enough to get much practice these days so it’s good to have help when you need it. Ryan, the big guy in the picture, was intent on getting his new nephew’s tie just right… since it’s always harder to do someone else’s tie, it took a few tries. To his credit, the little guy stood still throughout the process. He made it through the ceremony with his outfit in good order but it was a lot of fun watching him come slowly undone throughout his very busy evening… by the end, you could tell this kid had a great time. ;0)

Every now and then, I get a client who isn’t interested in the early part of the day. Pros and cons almost always weigh in favor of having some of the getting ready parts caught in camera. If nothing else, it gives the story a place to start. I know for a fact that it helps the family and bridal party get used to me and the camera before the pressure is on… keep that in mind when you sit down to the planning, ok? You won’t be sorry.

Getting married? I’d love to talk to you!
Jamie Bosworth Photographer

How to Photograph Wedding Rings

how-to-photograph-wedding-rings-paul-rich-studio How to photograph wedding rings is something every wedding photographer should know and yet it is not as easy as it may seem.

Should the rings be photographed on their own or while being worn on the couple’s hands?  I prefer to photograph the rings on their own, isolating them on a simple background and making them the primary focus of the image.  More often than not, men and women do not like the way their fingers look in photographs.  Avoid this by photographing the rings on their own.

Typically, the most effective ring shots are the ones that place emphasis on the diamond.  And here is where many wedding photographers fall short.  Many photographers set their focus on the diamond.  This is exactly what not to do.  For the diamond to appear sharpest in focus, a photographer should set their camera focus on the prongs of the ring.  By doing this, the camera’s focus plane rakes along the top of the diamond rendering it the sharpest and emphasizing the greatest amount of detail.  A photographer who sets their focus on the diamond itself, will actually focus on the back of the diamond and capture a diamond that appears out of focus.

When you are looking to hire a photographer to document your wedding, make sure to find someone who has experience photographing weddings.

See more of our work at Paul Rich Studio.

Unexpected Reasons to Love Engagement Sessions

Waterfall Engagement Session

Sarah and Brendan love to hike together, so when it came time for their engagement session, we headed straight for the Columbia River Gorge.  We visited Elowah Falls and the historic Vista House on a beautiful spring day.  There’s something incredibly romantic about seeing them backed by a roaring spring waterfall!

Some couples I work with are really on the fence about including this with their wedding photo collection.  I always strongly advocate it, but not just so you have more pictures.  Here are three reasons I believe so much in engagement sessions:

  1. Document your relationship beyond the wedding day.  I believe having professional photos of you as a couple, not just wearing a gown and tux/suit, is really important.  There are also often meaningful things you can’t fit into your wedding that you can easily do at an engagement session–include your dogs, hike to a waterfall, ski on a mountain, spend a long sunset at the beach, walk around the Pearl District on a Wednesday morning, visit the school where you met… These photos are such a great way to document the everyday things you love to do together, and tell the story of who you really are.
  2. Get comfortable.  For most of us (me too!), getting our picture taken isn’t usually a relaxing concept–it may even be anxiety-inducing.  We remember all those weird/bad angles, those awkward photos on Facebook, how afraid we are of big lenses, how self-conscious we feel.  Working with a professional should take care of those anxieties, and the engagement session is a fantastic opportunity to work together before your wedding.  In most cases, I downright insist on it because it really is that much better on wedding day.  This private time away from stress and suits/dresses leads to images that are more than just pretty–they’re you.  When it comes to your wedding, you’ll know what to expect will likely feel excited rather than nervous.  Also, the images will wow you in how personal they are.
  3. Get to know your photographer while we get to know you.  Developing lasting trust and easy communication is a huge part of the engagement session, and will really help on your wedding day.  How do we direct you?  What can we say to make you really laugh?  What do your real smiles look like?

P.S.  If you and/or your fiance really don’t like having your photo taken, engagement sessions are actually even more important.  Think about it: at your wedding, you really want to get to your party–your friends are waiting around, there’s great food and fantastic beverages… If you already dread it, taking time away from all the fun is going to make you crazy.  An engagement session with the photographer you trust will likely lead to, “hey, I enjoyed that last time, so let’s go do this!”

 Visit Aralani Photography at to see our weddings and engagements.

Dancing the Horah at Weddings

portland_oregon_wedding_photographer-mpp042114 I always meet with the bride and groom about 3-4 weeks before their wedding. We go over last minute details and timelines. It’s also a good time to just chat about how they are feeling about the wedding and if there is anything I can help with. I’ve found that meeting at least 3 weeks before the big day allows enough distance from the event that any panic or feelings of chaos have not yet arrived. But it’s also close enough to the date that most things have been decided and there is a pretty accurate estimation of how things are going to go. When I met with Emily and Matt 3 weeks before their wedding, one of the topics we discussed was dancing. Matt explained that he’s not a dancer and would likely not be seen on the dance floor past the first dance and the horah. When he said they were dancing “the horah”, a big smile lit up my face. There are always good pictures to be had during the horah! Emily asked if I’d seen any “accidents” during the hundreds of weddings I’ve shot as a result of being lifted in the air in a chair by guests who more than likely had consumed a few drinks. I told her I hadn’t and that she need not worry. It always worked out. Well, that was true at her wedding but it was clear when they lifted her up, fear had taken over. She got over it quickly but it did make for a fun photo. To see more fun photos, check out

A celebration of marriage

Deyla Huss Photography

Whether you are getting married, have been married for a year or 50 years, it’s a special anytime! These two cuties chose to celebrate their 5 years of marital bliss with a romantic picnic at the gorgeous Portland  Washington Park. We were of course envisioning sitting under a big evergreen tree to set up their picnic, but since it had been so rainy for the past couple weeks prior, it was pretty muddy all over the park. I lucked out and found a big magnolia tree instead in a much dryer area, which fit them perfectly!

They also chose to incorporate some personal things from their wedding such as a small stool that they had as a decoration at their wedding and brought along pears which were a big part of their wedding day decor as well.  These small things make for an even more memorable experience with their portraits. They spent the time laughing, eating, drinking wine and of course cuddling! and I couldn’t have been more honored to photograph this time for them.

You can see the rest of their portraits on my blog!  Christina & Kyle Anniversary Portraits

Wedding Ring Photo with Significance

wedding ring photo with significance Jon and Marcy’s wedding bands look like a lot of other rings, but their wedding ring photo is very significant to their wedding ceremony. You see, they originally planned a September wedding around Labor Day. Jon’s father most likely won’t be able to make it to that wedding, and Jon and Marcy very much wanted him to see them married. So they got married a few weeks ago instead.

That’s not all! They wanted each of their parents to be a part of their wedding ceremony at Edgefield in some way. Instead of a unity ceremony with a candle, they opted to plant a tree together. Jon, Marcy, and both of their mothers and fathers each helped shovel soil into a glass pot holding their new sapling. As they see the tree grow, it’ll always be a reminder of their wedding ceremony and how much their parents were a part of it, watching them grow into their own family.

So when it came time to photograph their rings, I placed them in the same soil they used to plant their marriage tree. Ring photos are always pretty, but I’m very proud of how much significance this photo has to Marcy and Jon now.

If you want to see more of their Edgefield wedding photos, hop on over to our blog! Jon and Marcy’s McMenamins Edgefield wedding

Under the St. Johns Bridge

Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer

503.513.0550 The St. Johns bridge is a popular Portland landmark for many activities, and photography is not the least among them. And it’s no wonder, with the awesome architecture and color of the bridge, as well as the beautiful landscape below. We took Jenny and Tin to this popular spot for an engagement session a few days ago. It was no surprise that there were already a wedding and a quinceañera in progress. Love the giant dogwood trees around the park that are, luckily for us, in full bloom right now.

Getting Ready Before the Big Day at Governor Hotel

Wedding Bridal Getting Ready Pictures As we all know, weddings require a lot of planning, and there is usually a lot of rushing before everything falls together. One of my favorite times in a wedding is the getting ready part. I feel like that in the middle of all the chaos, there is some relaxation and internal reflection while putting on the dress. I love using dramatic lighting for such photographs as it creates a nice dramatic feel. I also love using black and white when appropriate.

This image was taken in Vancouver, Washington around 6am. There was an early ceremony at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (the beautiful one with the famous red door in NW Portland) so I started my day at 4am. This image, along with another one from the reception won a top 3 finish from Wedding and Photojournalist Association. The reception was at the lovely Governor Hotel.

I loved how the sun was coming in through the very narrow openings at the window blinds. By positioning myself at the best angle, I was able to get this beautiful backlit bride. I learned photography in the classic film darkroom and love hand tinted images. This image invoked a beautiful blue tint in my mind so I finished it that way. Enjoy! And please feel free to visit my Portland wedding website!

An Unconventional First Look

Nontraditional First Look The “first look” is a part of the day that causes anxiety for a lot of people. Even for those that decide they would like to see each other before the ceremony for scheduling purposes, the idea of setting up a scene to capture an anticipated emotion can be stressful – especially for those who tend not to visibly emote. Those who really feel more comfortable with a true photojournalistic approach to their wedding also often find that the choreographed nature of the first look goes against their sensibilities.

Chris felt like the typical first look was a little too contrived for his tastes, and was actually in the room for much of Jennifer’s getting-ready time. He was fairly convinced that he didn’t want to make a big deal out of the moment they saw each other in their wedding attire for the first time, and even as he and Jennifer went to different rooms in the house to get their dress clothes on, we were all unsure of how the moment was going to unfold. Seconds before Jennifer came up the stairs from the basement, Chris decided – half-jokingly – to hide in the kitchen and pop out to surprise her as she came down the hallway. The result was a first look that was unconventional and full of surprise and appreciation.

For those of you that are considering a first look for the sake of simplifying your wedding timing, talk to your wedding photographer about how you feel about this moment. If you feel a little nervous about it or want to make it less conventional, your wedding photographer is likely to be a helpful resource. What’s more, he or she can offer you brainstorming help or suggestions for making your moment both personal and beautiful.

For more photographs of Chris and Jennifer’s wedding, please visit my blog!

Mhari Scott | Portland Wedding Photographer

First Look or Stick with Tradition?

Atelier Pictures Wedding Photography - First Look or Traditional This is one of the most common questions we get asked about wedding photography.  Engaged couples want to know if they should stick with tradition, or do what we photographers call a “First Look.”  Traditionally, in the West, on a wedding day, the engaged couple do not see each other until they walk down the aisle.  That moment, and the anticipation around it, can be very special.  The First Look is normally a more intimate experience, where, before the ceremony, the couple sees each other for the first time, usually with just the photographer around.  It can be a time of closeness and quiet before the more public ceremony and reception.

There are pros and cons on both sides, and ultimately there is not universally “right” answer.  However, there is a right answer for you and your partner.  Your wedding day is not about photography, it is about two people celebrating their commitment with family and friends.  The photographer is there to capture those moments.  Carefully think about each option and make a decision based on what you want to happen on your wedding day.  Make the wedding day your own, not only will it be more meaningful, but we find, when people have the space to be themselves, that is when the best photos are captured.

We are Atelier Pictures and we would love to talk with you more about photography for your wedding.

Wedding in the Winter

st-patrick-church-portland-oregon-davidbarssphotographer  You can’t always predict the weather in Portland but you can plan on it being unpredictable.  However it seems nearly everyday there is a window of time to grab a shot or two despite the rain, sleet or darkening skies.  This is one element that adds to the creativity of a wedding day, in that like every wedding no day is quite the same.  Embrace what you have and have an awesome day.

This day took me from St. Patrick Church in Northwest Portland to a very elegant club I had not seen yet called the Arlington Club.

Please check out more of my work at David Barss Photographer.