The Year in Portland Wedding Photography
Once again I’ve completely failed at keeping my blog updated on what I got up to last year. As I closed out last season and approached my 10 year anniversary of shooting weddings (cue the confetti!) I started grappling with ideas of the future and where I wanted to take my photography.
This is going to sound terrible, but… I realized I don’t really care about weddings. Probably not the first thing you want to hear your wedding photographer say, but it’s true. When it comes to documenting love stories, my passion for it doesn’t sit in the meat of the industry. Of course I get excited over mood lighting, beautiful floral arrangements, and inventive ways to entertain guests. These things all come together to create a fun and aesthetically pleasing environment — what photographer doesn’t want that? Ditto crazy waterfalls, the edge of a mountain or a magical clearing in a forest.
I’m also not trying to say that tokens of beauty are meaningless, either. Especially when inanimate objects often become the placeholders of loved ones no longer with us, whom we wish to still share these moments with.
But while these things certainly make the job of creating beautiful photographs considerably easier, they’re still just things. I’m not compelled by them. I didn’t get drawn into this world 10 years ago by the meat of the wedding industry, but the bones of it. And that’s the people. The people getting married, the people celebrating, and the love that unites them all on this one very special day.
And really, weddings are just another form of sacred space we create to turn off the cruise control for a minute and steep ourselves in reverence. Like going to church, it’s more about what happens to the people inside the building than the structure itself. You could take the bones of this industry and place it in any other context and I would still get excited about sharing that space with someone and the art we would create out of it.
Whether it’s love for each other, love for a pet, love for your calling in life or just love for life itself — no matter the expression, love is what we celebrate in this industry. That’s what first attracted me to this job. It’s why I hesitated to call myself a wedding photographer for so much of my career, and why I struggle sometimes when potential clients ask me that question, “What’s your favorite part of a wedding day?”
If I had more guts I’d tell each one exactly this: That I’m not so interested in photographing their wedding as I am in documenting the people in it with the greatest loves of their life. And I’m pretty confident that award doesn’t go to a vase of flowers on an immaculately decorated table.
So, having said that, here are some of the people I had the opportunity to document last year alongside their greatest loves.