Congrats to Jina & Brian!

I had the pleasure of capturing Jina and Brian's wedding yesterday at the Monte Cristo Ballroom. It was a gorgeous event in white and fuchsia, with sincere speeches and vows, a tech-savvy iPad-toting minister, and lots of dancing!  My friend Timothy Aguero was the second photographer. He's an amazing artist, a master at capturing quick movements and getting people to look their best. Ryan Graves from Seattle Wedding Videography was the videographer. He was great at directing people to do fun things, like having Brian and his best man act out a scene from Romeo and Juliet (see below).  

I always like to produce at least top 10 moments within a day or two of a wedding so that brides and grooms can share them immediately with their friends and family. This wedding was so fabulous that I ended up with three times as many top moments.  Here is a sneak peek of my favorites.

It's a new day! The first day of the rest of your lives!

It's a new day! The first day of the rest of your lives!

Groom's ring. 

Groom's ring. 

Bride's engagement ring.

Bride's engagement ring.

Getting fitted into the dress.

Getting fitted into the dress.

"I don't know how to wear a tie."

"I don't know how to wear a tie."

The veil.

The veil.

I love you, Bro. This shot was choreographed by Ryan from   Seattle Wedding Video  .

I love you, Bro. This shot was choreographed by Ryan from Seattle Wedding Video.

Sisters, best friends.

Sisters, best friends.

That eye! She's as perfect as a white rose.

That eye! She's as perfect as a white rose.

The kids! Soooo cute!!  

The kids! Soooo cute!!  

The iPad minister. "I have the Bible app."

The iPad minister. "I have the Bible app."

Taking one last look before walking down the aisle!

Taking one last look before walking down the aisle!

Ruby red shoes. Click three times to be married.

Ruby red shoes. Click three times to be married.

The entrance. This shot makes my heart stop. Photo by   Timothy Aguero.

The entrance. This shot makes my heart stop. Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Praying. "Marriage is a covenant." 

Praying. "Marriage is a covenant." 

Family! Photo by   Timothy Aguero  .

Family! Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Friends forever!

Friends forever!

Such a lovely group of ladies! I love candid moments like this that happen in between the posed shots.

Such a lovely group of ladies! I love candid moments like this that happen in between the posed shots.

Two families now one.

Two families now one.

I love this guy's hat and tie.  He doesn't realize that he's not in Miami, but that's perfectly fine!

I love this guy's hat and tie.  He doesn't realize that he's not in Miami, but that's perfectly fine!

Getting goofy with props! Photo by   Timothy Aguero  .

Getting goofy with props! Photo by Timothy Aguero.

Cupcakes! Don't tell my thighs but I might have eaten two of these during the reception. 

Cupcakes! Don't tell my thighs but I might have eaten two of these during the reception. 

A bevy of ladies wearing cupcake colors.

A bevy of ladies wearing cupcake colors.

This lovely guest was from Oahu. I love how her lipstick was perfectly matched to the decor!

This lovely guest was from Oahu. I love how her lipstick was perfectly matched to the decor!

Everybody dance! 

Everybody dance! 

We mean everybody! I love this zoom burst effect achieved by spinning the zoom ring while snapping the shutter. Photo by Tim Aguero.

We mean everybody! I love this zoom burst effect achieved by spinning the zoom ring while snapping the shutter. Photo by Tim Aguero.

The beautiful couple!

The beautiful couple!


 



The meaning of Valentine's Day

Someone asked me recently if I care about Valentine's Day. Of course, I care about Valentine's Day. A lot of people dismiss it as a contrived, manufactured holiday, but one could say that about other holidays: Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Veteran's Day. People don't necessarily honor the origins or the true meanings of those holidays, but Valentine's Day is something that you can acknowledge sincerely. It's a time to express love for your partner, your parents, your friends, your kids. Maybe it's the wedding photographer in me, but I think it's really nice to have a day dedicated to love.  As Leo Tolstoy said, "Everything I understand, I understand only because I love."

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Red, White & Green

Can you guess that green is my favorite color, or one of my favorite colors? It's the color of spring, nature, life--and the Pacific Northwest!

My other favorite color is red, either a deep burgundy red or a bright apple red. Scientific studies have shown that red increases attraction between men and women. Whatever the case may be, I love incorporating fresh green and red hues into my photos.

Here are some of my favorite images from a wedding I photographed recently at Pioneer Square in Seattle. I love the crisp colors of this party!

The bride with her nephew and niece. The green bow tie looks so smart!  The brilliant red wall is at a fire station in Pioneer Square. 

The bride with her nephew and niece. The green bow tie looks so smart!  The brilliant red wall is at a fire station in Pioneer Square. 

Simple, pretty, perfect.

Simple, pretty, perfect.

The bride's brother-in-law and his son.

The bride's brother-in-law and his son.

The wedding and the reception were held at the Kitchen by Delicatus in Pioneer Square.

The wedding and the reception were held at the Kitchen by Delicatus in Pioneer Square.

A peek at the bride, through a doorway at the Kitchen by Delicatus.

A peek at the bride, through a doorway at the Kitchen by Delicatus.

This cool ivy-covered wall near Occidental Park provides a natural frame for the happy couple.

This cool ivy-covered wall near Occidental Park provides a natural frame for the happy couple.

The two families, strolling through Occidental Park.

The two families, strolling through Occidental Park.

The tall green trees at Occidental Park provide a natural arch for the bride and groom. 

The tall green trees at Occidental Park provide a natural arch for the bride and groom. 


Camera Phones at Weddings

Mobile technology--and people's attachment to their smartphones--fascinates me.  I personally love my phone and take it with me everywhere.  It's my portable camera, computer, stereo, video conferencing system, gaming device -- and oh yeah, it's also a phone.

Some professional photographers don't appreciate wedding guests standing up during a ceremony and taking shots with their phones. But the fact is, most people have camera phones and they love taking pictures. Rather than fight this trend, I decided to document some cool ways that smartphones were being used at weddings and other large events.

The groomsman holding this phone said to me, "I don't know why I'm taking this picture with a professional photographer around." I told him, no problem, I'd take a picture of him taking a picture of them. I purposely used a wide aperture to focus on the phone image. The couple getting married had the foresight to create a personalized hashtag and encouraged their guests to post smartphone photos of their wedding on Instagram.

A few hours before her wedding, an Indian bride and her bridesmaids chat with a mutual friend through iPhone's FaceTime.

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As long as a bride has a camera phone, she doesn't need to carry a mirror in her purse.

A couple attending a wedding reception gets away from the crowd to take a selfie.

 

Sitting in a quiet corner, the best man at this wedding typed his speech onto his phone, about a half hour before he was called upon to speak.

Sitting in a quiet corner, this best man typed his speech on his phone, about a half hour before he was called upon to speak.

 

Budding photographer taking her best shot during a wedding reception.  I wonder if she's already on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Summer wedding at Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake

This gorgeous girl got married yesterday.  Her husband's last name--and now hers--is Bontemps. Let the good times roll!

Bride getting ready with the help of her sister and friend.

Bride getting ready with the help of her sister and friend.

First dance as Mr. and Mrs. Good Times. The ceremony and reception were held at the  Kelley Farm  in Bonney Lake, which is a gorgeous setting for a wedding.

First dance as Mr. and Mrs. Good Times. The ceremony and reception were held at the Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake, which is a gorgeous setting for a wedding.

They love dancing.

They love dancing.

And kissing.

And kissing.

The bridal party, in emerald green and cowboy boots.

The bridal party, in emerald green and cowboy boots.




First Date Memories at Point Defiance Park

I recently had an engagement photo session with A'Dailya and Bryce, who wanted to go to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, where they had their very first date. The couple initially met online in 2012, while Bryce, who is in the Army, was stationed in Kuwait.  After months of communicating through their computers, they finally met in person, and their chemistry grew.  They joked and laughed constantly, and our photo session unfolded very naturally.  I can't wait to photograph this fun couple at their wedding!


Lean on me.

Lean on me.

By that kiss, I vow an endless bliss. - John Keats

By that kiss, I vow an endless bliss. - John Keats

Diamonds and hearts.

Diamonds and hearts.

Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. Bryce was stationed in Kuwait when he met A'Dailya online.

Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. Bryce was stationed in Kuwait when he met A'Dailya online.

Reflection is a flower of the mind. - Erasmus

Reflection is a flower of the mind. - Erasmus

Love in flower-like. Friendship is like a sheltering tree. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Love in flower-like. Friendship is like a sheltering tree. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I've got you.

I've got you.