Over the past several years my brother has rolled his eyes and sighed with impatience while I photograph something on one of our family trips. On a few occasions, he has accused me of endangering his life for the sake of the shot. Stopped on the side of the road in Yellowstone National Park as a fire blazed nearby. “Chad, so what if there’s a wild fire a few hundred feet away raining ash down on us? They wouldn’t have opened the road if it wasn’t safe enough to be here. Besides, fires make the best sunsets!” Or on a random dirt road leading to a restricted area with 10 foot walls and barbwire during the middle of the night in an Arizona electrical storm. Chad wanted to get the attention of the ATVs headed our way from off in the distance. This is how murder movies start. “No! Get in the truck and lets get out of here! Chad, do you want to be arrested?” I have no idea what he is so worried about.
Now my big-little brother is getting married, and I was thrilled to photograph his engagement session. I was a little worried he would lose patience with me as he has in the past, but I promised not to endanger him or his finance. I flew up to Portland, Oregon for a weekend of fun quality time with them.
They had a few locations in mind for their session and since I was there for the whole weekend, we had a 2-day session. YES! A new city for me to photograph, a few new location styles, 2 of my favorite people and 2 days to have fun exploring!
Horses are such magnificent and beautiful animals. I’ve been asked about photographing horses on a couple of occasions, but have only rarely been able to. So, I was both excited and a little out of my element photographing Chad and Amy at the barn with her horse. A barn, no problem. A very large horse, a dog, and 2 people in the jumping pen, now that was new for me. I quickly found a few spots and jumped into the action. Bekka, Amy’s jumping horse, had been on disability for a while, nursing a wounded leg. This was her first time back in the open pen, and she seemed a bit cantankerous. Soon, I was the one feeling the danger, as Bekka began running sprints around the pen and rearing up on her hind legs. I jumped up on the fence just in time for her to come racing by, inches away. That part of the session ended quickly.
The next day was a very unusual 105 degrees in Portland. And I had been so excited to leave the Palm Springs heat. We walked around downtown Portland for a few hours, exploring alleyways, experiencing the river walk, beer tasting, and people watching. Portland is already a quirky place, and apparently, there was some kind of super hero convention in town. We laughed a lot at the strange scenes. Chad and Amy met at work a few years ago. At the time they were both working for separate construction companies and positioned on a co-op job for the San Diego airport. Love blossomed as the job progressed, and their disappointment was heavy upon completion, as their companies moved them to different projects in different states. Chad was moved to Portland to work as a project manager on the new Sellwood Bridge. Amy was moved to a job in central California, but she became more and more disenchanted with her job there. All she wanted was to move to Portland with Chad. And after a little waiting and a little pining, the opportunity opened up for her to join Chad in Portland. Amy was hired by Chad’s company to work together again on the same job. It only seemed natural that we should photograph a few portraits at the construction site that brought them back together. The Sellwood Bridge will forever be a part of their relationship.
It has been interesting listening to and watching my brother in a new environment planning his wedding. I have seen new sides to him that I didn’t know were there. He has always been so much like our mom, while I am entirely my father’s daughter. But as wedding discussions have progressed, I have seen more of our dad in him than ever before. It has been fun to hear about their plans, visit the beautiful Maysara Winery, do a little wine tasting to choose their wedding wines, and impart a little of my experience and expertise to assist them in the wedding process. I seriously cannot wait for their big day!!!