Whidbey Island Wedding

Whidbey Island Wedding

Holy smokes, September and October were busy months, and November is panning out to follow in-suit. A lot of catchup to play here on the blog. Why not start with a wedding post. I had a wedding gig up in Whidbey Island last September. Whidbey is a beautiful place, great wooded and beach areas. As you drive along the winding roads (aching for a motorcycle), you never know when the next scenic visual delight will be around the corner to surprise you, going from dense woods to wide beach vistas.

The newly joined James and Martha Bowen and family put on a great wedding. The ceremony was nestled in a very private venue tucked into the woods, a well-landscaped property, which was surrounded by its own forest of flowers, with a great view out of the end of the property that overlooked a large valley. As hectic as weddings can be for the people who are called upon to provide services during events like these, the relaxing nature of the place helped bring the stress levels down a bit.

Its very easy to talk about a couple in-love as you watch them take their vows in front of friends and family, as its almost an assumption, right? I’ll tell you what, there was no assumptions needed here. Even though I only just gotten to know the couple, I couldn’t have been more convinced of their love by the close of the ceremony. The pair didn’t take their eyes off of each other. You could tell it wasn’t an in-the-moment experience, it was something that was there with or without the glamour of the wedding facade. It gave me a chill as I watched it through my lens, I caught myself uncontrollably smiling like many of the women in-attendance. Such a powerful experience when you see the real deal, love.

Little bit of play with the flowers in the framing…

Kids, what can you say… short attention spans

The rings and walk…

A moment alone at the end of the isle before the chaos that is a wedding resumes….

Formal group photos went well. I scouted the location for 30 mins or so when I arrived prior to the events, and picked out a few spots to capture the staged photos. Very few photos in a wedding have the luxury of being staged and well-lit, so I was going to make sure I nailed those, and leave all the other other candid photos I’d be taking at event in the hands of Lady Luck. I was a bit nervous, having to take the formals in open, hard, mid-day sunlight, but I was able to overpower the sun with a studio strobe.

The best and worst part of the day for me was the couples private formals. The good – tall grass, good lookin couple, very storybook feel to the photos. I was happy how they turned out. Time is pressed (as always at weddings). Lighting was prepped, exact locations mapped-out, and I had roughly 5 mins to work with the couple before they were whisked-off to the reception. I had three varying spots I wanted to shoot the couple in – one walking look, one sitting in the tall grass look, and then one under this funky tree. First two went smooth, but as we were just starting the under the tree look, something went painfully wrong, literally. I had my light and myself tucked up against the trunk of the tree, with the couple just on the inside of the umbrella of the tree. The whole areas was tall grass (about two feet), so you kinda just had to blindly step as you moved along. As I was looking through my lens, popping off a few shots, I was right as the base of the tree. I should also mention that I was wearing flip-flops (hot day, dress clothes, packing lots of heavy gear – you cheat where you can in efforts to stay as cool as possible so you dont look like just walked out of a sweat lodge). I was lovin the photos I was making, so my eye was glued to the camera, trying to work as fast as I could. At that point I felt a sharp pain on my foot, but I ignored it so that I could finish the photo set. But then another shooting pain, than lots of these unpleasant sensations at the same time. I pulled my foot out of the grass and it was covered in very angry ants (ya know… the nasty ones that are trained to kill). My luck, an entire field and I blindly have to step into the ants nest, and they’ve latched onto my skin. What followed was what I’m sure looked much like an indian ritual dance, flinging off my sandals and taking large, lunging steps as I rotated dragging the tops and then the bottoms of my feet on the ground to free the biting grip of the ants. We decided to wrap the shoot at that point, and let the couple proceed with the rest of the evenings events. I proceeded to capture the reception with a slightly bruised ego and a tingly, warm sensation in my foot as I finished out my work. And I’m happy to report that the reception was killer-ant-free.

Last images before I got eaten alive…