gwyneth colleen photography » portland, or wedding photographer

the stars aligned…

last Tuesday, I had the most amazing engagement session ever. Everything was perfect. And I am so addicted to the internet, that I was mentally composing this post to share it with you as I was taking the photos.

Ben and Aimee are some friends from church whose wedding I will be photographing in September. They weren’t super concerned with engagement photos, but I insisted. We decided to meet at a central location and go together in one car…when I saw them, I’m not going to lie-I jumped up and down a little. They looked that good. From that moment on, it just got better. Ben turned on the music, and in amazement, I asked, “is this Brave Saint Saturn?” “Yes.” “SHUT UP!” He was playing one of my all-time favorite bands…that about 4 other people in the world have heard of.

It was the perfect time of day, just before twilight, so there was plenty of that muted shade, and patches where the soft, golden sunlight spilled over and illuminated their sweet kisses. We went to downtown Portsmouth, which is quite possibly my favorite place in the United States. They were up for anything and really got into it. As we walked around, Ben would say, “oh, I like these stairs…let’s do some here!” and “can we do one in front of this door?”

There was never a moment where they didn’t want to do something I asked because they’d feel silly…their commitment and comfort totally showed in the photos. Which I’m getting to…I promise.

It would be hard to pick a highlight from such an amazing session, but if I had to, it would be a toss-up between these two:

We were in Prescott Park (don’t miss it if you’re in Portsmouth!) next to some blossoming trees. There were a couple of teenage guys nearby, and in a sudden flash of inspiration, I approached them, “Hey guys, could you do me a favor?”

“yeah, sorry–we’ll move!”
“No, you’re not in the way…just, could you guys stand off-camera and shake the branches so that the petals will fall on them?” And those two beautiful men smiled and created a petal shower. Magic.

A little later, we found a brimming-with-character brick alleyway with a blossoming canopy. Of course I needed the correct perspective…which required climbing a tree. I asked them, “If I die, will you take me to the hospital?”

“No. If you die we’ll bury you. If you fall we’ll take you to the hospital.”

Thanks guys–it was a great time. I can’t wait till September!

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Marina24 May 2007 - 14:01

Oh my! you are really rockin’ the settings!

I LOVE the big blue door shot. that is a total spash page shot.

congrats on the job! i know the couple will love ’em!


MichelleAllen Photography24 May 2007 - 15:38

Looking good Gwyn!!!

rachel29 May 2007 - 07:23

this really is a great session. may sessions continue to bless you with beauty and spontanaiety.

btw, the green door one is the very best in my opinion 🙂

emilie5 June 2007 - 16:43

beautiful shoot!

gwynethcolleenphotography5 June 2007 - 20:34

thanks everyone!

best yet

Like any normal person, I love compliments. I always enjoy it when guests tell me, “you’re doing a great job!” (I do, however, wonder how they can tell? I always figured the “proof was in the pudding”, but I’m not about to turn up my nose at a compliment, so I always thank them and feel buoyed by their praise.)

My favourite compliment yet, though, came from the crazy dancer at Sarah and David’s wedding this past Saturday. (Seriously–guy had some MOVES.) He grinned at me and said, “I like you–you get into your work. Kneeling, laying on the floor…” Yes, dancing king, I do get into my work. I love what I do…

also, confession (shhh, don’t tell anyone): I like the cliche wedding dance music. There’s something comforting and familiar about hearing the same songs over and over…they’re like friends that invite you to let your hair down and get your groove on…

And yes…I am that girl in black on the corner of the dance floor trying to somehow stay still so I get my shots…and shake a little to the beat. 😀

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who’s your daddy?

So, I am a total daddy’s girl…and I just read Emilie Sommer’s (of Emilie, Inc Photography) blog, and I love her idea so much I’m going to “borrow” it…

Send me an email (gwynethcolleenphotography @ yahoo . com) before May 31st (that’s only a couple weeks away!) telling me why your dad is the best (mums with young kids–you can write their entries for them. I won’t tell. And be creative–this doesn’t have to be a story about how when you were 14 you broke both your legs and an arm and had to walk uphill both ways in the snow, barefoot-except you couldn’t because you had to keep the casts dry-so he carried you to school everyday…just tell me the things you love most about him. Though, if you did, in fact, break both legs and an arm and have to be carried to school everyday when you were 14…go ahead, tell me what a great support he was to you!)

The winning entry will receive a complimentary photo session–could be you and dad, your kids and your dad, or your entire family. (This session will not necessarily take place prior to Father’s day. Additionally, clients farther than 35 miles may be scheduled to coincide with my travels closer to their area.)

I’ll leave you with a story about me and my dad. It’s just me and my sister, so I think sometimes I was the “son” he never had, given my tomboyish tendencies. When I was about 8, we were doing yardwork, and dad had a rake handle. He told me to “pitch” him a racquetball. Dad played in a softball league, so he was pretty good at the whole batting thing. So good, in fact, that he hit a line drive right up the center. I, however, am a far better fielder than he was expecting. I stopped that ball with the middle of my forehead. I think he felt pretty bad, but I got him back a few years later when we’d swapped positions. He was pitching a softball to me, and I hit a low line drive right into the top of his foot. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather get a racquetball in the forehead than a softball (off a heavy aluminum bat) on the arch of my foot!

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Greg18 May 2007 - 07:07

Great Photos! I shoot too. I saw your post about your dad. I am a New York Times bestselling author working on a new book about father-daughter relationships and thought you might want to contribute. Please visit my page for details about submitting stories for Daddy’s Little Girl.

Gregory E. Lang
Author, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad

fabulous couples and…target?

so, first I have to tell you: did you know that Target is now selling wedding dresses? yeah. That’s what I said, too. It’s kind of hilarious, but the dresses are actually not hideous.

Also…I just heard from my June 16th couple-Halida and Jeff, and I have to say that they are the kind of couple I dream about! Their details are just absolutely fabulous. They’re getting married in Maine, and they’ve chartered a ferry to take all their guests on a harbor tour before going to the ceremony site. Also, they’re pretty environmentally aware, so the favors are coiled flourescent lightbulbs…so great.

So, just know that when you’re making those detail decisions for your wedding, and you buck tradition in favor of something that’s more “you”…there’s a photographer out there who is vicariously delighted.

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rachel17 May 2007 - 07:13

that is WONDERFL. truly. I wonder if you can only order online, like JCrew wedding dresses? you know I am so checking that out… ahem… when appropriate… and also you know I am stealing that link. thanks gwyn!