Reaching New Heights on your Wedding Day with a Drone

Weddings are soaring in popularity, and now thanks to Drones, the sky is the limit when it comes to your video. Drones are triggering a wholly unique perspective, and at Photos By Orion we are proud to have an FAA licensed photographer at the helm to capture that birds-eye view. This new technology, like anything,  comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

                        Advantages

  1. Awesome Perspectives – The coverage area is perfect for a coastal view, or garden shot to cover the whole wedding party.
  2. Perfect Addition for a Highlight Video – Gives you more creative ability.
  3. Excellent usage for Music Videos.
  4. It is a great B-Roll Camera. You can get shots that act as perfect opens, transitions, or endings.
  5. Small and Easy to Transport

                        Disadvantages

  1. There is no audio coming from a Drone.
  2. They are not for use Indoors.
  3. Cannot fly in National or State Parks.
  4. Limitations when it comes to Weather, Altitude, and Airspace
  5. Cannot Go Above 400 Foot Ceiling
  6. Condensation on Lenses
  7. Wind

So, what is the typical cost for this video adventure? At Photos By Orion, we charge $200 Dollars a flight. We are one of the region’s only studios offering both Photography and Videography and are always equipped to fly. From the Coast, Willamette Valley, and the Mountains a Drone can be that signature touch that will forever have you feeling sky-high about your vows.

5 Wedding Venues in Salem/Keizer that are Great to Work With

As a vendor, I visit venues (or places to host an event) regularly for all different types of events, and just like any other industry, some venues go above and beyond to make sure you have a great experience. I can, unfortunately, say there are several places out there that treat their couple well, but not other wedding vendors. I have worked with these places, and it is not all that fun! BUT some places are an absolute pleasure to work with. So, I have compiled a list of 5 places in Salem/Keizer that are good not only for the couples to work with but also treat other wedding and event vendors well, making them some of my favorite places to work with! These are in no order, and all are places worth checking out if you are looking to hold a wedding or event in Salem/Keizer.

Log House Garden at Willow Lake

Log House Garden in Keizer is one of those not-so-hidden gems in the city. Run by the Blake’s, the grounds are immaculately kept, they have an orchard that makes for amazing photos, and if you are respectful of the property, they grant you full access for the time of your event. Lanora has been in the wedding and event business for many years and is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to making your event beautiful and successful. As a vendor, Lanora always treats you with respect and thinks about not only what is good for her, but what is good for you too. This is a wonderful venue that I absolutely love returning to again and again!

Deepwood Estate

This venue is well known in the area, and for good reason. The grounds are kept by dedicated volunteers who do an amazing job. The society that keeps the house and gives tours are focused on preservation and keeping this piece of history for generations to come, and the event staff is so delightful to work with! Besides its popularity (and subsequent days it is off-limits to those not part of the event) this place is a photographer’s dream and is just as dreamy to work with as to photograph. Their rules are strict, but for incredibly good reason. They do work with you, both as an event planner and as a vendor, to give you as much free reign as possible while maintaining the integrity of the site. Very much a place I love working with over and over.

Willamette Heritage Center

Third on the list is the Willamette Heritage Center, also known as Mission Mill. Staff is extremely helpful but unobtrusive, and they give lots of leeway. A perfect spot for vignettes and getting great photos.

Salem Convention Center

Amazing staff that always take care of you, and your vendors. They make sure vendors get lunch/dinner, and have a place set for your vendors to take break. It has gorgeous lighting, large, great for big events. They also make you so feel special. They may have 5 events going on at the same time, but you would never know it with the care and attention you receive.

Keizer Civic Center

This historic and beautiful venue is hidden in the middle of the city. It features incredible garden spots that you can use as well. The staff is truly kind and helpful, and fun to work with. They are very responsive and versatile with their large rooms and smaller rooms that are perfect for breakout areas during an event.

After a bridal show: Now what do I do?

Beautiful green and orange bridal bouquet by Stem Designs in Salem, Oregon

Beautiful flowers by Stem Designs

So you just got back from a bridal or wedding show. You have tons of materials from all sorts of vendors and you are on wedding overload! You are probably asking now what do I do?!? If you read our previous article Bridal Shows: 5 tips for couples then you are prepared for this moment and I recommend you skip to step 3 and take a week or two off! If you haven’t read that article that is ok, there are a couple steps to do right away before you take your time off.

Step 1 – Take notes and Sort the materials

When you get home from the wedding show, or very shortly after (hopefully within a day), you will want to clear the floor and dump out your bag (or bags!) of information you received and start going through them. You will want to start separating the information into categories (venues, caterers, photographers, etc.). As you do, take a minute with each to remember each one and takes notes on what you remember. Think about how each one made you feel, a memorable quote or experience at their booth or while you were talking with them, your likes and concerns about their work and how they would work with you, and anything else you can think of. You want to do this while it is still fresh in your mind and when you can remember the most.

Step 2 – Order the categories by which you want to hire first

Next you want to order the vendor types into the order you are planning on booking them. This helps balance your priorities and all your desired pieces. It will also help you in step 4 to stay focused and should make decisions easier.

Step 3 – Take a break!

Now that you are all organized, you deserve a break! Take a week or two off to relax and recharge before you get into actually choosing your vendors. This will not only help you clear your head, but should help you narrow down your choices in each category.

Step 4 – Choosing your vendors

While each couple will approach this part differently, there are a few tips I can pass on here. First is to choose one vendor at a time according to your organized categories. This will let you more easily compare packages/offerings from vendors in this category and will let you deeply explore what you want from that type of vendor. Next, You will want to discuss each type of vendor together and make some choices before you start talking to vendors. For example, do you want a religious ceremony? Do you want the ceremony and reception all in one place? Do you want a DVD or digital files of your picture? How much are you hoping to spend on this category? And many other questions.

Once you have narrowed down what you want from each category, then take the first category and read the materials you collected, looking for those elements which you decided were most important for you.

Finally, choose your top 3-5 from each category based on what you want and your budget, and call them for a consultation. This will allow you to get a better feel for them and a personalized quote for your wedding. If you find what you feel is your perfect vendor from these consultations, put down your deposit and move on to the next category. If you are still on the fence and can’t seem to make a decision, move on to the next category and come back to it. The important thing is that you can make the decisions without feeling pressured or frustrated with the process. Planning your wedding should be a wonderful experience. And always remember the experts are there to help you. There are many wonderful planners and vendors out there that can help you along the way.

Happy Planning!!

Bridal Shows: 5 Tips for couples

Wedding photography book for Photos By Orion at the Oregon Wedding Showcase

Our both at the Oregon Wedding Showcase in January

Photos By Orion has been in many wedding shows and events, including the Oregon Wedding Showcase, for many years now. Over the years I have developed some tips for couples who are going to a bridal show about how to get the most out of your trip. While these tips are geared toward couples who are just starting their wedding planning, most of the tips will apply to couples in any stage of planning. Also, while the examples are mainly for photography, the concepts can be applied to any wedding vendor.

I hope these tips will aide in your wedding planning!

  1. Research – It is always good to do your homework, and a bridal show is no different. About a week before the show, you will want to check out the show’s website and see what types of vendors will be at the show. You also will want to sit down together and decide how much you of your wedding you will want to do yourselves and what you want to trust to the professionals. Keep notes and make a list of the professionals you are looking to hire. Then prioritize your top three types of vendors you want to visit at the show. This will give you a good road-map for traveling through the show.
  2. Bring a notebook and Address labels – When you go to the show, be sure to take your notes and some extra paper to take more notes as you go through the show. Take notes on elements you like or don’t like (for example: I like black and white photos, I don’t like pictures of the bridal party jumping, etc.) as you walk through the show. Also, have address labels printed out before the show that have your name, phone number, email, and wedding date on them. This will help you sign up at booths quickly and save your hand from cramping!
  3. Walk before you talk – You will want to make a round through the whole show before you stop to talk to any vendors. During this walk through, take your notes, get some good ideas about your likes and dislikes, and make notes on which vendors look interesting and which don’t. Many shows will give you a map or list of the booths when you register, which gives you a really good way to mark booths to visit or booths to pass by.
  4. Visit your priorities/favorites first – Once you have finished your once around, then visit vendors you marked as interesting which are in your three priority categories first. Talk with them, ask any questions you have about their area of expertise, and get a feel for if you could work with them. Keep notes, collect information, and most importantly have a good time!
  5. Be willing to sign with a vendor for a great deal, but don’t sign unless you are sure – When you are first starting your planning, take time to consider everything you take in at the show. There will be many show deals and inevitably some vendors who will try to hard sell you to “sign today.” (Can you blame them? This is their livelihood after all) I am definitely not saying you shouldn’t sign with them, but to be sure they are who you want before you sign. I know I (and my fellow photographers at PBO) have high quality work at a good value for your money, but I am not for everyone. I would never want you to sign with me to “get the deal” and then feel like you were pressured or cheated in any way. Professionals are there to make your wedding day smooth and easy! If you are within 6 months of your wedding date, then booking at a show to get the deal is a much better idea because (theoretically) you have already done your homework on what you like/don’t like and what each vendor needs to bring to your wedding, making it much easier to know that “this vendor” is the one for your wedding. The wedding industry is all about relationships, so like any relationship you should never rush into it.

I really hope these tips help you make the most of any bridal show you attend. And for any brides in the Willamette Valley, I hope to get to meet you at the Oregon Wedding Showcase in October!

Happy Planning!