It can be overwhelming to try and compare photographers and know which one is right for you and your wedding. In this episode of our wedding photography series, Karin and Kathryn talk about how to compare photographers to find your perfect fit. Wondering “what are photography styles” or “what are the most important things to look for when shopping for a wedding photographer?” Well we have you covered!
In this final video we discuss some of the lesser known and rarely used types of mediums for photo prints. Most of these many people have not heard of. They are not very commonly used but they do have their place where they make a photo really pop. Check out this video to see what some other options are for photo prints.
Canvas has been used for centuries for art. More than a century ago they started being used for photographs. Canvas is a very old medium but there are still great options for displaying your photos on canvas. In this vlog Kathryn and Karin discuss things to consider when deciding if canvas is a good way to display your photos.
Pets are family members. You may want to bring your best friend along for your senior photos. It is important to have a photographer who is comfortable with animals and has experience with them. Kathryn has a degree in Animal Science and also worked as a veterinary assistant for a few years before starting Photos By Orion. She has a lot of animal experience, in general and as a photographer. Check out some of our tips for having your pets in your senior photos in our last video in our vlog series about senior pictures.
In our previous video we covered the “When?,” Where?,” and “Why?” questions about senior portraits. The second video in this series is about what to bring with you to your senior sessions. The most common question we get about senior portraits is “What to wear for my senior pictures?” Check out this video to get all your answers to that and more.
Do you remember the very first photo you ever took that wasn’t just a quick snapshot? Maybe it was the first time you took the time to compose the shot because you wanted it to look just right. Perhaps it was the first shot that you concentrated on how the lighting was affecting the subject.
I remember my first photo. I have spoken about it to people over the years, but I can’t remember the last time I saw it until recently. I was searching through some boxes of family photos to hang on the wall when I came across a print of my very first photo. I was shocked it was still around.
I took the photo with an old film camera of my Dad’s. It was a Mamiya/Sekor 1000DTL, a camera popular in 1970 according to KenRockwell.com. It looked like this, with the dust and everything:
I recall the weight of the camera as I held it and I remember the sound it made whenever you advanced film. It was my Dad’s camera and I remember being a bit nervous using it, especially that first time.
I was rather precariously stretched over running water at the time. I was about 12 years old or so and I’d gone up to a special place on the North Santiam up by Detroit, Oregon. I was basically performing a back extension with my stomach on a rock and I’d lodged my feet into a rocky groove on the shore. My torso was hanging inches above the running water and I was holding the camera up to my eye, trying to compose the shot to make it look as good as I could imaging. I checked the lighting by placing my finger over the shutter release and looking through the viewfinder at the light meter. I waited for my movement to be slow enough to take a sharp picture.
I triggered the shutter release and the viewfinder went black for a moment. I can’t actually recall taking a second shot. I was just a bit fatigued holding myself over the water and worrying about how I was going to get out of the position without getting the camera wet.
Looking at it now, it’s really nothing much, but at the time is was monumental. Who would have thought that I’d be a professional photographer way back then. …maybe my Dad, but who knows.
The subject of my image was a small mushroom growing out of a stick lodged in the running water. It’s life was hanging as precariously as I was when I captured the image. The stick had a bit of moss growing off the top somehow and out of that tangle grew the small mushroom, my main subject. Below the surface of the running water, leaves had caught the stick and were threatening to pull it completely in the water, submerging everything it held and sending it downstream, but I froze that moment in time with the snap of the shutter.
When I showed my wife the photo I’d found, she commented that it was a well-composed shot. The lighting is good too and while the focus isn’t perfect, I’s say I couldn’t have done better at the time. A tripod would have helped, or perhaps a longer lens, but none of that occurred to me at the time. I just wanted to capture a shot I could be proud of.
I think I can be proud of this shot. I will always remember it as my very first.
If you didn’t know, my name is Orion. It makes sense for the business name, but as my wife is really the face of the business, I’m the name. So when I got contacted to shoot someone else with my name, I was immediately excited about the opportunity.
I’ve known of a few other people in the area and in the world of Facebook with the name Orion, I’ve never met another in person in real life. When I finally met Orion, I was surprised again to find out that she was a she! How rare is that!
Orion was a rather shy senior who was a pleasure to work with. We went down to Deepwood where we captured some nice photos among the trees, along the river and on the stairs. Like a majority of our senior sessions, we also shot some photos in the studio (it’s definitely a great thing to have available during the Oregon winters!)
It was such a neat experience taking pictures of Orion! I hope it was equally unique of an experience for Orion. How many times has that happened where Orion got her pictures taken by Orion!
The Willamette Valley is full of great outdoor locations for Fall family portraits or Senior shoots. Here are 5 of my favorite:
- Minto-Brown Park
Minto-Brown park is located minutes from downtown Salem, Oregon. It is the largest park in Salem. Numerous fields and paved paths abound in Minto-Brown Park, providing a variety of locations to choose from which makes it a favorite location for me because it has a good variety of location types. There are old stumps with vibrant green foliage, grass fields and river views that can be taken advantage for excellent backdrops. During a few weeks in the fall, there’s even a little-known road along the slew that has fall leaves everywhere. I tend to take clients to the first parking area near the entrance to the park. From here, there’s a paved pathway that leads around a large field of tall grass (which makes for a great backdrop), past a fallen tree and on towards a new bridge that connects Minto-Brown park with Salem’s Riverfront park. I really enjoy the lighting amongst some of the evenly spaced trees.
There’s a second parking lot that is reached by continuing past the first lot. Near the second lot is a small park with toys for kids to play on and a covered area. From here a path takes a turn towards the river with tranquil views of the water. Proceeding down an alternative path will lead to quiet lakes, some with small viewing platforms.
Any of these locations make for nice backdrops or quiet locations for photos.
- Deepwood/Bush Park
in one of the two locations during a single photoshoot. Both locations have numerous great locations to take photos. Deepwood is situated on a street corner and the original house for the property is a historic location featuring daytime tours for those interested. I often use the house as a backdrop for clients, especially family shoots. Surrounding the house are several gardens. The formal garden has nice gated sections that make for great locations. Continuing around the house there is a tennis court that is used for wedding receptions. Around the court are short trails that are quiet and not often walked. I enjoy taking photos along the creek or gather the giant leaves that fall in the Fall to use in portraits. It’s not difficult to find shade on bright days or a quiet location beside the creek.
- Keizer Rapids Park
Keizer Rapids park is located in Keizer, Oregon, which is north of Salem, Oregon. This park seems to be going through changes every year. They currently have a large playground called The Big Toy that can be used as an excellent opportunity for kids to play on. There is a boat down with a large field surrounding it. I’ve taken photos of families at the amphitheater that boarders a treed area. In the trees is a Frisbee golf course and if you want to explore further, a wide bend in the Willamette river has fields of rocks where the river floods in the winter. I’ve often seen small rivulets that would make excellent backdrops.
- Riverfront Park
Salem’s Riverfront park has become an increasingly popular place for senior photos. Riverfront park is located along the Willamette River and is situated right next to downtown Salem. Many events and carnivals can be found here at various times of the year. As for photo locations, there are two walking bridges at each end of the park that cross over the river. The one to the north is an old train tressle made into a walking bridge. I’ve taken many photos here using the bridge pattern as a backdrop. The park has nice grassy fields and a splash park that kids love, even when it’s not on. I find it a good place for photos featuring smaller kids. The main feature of the park is a carousel which can be used for photos. If your photoshoot is during the winter, the park also features a temporary ice skating rink!
For the seniors, I usually walk across the street from the park to capture those cool brick-walled backgrounds. It’s not uncommon to find someone has written on the wall the graduating year, which I like to take advantage of in pictures.
- Downtown Salem
Downtown Salem, Oregon is ripe with old and new buildings. Between many of the streets are neat little alleys that people often use for photos. From arched alleys to wide steps to twisty trees, a short walk easily brings together a variety of brick locations and quiet spots available for your photo session.
Hopefully any of these locations spark your interest in outdoor photography locations. If you’re wanting outdoor photos but aren’t sure where to choose, we will work with you to take advantage of the best each location has to offer at the time of your photoshoot.
According to CNN, the wedding industry is a 53.4 billion dollar market and the average wedding costed about 28,000 in 2012. Those are some crazy numbers, and I’m certain they are only rising. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a second job just to be able to afford your special day.
I believe that there are two main factors that need to come into play when you’re planning and budgeting for a wedding:
Granted, those traits sound quite boring, but they are of utmost importance in my opinion.
What I mean for prioritization is to organize what you want your wedding day to be and then prioritize each component. Think about all the things you want in your wedding and then place them in order of importance. For example, you have a list like this:
Then you need to organize them in importance to you. Perhaps flowers are at the bottom of your list and the venue is at the top. Then list everything else in order, for example:
For this list, I put the venue at the top because I think that getting married in a beautiful location is the most important thing. Videography is at the bottom because I am not very interested in watching my ceremony video years down the road. Videography is still on the list though, because I put some importance to it. If my budget allows, I will hire someone to make a video. Perhaps the dress isn’t a big deal to you. List it lower. Maybe having photos is really important. List it higher. Once you have your basic list organized, you can really start seeing how much your wedding is going to cost when you start approaching vendors and seeing their price lists.
The second thing that I think is really important in planning a wedding I’m calling effort. What I mean is that the amount of effort you put into your wedding day should give it greater importance in your life. I don’t necessarily mean that you should try to arrange all your flowers or make your own cake, but by all means do so if that interests you. For me the wedding ring I gave my wife was really important. I wanted to make sure that not only did I choose a beautiful ring for her, but I actually wanted it to cost more money than I normally would have spent. I had to work more hours and save more money to buy her ring, but it was so worth it. For the extra hours and saving, I’ve ensured a lifetime of her being proud of her ring and the symbol it stands for. I’m not saying that anyone who chooses to buy a cheaper ring is going the wrong way. When you have your list of priorities, you’ll list what’s the most important thing first and I think you should work extra for that. If you really want your guests to have a great memory of your wedding day, perhaps a DJ who can keep the day upbeat and rocking is your thing.
So really take time to prioritize your list of wedding things by importance to you and then put in the extra effort for the important items on your list and you will be more successful at keeping to a budget and you’ll still have your special day, perfect for you.