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.

Wedding Photography- Package Pricing

Episode 2- When you start considering wedding photography, knowing what is included in a package and how to compare wedding photographers can be a super stressful choice! In this episode, Karin and Kathryn discuss why photographers make packages the way they do, how the photography style you choose can affect your package needs, and what can be covered in different amounts of time. Check out this video to get some tips to help you pick your wedding photographer.

Feel free to reach out at any time! We would love to talk to you about your wedding photography. Email contact@photosbyorion.com with any questions.

The Photos By Orion Difference

You might be asking “Why should I consider Photos By Orion? They seem like one of those mall studio places and I really want to shop local?” When you search photographers in Salem, Oregon, you will get a list of results to sift through but you will only find one Photos By Orion. The truth of the matter is that we are a local mom and pop shop with big company dreams, giving you the best of both worlds- working with a local small business but the comfort of a Fortune 500 company.

In this vlog Karin and Kathryn discuss what makes Photos By Orion different from both the big national companies and from the other photography businesses out there. Everyone says they are different but we will show you why we really are different from the others.

Why you should consider 2 photographers at your wedding?

There are many photographers out there to choose from for your wedding. There are many options to choose as well. One of those options is 1 photographer or 2. Two photographers who work together often are able to capture much more of your day. In this video Kathryn and Karin discuss why you may want to pay for 2 photographers at your wedding, the pros and cons, and how to compare photographer packages when looking at pricing. This is a hot topic in the wedding industry and one every couple wrestles with. Hopefully you will have more answers than questions after watching this video. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

5 Tips for live streaming your wedding or event

With the world being effected by COVID-19 there have been many changes people have needed to make. This includes weddings being cancelled or postponed. With weddings beginning to take place again they are not happening the way they were before. Many guests are not able to attend in person for a variety of reasons. Live streaming your wedding is a wonderful option for those who can’t be there in person but still celebrate with you.

There are many things to consider when deciding if you want to live stream, including what we talk about in the video below. But for the quick overview of what to consider before livestreaming your wedding or event, here are 5 tips we cover in the video to help you get started:

  1. Make sure you have enough internet bandwidth to stream well. The last thing you want at your wedding or event is to have the screen freezing, the audio cutting out, or worse, disconnection issues. How much internet speed do you need? We cover that in the video below.
  2. Location, location, location – Where you put your camera matters Your camera is the eyes of your online participants, so where they “sit” matters a lot. To be sure they have a great view, make sure to set up in a close up space very near the front where all the action is so they can see it all happen!
  3. Have a facilitator – Having a dedicated person there watching the stream feed, how your bandwidth is holding up, and making sure the sound is good is very important for making your event or wedding day go smoothly for those who attend virtually. You want to make sure they feel like they are there and appreciated for their attendence!
  4. Sound will be vitally important, so plan ahead – Next to seeing everything happen, your sound quality will be the other big factor in giving you online guests the best experience possible. It doesn’t matter if they can see you standing there if they can’t hear you say “I Do!” Make sure that you plan for how your online guests will hear you, as well as what the experience will be like (for more tips in this category watch the video!)
  5. Your online audience is still an audience, think from their perspective – Ultimately this is about having those who can’t attend in person feel like they are still there participating in your wedding or event. Taking some time to both think and experience it from their perspective will help you give them the best experience possible and let them know they matter to you!

To get all the info for having a successful live stream of your wedding check out the video below! Happy Planning

Keywords: photography, videography, live stream, wedding, wedding video, Salem, Oregon, Willamette Valley, salem oregon wedding photographer, salem oregon wedding videographer, drone wedding

Drone wedding photo at Riverbell Farm

Everything You Need to Know About Hiring A Drone for Your Wedding

Guest blog from Dronethusiast.com

Everyone wants their wedding to be a special occasion – a source of wonderful, happy memories that last a lifetime. And of course, you need a photographer (and/or videographer) to capture those memories so that you can revisit them again and again.

Many couples are now choosing drone photography as a way to make their wedding videos more dynamic and instantly unique. But this technology – and its adoption by the consumer mainstream – is still fairly new, so it’s understandable that you might have questions about what drone wedding photography looks like. Well we at Dronethusiast – the premier source for drone news and reviews online – are thrilled to partner with the Photos by Orion Blog to share some insight into hiring a drone for your wedding.

Wedding family walking on Beach
Wedding couple walking down beach with their family

1. Why You Should Hire A Drone Photographer

As Orion recently covered in more detail, style is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer. Drone photographers and videographers are mainly hired because they bring a unique perspective (quite literally!) to their work.

Aerial photography used to be extremely expensive – it involved hiring not only a professional photographer with an expensive specialized camera, but also a helicopter for them to fly in. Now that drones with cameras are more readily available, their main advantage is that they can provide beautiful aerial photography for a fraction of the cost – and they can do so in areas that a helicopter or airplane can’t reach!

2. Discussion Points

Here are some basic things to ask when hiring a drone photographer:

  • Are you licensed? In the United States, commercial drone pilots are legally required to have an FAA certification. Never hire an unlicensed drone pilot or a pilot who tries to convince you that a license isn’t necessary.
  • Are you insured? Even a skilled drone pilot can lose control of a drone due to equipment malfunction or inclement weather. Such incidents are rare, but you still want to make sure your photographer has liability insurance, just in case.
  • Can I see samples of your work? A portfolio will give you a good idea of the photographer’s style, which will help you see whether or not it matches your vision for your wedding. A good drone photographer will provide stable video with a unique, polished look thanks to a good editing skills.
  • What is your availability? For obvious reasons, you need to make sure the photographer you hire is available at the time and day you want your pictures taken.
  • Do you provide interior work? Some drones can only be flown outdoors, while others are small enough to be flown inside as well. If you’re interested in interior photographs, you need to make sure that’s something your photographer provides before hiring.

3. How Much to Pay

Drone photography price will vary by location, by contractor, and depending on the type of work you’re looking for. For photography itself, you generally don’t want to pay more than $500 an hour. For an entire wedding photography package which includes drone photography along with other services, you can often expect to pay between $2000 and $6000 depending on how many photos and what type of video you want.

4. The Hiring Process

The process of hiring a drone wedding photographer usually looks something like this:

  1. Look for a photographer online and find someone who suits your needs.
  2. Reach out to them over Email or phone and bring up your discussion points. An in-person meeting is always ideal if you can manage it.
  3. Choose a photography package and pay the photographer accordingly.
  4. Integrate your photographer into your wedding plan. When do they need to show up? When are you taking your photos with the wedding party? Will you be going through a “Traditional” or “First Look” schedule? Make sure you and the photographer both understand each other’s needs and responsibilities.
  5. After the wedding, you should receive your photos digitally or in the mail at a time specified by the photographer beforehand.

5. Think Outside of The Box

Sometimes what makes your day extra special is your imagination

A good drone photographer can do more than just take videos of your wedding, although this will most likely be their primary role. Be sure to think outside the box and speak to potential candidates about what they can do to make your special day even more special.

We hope this article has helped you understand what to look for in a drone wedding photographer and videographer. For more information on the ever-expanding drone industry, visit our website at Dronethusiast.com.

This article is published in conjunction with our friends at Dronethusiast.com. If you are thinking about drones or purchasing a drone it is a great website to consult. Our thanks to Mike and his great team!

Budgeting for your wedding

Weddings are expensive. Let’s face it.

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:

  1. Prioritization
  2. Effort

Wait, what?

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:

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Officiant
  • DJ
  • Cake
  • Flowers
  • Dress
  • Etc

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:

  1. Venue
  2. Dress
  3. Officiant
  4. Photographer
  5. Cake
  6. Catering
  7. DJ
  8. Flowers
  9. Videographer

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.

Beach Elopement story (Bree and Logan)

I had the good fortune to photograph a special wedding one day in Seaside, Oregon.

IMG_7938It was a summer day on the Oregon coast. Kathryn and I drove from Salem to Seaside one afternoon. When we reached the location very near to the Promenade, we hopped out to find the weather pleasant and peaceful on the beach. When we arrived at the address provided by the couple, we discovered only 4 people, the bride and groom, the officiant and a witness. IMG_8633The easy-going couple had everything planned and all 6 of us walked across the Promenade and onto the sand. When we reached a grassy rise in the sand and the waves stretched out before us, the couple informed us the ceremony would be here. I grabbed my camera and began shooting the ceremony as I have done many times before. The couple were so relaxed as they said their vows that afternoon. IMG_8590When the ceremony was finished, the officiant and witness left the couple to us and we spent the next hour photographing them walking down the beach and standing in the waves. It was so peaceful and simple and we captured many wonderful photos before the sun set that day. I will always remember that wedding and how fortunate I felt to be invited as their photographer.IMG_8625IMG_8543

Secret Beach Engagement

IMG_9541Have you ever heard about a secret wedding engagement? Sure, oftentimes the person proposing willkeep it a secret until they are ready to pop the question, but in the case of one groom-to-be, he thought ahead.

He planned how he was going to propose to his future wife and decided to whisk her away to the Oregon Coast for a vacation where he would propose for her hand in marriage. But that’s not all. He also wanted that memory to be a special surprise for her even on the wedding day!

 

IMG_9536

IMG_9556Thinking ahead to his wedding day, this groom called me and together we planned a secret photo shoot at the beach. The plan was for him to take his girlfriend onto the sand at a remote Oregon beach and propose to her, but he didn’t want her to know that I was there photographing the event. So I staged a fake beach shoot of a model where I looked like I was taking photos of the model, but I was really shooting right over her shoulder to the couple near the surf.

As I saw the couple on the beach and the proposal happen, capturing their photos from a distance, I thought how amazing it was for me to do business with someone without ever meeting them, because the photos were a surprise for the bride on her wedding day. What a moment to remember!

I love capturing great photos of people and events, but I love the creative opportunities our clients come up with even more. If you have a great idea for creative wedding or engagement photos, please bring those ideas when you come see us!