Author Archives: Jennifer

Getting Ready

While my entire 12 hour day second shooting at this Olympia wedding produced some beautiful images, I have to say that at each wedding some of my favorite images come from the bride getting ready for her big day. A few bits of bridal preparation can be helpful in getting these results:

1. Lighting: While it was a cloudy, drizzly day in Olympia, the window light in this well-lit and spacious hotel room was impeccable. If possible, consider the lighting of the room in which you and your girls will be getting ready.

2. Clean up: Notice that there are no piles of luggage, piles of clothes, messy beds, or half-eaten food in the background. They were all nearby, but strategically placed outside of the camera’s sight. Girls getting ready for a wedding can easily look like a Macy’s explosion but by reserving a clean area of the room as a getting ready photo spot, your images will stay clean and classy.

3. Save the best for last: Many helpful mothers and bridesmaids are inclined to give all their attention to getting the bride ready first, but this leaves them in sweats and  makeup-less in the pictures of the bride’s preparations. If everyone else gets ready first (saving the best for last…) then as the bride is helped into her gown and puts on her finishing touches, everyone will be picture-ready. 

Enjoy these images below and notice how following these tips led to some phenomenal getting ready pictures!

rosedressmark roseGRmark

Forecast: Rainy, with a chance of pictures

Well, rain can’t stop us Northwest photographers…Despite our terribly stormy forecast last Saturday, my brave senior client wanted to power through the downpour. Although the gloom can present a lighting challenge, by heading for cover and using some concentrated reflector work we got a pretty slick shoot from this dapper young man.





Double Take

You might remember my awesome clients Tim and Mariah from their very cute engagement shoot. Well, their big day has come and gone and I’m reminiscing about their wedding as I add some of their best shots to my wedding collection. One of the most memorable moments of the day during a wedding is always the groom’s first look at the bride. Not only is it usually a favorite for the couple, but also for me to shoot! So this wedding was a slam dunk favorite, since this couple set up not one but TWO first looks…

Tim got the FIRST first look at his stunning bride, while an enchanted group of family and friends eagerly watched. But since Mariah was wearing her grandmother’s classic wedding dress, she also wanted to share a special moment with her grandfather when he saw the dress on his gorgeous granddaughter. Needless to say, they kept lots of tissues on hand. So enjoy the shots of these 2 one-of-a-kind moments!

Check under the weddings section for more sweet shots from their wedding….








City Mouse, Country Mouse

When someone books a session, whatever kind it may be, the two things they are always most eager to discuss are “what to wear?” and “where will we shoot?”. And I always answer with another question: “What’s your style?”. To help clients determine their style, I usually give several “which do you prefer?” options. For example, do you prefer the city or the country? Indoors or outdoors? Waterfront or woodsy? I have a location or two in mind for each answer, so whatever we decide your style is, I’ve got just the place. For the matter of clothing, each type of location has a it’s own natural color palate, so wardrobe can be easily coordinated. Here’s a sample of a city location vs. a country location. Notice the variety of colors and textures that you will encounter at each one. Both are among my favorites to shoot at, but different spots suit different clients. So choose your style and schedule your custom session today!



First Dance: Take Two

Before my husband and I had our son 3 years ago we were married for 5 years and never once thought about getting professional photos done together, but oh how I wish we had! The time goes so fast and after just a couple years of marriage our wedding pictures seemed like long-ago versions of ourselves. So I’m loving this couple that I shot for recently who took the time to get it done after almost 9 years. They are so thrilled with the outcome, they’ve vowed to never wait so long again!

Although they no longer feel properly represented as a couple with just wedding day photos, it seems like just yesterday that they were saying “I do” and dancing to “Unforgettable” in front of all their friends and family. So why not relish some of those memories during a photo shoot 9 years later? After asking about their best/worst wedding moments and photos, I asked Matt and Marla to re-do their first dance. We tweaked the original this time with some peaceful intimacy for him and a fun dip for her, and now they’ve got beautiful images of themselves still making new memories all these years later…

(See more of their fun moments in this GORGEOUS setting under the Couples/Families tab.)



Second Best

The thing I enjoy best about photographing weddings is getting a whole day of doing what I love–shooting life in action. There is a certain amount of stress in not wanting to miss a single moment of such an important day, however, so having an assistant to be a second shooter for the day is invaluable. Not only do I appreciate having a second shooter when I’m doing a wedding, but I have also found that being a second shooter is even funner!

With none of the stress of managing contracts with clients, scheduling the day’s itinerary, or compiling the disc for presentation, a second shooter gets to be backup. During the course of the wedding day, a second shooter tries to capture the entire day from every vantage point that the primary shooter does not, which allows for a little more variety, creativity, and different angles of the same important moments. So what the client is left with is a full compilation of work documenting their big day from 2 diligent professionals.

I’ve had the greatest pleasure in teaming up with Pamela Hunter of A’Vie Photography for large events and weddings (for her clients I assist her and for my clients she assists me). So the following photos are ones I got as second shooter. You’ll notice Pamela had her wedding party set up for staged portraits, while I caught what was happening on the sidelines: A groom preparing for his busy day, a flower girl dreaming big, a through-the-window look at the bride getting ready, and a group of bridesmaids taking a minute to chat. During the first dance, the lead photographer focuses on getting “The” first dance picture, while a second shooter can try more creative techniques–like the dreamy one you’ll see here taken through the tulle of their table decorations.

So when it comes to wedding photography, I’m definitely glad to be the best or second best photographer of the day 🙂








Check out more of my pictures from this wedding under my “Weddings” tab, or look for A’Vie Photography’s coverage of the Wheeler wedding here or on facebook here

Welcome Home…

So many congratulations to the Schmahl family for their precious new baby girl! I could think of no better location to capture Charlie’s first week of life than to let her stay cozy at home with Mom and Dad and watch her settle in to her new surroundings. I got to photograph her very first time in her very own crib and lots of sweet snuggles with the parents who have been so eagerly awaiting her arrival. So welcome home, Charlie!





Details, Details

After many many months of agonizing over colors, flowers, table settings, invitations, dresses, suits, and centerpieces, your big day is finally here! So how disappointed would you be if you put all that exhaustive energy into choosing all those things with nothing to show for it? This is why I always set aside time for taking pictures of all the little details that make your wedding unique.

I chose my recent “Robots and Algae”-themed wedding with Tom and Elyse to use as an example because they put SO much thought and creativity into their details–more than any I might have seen. From their master-gardener designed bouquets, to her non-traditional engagement ring, to her one-of-a-kind gown embellishments, to their wind up robot favors at the reception. It all made their wedding uniquely “Tom and Elyse”. So enjoy all their thoughtful planning with some of my favorite detail shots from their wedding…








Congratulations, Tom and Elyse!

The Blink of an Eye

When mama Samantha asked me to take some current photos of her and her sweeties, I could hardly believe that her adorable little daughter was over a year old. You see, it seems like just yesterday that she was in front of my camera as a sleepy newborn! How time flies! In the blink of an eye, little Laila and her doting big brother have grown and grown. But somehow their loving mom hasn’t aged a bit… 😉
Anyway, it goes by way too fast so make sure you’ve got the photos to remember it by!





See more of Samantha, Laila, and Lakai in the Families and Children galleries!

A Very Decent Proposal

As usual I’m so behind on my posts, but a couple months ago I had the pleasure of doing an engagement session for a very sweet couple who are SO looking forward to their November wedding (which I’ll also have the privilege of photographing…)! YAY!
After Tim’s romantic proposal on the dock at a lovely waterfront location, Mariah could think of no dreamier spot for their engagement pictures. So back to the waterfront with a celebratory balloon we went. I had a great time on the shoot and am now counting down the days with them until they say “I do”…See more of their engagement pics under the families section at the top of the page!