Monday, February 22, 2010

Jenny & Kevin's Engagement Photos: Napa, California

I'm trying to think of an intro here, but all that comes screaming to mind is, "I LOVE THESE PHOTOS!!!" I usually try to avoid large, general statements like that on my blog because, let's be honest, there's a good chance you'll quit visiting my blog if I allow the content to become full of generic proclamations. Also, I'm one of those people who tends to use words like 'love', 'favourite', 'best', and 'always' wayyy too much, so this blog challenges me to stretch my vocab muscles. Today, however, I'm not being lazy, I'm just expressing the first thing that comes to mind when I look at these shots!

My friend Jenny and her fiance Kevin came to stay with Will and I over New Years, and while they were here we drove up to Napa for an engagement shoot. Kevin is a high-end hairdresser so we swapped hair cuts for a portrait session, and as many of you know, I love a good trade!

The Napa Valley is a gold mine when it comes to prime settings for romantic photos. For a few of our shots we pulled off the road whenever I saw a possible photo op, and for others we just happened upon them while wandering. While photographing Jenny & Kevin with the old train car, my mind conjured up images filed away from movies, history, and my own rail adventures. For me the romance of travel is summed up in the train as a mode transport, and this train car seemed like the perfect setting for photos of a couple about to embark on a new adventure!

Bon Voyage Jenny & Kevin!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Register with Jaime Lauren Photography!

I'm not sure about you, but as a bride I found the entire registry process fairly overwhelming. I love scouring markets, second-hand stores, and other countries for household items and because of this, I found it more natural to invite our guests to contribute to our honeymoon fund (an experiential gift) than to check out our gift registry. Of course we felt blessed by everyone's gifts no matter what they were or where they came from, but the experience reinforced my belief that gift registries need not be so traditional in order to be appropriate.

As wedding details and plans deviate from the traditional more and more these days, it makes sense that wedding registries can also be catered to reflect couples' personal tastes and ideas--not just in the items they register for, but in the type of registries themselves. Over the past couple of years, registering with travel agencies for honeymoons has become popular, as has registering at outdoor/sports stores. I always thought it'd be special to have guests give the couple their favourite book, so that they get to start off their marriage with a library full of the collected wisdom and thoughts valued by those they love. But I've digress!

Wedding trends often wind up manifesting themselves within the realm of wedding photography, which is why I've decided to offer clients a registry service. Now couples who have booked me as their wedding photographer can inform their guests that they are registered with Jaime Lauren Photography. Family and friends of the Bride & Groom only need to head over to my online registry to purchase gifts in a variety of increments and currencies. For the couple on a budget, or the couple who already has most of the household items they need, this is a great way to expand your photographic package and coverage. For guests looking to purchase the perfect gift, you'll now have the option of contributing to the couples' most celebrated day and memories that will last long after the wedding decorations have come down and the cake devoured!

So head on over to the registry and let me know what you think. It's new and definitely needs some pizzaz, but my site is currently undergoing a facelift, so I've kept it simple for now! If you have any suggestions or questions, let me know--feedback is one of the gears that makes this thing called self-employment tick! Also, with regards to the entire site, please pardon any aesthetic inconsistencies that may appear in your browser, I'm doing my best to work on these issues.

I'm outta hear for today folks! Later!


Friday, February 05, 2010

Three Friends, Three Brides, One Photographer

They say it's all in who you know. They say the best advertising is word of mouth. Whoever 'they' are makes no difference to me since 'they' are absolutely correct when it comes to my line of work. As every smart person in the wedding industry knows, it's all about appealing to the bride--and if the bride falls in love with your work or product, you can guarantee she'll tell her friends. Or, if you're a photographer like me, you get the privilege of spending the entire wedding day with her best friends, which is exactly what I've had the opportunity to do three times over with the lovely women featured here!

Mariko and I met while living in the same dorm in Vancouver several years back. She and I became good friends, and when it was time for her friend Danika to hunt down a wedding photographer, Mariko (bless her heart!) referred her to me. Danika and I chatted over the phone and set up a meeting. Both of us hit it off over right away, but then again it's hard to not like Danika--she's one of the most cheerful people you'll ever meet! At Danika's wedding, I also met Katt, who was one of the bridesmaids along with Mariko. I had such a great time photographing those ladies and loved watching their tight-knit friendship unfold in front of the camera.

Not too many months later, Mariko got married and I traveled down to Oregon to photograph her wedding. Of course Katt & Danika were there, and Katt let me know that she wanted me as her photographer when she got married. A few months after that, Katt emailed to inform me that she was engaged. Exactly one year later, (this past Christmas) I flew back to Vancouver to photograph Katt's wedding, where of course I had the pleasure of catching up with a couple of fabulous bridesmaids!

I felt somewhat bittersweet after the wedding ceremony when we were all mingling in the church foyer, and told the girls with a laugh that I was "3 down, none to go", but their response was, "Oh no, we've got friends, and sisters and...." See wedding photography is so much more than a business transaction to me, not only because I've had the distinct honour of being the photographer chosen to document these three best friends' wedding days, but because I truly treasure the relationships that were formed throughout these experiences.

I've met some amazing people at weddings. One bridesmaid and I have been emailing back and forth recently, brainstorming over a collaborative photo/travel project. Recently I met a former missionary couple who vaguely remembered meeting my uncle who lives in the remote jungles of the Philippines! And of course there was the wedding where I met a rugged, red-headed bagpiper who swept me off my feet and married ME!

My job, like any, has its pitfall and challenges, but the fulfillment that comes from pouring all of my creative and technical expression into the lives of a couple and their loved ones, and the relationships that stem from such an intimate and unique relationship blows me away time and again. For every couple who has trusted me with their wedding day, invested their resources in the work I produce, and let me into their lives as more than just a photographer, thank you very, very much.

OH! Also I should make mention of the grooms featured alongside their stunning brides in these photos...Jeff, (+Danika) Isaac, (+ Mariko) Jarrod (+Katt) thank you for all the fabulous moments you helped to create alongside your wives...I know wedding photography can be daunting to a lot of men, but you were great!