Secluded High Desert Bridal Portraits

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Sometimes I see something so beautiful that it haunts me. My husband and I were traveling in Bend, Oregon when we drove by Smith Rock State Park…and I was astonished at how other worldly the landscape was. I just knew I had to photograph something, anything, in the midst of the gorgeous scenery.

As we drove home that day, I started sketching out ideas for a styled bridal shoot…one that evoked romance and a wild, windblown nature that matched the beauty of the area.

PRESS PLAY FOR MUSIC

FILM :  Mamiya 645 AF  |  80mm F/2.8 Lens  |  Fuji 400H Film  |  Scans by PhotoVision

DIGITAL: Canon 5d Mark III  |  50mm F/1.8 Lens  | Mastin Labs Fuji Preset

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I’ve taken part in quite a few styled shoots both as the photographer and in other roles, but every attempt fell short of what I really wanted to accomplish. In the past I had a tendency to over style, or try and fit too many elements into one look. Maybe the biggest mistake I made was trying to build a whole shoot off of something pretty I’d seen while coveting another photographers work, and I always rushed through things. Thus, I usually ended up with imagery that felt disjointed and lacked attention to important details. Styled shoots are a lot of work… so to be less than pleased with the images is very disappointing, particularly when the blog rejections start piling up.

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START WHERE YOU ARE. USE WHAT YOU HAVE. DO WHAT YOU CAN. -Arthur Ashe

This time, I let my ideas sink in for a few months while I slowly contacted vendors. I only took on as many details as I could truly handle on my own without a team (no tablescapes, cakes, invitations or large floral garlands to speak of). I kept it simple and used what I had. I cut myself some slack, moving slowly while I considered my options. Most of all, I decided to shoot for myself…and not worry about blog submissions until the images were finished.

I’m learning not to expect perfection from myself…and this shoot is no exception. It’s not perfect. And yet, these are some of the best images I’ve created and I’m very proud of them.

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The Pacific Northwest fell victim to a really terrible wild fire season this year…at its worst, some very brave fire fighters even lost their lives in Washington. As we shot at Smith Rock, lingering smoke from fires burning many miles away hovered over the terrain, like an eerie fog…creating a filtered pastel color in the sky that I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to photograph again. As the evening progressed, we felt grateful for all the people keeping us safe from the fires burning far away…we were filled with gratitude. Everything felt a little somber as the sun set, but it was beautiful despite.

The gorgeous Fine Art Wedding Blog (and one my favorites), Wedding Sparrow, is featuring the full gallery of film images from this shoot TODAY! That’s the particularly fanciful thing about the folks at Wedding Sparrow, they only feature film images, which is rather lovely. I’ve featured a fuller range of images that includes digital as well (since I’m always trying to master hybrid shooting), and it adds a little variety too! Thanks for stopping by…

SPECIAL THANKS:

Ken Kupelian – My husband and gracious assistant during this shoot

Montana Ocampo – Model

Swoon Floral – Floral Design

Kate Tuma – Hair + Make Up

Sara Seven Via The Dress Theory – Gown

Melinda Rose Design – Headpiece + Veil

 

 

 

  • Stunning! The movement in these photos, with her dress, veil, hair, bouquet ribbon… perfection.

  • alichat

    These are just stunning! You really captured her so well! The dress, and that bouquet is exquisite! Just love!

  • alipdx

    These are amazing. I especially love the one of her holding the red flower.

  • Erin Lynch

    As always – Such amazing photographs! I simply love your work!

  • Kelley Gardiner

    I love the contrast of strong color and wispy pastels.

  • Kira Provenzola

    Gorgeous! And Kim’s floral arrangements are amazing as usual.

  • Jen

    Outstanding job! Best of all, you did it for you – and the end result was amazing.

  • Gina

    Absolutely breathtaking. Love the story and the truth is you probably could not have done this shoot with the freedom you had without first studying and emulating the style you like, overdoing it a few times, and working through your disappointments. Definitely worth your struggle, these look like they came from favorite pages from Geraldine…

    • Wow, thank you Gina. Geraldine is my favorite publication for weddings and bucket list item, so it means a lot you would say that 🙂