When Disaster Strikes

The news from Southern Texas is heartbreaking.  Families lost everything, and are now, a week later, just getting an understanding of how their lives have changed forever.

The situation reminds me of Hurricane Katrina, and how the wedding photography world was able to give back.

In 2012, I attended the Digital Wedding Forum conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.  In addition to some amazing workshops and seminars, I was able to participate in something remarkable.

One of the national news networks that picked up the story.

One of the national news networks that picked up the story.

The local tourism board worked with DWF to find couples that lost wedding albums during Katrina.  We assembled a group of industry-leading photographers 122 deep and took these couples through the French Quarter and other parts of this amazing city.

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In the end, the local wedding community donated gowns, tux rentals, and flowers, while the wedding photography industry donated our time and brand new albums for the clients.

I know in the end, we didn't really replace those priceless images, but I do hope in some way we were able to help them heal, and still have something amazing to share with their kids.

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Local news outlet WGNO covered the shoot, below is their segment.

WGNO local coverage of the shoot.

APRIL + BRITNEY'S GREY GABLES WEDDING

I was invited to photograph April + Britney's beautiful wedding at Grey Gables Estates in Portland, Oregon.

It was a beautiful day - with their ceremony under the giant trees and among the ponds, ending with dancing and a party under the edison bulbs in the back yard.

Here is a collection of some of my favorites that I think perfectly tell the story of their day.

 

 

The Magic of Paperless Invitations

I have shot quite a few weddings over the years, from probably $100,000 affairs, to DIY backyard weddings.  And through each of these experiences, I have taken little lessons to keep when planning my own wedding.

Of all the wedding expenses, I never really understood the expensive invitation.  

I mean you design them, choose papers, envelope liners, envelopes, sizes, fonts, stamps, RSVP envelopes, and cards.  It's a ton of work and a ton of money.

In a recent article in Huffington Post, I learned about Paperless Post and fell in love.

As it was time for us to send out our own invitations, I decided to give them a look.  I chose a design, filled out the information, and paid six bucks.  And in the space of an hour, 30+ invitation emails were sent to our guests.

 

The best part?  Paperless post creates a dashboard for us to see all the people that were invited, who accepted, who has not, and who cannot attend.  We can message each couple or attendee individually, and receive an email when they do respond.  It also shows what emails were sent, who has opened them, and who has accepted or declined to attend.

 

The invite itself is really nice, in an email format and Paperless Post creates a simple, elegant event page.  The event page has a map, basic information, a comment wall (with photos) and a lot of other great features.

You can also limit the number of people a guest can invite, and also add custom messaging.

When prioritizing how to spend precious time and money on weddings, I personally feel invitations should be sent via email.  For the convenience of your guests, for your sanity, and for the Earth.