I got an email from this guy named Collin back in August, asking if I could photograph the moment he planned to propose to his girlfriend, Maddie. I kind of exploded with excitement because this kind of thing, documenting something so big, so special and important, something that goes down in a family’s history book…that’s what I live for. Collin was going all out for his girl, Maddie, and I loved that. I’m an all-outer, too. So we started planning. Sending coordinates, choosing locations over face time, mapping out the proposal day, scheming. I remember the day Mike asked me to be his wife so clearly, I will never forget it. I was only photographing the event but man, I probably wanted Maddie to have an unforgettable day almost as much as Collin did.
I’m sure she will tell the full story over on her blog, so I’ll try to keep mine short. Maddie went to sleep in her home in Los Angeles Wednesday night with no bags packed and no knowledge of her early wake up call the next day for a flight to Seattle and, eventually, a proposal. Collin and I already discussed we would have minimal communication throughout the day, as to not give Maddie any ideas. I had never met Collin or Maddie in real life before this day, but I noticed them, the guy in tan and the girl in the blue shirt and brown pants, as soon as they stepped out of their car at Discovery Park. I slouched down in my driver’s seat as they passed my window, but as soon as they were out of sight, I got out and followed. I took creepy stalker photos of them as they walked to “the spot”, hoping that Collin’s memory of the maps I sent would serve him well, since he’d never been to Discovery Park before. I signaled to Mike, who was hiding behind a nearby tree, already taking photos as the couple sat down. We waited nervously, doing our best to stay out of sight while also documenting the conversation that was unfolding between Maddie and Collin. It was one of those ridiculous days in Seattle, where clouds are nowhere to be found and it still smells like summer. I doubt the two of them noticed since they only had eyes and ears for each other, but there was an owl in a nearby tree hooting quietly the whole time they sat at that bench. The sun was dipping behind the Olympics so beautifully as Collin got down on one knee.
The day after the proposal, we planned to take engagement photos at Deception Pass. Everything was going according to plan until we hit traffic on I-5 North, and quickly realized neither us or Collin & Maddie would get to the Pass with enough decent daylight to take photos. I knew the forecast for the next morning called for heavy rain, but it was our only option, so we planned on it. Mike and I camped in the state park that night and it rained the whole time. I was pretty concerned…we’re used to shooting in the rain, but this precious couple from L.A. was not used to being photographed in the rain. Instead, we woke up the next morning to a gorgeous PNW foggy morning with the sun rising into a blue sky. Thanks, God. It was perfect.
This last weekend Mike and I joined in on the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. It’s the one day where bikers all over the world can put on their bow ties, tweed jackets, newsboy caps and oxfords and ride their classic motorcycles all over the city. It’s totally silly but totally awesome…and the best part, all proceeds from this year’s ride went to prostate cancer medical research. This event happens on the same day in at least 110 countries around the world. That’s a lot of distinguished gentleman (and ladies!), and a lot of money going to prostate cancer awareness.
I did something completely stupid/dangerous and brought two of my cameras along (secured by my HoldFast strap, for those of you who asked about it), and took pictures throughout the whole ride (see all here), on the back of our Honda CX500. It was risky, but absolutely worth it in my opinion.
We’re a little obsessed with Jen and Jesse. After they left our house the first night we met them, Mike and I thought, “how can we convince them to hang out with us again?” They’re getting married in 11 months, and that’s 11 months too far away. Clearly it was painfully difficult to photograph them…maybe we’ll need to do a round 2 of engagement photos just to be safe…………please?
A few years ago I met Naomi at church. I remember sitting next to her at a women’s event and thinking her Australian accent was so beautiful. She was dating this cool looking tatted up Thai guy who worked at a snowboard shop, and I kid you not, I selfishly thought, “what an interesting couple…I wonder if they’re going to get married anytime soon.”
I am so thankful that Naomi and Vuti asked us to photograph their wedding. As far as I can remember, every single person involved in the wedding was either family or friends. The hair stylist, pastor, musicians, the folks running the food trucks, Mike and I…everyone. Friends. People came from all over the planet to be there…Vuti’s family mostly from St. Louis and Naomi’s from Tasmania and London. Rachel, Naomi’s twin sister, was at her hip all day and it was so fun to watch them have this experience together, only a few months after Rachel’s wedding.
The entire day was rich with tradition and thoughtfulness. Naomi has a fantastic eye for detail, and it shows. Brilliant wedding, Vuti + Nomes.