A Sunrise Elopement at Smith Rock State Park

April 15, 2023 Wedding Photography

Melanie and David's sunrise wedding at Smith Rock State Park

I met Melanie and David the morning of their wedding at Smith Rock State Park. We spoke on the phone once or twice and picked the time and place to meet up for their elopement. Mary Ellen was the officiant. I spent the night in the Redmond Walmart parking lot the night before to ensure not being a moment late because the morning light at Smith Rock State Park changes as quickly as a spot news event.

So me with my Profoto and umbrella meeting people for the first time in quickly changing light and compositions really puts on the pressure to make pictures quickly.

Melanie loves Smith Rock. She drives over from the Portland area all the time to visit. I actually saw her and David hiking in the opposite direction on the river portion of the trail once, but they were hiking so fast I missed saying hi while my brain was processing where I knew them from. David is from England. So they picked the best time of day to see the park for their wedding and I made sure to get some nice photos as fast as possible.

With my new way of doing pictures and picking 25 for a wedding, the added challenge is to see if we could pull 25 pictures out of a wedding that lasted maybe 25 minutes. I'll let you be the judge of the pictures work.

A brief update on how the new Bend Wedding Photography website is going

The Bend Wedding Photographers site is finally showing up in Yelp! searches. Yay! But my website isn't linked in the search. Boo! Need to solve that problem. One of many problems to solve. I'm working through one problem at a time to get everything squared away. Still needing to show up higher in Google searches. Working on that problem too. Apparently a person needs to be linked identically in about thirty different locations. Which might take awhile.

Also I've started looking at the competition. They're very good at photography and a few of the competition are very, very good at lighting. That's so nice to see. I love looking at other peoples work in the same venues and trying to solve the puzzle of how they lit the event. This is especially true in the Great Hall at Sunriver. My biggest problem in competing with these photographers is obvious: I'm not a cute, young, outgoing, bubbly blonde lady. I can't compete with that. I'm actually kind of quiet and stay very focused on work when working.

Also I'm the only person anyplace in Central Oregon doing professional portrait photography style of pricing. The other photographers need to adapt and be professional. In a 40 page album I'm doing about 80-100 images. Nobody wants to look through 300 - 500 pictures online and then try to figure out what to print. It's like sitting through a slide show of someone's vacation. Shooting and burning with one-price-fits-all needs to end.

Anyway, have to get out on a 4 hour bike ride for Worlds coming up in three weeks in Ibiza, Spain.