Punch it Up

Did you ever have one of those friends that was just effortlessly cool? I’ve had them before, but I have some new friends that are effortlessly cool now — the ever-talented Kim and Bonnie from Punch. Punch does floral and styling for events, and they are both so talented and inspiring. We teamed up a couple of weeks ago to do this inspiration shoot, inspired by white milk glass and strawberries. I couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out.

These tarts were amazing — trust me, I tried one. :) Danielle Rinaldi from Tastetastic made them, and they were a little piece of heaven.

I love how Kim and Bonnie found such fantastic inspiration in the most unlikely places — the sides of beer bottles, packs of gum popcorn boxes. This theme would make for such a cute wedding.

Everytime I’ve seen the girls from Punch, they’ve had a cool chalkboard to display. Kim told me they made a collection themselves, from vintage frames.

I have to give a huge shout-out to Saucebox, who let us use their annex space. It would make such a great spot for an intimate urban wedding.

After all this was set up, all I wanted to do was have a party in that space, with all this fun red candy and food!

Thank you to Punch, Saucebox and Tastetastic for making this vision a reality and bringing some real inspiration!

Running in the streets for love

I know it’s been a week or so since I shared Morgan & Brandon’s engagement session, but I am excited finally to show you the short video that came out of that session. It’s a little shaky because I’m way too focused on looking for locations than looking for the shot, but hopefully it communicates the great energy this couple has and brought to their session. I am just about to bust at the seams waiting for their wedding this July!

Morgan & Brandon from Sara Gray on Vimeo.

I really love engagement sessions, and can’t wait to share more in the coming months. It’s been such a fun springtime getting to know this year’s wedding couples and finding fun new locations to shoot in.

Woman power, brought to you by Crave

I’ll admit: I heart Crave Portland. Whenever I go to their events, there is always fantastic company, inspiring female entrepreneurs and of course, tasty snacks. How could you possibly go wrong?

Yesterday, I attended Crave’s third business chat. These are an informal gathering based around an idea for growing business, and I always find them to be really interesting. Check out the goodies!

This business chat was held at Relish Design in the Alphabet District. It’s a gorgeous shop full of clean design, Marimekko fabrics and midcentury modern treasures. I could have taken up residence there and never left.

This business chat was all about using events as a way to spread the word of your business to potential clients, loyal customers and the larger community. As someone who loves attending events myself, I was so inspired by what the speakers had to share. Below is Tiffanee Bean from Mabel & Zora in the Pearl District. She’s huge on events, as you’ll know if you’re a regular shop in her cute boutique. She even hosts swanky private parties for VIP customers, which sound so amazing.

Also sharing at the chat was Claudia Bowers of Pravia Wines & Events. She organizes huge events, like wine festivals and more, and she’s a seasoned pro. She had a ton to offer in terms of how to pull off some really big impressive events.

Below is Mai Tran, who runs Crave Portland. She’s got event-planning chops herself, and I’ve personally seen her pull off some pretty impressive events.

So all this talk about having events has gotten me thinking about hosting some events of my own, either to draw in and meet potential new clients or just to reward those who have been loyal to and supportive of Sara Gray Photography. So I’m asking you, blog readers: what do you think of that? What kinds of events do you want to see? What sorts of things do you love to attend, and what would be your ideal Sara Gray Photography event? I can’t wait to hear what you all come up with, and to add that to a few ideas I’ve already got up my sleeve!

Happy Monday!

Summer and Eric’s sunny day wedding

In mid-March, I had the chance to shoot with one of my favorite photo buddies, Alyssa Jul, at Summer and Eric’s wedding. It was an unseasonably warm, beautiful day and this couple was so warm and sweet.

I love spending time with the groomsmen — it’s always entertaining. Above is Eric, the groom. His friends are all huge basketball fans, and they had the NCAA tournament going on TV the whole time they were getting ready.

You know how I love a good shoe picture. Her red shoes were out of this world, and that tattoo on her foot gave it some great character.

Below, one of the cutest grumpy flower girls I’ve ever seen. She wouldn’t look at Alyssa as she lined them up for pictures, but I caught her.

Summer and Eric’s wedding was at the Embassy Suites Hotel downtown.

Thanks, Summer and Eric, for letting me be a part of your wedding day!

Music to my ears

Pure, unadulterated joy is what I think of when Marianna and Reece come to mind. They are wonderful people, and dear friends. I had such fun with them shooting this session in Peninsula Park.

Marianna and Reece are musicians — Marianna is the leading lady for Marianna and the Baby Vamps and Reece‘s piano skills are the backbone. The band often performs their original compositions. How wonderful is that?

She’s this beautiful, and she makes a mean Manhattan. Dare I say, she’s the perfect woman?

I just love how goofy they can be one minute and how serious and polished they can be in the next. I think this is what they mean when they say “dynamic duo.”

No, Marianna and Reece are not engaged (that I know of). But a girl can hope, can’t she? :)

I love how Marianna and I went to high school together and never really knew one another, but have reconnected and formed a friendship after all these years. Those are my favorite kinds of serendipity.

Thanks, you guys, for being gorgeous and loads of fun. I’m so happy to have you as my friends!

That’s commitment

Commitment is what Morgan and Brandon brought to their engagement session. When I said, can you guys run down the middle of this street? Morgan and Brandon said, yes we will, and Morgan took off her shoes so they didn’t get in her way.

Southeast Portland is such a great spot for an engagement session. The colors, the bikes, the food and the vibe are all so perfect. Not to mention the waffle window. Have you been to the waffle window? If the answer is no, stop reading now and go there.

Morgan and Brandon are getting married in July at Venue Pearl, and I absolutely cannot wait. They’ve got great taste and all the ideas they have for their wedding sound so lovely (including some of these yellow ball-like flowers).

Talk about photogenic people — they made this session so fun and effortless.

Morgan and Brandon went to college the same place that Eric and I did, and they even majored in the same thing Eric did. But we didn’t know each other until they contacted me about photographing their wedding. What are the chances?

Yay, Morgan and Brandon! I so can’t wait for your wedding and to see the two of you build your life together. You are the best!

We’re all the same underneath

Every once in awhile, I get the opportunity to work on a cool project with a brand or product line. Recently, I paired up with SameUnderneath, a really cool eco-conscious clothing brand based in Portland, to photograph their spring line.

I thought I’d share a few of the photos here — aren’t the clothes awesome? Not to mention we had a beautiful afternoon and some seriously good-looking models to make this shoot really fun.

I just got the above sweater. It’s amazing.

I love all the earth tones throughout the collection — very Portland.

Thanks to the gang at SameUnderneath and my pal Noel for lining the shoot up — I had a ton of fun!

I heart Crate & Barrel

I’ve always been a sucker for the easy breezy style at Crate & Barrel. So I was really excited when I was invited to be part of The Wedding Parties. I got to show off some of my wedding albums to couples getting married this year.

I love the table they set me up on — I really wanted it by the end of the time I was there!

When you’re in a store with great beds all made up, do you get the urge to get a running start and crash land on them? Maybe that’s just me.

This was such a fun registry event — the store was closed to normal customers and they served mimosas, coffee and fruit and pastries. Yum!

Thanks, Crate and Barrel, for having me! I can’t wait to do it again.

Rachel and Neal, continued

I wanted to share some extras from Rachel and Neal’s engagement session, which was sort of train-themed and came out super cute. Below is the video from their session.

Rachel and Neal from Sara Gray on Vimeo.

Rachel and Neal also ordered a guest book that’s bright green — it’s sitting on my desk right now and I want to show it to the world, it’s so cute. Here’s the design.

Courtney’s sassy new shoes

A huge congrats to Courtney, who won the drawing for those sassy yellow shoes. Courtney shared that she just had surgery and wants to have some smokin’ new shoes to wear around once she’s back up and around. Courtney is an amazing singer, you can check out her music fan page here.

I’ll be honest, though — it was soooooo hard to choose for this contest that I ended up doing a drawing instead of choosing my favorite answer. I love the idea of Kristen wearing them to bed, Deanna wearing them to vacuum and so many of you wearing them out on dates with your men and to weddings all summer. I wish I had eighteen pairs to give away!

What I thought of most, though, while I was reading all your answers, was how much fun all of you sound. I know a few of you, so I already know you’re amazing, but I wanted to have a little yellow-shoe-lover’s party — where everyone gets yellow shoes and the confidence that comes with them. But alas, they don’t make these shoes anymore, so there’s just the one pair. I’ll keep you posted on that yellow shoe party, though. Sounds pretty fun to me.