I’ve been partying like it’s 1999 lately, between the Seattle Bride party and the Oregon Bride party. I wanted to share some photos from the Oregon Bride party because it was a really fun one to attend this year and so many great vendors were there.
Earlier this week I had the extra-fun pleasure of attending the Seattle Bride Magazine Best of Bride party. This is an annual party that is hosted by the Seattle magazine (and Oregon Bride has one too — that’s where I’ll be tonight!) It was a blast mingling with some Seattle-area vendors (since I photograph a handful of Seattle weddings each year) and I really enjoyed the celebration.
The party was held at 415 Westlake, a great venue in South Lake Union. The flowers, cocktails and little appetizers were all fun and pretty.
Below is my date to the party, Erin Brooks (of Serephine fame, on the right) with Kimberly Persons from Style Unveiled.
Thanks, Erin, and all the other Seattle vendors, who made this a fun evening out in Seattle!
Well, my friends, it’s been a whirlwind. Today is my 400th post on this blog, which I’ve been working on since March of 2009. It’s been a crazy more-than-two-years’ journey, and this blog has been one of the big reasons I’ve had so many opportunities and been able to grow as a photographer in such a short time. Here’s a little recap of some of the photos from over that time, plus some of the things that have happened for Sara Gray Photography along the way.
When the blog was started, I was working with families, high school seniors and wedding clients. In late 2009, I dropped everything but weddings to be able to focus on something I loved and get better at it. I think it was a great move — now I get to think weddings all the time, and it’s a blast for me. Although I did add in business portraits as an offering about a year ago, weddings and engagements remain my primary focus. I’ve had the chance to work with more than 100 couples on their weddings and engagement sessions, and they’re a blast.
Over these last 400 posts, I’ve grown to a full-size photography business, had my work published 35 times, launched a new business, MarryThis!, and found some new niches, like styled photo shoots and elopements, which I really have a fond spot for. We also totally redesigned the Sara Gray Photography blog about a year ago.
I’m just getting warmed up this year with some really fantastic weddings, so it should be another busy summer on the blog full of engagement sessions, styled shoots and weddings. I’ve also added a video series — there will be a new one up in the next couple of weeks featuring a client-submitted question! (Hint: I’d love to have more of those questions!)
At the end of the day, I’m grateful to all of you who come to the blog and read it frequently. You give me a reason to keep sharing my work, and you’re all so encouraging! I want it to be a favorite read for you, so I’m curious: What would you like to see more of on the blog? How about less? Let me know in the comments, and thank you all for continuing to read!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Please allow me to introduce you to my new space! It’s my new home, the most relaxing little room in my life at the moment and the official world headquarters of Sara Gray Photography and MarryThis!
As you can see above, my office is in a building with a few other great businesses. It’s right in the heart of Multnomah Village, which I love because it’s walking distance from my house and such a great little community. So far, I love my neighbors.
Below, you can see my very zen workstation. I love it. It features my new favorite Etsy find, the Cake print from Sweet Dee on Etsy next to a photo of Eric and I taken on our last trip to Copenhagen.
I’d love to have visitors anytime, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and check out the new space! And if you’re a client (or a potential client), I’m looking forward to meeting with you here! Have a great weekend, everyone.
I have been dragging my feet to post about my new office because I have a few finishing touches I want to put in there before I really share it with everyone. But in the meantime, I wanted to share this video I made — throughout the process of painting and furnishing the office, I made a time lapse so we could watch the progress. Here’s something to tide you over until next week when I share the official unveiling of my new space.
My new office is located at 7739 SW Capitol Hwy., Suite 240, upstairs from the Starbucks in Multnomah Village. Drop by if you’re in the neighborhood!
I don’t know if you have Google Analytics, but I do. I watch it like a hawk, seeing who visits the site, how long they stay and where in the site they go. I feel like I’m watching an ant farm from that level, but I wish I could get down and ask the ants how they feel.
Maybe that was a weird analogy, but the point is this: I want to know what you think! Some of you read this blog pretty regularly, but I don’t really know who you are or what you want to read about. I would love to know some of that information so that I could improve the blog and make it more enjoyable for everyone.
I’m a lucky gal. I have somehow managed to harness the power of the Internet to form a business that I’m incredibly passionate about. It’s been amazing, and it’s made me believe along the way even more in people, and in what we can do when we band together. That’s why I wanted to join in the effort of Blog Action Day. It’s one day a year when people with blogs all choose one topic to blog about, in order to start a conversation and try to incite action and make change.
This year’s Blog Action Day topic is clean water, and it’s such an important topic worldwide. In July 2010, the United Nations declared that access to clean, safe water a human right, but there are still more than a billion people throughout the world that don’t have even that. It’s the cause of tons of preventable death and disease (especially among children), and it’s a real issue. Luckily, there are many people out there doing the work to solve this problem, and I want to use whatever influence I have to you, the readers of the blog, to join with me and support those charities.
I’m donating $100 to charity:water, which will give five people access to clean water for 20 years. I have started a fundraising page and I would like to challenge you to join me in taking action to improve someone’s life and meet a basic need for them. I know money is tight, but doesn’t this put things into perspective? If all you can give is one dollar, that’s one dollar closer to giving a person access to clean water. I challenge you to do it. Take action and see how good it feels. I’ve set a goal for us as a community — let’s see if we can raise $5,000, which would build a well that could serve 250 people. We only have until Dec. 31.
If you can’t give at this point but would still like to help, you can sign a petition that supports clean water projects and accessibility.
Thank you so much for helping with a cause that I think is important. Have a happy weekend!
I did the coolest thing this week. I went to the launch party for an organization called Wish Upon a Wedding. It’s a national organization that offers full-production weddings to people with terminal illness.
(All the photos in this post are courtesy of Evrim Icoz, another great Portland wedding photographer. That’s him above with me, Deyla Huss (left) and Melissa Tomeoni (right) of Soul Mates Photo.)
The Portland chapter just launched, and I’m so excited to be able to volunteer my services and talents to help with this. As someone who had a friend get a wish granted from the Make-A-Wish Foundation when she was battling cancer, I can’t imagine what a gift it would be to offer to someone who’s sick and wants to get married.
Because it’s a new organization here in Portland, everyone is organizing and ready to go. Everyone, that is, except the recipients. The word isn’t out yet, so if you know someone who is in this situation, this would be good information to pass on to them. There are so many generous wedding vendors who want to get involved.
(Above is Nadia Ly of Creations by Ly, who is a local wedding coordinator and the Portland chapter president).
Check out their national Web site and their local Facebook page if you know someone who is ill and looking for this kind of service. Thanks!
Awhile back, I made a post on my Facebook page with a teaser to an article about how to save money on a wedding. One response I got totally made me laugh — Joan, who is the mother of my good friend Katy and my former bride Jody, said, “You mean E-L-O-P-E?”
Well, let’s be honest. Money is a little on the tighter side these days for some folks, and it’s true. I think a lot of people are choosing to elope or hold small, intimate weddings. What I love is that I’m seeing people do it with great style. For example, did you see this completely fabulous city hall wedding featured in Martha Stewart Weddings in the latest issue? Here’s a little sneak peek.
There are a few of you who are taking a different approach this year — whether that’s tying the knot at city hall in style, taking your family and close friends for an intimate ceremony on the beach or having the ultimate Portland experience and getting married at Voodoo Doughnut.
I get that, and I want to be part of it. So I’m offering a special elopement package, with a smaller price tag for your smaller (but no less stylish) celebration.
I mean Jennifer Rand Walker, of course. She’s the face and the talent behind Face Body Beauty, and she’s the most talented makeup and hair artist I know. She’s also generous with her knowledge and savvy in the ways of business and relationships. In short, she is someone you need to know.
Face Body Beauty is just about to start work on its fifth wedding season — Jennifer does makeup and hair for brides, but also does tons of other stuff, from teaching workshops and lessons to makeup for boudoir photography and special events. She really enjoys teaching, she told me: “I teach everyday women how to do their makeup in a way that will enhance their natural beauty. Seeing them stand a little taller or walk more confidently after experiencing the difference makeup can make is extremely rewarding. I love any opportunity to help women feel more beautiful and confident.”
When she does work with brides, Jennifer said she loves working with each unique bride to create a look that works with her and the wedding.
“I love working with a bride from the beginning and talking through her vision for her wedding, her dress, her style and of course her makeup and hair,” Jennifer said. “Talking about all the details helps me put together a style and often, a plan for bringing that style to life. We come up with a plan for skin care and hair care that ensures that she will be glowing and gorgeous on her special day.”
Jennifer’s number one piece of advice to brides? Getting together with a hair and makeup artist early. When Jennifer works with a bride from six months to a year in advance, she’s able to come up with a plan for skin and hair care and make adjustments before the wedding.
I highly recommend Jennifer to brides and anyone looking for a flawless look or hair and makeup advice and lessons — check out her site here and get in touch!
For the last four years, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to photograph all of you — and it’s been so much fun and so rewarding. Today, after finishing my busiest wedding season ever, I’m announcing …