Sophia and Nate were married in Cottage Grove, Oregon and they wanted their sunset photos taken near Dorena Lake, in the area where Sophia grew up. The sun was almost behind the hills but I was able to get a few shots in before it disappeared. Using a combination of natural light and fill flash for those shots, I decided this was one of those times when using only the natural (ambient) light was the most pleasing.
The light in Bend is unique. Reminiscent of Santa Fe, the clear mountain air lends a soft, golden touch to everything, creating a warmth unmatched throughout western Oregon. As the sun set this wedding day, I had to grab the bride and groom and whisk them away for 30 minutes before the light went flat. My destination was a small pond at the edge of the groom’s family property, but this golden light, combined with the tall grass and the relaxed position of the bride and groom, had me shooting with my 70-200 mm lens even as the couple walked to the water’s edge. I added a slight vignette in post to accentuate the light on the couple. No flash was used in this image.
Most people aren’t used to be being photographed all day, let alone having an intimate moment while someone’s pointing a large camera at them. A number of years ago, while perusing the POTN site, I came across a post on some ways to make couples feel more relaxed around the camera. My favorite technique was a thing called the Kissing Game, wherein the photographer asks the groom to try and kiss the bride in her ear, and for the bride to resist as much as she feels like while not moving her feet at all. Then they switch it up. This makes for some great photos; the couple becomes focused on each other and totally forget I’m there, snapping away. In this photo, taken at Mt Hood Organic Farms, Allison and Jeff were completely caught up in the moment and I took full advantage, having already placed them in the most favorable lighting.
The Country Inn, located on Coburg Road just north of Eugene, is a fantastic place to get married. They have two separate locations on the property but this area is open to anyone. As I was staging Kris and Kevin by the willow tree the sunset suddenly came on strong and I was very happy I’d chosen this spot at this time!
Eugene Country Inn wedding photographer, Matt Emrich Photo