Professional Photographer Mai Duong, the most enthusiastic photographer you will ever meet.

Author Archive

Autumn Portraits with Fall Foliage for Otis the Dog

Last November, while I was back home in the Metropolitan DC area (Maryland!), I met up with Jesse, Emily, and Otis for the family photos.  We went to Manassas Battlefield Park in the hopes of finding some vibrant fall foliage.  Alas, most of the leaves had fallen, but we found a few trees had opted to hang around a little longer for us.  I’ll be heading to DC this weekend, hopefully some of those fall colors will be around!

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

Dog Family Portraits with Fall Foliage

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Mai Duong is a Portland wedding photographer, also based in the San Francisco, Northern California area. Originally from Maryland outside the Metropolitan DC, she enjoys flying home to visit and work. She is available for weddings in the United States and Europe. MaiCamera Photography focuses on photographic storytelling by capturing natural moments. For booking inquires or more information about portrait photography, please contact Mai.


Sneak Peek of Ben & Ellen’s Wedding at Immaculate Heart

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Ben & Ellen got married at Portland’s Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, possibly the cutest Catholic church I’ve ever seen!  Here’s some sneak peeks of their ceremony.  Photos of their reception at Melody Ballroom to come soon!

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

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Mai Duong is a Portland wedding photographer, also based in the San Francisco, Northern California area.  She is available for weddings in the United States and Europe.  MaiCamera Photography focuses on photographic storytelling by capturing natural moments.   For booking inquires or more information about wedding photography in the Portland area and beyond, please contact Mai.


Sunsets and Beaches for Ben & Ellen’s Portland Engagement Session

Portland Beach Sunset Engagement Session photo by MaiCamera

I’m looking forward to Ben and Ellen’s wedding that’s coming up THIS SATURDAY!  Hooray!  In also exciting news, I made a few GIF animations.  This is the first time I’ve made one during an engagement session, but a windy day, on the beach, proved to be a perfect occasion to try it out!

When discussing where to have their engagement session, Ben and Ellen mentioned “their island”.  Obviously, we had to go there!  We paddled out in Ben’s canoe along the Columbia River, and 20 minutes later, we arrived at their Island.  Sure enough, we had the whole island to ourselves to grab some fun shots around just before the sun set, and then until the last bits of light were still in the sky.

(more…)


Shepperd’s Dell and Bridal Veil Falls Elopement in the Columbia Gorge

Columbia Gorge Elopement by Oregon wedding photographer MaiCamera
Halie and Ryan came all the way from Kansas for the private elopement in the Columbia Gorge.  It was a low key, intimate ceremony taking place at Shepperd’s Dell.  With the sound of the waterfall right by them, they exchanged their vows and rings.  We then finished up their elopement with some portraits of the newlywed bride and groom, taking in all the beautiful sights the Columbia Gorge has to offer at Shepperd’s Dell and Bridal Veil Falls.

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First Ever, Bamboo Print Sale!

Travel and Wildlife Collage by MaiCamera Photography

For the first time ever, I’m selling my prints!  For a limited run, they’ll be printed on photographic lustre paper and mounted on beautiful bamboo boards.  Signed, numbered, and dated.  This is all to support Plywerk, the awesome local, green, bike-loving print company!

Gallery can be found here: http://maicamera.pixieset.com/maiart

But wait, there’s more!  There are two ways to save on these beautifully mounted Bamboo Wall Art Prints!

1.  Instantly save $100!  Promo code: 100BAMBOO (case sensitive)

2. AND, loan $50 to Plywerk’s crowd sourcing loan, and get an additional $50 off!

Just loan at their crowd source site, http://www.communitysourcedcapital.com/plywerk, e-mail a proof of donation to mai@maicamera.com, and you’ll receive a special coupon from me.

Promo code sale, as well as the crowd sourcing loan, ends on June 28th.  For those who loan to Plywerk’s loan, you’ll have until July 14th to place your order.  Print sale will end July 14th.

Former clients may place special requests to have their photos.  Just send an e-mail to mai@maicamera.com!

* * * * *

Mai Duong is a Portland wedding photographer, also based in the San Francisco, Northern California area.  She is available for weddings in the United States and Europe.  MaiCamera Photography focuses on photographic storytelling by capturing natural moments.   For booking inquires or more information about wedding photography in the Portland area and beyond, please contact Mai.


4 Tips to get the Best Group Photos at Your Wedding!

Wedding Group Photos by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

To me, wedding photography about story telling by capturing details from the wedding, as well as candid moments. However, my favorite part of the day to photograph happens to have nothing to do with storytelling, but everything to do with relationships: the family and group photos!

Wedding Group Photos by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

I enjoy the group photographs, whether you just have 3 groupings to photograph, or 20 groupings to photograph (which, by the way, is well above average). I just ask that we plan ahead, and give it the time it deserves!

Wedding Group Photos by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

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Columbia Gorge Elopement – Halie & Ryan, Married!

Columbia Gorge Elopement by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

Halie and Ryan are married! They flew in from Kansas earlier this week and enjoyed a trip to the Oregon Coast.  They also spent yesterday in the Columbia Gorge, where they came across Shepperd’s Dell, an awesome little nook of a waterfall, perfect for an elopement! They had a very, very intimate ceremony with just the two of them, the officiant, and a lovely waterfall (as well as me and the two required witnesses). More to come later, but for now, a sneak peek!

Columbia Gorge Elopement by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

Columbia Gorge Elopement by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

Columbia Gorge Elopement by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography Columbia Gorge Elopement by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

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Mai Duong is a Portland wedding photographer, also based in the San Francisco, Northern California area.  She is available for weddings in the United States and Europe.  MaiCamera Photography focuses on photographic storytelling by capturing natural moments.   For booking inquires or more information about wedding photography in the Portland area and beyond, please contact Mai.


San Francisco Log Cabin Wedding, Lauren & Kevin

San Francisco Log Cabin Wedding by San Francisco Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera Photography

Lauren and Kevin were married at the Log Cabin in the Presidio neighborhood with fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. Their wedding was a very personal wedding with a focus on their friends and family.

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Q & M’s Rocky Butte Engagement

Lesbian Couple's Engagement at Rocky Butte

Nothing beats a fun engagement session atop Rocky Butte than a super enthusiastic couple.  It was windy, and M almost flew away on a rainbow umbrella, but laughing, snuggling and goofing off was definitely to be had.  We ended the session at their home, and I had the privilege to watch them have a kitchen dance party to Pharrell’s Happy.  So appropriate for this pair.

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A Pre Wedding Shoot at Cannon Beach and Sentinel Hotel

Cannon Beach Pre-Wedding Portraits

Sunny Day, Purple Flowers, and Elegant Palace.  Those were the three dream components that William and Tran wanted for their pre-wedding shoot.  They dreamed up a portrait session of bright sunny beaches, guitar serenades, fun dates, purple flowers, and romantic evening palaces.  Amazingly enough, we got them all.  We drove away from rainy Portland, exited the forest, and found a sunny Cannon Beach waiting for us!  Along the drive back, we stopped at field covered with purple flowers, and ended at the Sentinel Hotel (formerly known as the Governor Hotel), who were really, really generous and kind to let us come shoot in their empty reception halls.

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Columbia Gorge Elopement, Sneak Peek for Jenny and Shawn

Columbia Gorge Elopement Wedding photos by MaiCamera Photography

Just Married, TODAY! Congrats to Jenny and Shawn! What a great way to celebrate Valentines Day! Here’s a sneak peek from their elopement out in the Columbia Gorge!

Check out the Sneak Peek


A Cannon Beach Surprise Wedding Proposal, Drew & Bridgette

Cannon Beach Surprise Proposal by Portland Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera

Drew and Bridgette drove in all the way from Idaho for a last minute weekend visit to Cannon Beach. However, Drew had a surprise up his sleeve as they played around on the beach. In keeping with their fondness for drawing pictures and messages in the sand, Drew popped the question with a simple “Marry Me!” message! She said yes, and he revealed his second surprise: inviting a photographer (me!) to photograph the proposal along with a portrait session for afterwards!

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Multnomah Falls Wedding Inspiration, Sneak Peek

Multnomah Falls Wedding Inspiration by MaiCamera Photography

I had the fantastic honor to photograph this amazing mock up wedding that Jackie of Cloud Nine Events put together at the Multnomah Falls Lodge.  Her vision was a dark, romantic, Victorian wedding, and she nailed it!  There’s more to come, but for now, I offer you a little preview!

Multnomah Falls Wedding Inspiration by MaiCamera Photography Multnomah Falls Wedding Inspiration by MaiCamera Photography

Check out the Sneak Peek


Angie and Norbert’s Golden Gate Park Engagement Session

Golden Gate Park Engagement Session by San Francisco Wedding Photographer, MaiCamera

When I asked Angie and Norbert what they like to do together, Norbert mentioned that he had a membership to the California Academy of Science.  So, when they suggested an engagement session in the museum, I was all for it!  We started at the California Academy of Science, exploring the entire museum, and then topped it off with a visit to the Japanese Gardens.  The Academy was such an awesome place to visit!

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Dang and Thao’s Engagment Session at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts Portrait

I met up with Dang and Thao for their engagement session at the Palace of Fine Arts, we hung around for a bit, and then headed north to Crissey Field for some beach and Golden Gate love. They were so much FUN.

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Adrian and Amber’s Black and White Themed Wedding

Portland Wedding Photographer, Embassy Suites Hotel Wedding by MaiCamera Photography

Brilliant and Wonderful!  Black and White!  Adrian and Amber had a fantastically classic wedding where everyone was encouraged to dress in black and white.  The wedding began with a ceremony at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and ended with a reception at the Embassy Suites Hotel.  At the reception there was a dessert bar (featuring B&W candies!) as well as a kids corner (for the awesome Kendal and her friends).  Friends and family celebrating and kids running around the dance floor (hey, it was a dessert reception), everything added up to good times for Adrian and Amber’s wedding day!

Photos will all be B&W for this post 🙂

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Pete and Niamh’s Wedding at St. Michael’s and Leftbank Annex

Portland Wedding Photographer, the Parks Blocks wedding portraits by MaiCamera Photography

Pete and Niamh’s wedding was awesome.  Beyond fun, but I may be biased as they’re my awesome friends.  Pete and Niamh came in from Phoenix, Arizona back to Portland where the two first met.  Their wedding started at the Church of St. Michael the Archangel and ended with a fantastic reception at Leftbank Annex.  There were plenty of loud cheers as the bride and groom walked up the aisle together and their reception was my favorite reception ever (I may be biased towards my friends).  There was delicious food (the delicious mashed potatoes had a delicious fried potato chip in it), great music (DJ Graymatter threw a good party), and most importantly, lots of awesome family and friends to celebrate with (again, I may be biased).

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Sneak Peek of Erin and Rick’s Rogue Farms Hopyard Wedding

Books, hearts, and laughter, lots of laughter!  That’s the summary of Erin and Rick’s outdoor wedding this past weekend!  Here’s a preview of their wedding!

Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard

Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard

Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard

Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard

A kissing book, for a boost.

Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard

Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard

And one last one…. because Erin is known for her no-holding back laugh, the laughter was non stop.  I loved it. 🙂

Outdoor Wedding at Rogue Farms Hopyard

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Mai Duong is a Portland wedding photographer, also based in the San Francisco, Northern California area.  She is available for weddings in the United States and Europe.  MaiCamera Photography focuses on photographic storytelling by capturing natural moments.   For booking inquires or more information about wedding photography in the Portland area and beyond, please contact Mai.


Erin and Rick’s Library Engagement session in Monmouth

Erin and Rick met while working at the University of Idaho’s library.  So, we saw it fitting to have an engagement session at Western Oregon University’s library.  Nothing like running around among the stacks goofing off with two librarians!

Monmouth Library Engagement Session

Monmouth Library Engagement Session Monmouth Library Engagement Session

I love that when I told them to walk through the stacks and explore, they genuinely pulled books out to look over.

Monmouth Library Engagement Session

Monmouth Library Engagement Session

Monmouth Library Engagement Session

Monmouth Library Engagement Session

Monmouth Library Engagement Session

Monmouth Library Engagement Session Monmouth Library Engagement Session

For their wedding, they’ll be having a book swap. I’m looking forward to it!

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Mai Duong is a Portland wedding photographer, also based in the San Francisco, Northern California area.  She is available for weddings in the United States and Europe.  MaiCamera Photography focuses on photographic storytelling by capturing natural moments.   For booking inquires or more information about wedding photography in the Portland area and beyond, please contact Mai.


Pete and Niamh’s Engagement Session at Red Rocks… or not?

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Pete, Niamh, and I had the awesome plan of using one of the mornings or evenings during a climbing trip in Red Rocks to do their engagement session.  After one day of climbing at Red Rocks I thought to myself… that engagement session was not going to happen.  To bring them so close to awesome climbing, and not let them climb?  That’d be impossible.

So this is how we spent their engagement photo session:

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

I’d say that was time well spent 🙂


Aemi and Daniel’s Engagement Session on Mount Tabor

Giant trees, a view of Mt. Hood, and an upbeat couple, what more could I ask for? A couple years ago, for Aemi and Daniel’s engagement session, we visited Mt. Tabor park. We went all over the place, I couldn’t get enough of it. The sky was clear and offered us a fantastic view of Mt. Hood, allowing me to take one of my favorite engagement photos, even 2 years later.

Mt. Tabor Engagement Session

Mt. Tabor Engagement Session Mt. Tabor Engagement Session
Mt. Tabor Engagement Session Mt. Tabor Engagement Session
Mt. Tabor Engagement Session


Sara and Dave’s Wedding at Oaks Pioneer Church

Sara and Dave had a rocking wedding.  No really, a rocking wedding with awesome music choices (the bride and groom walked up the aisle together to Billy Idol’s White Wedding).  They were married at the Oaks Pioneer Church in a really intimate ceremony with their kids standing by their sides.  After the ceremony, they headed over to MacTarnahan’s Brewery to rock the rest of the night away!

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography
Sara and Dave had a first look on the terrace behind Oaks Pioneer Church

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography
It might’ve been my favorite first look of 2012…

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography
It was one of those first looks where I stayed back, grabbed some photos, and gave them some time alone.

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography
I love the interior of Oaks Pioneer Church. It’s perfect for a small intimate wedding.

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Oaks Pioneer Church Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography


Why I like to Second Shoot/Assist for other Photographers

Photographing and assisting for other photographers is one of my favorite methods of learning.  All the workshops, books, and online resources don’t compare to working along side your peers.  Every photographer has their own methods, their own style, and their own personalities.  In 2012, I second shot/assisted for several different photographers, and I found myself not learning things about photography, but learning things about myself.

The biggest lessons I learned:

1. I am enthusiastic.
It may sound weird that I figured out my personality while assisting other photographers, but it’s true.  I realized I couldn’t be calm and sarcastic (and twice-my size).  It just didn’t work.  I’m small, hyper, and easily excited.  But, I can aspire to create as amazing photographs as others.

2. It’s okay that I’m enthusiastic.
While working with another photographer, he told me his exuberance and volume (think booming voice) were a few of his strengths.  I thought to myself… ding ding ding!  Enthusiasm is a strength, and I’ve learned to embrace it.


Nate showed me that it’s okay to be enthusiastic.

3. I love to know my couples.
As a second photographer, you don’t communicate with the bride and groom beforehand, which means you don’t get to know them.  This aspect of second shooting has often been the most difficult for me.  While traveling to a wedding, a photographer shared some background of the couple whose wedding we were photographing.  I soaked it all in.

4.  I am detail oriented.
Some photographers have all the information, such as schedule, wedding details, and family photo list. I thrive on those lists.  Other photographers don’t need the details and let the day unfold.  They even perform the family photos without a list.  Amazing.


A game I play is to try and get different angles for the photographer.  Here, Stephen was down below on the other side of the couple.

5. Everyone shoots differently.
I love to use artificial light.  Whenever there is an opportunity to observe photographers using flash, I study them up.  And so far?  Everyone has different gear and different methods.  When it comes to how people move, where people stand, what angles they like, everyone is different.  There’s no need to try and do something exactly like someone else.  Do what makes sense to you.


Nate asked me to shoot wide here, so I did.  Sometimes I get asked to shoot nothing but telephoto, sometimes wide, it all depends on what the photographer wants.

To the photographers who I assisted in 2012, thank you for letting me study you.
Chris of Becerra Photography
Craig of Mitchelldyer Photography
Dy of D. Leng Photography
Heather of Espana Photography
Nate of License to Still
Stephen of Remembrance Photography
Tara of Tara Francis Photography


MaiFebruary Video Show Reel

MaiFebruary… what a fantastic month.  Birthdays, Phung and Andrew’s wedding, a trip to Cabo, and lots of sunny days.  I was given a challenge for 30 days to bring my camera around with me and film every day.  At the end, I compiled the video clips together in a show reel that I’m very happy to share.