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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
I love that when I told them to walk through the stacks and explore, they genuinely pulled books out to look over.
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, 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:
I’d say that was time well spent 🙂
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.
I met up with Tracey and Kevin to shoot an engagement session, and they asked me if they could bring their puppy. Um, I believe my response was, “Yes, please!” So, please meet Rogue. She’s adorable, hyper, and can’t be kept away from her parents unless you like the sound of barking and yelping. She also gives lots of kisses :).
Stephanie and Dustin had their engagement session at McMenamin’s Edgefield. Fun fact: Dustin is a total golfer. Their wedding is going to be on a golf course AND he proposed to Stephanie on a golf course! They were on a vacation, when Dustin snuck the ring box inside the hole in one of greens. When asked to put the flag back in, Stephanie quickly placed it back without looking, prompting Dustin to mention that “there looked like was something inside there.” Obviously, she assumed it was a giant bug. He insisted she look again, and there was the proposal. A clever and creative engagement idea, Dustin!
The daffodils were in full bloom, so when we came upon them by chance on our way to the golf course, we grabbed some shots.
And, for total fun we had them do some cheesy “teach golf aka flirt” shots because you know she needed help with a putt that close.
While the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, Eric and I met with Renee and Hector to shoot their engagement photos. We walked along the waterfront and the steel bridge, and since the day was gorgeous, many other people had the same idea. Still, we were able to get Hector to loosen up to the camera, and avoid the crowds.
P.S. Renee is absolutely gorgeous.
Eric and I met with Kim and Falsto at Simon and Helen Director Park in downtown Portland for an engagement session. We initially chose this location due to the large glass awning that would cover us from the rain, but the day turned out to be sunny. Hooray!
Director Park is just one block of area, but it’s got some nice backdrops with benches, a fountain, and a large courtyard space. We’ll be keeping it on our list for potential “outdoor rain locations”.
Eric and I met up with Erica and Brian at Portland’s Salmon Spring Fountain for some urban nighttime photos. We brought around a bunch of umbrella lights, but as a challenge to myself, I chose to not use flash. All these photos were taken with the available street lighting.
PS. Erica and Brian are the cutest couple ever.
A while back, I met with Jen and Paul at McMenamin’s Edgefield. It was a day where it was supposed to be raining all over Portland, all day. Somehow, we lucked out and found the only 2 hours where it wouldn’t rain. We started off around the buildings of Edgefield before they switched outfits and we went into the vineyards. I had a lot of fun, especially since I got to wear Paul’s cowbay hat (I was a stand in for an unavailable coat rack). Trying to take a photo while balancing a large hat to keep from falling over your eyes wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be. Anyways, they’re an awesome couple, and I look forward to photographing their wedding next March on the coast.
We met with Jammie and Jordan at the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park… not to be confused with the Rose Garden Stadium!
Met up with Rachel and Po at Cross Park, which turned out to be a pretty cool park. We managed to get down towards the water to take a bunch of photos on the rocks, before heading back up to take some more shots along the trail. It was a bit cold in the shade, and it was especially cold when I slipped and fell in the water. Luckily, only one leg went in about 1 ft.
Eric and I met up with Nick and Jessi at Hillsboro Skate World for some fun and funky (Jessi’s words) photos. I’d been apprehensive about the whole idea because the rink was dark and crowded. But, low ceilings turned out to be a great flash diffuser and chasing down the couple (on wheels) was pretty fun. I was on portrait and detail duty, so I kept the 105mm on most of the time. In the end, Skate World turned out to be loads of fun, for families and photographs. There were dining booths, photo booths, arcade games, neon black rooms, and, of course, the roller rink!
This weekend we met with Dan and Anna at Portland’s Central Library to take their engagement photos. Anna was the one to come up with the brilliant idea of using the Library as a setting. The engagement shoot ran longer than planned due to how great the library turned out and also due to our success at the secret second location (I had a blast playing spy).
Last weekend Eric and I met with my friend, Sarah, and her fiancé, César to take engagement photos for their wedding invitations. We took a few photos down by the water with Portland’s downtown across the river, but quickly had to admit defeat to the cold and rain. (FYI, Eric does not like taking photos in the rain). Instead, we went inside McMenamins’ Kennedy School for some fun pictures. Thanks guys for braving the cold with us!
This past weekend, we met with Becky and Sam at their wedding venue in Aurora, Oregon. The event space is still in the works for being converted to a wedding venue, but we were able to goof around with things there. Sam was a joker, grabbing all the decorations for props, and Becky was a trooper, sinking into the wet ground in high heels.
We didn’t tell her Sam had put on the hat, and when she turned around to look at him, she showed no sign of surprise. Guess she knows what to expect of him 🙂