Portland Oregon Romantic Styled Elopement

As a budding business owner, I had SO many questions. How do you start?  Should I have a website?  Should I have two Instagrams or one? How do I show my work when I don't have any work? Are hashtags spammy or could they really help me connect me to my ideal clients?  I could blow all my saved pennies for a million different things like advertising, gear, software, etc... I wanted to start off on the right foot so I chose to invest in affordable education - a workshop!  

But which one? I knew I wanted the opportunity to meet other creatives in the area and possibly make some friends along the way.  I also looking for the opportunity to take photos of an elopement that would showcase my work in an area I wouldn't otherwise get to shoot as a newb.  So after some late night Googling and a couple fat pours later, I chose a styled shoot workshop put on by SueBlue Events and Dawn Photo.  Manda Worthington, owner of SueBlue Events is probably one of the most creative, genuine, and down-to-earth beautiful humans I've met.  You must go check out her Instagram for loads of inspiration.  Her style is unrivaled.  Also, if you're wanting to learn how to create killer, feature-worthy content, her workshops are seriously legit. You won't be disappointed, trust me on this one.  Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my photog/adventure inspiration Dawn Piebenga.  Just flipping through her Insta is a little adventure itself.  She's always headed to the most epic places. I should warn ya that when you scroll through her IG...you're likely to get a case of wander-envy. So good! :)

They say: only show what you want to shoot.  Well, in my case, my passion is intimate wedding ceremonies and adventure elopements.  Trust me on this one, you can wander the Pacific Northwest forests for days, and you're probably not going to stumble on an elopement or a wedding.  And if you do, it might get weird if you start taking their photos.  So if you wait around for a random person to invite you to shoot their nuptials, you'll likely never get your business rolling.  That's where styled shoots come in. It's a little bit faking it until you make it, but its a lot more of show casing your abilities in a session that you normally wouldn't be able to shoot daily.  It sets the stage for your ideal clients to find you and trust your work.  This workshop filled me with so much content, it allowed me to take the photos I want to produce everyday, and I met some pretty incredible women.  I laughed so much - my cheeks are still recovering.  Besides all the knowledge nuggets, the main take away here is that collaboration is the new competition.  I was able to network with some other budding boss ladies and I am excited to collaborate with them and help promote all their unique talents.  

The styled elopement photo shoot part of this workshop would NOT have been nearly as amazing if it weren't for Chelsie and Todd.  Chelsie and Todd are madly in love newly weds.  They recently married in Mexico and their main dish for the event was tacos.  Because why not? When in Mexico... eat tacos and drink margaritas!  Before this photo shoot, I didn't know them at all but turns out, I didn't need to.  They made me feel like an old friend right away.  Towards the end of the shoot, they invited me to help them eat all the yummy props and share the bubbly. These guys are legit Pacific Northwest wanderers to the very core.  If you're looking for some wanderlust inspiration and real life love, check them out! And if you're looking for model babes for a collab, Chelsie and Todd are beautiful inside and out.  As we were shooting, aside from the ten other photographers in the room, when I looked through my viewfinder, I began to forget that this was a styled elopement.  They're just thaaat good. The only thing I regret is not staying longer to eat a piece of their "wedding" cake!!  And I should mention these guys are sooo much more than beautiful faces, Todd's biz, Shelter, is doing some really exciting things.  If you love travel-inspired handcrafted design & builds, take a peek at what he's been up to. 

I had the best time at this workshop.  Who knew learning could be so fun?  And making like-minded friends could be so easy?! If you are loving what you read and see in the gallery, here is a list of all the talented people that came together to make all this happen: