Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?
I have lived in Portland most of my life; Will grew up in Montana! After going to college in Idaho, we moved back to Portland in 2014.
What is your favorite thing about Portland?
There is something incredibly special about the support for local business here. I love that people prefer to eat locally, shop locally, and support their community. I feel like that is one of the defining traits that make Portland amazing is the enthusiastic support.
What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?
Solabee plant shop is probably our favorite; it has so much to offer visually and the staff is incredibly generous in their willingness to help you find the right plant for your home!
How long have you been working as a professional wedding photograp
We have been serving the Portland area since 2015, but Ellie started much earlier while attending college in Idaho.
We both have bachelor’s degrees in photography, and for us, it seemed like a no-brainer way to integrate our appreciation for art and our desire to serve others.
How would you describe the importance of your role and why do you feel a couple should hire a professional photographer for their wedding day?
I think people highly underestimate the role that a photographer plays in contributing to the mood and vibes of the wedding day. The photographer is going to be with the couple more than any other single vendor on the wedding day, so having someone who can bring a calming presence or a positive upbeat spirit during a day consisting of all sorts of different emotions and stressors is key!
What is the best part of your job?
Hands down, being let in on someone’s most cherished experiences. Being so close when photographing our subjects means we are witnessing something that is undeniably one of the highest points in their life. Knowing they trust us with something that is THAT big a deal to us is really incredible. Plus, it often leads to a lot of deep and real relationships with the couple long after the wedding! That is pretty awesome too!
What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?
I think I find it the most challenging when a couple or a family views a wedding purely as a series of events to get through, rather than a collection of moments that are going to be really special and meaningful with their loved ones. While we value every wedding we shoot, it’s a lot harder to convince someone else that a moment is going to matter to them when they just see it as a mundane task! Don’t care about a garter toss? Don’t do it. Don’t want bridesmaids? Include your friends in another part of the wedding! A wedding should feel like an event you are excited about, not a chore list.
Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?
We are a husband-and-wife photography team!
What do you attribute to your success as wedding photographers? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?
I think we are successful because we work incredibly hard to establish relationships with our clients before the wedding. We don’t just show up to your wedding; we take the time to get to know the couple intimately. We feel this establishes a genuine trust with us and a level of comfort that allows us to get those really natural candid moments!
At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?
We are usually one of the first vendors booked. Having a vision for the photography on your wedding day really helps you have that perspective of what kind of vendors you want to include! As weird as it sounds, if you start with the end in mind (such as a photo gallery or a wedding album), you are going to be able to have a really clear insight on what you want for the rest of your wedding!
Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?
It is hard just to pick one thing that we draw inspiration from! Portland has a lot of really great things going on that get us excited. On the one hand, we are super close to everything that is gorgeous in nature and that makes for deeply breathtaking photos, and on the other hand, there are a lot of really amazing things happening downtown with industrial weddings! I see the envelope being pushed constantly on how a wedding can be customized to the unique couple’s preferences, and that is incredibly inspiring to us!
What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?
I don’t think there is one specific question that makes a difference, but I think it is incredibly key that you take the time to really vibe with all your wedding professionals. Chances are, the more suited your vendors are to your personal tastes and personality, the better they will all work together! Who doesn’t want a dream team?!
What is your best advice for wedding clients?
This is going to sound cliche, but honestly, identify what matters to you and what doesn’t. Your day should be filled with the things you genuinely care about, and if you try to purely please everyone else, no one is going to be happy! The best way to ensure everyone has a great time is if YOU have a great time!
Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
We are probably the weirdest couple you will ever meet. We have an outrageous height difference and are obsessed with our dog. We are the perfect blend of professional-enough-to-meet-your-family and silly-enough-to-crack-a-million-jokes-during-our-time-together! We take ourselves seriously, but not TOO seriously.
All images courtesy of The Ashers