Portland Wedding Guide // Dylan M Howell
About My Photography
The aim of my photography is straight at the heart. I wan't you to feel the emotions you had on your wedding day when you see the images. I want to remind you how much you love your partner when you hold the photo in your hand or glance through them on your phone.
I hope that you see your true self in the images, that the real you is captured. It is important to me to make sure that your comfortable enough during the session that you can be yourself. That you can concentrate on each other and your love so much that you forget I'm there.
I'm very much interested in capturing the small details of your day, the story that shows your love, and the images that capture your friends and family as they get together in one place to celebrate your marriage.
Recent Portland Weddings
Wedding Planning Tips
There are two factors that I see most important during the wedding day, stress free experience and great light for the photographs you'll cherish forever. I take both equally serious during the day. I don't want to create a pressure situation during your wedding day in order to get great images. I see that the real importance in the day is from the irreplaceable gathering of friends and family.
After years of photographing weddings, I am able to capture a gorgeous set of sunset portraits in under 15 minutes, giving you a small break from the party, but not keeping you away for the entire night. My goal is to give you that refreshing alone time, let you both soak in the feelings of the day, and get you back to the people that mean most to you. This alone time is very important to some couples, even more so if you are on the introverted side.
I find it best to start with the sunset time on your wedding day and build the timeline from there.
I usually start covering the getting ready about 30 minutes before you're done with hair and makeup. After that is generally a first look, which takes around 15 minutes. We can then do bridal party portraits and immediate family before the ceremony. This usually takes around an hour total, depending on group sizes.
I like to finish any pre-ceremony photographs around an hour before the ceremony. This adds cushion to the timeline in case of any morning delays, it also allows you to be out of sight while your guests are arriving and for you to have this moment with your close friends and family.
After the ceremony, we generally take the remaining family portraits. I prefer for you to go straight to your cocktail hour at this time and to grab you during dinner for quick portraits closer to sunset. For a typical 8 hour wedding day, I'm able to cover from getting ready through the first half hour or so of reception dance coverage.
I don't usually recommend more than an hour of reception dance coverage, unless you have a special exit that you want documented.
Example 6 Hour day:
3:00 Begin Coverage, 3:30 First look, 4:00 Bridal Party Portraits, 6:00 Ceremony, 6:30 Cocktail Hour, 7:30 Dinner, 7:45 Portraits, 8:00 Sunset, 8:15 Speeches/Reception, 9:00pm End Coverage.
The light on your wedding day might be the last thing you're thinking about right now, but I can guarantee that is going to affect more than the photographs. In general, you need to think about where the light is coming from during the ceremony, especially if it is outdoors. You don't want it to be beaming straight into your eyes as you try to exchange vows.
My advice is to find a nice shady spot for your ceremony, this will allow for even light on you and your bridal party. If that isn't possible, try to have the sun behind the officiant.
I also believe you should push as close to sunset as possible, especially during the summer. Having a wedding ceremony at 3pm in August will generally mean sweaty guests, a lot of squinting eyes, and daylight dance party. Don't be afraid to start later into the day.
Portland Wedding Planners
I love wedding planners, at the very least for day of coordination. They will allow you to have a completely stress free experience. You don't have to worry about a single detail other than living in the moment and absorbing the beauty of your day.
Sometimes it is nice to take a quick drive from the hotel or wedding venue for a quick outdoor portrait location near downtown Portland. These are great for first looks, bridal party portraits, or portraits with just the couple. My favorites: Cathedral Park, Mt.Tabor, Hoyt Arboretum, Forest Park, and the waterfront.
Portland Hair & Makeup Artists
Wedding Dress Boutiques
The Wedding Judge, he's my favorite in all of Portland.
We Are Moving Pictures, They are a super easy going crew that puts out stunning films.
DJ Jimbo, his vinyl collection rules them all. He is the perfect mix of great dance grooves, old classics, and a great MC that will keep your party going with class.
Caterers + Food Trucks
Ace Hotel, Hotel Deluxe, Hotel Monaco, The Benson, and The Nines. Also, there are hundreds of great houses/condos available on AirBnb, let me know if you need help finding one.
Things to do in Portland
Your friends and family might need activities while they're in town, here are a few favorites: Go walk in Forest Park, rent bicycles and ride the waterfront, grab a coffee at Sterling Coffee and a pastry across the street at Ken's Bakery, go see the rose garden in Washington Park, go vintage shopping on Hawthorne St. or the Hollywood district, go eat at a food cart pod, check out OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science + Industry), or grab a beer at Ex Novo Brewery.
What to do when it Rains
Rain is almost always a possibility in Portland. Don't let it add stress, all of the vendors have worked in rain and will know what to do. I always recommend the Dark Skies app, it has up to the minute updates on forecast and radar maps. Have a back-up plan for your ceremony, just in case. Have a few umbrellas, the big see-through ones are great for photos. Don't be afraid to go play in the rain and embrace it.
Do you offer packages? My most popular packages are between 6-8 hours, I also offer many a la carte options: prints, albums, engagement sessions, etc.
How many images do you deliver? There are many variables, but generally around 100 images per hour.
Can I print the images? Yes! I give full personal printing rights with all of my images. You can also order professional prints through my online print store.
Do you take formal family portraits? Of course, at every wedding. These images are important to me and are 80% of the prints I'll see my clients print.
Do you edit all of the images? Yes, all of the images are edited for color and exposure to the same extent you see on my blog.
Do you retouch the images? Generally, no. I will remove permanent blemishes, but further requests are quoted at that time.
How do you deliver the images? I send an online gallery with full gallery download and individual image download.
Do you travel for weddings? I travel for the majority of my weddings, you can see that work here: Destination Wedding Photographer
Do you have a second photographer? In general, I shoot by myself. I offer them a la carte and recommend them if there are more than 200 guests.
Can we see a full gallery? Yes! I believe it is super important for you to look at full galleries. Send me an email and I'll get you a selection of gallery links.
Can we meet up? Of course. I think it is very important to get to know each other and see if our personalities are a fit before signing the contract.
How do we book you? I have a secure booking site that includes an online contract and payment through Paypal. Wedding retainer is $1500.
I grew up in the state of Idaho, racing motorcycles on the dirt and bicycles on the road in my spare time.
I moved to Portland soon after my first visit, the place felt like home. Having the ocean nearby was always a dream of mine and being near the mountains was equally important.
I’m a man of few words, yet big on adventure and for me great adventures always include others. The reason I shoot weddings is simple; I like good humans and being around them on one of their best days.
So let’s adventure together.