Archive Page 2


A Winter Wedding at Mountain Springs Resort

Michael & Kelsie wanted a small & special wedding near Leavenworth; they could not have picked a more wintry and beautiful setting.  Mountain Springs Resort hosts weddings all year round, catering to a wide variety of special events.

Mountain Springs Resort, winter Weddings

Sleigh Ride

Kelsie wanted an outdoor wedding even though this was in the middle of December.  It was going to have special challenges with the ceremony and small reception, to say nothing of just getting there.  Taking a sleigh ride to get the ceremony site was the first challenge.  And it was snowing,–really snowing!  The middle of the afternoon was fading into the late part of the day, with no clearing in sight…

Winter wedding Mountain Springs
Going to the Ceremony

The sleigh horses were gentle giants, the snowflakes were wet and growing, and the groom was wanting to get on with the wedding!

Kelsie at the Sleigh

The site selected, the ceremony officient makes the event happen with ease, and good humor, even as the snow flakes grow more numerous.

Kelsie & Michael's Ceremony

 They off to the barn shelter for a few pictures, before getting back on the sleigh.

Escaping the Snow

A first married moment  outside, looking for a kiss…

Looking for a kiss in the storm...

Then Michael and Kelsie go off  to their dinner with family & friends, to the Brown’s Family Homestead, a pioneer cabin not far away from the Resort…

On the Sleigh at the Wedding


Kelsie’s Best Friends at the wedding


 The flowers and rings–drying out at last..

Flowers and Rings

A champagne toast…

A Toast...

...For Two!

And the Brown’s Homestead becomes a cozy retreat for snowy wedding night!

The cozy Brown's cabin offers shelter from the Storm, on the wedding night!


This Time, My Wedding is Going Be Different…

A recent bride/client of mine came to me with a comment:  “My first wedding we did all the wrong stuff:  the endless posed and trite pictures of dozens of groups, my hair in a huge set of curls that took hours to complete, a three foot high cake with 10 pounds of frosting, a two minute ceremony with no real content, and  the obnoxious loud DJ.  This time we are going to do it different.”

This time our wedding is going to dwell in the moment.  We are going to surround ourselves with family & friends and honor them.  They have come long distances to be with us.  We want to create a special place for them, where they can form a circle of warmth around us.  We want to look into their faces and hear their voices.  We want to be serenaded with their instruments, and listen to their song. We want to listen to their stories about us, their joyful toasts, and their dreams for us.

Gathering in The Quail Room

We want a simple wedding, a meaningful wedding.  We want our pastor friend  to officiate, and to talk with us, not just “marry us.”  We want our fathers to bless  us, join us and bless us in their own way.  I want my mother to be taken care of, and not work all day!  We want a remote very private location, with great hospitality.  We will have just our closest family & friends, and we want them to be with us for not a couple of hours, but a couple of days.

We will have a great feast after the wedding; we will sample the richness of the local harvest.  We will have a diversity of foods for the diversity of our friends.  We want to have the best chef in the village, listen to our ideas, and create a special meal event that will not be duplicated for anyone else .

We will have photographs of the events of the day.  All the special unique things  that are not documented on other days. Before the ceremony, we will explore the surroundings of the venue, and take time with each other.   We want the ceremony, and reception visually documented, so that the pictures can be keys to remembering all the little things.  We want the children in our lives to be in the photos, so that they can be frozen for  an instant, being children.

And we want to have photos just of us, alone, showing our love and joy of each other.  We to be natural, not posed, not styled, and prompted, but encouraged to be ourselves, so  that our children can see us and understand us forever…


Is Your Wedding First Class?

Is Your Wedding First Class?  Does  going “First Class” get you a better wedding  than going “Coach Class,” or maybe something else…?
Some scenes:  “First Class”

You are treated with very professional care.  You have experienced and polite vendors, in expensive & spacious surroundings for the wedding and reception.   You have comfortable seating and white linens for the table.  You have real metal silverware (not plastic) and real glassware (not plastic.)  You have knowledgeable stewards for the extensive  beverage list, and steaming hot entrees served in a multi-course dinner.  Your wine glass is never empty, and you are not rushed through the events of the day.  The flowers are fresh from the florist. The cake is huge, and fully decorated with your favorite colors with an elaborate topper. The DJ is energetic  and funny. The music is swinging, and the lighting ambiance is just right for the dance that continues sweetly into the night.

But how about Coach class?

In coach, you are surrounded by professionals also.  However, they may be attending to others in the same general area–you only have your allotted time until the next event takes place.  The venue may be a bit more crowded; after all your wedding will have lots of kids and families visiting. It is way less expensive, and there may be music and food smells wafting in all day from the other receptions happening nearby in the same facility.  The halls have limited space, so the clothing and baggage may have to be put in piles in the back room since the closet is filled to overflowing.  You dine off of paper plates and eat with plastic forks and spoons.   CDs are popped into the boom box or I-pod, and occasionally the songs get played in the wrong order.  But you are having fun, and the money you saved by flying “coach” is going to come in handy when you and your beloved go on that dream honeymoon.

For a few, there is always the “Private Jet “ Wedding:

Of course, Daddy owns the jet! The destination is an island, or a castle, or a yacht in the Caribbean.   The food, the wine, the entertainment is  flown in, or arrives by sea, or even is grown in the vicinity. Everyone is there– your cousin has  brought your favorite orchestra in from L.A., and your  dress is an expensive copy based on your grandmother’s full gown from the Forties…The guests indulge themselves for the 3 day event, floating on the nearby rivers.  It is a Paradise on earth.

Blog: Is your wedding First Class?

Bavarian River House

Carving Your Own Way:

This is a different way.  It’s a bit like a canoe trip; or a caravan of touring vans.  You create your own trip paddle to the destination with a lot of work, and invite the spirit of your family and friends to sculpt your dreams.  You find your venue in your best buddy’s back acres, in the local grange hall, or in a vineyard gifted to you by your dad’s best friend for the weekend. Your best friends make your dress.  Your mother makes the cake.  Your fishing friend delivers the king salmon to the chef.  A thousand paper cranes are made, weeks in advance, by your sisters and girlfriends. Chalices are created by your local potters and glazed with your names.  Processional music comes from your dad’s guitar or your fiancé’s heart and voice.  The guest list is full of the family and friends  who mark milestones in your life.  Stories are told and best wishes are given.  The recessional becomes a dance, inviting everyone into it.  The first waltz is played by your uncle and best guitar-playing friend. Torches are lit, and carry the light of a hundred smiles into the night air.  You have created a fantasy out of your own reality, and you are brought into the swirl of the event by the love of  the people who surround you.  It is a hand woven wedding, a gift from all….red tail farm

My point of this exercise is that everyone can have a great wedding, and you don’t have to have anyone tell you that it has to be a certain way.  You can make do on any budget and in any location.  Just be brave and listen to yourself, your fiance and your closest trusted friends.

And do choose the right photographer, who can cover all the above options, and help you out with a few new ideas:  Icicle Valley Photography 509-679-1789 or e-mail at


Of Babes, Brides and Barbie’s

Isis is Her Name

In a singular moment, the call comes: “We had the baby! Isis is her name, and it is time to make the photos.”  Only a few days old little Isis arrives in the studio with a happy, but weary mom, and a radiant dad.  “We found some leaves on the way down the canyon, and we thought these could be in the pictures.”  


Isis--At Thirteen Days

Luckily, I had set up the lights and done some testing the day before, as well as found an appropriate table, cushions and soft drop clothes for backdrop.   What I did not count on was Isis’s short  attention span — a 13 day old does not have much patience  for the rest of the world. The time that we had was measured in seconds, not minutes and hours. We took breaks for food, rest, and attitude adjustment.   Fascinated with the bright lights, with Mom’s embrace, and in Dad’s large hands, Isis struggled through the shoot; the star of the show got increasingly bored with our infatuation of her.  After all was done, I realize that I am thankful for quick digital cameras, the speed of flash lighting, and a great family.

A Traditional Wedding

Tara & Kris had a traditional wedding for their special day at Mountain Springs Lodge  in Plain, Washington.  They had a gorgeous sunny day, and the evening winds did not blow enough to disrupt the ceremony.  Mountain Springs had exquisite service as usual, and coordinator, Jamie Newell, carefully helped the party to create a relaxed and meaningful time, sequestered in the quiet valley.


Tara & Kris

A relaxed, private moment after the ceremony is over…. 


The View of the Valley from the Reception

Not Really a “Barbie”

Heidi loves the Cascades, having grown up spending summers at Holden Village, near Lake Chelan.  Heidi wanted her senior pictures to be taken with a mountain scenic background behind her.  So she planned a trip, with mom, over the mountains to have her photos taken. 


Heidi on the banks of the Wenatchee River


Leavenworth was perfect for scenic backgrounds; we have plenty of rivers and mountains, woods and rustic bridges!


We started in the parks near downtown Leavenworth, visited the old steel bridge in Tumwater Canyon, and ended up near a fishing pond close to town.  As with all teenagers, she wanted lots of pictures.   She is not really a “Barbie,” but she does have the classic looks with long blonde hair, and a gracious smile.



The Theraputic Touch

Just a few images can set the standard for a business that is in the health care industry.  Such is the case for the Therapeutic Touch Day Spa, at the Icicle Inn in Leavenworth, Washington.  Dr. Chandra Villano, new owner of the business, wanted to have images that portray the sense of warmth, caring and professionalism.   IMG_1786

Chandra and myself planned a few shots for her soon to be  upgaded web site at the Best Western Icicle Inn.  We had only a few hours to photograph the facilities in between client schedules.  Getting the lighting set right was crucial for the ambiance  of the business. 

A photographer has a responsibility to understand the client needs, and to devise a visual strategy to make this work.  this applies to commercial work, as well at weddings, portraits, and documentary projects.  To the extent  that a photographer has the visual empathy for the client, the work may have success for communication, sales, and great memories.IMG_1664-Edit

May 2020