In April, I traveled to Cannon Beach, Oregon for a couple of workshops. I just felt like it was time to get away, and ignite some creativity. After a long, increasingly drab winter in Chicago, the West Coast never sounded so good.
My Journey to Cannon Beach
As expected, it was pissing down rain when I arrived so, after grabbing my Turo rental car (which, side note, resulted in a whole big thing, and I don’t necessarily recommend Turo) I immediately made a detour to REI and bought a new Gor-tex to protect me from the elements. Best decision ever. I would’ve been cold, wet, and miserable without it. Then I headed to Tolovana Inn in Cannon Beach, keyed up my Oregon playlist (yeah, I make road trip playlists) and, later on the drive, listened to My Favorite Murder, Oregon episodes.
My Favorite Murder
Any Murderinos reading this? Because…. Look. Listen. I’m pretty sure I broke a lot of Georgia and Karen’s rules (both stated and implied) on this trip. I may have hiked alone in the woods. I may have driven past a roadblock to do so. I definitely didn’t have cell service while hiking. I stayed in a room that was joined to another room by a door that didn’t completely lock. I also accidentally called a police officer “babe,” which is not a pet name that I ever use, except maybe with friends who know that I’m being heavily ironic. So, yeah. I uh… I don’t know what happened there. But, the point is, I Stayed (maybe in the right lighting) Sexy And… Didn’t Get Murdered!
Anywaaay, Oregon was exactly the trip I needed – I love the wind and rain, and empty beaches, I love the giant trees, and how everything is green. I love the salty smell of the air, and the delicious micro brews. Cannon Beach was a fantastic home-base – if you ever go, be sure to check out Insomnia Coffee Co. for a perfect Americano, Lazy Susan Cafe for breakfast (get the quiche), Mo’s for fish and chips, Warren’s Pub for a brew, and definitely peruse both bookstores (I love how this little town has two of them!). If I’m being honest, writing about Cannon Beach makes me wish I were there right now.
And, as if all that wasn’t enough, the workshops were amazing too! Thank you to Nicola Dixon, who hosted, and all of the attendees, including amazing special guest photographers, Anni Graham, and Dawn Charles.
Hannah (@hannahfuzzell) and Grant were our beautiful couple for the first workshop, and they absolutely killed it. For our first session, Hannah had her makeup done by Portland Makeup and Hair, and they got into their wedding best, and we followed them around Hug Beach and Ecola State Park in the freezing rain. They were shivering and soaked to the bone.
At one point, I insisted we go back to the Airbnb to warm up because I was afraid she’d become hypothermic! Ah, the things we’ll do in our early 20s….
I was so impressed when they came back out with us to Indian Beach in the afternoon for this lifestyle shoot. Thankfully, this time she was able to wear a sweater!
(A quick aside for the photographers out there: I think it’s good to get out from behind the camera and talk to the people you’re working with (not just direct them). Even if you’re in the zone and capturing pure gold, just check-in once in a while and make sure everyone is okay. Sometimes you get so focused on getting the shot that you forget that your subjects are not props, but actual humans.)
Oregon Wedding Photography
I can’t wait to post more from my workshops in Oregon. Ken and I spend a lot of time on the West Coast – it is one of our favorite places – and I really hope to shoot some weddings and engagements out that way, so please get in touch if you’re interested. I would love to go adventuring with you!