Interview and Give-Away with Photographer Kamirin Couch

I’m very excited to be sharing this interview with my friend and photographer Kamirin Couch of Crooked Stream Photography. She is a professional photographer who has done several lovely photo shoots for us!


Tell us a bit more about yourself. In three sentences—who is Crooked Stream Photography?IMG_0156-1Photo by Kathrina Bisceglia (All other photos by Crooked Stream)

I love life, and have had a deep appreciation for the beauty of life ever since I was very young. I loved capturing once in a lifetime moments in every way I could, and I soon discovered that a camera was one of my favorite instruments to use for recording life. That’s how it all began!

What is your background in photography?


When I was 11, I would take pictures of every beautiful thing I came across with a point-and-shoot camera, when I was 15 I photographed my first wedding with a Canon 20D, and today I’m still that same girl- taking pictures of every beautiful thing I come across- except I’ve gained a lot of experience from it and a Canon 5D mkII.


What is your favorite aspect of shooting a wedding?IMG_1116-1

The emotion! Wedding photography is set apart in a really unique way by this factor. There’s something deep about an emotion-filled photograph, and with weddings, it seems like everywhere I turn there are deep moments to capture. I love seeing families re-unite, the twinkle in the bride’s eyes, the laughter, the groom watching his bride walk down the isle, and the teamwork and fun times with everyone there… I love being a part of it all… And when I realize that I am holding the tool that will be recording these once in a lifetime moments, it’s the most amazing, thrilling, and scary thought in the whole world. It’s once-in-a-lifetime, it’s priceless and I love it!

About how many weddings do you photograph a year? How does your profession integrate with your life?


A few years ago I started shooting more and more weddings, and then realized it started to become too much: it encroached upon life in general, and started to become the “old grind” and the “art” part of it began to slip away, when I wanted to keep that element intact more than anything! So, I’ve cut back to only shooting a few weddings a year. It’s not any “less” work-it’s just more concentrated work; so I can focus more on the few jobs I do have, produce quality above quantity, and have a little extra free time for other important things in life.


What tips do you have for brides planning their wedding day? Should the photos be before or after the wedding? What kind of shots does the bride need to plan out?IMG_8748

One of the most important things to plan is TIME for photos. Just because you schedule a lot of time for pictures doesn’t mean you will be standing in front of the camera for 4 hours, but what you’re factoring in: is that Uncle Tom might arrive 2 hours late (it’s happened), or groomsmen will have to go fetch forgotten ties (that’s happened too), or the fact that herding groups of people just takes time. Think of it as a nice “insurance” to have as a buffer time for unexpected occurrences. It really cuts back on stress… Which brings me to the second question-doing photos before the ceremony seems to cut back on stress as well. I’ve done photos before and after the ceremony, and “before” always seems to yield the best results. First of all, you have everyone freshly ready, looking their best and not yet lost in the crowd of guests. Second, I’ve noticed the bride and groom relax so much more (it shows in the photos) when they’ve been able to see each other before the ceremony. Thirdly, doing photos before the ceremony makes it so the VIP’s are free to mingle after the ceremony and you don’t have to take them away from the guests. As far as planning shots, your photographer should provide you with a “shot list” that you can customize (by adding to or taking away). If there’s a shot that’s really important to you, be sure to write it down so it doesn’t get forgotten. Lastly, talk with your photographer about a photo schedule (add more time to it than you expect to use) and before the wedding day tell/email your wedding party and family where the photographer expects them to be and at what time, and you should have the show on the road! Enjoy it!!!

In addition to weddings, what else do you photograph?

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My natural bent is definitely people- I love portraiture, telling stories with photos, and working with people: families, seniors, babies, engagements- all stages of life. Although, recently, I’ve done some construction photography and promo shoots for businesses, and I enjoyed those jobs as well.

How can people book you for a photo shoot?

Now for some fun stuff:

1: Do you prefer movies or books – or neither?IMG_8442

Books. I love paper!!! I rarely sit down long enough to finish a book (or movie), but if I do, you will usually find a “how-to” book in my hand.


2: If you could pick, what three places in the world would you visit?

Scotland, all 3 times. Ok, ok… I would choose Ireland and England after Scotland.

3: What is your favorite sport?

Does tubing behind a skiff (in Alaska) in a lifeboat count? It was so much fun! I don’t think I’ve ever screamed as loudly as I did then. Friday night Basketball with friends and family is pretty fun too. J

4: Is there another photographer or artist who inspires you?

Yes! I have incredible artists as friends who constantly inspire, encourage and bless me! Chimera Singer is a photographer and friend who I love hiring to shoot weddings with me. Sara Boggs is also an artist and friend who recently introduced me to these AMAZING travel watercolor brushes that every traveling artist should buy:

5: After a long day on the job, what is your favorite way to relax?

I love to eat after a long workday, because I usually don’t eat very much when I’m in work mode. I also love to look at my photos on my laptop (no matter what time it is) because I can’t relax until I do! I also might play my fiddle if no one is asleep. J

It’s been lovely getting to know you better, Kami! And be sure to check out Crooked Stream Photography here!

And now….to enter the giveaway!  The prize will be a framed scenic photograph by Crooked Streams Photography. Comment once for each thing that you complete. Think of each comment as a raffle ticket.  The more comments you have, the more chances of winning!  The drawing will be June 18, 2014.

1. Read this post completely

2. Follow Crooked Stream Photography (or let us know if you already do!)

3. Follow our blog (or let us know if you already do!)

4. Like us on Facebook (or let us know if you already do!)

5. Share about this give-away on your Facebook page, blog, Google+ or other social media. (One comment for each place you share it!)



Wedding Wednesday | Sulamita Church

My wedding season opened with a gorgeous ceremony at the Sulamita Slavic Church. It was a new experience for me to be unable to understand a word of the service except for a single prayer that was said in English! I have seven more ceremonies currently booked for the summer, so check back for more vendor and venue reviews.

I’m super excited about an interview and give-away slated for next Wednesday, so check back then!

IMG_0261 (800x600)The Sulamita church is available to rent for all weddings and special events. The sound man was very nice to work with and the stage lighting was expertly handled. The main advantage to this church is it’s huge size – I would estimate it can seat up to 800, although I wasn’t able to get this number confirmed.

~ Quick Look ~

Location: 20575 NE Sandy Blvd, Fairview, OR 97024

Pros: Can accommodate a large number of guests

Cons: May appear overly large for a small wedding


Wedding Wednesday | The #1 Wedding Processional

So what is the number one wedding processional? You guessed it! Pachelbel’s Cannon in D!  My mom walked down the aisle to it…my friend had it played when she birthed her children…it can often be found and relaxation CDs with ocean sounds in the background…and somehow it never looses it’s charm.

This beautiful piece of music just sounds like a wedding ceremony! It isn’t too fast or to slow.  It is sweet and gentle, without being overly dreamy.  Since it is a cannon, it has an 8-chord pattern which repeats throughout the song, making it easy to come to a graceful conclusion as soon as the bride has reached the end of the aisle.

Most often it is used as the processional for the bride, but it can also be used for the bridesmaids, particularly if the bride wants to come in to the second most popular wedding processional (which we’ll talk about next time!). As you listen to it, note your reaction. Are you bored, or drawn in? Do you roll your eyes at the classical sound, or does it make you think of white dresses and flowers? It is all about what starts your emotions rolling!

Does it make a difference to have live musicians play it?  If it repeats so much, surely it could be faded out on an iPod.  

Of course it makes a difference!  Live musicians can add a fanfare at the beginning to let everyone know it is time to stand for the bride. (Something you won’t find on recordings!) Or if it is being performed on the harp, a swirl of dramatic glissandos can announce the bride before the harpist launches into Cannon in D!

Trying to remember what Cannon in D sounds like?  Click below to hear a sample of our arrangement!

Whispering Roses: Canon in D

If you actually want to have this song at your wedding, you might not want to watch the video below by the Piano Guys. It certainly gives the music a fresh twist!

Wedding Wednesday : 4th Street Brewing Company

Tonight I attended the Northwest Wedding Pro meeting at the 4th Street Brewing Company. We met in one of their two private upstairs event rooms. The spread of hor d’ oeuvres was excellent and the room was elegant and comfortable. Noise from the restaurant below did drift up, but it was not loud enough to disrupt our meeting.


The Ale Room can accommodate up to 48 people and can be set up a variety of ways. It is more closed off from the main restaurant, and would make an ideal place for a business meeting or wedding rehearsal dinner!


We met in the Lager Room, which can accommodate up to 90! The set-up is open and it is an excellent choice for a reception or larger party. Catering starts at just $8 per person and goes up from there.  4th Street does not cater outside their building, but they do sell kegs of their home-brewed beer.

~ Quick Look ~

Location: 77 NE 4th Street, Gresham, Or

Accommodates: up to 90

Pros: Excellent food and great location

Cons: Somewhat noisy open room (large room only)

Wedding Wednesday | Portland Catering Company

I’ve had several chances to sample the cooking of the Portland Catering Company, and each time it has been delicious!  I first tasted their food when we both had booths at the Rose City Bridal Showcase. They had an extremely popular chocolate fountain, along with other delicious appetizers.

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One of the things that sets Portland Catering Company apart is that they prepare the food on site. The difference of freshly prepared food is noticeable! They are the exclusive caterer for the Pacific Crest Grand Ballroom, so I had another chance to enjoy their menu at a wedding professional event that took place there. Portland Catering Company offers a variety of menus and seasonal dishes to suit your wedding style and budget needs. They also offer a beverage catering, and company catering, so take the time to browse their website and see what they can offer you!

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~ Quick Look ~

Pros: Freshly prepared food, varied menu choices, casual and formal catering

Cons: none I’ve experienced

Wedding Wednesday | The Aerie at Eagle Landing

Recently I played for a wedding at The Aerie at Eagle Landing and found it to be a lovely setting for any special occasion!


The Aerie at Eagle Landing is a beautiful golf course located in the heart of Clackamas. It is available for weddings and other special events. The Aerie offers a several locations for your event, including a big tent outdoors and an indoor ballroom.


The indoor ballroom is a perfect back-up plan if it rains on your special day; however, it also provides a lovely indoor setting for the reception or a winter event.  And if you happen to get married on one of our hot days (like the day I played there!), your guests will appreciate the indoor coolness as well!


The semi-permanent tent structure provides insurance against our Portland rain, while still offering the charm of an outdoor setting.


It was a lovely day for a wedding!

~ Quick Look ~

Location: 10220 SE Causey Avenue Happy Valley, OR 97086

Accommodates: up to 250

Pros: Indoor and outdoor options, golf course can be a part of the event

Cons: Not as much of a view as I would expect from a golf course

Wedding Wednesday | Cornelius Pass McMenamins

A couple of weeks ago I got to play harp for a wedding at the Cornelius Pass McMenamins, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to review this lovely wedding venue. I have played at both the Grand Lodge and the Edgefield McMenamins before, but Cornelius Pass has a special rustic charm that set it apart!

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The wedding took place in a secluded section of the grounds.  Fortunately, the weather was perfect, so I didn’t need the tent that McMenamins was holding in readiness against the possibility of rain!

IMG_0495 (800x598)  I loved the idea of having all the guests sign a tree instead of a guestbook!

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There were charming nooks and crannies for the wedding photos!

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The most unique aspect of the Cornelius Pass McMenamins is the Octagonal Barn. This historic structure is very rustic inside – with rough wooden floors and open beam ceilings, but paired with formal cloth covered tables and candles the effect is stunning! I definitely recommend checking this one out!

~ Quick Look ~

Location: 4045 NW Cornelius Pass Rd, Hillsboro, OR 97124

Accommodates: 400, but property-wide arrangements can be made for up to 1,000

Pros: Unique setting, indoor and outdoor options, large and small weddings can be accommodated, venue can provide chairs, tents etc.

Cons: multiple weddings taking place at once, food and beverage purchase required

Wedding Wednesday | The Portland Rose Garden

{We’ve played music for a lot of weddings – so here on Wedding Wednesday we will be discussing all aspects of a wedding, from from food and location, to music and dress. Let us know what you want hear about!}

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In the Rose City of Portland roses don’t just bloom in June! In the International Rose Testing Garden roses bloom from June through September. Founded in 1917, it is the oldest garden of its kind in the United States.  Quaint pathways wind through numerous kinds of roses, and there are several lovely spots for a wedding!

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The Shakespeare Garden contains many plants and flowers mentioned in his plays, as well as roses named in his honor.

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The Shakespeare Garden can accommodate about 75 people, however due to park regulations only 12 chairs can be used, with placement being limited to the hard surface areas.  The rest of the guests can stand or sit on the lawn, so this venue is best for shorter wedding ceremonies.

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The Gold Medal Garden is a prime choice for a small, intimate wedding; especially as it has a gazebo in case our Portland rain decides to make your wedding memorable! It can accommodate 25 guests, with up to 6 chairs allowed.

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Even in the rain, roses are beautiful!

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An outdoor wedding I played for in September in the Gold Medal Garden.

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Always take time to smell the flowers!

~ Quick Look ~

Location: 400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Accommodates: up to 75

Pros: World-class roses provide natural beauty, inexpensive

Cons: Guests must stand, no reception facility, no indoor option

~ the Second Rose