The White Barn is located on the out skirts of Nampa, Idaho is a relatively new wedding venue in the Treasure Valley. It’s attracting brides and grooms with styles ranging from country western to BOHO. Indoor or outdoor events can be accommodated.
Rustic venues like this one have been in high demand the last few years and those of us in the event industry are excited to welcome the White Barn to the wedding community. It has the charm of a rural setting but is only a short distance from a number of hotels and restaurants. A plus for out of town guests wanting to stay close to modern conveniences.
Amber & Jarod are Idahoans at heart. They enjoy the outdoors, country music, rustic decor and being surrounded by their favorite people. When they noticed an old barn being renovated around the corner from their house…. they knew right away it would be the location of their upcoming wedding.
They were particularly impressed with the “getting ready” areas. The brides room is not only spacious but has a large mirrored wall, perfect for pre-wedding hair and makeup. The entire brides room contains feminine touches such as the plush purple couch and the clean white walls.
The grooms room on the other hand is very manly. The dark wood of the barn remains, giving this space a cigar store type feel. The groom and his groomsmen can enjoy the liquor cabinet, pool table and card table while waiting for the wedding day to start.
Wedding Day Details
Amber created all of the floral bouquets herself in addition to constructing the centerpieces. Jarod is a woodworker and his contribution was building the head table and a few other decor items.
If you love the mountains and you’re planning a wedding… you’ll want to check out these photos. This just might be the perfect wedding venue for you!
No Business Lodge
Nestled in the mountainside just outside of McCall Idaho you’ll find the little venue called “No Business Lodge“. The scenery surrounding the property is breathtaking. The lodge itself sits on top of a hill looking down to the river and across to the nearby mountain range. In the evening, guests can enjoy the soothing sounds of chirping crickets, the smell of fresh mountain air and picturesque sunsets.
About the Couple
Katie and Joey have both served in the US Military and met each other while enlisted. Each has been deployed at one time or another. In fact, Joey had just returned from Bahrain a few weeks before their wedding.
Although both are currently stationed back east… they had decided they wanted to have a destination wedding in the mountains of Idaho.
The First Look
With so many breathtaking views, it was hard to decide on the best spot for their first look. In the end I decided on a nice little secluded spot right below the venue. It allowed guests to watch from afar and also allowed the couple some privacy and a look down to the gorgeous scenery.
After their first look we started walking around the venue, capturing shots around the property. This venue has so many pretty nooks and crannies for photos!
I love how Katie and Joey kept the decor and their wedding colors simple. It allowed the scenery to take center stage.
Congratulations you two! It was a gorgeous wedding and I know your guests had a wonderful evening. One they’ll be talking about for years to come.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked how long I’ve been a photographer. What I can tell you is I’be been asked far more times than I can count. Typically when asked, I throw out the elevator pitch of “I’ve been taking pictures since I was a kid… but I’ve only been a professional for about 18 years”. This short explanation is so much faster than telling the whole story. I do however know a lot of you are curious. So, for those of you who would like to learn more, keep on reading, the full story is below.
The Beginning – Montana Girl
In elementary school, I went on a cross country trip with my grandparents to Massachusetts and New Hampshire to visit family. At the time it was a huge deal. First of all… I had convinced my grandma somehow with cute smiles and batting eyes that she should take me with her. You know…because I was the cutest grandchild ever! Or so I thought. To my surprise she bought me a ticket! The next thing I know this little Montana farm girl, who was only about 10 at the time, was riding on a plane for the first time and seeing her first big city… Boston.
My mom decided to send me off with a camera in hand. It was a cheap 110 camera. In fact, I actually still have it. My Aunt Carol drove my grandparents and I around Massachusetts and New Hampshire visiting all kinds of historic sites. I took pictures at all the places we stopped. I’ll be honest, the photos were HORRIBLE. I mean horrible! As in I can’t believe my mom paid for the film and processing! Most of the images were a big blurry mess of objects. I didn’t hold the camera steady and I often was to far away from the subject matter. More often than not, you couldn’t even tell what I was trying to photograph.
Although my parents and I held a stack of blurry photos in our hands, my my mother noticed something. Even though the majority of my photos were HORRIBLE, she felt I had an eye for subject matter and most of all I enjoyed taking photos. (I started taking photos around the ranch when we got back)
The following fall I enrolled to take photography as a 4-H project. Let me stop here for a moment. For those of you who think 4-H is all about raising animals and baking cakes; you’re wrong!
My Learning Years
I completed the first year of the photography project and continued onto level 2. Around this same time my mother started entering my photos into various fair competitions. I usually did “OK”, I won a ribbon here and there. At some point a local photo enthusiast (I don’t remember who) saw my images in the fair and told my mother she should push me a little harder. This person felt I had talent and told my parents they should consider buying me an SLR to learn the in’s and outs’ of photography. My Dad had an old Yashica 35mm rangefinder camera in the closet. Leftover from his days in the Navy. He took it out one day and started showing me how to focus the camera and load the film. The 4-H books taught me the rest. Shutter speeds, f-stops, film speeds, composition, on camera flash and so much more. I guess you can say I was hooked. It all made sense to me. It just clicked!
By the time I was in high school I had taken multiple levels of photography in 4-H, was entering photos in competitions and was the a photographer for the school yearbook. In addition I was working a variety of “odd job” photography gigs within the community. If I remember correctly my first semi professional photo gig was to take photos of all the grand prize large animal winners at the county fair for the local extension office. Within the next few years the local newspaper hired me to cover the entire week of the fair as well. I took photos of most of the 4-H grand prize winners plus sewing, cooking, quilting, swine, rabbit, chicken, steers… whatever they asked me to photograph. All those photos were featured in the local news paper and my name was listed as “photographer”. At the time, I was thrilled. My involvement with the local paper grew. If my school and extra corricular activity allowed, I also photographed sporting events for them.
Right around my junior year of high school is when I began photographing portrait sessions of friends. Prior to this… my sister was my favorite model and primary test subject. Although I was mostly shooting senior sessions of friends… I was getting paid for my talent.
I’m not sure off hand if I was in middle school or high school… but at some point I set my mind to being a professional photographer. In the beginning my dream was to be a portrait photographer. I never considered other possibilities/niches within the profession until going to college.
In college, I was drawn to documentary work and upon graduation, I had an idea in my head that I wanted to work on large, in-depth photo essays. Maybe something such as National Geographic.
A Professional Career Is Born
Straight out of college, with a B.A in hand, I was trying out a variety of jobs within my field of study. I could be found working a number of part-time jobs and any given time. I was a freelance photographer for local newspapers and magazines, worked in 3 different photo labs that I can remember, sold cameras, and even worked for various local portrait photographers. In the end, my bills needed to be paid and I realized I wanted something a little more stable than freelance work & part-time gigs. It was during this time that I remembered how much I enjoyed photographing people. Slowly I let the freelance work drop off and I began to only focus on portrait work.
Since this progression back into portrait photography, I’ve worked for other photographers in addition to starting my own portrait studio. Time spent with other business owners has taught me both what to do and what not to do with my own business.
Leap Photography was officially established in 2004, not long after my move to Boise. Up until about four years ago, I ran the business out of my home.
My husband and I own a 1917 craftsmen home in Boise’s West Downtown neighborhood. The house is perfect for just the two of us… but not large enough to have a separation of business and home. My poor husband was getting kicked out of the house more often than not because of my client appointments. So….with much hemming and hawing… I finally moved the business out of the house. My husband now has a home to always come back to, where he knows he won’t be walking in on my business appointments and I can now relax at home and keep work at the office…. well, for the most part.
Nowadays I photograph weddings, event, and portraits of all kinds. My studio is located in downtown Boise but I’m frequently found throughout the treasure valley on photo shoots.
I’ve recently picked up some personal photography projects that lie within the “fine art” realm of the craft. You can check out some of my non-portrait work by either jumping on over to my Etsy Shop or dropping by one of my “First Thursday” open houses.
So that’s my long story in a nutshell. I hope I didn’t bore you too much, but 30+ years of photography experience is a lot to cover! — Brenda
Wedding days are always filled with such joy, but I find this especially true when photographing an elopement. In most cases, the number of people in attendance is very few and the couple is just so excited about their special day.
Alaska to Boise
This couple flew into Boise from Alaska just to exchange their wedding vows in front of a very select group of family and friends. Including the couple, there were only 11 people in attendance… myself included.
They met in Alaska, but neither had family there. Plus… they wanted to go someplace a bit warmer. So, they opted for Boise. A place where some family members now live.
Vows were exchanged in Marianne Williams Park in east Boise. It was a sunny but windy day. The groom’s father officiated the ceremony while family and friends witnessed the event.
The vows were short and sweet, but not lacking in heartfelt statements of devotion.
After The Ceremony
Immediately following the elopement ceremony the couple and I started with a stroll through the park to capture images. We then moved onto downtown Boise, taking photos in both the Julia Davis Rose Garden and the Idaho State Capitol area.
Choosing a wedding photographer can be a stressful endeavor…especially if you know nothing about photography. Speaking from personal experience, I know all the choices which need to be made for a wedding can be overwhelming and you can have a tendency to doubt yourself on every turn. So in regards to wedding photography, where do you start? My #1 suggestion is to choose a professional photographer. One who has photographed a number of weddings and is familiar with the ins and outs of a wedding day. You will definitely want to review portfolios from at least 2 or 3 photographers before coming to a final decision on who you trust to document your special day. A seasoned professional will be able to show you at least one, if not more wedding albums from one entire wedding day. If the photographer can only show you one or two images from a wedding… this is usually a sign the photographer has little, to no experience photographing weddings.
This is your big day and you want to remember it forever. You don’t want to cringe every time you look at your photos. You will pull out your wedding photos in the future to reminisce about your big day. These wedding photos will also be passed down to future generations and one day become family heirlooms. Don’t leave this important day to a friend or an amateur. Make the investment, hire a professional wedding photographer.
5 Reasons to choose a
professional photographer (even if it isn’t Leap Photography)
1) Qualifications: A professional photographer has an artistic and technical knowledge of photography. A friend or family member may be able to photograph a pretty landscape, but can they handle the technical lighting difficulties that may arise during the course of a wedding? Professionals not only have an understanding of light but the ability to create unique lighting to enhance you, the bride and groom.
2) Experience: Professionals are experienced in all the events of a wedding, including problems that can and do arise during the course of the day. They know how to guide and direct large group formals with tact and professionalism while dealing with the general chaos of a wedding day. All the while, still capturing your future family heirlooms.
3) Equipment: A working professional brings an arsenal of equipment with them to capture every aspect of the ceremony and reception. A seasoned pro won’t leave home without a full set of back up cameras and supplemental lighting choices.
4) Creativity: Because pros come with years of experience and hundreds of weddings under their belt, you can be assured to receive a variety of great shots to choose from, not just one or two nice shots from the entire day. Professionals are visual story tellers. All events and details of the day will be captured for you to relive for years to come.
5) Photo Editing: Great photo editing is essential. Pros go beyond just taking the pictures and handing you a disc. The computer is the new darkroom for photographers and all working pros have top of the line software to edit and manipulate your images. Pros edit out blinks or poor expressions as well as complete enhancements on photos. This is all done before you ever see and fall in love with your images.
Yes, a professional may be more expensive; but is your once in a lifetime moment worth the risk of poor quality images?
Fall weddings, I just love to photograph them! The rich color palettes, cooler weather and beautiful sunlight make any wedding held at this time of year especially gorgeous. This wedding was extra special because Andrew and Meagan live in Hawaii, but chose to travel back to their home base of Idaho to celebrate with family and friends.
Andrew and Meagan exchanged their wedding vows on September 23, 2017. They chose Still Water Hollow as their venue because it paired perfectly with the vintage theme they had selected.
The Still Water Hollow property is host to a number of rustic cabins, an old church, an old barn and a newly built event center. A large pond with Koi and ducks is also located on the grounds. This facility is perfect for both indoor and outdoor weddings and it lends itself to pair perfectly with couples looking for either a rustic or vintage theme.
Andrew and Meagan used vintage touches all throughout the venue for their decor. This extended from their choice in table linens to the vintage furniture found throughout the Still Water Hollow grounds. Their choice in floral design was gorgeous… to say the least. This couple, used a combination of succulents, roses and luscious greenery to create a vibrant color palette. The floral arrangement were a feast for the eyes and my camera!
Andrew and Meagan included nods to family and tradition throughout the wedding day. Jewelry passed down through generations was included in addition to vintage lace table linens and specially made wine goblets. Plus, they displayed photos of family members who are dearly missed through out the venue, making it feel as if these individuals were with the couple on their special day.
Thanks Andrew and Meagan for selecting Leap Photography as your official wedding photographer! I feel truly blessed to have been a part of your special day.
Hannah and Justin’s wedding was held last August, at Honalee Farm Event Center. For those of you who have never been to a wedding or event at this venue, you’re missing out. The property is gorgeous! The grounds include luscious landscaping, a pond with water features, a gazebo, ample parking and of course the event center itself. All of this is conveniently located just off of Highway 44, a few miles east of Star Idaho. It’s a quiet and serene location, perfect for almost any event.
Hannah & Justin
Hannah & Justin are not only head over heals for each other, but they share a great love for the outdoors. Their love of the nature includes spending time with their four legged friends. They own a few acres just outside of Boise. On this property you will find a few of their horses and goats… along with other few other furry friends who also call the property home.
Choosing an outdoor venue such as Honalee Farm Event Center was a priority for this couple. Hannah and Justin wanted their country style to shine through not only in their choice of wedding venue, but the decor, attire and colors they chose as well.
As you’ll notice from the photos… sunflowers and cowboy boots were the theme of the day! The color palette included splashes of yellow and blue, along with linen fabrics as an accent. All these details led to eye popping colors which stand out in their wedding photos!
This couple is loved by many. The bridal party alone included 10 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen. Then add on their family members and numerous friends who were in attendance… you have yourself a celebration!
Thanks Hannah and Justin for selecting Leap Photography as your official wedding photographer! I had a blast getting to know you and now consider the two of you friends. It’s not every day that I meet such kind, caring people. You two are one in a million and I count myself as blessed for having crossed your path.
Want to see more photos of Hannah and Justin. Click the word engagement to view photos from their outdoor photo session… which included a few of their horses.
This blog post is all about some headshots I took for Aviation Specialties. Their two founding owners were in need of up to date professional portraits. They had been notified their company would be being featured in an upcoming article in Vertical Magazine. The publication was requesting current headshots of both owners… to accompany the article.
Aviation Specialties contacted me, inquiring if I was up to the challenge. The challenge being two fold. One, did I feel comfortable photographing each individual inside the helicopter hanger. Preferably with the helicopters some how incorporated into the images. Challenge two, neither of the gentleman in need of portraits, wanted to have their photograph taken. In fact, they were already “grumbling” quite a bit about the idea. Did I think I could handle a few gentleman not eager to have their portrait taken. I said heck YES, I was totally up to the challenge!
For those of you who are not aware of what Aviation Specialties does… they specialize in aviation products. They design and sell a variety of products, including night vision equipment and tactical helmets. Pilots throughout the world use their products. They are leaders in their industry and they just happen to call Boise, Idaho home.
The images posted below are just a few of those selected as favorites by “Aviation specialties”. In fact, you’ll find the tear sheet from the magazine article at the bottom of this post. It highlights a few of the images taken by Leap Photography.
Weddings do not always need to be large elaborate affairs. For many couples, a small gathering is what is desired. In these situations a friends gorgeous backyard or a local park often end up becoming the wedding venue of choice.
The couple featured in this post hosted a perfect example of what a small intimate affair can look like. Jim & Julie decided to exchange their wedding vows at Wild Rose Park, located just outside of Emmett Idaho. Jim and Julie wanted only those who meant the most to them be a part of their special day. Therefore, they only invited their family and very close friends. In total, there were fewer than 40 people in attendance.
This event was the definition of intimate… right down to their choice in an officiant. Jim and Julie chose their friend and church pastor to preside over the ceremony. His sermon in addition to the heartfelt vows exchanged by Jim & Julie created an emotional wedding ceremony.
Once the ceremony had concluded the crowd gathered together for one large group photo (see below). After this formality, the crowd moved to the opposite side of the part to celebrate. Jim & Julie brought in a taco truck to provide food for their guests and had refreshments on hand. Everyone in attendance gathered together, enjoyed the cool evening breeze and enjoyed their time together.
I for one immensely enjoyed photographing this event. It was an enjoyable way to spend a weeknight evening. I met great new people, spent some time in the park and got to do what I love. Plus, I photographed a milestone in someones life. I helped create memories at this wedding… and this is what my job is all about! Helping my clients tell a story, with high quality photos. Photos, which one day will become your treasured family heirlooms. ~Brenda
Got a wedding photography checklist started? If not, you should. And the first item of business you need to add is :
Attend A Bridal Show
I’m bet you are asking yourself…. isn’t going to a bridal show a waste of time? I mean….I have Google.
I know it seems as if sitting in front of your computer and using the power of “Google” is the way to go…. but I assure you it is not. Yes, you can gather a lot of great ideas and pin them to your Pinterest boards… but I assure you, nothing, absolutely nothing beats the experience of meeting your potential vendors in person. In addition you can see, smell and taste all the different products vendors have to offer. Think about it…..will your web browser let you sample a piece of wedding cake, feel that gorgeous silk linen you’ve had your eye on or touch and feel a wedding album that a photographer such as myself has on display?
In addition, attending a bridal show is a great way to gather creative ideas and to ask local vendors questions not only about the services they offer, but their opinions on other wedding topics. For example, you could walk into the Leap Photography booth, browse through my display albums and see a photo with floral arrangements you just love, or see photos where the guests are having a great time at the reception. If you asked me… I’d be able to tell you who the florists or DJ were for those weddings. Attending a show is a great way to learn from the collective experience of the vendors. We’ve been to a lot of weddings, seen a lot of DJ’s in action, tasted many cakes, and worked with many different coordinators. Basically, we’ve seen it all and can give you our opinion on what does…. and what doesn’t work.
OK, I’m in… when is the next bridal Show?
Leap Photography will be at two bridal shows in the month of January. I encourage you to come to at least one of them… if not both. Some vendors are only in one show, and others you’ll have a second chance to visit.
The biggest show here in the treasure valley…THE WEDDING PARTY SHOW is quite large. It is a 2 day show which gives you the opportunity to go back a second time if you feel like you just couldn’t get through it all. There will be over 100 vendors in attendance plus a number of fashion shows will be held throughout the two days. You will want to budget ample time to collect brochures, talk to vendors, taste samples and watch the runway shows. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get the information you need plus gather the verbal information you may be in search of. You don’t want to feel rushed.
The….. IDAHO WEDDING EXPERIENCE is the next largest show in the valley. This one day show packs a lot of punch into 5 hours. The show is slightly smaller than the one held in Boise earlier in January. It will have over 50 vendors in attendance. Like the Wedding Party Show, this show also has a number of fashion shows and is a great place to sample food and talk to vendors. I suggest showing up earlier in the day so you can soak in the experience.
What should I bring?
1) Someone who you value their opinion.
Ask your fiance to come along….but don’t fret if he declines. Guys just don’t get as excited about wedding planning as we do. I definitely suggest asking your maid of honor to come along with you. It’s helpful to have a second pair of eyes. Also if you have family members you would like to invite…do so.
2) A large bag to throw collected brochures and business cards into.
3) A list of items you really need to look into for your wedding
Like going to the grocery store……it’s easy to get sidetracked while at the bridal show. If you’ve already done some wedding planning, you will want to bring a list with you to help keep you on track.
4) 2-4 sheet of labels which include the following:
A number of vendors will be giving away door prizes. You wouldn’t want to miss your chance to win something and you certainly don’t want to spend to much time writing this info down.
5) A pen/pencil + a pad of paper.
It’s helpful to write down notes about specific things you liked about one vendor or another or products you want to research more…. while you are in a vendors booth. You will gather a large amount of information while at the show. The notes you make while in attendance will help you remember specifics about vendors and products after the show.
6) Your smart phone
Take photos of all the cool ideas you find at the show. You can come back to the images later when you need inspiration.
7) A comfortable pair of shoes.
The show is quite large and you will be doing quite a lot of walking. Comfy shoes are highly recommended.
8) A check book and credit card
If you find a a must-have product or service and you want to book it immediately… you’ll need to have some form of payment with you…..and not everyone takes plastic at the show.
A lot of first-rate services such as photographers, florists, and venues book quickly, so you may want to reserve their services with a down payment/deposit at the show. Some vendors also offer “show discounts” if you book with them while at the bridal show.
Most Important Tip
Now that you have all the information on how to attend a show…. the most important advice I can give you is to have fun! Planning a wedding can be stressful enough. Don’t turn the show into a miserable experience.
The bridal show was designed to not only be a great way for you to gather all the information you need under one roof…..but to be fun as well. So enjoy your day at the bridal show! Taste the cake samples, the mini quiches over at “XYZ” catering and learn a new line dance with one of the DJ’s. You’ll be glad you did.