April and Michael’s Wildfire Wedding in Bend, OR

wildfire wedding photosWith the news picking up the wildfire wedding photos, the last week has been a little more exciting than  life usually is. On Saturday, April and Michael’s wedding day started off like any other wedding as the two of them anxiously prepared for the ceremony, while friends and family put the finishing touches in place.
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Around 11am, a brushfire nearby turned into the Twin Bulls wildfire, but we had no idea that, later on, we were in for wildfire wedding photos.

wildfire wedding photos

But unlike other weddings, just as April and her dad were preparing to walk down the aisle, firefighters tending to the Two Bulls wildfire came up with sirens blaring and told them we’d need to evacuate. Seeing that the ceremony was underway, the firefighters changed their minds… as long as we promised to cut it short for the safety of everyone. April was able to walk down the aisle to Michael.

wildfire wedding photos

After a whirlwind ceremony, the two were happily pronounced man and wife!

wildfire wedding photosAfter the ceremony, while guests scrambled to relocate the reception to Drake Park in Bend, Oregon, I took Michael and April (who were just happy to be married) off to do some photos of the two of them. The results were more incredible than I could have imagined, and I’d never have guessed the quick photo I snapped with my iPhone (top of post) would go viral.

We caught some incredible moments that afternoon, and I love the way April and Michael grinned at each other, just happy to be married.

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The news, of course, is all about the wildfire wedding photos, but after 10 years of being a travel wedding photographer, I know the story is in April and Michael’s commitment to each other, and to their unflinching celebration of the life they have ahead.

wildfire wedding photos

I’ve lost track of all the links and places these photos have been featured, but below are just a few. Congrats April and Michael!

wildfire wedding photos

Abc-logo2NEW BH Logobuzzfeedlogoby daily newsCBS-Logo

“The most dramatic wedding photo ever.”

“The most dramatic wedding photo ever.”

Daily-Mail-Logo1digital photography school

“Real men get married in wildfires.”

“Real men get married in wildfires.”

huffington postimgur-logoinside editionlaughing squidNBC logonewphotogear1npr_logo_rgboregonian-logo2perezhiltonpetapixelRangefinder-logoslr lounge

“One take your breath away moment after another.”

“One take your breath away moment after another.”

stern magstuff

“These Oregon wildfire wedding photos are unbelievable!”

“These Oregon wildfire wedding photos are unbelievable!”

todayUSA todayvanity_fair_logo_detailyahooCosmoLogopeopleWash Post logo BlackFOX_logo

“The most moving wedding photos of all time."

“The most moving wedding photos of all time.”

“Most amazing photo ever.”

“Most amazing photo ever.”

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Remembering A Truly Incredible Man.

I will never forget the week that I got to spend with Stacy Taylor.

I had only heard stories about him from his daughter, Christianne, and a couple other of my really good friends. I don’t know if I can remember a day that I was with Christianne where she didn’t mention her father in one way or another. I could tell that they had a special bond with each other, and that Stacy was an incredible father to her. He gave her so much wisdom, insight, and love – and it was so apparent when you talked to her, you could tell there was something different and unique. I had a lot of ideas about him, needless to say, before I even met him and I always wondered what this man was like.

I went on a trip to help Christianne shoot a dear friends wedding in Texas and I got to stay with all of the Taylors for about a week. Staying with a family that you don’t know at all is always interesting. You never know what to expect as when you are with family, everyone is usually their full genuine self. You can’t hide the things you normally can around your friends and its much harder to “behave” properly. With the Taylors, however, their full genuine selves were something to witness. They immediately welcomed me and made me feel like I was part of their family. Inside jokes were passed, loving comments were made, and wonderful advice was given. I couldn’t do hardly anything more than just take it all in – I knew I was experiencing something grand and I wanted to remember everything I could about it. It may have been ordinary to them, but it wasn’t for me. Of course they still had their quirks just like every other family (I always find those qualities endearing as it means they are real, not trying to be someone they’re not), but God shown through all of them each in their own way and it was wonderful to witness.

I spent a lot more time with the whole family that week, but I can’t tell you how incredible the conversations were that I got to have with Stacy. We talked for over an hour one night at his ranch, and he asked me all kinds of hard and good questions about life and faith. We talked about raising kids and what it was like to have a daughter and son, what marriage was all about, and what following God meant for a man. It was a conversation that I’ll never forget and his words impacted my heart incredibly. You always want to believe that men like him exist, but until you get to experience it first hand, you don’t know where the bar is truly set and what God can do with someone. When you meet men like Stacy, you realize that the body of Christ exists for a reason and we are all here to help each other become more like our Father in heaven. He did that for me – I felt inspired and encouraged by him, I look up to him greatly for what he has done and was doing.

If you can, remember the Taylors in your prayers. Today is his memorial and I wish more than anything I was with them and the 1000’s of people that must have shown up for his service. It’s never going to be the same for any of their family and it’s so hard to understand death in this life – especially when it is cut way too short. Know that your legacy lives on, Stacy, and if I was changed by only knowing you in person for a week, I can’t imagine the impact you had on everyone around you and your family. You are missed, and I am excited to one day celebrate with you in Heaven. Thank you for your words, encouragement, and for showing me what a man of God looks like.
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Matthew Ridenour - Very powerful entry, Josh. I will pray for the Taylor family in this time of great loss. Stacy sounds like he was an incredible man of God – wish I could have met him.

Bobby Earle - Such awful news. Beautiful post. Praying for her and her family… :(

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Kony 2012 – Should we support the cause or not?

I’ve done about 8 hours total of research on this entire subject, and I think I have finally come to some good conclusions. I’ve read numerous reports and articles coming from both sides, and here is what I think. When presented with anything, it’s REALLY good to take a good look at both sides and see what the harshest critics are saying. Not only will it make you all the more wiser, criticism should help any company or non profit, whether said well or not. I’ve found most of the criticism uninformed, here’s why.

Is it a good cause?!

Overall, its a really good thing that they’re promoting. If someone came into my house, killed my brother in front of me, mutilated my face, and made me kill my parents, I would hope that SOMEone would fight for me and stand up for justice. If everyone I knew just sat back and watched, saying that if they were to help they’d be interfering with the “law,” that’d be a pretty sad society.

What about all the other evil armies and people in the world??

So, just in case you needed to be reminded, there is a LOT of evil in the world. Everywhere you go actually, you’ll find evil. People don’t like to see the world how it is and its filled with too many horrifically bad people to count. And just because there’s “far worse” evil things going on (even right now), does it make it wrong for ONE organization to go after ONE thing that really matters to them? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s our calling as humans to do such a thing. Because if everyone did something like Invisible Children is with the heart they’re doing it with, then the world would be a much better place.

What YOU can do.

Bottom line, if you don’t like the way they’re doing things, then go start a company or non profit that you think WILL do the right things. If you’re going to bash IC, then I hope you’re making a lot of effort to help the poor and needy. Because if you aren’t… then why are you complaining from behind your computer at all? Why say anything?

It happened so long ago, why bring it up now?

Just because this all occurred 20~30 years ago, the worst of it being 10 years ago, does that mean nothing should be done about it now? Sure, don’t paint Uganda as helpless and a horrible place – which the video imo doesn’t do at all. I’m going there this summer and I know it’s going to be beautiful on top of being safe! If we capture him and get him tried because of all this, I’d say that’s a huge success for Kony 2012 and Invisible Children.

I don’t like IC’s spending habits.

So if you don’t want to support Invisible Children with money, you want to give the money to a nonprofit that’s more on the ground. That’s awesome, you can still support their cause! Frankly, the $30 is worth it bc I don’t want to spend the time to print out all their pamphlets (which they’ve allowed everyone to download for free), but you actually don’t have to pay a penny to support stopping an evil person.

It reminds me of the quote… “It’s one small step for man, but one giant leap for mankind.” Hopefully this inspires many more to do similar things, with or without the 100 million views on YouTube.

What good does something like this ACTUALLY do??

At the VERY LEAST, I’m sure all of that time and research I put into this made me 100x more knowledgeable about the history of Uganda and whats been going on there. THAT my friends is immensely valuable – and if that’s all IC ended up doing for everyone that watched the video, that alone would be enough to call it successful.

At least we can ALL say we’re smarter than Rush Limbaugh. He said Obama sent in troops to Uganda to kill the LRA Christians trying to protect their country. Hahahaha….

 

Cory Phillips - I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all the facts and criticism too…great perspective

Daniel Leong - I just thought that I should point out something. Joseph Kony IS the #1 most wanted by the International Criminal Court on a global scale.

jim davis-hicks - I LOVE what you said here. It’s exactly as i feel. One BIG point I think to be made is that IC isn’t a relief org!!!!!!! If thirst relief raised money for water and spent it on Kony that’d be in question, but we don’t. We raise money for water and spend it on water. They raise if for awareness of KONY and the Invisible Children, and that’s what they spend it on!!!!!!

I am inspired and challenged to do a better job leading Thirst Releif! I say we push E Coli 2013!!!!! ;)

Jim

Megan - Brilliant, Josh! Excellent assessment. :)

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Fun wedding moments.

So my best bud and roommate Montana Dennis helped me shoot my last wedding in Yosemite. Well, his girlfriend Nicole caught the garter. And instead of cringing like most men, needless to say he was a little excited.

And then it was his turn to try to catch the garter. ALMOST got it, but the winner had a little help… he would have had it otherwise. Oh well, you just need one, right?!

Ma man.

 

 

Charen - These are some great GIFs(?) Allows you to see a brief glimpse of a joyous moment in time. Anyone who was there would probably agree, such talent in this! Santa Barbara is a great place to hold a special event like a wedding. I was just in a wedding in SB and it was so lovely. At the Canary Hotel, right on the roof. Couldn’t have asked for a better day to have a rooftop wedding too! I ended up staying at a much cheaper but great hotel; the Sandman Inn (www.thesandmaninn.com). Loved it!

vanda - What a great blog you have!! i am starting a photography course(already 2 months) and I am really enjoying it! Your photos are really inspiring, loving the wedding ones, great job!!!!!
Will follow you and find some inspiration!
Greetings from Greece!

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Seattle.

Enough said =)

A city where raw steel meet the pacific ocean, where steel planes fly along with the flight of nature. Love it here!!

Tim Newton - Love this shot!!! :-)

Sharmila - Oh, that’s such a beautiful picture!!!
The so-blue sky and the clouds look so heavenly!!

John - I have not been to USA, but some parts of it look beautiful. Especially this one that is captured by your very wide angle lens.

Is it a lens close to 180 deg (ie. close to fish-eye)?

JR - This is a great photo! I’ve wanted to go to Seattle so many times, but never made the opportunity. Did you take a ferry across to one of the islands?

Vin - i’ve been to seattle, just once though. :( i absolutely love it! i think i might just move there LOL! this is a great shot! loves it!

Papilio maackii - wow, really beautiful this picture’
love it :)

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