Professional Photographer Mai Duong, the most enthusiastic photographer you will ever meet.

Posts tagged “Wedding Photographer

Sneak Peek of Ben & Ellen’s Wedding at Immaculate Heart

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Ben & Ellen got married at Portland’s Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, possibly the cutest Catholic church I’ve ever seen!  Here’s some sneak peeks of their ceremony.  Photos of their reception at Melody Ballroom to come soon!

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

Portland Catholic Church Ceremony by MaiCamera

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Mai Duong is a Portland wedding photographer, also based in the San Francisco, Northern California area.  She is available for weddings in the United States and Europe.  MaiCamera Photography focuses on photographic storytelling by capturing natural moments.   For booking inquires or more information about wedding photography in the Portland area and beyond, please contact Mai.

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A Pre Wedding Shoot at Cannon Beach and Sentinel Hotel

Cannon Beach Pre-Wedding Portraits

Sunny Day, Purple Flowers, and Elegant Palace.  Those were the three dream components that William and Tran wanted for their pre-wedding shoot.  They dreamed up a portrait session of bright sunny beaches, guitar serenades, fun dates, purple flowers, and romantic evening palaces.  Amazingly enough, we got them all.  We drove away from rainy Portland, exited the forest, and found a sunny Cannon Beach waiting for us!  Along the drive back, we stopped at field covered with purple flowers, and ended at the Sentinel Hotel (formerly known as the Governor Hotel), who were really, really generous and kind to let us come shoot in their empty reception halls.

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Pete and Niamh’s Engagement Session at Red Rocks… or not?

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Pete, Niamh, and I had the awesome plan of using one of the mornings or evenings during a climbing trip in Red Rocks to do their engagement session.  After one day of climbing at Red Rocks I thought to myself… that engagement session was not going to happen.  To bring them so close to awesome climbing, and not let them climb?  That’d be impossible.

So this is how we spent their engagement photo session:

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

Engagement Climbing Session at Red Rocks Nevada

I’d say that was time well spent 🙂


Aemi and Daniel’s Engagement Session on Mount Tabor

Giant trees, a view of Mt. Hood, and an upbeat couple, what more could I ask for? A couple years ago, for Aemi and Daniel’s engagement session, we visited Mt. Tabor park. We went all over the place, I couldn’t get enough of it. The sky was clear and offered us a fantastic view of Mt. Hood, allowing me to take one of my favorite engagement photos, even 2 years later.

Mt. Tabor Engagement Session

Mt. Tabor Engagement Session Mt. Tabor Engagement Session
Mt. Tabor Engagement Session Mt. Tabor Engagement Session
Mt. Tabor Engagement Session


Why I like to Second Shoot/Assist for other Photographers

Photographing and assisting for other photographers is one of my favorite methods of learning.  All the workshops, books, and online resources don’t compare to working along side your peers.  Every photographer has their own methods, their own style, and their own personalities.  In 2012, I second shot/assisted for several different photographers, and I found myself not learning things about photography, but learning things about myself.

The biggest lessons I learned:

1. I am enthusiastic.
It may sound weird that I figured out my personality while assisting other photographers, but it’s true.  I realized I couldn’t be calm and sarcastic (and twice-my size).  It just didn’t work.  I’m small, hyper, and easily excited.  But, I can aspire to create as amazing photographs as others.

2. It’s okay that I’m enthusiastic.
While working with another photographer, he told me his exuberance and volume (think booming voice) were a few of his strengths.  I thought to myself… ding ding ding!  Enthusiasm is a strength, and I’ve learned to embrace it.


Nate showed me that it’s okay to be enthusiastic.

3. I love to know my couples.
As a second photographer, you don’t communicate with the bride and groom beforehand, which means you don’t get to know them.  This aspect of second shooting has often been the most difficult for me.  While traveling to a wedding, a photographer shared some background of the couple whose wedding we were photographing.  I soaked it all in.

4.  I am detail oriented.
Some photographers have all the information, such as schedule, wedding details, and family photo list. I thrive on those lists.  Other photographers don’t need the details and let the day unfold.  They even perform the family photos without a list.  Amazing.


A game I play is to try and get different angles for the photographer.  Here, Stephen was down below on the other side of the couple.

5. Everyone shoots differently.
I love to use artificial light.  Whenever there is an opportunity to observe photographers using flash, I study them up.  And so far?  Everyone has different gear and different methods.  When it comes to how people move, where people stand, what angles they like, everyone is different.  There’s no need to try and do something exactly like someone else.  Do what makes sense to you.


Nate asked me to shoot wide here, so I did.  Sometimes I get asked to shoot nothing but telephoto, sometimes wide, it all depends on what the photographer wants.

To the photographers who I assisted in 2012, thank you for letting me study you.
Chris of Becerra Photography
Craig of Mitchelldyer Photography
Dy of D. Leng Photography
Heather of Espana Photography
Nate of License to Still
Stephen of Remembrance Photography
Tara of Tara Francis Photography


Ra and Nin’s Traditional Cambodian Wedding

One of my favorite things at a wedding are multicultural ceremonies. I may love them more than roasted potatoes at a wedding (is that even possible?). Ra and Nin had a traditional Cambodian wedding with four main ceremonies, and each one was fascinating to see.

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Groom’s Processional
The groom and his entourage came bearing gifts to the bride’s home. Upon arrival at the home, gifts were presented and rings were exchanged. Ancestors were honored with the lighting of incense and offering of food.

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Hair Cutting Ceremony
After wishing for blessings from the ancestors, they had the cleansing ceremony. The guests pretended to cut the bride and groom’s hair and spray perfume on them, all while blessing them and making jokes. The symbolism of this ceremony is to cleanse the couple of their past and help them prepare for their new life together.

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Between ceremonies, Ra and Nin would do an outfit change, there were a lot of outfits for this day!

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Passing of Blessings
Here, the bride and groom were seated in the center of a circle, as married couples passed three lit candles around them, seven times around. Here, the married couples are passing along their blessings and luck to the new couple.

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Knot-Tying Ceremony
In this ceremony, the bride and groom kneel side by side with a sword in between their hands. Guests tie red strings around the bride and groom’s wrists, while also bestowing well wishes. Meanwhile, the other guests toss white seeds at the couple.

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Cambodian Wedding Ceremony Photo by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography


Hannah and Seth’s Wedding at McMenamin’s Edgefield

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Golden hour, rock blessing ceremony, enthusiastic newlyweds. What an awesome way to celebrate a wedding, with a beautiful fall day.  Hannah and Seth were married at McMenamin’s Edgefield.  It was the last beautiful fall weekend, while the grapes were still unharvested, and before the downpour took away the autumn leaves.  I’m so glad we were able to get plenty of portraits all over the property.  We scheduled some time for a first look prior to the ceremony, as well as a bonus portrait session during the “golden hour.”

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

The ceremony was so fantastic!  Hannah and Seth were married in the ballroom by the Rev. Steve Sharp (of A Beautiful Ceremony NW)

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

In addition to the fantastic words by the officiant (that Rev. Steve Sharp is good), Hannah and Seth also chose to do a Blessing Stone Ceremony and speak their own vows.

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

After the ceremony, there was a break as the room switched over, so we snagged that free time to get some portraits of the bride and groom around the property.  I must say this, newlyweds are the best, and these two were spectacularly awesome.

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

Sometimes, things just click. For example, Hannah and Seth’s wedding colors were brown and orange, and so much around us was glowing orange (the leaves, the sunset, the candles). McMenamin’s Edgefield seemed to have decorated their entire property just for the couple.

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

I have to add, the toasts were pretty fantastic. Childhood dreams of adoption from the bride’s twin sister, hilarious stories of the Groom’s adventures, all awesome.

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

McMenamains Edgefield Wedding by Portland Wedding Photographer MaiCamera Photography

At the end of the wedding, the bride’s father came up to me and told me I was the most energetic photographer he’d ever seen.  Hooray!  Although, I think it helps having an awesome and enthusiastic crowd!


Amy and Ben’s Wedding at Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard

Amy and Ben had an outdoor wedding on the amazing property of Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard.  Their ceremony was sweet and full of laughs, my favorite kind!  There were all sorts of sounds to be heard during the ceremony.  The bride’s father played guitar during their communion and marriage license signing.  There were hilarious moments as turkeys and chickens wandered towards the bride and groom, squawking and crowing.  The friends and family all came together and offered so much help for the bride and groom.  The food was a deelish potluck, and I loved, LOVED, the potato salad.  Loved it.  It was all I ate.

Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding

Amy and Ben opted to do a first look!  They first saw each other in the aisles of the hop yards.  Amy and I were both so glad that Rogue Farms hadn’t harvested all the hops yet!  They left a sweet patch unharvested (just for us, I like to think!).  I loved the privacy it gave them (allowing me to hide behind hops and let them be).

Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding

Wedding Crashers!  There were some pretty rowdy turkeys at this wedding.

Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding

The bride and groom took communion during the ceremony.

Outdoor Wedding

During the communion and the marriage license signing, the bride’s father performed “I Loved Her First”, and I still get chills when I see the photos and hear his amazing voice.

Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding

SURPRISE!  It’sa Mario!

Outdoor Wedding

Mario got the princess!!

Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding

After the lunch, while guests mingled and played lawn games (or, well, hung out in the shade with some Rogue beers), the newlywed couple and I went around the property to take some portraits.

Outdoor Wedding

While it’s hard to beat a first look in the hopyards, photos in a hazelnut orchard are pretty fantastic and a dream come true for me (fact: I love photos in orchards.  It was my #1 goal for 2012 to take as many photos as people would let me in orchards).
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding

Amy’s always asking Ben to pinky swear, so we took a different kind of ring shot to remember that 🙂

Outdoor Wedding

Loved. Her. Dress.

Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor Wedding

At the end of the wedding, they exited to bubbles!!

Outdoor Wedding

A gorgeous day, family all around you, and bubbles!  Great way to end a wedding.

Outdoor Wedding

AND…. I have to give a second shout out to Aunt Tresa’s delicious potato salad!!  Yum, yum, yum!


1000 Cranes for Chris and Susan’s Wedding at River Ridge Ranch

Chris and Susan had an amazing wedding at the River Ridge Ranch in Springville, CA.  As the bride’s sister humorously pointed out during her speech, the Ranch is a gorgeous, eco-friendly property to which we all flew and drove hours to attend the wedding.  🙂  Family and longtime friends came from all over (including Bridesmaid/Sister of the Bride who brought her family all the way from Italy!) to attend, and the couple used as many opportunities to include them in their wedding. Children were all invited for a children’s parade at the beginning of the ceremony, while also given the gift of RED converse shoes!  Friends were included to perform readings, and the Bride’s childhood friend performed violin.  It was a whole weekend event at the Ranch with many activities planned for the guests who made it out.

Susan did an amazing job scouring Etsy shops for wedding decorations. Everything was given great thought to being eco conscious and personal. Pebbles that reminded the Bride of summer holidays at Plymouth Beach with her family were used as buttons and adorned the crane garlands. Songs were carefully selected, as well as readings for the ceremony. Susan’s earring and bracelet were gifts from her sisters.

In honor of the groom’s partial Japanese and Mexican heritage, Susan incorporated two elements: the Mexican Wedding Lasso, and lest we forget, the biggest theme being Cranes.  During their bicoastal engagement the bride decided to fold 1000 origami cranes, a task called Sembazuru.  Legend states that if you fold 1000 cranes, you are granted one wish.  In ancient Japan, a bride-to-be would perform Sembazuru to have a long and prosperous marriage.  Susan folded 1001, an extra for good luck!  But, she didn’t stop there.  Each of her bridesmaids were given necklaces with little crane pendants.  The children’s parade kicked off the ceremony with each child hanging an origami crane at the altar.  Crane stamps adorned much of their stationary.  Paper crane garlands hung around the reception space and at the altar.

The wedding was fun, and the family and friends were fantastic.  The food was good (thanks to Castillo BBQ and Catering), kids ran around freely, and as the sun went down, everyone gathered around the huge fire pit for warmth, smores, and good conversation.  It was a great wedding.

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

I loved the origami crane stamps!

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

The bride’s dress, as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses, the mother of the bride’s tunic, and wedding party’s ties were all made by Yvonne Chu of Kimera Design, while the wedding party’s vests were made by Audrey King of FrenchKnotWeddings.

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

Eco-friendly dried flowers from TheFlowerPatch and FamilyDriedFlowers

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

Mexican Wedding Lasso

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

It was hard to see their through the wedding lasso for the ring exchange!

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

The bride surprised the groom with a special outfit change…

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

and a matching tie!

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

This yummy dessert table featured sweets made by friends and select bakeries.  There were brownies from Cafe 50s and macarons from Les Macarons Duverger.

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
Confession, macarons are one of my favorite desserts to have while visiting my family in France.
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

1000 cranes, proper Sembazuru style, from NineVoltHeart

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

Pink origami crane garland in honor of those affected by breast cancer

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

Vases designed by the Groom’s cousin filled with cranes, tortoises, pine, bamboo, and cherry tree blossoms
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

Origami cranes and roses on sticks from Meiorigami
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

Crane garlands made from pages of Tolkein’s The Hobbit from SmilesFromMe

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings

Colored marshmallows from HaveItConfections!

River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings
River Ridge Ranch Wedding Rings


Renee and Hector: Native American traditions at Augustina Lutheran Church

Renee and Hector were married at the Augustina Lutheran Church in Portland, OR.  In honor of her mother’s heritage, the bride chose to incorporate some Native American Wedding traditions: sage smudging and the blanket ceremony.

Sage Smudging
Native American Sage Smudging
Sage smudge wands were walked throughout the church.  The purpose of the burning sage was to cleanse the church as well as everyone present.  As the smoke rose, it took with it any negative energies.
Native American Sage Smudging

Organ player

You know I love organs!

Bride and Father walking down aisle

Bride and Father walking down aisle

Gift giving
Renee and Hector presented their parents with a gift of a vase and a blanket.

Parents wedding gift

Parents wedding gift
Wedding Blanket Ceremony

The bride and groom were wrapped together under one beautiful blanket to symbolize their union.

Native American Wedding Blanket Ceremony

Native American Wedding Blanket Ceremony

Native American Wedding Blanket Ceremony
Native American Wedding Blanket Ceremony

It was actually pretty hot inside the church, so to stand tight together wrapped in a think blanket was warming things up even more.  They had a good laugh about it 🙂

Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony
In addition to the Native American ceremony, they recited vows and exchanged rings.

First Kiss

Bride and Groom Walking down Aisle

Now, I know this post was about their ceremony, but I have to add two more of my favorites 🙂
Mariachi Band
After the wedding, they headed to McMenamins Crystal Ballroom for their reception, which included a Mariachi Band!
Bridal Portrait
Lastly, a portrait of the beautiful bride!