Weddings

Wedding photography by Carol Sternkopf and Karen Cammack Photography

Sometimes love happens effortlessly, in an instant flash of recognition. And sometimes we take the long road to get there. No matter what the journey, arriving at your YES is a sacred moment. Uniquely and authentically yours.

So what’s your ceremony?

Maybe it’s a silent commitment to each other forehead-to-forehead with nothing but wind and sand around you. Maybe it’s a circle in the woods surrounded by the community who raised you, supported you, and taught you how to open up to what big love means. Maybe you can finally make your loving partnership legal and public after years of hard-won battles and waiting. Or maybe it’s the second time you’ve stood in ceremony, and this time it’s different, because you’re different and the years that spanned the first “I do” to this moment feel like a lifetime of learning how to come back to yourself.

As photographers, we consider ourselves quiet but vigilant guardians of these moments. We catch the fleeting sparks of magic that happen in ceremony and celebration, suspending them in a visual story you can revisit and reimagine. We know it is impossible to fix in your memory the kaleidoscope of images swirling around you. But you can relax and enjoy it all effortlessly, trusting we will.

You won’t (and shouldn’t) be paying any attention to the presence of a lens during your wedding. We won’t step into your intimate moments like unwanted paparazzi or behave like uninvited guests. We take our role in your ceremony seriously, and consider it an honor to help you remember it. Think of us as…The Shadow. But in a not-creepy kind of way.

Another thing. We don’t stage shots. Or pose you like a Hallmark line up. There is enough beauty and spontaneous fun and joy happening naturally at your ceremony, and we like it that way. So whether there’s dancing or drumming, whiskey shots or champagne flutes, flower dogs or flower girls, bare feet or glass slippers, tears or belly laughter – when it’s all over, we’ll have those moments waiting for you as your very own story.

It’s your ceremony. Celebrate yourselves!

photo: the amazing flower girl, Caitlin.

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Space To Create

“An artist’s studio is the soul of their creative process. In a physical space of their own formation, artists experience the breadth of emotional, intellectual and creative freedom. They shape the space, and the space shapes them.

I recently had the privilege of photographing five talented and diverse Bend-based artists in their studios. Here’s what I discovered: artists have a lot of stuff, and they like to move it around. Objects are collected from nature, salvage yards, dismantled toys. The artists mix glazes, paints, and inks. They hammer, glue, and sand. Power tools create sparks, hand tools carve into clay and wood. They are deliberate and delicate, sometimes. Other times, they smash and destroy things. They play, they work. In the end, things of beauty emerge. But the process and the space, can be messy and unpredictable.

Follow me and delve into the eclectic, sacred world of five local artists’ work spaces.”

Excerpt from the the current winter issue of Cascade Journal ( http://cascadejournal.com ), and feature article “Space To Create”.
Photographed and written by Carol Sternkopf.

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Pick up your copy today and read the full spread!

The Muse

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“Taking Off”

I was invited to create a piece for the fabulous Muse Conference that happens here in Bend, Oregon every year. I did this piece last spring, and now it stares at me every day in my work space. At 30 by 40 inches, it is quite a presence in my peripheral vision!  Wanting to create something outside the more literal way I usually work, I began playing around with photo layers. It seems that the stars really have to line up for it to all work. It’s an odd combination of instinct, and rolling the dice.

I am enormously interested in creating images that beg to tell a story, and I know this can only happen for the viewer if they feel moved enough to fill in the narrative. So, it’s important to move people! As a photographer, I’m susceptible to human emotion playing itself out. Scenarios or a singular facial expression always make me wonder what the larger story is, or better yet – what it could be?

My daughter Ana was the model for this piece.  Like many artists, I’m inspired by love. Ana is a true gift to me. Her entire being is compelling to me as an artist as well as her adoring parent. She has always allowed me to use her authentic presence in my art, which I think is big of her! Imagery I have created of her has always held the story of her deep and gracious soul. If that isn’t a true muse, what is?

Behind The Chutes

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I’m hardly a cowgirl, But I almooooooost feel like one after shooting local rodeos here in Central Oregon for the last two years.

I was granted “back-stage” access to the rodeo a few years ago through a magazine assignment to photograph our beautiful county rodeo queen. This fascinating aspect of American culture grabbed my attention in a big way. The strong family traditions, athleticism, danger, style, hard work, and love and care for ranch animals are all attributes I have come to associate with the rodeo community, and seem to be calling to me long summer days, after long summer days , for a few years now.

For me, developing a body of work on this scale is simultaneously developing respect for a subject. And In this case, mine is for the extremely hardy competitors of the western rodeo world.

Happy Trails, and see you again next summer where I will be continuing my “Behind The Chutes” photo essay.

 

 

 

Just Us Chickens

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When I was in third grade my teacher Mrs. Schulz asked me to stay after class one afternoon to tell me how much she liked some stories I had written about Charlie, my families’ golden retriever. I was thrilled that she pulled me aside to tell me this – mainly because she was my favorite teacher of my entire life up to that point, but even more so to hear that she happen to be giving a prize to the “best-golden-retriever-story-writer” that year and that that I had won! What were the chances?! Apparently math was not my subject.

This was rural southern Wisconsin and Mrs. Shultz lived on a farm two miles from our tiny grade school. I had a pretty good idea that the prize was going to be something alive, and furry. Imagine any child’s delight to be able to choose two baby bunnies from a hay filled box and take them home as their new pets.

The genuine love and responsibility that comes with raising animals, for children, has always been an instinctual “artist-subject” fit for me. Years ago I did a photo essay about local 4-H kids in the rural ranch areas of Central Oregon. I was invited to photograph in half-lit barns with a variety of pens occupied by rabbits, chickens, goats, pigs, and a steer or two. Kids who have animal kinds-of-chores to do after school and on weekends tend to be extremely cheerful, loving, patient, and extremely hardy. These seem like great traits for just about anyone, and lucky are those who get the chance to experience and exhibit them at an early age through caring for animals.

These days, if I’m on any photo shoot involving children I always ask, “Do you happen have any pets that are dying to be photographed?” If they do, the energy and joy that resonates in the resulting photographs never disappointments me, an art editor, nor a client. I always always know it’s going to be a great image. I know it in my ‘rural’ bones.

Thinking back, I cannot recall if I wrote any more stories about Charlie that third grade year or if my subject matter switched to stories of Ralf and George – two “prize” rabbits if there ever were any.