lgbtq

Candlelight Vigil Honors Orlando Nightclub Shooting Victims

In all my years working as a photojournalist, the hardest, most difficult assignments to cover are those involving unwarranted death. The sudden loss of a child. A car accident. A fire. A friend’s suicide.

Like many all across the U.S., I awoke Sunday morning to the sickening news of the Pulse nightclub terrorist attack in Orlando, Fla. It was shocking to hear someone could do such harm to people who mean no harm to anyone. And all I could think about was how my gay friends were feeling vulnerable. How they felt insecure, how angry they were, how scared. What kind of scum would attack a group of people just enjoying a night out on the town? Oh yeah: A piece of shit.

Stop The Hate

A man lights candles for a vigil for the victims of the Orlando, Fla., nightclub massacre on Monday evening June 13, 2016, at Rumors Cabaret in Bellingham, Wash. Over a hundred people turned out to honor those killed in the terrorist attack. Organizer Heidi O'Hana said she she was

A man lights candles for a vigil for the victims of the Orlando, Fla., nightclub massacre on Monday evening June 13, 2016, at Rumors Cabaret in Bellingham, Wash. Over a hundred people turned out to honor those killed in the terrorist attack. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

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Sneak Peak: Ellen and Sandy Dance on Their Wedding Day

On Saturday July 25th, just a month past the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage throughout the country, I had the pleasure of capturing true love. Sand and Ellen were married after knowing each other for over 30 years. It was a small intimate wedding and informal wedding. But beautiful none-the-less.

Pure Love:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Ellen and Sandy sing to each other as they dance during their reception at their home in Sedro-Woolley, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Ellen and Sandy sing to each other as they dance during their reception at their home.

The light was beautiful during the ceremony and as it became later in the evening, the videographer, Michael Dyrland of Dyrland Productions, lit the area with two bright video lights. I stayed in front and to the side as I captured the guests dancing. But soon, I decided to go to the back as I liked the effects of the video lighting: they created a nice rim and back lighting effect.

It added drama without being overbearing. Plus as people danced, their faces were being lit by the lights. As I moved to the back to shoot towards the lights, Sandy and Ellen began to dance to a slow song. While they were dancing, I noticed how the video lights lit their faces, created rim lighting on their matching hats, and how bright sky filled in the shadows.

But, the moment lasted only 6 frames. As Sandy reached up and cupped Ellen’s face in her hands while singing, I was able to fire off a few frames before a guest came up and began dancing between them. The moment was gone.

I wish it was a touch more symmetrical, but I’ll take this photo.

As I downloaded the images, this frame stuck to my mind like spaghetti on a wall. I knew it was good, but I needed to know if it was truly sharp.

They couple wanted to talk to me due to my “photojournalistic eye and style” they said during the interview. I’m pretty certain they were interviewing me, not vise-verse. Within a few minutes of meeting with them, we forgot about photography and began telling stories of our lives. A 15 minute meeting turned into an hour or so of laughing. It was a great time.

For more of my wedding work, visit my gallery Wedding Portfolio of Bellingham Seattle Photographer Paul Conrad.

To book your wedding in the Bellingham, Wash., area, send me a message using my Contact Form | Paul Conrad Photography.

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance editorial photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.