This beautiful, rustic, and fun wedding took place at Saltwater Farm on San Juan Island, and was photographed by San Juan Island Wedding photographer Kestrel Bailey.
Wedding Photographer: Kestrel Bailey
Venue: Saltwater Farm on San Juan Island
Planner: Rachel Read with the Flowering Fern
Florals: Mama Bird Farms
When Page and Nate contacted me, I knew right away they were my kind of people. Not only were a lot of their people planning on camping at the wedding venue, but they also wanted documentation during their morning run on the island. When it came around to it, it was spiting rain during the run, but was still such a blast. I love the opportunity to photograph folks enjoying the beauty of the island, and the more informal events around a wedding weekend on the San Juan Islands. There truly is so much to do here, and it’s awesome to document the full experience of your loved ones in a beautiful location for the weekend.
This run took place on a trail that’s extremely familiar to me, so I knew how I could best catch the scenic shots without having to run the route myself. I’m not opposed to getting in on the events, but running with camera gear is not optimal… also most of the group were running a 20-25 min 5k, so… not quite my speed, especially with gear. I caught the start then jogged around to meet them on the trail where the expansive views could be shown…along with the soaking wet runners.
After the run, it was time to head to the fantastic modern rustic venue at Saltwater Farm. Overlooking Griffin Bay on San Juan Island, the ceremony site at Saltwater Farm truly offers scenic views, as well as the privacy of multiple acres in the woods. The black barn maintains a fantastic balance between modern industrial and rustic , appealing to multiple wedding aesthetics.
The venue tables and walls are all handcrafted and locally milled from the trees on the property. The owners, Andrew and Merriss, care tremendously about creating a wedding venue that uses sustainable practices and highlights the local beauty of the San Juan Islands…and also local vendors.
Page and Nate (and their planner, Rachel) also highlighted the island theme by naming all the tables after islands in the San Juan archipelago and decorated with beautiful flowers from Mama Bird Farms.
When they reached out to me, P&N talked about being drawn to my style because of the natural, candid feel of my photographs and style. It was important to them to highlight their friends and capture the joy of their celebration through the people attending. Their wedding was incredibly easy to document, despite them insisting beforehand that they weren’t particularly photogenic or comfortable in front of the camera. After spending the day with them, I beg to differ.
I find that a lot of folks THINK they are not photogenic because they just haven’t had the right photographer yet. I love guiding people through a photo session with time to breath, move, and just be present with one another. I find that in the candid interactions and emotions, people are at their most photogenic. I LOVE anticipating the moments in between where true emotion and reactions come out. That doesn’t mean I don’t help people and guide them through poses or actions that lead to more controlled, flattering portraits (no one knows what to do with their hands, it’s not just you), but my level of interaction depends on anticipating the needs of the people I’m working with and communicating about what does and does not feel comfortable for them. It’s crucial to me that they both enjoy the process and the result.
Page and Nate were incredible to document together. The day was filled to the brim with candid joy and love, and it was an absolute honor to document their celebration!