Fritz Photography | Portland Wedding Photographer | ISPWP Spotlight

Posted by ISPWP Admin on February 13th 2009 .Comment(7)

Photographer Contact Information

Denver, Colorado, United States Photographer

http://www.josephmilton.com admin@ispwp.com 503-317-2215

See This Photographer's Website

Today’s ISPWP Member Spotlight interview is with Fritz Liedtke of Fritz Photography in Portland, Oregon. Fritz has been photographing for over 20 years as a fine art and documentary photographer, which has shaped his creative wedding and portrait photography. As an award-winning photographer, Fritz has traveled the world telling compelling stories through powerful photographs. His images have appeared on the cover of magazines and in the pages of books, hang in homes and galleries, and grace the world wide web. Fritz offers this award-winning experience to a select group of artistically inclined wedding and portrait clients in the Portland, Oregon area, and for Destination Weddings around the world.

Fritz Liedtke, Portland Oregon Wedding Photographer, ISPWP Member
website: Fritz Photography | email: fritz@fritzphoto.com | phone: 503.267.5078

Photographer Contact Information

Denver, Colorado, United States Photographer

http://www.josephmilton.com admin@ispwp.com 503-317-2215

See This Photographer's Website

Photographer Bio

Today’s ISPWP Member Spotlight interview is with Fritz Liedtke of Fritz Photography in Portland, Oregon. Fritz has been photographing for over 20 years as a fine art and documentary photographer, which has shaped his creative wedding and portrait photography. As an award-winning photographer, Fritz has traveled the world telling compelling stories through powerful photographs. His images have appeared on the cover of magazines and in the pages of books, hang in homes and galleries, and grace the world wide web. Fritz offers this award-winning experience to a select group of artistically inclined wedding and portrait clients in the Portland, Oregon area, and for Destination Weddings around the world.

Fritz Liedtke, Portland Oregon Wedding Photographer, ISPWP Member
website: Fritz Photography | email: fritz@fritzphoto.com | phone: 503.267.5078

How did you get your start and why you chose to do wedding photography?

From childhood, I’ve always been one of those people who loves to make things, and to make them beautiful. That’s the artist in me. So I’ve always been creating things, from designing and building my own bedroom when I was 12, to drawing and writing and making music.

When I was 14, my dad and I drove our little turquoise Datsun B210 around the United States, seeing something like 31 states in 30 days. That’s when I first remember taking a lot of photographs, looking for good composition, going through a lot of film. I kept a journal, and made a large scrapbook of photos and text from that journey. I became more and more passionate about it as time went on, taking classes, winning competitions, filling photo albums and bookshelves with photographs. I was hooked.

I photographed my first wedding when I was a sophomore in high school, on a borrowed camera and a roll of film the bride gave me. Afterward, she told me that my pictures were better than the pro they’d paid to photograph the wedding! So people kept asking me to photograph their weddings around Oregon and Washington, through high school and college. It was a lot of fun, and I made people very happy with my images.

That was over 20 years ago, and I am even more passionate about photography and weddings than I was then. It’s an addiction. I love it.

How has your extensive experience in wedding photography helped you in difficult circumstances on a wedding day?

Most brides probably aren’t aware of how important this question is. In the digital age, everyone with a camera thinks they can photograph weddings, and brides often choose to let their friend or uncle shoot their wedding day instead of hiring a professional, in order to save a few bucks. But I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve had tell me during a consultation: “My sister had her friend photograph their wedding, and she cries every single time she looks at them because there isn’t a single good image there.” Or I hear this: “I was in my friend’s wedding, and they had a photo Nazi! He bossed people around all day long. It was terrible.”

After photographing weddings and events for 20 years, I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons. I think the most valuable would be this: Be courteous; always smile, and keep your cool. I’m naturally a very friendly guy, calm and collected. This helps a great deal when photographing a wedding. The wedding day can be stressful for everyone, and I am the one vendor that will be with the bride and groom pretty much all day long. I really work at setting a positive tone, being gracious and unobtrusive. When things get hectic, I not only photograph what’s happening, but I look for small ways I can help keep things flowing smoothly.

As a result, I have a binder full of thank you notes from brides, commenting on my smile, my kindness, and my unobtrusiveness. “How did you get all those great pictures?” they ask. “We didn’t even know you were there!”

What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had at a wedding?

I saved a girl’s life. Literally. I was the wedding photographer for a wedding at the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon. The reception was a beautiful low-light affair, with candles everywhere. When I photograph a wedding, you could say I’m hyper-vigilant: I’m constantly looking for the next piece of action, the next laugh, the next dance move that will make a great photograph. So I was scanning the crowd for my next image, when I notice this small crowd next to the wedding cake table. They’re chatting away, laughing, having a great time. But just then, I noticed that one of the girls’ long scarf was on fire! It had dangled in the flame of one of the candles on the table, and the flame was making its way up her back. I sprang toward her, grabbed the scarf off of her neck, and dropped it to the floor, stomping out the fire. I’m sure I must have scared the living daylights out of her, but I was moving so fast I didn’t have time to say anything. Later she thanked me, and showed me the hole the flame had started to eat into her dress…. My only regret was that I didn’t get a photo of the fire, before I put it out. Well…not really.

Tell us about some of the more unique weddings you’ve shot.

One of my favorite weddings was that of Beth and Willie. Here’s the story: She used to work in the circus as a trapeze artist and fire breather. He used to work for a US Senator, a US Representative, and Oregon’s Secretary of State—all of whom were at the wedding. Together they also run a theater company in Portland. And she’s a wedding coordinator at a local wedding venue. Add seven hula hoops to this mix, a can of Cheez Whiz, and set it all in one of the most beautiful wedding locations anywhere (Mt Hood Bed and Breakfast, in Parkdale, Oregon) and you have one of the most fun weddings ever. The actor who gave the toast was so hilarious that my second photographer and I could hardly get a shot, we were laughing so hard. And when the bride started soaking her mouth with gasoline, and shot 20 feet of fire into the air—twice—I couldn’t stop chuckling. You can see photographs from Beth and Willie’s wedding on my website, or in this slideshow of the story.

As a photographer, photographing a wedding can make for a long day. So by the time we’ve photographed people getting ready, shot the formals, photographed the ceremony and dinner and candids…the dancing is a real re-energizer. Once the band or DJ starts the party, everybody’s mojo picks back up, and we get some great dancing photographs. Sara and Jesse had one of the most dance-crazy crowds I’ve seen in a long time. They were out there doing handstands and flips, dancing on top of boulders and chairs, carrying each other around on their backs, pulling in grandparents for a hip-hop beat. Crazy fun. You can also see Sara and Jesse’s wedding on my website, or their wedding slideshow.

What are some of your favorite local venues?

While I enjoy photographing destination weddings in places like New York City and Mexico and Taiwan, the Portland, Oregon area has some absolutely fantastic wedding venues for photography. Some of my favorite places to photograph weddings in the Portland area would include Youngberg Hill Vineyard, Mt Hood Bed and Breakfast, Mt Hood Organic Farms, Garden Vineyards, Bridal Veil Lakes, Waverly Country Club, 5 Rock Ranch, and most of the McMenamins sites. The Oregon Coast is also a beautiful place for a wedding photographer to work, so anything in Cannon Beach or other coastal locations can be fantastic, as are wedding venues in the Columbia River Gorge.

What advice would you give a bride who is looking for a wedding photographer?

After the wedding is over, the bride is left with 3 things: her husband, her ring, and her photographs. Many brides shop for wedding photography by price alone, and this is a real mistake. I like to tell brides to look for their wedding photographer in the same way they looked for their husband and ring, with the following simple questions:
“Do I like him?”
Is the photographer the sort of person that will help you enjoy your day, or would they aggravate you and your friends and family?
Are they professional in dress and manner?
Are they kind, and fun to be around?
“Is it beautiful?”
Do you like their photographs? Are they memorable? Well exposed and composed? Beautiful? Breathtaking?
Do they suit the style of your wedding?
Are they professionally presented?
Can you live without them?

Like your groom and your ring, you have to live with your wedding photographs the rest of your life. I’ve heard so many sad stories of brides who skimped on their wedding photography, hiring an amateur or a friend, and regretted it for the rest of their lives. If you have to skimp on the flowers or decorations or food in order to invest in a quality professional photographer, it will be worth it. So my advice to brides shopping for wedding photographers is to ask the above questions, and to recognize that investing a little bit more in their wedding photography is a real investment in their long-term joy.

What kinds of weddings do you love to photograph?

I love to photograph weddings in which the bride and groom have invested a lot of creative energy into making it a unique and personal event. Usually, their unique vision, and my unique wedding photography, coincide quite nicely.

A professional photographer knows how to capture all the little emotional moments of the day, creating timeless photographs that a bride will laugh and cry over for the rest of her life. Tears of joy, in fact, are my highest compliment, and I get a lot. This was taken at the Queen Anne Victorian Mansion.

Do you travel for Destination Weddings?

Definitely! Even though I’m a photographer based in Portland, Oregon, and love to photograph weddings in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I love to travel. As an experienced traveler and photographer (I photographed in 11 countries this past year), it’s easy to work with brides in other locations on their destination weddings. I make it a simple process, and brides are often surprised to find how affordable and simple it is to fly me to their destination wedding, whether it’s in Mexico or New York or Hawaii or Taiwan.

Vineyards are some of the most picturesque places for wedding photography in Yamhill County, Oregon. This wedding was at Youngberg Hill Vineyard outside of McMinnville.

Aside from being a wedding photographer in Portland, Oregon, what other kinds of photography do you do?

While I do a lot of professional lifestyle/editorial/wedding/portrait photography out of my studio in Portland, Oregon, I am also always working on my own personal projects. I find that working on a variety of projects keeps my work fresh, and my wedding photography is stronger and more varied as a result. My fine art photography work is shown in galleries and published in magazines and books, and I always have several new ideas I’m juggling.

Over the last several years, I completed a documentary on eating disorders. My goal was to tell, through portraits and text, the stories of average men and women who struggled with anorexia and bulimia. Millions of people struggle with this issue, and yet are silent about it. This turned into a project of nearly 70 images and stories. I’m currently working on creating a book of this series, and it’s being shown in a variety of galleries. I also have other series on Adolescence (published in LensWork magazine), Tourists in the Columbia River Gorge, a surreal series taken in a forest decimated by fire called Through the Shadow, and more, at www.fritzphoto.com/art.

I also do a fair amount of volunteer work in photography. I’ve documented the beginnings of an AIDS orphanage in Kenya, an arts exchange in Spain, a medical outreach in India after the tsunami, the Olympic Torch Relay in London, and more. I just returned from Cambodia, where I created a documentary on young girls rescued after being enslaved in the sex industry. You can read about it at my blog. You can also view other images from all over the world on my travel photography site and my photography blog.

Fritz Liedtke, Portland Oregon Wedding Photographer, ISPWP Member
website: Fritz Photography | email: fritz@fritzphoto.com | phone: 503.267.5078

Looking for a wedding photographer? Check out the ISPWP Wedding Photography Directory!

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7 Comments

ellen May 10th 2011 at 01:31 PM

wauw great pictures

Fritz Liedtke March 11th 2011 at 09:37 AM

Thanks for all the kind comments on our wedding photography. We love what we do!

Kevin Cox December 5th 2010 at 08:52 AM

Beautiful pictures! The photographer has used correct light and shade, which has made the couple look very beautiful and memorable.

Yosbel November 12th 2010 at 12:25 PM

Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing!

Thina Doukas Photography Sydney February 12th 2010 at 05:58 PM

Like to say your wedding images are awesome. Great candid and natural photos using available light. The photography work is highly credible. Cheers from Perry in Sydney

Jill Henderson April 5th 2009 at 07:01 AM

We are planning to have our Oregon coast wedding site at a scenic waterfront location at the Loon Lake Lodge near Reedsport on the Oregon Coast. The centerpiece of our Oregon wedding site is a beautiful Lakeside House, a warm, friendly gathering place that overlooks the lake from the hillside. The house has a massive stone fireplace in the front room with floor to ceiling windows, plus a fully furnished kitchen. We had a family reunion in Oregon there several years ago and fell in love with the lake and scenery.

Christina February 14th 2009 at 09:33 AM

Fritz Photography shot my wedding reception, and while we may be bias as a somewhat friend of the family…the photos were beautiful. They captured shots that I would have captured myself. I felt like the photos followed a story line and that was ultimately my goal for the day. Friendly, professional and easy to work with. We got the direction we needed in an always polite voice and I really didn’t even notice they were there. Yet every photo was perfect. His photography is truly inspiring.

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