Monday, February 26, 2007

another lovely SF day

Late last fall, Devon and I spent a lovely afternoon being fake tourists in San Francisco - we do live an hour North, so typically just visit the city for business or music shows, etc. This time we wandered around Golden Gate Park (in amazing, sunshiney weather), visited an awesome exhibition at the De Young (this was during the Cheech Marin curated show, "Chicano", which we loved for its vibrancy and wide range of styles) and went up for the jaw-dropping view from the top floor.

We then drove over to Ocean Beach and walked around the ruins of the old Sutro Baths, which was pretty awesome - hard to believe it's just open and totally hazardous (and rad)! We also walked around the beautiful Cliff House restaurant (where we shot a wedding in May 2005 (click on the category "Emily and Edward", lovely place for a wedding or just dinner), and enjoyed the lovely view. There was a wedding going on while we were there, and the photographer took the bride and groom down to the Sutro Baths area to take shots of them in front of the crashing waves. A bit highly posed for my taste but the couple was very hip and adorable! - Devon had to pull me away from watching the whole dang shoot.

I shot the whole day with just my old fashioned 120 camera, a Mamiya A that takes square images on a big negatives. It's fun to play around with lots of formats - the bigger negative style is called "medium format", and in this camera, really makes you slow down and frame the photo and focus. It's totally manual and you have to look down through the viewfinder (instead of holding it up to your eye). Fun!

Anyway, here's the slideshow!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Google fight!

I was reading a forum post about this website today and thought it'd be worth a few moments of procrastination to google fight some folks, as well as to google myself.

Wellll, aside from all the usual hits (I'm even on the Internet Movie Database, what a nerd!), I found this little surprise:

By Dennis M. | insider Insider | Rank: 14,325

So I thought...pitcures, smictures...just don't shoot my bald spot. Wow..who would have thought photography could fun and adventurous! Jessamyn shot our wedding in Mendocino in September 2004. We only needed what every couple hopes for...decent shots, a happy set of mother-in-laws. What Jessamyn delivered were absolutely the most stunning photos, incredible customer service, and to this day when people refer to the wedding, they talk about how much Jessamyn made them smile...not a bad quality in a wedding photographer. And her rates blow away the competition.
You owe it to yourself to visit her website before calling other photographers for your important event. Locate her work at, and you'll soon see why Jessamyn is, without restraint, the best photographer in the Bay Area!

First Review! Posted 1/5/2005 at 1:29pm | "

Wow! I knew this client was happy with the work but BOY that is a shining review! This couple was super sweet, romantic without being sappy, and had been together for a long time before getting married. It was a privilege to photograph their gorgeous Mendo coast wedding, and I am so touched to find this glowing review. This was during my second year of weddings, so I feel like, "if you liked me then, you'd love me even more now!". Obviously they were happy as can be, and that makes ME happy.

I remember I cried during this father-daughter dance because they danced to "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac... I am NOT a FW Mac fan by any means, but that song is lovely. I even love the Dixie Chicks version of it. Aw, heck, I just love the DCs completely now.

Who knew?

P.S. - Since I am kind of off on a tangential thing now, why not back that up with the most random video I have ever found. I searched "landslide" at youtube to see if I could find a video for it and I found this video, which is a Smashing Pumpkins (or at least Billy Corgan) cover of the Fleetwood Mac song, set to video edited from Brokeback Mountain. Huh? Surprisingly, it is really fitting and touching. The video kind of gives away the whole movie, so if you haven't seen it and you care, just close your eyes and listen. The song, the singer, and the movie are all for particular tastes (apparently perfect for mine) but there you go.

Random, but pretty.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rochell and Jef

During this rainy quiet season, I have more opportunities to do some random, silly indoor shoots. A few weeks ago my friend Rochell got dressed up pretty and did some modeling for me!

As you can see, we used an old adding machine as a prop, and a school desk/chair for inspiration. Fun times!

Towards the end, I dragged her boyfriend Jef into the shots and we got some of these adorable shots of the two of them:

More of them at the end of the slideshow.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

some awesome dancing

here are a few excellent wedding dances I was shown this morning. each has a great surprise!

and then there's this one, totally un-wedding-related (as far as I can tell) but super awesome anyway:

p.s. if you're wondering, this is the song devon and I picked out for our first dance:

Friday, February 09, 2007

No Child Left Behind

My sister teaches elementary school in a bad part of Oakland. She has a blog and keeps me aware of the trials of being there... you'd be surprised, though, because the "horrors" she deals with are less the drugs, guns, violence, poverty that you'd expect (although that certainly plays a huge rol as well), and more the programs that the government has imposed with the intention of teaching America's children.

I do try not to get too political in my working life but, in the words of my sister Bronwyn,
"No Child Left Behind isn't working. I'm willing to bet that politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, have no idea what daily life is like for children or teachers in these low-performing or "failing" schools. If they did, no one would be suggesting ridiculous strategies, like imposing "sanctions" against schools that are not making progress on the tests. "Sanctions" is not my word - it is the official word used - our sanctions were having our teachers' aides taken away - obviously punishment isn't a successful motivator because we're still a "failing" school. Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, and the children of East Oakland - all the beneficiaries of sanctions by the U.S. government."

Anyway, her blog is, and her message to the community at large is:

"Hi everyone,

Hope this doesn't feel too muich like spamming, but public education is in BAD shape and needs your help. I know that you all are from all political views, so what I would ask you to do please, if you are one who cares about public education, is to read my blog, especially the most recent entry, and then ask every public schoolteacher you know about No Child Left Behind. It's due to be voted on (it expires in Sept) in Congress, so if you have concerns, PLEASE write your representative. (try not to use my name if you can help it!)

This is not a partisan issue and I am not against accountability. But the reality of No Child Left Behind is (I believe) slowly killing public education. If you disagree with me, that's fine. But please ask the people who live it.

Thanks for your consideration!

Stories from East Oakland"

I emailed my representatives but I think they already know it is a mess. Anyone know some people in power?

In any case, her blog is a good and informative read. It will make you grateful for your job even if your job is dull. The kids are always interested to meet class visitors, so if anyone wants to go help out with me, let me know!

Bronwyn took all of the photos above.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Matt and Fionna, Jan. 6th, 2007, Petaluma, California

Some of my younger brother's high school jazz band friends were married this January in my hometown (Petaluma), and I had the privelege of photographing their wedding!

Most of my family was in attendance, so it was nice to do a bit of hanging out. It was a lovely red and white wedding with Christmas decorations still up in the church. The bride's gown had beautiful red trim and the bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their rich, wintertime red dresses.

My favorite touch was the tissue-paper bouquets that the bride made. Gorgeous! I remember seeing this project in a Martha Stewart Weddings issue, but she pulled it off about a thousand times better than I could've.

It's always a pleasure to witness the marriage of a couple who has been together so long that they are both old friends and true-love partners. These guys are going to really go through life well together.

Take a look at their slideshow.

edited 1.2.08 - the slideshow has been taken down for server tidiness. Please let me know if you're interested in seeing it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

one more for the week

I wanted to share this photo - it's from a few years ago and I can't remember why on earth we were doing this shoot - perhaps there was no reason? - but it's pretty awesome and explains at least part of why I love my husband:

Thank you to everyone who has been checking out my new site and giving me such glowing (and helpful) feedback! I think 2007 is going to be, yes, you guessed it, the best year ever!

Happy Friday : )


Devon and I have gotten sick a few times this winter, but it's (knock on wood) not been as bad as it could be.

Of course, I just sneezed - hopefully it's nothing.

Anyway, back when he was suffering from being very stuffed up, Devon came up with this fantastic "invention":

That's right... it's a belt, but it's also a toilet paper/ hanky dispenser!

Now he just needs a trash bin to collect all those used tissues into attached to, I don't know, his socks?

That's my man!

(p.s., this didn't last very long, so it's not really gross... right?)

busy week

This week was enjoyably crazy busy - I had two client meetings in Sonoma on the weekend; one client and one wedding planner meeting each in SF on Monday; a meeting with a fellow photographer friend here in Santa Rosa on Tuesday; lots of catching up in the office and errand-running around town during the week; and another client meeting yesterday (Thursday) in SF again!

However... these are all pretty fun "work" errands to do. I like meeting new creative and friendly people. I have gotten lots of great feedback on my sample albums this week (people love that sage green leather and so do I!). I adore San Francisco and so driving there is mostly fun, and I got to pop by my "baby" brother Austin's house in the Sunset yesterday. He's almost 24 (?!) and I remember when he was born... and now somehow he lives in some kind of "jazz frat house"? Ah, the musician/ college student life...

The best part about all of this was that every single couple/ planner/ friend or bride that I met with this week was so fun to talk with! I mean, with one couple we somehow managed to close down the cafe we were in... we didn't even realize they were closing because we were having so much fun talking about, yes, weddings, but also heavy metal, new yorkers, etc. Another couple work at a cool dot com (yes, those are still around) startup in SF that took me back to circa 2000... and yesterday I got to chat with a bride in a mellow little Hawaiian cafe hidden in the Inner Sunset in SF... took me back to that fabulous trip to Kauai... sigh...

Anyway. Enough writing, I know you want photos! Well, I didn't take any. I was busy and had my hands full with albums.

But here is a slideshow of images I DID take in SF, and don't think I have shared yet - these are from August, when Devon, my parents and I took the Larkspur-SF ferry on a beautiful summer day to meet up with my brother and visit the fabulous SF Ferry Building, pig out, and waddle back to the ferry.

What a beautiful day - I know I say this a lot but I cannot WAIT for summer!