Friday, April 27, 2007

Suze and Corey's Engagement Pix, Part Two

Just a few more shots from Suzie and Corey's engagement session. These were shot on my 1950s, medium format Yashica Mat camera, and getting the film developed and scanned took a bit longer than good ole digital format. But it's fun to throw in a few of these to any shoot! The larger negative picks up lots of details from the Oak trees and landscape, and the square format makes it look somehow more vintage and artistic than 35mm/ digital formats sometimes do...

Two silly photos

At Ana and Nick's wedding, the couple took a break and Devon and I went up to the top of the Mandarin Oriental to get some shots of the view from the 48th (!!!) floor. Here are two silly shots of us on the way up and at the top - I was getting my flash exposure ready for the couple, and Devon was a great, cooperative model. Usually I have to bribe him to let me take his photo...

More shoot updates coming soon!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ana and Nick's Wedding, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Flytrap Restaurant, San Francisco, California

I worked with Ana a few years ago on her company's holiday party (I took prom-style shots of the employees and their dates, which was lots of fun - everyone, I think, has a secret desire to go to prom, no matter what age), so I was thrilled when she invited me to photograph her wedding this April! She and her now-husband, Nick, are incredibly sweet, kind, and adorable together.

They had a relatively private ceremony at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco, in the Oriental Suite with close family and friends from all over. Some of their family came over from Guam, others from Los Angeles and Oregon, and still others from just down Market Street.

The weather held just long enough for a short but sweet ceremony against the overcast backdrop of the entire Bay Area. Depending on the movement of the clouds, two bridges, all of the Embarcadero, Oakland and Marin were all visible. What a billion dollar view!

Ana's engagement ring is this beautiful, big aquamarine piece of heaven - it is absolutely stunning. I'm seeing a trend of more colored stones and even black pearls in engagement and wedding rings, which I love. I commented that the stone matched Nick's lovely blue eyes and Ana said, "yes, it's like I have one of his eyeballs on my hand!".

What a gorgeous bride...

After the ceremony, we did some quick portraits before it started coming down again, out on the phenomenal terrace:

They were terrific sports about giving me a few minutes to get some shots of the two of them, even when a raindrop plopped right down on Nick's sleeve during the rings shots:

I also got one where you can actually see a flying raindrop falling past his face!

I loved Nick's blue tie (again, matching the eyes), especially the way it echoed the rain in a bright, cheerful way:

After the ceremony, the happy couple headed over to a cute restaurant in SOMA called the Flytrap (sounds funky, but it was quite elegant and delicious). The walls there are covered with etchings, and the restaurant is very dim and cozy and romantic:

Check out some more with this 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.

Edited to add Ana's rave review:
"Hi Jessamyn,

Thank you for doing such a fabulous job and following us across the city in the rain. We and our guests thought you were great - friendly, courteous, and effective. You brought a positive energy to how you operated. We appreciated how you communicated really well so people were clear on what to expect and you really helped put us at ease. We could also see how Devon appreciated you - it was nice to look over and see him beaming at times. He was very nice, respectful and unobtrusive.

I am so excited to have received the slide show so soon - thank you!! The photos look beautiful - wow. We really love images 7702, 7697, 7794, 7799, 7898, 8034, 8035, 8058, 8062, 8339, 8412, 8468, 8485."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Okay, I've been busy shooting and working and then today, traveling around wine country on a Wedding Network bus tour (a hard life, I know). I will write about all of these things very soon but I am swamped and tired out, so in the meantime, check out one of my favorite blogs, with one of my favorite entries:
Cute Overload!

I thought only my cat did that...?!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beautiful Lacey and her daughters

I had the pleasure of photographing my friend Lacey and her two lovely daughters earlier this week. The sun was shining, and everyone was in a good mood.

This must be nostalgia week - I've known Lacey since we were 16. We've gotten to know each other better in the past few years, and it's been a pleasure to see her raise her girls. Check out how cute they are and how much they love their mom and each other - can you believe it?!

Madison kept making silly faces and giggling and I felt bad but really couldn't help but encourage her goofing off. Her birthday is the day after mine, so maybe it's some August/ Leo thing. She's such a cutie!

Lacey, pointed this out, which I thought was cool - the word "green" randomly sitting on the grass and mossy rocks...

I loved Avery's little car:

And that, although she just turned only 2 years old, she loves going down the slide by herself!

A few years back, right around the time Lacey was pregnant with Avery, I got this great shot of her Madison on the swing:

Fast forward a few years:

A few quick tears because, I think, her Spongebob Squarepants hula skirt kept falling off:

And some fun shots of Ms. Lacey:

Along with some strange, abstract ones she let me do:

And here's the rest of em!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Engagement Shoot Weekends!

The past two weekends I've done fun engagement portrait shoots, and it's been great because the weather has been all rainy and drizzly the day BEFORE our shoot (but sunny and lovely the day of the shoot both times), and it is so fun getting to know both couples a little better.

I've known Suzie since 7th grade but hadn't seen her since high school. Then we started emailing when she was planning our 10th (gulp!) high school reunion last year (I had a wedding and couldn't make it), and turns out, she needed a wedding photographer!

She and Corey are getting married this August in our hometown, very close to this gorgeous regional park, so I suggested we do the shoot there. It's a beautiful place to hike or ride horses, but I forgot just how steep the hill there is... Luckily, they were great sports (and were even going hiking afterwards!), and didn't make fun of me as I tried to catch my breath and tried not to fall down.

It's awesome to get to know Suzie more and more, and interesting how she looks the same as in high school but maybe more comfortable in who she is, and, as a result, even more lovely. It's great to see how happy she is with Corey (who was sweet, smart, kind and cute), and I know I'm going to cry at their wedding!

Here's their slideshow.

You can also see a few more shots
here, from the film scans I was too impatient to wait for! : )

The weekend before, I had gone out to Bodega Bay with Stephanie and Sean for their portraits. They were GREAT sports to come all the way up from Oakland (especially because my suggestion was, "let's go to Bodega Bay, you know, like in Hitchcock's "the Birds"!"), and I love that they took the opportunity to go to their favorite crab shack.

These two warned me they didn't like posing for photos much, so I planned to just ease them into it and let them play a bit... Wow! I didn't even need to tell them to play, they are so in love and LOVE teasing each other, I had lots to work with. And I couldn't stop laughing. These two have only been together 3 years but have a dynamic that makes me think they've been best friends their whole lives, and it is sweet, amazing, and hilarious to watch.

Plus Sean has that kind of softie-tough guy East Coast thing, so it was really neat getting to know him and see how much he and Stephanie bring out the best (and silliest) in each other. We all got to talk about music and they were also great sports as the wind tried to toss them off cliffs and I made them smile and hold still in the freezing cold.

Anyway, here is their slideshow.

I just realized that both locations were places I spent a lot of time at in high school and during my growing up years. So I've been getting a bit nostalgiac for those times (of course, who would REALLY want to go back to high school?! yuck!), mostly because during some of those days I had nothing I had to do but hang around with my friends. Or, actually, I had lots to do (work - AP classes - college applications - music lessons - play rehearsals - etc) but my friends always came first.

I need more days like that. Of course, I spent both weekends editing photos because I was so excited about them, and that's nobody's fault by my own!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Photo District News "Top Knots" Contest Win!

Hey, guys, I am really excited to finally be able to share my win in PDN magazine's "Top Knots" annual wedding contest!

(Click for a bigger view)

I love this shot, the couple loves this shot, and my clients all seem to respond well to it because it is so unique and telling of the awesome couple's personalities, so I was thrilled to see it place in thise contest. Thank you, Rachael and Jamal! I got to visit with these guys when I was up in Portland (they moved shortly after their wedding) and we had a blast being the touristy Californians.

Photo District News, or PDN, is the biggest photo industry trade magazine, and I have learned so much from them, so it is a huge honor to be printed in their pages (and on their website). I love the "Top Knots" wedding contest every year because it features a prett wide array of work (since they bill it as "the new school of wedding photography", which I am happy to be a part of).

It's kind of geeky to be so excited about placing in a photographers-only magazine, since it's doubtful any clients will see it (unless I tell them about it), but in a way it's even more thrilling... I've been recognized by my contemporaries! By a magazine I respect and love, that doesn't even normally focus on weddings!

Okay, gonna go geek out some more :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I haven't forgotten you! - I've just been a busy girl (and allowing myself to enjoy spring a bit). I had a great engagement shoot last weekend and another one this Sunday - let me know if you need to book yours because I am running out of town before wonderful wedding season starts!

I don't have any photos ready today but wanted to share a few random wedding/ photo related links:

Again at Geekologie, the first ever Xray which is so beautiful and artistic (and features a wedding ring):

And my mom found this photo gallery of Peeps getting married (she's a fan. Personally I think they taste gross but look super interesting and cool). Take a look!

Her link was in response to the one that I sent her. Weird.

Finally, while getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist yesterday (no cavities, thank you - my total sugar addiction notwithstanding), I noticed that the biohazard symbol on their "sharps" box on the wall is a really cool, interesting design. The more I stared at it, the more intrigued I became (and, no, there was no nitrous oxide present!). Who created it? Why? Does it symbolize something on the cellular level, or is it just random and cool looking?

Well, I was interested enough to find out, so why don't you find out for yourself. It's pretty interesting; I would've thought the symbol was around much longer than just 1966. Check out the sweet alternate designs!

This is something else that I had heard about long ago. It's much more depressing, though, so don't click unless you wanna.

More photos soon!

p.s. free 8x10 enlargement to anyone who can find the Morrissey quote in the text of this blog! I'm not kidding... I got tickets to the May 2nd Santa Rosa show and I am SUPER PSYCHED!

Friday, April 06, 2007


I also am a fan of this blog, and since their newest post is about an awesome wedding, cake I figured I'd share it:

Super Mario Brothers cake! Rad.

My cousin Molly

My cousin Molly is only 16 but absolutely gorgeous!

She's started modelling in the past few years, and is mostly doing fashion stuff, so it was really fun to make her be really silly and over the top. I love love love working with her cause a. she's very photogenic, b. she's my cousin and I love and adore her and don't get to see her enough, c. we giggle a LOT and d. she's into me giving her direction like, "okay, try to look more like a cartoon. Good, I like how you're trying to eat that fake bird! Balance my mom's antique china teacup on your head and look worried!"

We had so much fun. It was a good release for her, too, cause fashion can be physically demanding and also BORING. And kinda, well, bitchy.

Thanks Moll! I can't wait to do some more shooting with you!

Check out the slideshow - it's Friday afternoon, don't you want to procrastinate a little? : )

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Guest Books!

I've just designed my first guest book sample and am excited to start offering these!
It's a simple process:
-I shoot your engagement photos
-I design your guest book
-Your guests sign their names and well wishes directly on the pages of the book, in any blank space they like (I tried it with lines to write on, but this seemed much more natural and fun). This gives them a chance to see your engagement photos, express their wishes and love for you, and also lets them remember what you look like in case you are so busy making the rounds that you don't get to visit with everyone (just teasing)
-Instant keepsake!

Here's the slideshow of my sample:

Monday, April 02, 2007

Family birthdays

My mom and brother's birthdays are both in March, so we got together yesterday at my folks' house to celebrate.

Devon made the vegetables:

I made the cake!

There were dogs running rampant:

And my sister's boyfriend took a nice family photos for us (we can only hold still for a sec):

Me and my bro posing for our senior pix:

And me with really, really big hair: