Friday, October 19, 2007

Amber and Philip's Honeymoon Portraits, Baker Beach, San Francisco

I had the extreme pleasure of photographing Amber and Philip, an East Coast couple recently married on Long Island, on their honeymoon to San Francisco. Amber found me on Pictage with the idea that we would do a shoot that would capture them on their honeymoon, which I think is SUCH a great idea - the wedding stress is over, you're in a gorgeous paradise (yes, I consider San Francisco a gorgeous paradise!), and you are having the time of your life! She also said she wished she had found me earlier, and that she would've flown me out for their wedding - what a sweet compliment!

One of my favorite things is to take visiting friends around to the sights in the Bay Area that I either start taking for granted or never take the time to visit - it gives me the gift of stopping to appreciate my extended home and it takes my breath away. Seeing as neither of them had ever been to California before, I had the amazing assignment to shoot two awesome, friendly people who are obviously so in love and newly married on a beach they had never seen. I got to photograph them as they saw the beautiful vista of the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time; as they watched the sun set over the ocean (something I forget East Coasters don't have) for only the third or so time ever (since it was their third night in California); as they discovered San Francisco on a rare, beautifully clear sunshiney day. It was a truly magical experience for me to witness their connection in such a gorgeous place. Wow, I love my job! :)

After a few minutes of warming up, I didn't have to give Amber or Phil much direction at all - they are so into each other, they knew how to be natural and loving together. In fact, I don't know if they could've stayed away from each other if they'd tried! These two will obviously continue to have a happy, close marriage.

This was so cute - Amber was explaining which song they danced their first dance to, and since I didn't know it, she sang a little bit for me. Then the two of them danced like they did at their wedding - they're good dancers!

Beautiful rings, and Phil nicely keeping Amber's hands toasty as the sun sets:

I love this shot because you can get a sense of the vastness (and mistiness!) of the Pacific, and because the two of them have such a wonderful, obvious connection. I'm getting misty eyed... at least at the shoot I could pretend it was the sea spray making me cry!

You can see how Phil feels about his wife:

I love pelicans!

You can see a big tanker in the background here, which Phil really liked watching - he said with his cute Irish accent, "I want to see it go under the bridge!". Amber's a great wife, she let him stop and watching it go under the bridge - and I have to admit, it was really cool! It's not often I go to the edge of the Pacific and think to myself... there's nothing out there until Japan! Crazy! Where do you think that huge tanker ship was coming from?


And their slideshow of some more of my favorites:

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

It really was a great evening, and I was so honored to be the one to capture this part of their visit to SF. I hope you guys had a great time in Napa, Muir Woods, and all around San Francisco (despite the rainy days) and that you have safe travels home! Let me know the next time you're in California, and I'll let you know when I'm finally going to have a chance to check out the Long Island shores!

PS - I just realized I forgot to mention how Amber and Phil had (got?) to see what Baker Beach is used for probably the most (after engagement and wedding day SF portraits) - naked old guys sunbathing! It is a very popular nude beach (not legally, but it's one of those "only in San Francisco" things where the authorities look the other way - kind of like getting pulled over while smoking a joint and getting a verbal warning only. So I HEAR, it wasn't me, guys!). I guess I figured it would be pretty sparsely populated on an October weekday, and it mostly was, but several of the beach's visitors while I was there took their clothes off at some point. No big deal, it wasn't anything lewd, just some older guys who liked the sunshine and one in particular who seemed to be looking (futilely) for a frisbee partner... yikes. There was even a naked woman who went up to the edge of the water and let out a LOUD, crazy Xena-warrior call as we watched! It was insane, and Amber and Phil weren't phased at all.

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