Friday, September 28, 2007

Meeghan's Trash the Dress Session, Crissy Field, San Francisco

Right after Meeghan and Colin returned from their warm, lovely honeymoon up and down the Baja peninsula, Meeghan was kind enough to model for me in a "Trash the Dress" photo shoot on the freezing SF Bay!

Isn't she gorgeous?!

Meeghan, Colin, and Meeghan's sister Caitlin all live in a rad apartment in the North Beach area of SF - hey, I bet you guys could be a hilarious, wacky sitcom, no? Anyway, we first had some fun playing in rush hour traffic in their neighborhood:

Then drove in horrible traffic down to Crissy Field in the Marina, at the mouth of the SF Bay. Not only was it one of the absolute windiest days I've ever seen, but there were hundreds of runners going in a circle around the field itself... we have no idea why. Luckily, they weren't interfering with us on the beach, and luckily for me, Meeghan was a total champ and trooper as far as getting into the shoot. I could barely feel my fingers and face after a few minutes, and I was fully clothed with a jacket! Meeghan didn't mind getting down on the sand, and even a bit in the bay! This isn't like Southern California (much less Baja!)... the water is not only very cold, but dangerous, so I wasn't going to push Meeghan to get in if she wasn't comfortable, and she was totally brave and amazing! Thank you!!!

Here's when I asked Meeghan to give me her best "innocent" look - like, "oh, who, little old Victorian me??". I love it!

I had a lot of fun playing with some of these shots digitally - you can see where I've messed with the contrast, saturation, converted to black and white, etc; you can't see where I've occasionally taken out a kiteboarder or kayaker. I love how glowy the sunset makes everything, and how the GG Bridge is just about washed out, but not quite. I love San Francisco!

Edited: Slideshow has been removed, 10/16/2008.

Okay, so I know I have a lot of quiet readers on here, cause you guys email me and tell me in person that you've been keeping up with the blog. Here's where I need your help! I am wondering if this type of shoot has a place in my packages - I loved doing it (although that could be partly because Meeghan and Caitlin are such fun sweethearts), and would definitely do it upon request. Your feedback can help me decide if there's a demand for this kind of thing in my world.

So here is your quiz - I'd love as much response as I can get on here.
Does this kind of photo shoot float your boat?
Meeghan felt a little nervous beforehand but totally worked it and (with Tyra in mind) let me gently coax her into having photos taken of her looking fabulous. Most of us have boring yearbook photos taken throughout school, but then rarely make a point of having portraits done later in life.
Many of my clients are untraditional, but I know they have lots of "bridal sessions" in the South and Midwest - would this interest you?
Also, do you like the use of digital actions and post processing? Or do you prefer a more natural look? For example, how does the difference here strike you?:

I've been operating on the theory of "all things in moderation", and working with just a few favorite shots from each wedding in black and white and high contrast / low saturation, etc. Is that something you'd like to see more of in all of my work?

-Where would you "trash" the dress? I was thinking of the top of Mount Tam (rolling around on the dry grasses), walking around SF (or even on the bus), outside the De Young, stomping grapes (! who wants to do this with me?!), or taking a dip in a pool or in the Tomales lagoon. I also love the idea of going to Stinson Beach, maybe digging sand castles... What comes to mind for you?

And, finally,
-What would entice YOU to get into the freezing SF Bay?! Money, fame, hot chocolate... or a really nice photographer asking please?

Luckily, both Meeghan and myself used to be lifeguards!

P.S. This mirror lives in Meeghan's apartment, and apparently is cracked and distorts just enough to make women who come over look at themselves in despair... so here's their correction for it. I love it!

The lovely bride getting ready to face the elements - pink flip flops, a wedding gown, and a down jacket. Sounds like San Francisco to me!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Morgan and Kennon's Wedding, V. Sattui Winery, Saint Helena, Napa

I was so psyched to shoot Morgan and Kennon's wedding! I was so happy that they asked me, and it was wonderful to be at their wedding, entrusted with the photography. Morgan is something like my second-cousin-once-removed (our moms' moms were identical twins - figure that one out!), but since our family is close, and we grew up living near each other and similar in age, he and his two brothers are more like cousin-brothers to me. I've gotten to see little Morgs grow up through the years, and it kept blowing my mind during shooting and editing that he's a man, and a husband now! So crazy!

Morgan and Henry getting ready:

I could tell some embarrassing stories I'm sure, but instead I'll just say that I loved getting to know Kennon and their relationship. At first glance it kind of looks like Morgan is goofy and Kennon is elegant - which are both true statements, but I got to know the more traditional, so-in-love-with-his-wife side of Morgan who proposed to Kennon in a beautiful romantic way; and I got to know the silly, loves-a-good-joke-and-rad-music aspects of Kennon. Everyone who gave a toast (seems like just about every member of my family) spoke of how much they obviously suit each other perfectly and were made for each other, and I think it's true!

Okay, I'm trying to stick to shorter blog posts... we'll see how I do on this one! As I mentioned, my mom's mom was an identical twin, so my mom grew up very close to her cousins, and I grew up close to my cousins and my mom's cousins as well. Constance, Morgan's mom, is more like an aunt/ good friend to me, and she is an AMAZING woman! If you don't know her, well, I feel sorry for you, because she would love you, and certainly everyone loves her!
Here's Constance with her sisters - I love it when they are all together, as they (and my mom and aunt) all have my grandmother/ great aunts' laughs - I miss hearing it all the time!

This was the first of Constie's three boys to get married... but they are all very obviously in love with their current girlfriends, which was wonderful to see. They all seem to be really happy in their lives, which struck me again ("when did we all get this grown up?!") and made me smile.
I love this shot of the boys!

I got to know Kennon's parents, David and Susan, as well, and they are so sweet. They were having the best time helping with the wedding (and they were very organized, which I love) - Sue didn't want to have to stop wearing her cute t-shirt!

I did see Dave before and after the ceremony and... let's just say he didn't want me to take this photo. I saw BOTH dads crying after the ceremony! So sweet.

My parents and brother were in attendance, and my dad got roped into manning the video camera - I think it's cause he's usually too shy to mingle, but here he is catching up with Morgan's dad:

The venue, V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena, is a lovely, European-style place right on Highway 29. Lots of great photogenic spots for sure, and a plenty of the wine country feel. Kennon and her ladies got ready at the Vineyard Country Inn, which is conveniently right next to the El Bonita Motel, where the boys were getting ready, so I dashed back and forth capturing the different sides getting ready. So fun!

Kennon makes an AMAZINGly beautiful bride, don't you think? Breathtaking!

I love this one because it's abstract with its out-of-focus moodiness:

On the boys' side, Morgan's brother Henry had made these shirts that proclaimed the death of "H.W. Floss" with an awesome picture of Morgan on Halloween - apparently "Homewrecker Floss" was Morgs' nickname before he met beautiful Kennon and fell head over heels. I got a t-shirt!

And, okay: the rings. I took this photo of the rings and could see that Henry had "his" (Morgan's ring) in her pocket - whereas the youngest brother, Josh, had "his" ring (Kennon's) sitting on the table. I sort of yelled at them both to NOT forget the rings (and even said, "this means you, Josh!"), but, well... maybe he's just used to me yelling at him?

I mean, does this look like a guy who's going to forget a ring?

Kennon's dad takes a minute to relax and help say good-bye to H.W. Floss.

I love Morgan's shoes!

Once at the venue, I got to go peek at the arriving guests, including Adi, one of my bestest friends! We tell people we're cousins - this is even more complicated than my relation to Morgan - because she grew up with Constance and the boys when she and her dad lived with them. I think this makes her my almost-step-second-cousin-once-removed, but all I know is that she is adorable, I love her, and I'm happy to be related to her in any sense!

Here's another second cousin - I finally got to meet the daughter of one of my other cousin-brothers, Johnny, after 9 months of missing each other. She's adorable; look at those Allen eyes!

Dave was so proud to walk Kennon down the aisle:

And although Josh did, in fact, forget the ring (!), everyone took it well, and not only are Kennon and Morgan really and truly married, but they also had a sweet moment with the officiant after the real ring was retrieved in which she blessed it and their marriage. It was so sweet!

Here's Josh right after everyone realized he wasn't kidding:

Another cousin, Griff, who has been singing for years and recently recorded a duet with Jewel (!), sang during the ceremony:

One problem with having such a big family is figuring out how to divide us up for photos, etc. Look at our family reunion a few years ago - good heavens!

So we decided to do just one big extended family shot, then one immediate family shot, of each of Morgan and Kennon's sides. I am not related to all of these people, but, wow! I guess Morgan is! (and Kennon, you're stuck with us now too!)

(can you spot the nerds? me and Devon ran in to the right side at the last minute on timer)

A lovely shot of the newlyweds:

I loved Morgs' carnation:

And Kennon's bouquet:

They had an awesome song announce them... it blew me away (ha ha)! Be sure to watch the whole, long slideshow as you'll get to hear that song halfway through... I love it!

There were approximately one million toasts from members of my family, it was great. Here's Morgan showing Joshie that it's he's not mad:

The cake was lovely AND delicious:

There was crazy dancing:

And the cutest send-off on this bicycle built for two!

Note the headlamps (for safety) and Morgan proclaiming, "to infinity and beyond!". So cute. I love you guys!!

Edited: Slideshow has been removed, 10/16/2008.