Thursday, February 28, 2008

another AGWPJA win!

I'm dashing out the door for a shoot, but I wanted to share that another image of mine placed in the latest AGWPJA contest - that's the "Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association". Kind of a mouth full, huh? :)

The best part is, the image is this lovely black and white, antique looking shot of Corinne! I've gotten wonderful feedback on these quick bridals I did while she was getting ready, and I adore them as well (though obviously I can't take any credit for how lovely she looks, that's all her and her parents' doing!). Thank you, Corinne!

I love these contests - they're very inspiring, and competitive. I feel honored to place.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anita, Derek and Paloma's Portrait Session, Berkeley, California

I photographed Anita and Derek's engagement photos a few years ago, and we had such fun together!

So it was wonderful to see them again, with a new member of their family, beautiful sixteen month old Paloma.

Isn't she adorable and so independent? The three of them have fun exploring the world together. I love how a toddler reminds you just how fascinating the simplest things can be.

She has this great, hilarious walk:

And I realized that both she and Mateus (who are at the same age) are learning through imitation - I kept wondering why they were squatting down until I realized that I was doing it to be able to photograph them on their level - and they wanted to emulate my posture. Smarties!

I love this urban-forest shot of their happy family:

And daddy helping with those stairs - though half of the time she wanted to do it herself.

You can see that there is a LOT of love in their little family!

Check out the slideshow here!

more testimonials

this is a super sweet note I just got from Greg and Jacqueline:

"Hi Jessamyn,

We love the pictures! ...
We are so excited to be working with you. We had so much fun during the shoot, and we love your artistic sensibilities. We couldn't have dreamed of a better wedding photographer.

Thank you so much,

Jacqueline and Greg"

Yay! I can't wait until your wedding! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tatian, Tamara and Mateus's Portrait Session, Berkeley, California

I photographed Tatian and Tamara's wedding way back in, I think, 2003? They were married at the beautiful Brazilian Room in Tilden Park, Berkeley. These two had so much love and joy at their wedding! Even though they were thrilled to have their family and friends there, you could also see an almost tangible connection between the two of them. I don't think Tatian's love-filled eyes left beautiful Tamara the whole day.

That love has now expanded to include their beautiful son, Mateus!

I was really looking forward to meeting him, and hoped it would be easy for him to feel comfortable with me. I think we were successful, since he let me take an hour of photos without any fussing! What a great boy.

I learned a lot about 16 month olds on this portrait day! I had two and they both liked climbing the stairs (with a bit of help, of course), running and exploring everywhere, watching the basketball players, and just roaming nonstop. It was absolutely fascinating child psychology, and I'm thinking they took some great naps afterwards (or at least their parents did!).

Check out their slideshow here!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jacqueline and Greg's Engagement Session, Berkeley, California

Greg and Jacqueline are getting married in May, at a private estate high above the Sonoma Valley. I am SO excited to photograph their wedding - they were so fun to get to know that we chatted for over 2 hours at our initial meeting (oops). Their venue is literally breathtakingly beautiful; they are foodies who will have delicious and highly photographic dinner served in the beautiful Sonoma spring weather; and there are unlimited photo spots for doing family and couple portraits. It's going to be a blast!

For their engagement session this week, I drove down to Berkeley to photograph the two of them in one of the most unique spaces I've shot. They met while living at one of the UC Berkeley Co-op houses. This housing is vaguely part dormitory, but mostly a very independent, communally run living situation where 60 or so students live in 2 three story houses. I can tell that the students fill the houses with art, parties, music, and maybe a bit of chaos. Greg and Jacqueline haven't lived there in several years, so we got some odd looks and inquiries, but when they told their story to the current residents, everyone thought it was just the sweetest story, and responded with love and joy.

I love this shot with the porch swing - you can see the real trees through the window, and the mural on the sides of the (random) door. Beautiful!

It was definitely unlike anywhere I'd been before, although it definitely had me reminiscing about college, the punk houses I would shyly visit in high school, and Devon's former work-run employer. We had a great time exploring the whole place, and getting some really unique shots.

Here we climbed up on the roof - three stories up, in the Berkeley Hills to begin with. I was afraid that I would be scared and unable to get down, but it was fine. And the view, and photo opportunity, was well worth it!

It's great fun working with Jacqueline and Greg - they are so adorable together! I often have to encourage couples to smooch, but these two needed no coaxing. They are so obviously devoted to and in love with each other that they can't help snuggling up and kissing.

I love that they wanted to incorporate a sense of place into the shots. It allowed me to get some great shots of them mixed into the foliage:

This one was taken high up in the tree house. I felt like a hunter in the forest!

This shot is one of my absolute favorites:

I'm just so happy with how the photos turned out, and I had a blast poking around the coop with these two. Check out the slideshow for more favorites!

Jenny and Mike's Engagement Shoot, Oakland, California

Jenny and Mike were my third portrait of the weekend (and the day!) last Saturday in the East Bay, but I'm posting their photos first because, wow! Their wedding is in less than two months!

Anyway, Jenny and Mike shared their first kiss (um, hope it's okay to post that on my blog!) in the beautiful Oakland cemetery, so they wanted to get some photos kind of recapturing that day... without being overly goth or morbid. Luckily the cemetery is huge and gorgeous (I had never been before), so we chose a few locations to shoot at, focusing on the natural beauty of the area and the couple's love.

And, boy, do these guys ever love each other! They are so natural and comfortable together... and Mike couldn't stop gazing at beautiful Jenny and whispering sweet nothings to her. Awww...

I love the story of how they both ended up with engagement rings - Mike went without for several months, then told Jenny he wished he also had a way of letting ladies at the club (he's a DJ) know that he's taken. So she bought him his own, beautiful ring! I love that.

And, here's the tree where the magic first began...

I'm so happy we had the chance to do this (yay February portrait special!). I have so enjoyed getting to know these two, and can't wait to photograph their lovely wedding. Jennifer and Scott referred them to me, thanks you two! I'm looking forward to seeing you all again in April.

Please take a look at their whole slideshow - I had a tough time narrowing it down (again):

Monday, February 18, 2008

more thank yous

I got this super sweet note from Corinne last week and just wanted to share a few highlights. It's great knowing how happy they are with my work for their fabulous wedding, since they flew me all the way out to NYC for the job!


thank you thank you THANK YOU!
what a nice surprise to come home from our honeymoon to your package of prints and little book! you are so kind and thoughtful and generous! (and talented!)...

i almost don't know where to start.... thank you for coming to nyc. thank you for bringing such great, positive energy (and hippie gum) to the wedding! thank you for doing SUCH a great job with the photos. really, they are even better than i imagined. i can't tell you how many compliments we've gotten from family and friends -- people have just been FREAKING on them!

An eloquent friend emailed me this:

The pictures are amazing! What a great photographer she is, and what
a terrific night for the both of you.
I guess this is what a photographer should do, but she really seemed
to capture who both of you are - your expressions, your emotions, your
joy - it was like she had known you for a lifetime, and as if she was
able to transpose the blur of an evening into shots which not only
froze time, but captured the depth of what we all saw and felt.

Which are my sentiments exactly, only i'm not as well spoken!
(And, I already asked him -- feel free to use it as a testimonial! His name is H. Daniel Murphy!)

Besides hearing how beautiful your photos came out, we keep hearing "we thought she was a friend of yours!" -- to which i now reply, "she is!"...

ok, i have to run, i need to eat dinner ... but i just can't say thank you enough. or tell you how amazing and talented you are enough! i really admire you doing your thing and doing it so well!

please keep in touch, and if you are ever in nyc again, give me a call!


WOW! Thank you, Corinne. You are so sweet and kind - you made me smile and giggle and tear up all at once!

I know you and Geoff with have a long happy life together, and I will definitely give you a call the next time I'm in New York. I hope Paris was fabulous!

PS - so many people have been oohing and aahing over your vintage hair and veil, and overall look. And I've already had a few people ask me if that's James Brown on my website!

Update: I just got another sweet response from my girl Sarah, and figured this testimonial post would be a good place to share it:

"It was such an honor and a pleasure to get to have our pictures taken by an artiste such as yourself. I usually hate having my picture taken, but you made me feel so comfortable, and i fully look 800 percent better than I usually do in photos in these. It was the best and I would buy myself portrait sessions every time I came home if I could. I really feel like these photos are going to be keepsakes for me and my family. You are incredible. So even though we have been all scattered and out of touch, we are so so so so so happy about the photos."

Aww! I can't figure out if it means more to me to have made someone I didn't know well before the photo session happy with it, or someone I have known well now for 12 (!) years to be so over the moon with them. I am just so grateful for both responses, and for the support they express, in every way. And I'm super happy that you guys love the work, hooray! Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Portrait Weekend

I'm off to shoot 4 (!) portrait sessions this weekend, as well as to enjoy the sunshine and have some good family time too. I still have 3 discounted portrait sessions available, so give me a call or an email and we'll take advantage of this gorgeous weather, and get some beautiful, unique portraits of you and your family.

To reiterate the details of the discount offer, the sessions are $150 each, and include an hour of on-location shooting, an 8x10" of your favorite image, and 3 months' online hosting of all final images.

Much more blogging next week. Have a fantastic weekend, and see you at the portrait shoots!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hoping that everyone has a lovely V-day, and getting to spend time with those you love.

Jessamyn (and Devon, and Gracie)

(self portrait shot in the mirror at the Villagio on our 2nd anniversary)

Santa Cruz weekend

Last month Dev and I finally had a chance to visit my lovely mother in law in Santa Cruz. After lots of rain, the weather was perfect, and we had a great time.

I'm trying not to let my blog turn into a cute overload copy cat (get it? ha ha), but here's another cute kitten photo:

We walked down the Pleasure Point area, and due to all the storms they'd had, the beaches were virtually swallowed up by the sea. It did make for some bitchin' waves though! We were too far south for Mavericks (which was that weekend) but we did catch some random surfers as well as something oddly called Volcom's "Totally Crustaceous Surf Tour"... crustaceous?

Toni's friends brought their son by, and he had a blast using Devon as a jungle gym.