Friday, July 25, 2008

Holiday! - gone through next week

We're heading out of town on a real live vacation! No working allowed :)

Which of course means I'm scrambling to get everything in order TODAY before we go... and I know Devon is as well (at his job), but the thing I love about my work is that all of the stuff I absolutely have to get done right now asap, is stuff that I WANT to get done, and love doing. Like editing photos, talking with clients, and sending out promos to photo editors.

Anyway, I turn 30 (!!!) exactly one week from today, and sadly we are staying in Northern California rather than Belize or Mexico (this time), but it's going to be a fabulous, relaxing and romantic trip. Leaving me very refreshed to come back for a bunch of August weddings and other shoots.

Please give me a chance to catch back up to emails and phone calls upon my return to the office on Monday, August 4th. In the meantime, enjoy this Muxtape I've been making for awhile:

(Next time will be the super-motivating techno-y/ dance music one - this one's just a nice chunk of what I've been listening to while editing. We'll see how this one goes over... there may be a swear or too, but nothing too crazy)

As well as this awesome Madonna video from 1983 - such fresh dance moves!

And a Sex Pistols one from 1978- also thirty years old, I might point out. Doesn't it feel kind of cute, tame and harmless these days?

The Pixies' "Holiday" is from 1986 - are we getting an "I'm really old" theme here?:

Just to bring it (almost) up to the present, here's My Morning Jacket's "One Big Holiday", which has a much happier, chiller (rocker) vibe - plus I love this band:

Thanks for everything, see you after the 4th!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rachel and Giancarlo's Engagement Session, Stanford University, California

(Click photo for the slideshow)

Rachel and Giancarlo met, and got engaged, on the Stanford Campus, and since there wedding will be in the wilds of the beautiful Nestldown venue, we all agreed that Stanford would be a great location for their engagement session. I hadn't been on campus, if memory serves, since 1993 when I saw They Might Be Giants in concert (with Frente! as an opener!), so it was lovely to rediscover and explore the gorgeous campus. The evening was perfectly sunny, warm and beautiful, so we shot for almost 2 hours, just playing and having a great time!

They were all about me incorporating the architecture and sense-of-place elements into their portraits, which was a great freedom at this beautiful location!

Of course, being me... I had to have them lie in the grass at least once : )

Loved all the beautiful blooming plants:

This is the little nook where Giancarlo popped out to pop the question (after instructing a friend to get Rachel to the location for a romantic picnic). So cute!

As we were walking to a few planned out destinations, I had to keep stopping them at the various locations - "just one more, I swear!".

We ended up in the beautiful Rodin sculpture garden right as the most beautiful golden-hour rays of sunset were the strongest.

(You know I can't get enough of shoe shots...)

I swear I felt we were in the South of France!

Just a quick, random shot of Stanford I had to share - c'est si magnifique!

And then the fountain! The one Rachel had in mind was turned off, sadly... so they jumped in the more aggressive one and had a blast. Giancarlo even dipped her without dropping her in the water!

The drippy aftermath:

Thanks, you guys - you were really so easy to work with and photograph! I had a difficult time picking my favorites because there were so many great smiles and images... I don't think I've ever deleted so few shots. I can't wait for your wedding next year!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wedding Wednesdays on

Our "Wedding Wednesdays" story was featured here, on the (Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) website, because Robby is a member of the AAN board, as well as an employee of the Santa Barbara Independent. You may remember Robby and his husband Bryan from being adorable during week 2.

I just thought it was fun to see one of my images in a random and surprising place!

You can also see the video from Wedding Wednesday Number 2 at

Back to editing more weddings and other shoots!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Greg and Jacqueline: Featured on Style Me Pretty!

My favorite wedding planning and design blog, Style Me Pretty, just relaunched with a new design, as well as featured some photos and details from Greg and Jacqueline's fabulous wedding!

Style Me Pretty is a great resource for planning, inspiration, and lots and lots of chic beauty. (A Practical Wedding also features beautiful things, but with a healthy does of reality checking and sarcasm... so I love being featured on both in the past week! They're my favorite wedding blogs, and the perfect combination.) Here's the second post on the wedding.

I also love that Abby mentions Alex and Rich's wedding as "SMP’s most popular wedding to date"... wow! What a compliment!

I had a feeling that this wedding would very "Abby" (the woman behind, and I was right - she responded to what I sent her right away. Greg and Jacqueline are currently moving across the country to their new home in Philadelphia, but I know that they're excited to share their beautiful wedding with SMP readers. Lots of good thoughts and luck to them as they settle in!

I've got a ton of new images to share this week, so back to editing and more updates very soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a shout out from (and to) "A Practical Wedding"

It's been fun getting to know Meg over at the blog "A Practical Wedding", so I loved getting a little shout-out from her for my recent same sex wedding photography (I'm also happy to be listed on her "wedding sites that (probably) won't make you cry" sidebar.) I enjoy reading her blog for its humor, warmth and rationality. Although of course I love photographing big fancy weddings with lots of trimmings, I know it's not for everyone (it wasn't for me!). I think it all depends on your ability and desire to deal with the lots of little party-planning and emotional stressers that can come up... and I knew mine wouldn't be so great. There are a lot of things that involve me thriving under pressure, by they mostly involve being behind a camera... so we were married at City Hall and threw a mellow BBQ months later. I often dream of a big, fabulous 10 year anniversary party, but luckily that is still 7.5 years away.

If we had, however, thrown a "real" wedding, I would've loved to have had Meg's advice, rants and ideas. She is most definitely throwing a "real" wedding with many trimmings (although I'm sure she'd be the first to tell you that any marriage ceremony is real!), but is keeping the planning and herself sane by planning far in advance; using Miss Manners as her modern day etiquette guide when dealing with troublemakers; looking for people she wants to work with and calling them "wedding elves" because "vendors" seems too cold; and keeping her and her partner's style and personality in mind without getting swept up into the madness of the Wedding Industrial Complex. And she does it while having a lovely blog filled with pizazz and pretty pictures (ahem, if I do say so myself)!

Anyway, check her out if you're planning a wedding for a nice big breath of fresh air.

If you're looking for something equally personal, but more gossipy and from the an entirely different p.o.v., I'd recommend checking out Claire Lewis' "Exposed: Confessions of a Wedding Photographer". Written by a friend of a friend, "Exposed" is a fun read (though stressful at times if you're in the business) all about worst-case clients scenarios and wedding day (and film) nightmares. I came out of it feeling really lucky that my clients are so damn fabulous and great to work with (and knocking wood); and thanking goodness that I don't shoot film anymore! It's a quick, silly read, and I wouldn't say it accurately reflects the wedding photographer's reality (being mostly from the extreme side of things - when good weddings go bad, etc), but it is a very different perspective than you'll get from The Knot.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Wedding Wednesday" #2, East Bay Express

(Click above for the slideshow!)

Here are images from the second week of the Wedding Wednesdays, sponsored by The East Bay Express. This one took place just before Independence Day (on July 2nd), and I can't think of a better way to celebrate freedom than to witness three beautiful same sex weddings!
The issue featuring the first week's event just came out, so pick up a copy if you're in the East Bay (and save one for me!).

The second week, I felt like an old pro at balancing coverage of three different couples. We again started at the Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley (which is lovely, cozy and very vintage):

Here are Brian and Ted, getting some privacy as they start getting ready. They have been, and continue to be, very active in the fight for marriage equality, so what a lovely chance to be there on their first legal Californian wedding!

This is Susanna of She and her partner Maya of Rockwell Weddings were filming the week's event, and although I don't know if she would love this photo, I do! It was great getting to know the two of them, and learning a little bit about videography.

A fun shot of Molly's dress:

And lovely Molly herself!

This setup was waiting for me as I went to check on Bryan and Robby - two vintage bow ties on the bed. It couldn't be cuter if it tried!

Bryan and Robby getting ready:

They picked out these awesome vintage shirts! These two were so fun and sweet, and approached their wedding day with a sense of humor and adventure - very much men after my own heart. Is there anything better than a pair of gay, Southern, hilarious gentlemen?! Robby joked about blending in with the mint color of the room, and I sort of loved the color combo:

I spent the majority of the getting-ready time with them, and so got to see the broom they later "jumped":

And here's Robby reciting his practiced spiel of how long they've been together (down to the minute!) and waiting to marry. Oh, do these guys adore each other!

A wonderfully creative friend surprised them with a card drawn to illustrate their fabulous outfits - so of course I had to have them pose with it.

Over to Molly and April's family:

And off to Periscope for the ceremonies.

As promised, here are Robby and Bryan jumping the broom. Largely an African-American tradition, these guys had jumped it at at least one of their commitment/ marriage ceremonies throughout the years (almost all of the couples who have been together for many years have been "married" one way or another along the way - whether in San Francisco, Canada, Massachusetts, or just in their own way). They got a big cheer as they jumped that broom!

Molly and April cried during their sweet exchange of vows and rings:

And, afterward, everyone celebrated with toasts, cake, and joy!

Brian performed a song in lieu of dancing:

And he and Ted were also welcomed into Robby and Bryan with a Y's dance - which was a country song (southern boys!) but still made me choked up:

Bryan and Robby had friends come from all over the country - Santa Barbara to the Carolinas!

And they made me get a shot of my own snazzy shoes (corduroy pants with corduroy shoes... that's how me and Devon do it!):

As Molly got ready for some more portraits, I caught her with just the most amazing light and took a ton of pre-portrait portraits that I lvoe:

And then April joined in to cuddle with her wife. Beautiful women!

When I met Lauren and the other couples at the marina, I loved that Brian and Ted were just hangin' out by the KRON van. I assumed they were again doing a story on our "Wedding Wednesdays", and that Ted and Brian, being gay activists, were being interviewed... but it turned out to just be a coincidence, and we still don't know what the van was doing there. How typical that these two, so newsworthy in their activism and on their historic, ground-breaking wedding day, ended up next to a news van!

Molly and April were cold but let me get a few shots of them with the wonderful sunset:

And I had a lovely time getting to know Ted and Brian more. Can you believe they've been together for 21 years?!

I asked what they recommend as far as getting involved in the fight to now KEEP marriage equality in California. They recommend a number of great local and nationwide groups involved in marriage equality, so if you'd like to make a donation or get involved, check out your local marriage equality activist group! If you're looking for the right gift for the progressive, has-it-all couple getting married, why not donate money in their honor? You can even register so that your wedding guests know that what you'd really love as a gift is for all citizens of this fine state and country to continue to be afforded the equal rights of loving their partner in full recognition of the law.

Thanks again to all of the great couples! I had the chance to photograph my first SF City Hall gay wedding this morning, so I'm exhausted but exhilarated, and will share more soon.