Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Richard and Jaime, San Francisco City Hall

(click above for the slideshow!)

I'm home, and I've got some fantastic weddings to share, and a few more this month to shoot!

While I do love big, beautiful weddings with lots of gorgeous details, there is something amazing about being asked to photograph a private ceremony between just the couple. Add to that: me acting as their witness; the venue being the same place I got married; and the fact that this was the first wedding ceremony I had shot on my own between two men in love (not including Wedding Wednesdays, which had a bit more of a media circus), and, well, you have a recipe for a big grin and tears of happiness all over my face!

Richard and Jaime have been together almost 10 years, and, after the ruling came down, were planning to wed on their 10th anniversary this October. Things became too hectic, however, with all of the planning, and they decided that rather than have a big party spiraling out of control (hmm, this sounds familiar to me), they would pare it down to just the two of them.

Their good friend, Suzy, wanted to find a way to be a part of the ceremony, so she gave them the gift of... me! What a kind friend to hire a photographer for them, and luckily they were really comfortable with me there.

Now, clearly this is not for everyone (and I guess I would be out of a job if it was), but there is something so beautiful and intimate about a private wedding for just the couple. Devon and I wouldn't have done it differently for the world, although I do daydream about someday hosting a huge, fun anniversary party to celebrate our friends and family. Anyway, if you are overwhelmed at the thought of organizing a big wedding (or one at all!), or if you'd just prefer to have the ceremony out of the way before the actual wedding day (sounds crazy, but makes perfect sense to some people!), I can never recommend SF City Hall enough. You can rent the whole building for an evening event and wine and dine the Mayor's crowd; or you can spend 80 or 90 bucks for a marriage license and become a part of the building's, and the city's, history.

Back to Richard and Jaime. These two complemented each other so sweetly, and though I sensed a little bit of nerves, they kept each other calm throughout all the waiting.

Doesn't Jaime have the sweetest smile?!

It was cool hearing some of their history. They met on the beach in Hawaii... hard to beat that for romance!

Then it was time for the ceremony! It's always short but so sweet, and it was lovely to see so many other gay couples getting married that same day. A statue of Harvey Milk presides over the rotunda area, and everyone passing through can feel the love!


I love that the City Hall building has lots of nooks and crannies - so even though we were there during business hours, we were able to wander off to several dramatically beautiful, and private, locations within the building for portraits. Since it was foggy and cold out (big surprise, SF in July), it was nice to stay inside, and we found some really great northern light.

One of my favorites:

I think I got this one by saying, "hold on, I need to fix something", and they just settled into this relaxed, lovey-dovey pose:

The beautiful sweep of the interior of the building:

Such a wonderful way to spend a morning. Thank you, Richard and Jaime, for being so relaxed and welcoming with me! Thank you, Suzan and Manny, for your generosity and kindness!

(As a side note, the other night Devon and I rewatched the first Indiana Jones, and I realized that at the very end, Indy and Marian are standing in the lobby of a beautiful building that looked familiar... the rotunda where we got married! Neato!)


tiffany Fosnight said...

crazy girl! I was hired by my first gay wedding as a gift too! Did that make sense? lol

Raji Barbir said...

I love these! I'd love to shoot a wedding like that someday, just the couple and me. I doubt one could replicate that intimacy any other way.