Monday, March 31, 2008

Nevuah and Sarah-Jane, Elle Lui Salon, Santa Rosa, California

Time for some fun, catch-up posts!

A few weeks ago, my friend Nevuah, who works at Elle Lui salon here in Santa Rosa. They do wonderful, modern hair, although I am a bad example because I tend to forget to get a haircut for a year + at a time, and then just ask them to trim a little on the bottom. How boring of me!

Nevuah wanted me to take some shots of our friend Sarah-Jane's new do - she has kind of a fauxhawk thing going on. I also convinced Nevuah to get in front of the camera for at least a few shots, which was also a lot of fun.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Email woes once again

I really hate to post this here (especially because I have SO many fun images to share this week!), but I've just discovered that the email problems I fixed (changed the outgoing server) led to new ones (marking my email IP as spam?!)... It seems that messages I've been sending to Yahoo and Earthlink accounts are just disappearing; other messages that I've sent to Hotmail accounts bounce back to me marked as spam. Grr. I swear I am NOT a Nigerian prince who wants you to open a bank account! : )

I am going to call my ISP and website host tomorrow, and am optimistic that it will all FINALLY be truly straightened out. Sorry for such a bummer of a post, but I wanted to be sure all of you knew I wasn't ignoring you. By all means, if you think I've neglected you, and you haven't heard back, please let me know at j at, or jessamynit at Or call me at 707-235-8953.

Heck, you can do it just to say hi if you'd like!

I've got some great fun work this week, and even this email trouble (and calling in for jury duty!) isn't going to wreck it.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Featured on Style Me Pretty!

I just logged on to check my (many, and all inspiring) blog subscriptions, when lo and behold I saw my own name pop up on Style Me Pretty! I knew that Abby was going to feature Alex and Rich's fabulous wedding soon, but not so quickly, and with such high praise... To see that she starts out the post "One of my favorite photographers, Jessamyn Harris..." made me blush and smile and giddy. Yay!

For the SMP readers out there, I'm doing some research into where the infamous, gorgeous blue shoes came from, and I'm going to go through the files for some of the vintage car table setting pieces, so be sure to check back. Also, please note that Alicia of AK Designs did the planning, florals and design, and that the wedding was held at the beautiful Villagio, which I highly recommend. It's in downtown Yountville, so close enough for guests who've gotten their party on to stumble to a luxurious suite OR a funky room made from a train car, and to make a fab Napa weekend of it.

In the time it took me to write that, SMP posted another set of images from their wedding!

I'm so excited about this... first I am chosen to be featured in their exclusive Napa Valley Little Black Book, and now this. I work with so many cool couples who have unique weddings, so it's always really exciting to see what they come up with. Thanks to StyleMePretty for a chance to share that!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Amaya, Brooke, Holland and Linelle's Portrait Session, Petaluma, California

I photographed Brooke and Holland's wedding waaay back in early 2006 (before I had a blog - ancient days!). They are both Petaluma kids like me and Devon, and I met them because my parents have known Brooke's mom, Linelle, for a long time. A co-worker of Linelle's said, "I know a great wedding photographer, Jessamyn Harris!", and she said, "I know Jessamyn Harris!". There are some wonderful aspects of growing up in a small town :)

(Not to mention that they were married at the old-school country club - now fixed up and modern - that I used to go swimming at as a kid. Back in the early 80s, it was a hangout for old timey Petaluma folks who liked to golf and drink in the clubhouse. All I remember is swimming at the pool way up on the top of the hill - since no one else was interested in the pool then, membership for the summer months was CHEAP!) - and going into the dark, smoky clubhouse to buy Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Ah, the 80s... childhood... good days...)

Okay, sorry for that digression. The point is, I feel connected to this new little family, and was really happy when Linelle took advantage of the Feb. Portrait Special to hire me to photograph Brooke, Holland, and their sweet 15 month old, Amaya!

Those of you with toddler experience know that when your little one wants to walk, they're not really into waiting around or being held... they want to MOVE RIGHT NOW! Amaya is a beautiful, delicate looking girl who has no fear and loves exploring her surroundings. So, rather than trying to force her into holding still (who can force a 15 month old to do anything and look happy?), we focused on capturing her sweet, independent spirit... whether it was playing with her parents or falling in love with things like a ceramic yard decoration (a raccoon!), a lemon, her princess chair, the bamboo, her parents, her grandmother, the windchimes...

I love how this photo illustrates the rapt amazements parents have for everything their baby does. It's great to see how supported she'll be through her life! And I can't get enough of how babies and little kids are new to everything... that whole "childlike wonder" thing definitely helps remind me to be grateful for and in awe of the world around me.

The proud parents:

And proud-and-adoring mom of Brooke/ grandma of Amaya, Linelle:

This one really captures the kind of "soooo-big!" aspects of Amaya's development right now. She's going to be a mountain climber I think!

More favorites on the slideshow!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sara, Ryan, and baby Taj!, Bartholomew Winery Park, Sonoma, California

I'm really excited to be photographing Jean and Romie's wedding in early May. They have two kids each around my age, and there are new grandchildren arriving on both sides, very close to the wedding! I love Jean and Romie's romantic story (finding true love later in life), and that their wedding is going to be a celebration of their families and friends. The details are going to be gorgeous (and delicious!), and I can't wait to see everyone all gussied up.

In the meantime, I had the privilege of meeting (and photographing) Jean's daughter, Sara, along with her husband, Ryan, and newborn baby Taj, for (and on) Sara's birthday (Happy Birthday Sara!). It's been awhile since I got to hang out with a baby so teensy (only five weeks!), and I forgot how much they like to do their little baby yoga poses... so cute. Taj was a really well behaved boy, too, especially for someone who had been dealing not only with being newly born, but also with a cold, and with lots of traveling and new people. We woke him from his nap, but I don't think he really cried at all. I had so much fun taking his photo!

We met for a picnic (thanks again for the treats!) and new-family photo shoot at the beautiful Bartholomew Winery Park in Sonoma. Jean and I both decided we would need to come back with our respective husbands to try out the hikes there. The grounds are just gorgeous, and I hadn't realized that there was so much history involved in that park.

Now, I have been trying to make a really concerted effort to keep my edits tighter - no more than 10 images on the blog, etc. However, I absolutely could NOT narrow these down any more! So, 11 it is, and more on the slideshow and Pictage event, and so be it... I mean, look at this little guy!

Love his blue eyes:

His parents are SO in love with him!

To say nothing of his grandmother :)

I love this shot. Thanks for being so easy to work with, you guys!

Here is the slideshow, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rosa and Richard's Portrait Session, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, California

Rosa and Richard had a beautiful wedding at the San Jose Museum of Art last May. I truly enjoyed photographing it, and they were thrilled with the photos. However, we hadn't had a chance to do engagement photos, so they jumped at the opportunity to do a portrait session together. Rosa was the very first person to contact me when I posted the Free Portrait Giveaway blog! It took a while for us to find a sunny day where we were all free, but we lucked out and got a classically gorgeous San Franciscan spring day for the shoot.

They recently moved to downtown San Francisco (and I'm so jealous of the fun they're having there!), so we decided to meet at the Yerba Buena Gardens area and wander around for our shoot. First we had tea at Samovar, which was awesome (and which will appear in another blog post soon). Then we walked around the various nooks and crannies of the Gardens, and had so much fun playing!

I had a really tough time narrowing down my favorites. These guys have so much personality and fun in front of the camera! They're also not shy about being affectionate, and the combination makes for fantastic lovey-dovey portrait sessions.

It's not all smooches, though - here we get a little sassiness too (love it!):

I had never been on the carousel at YBGardens before, but these are some of my favorite shots from the day, so I'd love to go back:

I was ready to finish up but Richard saw these gorgeous spring blossoms and asked if we could arrange a few shots there - and these ended up being some of my favorite shots. Thank goodness he asked me to stop. It's funny - you can't see it from this shot, but just a few feet to Rosa and Richard's right were people sitting down to tea on the Tea Lounge's patio - and people were walking down behind them. It's all about cropping and timing!

What a lovely day! Thank you, Rosa and Richard, for always being so fun to hang out with and to photograph. I loved hearing about Rosa's Morrissey dream :) and various crazy escapades... I think you guys will be really happy with the outcome from our shoot.

Here's the slideshow:

PS - I'm trying a new, bigger photo post size - what do you think?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Email is back to normal!

My email-sending capabilities have been restored, and I have resent all of last week's messages just to be sure that no one thinks I am ignoring them. So sorry about the inconvenience.

Expect a few more portrait shoots, and fun personal stuff, to appear in blog posts this week. I hope you are all getting and enjoying the same beautiful sunshine and blue skies we've had here (with, randomly, some huge hail storm on Saturday afternoon?!).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Belated Valentine's Day - Sushi Fest!

I have so many shoots I want to edit and share, it's been hard for me to wait! Alas, sometimes you just gotta do the other stuff (meetings, office work, errands, photography seminars, etc...), which I also love to do, but the fact that I actually, successfully have waited almost a whole 5 days from finishing an edit (or three) is kind of impressive in its way. Usually I'm up late into the night because I'm just as excited to see the finished result as my clients!

Anyway, I will be updating bunches next week. For now, I have some older personal stuff to share. These are from Valentine's Day (one month ago exactly), when Devon and I chose to avoid the restaurant chaos, and instead stayed home to create a homemade mountain of veggie sushi. We've done this a few times now, and I think we're going to make it our V-Day tradition. It requires planning, patience, cooperation, a lot of time together, and then a huge pig-out at the end of it all. So fun!

This is all I could get before we ate - we were famished!

I just have a few of the sushi before it was stuffed in our faces. We used marinated tofu, shitake mushrooms, steamed yams, carrots, cucumbers, sesame seeds, wasabi, ginger, tamari, crushed macadamia nuts (yum!), and maybe some other stuff. Kind of a lot for two people, but for less than the price of a more sedate restaurant sushi dinner, we create more than we can possibly eat at our greediest, and have lunch (and snacks) for the next day! YUM.

And, yikes!

Earlier in the day, I made these yummy lemon yogurt mini bundt cakes. I got the recipe from Nigella Lawson and let her approach allow me to be a little more slapdash than normal. As a result, there were only 5 instead of 6 (I think she must be using smaller baking mold), and the finished result looked a wee bit like, um, a giant donut. Nothin wrong with that, right?

Very simple to make, with only about 6 ingredients.

I'm into blueberries in (or on) everything I bake lately:

A lovely evening together!