Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! (email promo)

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and to share the email promo I sent out to editorial clients and potential clients. Here's wishing all of you a happy, warm, abundant holiday! I'll be back in the office on Monday.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Erica and Chris, the Holly Farm, Carmel

(click on the photo to see their slideshow)

Erica and Chris are adorable and gorgeous, and they chose an amazing venue - the Holly Farm in Carmel - for their wedding. You can see the Holly Farm's website here, but it will not do this place justice. Erica and Chris warned me that the site would blow me away, but I must admit that I didn't totally get it until we go on site. WOW! This place is so unique, not only because it feels a bit like summer camp (with a beautiful, sprawling property for the preparations, the ceremony, the reception, a million places to do photos, hacienda-style cabins for the couple and their guests to stay in...), but because it is somehow (magically?) in a micro climate that allows for lush, tropical flowers and greenery to grow all over the place. Though it is just miles from the cold and fog of the beautiful Carmel coast, visiting the Holly Farm felt like visiting Hawaii (okay, not quite as warm), which made it perfect for Chris and his family (who are from Hawaii). Beyond the beauty of the venue, the family that runs it is just amazing, so friendly, and very accommodating.

Okay, enough about the venue (but, seriously, I could rave on and on about it)! On to the lovely couple's wonderful wedding day.

Erica was a bit nervous before the ceremony, as well as chilly (okay, it's not really a tropical climate, but it was still relatively warm for late October!). Besides staying bundled in her bathrobe and socks for about as long as she could, she kept warm and quelled the nerves by dancing around until it was time to get married. So cute!

Her attendants were definitely there for whatever Erica needed, and I loved the rich blue and silver of their beautiful dresses, especially combined with the jewel tones of the bouquets. There were flowers absolutely everywhere at this wedding, so I could not help myself from snapping away at all of the orchids, birds of paradise, lilies, and flowers that I don't know the name of.

Isn't Chris handsome? They make such a magazine-worthy couple... I'll see if I can get them into one!

Some of the many unique details of the Holly Farm:

The beautiful ceremony and bridesmaids:

Lots of photos of Erica and Chris I want to share! They really were wonderful about giving me lots of time to play, so once we knocked out the family and bridal party photos, I led them around to a few different areas, had them climb on dirty old chairs, tinkered with my ancient 4x5 camera, and basically had a blast. Thanks once again, you guys, for trusting me so much and giving me such wonderful leeway to create some great portraits of you two!

One of the 4x5" shots - funky and old-timey for sure!

The Holly Farm has these kinda kitschy, great props as part of their decor throughout the farm - from a (playable) ping pong table and bocce ball court, to retired surfboards and musical instruments. There were these great yellow chairs by the bocce ball court that made me think of the lifeguarding chairs I used to sit in when I was (yes) a lifeguard in high school, and I thought they would be so cool for creating these vintage-surfer shots. So fun!!

And regular old cuteness:

There were some amazing toasts, particularly by Erica's dad. You can tell that the two of them are so close, and it was truly one of the most beautiful speeches I've ever heard... and the only wedding toast I think I've seen that garnered a standing ovation!

There was great dancing too, for hours. Here are some highlights of the party:

This woman in blue was rocking out to "I Love Rock N Roll" by Joan Jett... bestill my heart!

Chris and the guys had a little cigar bar/ cove set up:

Erica and her girls totally got down and funky! I love this little series:

Okay, and just as I was getting ready to leave for the night, Erica requested that I stay for one more song... apparently, if you play "Proud Mary", Erica's 60 year old uncle will... do the splits!?!

I have to say, the crowd went wild!!

There were about a billion more shots I wanted to include in this post... so check out the slideshow for more cuteness.

And, a sweet note from the lovebirds:


Thank you for the sneak peak!!! The photos are incredible! We are absolutely delighted with the photos and it is so much fun to revisit the day. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the images online.

Hope all is well,

Erica & Chris"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Interior shots for Lauren Brandwein Design, Glen Ellen

This is another interiors shoot of a private residence remodel, that I did for a great local interior designer, Lauren Brandwein. She is a wonderful designer with a creative eye and very professional working demeanor, and I can't wait until things settle down and I can have her help me with my office and home...

So, I don't specialize in architecture or interiors (because I love working with people!), so it is always cool when clients want me to do something out of my normal range, and when they hire me based on wanting something that looks different from the average interior/ architectural shoot. Basically, though my specialty is portraiture and candid people shots, I want the rooms and details to look like they have personality and dynamism, just like I would with my human subjects. I loved the subtle combinations of cool and warm colors and textiles that Lauren incorporated, and I'm really happy with how these photos turned out!

Although I must say, seeing such a beautiful home with so much thought, energy, and intention behind it is making it harder for me to tolerate our mismatched furniture and sea of boxes as we unpack and get organized. I promise to share shots of our home decorating and cozy-fying soon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Alexis and David featured on Style Me Pretty!

I am a big fan of the clean, elegant style of favorite wedding design blog and website, Style Me Pretty, so I always LOVE it when I have a great wedding to share with them. I knew Alexis and David's Napa wedding would be a great fit for SMP because of its colorful, casual-but-elegant style. And because Ali and David make such a beautiful couple!

SMP just unveiled their Little Black Book Blog (the Little Black Book being exclusive, by-recommendation-only vendors in various regions around the world... myself being one of just three Napa area photographers included!) to showcase just the work of their LBB vendors. I think it's a great way to kick off the weekend, to share this featured wedding with you!

Please check out the SMP posts about Alexis and David's wedding here and here. I'm so happy that Abby and Theresa at SMP chose some of my favorite shots from the day.

It's 75 perfect, clear-blue-sky degrees here, so I'm going to try to get back to work with all of the windows open (and maybe find an excuse to hop on my bright blue cruiser bike to run some more errands in the gorgeousness). Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Annaliese and Will, Pacific Star Winery, Fort Bragg

(click the photo to check out the slideshow)

I had an even harder time than usual narrowing down my favorites from Annaliese and Will's wedding - I think I ended up with over 200 shots in the "favorites" category for their wedding! So, narrowing it down to just over 20 here was practically impossible. They were married in a beautiful ceremony at Pacific Star Winery, north of Fort Bragg, waaay up the North Coast in Mendocino County. Though the weather was windy and chilly (which is kind of all that our coasts have to offer), it was also crystal clear (which is rare - usually it's socked in with fog) with blue skies, a gorgeous sunset, and bright stars dotting the evening. So lovely!

Annaliese and a bunch of friends and family were getting ready at a beautiful private house rented for their purposes - and the views from the deck (with built in hot tub) were amazing, as was the interior and architecture of the house. I took a lot of photos of lovely Annaliese as she transformed from a flannel and jeans to a lovely bride. Though, honestly, she was gorgeous in the flannel and jeans as well. Annaliese, your smile is so infectious, and your laugh is awesome! Here are three shots of the many I loved of her getting ready:

And a shot of the bridesmaids about to walk down the aisle that I find intriguing for some reason:

Such a gorgeous location for a ceremony. Oh, how I love Mendocino County!!

After the ceremony, Annaliese and Will ran up a flag on the Pacific Star flagpole. This one had been specially made (by her mom? I can't remember for sure) to represent various locations and aspects of Will and Annaliese's background together - Texas, Georgia Bay, Canada, and... I think I still need to get the story on the dog, Annaliese? ; )

Another one of the bridal party ladies, huddling to keep warm. It was chilly out on that beautiful bluff!

Even with the cold, we jammed through some great family and bridal party portraits that I love. However, since I am trying so hard to keep these posts to a minimum of photos, I decided to jump right to the couple shots. And, of those, I had to drastically edit many shots that I adore - so be sure to check out the slideshow to see more!

And I can't forget this beautiful bridemaid's awesome boots:

Which brings me to a special collage of the awesome ladies' socks I saw at this wedding. I am way big on stripey socks, so these socks won my heart (and I was jealous of their warmth, too!).

Annaliese and Will met as children, because their families have been vacationing at the same very rural strip of tiny islands in Canada - I think it's called Georgia Bay? I absolutely loved hearing the toasts coming from family and friends who have known them, together, for most of their lives. After many years of their paths crossing at what sounds like a beautiful family island escape, the two fell in love and have overcome geographic obstacles to be together. The way that they adore each other, with both a familiar comfort and passion, is captivating, and their big smiles and laughter were totally contagious! I don't think Annaliese stopped laughing during all of the toasts.

Some of the great details they had planned included these adorable animal-finger-puppets from Ikea - simple, affordable, and a total hit with the guests (and me, from a photo point of view). They were also appropriate because Annaliese work in marine biology, and they are both big animal lovers.

Beautiful cake, beautiful flowers, very beautiful display of everything under the snuggly tent:

Instead of a guest book and seating chart, they had an oar for everyone to sign, and these lovely name tags hanging from branches.

And, of course, a gorgeous location!

Okay... now I hope that Annaliese doesn't mind me sharing this, because it was such an awesome, personal and hilarious touch that I can't help it. Apparently her mom was so worried that Annaliese would spill on her beautiful wedding dress during dinner, that she thoughtfully made Annaliese... a bridal apron! Or was it a bib? Whatever it was, it was lovely, matched her gown, and Annaliese wore it with pride! Although I don't think she spilled a drop anyway.

Red wine surely could've been a bummer though on the pretty bridal gown (which was some trouble getting in the first place, but ended up looking absolutely perfect). This is Pacific Star's wine, "It's My Fault". Get it?

The dancing was beautiful and joyful!

And then, flat out silly:

I love girls who get crazy and over the top on the dance floor!

I took a few minutes to really play and have fun shooting these long exposure shots of the venue. It was COLD but well worth it, I think.

Thanks again for everything, Annaliese and Will! Your wedding was so beautiful and definitely radiated joy, celebration, and family. I hope that we can get together for coffee and a chat just for fun one of these days.