Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sandwich, Flowers, Cupcakes

I have so many great shoots to edit and post! But I am swamped with more shooting :) so the longer ones will have to wait a bit.

In the meantime, here's (half of) a delicious sandwich from a while back - I think it's brie, m√Ęche, cornichons and homemade vinaigrette on seeded sourdough baguette. Mmm, making me hungry for another one...

I'm always hungry for cupcakes! I made these super simple butter cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting (yes, it was a lot of butter), based on a Sunset magazine recipe, and Devon pronounced them some of the best he's had... shucks!

Finally, some pretty flowers too:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jessie, Lennon, Ian

Here's a test shot taken with my vintage 4x5 camera. Jessie and her sweet family took a few minutes and posed for me in our backyard. Pretty cute, eh?

Have a great weekend! I've got 2 weddings coming up... you'll see them here soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

6 (of many) beautiful songs

I could do this for hours, and often do, with an impromptu dance party with the kitties.

I sure would like, just to groove with you... R.I.P.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rosemary Allen in her studio, Oakland

A few months ago I shared some photos of my uncle Wheat with his sculptures here on the blog. Last month (oh, the summer is just flying!), I was welcomed into his lovely wife Rosemary's studio, to do some portraits and copy work of her gorgeous paintings.

We had such a great afternoon together! Her studio is near downtown Oakland, near trains, planes and automobiles, as well as ferries. She's been there since sometime in the 1980s, but I hadn't ever seen it. So, it was a perfect excuse to take some shots of Rosemary, see what she's been up to, and enjoy a sunny day in Oakland.

Rosemary has been painting for decades. She and my uncle met and married in the early 1960s, and shortly thereafter moved to the wilds of the Mendocino coast, to create art and family. She told me some romantic stories of their first tiny, funky home together, in the middle of nowhere and with few modern amenities. I think in the winter (Mendocino gets cold!), they could only live in one of the tiny rooms, where the woodstove was. Now they live in Oakland near her studio, but still spend holidays and some weekends with their two wonderful daughters (my cousins, Lisa and Daphne) and grandchildren. I love the Allens, and only wish we could get together more often!

Rosemary's been working on this amazing project for a few years now. Check out her her website, particularly this newer series of Construction Worker Portraits. The Artist's Statement about the project puts it into words much better than I can. Rosemary often does abstract work, so this work is very different, but still amazing! It is even cooler in person.

I loved her custom-made palette. Color!

Here are just a few of the pieces she's been working on:

I am really lucky to have been raised in a family of artists - and more importantly, of people who didn't look at art-making as something only certain people can do. So, it took me a long time to realize that not everyone feels they have that freedom to make things, take photos, or even just doodle. My goal is to take portraits of all of the creative types and art-makers in my family! Who's next? Suz? Mom?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our Backyard (Peeking Images)

These photos are from a series I've been working on involving peeking the camera through our fences, and little mini landscapes in our backyard:

What do you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Amy and Brent on Style Me Pretty

One more Style Me Pretty feature to share! This one is for couples currently planning their autumn weddings. Amy and Brent had a beautiful November 1st/ Dia de los Muertos wedding in rainy SF last fall. It's one of my favorite 2008 weddings, so I'm glad to share it with the SMP blog readers.

Here is the link to the feature.

As always, I have a ton of photos to share on the blog soon (from kitten shots, to portraits, to several big weddings) but am swamped with travel, editing, client meetings, and cat entertaining. More coming soon!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Shelly and Jeff, Lawrence Hall of Science and First Congregational Church, Berkeley

(Click on the above image to see the slideshow)

Shelly and Jeff were married in spring of 2008 in a very small, private ceremony at a friend's home. They had a son in the fall of last year, and decided to have a ceremony in their church and to throw a big party for all of their friends and family. It was lovely to see how, although they have been married for a whole year already, they approached this wedding just like any couple would - with excitement, nerves, last minute planning, and so much joy.

I love it when couples get ready together.

I also thought it was very cool to have the ceremony at the First Congregational Church in downtown Berkeley, and the reception at the Lawrence Hall of Science way up the hill. Thus addressing both the spiritual and the physical, an urban scene and a stunning vista of the bay - how cool and Berkeley is that?! :)

Shelly and Jeff, although Christians getting married in a Christian church, asked a rabbi friend/ guest to perform a traditionally Jewish pre-ceremony ceremony called the Bedecken. The rabbi explained that this is traditionally a time for the groom to veil his bride (thus basically making sure she is who he thinks she is), but that it also can be a lovely time to connect with your partner, look them in the eye, think of who you are marrying, and tell them silently, "I choose you and everything you are." It was something beautiful that they did in front of just their families, and was very touching.

On to the marriage ceremony!

The couple had their flower girls personally handing lilies to women on the aisle of the pews... awww.

Here the couple are being "charged" with words and thoughts by their entire community. People were free to speak out loud any wishes or advice they had for the couple, or to silently send those things. I love the idea of a sea of loving family and friends focusing on you and wishing good things for you! I imagine if everyone in the world could get such a thing, we'd all be very relaxed and happy.

After the ceremony, a little get together in the church hall for the congregation and guests alike:

And, on to the Lawrence Hall of Science!

The delicious catering was done by my friends at Grace Street (who are awesome), and there were cupcakes were brought by various friends and family members.

Unfortunately our plan to do more shots of the couple and guests outside was scrapped because it was freezing cold. Shelly and Jeff braved a few moments, thankfully, because there was such a beautiful ribbon of sunlight over the bay (and below the fog).

They also let me play with posing them in some cool exhibits:

These two looked gorgeous and had great big smiles on their faces all day. They seemed to most enjoy the ceremony, the dancing, the toasts, and being around their loved ones... exactly as it should be.

The day was very kid and baby friendly. I hadn't been to the Lawrence Hall of Science since I was very young, so it was really fun to see their current exhibits on Nanotechnology and "Animal Grossology". Devon checked the latter out too soon after eating and really did get grossed out! I think it was the tapeworm exhibit that did it.

There were hundreds more images I wanted to share, so I guess you'll have to take a look at the slideshow to see some more. It was a wonderful, fun day! I wish Shelly, Jeff, and Sebastian many more wonderful years together (and hope that they throw a party like this every year!).