O+ Portrait Wheat Paste Installation

Courtney + Greg’s San Francisco Engagement

Q: What is one of your signature services? How is it performed?

A: Everything I do revolves around wedding photography. That’s my bread and butter. However, I do a lot of engagements and boudoir. My couples really appreciate our engagement sessions because of our artistic approach and unique and often scenic locations.

Q: How is your approach different than that of other professionals in your field?Engagements, San Francisco, 2014

A: I approach an engagement session with plenty of energy and encouragement that will help my clients become excited about being photographed. There will be cameras constantly clicking on their wedding day and an engagement shoot is a great opportunity to prepare for that experience. So, even if you don’t know if you really need engagement pictures, the experience of the shoot will allow us to get to know each other, become comfortable with the camera, and have a lot of fun. We’ll get some awesome shots that will be fun to share with your friends and family, too.

Q: What aspect of your job, or the services you offer, most often surprises people?

A: I think it’s how simple an engagement shoot can be. Sometimes the more simple, subtle, sophisticated portrait is the best. We want to have fun, but that doesn’t mean I’ll have you jumping into each other’s arms for an hour or trucking around a bunch of gigantic balloons through a field. Instead I’d rather you express your uniqueness and love in your own way while I step back and document it.

Q: Is there anything else you want to add that we didn’t cover?

A: Since engagement sessions are a great trial run for the wedding I often offer deals on them. I want my clients to spend the big bucks at their wedding because those images are, ultimately, more important. This way my clients have a low risk way of experiencing my work.

Shepherd (work-in-progress)

Untitled (Monitor Pass #4)

Where does nature end and man begin? When a man leaves a mark how does it transform a place?

I asked these questions while working on a previous series that documented ways in which man ritualistically marked his environment. Shortly after completing that series I was fly-fishing on a small creek in a remote area of Wyoming. After fishing along the creek for some time and hiking into the forest a few miles from the nearest road, I saw an odd aspen tree. Aspens often have many scars. However, this tree’s scars were man-made. They comprised of unusual symbols and a foreign language carved in elaborate script.

This tree captivated me.

These marks, made by Basque shepherds all over the West, are true folk art. They are expressions that were never meant to be seen by a greater audience. Some of these carvings are so remote and hidden that it’s possible I may have been the first to see them in decades.

I don’t need to know what they mean, rather what interests me is what the act of making them tells me about the man who dug his knife into that thin white bark 50, 75, or even more than 100 years ago. Therefore, I approach photographing these “arborglyphs” much like an environmental portraitist. Using the tree as a surrogate for the shepherd.

 

Prince Gallery

I’d like to announce that I will be opening a new art gallery in downtown Petaluma. Prince Gallery will be an alternative exhibition space available for rent in downtown Petaluma, California. It will exist only to support the work of the Bay Area’s best emerging and local artists. This gallery will be a side project to my current wedding photography which will still be my primary focus.

This means my office will move into the gallery. So starting in May my studio will be located in Putnam Plaza at 122 American Alley in downtown Petaluma.

Every day there seems to be one less place for local and emerging artists to exhibit a complete body of work in a solo show or a thematic group exhibition. There are a few great local art centers, salon style galleries, and of course, coffee shops and boutiques, but Prince Gallery seeks to be a space where an artist can have an entire gallery to display a body of work the way they want to. It will be a space for not just painters, photographers, and sculptors, but also more experimental media, performance art, installations, film screenings, etc.

Please help me support our local and emerging artists by backing and sharing our Kickstarter project.

Prince Gallery

Goosebumbs And Falling Leaves: Kaila

Kaila, Monitor Pass, Sierra Nevada, 2013
 
This styled bridal boudoir shoot was shot in an Aspen grove in the mountains above Lake Tahoe, California. Our models were Kaila Uli and Kirsten Moran. Their hair was styled by Colette Burrows, makeup done by Kat Louis, and wardrobe styled by Jessica Thompson. The vintage wedding gown, antique lingerie, and accessories were provided by Recaptured Design and the freshwater pearl jewelry was provided by Lucia Antonelli.

I believe one of the strengths of my boudoir photography is the ability to find great locations. In French, “boudoir” refers to a bedroom, but in my work the concept of a bedroom usually gets a little stretched. Oftentimes it becomes scenic. I decided to do this styled shoot in collaboration with some really spectacular stylists, designers, and models in preparation for a new destination boudoir package I will be offering for 2014. We will be going to some really unique locations in the Sierra and wine country.