Courtney + Greg’s San Francisco Engagement

This engagement shoot was around San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building.

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.

 

 

Goosebumps On Falling Leaves: Kirsten

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

A: Everything we do revolves around wedding photography. That’s our bread and butter. However, we do a lot of engagements and especially boudoir. Boudoir has become a great value added service that our brides appreciate 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?

A: I approach a boudoir shoot much the same way I approach any other portrait. Meaning that the most important aspects to capture are subtle emotions that reveal inner beauty. All the while the shoot is styled with sexy make-up, hair and wardrobe that is certainly more sensual than any other portrait. The sexy styling develops a feeling of all around beauty for both the viewer and, of course, our client being photographed.

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

A: I think that our unique locations surprise many of our clients. Many clients come in to a consult with an idea of what boudoir photography is and what they want. They expect to get the same old “woman in lingerie on a bed with her feet in the air” shot. Then when they see our work and some of the beautiful private outdoor locations we shoot at, they are surprised. Often a client will go into the process thinking she will shoot in a studio or hotel room and end up with amazing pictures of herself at a remote beach, or rustic farm, or romantic vineyard.

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

A: The best boudoir shoots are often when our clients do it for themselves just as much or more than for their significant other. Seeing yourself expressing all-around beauty in professional photography can be a very uplifting and empowering experience. And spending an afternoon in an amazing location with a team of stylists who are only there to make you feel and look awesome is pretty cool too.