Jen + Cory’s Barndiva Wedding

This beautiful wedding was held at Barndiva in downtown Healdsburg, California in the heart of Sonoma County wine country. The bride’s hair was styled by Brush Salon.

Jen + Cory, Barndiva, Healdsburg, California, 2013We began a few blocks away from the square at the bride’s rental cottage. It was a simple place, but perfect for some shots of her getting ready and a few bridal portraits under some gnarled olive trees. Then, as we strolled to the town square to meet Cory, we stopped to snap some shots along the way. I just remember how bright everything was. Not just the sunny skies, but also the giggling wedding party. Bright seemed to be the theme of the day.

After meeting up with the groom and the rest of the family, the couple and I explored the town by stopping to take portraits in front of murals, gardens, and we even ventured inside an antique shop. Downtown Healdsburg is the perfect place for a wedding if you are going for a mix of rustic character with elegant luxury, and that is exactly the wedding that Jen and Cory got this June. The ceremony and reception was at Barndiva. A place that Jen + Cory, Barndiva, Healdsburg, California, 2013provided creative rustic decor, great food, and high end art as a backdrop for special weddings like this one.

I have to admit that I was pretty exhausted at the end of this wedding. But that’s a good thing. We did so much exploring of town to find the best hidden places to shoot. And in the end, this couple got a collection of images that celebrated the country, the city, elegance and tradition, but most of all their marriage.

Congrats Jen and Cory!

Jen + Cory, Barndiva, Healdsburg, California, 2013

Michelle + Ian’s San Francisco Engagment

This engagement shoot was done on a Saturday morning while on a walk through a couple of Michelle and Ian’s favorite San Francisco neighborhoods. They did their own styling for this shoot.

Michelle + Ian, San Francisco, California, 2013Typically, I wouldn’t do an outdoor shoot using natural light midday. However, San Francisco has the advantage, or disadvantage depending on your perspective, of always having a little bit of fog or haze in the sky. Even on clear days. Mostly, I shoot either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening. One reason for that is when the sun is close to the horizon, it’s light has to travel through a lot more atmosphere than when it is high in the sky. The atmosphere diffuses the light making shadows softer which usually makes for a much more flattering light on my subject’s skin. It’s similar to a soft box you would see in a photo studio. San Francisco basically always has a gigantic soft box over it. So I was able to shoot this beautiful couple midday.

Thanks for such a great shoot, Michelle and Ian. I can’t wait to shoot your wedding next fall!

 

Michelle + Ian, San Francisco, California, 2013

Katie + Aaron’s Asti Wedding

Katie and Aaron’s wedding was at Cellar No. 8 in Asti, California. The ceremony and reception was styled and coordinated by Rachel for So Eventful, catered by Rosso’s Pizzeria and it was shot by myself and my assistant Kat Louis.

Katie + Aaron, Asti, California, 2013It was a warm September day under bluebird skies. The day began shortly after noon at the bride and groom’s rental cabins on Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg overlooking the Russian river. After getting ready, the couple met there for a first look and then went with their wedding party to the winery. Once we arrived the decorations were well on their way toward completion and we had plenty of time for some family pictures and detail shots prior to the ceremony.

The ceremony was simple but elegant under a shade tree in the front lawn of Asti’s historic villa.

After the ceremony I quickly grabbed the couple for some intimate portraits. I really love being able to photograph a couple right after their ceremony because it gives them a chance to be alone together for the first moments of their marriage, and a chance to get away from their guests for a short time and concentrate on each other before their party. Every couple is happy, excited, and in love on their wedding day, but they express subtler quieter emotions that are important for me to capture as well. For Katie and Aaron’s portraits we shot around the villa, but it was the few pictures made inside that really struck a chord with me.

Katie + Aaron, Asti, California, 2013The reception was a short walk away at the winery. Toasts and dinner were just before sunset, and we were able to shoot a few extra bridal portraits in the fleeting moments before the sun dipped below the horizon. The evening was finished with dancing, a photo booth, ice cream, and even more dancing.

I’ve shot at a lot of wineries around here, and this is definitely one of my favorites. It is such an authentic place that creates a setting for an event with so much richness and character. The couple, Katie and Aaron from San Francisco, were so accommodating and fun and that it made my day so simple. Definitely one of my favorite weddings of the year.

Earth and Elegance at Olympia’s Valley Estate

A big thanks to Kai Squared Events for event styling, Bliss Bridal and Black Tie for wardrobe styling, Olympia’s Valley Estate for the venue accommodations, floral design by m.design, rentals from Encore Events Rentals and our bride Ysabella Esponda and groom JaJuan Lawson. Also, thank you to Style Unveiled and I Do Venues for featuring this styled shoot on your wonderful blogs!

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This styled shoot began for me at the crack of dawn. I arrived around 6 in the morning to take a few shots alone without assistants, stylists or models. Just me and a dew covered farm. Soon, the light fog began to give way to soft spring sunlight enhancing the glow of the tall green grass and the just-bloomed tulips and daffodils. It was a perfect morning.

Weddings, Olympia's Valley Estate, Petaluma, California, 2013After a break, I came back to Olympia’s Valley early in the afternoon to find stylists, florists, and the like hard at work preparing for our shoot. I showed them a few previews of what I shot by myself in the morning and everyone got excited for the possibilities this shoot could hold.

Soon, our models arrived.

I began shooting Ysabella in the bridal suite. It was immediately apparent to me how much of a luxury it is to shoot a professional model. Not because I didn’t have to coach her as much, but because I was inspired by her posing in a way that would aid my coaching and encouraging ofWeddings, Olympia's Valley Estate, Petaluma, California, 2013 my real brides. Which is something I love to do. Many of my clients comment that they loved how encouraging and supportive I am while photographing them. And doing styled shoots from time to time only helps me do that better.

Before long, the fog began to roll back in. At first its was just a thin layer off in the distance that created one of my most favorite lighting conditions. Still sunny and warm, but so delicate that it almost feels too perfect for this world.

The shoot concluded as the fog fully enveloped the farm.

Weddings, Olympia's Valley Estate, Petaluma, California, 2013

 

 

 

Michele + Jon’s Shakespeare’s Garden Wedding

This San Francisco wedding was at Shakespeare’s Garden in Golden Gate Park and the reception was held at The Box SF. It was shot by myself and my assistant Kat Louis.

Michele + Jon, Shakespeare's Garden, Golden Gate Park, 2013

 

Shayna + Jon’s Sonoma Valley Wedding

This wedding was held at The Lodge at Sonoma. Florals were designed by Fluers de France, hair by Colette and photographed by myself and my assistant Kat Louis.

Shayna + Jon, The Lodge at Sonoma, 2013

Lisea’s Senior Portraits At SweetLane Gardens

Here are some of the best shots from my senior portrait shoot with Casa Grade High student Lisea. We shot at the beautiful Sweetlane Gardens, which is a wholesale nursery in Cotati. A nursery isn’t the first place most people think of when they want a senior portrait shoot, but it’s often the non-traditional venues that make for the most beautiful images. A ton of flowers in bloom doesn’t hurt either. I would love to shoot a wedding there.

A big thanks to Sweetlane Gardens in Cotati for the great location for this shoot. Also, Kat Louis did a wonderful job on Nina’s makeup and Colette did her hair.

Lisea, Sweetlane Gardens, Cotati, California, 2013

Tips For Engaged Couples Before Your Photo Shoot

Delicate hands and shiny jewelry.Engagements, boudoir, and bridal portrait shoots, are now deemed as important as the wedding ceremony itself. With today’s best wedding photographers turning the whole prenuptial stage from linear to creative, a lot of couples-to-be are now challenged to come up with a theme that would perfectly present their love story being immortalized through photographs. A great photographer will work with you to choose the perfect location for the shoot, the outfits to be worn, and even those candid moments and romantic looks and gestures—factors that would keep you all the more thinking about the way your photos would appear. However, before you proceed to get your photos snapped for your friends and family to see, we have some tips to help you and your beloved to be properly prepared for this momentous event.

Get your nails done. Whether you’re into nail polish or not, it is wise to trim your cuticles and even out your nails using a nail file. This would make your fingers look healthy as this also would make an impression, especially in showcasing your diamond ring in photos. Small details make a big difference!

Straighten your engagement ring. Before letting your photographer take a picture of your engagement ring on your finger, make sure that the ring is straightened out so it doesn’t look sloppy on your fingers when photographed. In fact, it is normal to have uneven webs between our digits which make ring sit a bit lopsided. To keep the ring in place during the photo sessions, place your hand on a flat surface, or try to squeeze your pinky against your ring finger. Also, clean your ring before the shoot. This can be done with simple glass cleaner or you can try to visit your jewelry store and ask for their preferred diamond cleaner. Please click here for more details about diamond engagement rings and other jewelry care advice.

Nina’s Senior Portraits At Sweetlane Gardens

A big thanks to Sweetlane Gardens in Cotati for the great location for this styled senior portrait shoot. Also, Kat Louis did a wonderful job on Nina’s makeup and Colette Burrows did her hair.

Nina, Cotati, California, 2013