Last year, a friend contacted me with questions about becoming a wedding photographer, and I had the pleasure of mentoring her most of last wedding season. She was a terrific second-shooter, and I wanted to give credit where credit is due for some of the gorgeous images she captured while working beside me. I directed some of the images while some were all her own. Either way, each is incredible! Thank you, Olivia!
Off to Rancho La Puerta again! Rancho La Puerta is is a health and wellness spa located just south of San Diego, nestled on 3,000 acres in Tecate, Mexico. It was founded in the ’40s by a health-conscious couple and has grown into a lovely, healthy getaway. It was voted two years in a row as “best destination spa in the world” by Travel and Leisure magazine readers. I'm one of the lucky photographers who gets to go down a couple of times a year to shoot for their marketing materials and website and I'm off for a week Saturday, October 19th through Saturday the 26th. I will have limited access to e-mail and no access to voice mail while I'm away. I will try to answer e-mails as soon as I can!
Yowsa! Julie Atwood of Julie Atwood Events and the folks at ISES really know how to throw party! Julie Atwood, already a talented stylist, worked with Meredith Law of M. Design on flowers and La Tavola Linen to create the feel of this lovely garden and barn event. Back to Earth Catering prepared such yummy food, including roasted harvest veggies and beef shank. YUM! Atwood ranch is a glorious Sonoma valley wedding planner that organizes events at elite wineries and estates in Sonoma Valley and the North Bay. ISES is a membership organization that provides training for event planners.
I was so excited that a former bride of mine asked me to photograph the inaugural Edible Excursions San Francisco Craft Cocktail Tour. Edible Excursions is an award-winning culinary tour company that offers foodies guided culinary walks through several areas of San Francisco. Lisa, the owner was in the infancy of her business when she got married and asked me to be her wedding photographer. I also photographed their firstborn, and I am so excited to have seen Lisa's business grow and to be a part of this newest venture in her business. We have some star mixologists in the Bay Area, and I'm so excited to see Lisa add this tour to her Edible Excursions options. These tours are not only great to go on, but they make great gifts or the perfect plan for a party idea!
So excited to be asked by the very talented Julie Atwood to shoot at
, the largest freshwater wetlands complex on the northern California coast. The foundation is hoping to market to couples interested in a ranch feeling wedding in Sonoma, but who would love to contribute also to the preserve. Julie Atwood of Atwood Ranch and
is spearheading the promotion and styled our shoot. She's so talented! Here are a few teasers from our shoot. There's a whole third day (including more vendors) and so many more gorgeous images from this shoot. Can't wait to share more!
Since Andra and Christopher's gorgeous wedding, I've often been asked how other brides can host an outdoor Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony. And who better to answer that question that Andra herself? I reached out to her on behalf of my other brides, and here is what she said: Brides need a "special dispensation through the Archbishop," according to Andra, to have a ceremony outside of the church. In her case, Andra had a grandfather who would have difficulty traveling between multiple venues -- and so, her priest made the dispensation request on the behalf of the couple. "I am not sure how easy it is to get and if it would be granted in situations where there is no pressing health need," she says, but it doesn't hurt to ask! And just for fun, here are a few shots from their outdoor ceremony! You can check out their full wedding post here, too!
I'm lucky enough to be heading to Rancho La Puerta about every six months now to shoot photography to help them re-build their photography library. Rancho La Puerta is a health and wellness spa located just south of San Diego, nestled on 3,000 acres in Tecate, Mexico. It was founded in the ’40s by a health-conscious couple and has grown into a lovely, healthy getaway. It was voted two years in a row as “best destination spa in the world” by Travel and Leisure magazine readers. It's become one of my favorite places on earth, and I would highly recommend going to rewind and re-energize! If you go, let them know I sent you! I get a little prize! Everyone loves prizes! This last assignment was hiking. The mountains were gorgeously green like I've never seen them and the mountain lilac was in full bloom. I actually burst into "The Hills are Alive" from the Sound of Music during one of the hikes! This was a short visit for me (usually I stay for a week) so not too much to share, but gorgeous none-the-less! Hope these photos inspire you to go to Rancho La Puerta!
Join me for the grand opening party of WedSpring! Melia and her lovely husband, Matt, have opened this gorgeous space on Polk Street in the heart of Russian Hill for brides to visit in a comfortable environment to do research for their wedding and honeymoon! The launch party will be Thursday, April 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and I hope you can join us for cocktails and sweet and savory treats.
Wow! Oh the places you'll go - right here in Oakland! The theme of the party was "Where in the World is (the birthday boy)." Barbara Llewellyn Event Planning & Catering did an AMAZING job creating an original and spectacular event, where every food station represented a different country. There were two large rooms and an outdoor space at Uptown Body and Fender - an autobody shop in Oakland that was completely transformed into a hot night party spot! The outdoor space represented Russia, and I thought it was the most spectacular because it had an ice-topped bar featuring Russian vodkas and caviar, imitation-stuffed polar bears, cushy seating and roaring fire pits. Inside, there was a German beer garden setting that served sausage and short ribs, complete with picnic tables! There was also a Mexico room with mini margarita shots and tacos, and an equally fabulous U.S. station with a replica of the Statue of Liberty and the Trans America tower serving mini burgers and fries! I think the guests were all amazed, and they all played their parts by dressing as the citizens of the world. It was not hard to guess where in the world some of the guests were from! Everyone danced the night away to the Notorious band. What a BLAST of a party!
It started out a dream come true! My husband and I planned what we hoped to be a snowy Christmas trip to the Sierras and as the date drew near, we were worried we wouldn't have enough snow to snowshoe in the four miles to the back-country Lost Trail Lodge outside of Donner Lake. Be careful what you wish for! The Tahoe area got an almost record-breaking 4-5 feet of snow the two days before we hiked in. Wow! What we didn't realize was that 1/2 of the trail would not be groomed (about two of the four miles). Oh my! The hike started out lovely with a groomed trail and plenty of sunshine, but soon grew really hairy as my husband blazed a trail through four feet of fresh powder. It took us 6 1/2 hours with full backpacks and lots of worry (not a clear trail and it got dark and cold!) to hike in, but the lodge was absolutely picture perfect for a white Christmas. We joked the whole time that if someone asked a set designer to design the perfect back-country lodge at Christmas, this would be IT! Wonderful! It started out so easy and sunny:
As some of you may have read in previous posts, I have the pleasure of going down to Rancho La Puerta -- a wellness spa and health ranch located just south of San Diego, nestled on 3,000 in Tecate, Mexico -- every six months or so to shoot photos for their marketing materials. Lucky me, because Rancho La Puerta has been voted for years as “best destination spa in the world” by Travel and Leisure magazine readers! It was founded in the ’40s by a health-conscious couple and has grown into a lovely, healthy getaway. The fitness program is top-notch, with full time instructors plus weekly visiting instructors in various disciplines. The food is vegetarian with a bit of fresh fish, and a lot is grown on their own gigantic and gorgeous organic farm. Rancho La Puerta has become almost my favorite place in the world -- right behind being at home with my hubby. It's like summer camp for adults with GREAT organic vegetarian food and exercise and beauty galore! Enjoy the most recent photos!
Many of my clients don't know that I used to photograph home interiors and gardens for the national interior design magazines. Although my primary focus these days is weddings, I still do some shooting for local San Francisco and Bay area interior designers, architects and contractors. I recently shot a few interiors for a wonderful designer named Sylvia Brown of designHouse. I'm hoping Sylvia will be building her website soon with some of these lovely interiors. She's TERRIFIC with color! Enjoy!
I'm leaving for Rancho La Puerta for another week of shooting. If you haven't seen any of my previous posts, here are a few faves from past shoots for you to savor while I'm away. I've grown to view Rancho La Puerta as one of my favorite places in the world! I love the healthy organic vegetarian eating (not that I'm vegetarian, but it's nice to cleanse once in a while!), gorgeous grounds, incredible fitness program and REALLY laid-back people. I'll be back in the office, Monday the 17th, but will be checking e-mail a few times while I'm away!
I pulled some files for wedding planner Dee Merz so she could share them with a bride who is thinking about having cupcakes instead of cake. These shots are from my Thanksgiving weekend wedding, which I won't be ready to post in full for another couple of weeks, but since I prepped these shots, I though it would be fun to do a little cupcake post for the weekend! These darling things were created by Perfect Endings of Napa, California. The lovey display was designed by the ever-talented Dee Merz and team! Sweet dreaming over the weekend! XOXO!
My studio-mate and I did a trade of photography! She photographed my most recent head shots and I photographed her lovely family in exchange. Here are a few of my favorites from their family portrait session. I've also included some lovely shots she took of me!
I call this one Vavoom! I recently lost weight am was pleased to see that I looked pretty darned good in a 3/4 length shot!
My hubby and I attended our first Oakland Raider's game today thanks to a very generous client who works for the Raiders! We had such a blast. We went early to experience the infamous tailgating scene and even more infamous Raider's fans. Neither disappointed us. If you haven't ever been to a Raiders game, win or lose or whether you live in Oakland or not, everyone is a Raiders fan and has a blast. What an experience that shouldn't be missed. You kind of have to put on your "when in Rome..." hat and run with it. We were lucky enough to have incredible seats and access to the "clubs" so we may have been a little insulated from the really crazy fans once we got in the stadium, but I think we still would have had a great experience even if we were amongst the "darkside" or the "black hole" crowds. What fun! Here are some crazy fans - including my hubby (in front of the monster truck and holding our fabby tix)!
I met Nikol while she was doing her magic on one of my brides. We hit it off immediately and then discovered we both live in Oakland! Instant bond. Phew that she's also INCREDIBLE at what she does and extremely passionate about her work. Because of that, I asked Nikol if she would do a makeup trial on me so that I could learn (late in life) how to apply makeup for everyday occasions. It was a huge success and we decided to do a trade. So I was lucky enough to recently photograph Nikol. Nikol is at that point in her life where her business and confidence are both building quickly. I remember those days so long ago and had such a good time capturing that spirit in someone who is at such a full time of her life. Nikol was a DREAM to shoot. Of course she did her own makeup and hair and brought a few fave outfits, and we had a blast! Enjoy and seriously consider having this spirited, talented and lovely woman to do your makeup on your wedding day! She's wonderful!
In Memory of Damian Horstman - He had such love for his bride.
I've been working on putting together images for a new venture in San Francisco called WedSpring, a concierge-style service that connects engaged couples with some of the area's best wedding vendors! They have a multimedia wedding resource library and design studio in the city -- so if you're in the neighborhood, you should definitely check it out! It's been a lot of fun looking back at some of my favorite images, which you will be able to view at WedSpring when it opens later this month! In the meantime, you can check out some of the upcoming wedding events in our area on their blog!