Playing Around With Expensive Cameras!

I was recently on an annual vacation with my immediate family and learned my two nieces (Sarah and Grace) are interested in learning more about photography. I gave them a little lesson in composition and exposure, and sent them off with my camera and favorite portrait lens. They did a pretty darned good job! All photos are theirs except the canoe shot of Gracie, which I couldn't help taking! More power to the young photographers out there!

Super Bride!

I love all my brides of course and although I share a very intimate day in their lives, I still often know very little about their personal lives and accomplishments. Often I get bits and pieces of information during the toasts and once in a while get the full story and am blown away by what I call my "Super Brides"!

I had one such bride a few weeks ago and although will post the whole wedding soon, couldn't help but share this photo of Kim. She definitely falls in the "Super Bride" category! Not only has she been ultra-sincere and sweet throughout our whole relationship (she even offered me a glass of wine when I arrived to shoot her getting ready photos and I assured her that although I would have loved to share a getting ready glass of wine with her - I had a wedding to shoot in a couple of hours!), she is also gorgeous! Not only that, but during her sister's toast I learned that Kim went to Yale law school, passed the California bar exam and then decided she wanted to go to medical school. She's now a cardiologist! Definitely a "Super Bride" and look how she glowed on her wedding day. GORGEOUS!


Nicole and Samir - Sneak Peek!

I love ethnic weddings! South Asian weddings are particularly stunning because of the intense color. In this case it was three days of shooting with many outfit changes and multiple locations culminating at the DeYoung for the traditional American ceremony. Thought I would give a sneak peek of this gorgeous wedding before sneaking off on vacation! Congrats to Nicole and Samir! More to come!

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Marin Agricultural Land Trust - Ranches and Rolling Hills Art Event

Was so excited to be contacted by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to photograph their annual farm-to-table "Ranches and Rolling Hills" event. What a beautiful setting and beautiful local art to benefit this worthwhile organization. The organization has worked for 34 years to protect and preserve family farms in the area. Each year, it hosts an art show and sale that benefits these farms, featuring all local art showcasing the area land, livestock, waterways and more of the area. What a wonderful idea!

Hope to be photographing more of their events in the future!

Golden Gate Club Wedding, San Francisco - Jamie and Peter!

Always honored when someone in the industry asks me to photograph their wedding. Peter is an executive sous chef for Componere Catering, so food was important! I love photographing food, so we made a good match!

Peter and Jamie had a full day starting together with a first look at the iconic Palace of Fine Arts. We did a little shooting there despite the wind, and then hopped across the street to Chrissy Field where we got a couple shots with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and then some fun Presidio buildings. Then on to the first Korean catholic church in San Francisco for the ceremony and then back to the Golden Gate Club for the lovely traditional Korean tea ceremony. I love shooting tea ceremonies. They are such wonderful traditions and I particularly love the Korean costumes.

Svenja and team of Chestnut and Vine as always did an amazing job with the colorful floral arrangements and of course, the food was beautiful! Not only that but it looked like everyone had an amazing time! Congratulations Jamie and Peter!

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Zion National Park Wedding - Eve and Ed

My very dear friend, Eve, married Ed a few weeks ago in Zion National Park. I was so honored to be there both as a friend and her photographer. Another dear friend, Olivia, whom I've been mentoring for the past year, was on hand for second shooting. 

I loved this quirky DIY wedding. Set on a hotel property just outside the main gate of Zion National Park, this couldn't have been a prettier setting for Eve and Ed's day. The Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens lawn was perfect for accommodating an intimate group of family and friends who came from all over to celebrate this destination wedding. I loved the views of the Zion Cliffs surrounding us, and was so happy Eve and Ed were game to walk over to the property's section of the Virgin River for their post-ceremony photo shoot. Such good sports walking around in the sand! 

Eve put her heart and soul into the decorations, hand-painting and sewing all of the table numbers and place cards. She also ordered dried flowers (such a good idea for transporting to a remote location) and recruited me (!) to help her put them into sweet bud vases. I also loved the vintage ball jars and the gorgeous dried bouquets and boutonnieres, which were tied together with burlap and complemented the simple burlap table runners. The bridesmaids were asked to wear complementary pastel colored dressed, with the maid of honor's being a lovely pattern to help her stand out. Looked great with the men's pastel ties and the kids vintage clothing! 

So happy for my friend Eve. What a long, lingering, lovely day for all!

Kim Betzina Interiors: Sonoma County Log Cabin

Loved photographing this gorgeous Sonoma County log cabin home for Kim Betzina Interiors. Kim has such a fabulous eye that crosses many design styles, and she flawlessly embraces this gorgeous log cabin home set on a Sonoma County rural horse farm. We had a lovely shoot day, kicking back on the farm and listening to the horses whinnying in the background!

Wedspring - San Francisco Wedding Planning Space

As a photographer represented by Melia of Wedspring, San Francisco, I was honored that Melia asked me to photograph her lovely shop. Love the chalkboard painted walls, gorgeous invitation displays and shabby chic furnishings. Melia is such a great talent from interior decorating to floral and invitation design she can plan a wedding from start to finish. She's even certified to plan your honeymoon a a travel agent! Such a gorgeous space set in a classic Russian Hill, Julia Morgan designed storefront!

Urban San Francisco Wedding - Lauren and Taylor

Lauren mentioned in some notes about her wedding that she wanted it to feel as if they had invited all of their closest friends and family over for a dinner party with dancing. And that is the PERFECT description of this urban, San Francisco wedding, held literally around the corner from the couple's home. They chose the Stable Cafe both because of its proximity and because it's a place they love and frequent. The Stable Cafe has some deep San Francisco history, too. Its menu is inspired by the owner's Neapolitan Agrarian roots, and its food all comes from his farm! Lauren's many talents come from building a business as a wedding designer and planner called Ryder Sloan Events. This wedding was full of DIY and personal touches, from hand-drawn invitations to a seating chart made from wallpaper in the couple's new house. Lauren and her mother also handmade all of the tables' tiles, and so much more. I loved this wedding not only for all of the above, but mostly for its simplicity and true celebration of family, friends and the true love of Lauren and Taylor.

The whole day felt like a big love-fest, and was filled with great joy. Always an honor to be included in this incredible right of passage!

Vendors who participated in this wedding included:

Venue: Stable Cafe

Coordination and Design: Ryder Sloan Events

Florist: Mandolin Floral

Caterer: Thomas John Events

Baker: Cake Coquette and Sweet Lauren Cakes

Best of 2013!

So excited to share my best of 2013 show! I can't believe how fortunate I am to photograph such happy couples and gorgeous locations. Reviewing this made me weepy. So many beautiful couples and emotional moments. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I do. A big thank you to all of the vendors and locations for giving me such gorgeousness to photograph and a super big congratulations to all of my 2013 clients. I hope you all have many happy years ahead! With love, Julie

NOTE: The embedded video below will play in low definition video, so it is best viewed in its current size. Please click here for high definition, full screen viewing.

Piedmont Community Center Wedding - Catherine and Eytan

I've always loved this little gem of an east Bay Area wedding venue! Piedmont Community Center has it all — convenient location, redwoods, gardens, lawns, a lovely courtyard and a beautiful indoor hall for the cooler months or dancing. I was thrilled when Catherine and Eytan contacted me and also told me that Svenya of Chestnut and Vine Floral Design referred them to me. I love working with Svenja! Her work is gorgeous and so original. She created the most beautiful chuppah for the ceremony beside the redwoods. Blue Heron Catering also created a wonderful buffet of food and made sure the day went smoothly for all. And who could miss the beautiful cake by Masse's Pastries? Catherine and her family had a huge hand in the details of the couple's big day. For their handmade programs, Catherine designed a  "Catakshy" family seal, a name that combines Catherine's first name with Eytan's last name. Her mother also designed and sewed traditional Vietnamese gowns for the bride and family members to wear during the reception!

Catherine and Eytan and their families were an absolute joy to work with, and I was so pleased when I got this thoughtful note from Catherine:

"We can not thank you enough for your consummate professionalism and astoundingly beautiful work. It was such a true pleasure to work with you before and during the wedding. We couldn't have asked for a better photographer and will recommend you to all our friends!

Looking at the photos is such a joy. It's like reliving the joy of the day each time, for which we thank you!"

What a thrill to get this note from Catherine and Eytan. I could go on and on about what lovely people they are, and am so happy that they have found each other. What a wonderful couple!

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Vendors involved in this wedding included:

Venue: Piedmont Community Center

Floral Design: Chestnut and Vine Floral Design

Catering: Blue Heron Catering

Bakery: Masse's Pastries