Fire House Museum Wedding

Firehouse Museum Wedding | San Diego | Jen + Lauren

These ladies are the coolest of cool, the best of the best, and the most amazing of all the amazing folks I know.  They are philanthropists and businesswomen with big hearts and even bigger laughs.  Jen is a financial advisor and land banking manager.  In fact, she is MY financial advisor and land banking manager.  If you are looking for someone to help you invest in your future, I stand 100% behind this woman.   Lauren is an OB/GYN and although I can’t vouch for her services in that arena, I can vouch for her unbelievably infectious personality.  She is all smiles and graciousness, with a sprinkling of sarcastic snarky.

A few years ago, Jen spent over a year traveling in Vietnam and fell in love with the people she met there.  She had such an inspiring experience in her years abroad that she successfully fundraised, built and now maintains a home for 24 impoverished, disadvantaged or orphaned children in Vietnam called Mary’s House.   Mary’s House opened in January of 2012 and is named after Jen’s grandmother, Mary.   Mary’s House will be the recipient of my 2015 donations but you don’t have to wait for a donation to be made in your name to Mary’s House by hiring me: you can simply follow this link to read more about Mary’s House, Jen’s mission, and donate today.   If you are interested in more information about my pledge to give back to others, you may follow this link.

Jen and Lauren are absolutely 100% perfect for each other and it became even more clear in the week I spent celebrating with them in their hometown of San Diego, CA.  They were wed in a boisterous and laughter filled ceremony at the San Diego Fire House Museum in Little Italy.  It was an amazing wedding venue and held both the ceremony and reception.  Guests stayed at the nearby Porto Vista Hotel, a mere two block walk from the venue.  I have to give extra special props to their catering company, Waters Catering.  It was the BEST most delicious food I’ve ever eaten at a wedding, hands down, and I have been to a lot of weddings!

Here’s a few too many of my favorite photos from their Firehouse Museum wedding.  I had such a hard time narrowing these down.  The party was so awesome and the people so gorgeous it was hard to pick just a few!

Venue: Firehouse Museum | Florist: Flower Child | Caterers: Waters Catering | Baker: Friend of the Brides | Hair and Make-Up: Bianca Espinosa-Boyer | DJ: Simon Taylor | Dresses: D’Angelo Couture | Officiant: Alex Del Rio

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Rock Wall Winery Portraits

Alameda Engagement Session | Lauren + Tim

These two.  I’m so happy they found me and I cannot wait for their West Shore Cafe wedding next March.  Lauren grew up in Texas so I feel right at home with her.  She’s as comfortable in cowboy boots as she is in a dress.  They both love day drinking and specifically, wine.  They believe in the power of breakfast (and possibly even second breakfast) but we didn’t cover that.  Clearly, we are meant to be best friends forever.

They have a fabulous house in Oakland that I adore and for their engagement session, of which, I shall note, Tim emphatically did not want to participate in, we decided to run around to some of their favorite picturesque neighborhood haunts that also involve wine.  Lake Merritt was the perfect spot to start in: one could definitely waste spend away the entire day drinking on the deck of The Lake Chalet.  Next stop up was their local winery.  Lauren and Tim are founding members of the wine club and I have to say the Zin I tried was excellent.

In the end, we ended up with an awesome batch of photos for their session and a super wonderful afternoon.  I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to enjoy my afternoon and evening with!

LOCATIONS

Oakland |  The Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill

Alameda | Rock Wall Winery

Alameda Engagement SessionOakland Engagement SessionLake Chalet Portrait SessionLake Merritt PortraitsLake Merritt Oakland PortraitsRock Wall Winery Portrait SessionAlameda Engagement SessionRock Wall WineryBay Area Portrait PhotographyRock Wall Winery PortraitsRock Wall Winery PortraitsAlameda Portrait PhotographerAlameda Portrait PhotographyAlameda Portrait Photographer

Playground Portrait Session

Playground Portrait Sessions | Golden Gate Park | Rozen Family

Chris and Erin have been long time friends of mine ever since they moved to the west coast from the east coast.  Back in the day, which I used to be a little raver, Chris and I were on a few of the same electronic music boards together.  You know, back when people were in forums together before facebook and reddit.  We’ve all grown quite a bit since then – their family especially.  Now, they have two beautiful daughters whom I like to send all my favorite kids’ books to.

I was recently in San Francisco / Bay Area for an engagement session.  Erin had randomly contacted me about how badly they needed a photo of their now larger family and I, of course, agreed to meet up while I was there.  We met up for a playground portrait session at the panhandle playground in the unbelievably gorgeous Golden Gate Park.  No matter how many times I go there, it’s beauty and vastness continues to astound me.  There’s always something I didn’t see the last time!

I knew that their eldest daughter wouldn’t have a super long attention span, so a playground portrait session was perfect for her.  With lots of things to climb, play and entertain her, spirits were highly more likely to be up than down.  Although it was a super quick half hour, we managed to get a few group photos and plenty of great candid action shots!

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Bay Area Engagement Sessions

Oakland Engagement Session | Lauren + Tim Sneak Peek

Tim emphatically did not want to take engagement photos.

Lauren and I collectively joined forces to sway him otherwise.  I tried all my usual tricks: promises of adult beverages, sarcastic exasperation, rotating locations.

He did not concur with our plan.

I’m pretty sure the Laurens succeeded, however, in capturing some wonderful shots regardless of his disagreement in our views on the awesomeness that is engagement portraits.

I think that makes this Oakland engagement session a win win for everyone.  More to come from this cute couple and our awesome and fun afternoon exploring Oakland, Lake Merritt, and Rock Wall Winery!

Bay Area Engagement SessionsOakland Engagement PortraitsLake Merritt Engagement Session

Fire House Museum Wedding

San Diego LGBT Wedding | Jen + Lauren | Sneak Peek

 

 

Jenny is the greatest employee I ever had, probably because she was completely overqualified for the job.  As an manager who often rarely saw my employees, I used to leave a lot of notes behind for them.  When Jenny left, she literally covered my store with notes: hundreds of them!  I was happy to hear during Jen and Lauren’s ceremony that the tradition has continued and that she leaves post it notes for the love of her life as well.  I have so many stories to share about this amazing power duo from San Diego but those will have to wait a few weeks until I’m finished with their wedding.  In the meantime, I’m just still so honored and tickled that I was asked to be their wedding photographer!

Until then, here’s a few sneak peeks from Jen and Lauren’s San Diego LGBT Wedding at the Firehouse Museum in Little Italy.

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Fire House Museum Wedding
LGBT San Diego Wedding

SF Engagement Portrait

SF Engagement Session | Malia + Josh

Josh and Malia went to high school together.

Yes.

Now they are getting married and although Malia currently lives in Southern CA, Josh spends most of his time in Northern CA.  His family is originally from San Francisco and the city is extremely important to them.  When they approached me about becoming their wedding photographer and indicated that they’d like to have a SF engagement session I was overjoyed and readily suggested an all day tromp-through-the-city affair.

We started out our afternoon with a leisurely lunch in Little Italy at The Italian Homemade Company where the chefs serenaded us in Italian while dishing up huge heaping portions of homemade gnocchi rolls.  After that, we took a stroll through Washington Square Park over to Mara’s Italian Pastries for the requisite post lunch cannoli.  After that, we spent the rest of the day touristing at all the biggest and most iconic SF landmarks for the ultimate San Francisco portrait session: the Bay Bridge, the Ferry Building, The Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Park, the Legion of Honor, and Land’s End, among others!  We ended our day at an amazing event called Off the Grid that takes place in Fort Mason every Friday night.

It was a whirlwind day all over the city filled with amazing food, lots of laughter and really amazing company.  I’m looking forward to their wedding in December after spending such a wonderful and inspiring day with this fantastic couple.

Doctor Who Engagement

Doctor Who Themed Engagement | Sacramento | Will + Sara

SO MUCH YES.

Will and Sara are so fantastic and I’m absolutely overjoyed that we connected thanks to Thumbtack.  When they originally requested information, their message said, “My fiance and I are SUPER NERDY and our engagement itself was Doctor Who themed, while we both play Magic the Gathering.  We love all things nerdy and would like some of that incorporated into our engagement photos.”  I, of course, responded with, “SO MUCH YES” and our relationship was born.

Sara and Will met when she overheard him while walking down the street in Davis, CA, talking about Magic shortly after she moved there.   As fate would have it, Will walked into the Chipotle line directly behind her and she gathered up the gumption to go talk to him since she too played Magic.  When they told me this story, I suggested we start our session off with them playing Magic at Chipotle and they readily agreed.

After that, we headed down to the state capital in Sacramento because the building and grounds hold significant importance for the two of them.  In fact, their wedding ceremony will be held on the grounds as well.

Will and Sara are both huge Doctor Who fans and since Will proposed outside of the TARDIS at Stage Nine in Old Town Sacramento, they specifically wanted to incorporate this into a Doctor Who themed engagement session.  We took it a step further and recreated a picnic scene on the beach on the river in Sacramento and then headed back over to Stage Nine who was gracious enough to allow us to come in after hours and photograph in the TARDIS.

Our day was complete with a stop on the yellow bridge and an amazing dinner and bottle of wine together at Il Fornaio.

Basically, the whole day was like this:

SO MUCH YES.

I can’t wait to do it all over again at their wedding in November.

Napa Wedding Photographer

Intimate Napa Wedding | Published at the Knot

It’s always a nice reminder of how awesome all my clients are when some of my past work is published, and this intimate Napa wedding published on The Knot last week is no exception.  I continue to be so thankful that I was connected with Tracey and Adam.  They are such an amazing couple, so fun to hang out with and now, adding to their family.  I’m hoping to head down to New Orleans later this year to celebrate their newborn with a portrait session for them.

If you’d like to check out Tracey and Adam’s original wedding post on my site, you may do so via this link.

You can see their entire post at the Knot published last week via this link.

You can also follow The Knot at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.Napa Budget Wedding

Ferry Building Engagement Session

San Francisco Engagement | Malia + Josh | Sneak Peek

These two.

They met in high school (for real).

We may or may not have taken photos now described as “the anime photos.”

Serious foodies, thank goodness!  They took me to Off the Grid and I felt like I about died and went to heaven.

I’m 99% certain all we talked about all day was food and how much we wished we had room in our stomachs to eat more.

San Francisco plays and important role in Josh’s life and they really wanted to highlight the city in their engagement session so I was quick to suggest a romp around city for the afternoon and they were quick to agree.

More to come from this amazing San Francisco Engagement Session.  In the meantime, here’s a few frames to hold you over.

Bay Bridge Engagement PhotoSan Francisco Engagement SessionFerry Building Engagement SessionPalace of Fine Arts Engagement Session

Winters CA Wedding Photographer

Winters CA Wedding | Courtney + Vince

Here is yet another wedding that I waited way to long to share, though thankfully, it’s only been a few months, not half a year!  Vince and Courtney were my first wedding of 2015 and I can’t imaging a cooler couple to have stolen that memorable and celebratory spot in my 2015 wedding year.  I’m so honored Courtney’s mother connected with me and that I could photograph their special Winters CA wedding!

Vince and Courtney have an unbelievably unique and romantic story: they are both in the Air Force and met while stationed in Ohio.  Soon after meeting, Vince received orders to go to San Antonio.  He didn’t want to leave Courtney behind so he proposed to her Christmas Eve 2013.  They had to act fast, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to attach Courtney to his orders.  He was scheduled to leave in April of 2014!   They ended up having a civil ceremony in Ohio in the court house on January 3, 2014 and no family was able to attend.  Fast forward to one year later: the gorgeous couple arranged to visit Courtney’s family during the holidays and they came up with the idea to hold their official wedding, vow exchange and reception for family and local friends on their anniversary. In the end, it was a small intimate affair of about 50 unbelievably fun people with a rocking dance party (and really exceptionally good steak).

Venue: Buckhorn Steakhouse | Floral Arrangements: Lindsey Berg