Empire Mines Wedding

Empire Mine Wedding | Emily + Dave

I spent six years as a camp counselor in college at an all girls non-denominational summer camp called Camp Mystic, that sought to enrich the lives of young girls by helping them become better people, giving them the space to allow themselves to grow as young adults and let camp bring out the best in them, and develop spiritually, however that may be.  Every year on one special day, we told the story of the Warm Fuzzies, about two people who lived in a land where everyone was happy because they were always sharing, giving and recieving these little balls of fluff called, of course, “warm fuzzies.”  Since Warm Fuzzies were “always given freely, getting enough of them was never a problem. There were always plenty to go around, and so everyone was happy and felt warm and fuzzy most of the time.”  The story goes on and there’s some melodrama and sadness to overcome, as all good stories have, but in the end, we’d give all the campers a whole bunch of warm fuzzies and they would spend the rest of the term handing them out to people, bringing unbridled joy and happiness to all of the land.

Where am I going with this in a wedding blog post?

I’ll tell you:

Emily is a Warm Fuzzy.

She is the warmest of warm fuzzies.  The minute you meet her, she envelops you with these large, gracious, giving eyes and she brings you in and makes you feel loved and welcome and fabulous.  Dave is hardly any different: grinning, congenial, extremely smart, and with a snarky fun wit that makes Em light up.  You can see it in their wedding photos: it was seriously difficult to get a photo of Em not laughing.

Their Empire Mine Wedding at Empire Mine State Park in Nevada City, outside of Grass Valley, CA was stunningly beautiful.  It looks like fairy land: everything was green, awash in golden sunlight and etheral.  I am so over the moon for this venue that I cannot wait to return to it.  Just a word of warning: if you hire me to be your wedding photographer, person reading this, then you best put an hour of portraits on your schedule beause I could take portraits there for DAYS and not exhaust all the awesome out of it.  It’s GORGEOUS.

But, back to Em and Dave.

These two people are so rad, so loving, and so secure in themselves, their faith and their friendships that they are nothing short of inspirational.  They are giving and gorgeous and I know that only extreme happiness is coming their way because they ask for nothing in return but laughter and smiles.  They deserve every bit of their joy and I feel extremely lucky to have met a real life warm fuzzy and better yet, to have photographed her wedding.

Ceremony Venue: Empire Mine State Park | Ceremony DJ: Sac City DJ | Flowers: Sweet Roots Farm | Reception Venue: The Powell House | Caterer: Farm to Table | Rentals: SRC Rentals | Decor: Roots Reclaimed | Bride Hair: Analise Joy Haines | Bride’s Dress: Dreamnette Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic

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Little Italy Engagement Photos

San Francisco Engagement Photos | Kelley + Neal | Sneak Peek

Kelley is my best mate’s other best mate.

I was absolutely overjoyed when she decided she wanted me to be her wedding photographer.  I was jumping up and down on my bed (figuratively, not literally) when she said she wanted to rendevous in San Francisco for her engagement session.  It was an absolute blast and it was a trip made even better when our best mate Haley and her husband Dave traveled up from LA to join us.  I can’t wait to share all the awesome photos we took on our day in the city from Brenda’s Soul Food for breakfast, to city scapes at every view point we found, to oysters at the Ferry Building to Coit Tower.  Here’s a few sneak peeks from our awesome weekend together.

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Culver City Portrait Session

Culver City Engagement Session | Published at Ever Ours

This one time, Lydia over at Ever Ours published one of my engagement sessions and I waxed and waned about how honored I was to be part of her amazing photographic community.  She celebrates real love, great photographers and amazing photos and I’m overjoyed to be featured on her blog for the 2nd time, with this gorgeous Culver City engagement session for Andy and Sarah.

You can also follow Ever Ours on Tumblr, Twitter,Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

You can see the entire feature over at Ever Ours via this link.

Culver City Engagement Session

Miner's Foundry Wedding

Nevada City Wedding Photographer | Alysha + Jackson | Sneak Peek

Alysha said that she knew I was the photographer for her the minute she saw me on Skype with a huge glass of wine in my hand.  Alysha and Jackson were visibly relaxed during their wedding day at the Miner’s Foundry Cultural Center.  Surrounded by friends and family and the rustic weathered building that was originally a machine shop, they wed in a quiet ceremony and celebrated with a reception that offered some of the best mac’n’cheese I’ve had lately (and you know I love mac’n’cheese).

Here’s a few sneak peeks from my day as their Nevada City Wedding Photographer.  There’s more to come from this awesome couple!

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Swimming Senior Portraits

Tracy Senior Photography | Jason

This family.  I adore them so much.

Eddie and Lori were were one of my first Tahoe wedding clients.  They were wed in a beautiful and intimate Tahoe beach ceremony at theTahoe Beach Retreat.  To this day, they remain some of my most vibrant and vocal supporters.  I would do anything for them, and anything includes visiting their beautiful family in the Bay Area for some Tracy senior photography for their son Jason.

Jason is a talented, smart kid who intends to continue his pursuits of water polo in college.  He really wanted to showcase his love of the sport in his session and as I am a former competitive swimmer myself, I was excited for the session!  We spend the morning wandering around Tracy, CA with Jason’s guitar at various locations that Lori had previously scouted for me.  I must say: Lori was an exceptional location scout!  It was high noon almost when we shot and I didn’t want to leave Eddie without a job so we employed his services as umbrella man.  He also did an exceptionally great job assisting!

Tracy CA senior photography

Exceptional umbrella holding by Eddie!

I am constantly amazed by the folks who come into my life thanks to my job.  One of the best things about it is the lifelong relationships I forge with clients who I come to consider friends.  This family warms my heart in every way and I’m so happy I was able to photograph Jason to celebrate his high school graduation.  Here’s a few of my favorites from our Tracy, CA senior portrait session.

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Empire Mines Wedding

Grass Valley Wedding | Em + Dave | Sneak Peek

I basically spent the entire 10 minutes I had with this couple for portraits flippin’ flippin’ out.  Don’t think I wasn’t.

Empire Mines Wedding

This venue is INCREDIBLE.  Breathtakingly beautiful.  Photo opportunities every where you look.  Ridiculous lush greenery.  Backlit afternoon sunshine in just the right spot for everything.  It’s basically photographer heaven.  I could have spent an hour taking portraits with these two.  The first spot we photographed at I instantly knew was my favorite as soon as I looked at the screen.

I can’t wait to share more about this couple that I’m so enamored with I just want to keep them in my pocket forever.  But I can’t.  So I won’t.

I will share more from their gorgeous wedding with their gorgeous people and their gorgeous Grass Valley Wedding at Empire Mine State Park.

Until then, these will have to do.  Congrats Em + Dave.  You guys are rad.

Also, I really want to go back here.  Someone hire me to photograph their Grass Valley Wedding please please pretty please because I barely even touched the surface of possibilities for this joint.

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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!


Oakland |  The Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill

Alameda | Rock Wall Winery

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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!

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San Francisco Family Photogrpahy

Golden Gate Park Family Session | Rozen Family Sneak Peek

Just a few days before I planned to arrive in the city, friends of mine from the Bay Area texted me: “Help! We need a family portrait bad!”  Lauren to the rescue!  We quickly set up plans for a Golden Gate Park Family Session at the playground in the park pan handle.  Golden Gate Park offers a ton of ridiculously picturesque family photo spots.  I could spend hours in there with a portrait session.  Sadly, three year olds have no interest in spending hours to do photo sessions so ours didn’t last that long.  At least I got bonus points with the playground.

Here’s a sneak peek from the Rozen’s mini session in San Francisco last week.  More to come from this gorgeous family, complete with their tiniest newest addition.

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