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Amador County Wedding Photographer | Rebeca plus Ryan Sneak Peek

Previously unknown fact about this most amazing couple in the world: they went to prom together.

I had such an amazing time as their Amador County Wedding Photographer and felt so welcomed by the two of them, their friends and their family, that I stayed and partied until the stroke of midnight.

More to come from Rebeca and Ryan’s super rad laid back wedding at Rancho Cicada Retreat in Amador County.

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Sunset Sound System Season Opener

At the beginning of April I traveled to the Bay Area for a three day wedding aka THE BEST WEDDING EVER.  It was a quadruple whammy weekend of awesome: wedding photography, trivia nights, amazing food, and I got to spend time with some of my good friends who live in Redwood City.

I didn’t expect to have Sunday afternoon free.  In a surprise turn of events, I was able to join them for an annual Bay Area Party: the Sunset Sound System Season Opener.  It takes place every year at the unbelievably picturesque Stafford Lake Park in Novato.  The 139 acre regional park serves the local community and is able to host large scale events, picnics, musical performances and more.  There is fishing in the lake, a nature trail, picnic areas and a playground and a disc golf course.  Know before ya go: no dogs allowed and no swimming!

It had been a long time since I’d heard some legit deep dark house music so I was more than ecstatic to lay on the lawn of Stafford Park and listen to fantastic sets from Galen, Solar, J-Bird and Doc Martin.

It was a warm, balmy summer like day so there was lots of rosè drinking, napping and dancing.

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Wine Tasting in Amador County

What’s better than a weekend wine getaway at friend’s ranch in the Amador County Wine Country for Easter weekend?

The answer: a weekend wine getaway at a friend’s ranch in Amador County Wine Country for Easter weekend where we have an adult Easter Egg Hung and roast a lamb.

Pleasantly warm temperatures, abundant sunshine, good friends and a lot of wine equal quite possibly the best weekend ever.  Add some charcuterie and cheese plates to the mix and the whole weekend becomes as delectable as burrata on toast.

Want your own Amador County wine weekend?

STAY:

PLAY:

  • The roads in Amador County are perfect for road biking so bring your bikes along and tour the wineries in the best way possible.  There is a limited amount of road routes available at this site, but from what I can tell, most of the roads we were on, including the main highways, would be amazing to ride on.

EAT:

  • Taste has a rotating menu of seasonal ingredients and you can get an appetizer and beverage pairing for $13 at Thirteen Dollar Thursdays at the Wine Bar.
  • Andrae’s Bakery is heaven from the tables of cookbooks outside the door to the breads, pastries and sweets that line the glass counter inside.  Make sure you pick up some of their specialty sea salts while you’re there.  The Mediterranean Blend is great to coat on grilled fish, chicken or veggies and the Durango Hickory Smoked Sea Salt can’t be beat for steaks and burgers.

DRINK:

  • Holly’s Hill is my most favorite winery of all time. It’s not on the fastest road to Amador, but you should totally take the long way to Plymouth and Sutter Creek vie El Dorado County and stop into Holly’s Hill. Their staff is unbeatable and their grounds are gorgeous.  Nearby Madroña Vineyards is also always a clear winner.  I love their zinfandel.
  • Helwig has beautiful grounds with an amazing outdoor amphitheater.  Large groups can reserve the private tasting room for a true tour of what Helwig has to offer.  Check out their summer concert series schedule – buy a bottle (or three) of wine and take a picnic to enjoy the summer nights.
  • Cooper Vineyards is a favorite.   The owner, the grounds and the atmosphere are relaxed and unpretentious.   Locals love to visit on the nights they host their “Old-Timers’ Music Jam.”
  • Turley is one of my most favorite wineries of all time.  I can still remember the first time I ever took a sip of their wine.   Their wine is hard to come by and a must order when I find it on restaurant wine lists.  The tasting room is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM.
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Mountain Bike Fruita | Sneak Peek

I’m currently on a kick ass mountain biking vacation with friends in Fruita, CO and Moab, UT.  You’ll have to wait til later for the full write-up but here’s a sneak peek to hold you over.  Just know this: mountain bike Fruita is awesome.

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Berkeley Wedding Photographer | SSquared Day 3

The third and final day of Sarah and Suman’s amazing three day celebration of their 10th year Anniversary culminated in the formalization of their union at Cesar’s, a delightfully intimate Spanish style tapas bar in the “Gourmet Ghetto” of Berkeley.  Officiated by Sarah’s sister, the ceremony was simple and peppered with readings by family members, toasts from friends, and a heartfelt and tearful speech from Sarah thanking everyone for their presence.

Cesar’s presented an amazing array of appetizers and dishes and loaded wine glasses with sangria and my personal favorite, a nice dry rosé.  I personally can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the union of two people who are so committed, at ease and loving than the way these two chose.  After three days in their presence, I felt inspired and challenged by the grace, love and respect that was ever present in their relationship.

Sarah and Suman, thank you so much for the honor you bestowed upon me when you chose me as your Berkeley Wedding Photographer.  It really was the best wedding ever.

Congratulations and may you have a lifetime of nerding out, wine drinking and laughter together.

Wedding Dance Party, Wedding Photographer, Tahoe Wedding Photographer, Berkeley Wedding Photographer

Berkeley Wedding Photographer | SSquared Day 1

The first time I spoke to Sarah, I felt totally at ease with her.

You see, Sarah and her husband to be, Suman, had been together for 10 years.  There was no doubt in their minds, she explained, that they were committed to a lifetime together but they had seen no reason to formalize it.  I get that.  

So when Sarah told me the story of her relationship, their history and her wonderfully fun and totally informal wedding plans, I was sold.

It was the Best. Wedding. Ever.

Here is a little bit of info about this couple and their totally informal, off the beaten path three day extravaganza that they called their wedding.  Fist off, the whole weekend was a huge party of the best kind.  They had their own twitter handle.  Their friends and family are not only hilarious, but insanely intelligent.  They love wine as much as I do.  They are self-depreciating, sarcastic and witty.  They hosted a trivia night.  SERIOUSLY.  Even better, the trivia night involved a New Orleans themed restaurant.  Stop my beating heart.  By the end of the weekend, I felt like a guest.

I loved every minute of this wedding weekend and every one of their family members.  I’m sad I don’t get to hang out with them all the time.  I feel so honored they choose me as their Berkeley Wedding Photographer.  I am super excited to share the photos from the weekend and in the same fashion as the weekend, I’ll break it up into the three days of events.

So, without further adieu, I present to you SSquared Day 1: a gorgeous celebration and party at the Berkeley Alumni House on the UC campus with unbelievable food from Bistro Liason, a Lauren Lindley photo booth, a “This is Your Life” retelling by Sarah and Suman that introduced each and every person in the room and their relationship to the couple and ultimately, a dance party so epic thanks to DJ Wayne that I couldn’t bear to leave when my contracted time was up.

Venue: Berkeley Alumni House | Catering: Bistro Liason | DJ: Golden State Productions | Photo Booth: Lauren Lindley Photography 

PSIA Western Spring Convention - April 26, 2014

Mammoth Photo Booth | PSIA Western Spring Convention

It’s not every day that Glen Plake gets in my photo booth.  That happened.

Each year at the 2nd night of the Annual PSIA Western Spring Convention there is a wonderful dinner at the Mammoth Ski Lodge accompanied by a silent auction, DJ and of course, our Photo booth.  This year the theme was Rock’n’Roll 50s and a few of us dressed the part.

Thanks to all who participated and joined in on the fun in our Mammoth Photo Booth.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from the evening.  As always, the link to the full gallery will remain on my website under the 2014 Photo Booth tab.  Head on over to the gallery via this link to download your photos, share to social media or order prints.

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Mammoth Photo Booth | PSIA Western Spring Convention

Last year, I partnered with the Western division of PSIA to offer my services as a Mammoth photo booth operator at their Spring Convention in Mammoth Lakes, CA.   We had such an amazing time that I was absolutely eager to return and provide our services again.  The convention is multiple days of ski and snowboard instructor clinics for the Professional Ski Instructors of America & American Association of Snowboard Instructors.  This year, the first night, the convention hosted a really wonderful happy hour, dinner and party at Lakanuki’s Tiki Bar in the Mammoth Village.   This was the first year they offered to host us and I must say, their service, food and ambiance for the Hawaiian themed luau party was absolutely perfect.

To the surprise and delight of some, we’ve had Christmas in April this year and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, from Mammoth Lakes to Tahoe, received up to three feet of snow in some areas from Thursday night into Saturday morning!   Instead of just having a luau, Bri and I were joking with guests that we were having an arctic luau.  I love all the photos of attendees covered in snow with leis on!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the evening.  As always, the link to the full gallery will remain on my website under the 2014 Photo Booth tab.  Head on over to the gallery via this link to download your photos, share to social media or order prints.