This Rodeo Beach engagement session with Sara and Duarte was magical. I still look at these photos and can’t wrap my mind around how I managed to capture them and the environment together in all its crazy, gorgeous beauty. It was cloudy when we all pulled up but, of course, it is the Marin Headlands. I always explain to people that this part of the world is so green and isn’t in the same amount drought as the rest of California because, frankly, it’s always covered with fog. Still, I was determined to make use of that huge open gray above us and all the soft light it afforded us…
I always love to include a few photos with silly faces. Why? Because it’s who you are, and it’s who I am. There are the looks of love between two people, and then there’s the meat of who they are on the day to day together. I love presenting as many sides as I can. (more…)
Hello all! Dealing with a fusspot of a baby this past week after my husband got sick attending GDC, thus later infecting myself and baby. Luckily, my immune system kicks butt, and babies with the cold often don’t get as sick as their parents if they’re exclusively breastfeeding, but poor David still doesn’t understand why he can’t breathe and scream-coughs his life away. It’s heartbreaking! We are finally returning to normal today, but I need an easy week, so I’m happy to finally share the details on my civil wedding to my husband James.
We had a proper big shindig in April, but we wanted to get civilly married at the tail end of 2015 for the ever romantic reasons of taxes and health care. As a photographer, I also wasn’t going to miss the chance to get married in San Francisco’s City Hall and I knew just the person to hire. Please admire her lovely work! I’ll pepper the photos with the hilarious story, so read on!
First – I handmade my bouquet and the rings the night before. It just didn’t seem right to not have ANYTHING to exchange!
One of the best parts of my job is getting to take photos at all these cool science museums around the Bay Area, like this Lawrence Hall of Science wedding with friends, Henry and Michael. It’s always a privilege to photograph for friends. I automatically love my friends already, and then I get to take thousands of photos of the people I love most on a really special day. You may already remember these two from one of my favorite engagement sessions here. As it turned out, I was super glad we did an engagement session because we ended up with only 10 minutes for portraits on the day of!
I’ve known Henry since we were in middle school orchestra together. We continued on to the same high school, where we both continued on with the friends we’ve known for ages. Although I wasn’t always a regular once I started up with the theater group, we crossed paths often at our mutual friends’ Friday night ice skating. One of my standout memories of working with Henry was when our AP Stat class decided to experiment with online teaching. They wanted us to write a rap, and all I can remember at this point is we were both so fed up with the assignment that it ended like, “And now that’s our rap, clap clap clap clap clap.”
Anyway, Michael came into Henry’s life when he went to Berkeley for grad school. I actually missed the “trial by fire” in our friends’ group, when Michael attended a beach week with everyone. When I returned to beach week the year after, I was assured that Michael had passed with a vibrant love of partying and cleaning (important when 20-30 young people try to live together for a week!) and that we loved him. And, I mean, it’s true, Michael is amazing. I really appreciate that he’s easy to talk to – while the boys are off playing super strategic style board games, it’s always good to have the option to bail and talk Beyoncé.
I could talk forever about my friends and how awesome they are, and I’m already hitting the word limit for this post, so I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves!
The first time I met up with Amanda and Jacob about their Roaring Camp Railroads wedding, they were over 30 minutes late! I soon learned this was par for the course for them. Good thing I love Chromatic Coffee’s pourovers! Fast forward to their wedding day – if you choose to get married up in the redwoods at Roaring Camp Railroads, you have to catch the train with all your wedding guests…and you have to be on time! As everyone got ready for the big day, her bridesmaids begged her, Amanda, please! Just today, be on time! Spoiler: It got a little dicey, but she totally made it!
Everything about Amanda and Jacob’s wedding was classic and beautiful. Add this to the train ride to and from the ceremony site, and you have something really unique. Awesome photographer, Nicole Cross of 43rd Ave Photography joined me for the day. I’ll add some commentary to the photos, so keep reading!
I remember at this point, after all her bridesmaids had left for the venue, but Amanda’s makeup was still getting done, she said, “I don’t care if there aren’t any pictures, my makeup has to be perfect!” (more…)
My husband and I are overjoyed to announce the arrival of our huge bundle (15 lbs at his 2 month appt!), David. He decided to make his way into the world via emergency c-section late last December. I labored at home for about 32 hours and spent the last 6 at the hospital!
I believe that we don’t talk nearly enough about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood as a society, but I also don’t want to put my birth story here where I’m supposed to be sunshine and rainbows about weddings. 😛 I’ll make you, my dedicated Funny Bunny readers, the same deal I made my facebook friends – I have my birth story all typed up in a google doc. Just let me know you want to hear and I’ll send it your way! Spoiler: anything that ends in an emergency c-section is traumatic! BUT! We have this adorable cuddle baby, so it’s all totally worth it!
I’m still finding my feet. James had to return from paternity leave early (do NOT get me started), so I had to figure out how to 1) keep a tiny human alive and 2) recover from major surgery without him. But I just counted tonight and I am over THIRTY blog posts behind now! Plus, I’m returning to work soon! I’ll be writing blog posts in between David’s cries, so hopefully I’ll be able to push out some new photos for y’all to look at. Until then, enjoy my ADORABLE baby by clicking through! These first photos were taken by my husband during the labor at home (no naked people, just me looking grumpy 🙂 also bunnies!)… (more…)
We’re baking a whole new human! :O Shocking, right? I had a rough first trimester, and I’ve been absolutely besieged by fatigue the whole pregnancy. As soon as my wedding season settles down over the next couple weeks, I’ll basically be on bed rest waiting for baby to make his or her appearance. 🙂 I’ll be returning to work in March 2017 (in time for all your awesome 2017 weddings!!!), but I’ll also be using the time to update the site a little bit as well, so keep your eyes peeled! I promise, as massively behind as I am on this blog, updates are coming! Especially, I want to dedicate a full post to each of my weddings because they were both SO special and I want to talk about hand-sewing a Zelda heart to toss / it being caught by LITERALLY the perfect person. Ahhhhhhhhhh!
If I had to pick an engagement session where I turned on as an artist last year, it was definitely Julia and Eyal’s Wave Organ engagement session. First, let’s all just take a moment and think about how unique these two were CHOOSING the Wave Organ in the first place. For those of you that have never been, the Wave Organ is “wave-activated acoustic sculpture located on a jetty in the San Francisco Bay” done by a couple artists for the Exploratarium (i.e. the source of all awesomeness in the Bay Area) back in the 80s. We tried our best to strain and hear any music, but we think it was either too low tide, or the drought was just making us sad. Who knows!
Anyway, Eyal and Julia were just so hilarious from the get go – they had fun, weren’t afraid of making faces and laughing, and, of course, looked awesome! Because we started a little earlier in the day and the Wave Organ is, in fact, just in direct sunlight, I got to pull out the external flash and blind them, too, which led to more hilarity. After we got our fill at the organ, we walked over to Crissy Field to grab a couple bridge shots and wander through the shadier trees out there. It was SUPER windy (as it always is in that area), so we had a lot of fun keeping Julia’s hair in check. 😛 I love it when women wear their hair down, so I was desperate to capture shots every time the breeze died down. I think we got some great hair action shots, though!
(Unrelatedly, as of this writing, my website seems to have some photos down right now – when I load them up on the server to look at them, they’re there! and the links are all correct, so apologies if this post is littered with little boxes instead of pretty photos 🙁 )
First up! One of my favorite shots on the beach – the way the flash caught the sand and the romance! <3
As you can see, the silliness started early. (more…)
Sorry for the one week hiatus – I got a cold at Lovesick Expo and don’t actually have my social media on auto-pilot! Sigh! Up today, we have Ningkun and Tad’s Oakland Museum of California engagement session. I was super skeptical when they first told me the location, but this place is adorable! We probably circled the whole garden three times before I let them go home. 😛 Also, we made a quick side trip to Lake Merritt, just for kicks! and I proceeded to lose my FitBit on the streets of Oakland. Sigh. RIP Fitbit One. I also have a very distinct memory of telling them about how the parking garage we were in closed at a certain time, and it was possible I saved them from getting locked in. 😂
I really loved these two (like so many of my clients!) from the moment I met them. As graduate students, they were already working my heart strings, but their laughter was pretty infectious. One would start laughing and the other would just lose it as well. Literally everything led to cracking up the whole afternoon, and I appreciate that they didn’t think I was too weird when I was literally creeping in some bushes at one point. “HERE STEP IN THIS MUD PIT IT’LL BE GOOD,” she said. Uh huuuuh, Natalie… “JUMP OFF THIS WALL, YOU’LL BE FINE!” she said…
It’s also funny for me looking back on this session now that I live up here in Oakland and have done a few more photo sessions in the area since last year. Unfamiliar areas that are now familiar…! First up, we’ve got some Oakland Hills in the distance…
One cold day in March last year, Nelly and Barton braved the classic SF freezing winds for this Stow Lake engagement session in Golden Gate Park. I love these two! I met them towards the tail end of Lovesick Expo 2015. Pro-tip: do you want to have an extended conversation with the vendors? Show up after the initial 2 hour rush. You won’t get as many yummy food-related freebies, but because there aren’t people constantly walking by, you don’t have to fight as much for attention.
Relatedly, Lovesick Expo 2016 is coming up THIS SATURDAY everyone!!! BEST and totally not lame wedding show/tour IN THE WORLD. Want tickets? I can bring 5 couples for free, get in touch! First come, first serve!
Uh, right, so more about the happy couple… THEY ARE ADORABLE! I was so upset when, after this session, they moved their wedding from November up to a date I was already booked. I get it, some deals are just too good to pass up! But just check out all their summery cuteness, you’d never guess that we were shivering and walking up the giant hill that is Stow Lake’s area just to keep warm. That’s always my motto – hey, you want to wear short sleeves in San Francisco? Just gotta keep moving!
Starting out, we have what I consider one of my most impressive panoramas from the last year. Check out that sexy depth of field!
Here’s actually where we started – I made us climb all the way to the top first thing, just because it’s always easier to go downhill after I’ve exhausted you! (more…)
When I first met Vivian at Toasted SF 2015 (check it, Toasted is going to be here again in March), getting married in a San Francisco City Hall wedding was not really the highest check box on Vivian’s mind – she was there for her sister and she, herself, was only thinking about getting engaged! Still, life brings us many crazy things, and in a confusing tumble of events, her and Bryant found themselves getting married before her sister’s original August wedding! I have a very special place for Vivian in my heart because she is constantly sending me updates on her life and asking for my mailing address so she can send me cards! Literally the sweetest woman in the world. I envy their friends because they are surely so well taken care of and loved if she treats me, random stranger from her wedding day, with such kindness. <3
It was also super easy to see where all this comes from – for those of you who’ve never done a City Hall wedding, you’re allowed exactly 6 guests, including yourselves and your photographer. This makes sense – City Hall is a building that people work in and wander around all day, you don’t want it to get crowded on a 9-5 weekday for someone’s 5 minute ceremony! Still, it’s a public building, so they are unable to stop members of the public from showing up… and standing around in your ceremony…who just happen to be your friends and family. 😉 I haven’t seen a City Hall wedding this large before, but with so much love surrounding Vivian and Bryant, it’s no wonder they, themselves, are such sweet people at their cores!
This blog post will be disjointed as the couple asked me to be mindful of their family and friends’ privacy – even though family was such a huge part of their day, I’ve included photos mostly of the couple themselves, the City Hall staff, and photos where their families had their backs turned! I’ll try to weave the narrative as best I can, but apologies for any story destruction in advance. 🙂
Because of the way events turned out, we had to squeeze in a proper proposal, too! 😀 ADORABLE. (more…)