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I am not going to go into detail how my heart got broken recently. All that you need to know to hear this story is that it was and I cried until I didn’t have any more tears to cry.

But tomorrow was my friend’s wedding.

We had been talking about this day so excitedly since I heard she was proposed to. Actually, we had been talking about this day since she had met Alex. There was this feeling she told me about when she met Alex that he was really something special. In fact, during a heartbreaking time when they were split up, she still felt that. Even when all the hope in the world for them reconciling really seemed to fall away, she still felt it tugging on her heart. This guy is the one.  I watched them go through the tough stuff. I watched her cry, scared that maybe she was wrong.

Turns out she was right all along. She was right even before he realized how damn smart she was. This day was always meant to come.  Both Bella and Alex came from past marriages and failed relationships. They both built families with kids, and watched it not work out. All the past and all the tears in their life built them for this supreme happiness. How beautiful of a thing is it to realize why everything had to happen the way it did. How beautiful to realize you were really thankful for all the highs and lows as they brought you to this moment.So “damn it, Heather. You don’t get to have a broken heart today” I told myself. 

I did my best to keep it together for my trip up to Lake Tahoe where their small, intimate elopement was happening. I claimed that I was fine. Said I was over it. Made a lot of sarcastic jokes the ultimately my dear sweet friend saw through and said she wanted to drive me up to the cabin in Tahoe.  Yes, instead of this bride worrying about her wedding, she just wanted to make sure I was ok. This is the kind of amazing human I am talking about. So she drove me up to Tahoe and let me bawl my eyes out. Turns out crying with your girlfriends is truly one of the most therapeutic things you can do. Instead of worrying about herself, she gave me that gift of just crying it out and feeling loved that I really needed.

 

Then came the morning of the wedding. I turned my phone off. I gave myself a little pep talk in the morning before things were moving. I remember that moment specifically when my favorite Willie Nelson quote came into my head.

 

“Be here. Be present. Wherever you are, be there.”

 

This was her day. My dear friend had been such hardships, heartbreak, and trials. But through it, all her heart was so incredibly strong that she knew she was deserving of love and was going to get it. There was never a moment in our friendship where I remember this woman bitterly saying “whatever I guess I’ll just stay alone”. Instead, she bravely said, “I am deserving of it and have faith it’s coming”. This unwavering faith had led her to this incredible man, Alex. This faith led to them creating a bond together so strong nothing could pull them apart. Her faith that this day would come indeed helped make it come.

“So take some awesome freakin’ photos of it, Heather”, I said to myself

I can’t really explain the surrealism of crying of pure happiness to my friend dancing while she said I DO to Alex.  To watch someone so truly deserving of love that I cherish like a sister finally get her soul mate. The immense gratitude I felt in that moment washed over me. And let me tell you the wonders that does for a broken heart. Replace pain with gratitude. It’s a miracle worker, I swear.  Hope and Love took over my heart on this day as I watched Bella and her daughter join with Alex and his kids to create this new, incredible family. I watched every one of their faces and saw how happy everyone was about this union.

With such incredible love in the world like that, how can you not be excited for what’s coming next?

I get to have the job of documenting people’s happy days. The days that all the broken roads led up to.  All these people I photograph has had their heart broken before, and they finally found that person that wouldn’t. I am so eternally grateful for this gift that the universe gave me.



And of course I had to jump into one wedding photo 😉 So I actually wore makeup and looked cute for a wedding day! I love these ladies so much xo

Already reflecting on 2017

I have so much excitement I almost cannot contain it.

So many creative ideas flooding my head lately. Plans on how to make a wedding photography experience with me are one of love and happiness.  I don’t want to merely give my couples pretty photographs. I want to give them an incredible experience with having their wedding story photographed. In my work, I try not to compete with other photographers. I don’t look at the new top names in the area. I don’t photograph my pictures to be better than anyone else in the industry. When I document, I document to create. I want to create images full of beauty and love.

Great things are coming once everything is caught up with this insane wedding season. After the galleries and albums are all finished and delivered I can get started. New special gifts for my couples. New tools to help my couples get the best out of the photography.

 

2017 has been an incredibly soul-searching year for me as an artist. The connection I feel to my work now is one that I have never felt before. It’s just authentically photographed with the intention of creating rather than competing.  My heart is full and I am so eternally grateful for every step of this journey that all of my bride and grooms have taken me on over the past 9 years.

Love,

 

Heather

 

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Julia and Taylor | Come and get your Love

I remember the day that Julia and I first chatted on the phone about her upcoming wedding to the love of her life, Taylor.  In the first ten minutes, I felt like this woman could have been a lifelong friend. We shared the same sense of humor, the same love of laughing and the same view on weddings. She wanted to find a storyteller for her day, rather than someone who would conduct a photo shoot.

I guess she called the right girl because I am all about telling a story. 

George Strait was playing in the hotel room while the guys did their last final touches on their dapper look, drank beer and ate some pizza. The laughter and jokes made me feel right at home. These were definitely people that I could be myself around. The same feeling flooded through me when I met up with the girls in a Palo Alto AirBnb. Julia had all of her ladies come with her from England to be there for her wedding day. Taylor was from the United States and while he had been living in London for years with Julia, he made sure to keep up with his connections with all of his favorite people in America.

The stage for their union was set at the beautiful Mountain Terrace. How appropriate that the two would come back to Taylor’s home state of California to celebrate under the grand California redwoods. Julia looked absolutely stunning in her Pronovias gown. The second Taylor saw her walking down that lawn to him, as hard as he tried those tears fell.

How amazing is love? How amazing is the world?  Think about it…. These two were literally born on two different continents and still managed to find each other.

If you are wondering if your soul mate is out there… don’t worry. They just might be on another continent waiting for the universe to connect you to each other.   And yes, they will agree with you that “Come and Get your Love” by Redbone is the ultimate first dance song.

 

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“I was her’s after the first date,” Brett told me in between taking portraits of him and Louise overlooking the stunning Los Gatos mountains.

I felt the enormous amount of radiating as I walked into Louise’s bridal room. Her ladies were all dressed in their matching robes excited to watch their friend get married. Gifts were being exchanged. Laughs and hugs everywhere. Only moments had I been shooting and I already felt everyone’s walls down for me. They were not afraid to let their joy and tears to be captured. This is how I begin to photograph a beautiful story.

The theme of letting go and allowing me to be a part of the story carried on throughout the day.  It’s not often that I get teary eyed during first looks. However, the amount of joy coming from Louis and Brett as they first set eyes on each other during their wedding day was overwhelming. Pure excitement. In this crazy world of humans out there these two found each other and finally got to solidify their love. That is definitely something to be happy about and they weren’t afraid to show it.

There is a bravery to showing your happiness that I am so appreciative of.

It’s a hard thing to put out into the world proudly that you love someone. Even on your wedding day, one might think it might be “uncool” to get super emotional. I say let the tears flow. I say let someone know how much you love and adore them. It’s the most badass thing you can do.

Lousie met her dream man on their first date. She might not have known it, but he did. And that is a beautiful thing worth happy crying over.

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Louise truly adores her bridesmaids. So as a Thank you to them, she gave them all matching Kendra Scott pieces. It was hard to tell who was more excited – the girls for receiving such a gift or Louise watching how happy they were.

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Watching the excitement on Louise’s face was priceless. She couldn’t control her tears of happiness as she read her card from Brett.  And look at that stunning necklace! He has some great taste.


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Let me tell you about this wedding in the beautiful Upstate New York.

All things happen for a reason. The little annoyances. The things that just don’t work out. The disappointments. It may take some time but eventually, you will look back and realize it was for the best.

When Ben and Liz inquired about me photographing their wedding it was supposed to be in Yosemite. I was pretty excited to photograph their big day at one of the most beautiful places in the world. Then came an e-mail that really had me concerned when they wanted to chat about big changes in venue, as well as the date. You see, after seeing Ben and Liza’s amazing proposal video, I had this vision in my mind that this was going to be an incredible story to document.  I could see their passion for storytelling, and knew I wanted to be a part of that. So imagine how stressed I got when I found out that during a busy season I had a wedding date change!

Well, the good news is that I was still available for their wedding. Look at that – all things working out. The reason for the change was because Ben and Liz had been spending all this time looking for a California venue that reminded them of Ben’s childhood family property in Upstate New York. They finally decided “it’s our wedding, let’s do what is true to us”. They took the plunge and arranged to take their vows on the docks of the lake. I was available. I was excited. I bought my plane ticket. I knew this was going to be an incredible experience, but I don’t think I really knew how incredible it would be.

This group of people had the most incredible vibrations of happiness and love. I could feel it as the small boat took us to the private little island on the lake. While I was meeting everyone for the first time that day, I was able to completely immerse myself into their world. They welcomed me with open arms, and it was through this openness to share their love that I was able to document a story that still brings tears to my eyes as I look through the images.  They gave me a story to tell. They gave me love to document.

 

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This couple threw one of the most classy and elegant weddings I have ever seen. It took place at the historic Legion of Honor in San Francisco. A windy day in the city made for the perfect backdrop to their soft pink palettes. The way these two look at each other are better than any words I could possibly write here…

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Venue: Legion of Honor 

Coordination: Cierra Lockwood

Hair and Makeup: Tammy Do

I’ve been shooting wedding photography for about 7 years now.

Rachel met me in my second year of photographing weddings full time when I photographed her brother’s wedding. At that time I got to get close with the family, fell in love with all of them. In instantly felt a connection with Rachel. We both had the same silly personalities. Creative minds. Always laughing. Let’s just say I had my fingers crossed that our paths would meet again.

The day came that Rachel got engaged to James, and soon after I got the e-mail asking me about photographing her wedding. I was damn ecstatic at the possibility of hanging out with this girl again and getting to photograph her wedding. Of course, I got further excited when she showed up to her engagement session with James with her fluffy dog friend in Scott’s Valley. So not only did we have everything else in common, but she was also a dog lover. Can we say Bride/photographer soul sisters? I think so.

Let me tell you about how much I love photographing James and Rachel. They are a breath of fresh air. I swear the whole time I am photographing these two half the time my side is hurting from laughing so much. It’s not often I find people that make my laugh more than my own terrible jokes.  There were definitely times that we had to take deep breaths to get that romance flowing for some of the portraits. It was a challenge, but a good challenge to have. We kept laughing together as the sun fell down over at Rios-Lovell Estate Winery, and had to remember that time was running out for portraits. We quickly got it together and made some magic happen.

 

Magic had to happen.

Not only were these two darlings, but just look at Rachel’s fashion! Hot damn. Or should I say… Haute Damn! Rachel was completely dressed in pretty things from Haute Bride Couture. Anyone that knows me knows that I might be slightly obsessed with everything at their boutique! Add in touches from The Little Flower shop and Rachel and her mother’s store The Owl box, and there was a whole lot of WOW going on.