Category archives: Wedding

“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.










I have to admit – I love a good party. Good whiskey, great music, and some people that just want to let loose and get a little crazy.  That is just what Kayley and Stephen delivered for me to document on their outdoor Lafayette wedding day.

There was already a special bond in my heart for Kayley. I remember meeting her in my old stomping grounds of Hayward to chat about her wedding day. Both her and her mother were sweet and warm to me and were swapping stories from growing up in the Hayward / Castro Valley area. I knew that this wedding would be filled with my kind of people. You can imagine how stoked I was when Kayley called me and said that they wanted to book me.

From High school sweethearts to man and wife. Two kids and years of memories and there they stood under that beautiful forest canopy, and sealed the deal on their love story. There is something really special about watching a couple be able to have their kids as part of their wedding day celebrations.  After the emotional ceremony, speeches and dances, it was now time for a kick ass dance party that went all night.  And damn do us Hayward kids know how to party.

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I have a confession. I am a total nerd.

Star Wars. Harry Potter. Game of Thrones. X-men. You name it, and I nerd snort over it. In fact I have spent a lot of my day today watercoloring a portrait of Harley Quinn from Batman fame. While listening to video game soundtracks. Yeah, I am pretty far down the nerdy rabbit hole.

Which is probably why I got along so well with Tyler and Queena. I am sure you remember them from their epic sunset engagement in Livermore, right?

Their love story is one of the most memorable I had ever heard in my 7 years of photographing weddings. Apparently, Queena first spotted Tyler while he was wearing a bright neon green Teenage Ninja turtles hoodie. It was clearly love at first sight and she had no choice but to make that handsome fella her husband.  Ninja Turtles are clearly more awesome than for enlightening my childhood with great memories (GO MICHELANGELO!)

There was no discussion of a theme before the big day, but I wasn’t surprised at all when I showed up and it was a Harry Potter themed magical wedding. All the small details they put into making it a classy, elegant fairytale wedding under the trees of Saratoga Springs showed how much excitement they had to incorporate the beloved books into their day. And the moment that really hit me that they were my kindred nerd folk? When I was enjoying the delicious food during dinner and suddenly heard “The Rains of Castamere” playing. Are these two seriously that awesome that they would 1) play THAT song during a wedding reception and 2) be that big of Game of Thrones fans that they would have any songs from the soundtrack on? 

The answer to both of those questions is YES and YES. They did have the sense of humor to play that song. And if you don’t watch Game of Thrones, trust me on this one – it’s a pretty hilarious song choice.

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We sat there at that little cafe.  I hadn’t seen Nicole’s face in years due to adulthood pulling us in different directions. But upon greeting her with a hug, it was like no time had passed.

 

I’ve known Nicole since we were both in the 5th grade. The 5th grade. Can you believe it? And now here we were hitting our 30’s sitting at a cafe catching up. Delicious food, great company. Nights like this need to happen more often. Too often in life do we let the beautiful chaos of the world accidentally pull us apart. Luckily all of the stars aligned for us to be sitting there at that table together.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were all on a trip with our 5th grade class to Sacramento. Nicole, our friend Stefanie and myself were in a group and Nicole’s father was our chaperone. We were all so excited when he treated us all to an Old Western photo session. You know those little boutique photo studios that let kids pose with 6-shooter pistols? Well there we were. All dressed up and mean mugging for the camera together. Nicole’s father ended up spending a small fortune on prints for all of us.

One day you are on a field trip to Sacramento together, the next your friend is sitting across the table from you happy and engaged. I still have that old Western photo of our little 5th grade faces and pistols on the wall. The world had brought us all on such different paths. Through everything, we always remained connected. In my heart I know Nicole and I will always have that connection. No matter where our adult, crazy lives take us. When we sit at a table to catch up – nothing changes. Just new exciting stories come spilling out of our mouths to each other in excitement.

When Nicole asked me to be her wedding photographer, my heart dropped a little. This was my friend since the 5th grade. I felt this immense pressure to create some of my best work for her. This is a person that through the years while others came and went, I knew I could always find her. One of the best humans I had ever met in my life was asking me to document her marriage to the love of her life.  How do you create images good enough?

John Wayne said “Courage is being scared the death – but saddling up anyway”. So That’s what I did.

With excitement I told her that I would do it. But she had to tip me with some of her amazing custom Mickey Mouse Ears. Preferably, featuring BB-8.  Also that we both better be wearing matching Ariat boots. She obliged. Helps she was already planning on making me ears as well as wearing her own Ariat boots!

There was already excitement for the photographs I could take when Nicole told me that Mark and her would be getting married at the incredible Barn SZ Ranch. I am a fan of dirt roads, animals, and real barns. So the ranch was one of my dream locations.  After a relaxing drive I remember driving down that main dirt road and being amazed at the views. This was the perfect place for my friend to get married. The scene was set, my inspiration booming. And my heart felt like exploding I was so excited for this day to happen to her.

I got to watch the man Nicole loves cry happy tears when he opened up her boudoir photographs and say “I just love her so much”.  I got to see my beautiful friend in her wedding gown on her big day. Memory lane was my destination as I got to see Nicole’s mother and father for the first time in I don’t even know how many years. It felt like everything had just come full circle.

Aside from the incredible wedding day where I got to see Mark and Nicole come together as man and wife, I got to see Nicole do something so wonderful. Mark’s son, Xander stood up with them during the ceremony to really solidify that this marriage not only brought this couple together, but Xander in as well. This marriage made them a family. While they had already been a family for a long time, it was that final topping on the cake of a wonderful story.

Who wants to hear how their wedding also had the best wedding favors?


Yes, that is a kitten. Yes she followed me around the whole venue. Her and her little sisters were a big part of the wedding celebration. Little barn babies won over everyone’s hearts! Nicole brought one home herself! And me? Well… I might have left with a box of kittens. Four kittens to be exact. While two of those babes were fixed, made nice and healthy and adopted out, this little girl and one sister can’t seem to leave.

All of Nicole’s wedding details were handmade. She runs her own incredible online store with crafts and wedding decor. Flower crowns, bouquets, EVERYTHING was hand made. Is this woman not superwoman?

So I hope you enjoy Nicole and Mark’s Bar SZ wedding photos as much as I loved photographing them. And I hope you enjoy kittens. Because you are about to see a lot of them.

 

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Raichelle and Ben are total Love bugs. You probably remember their epic Big Sur engagement session where we went on a little adventure.  After photographing them on that windy day on the coast, I was so ridiculously excited for their wedding.

I am happy to say, it didn’t disappoint!

If there is one thing I took from their wedding, it is that Raichelle and Ben are so freaking loved. Loved ones from near and far came to the lovely Perry House in Carmel excited to see these two make the huge commitment to each other. Since I utterly adore these two so much, I had something in common with all of the guest; teary eyes as these two said their vows to each other.

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