2013 brought so many amazing events and changes to my life: The continued success of my photography business, a great year keeping bees, meeting and collaborating fantastic colleagues, and of course, the birth of my baby daughter. Is it any wonder that 2014 would be any different? I think not!
I am thrilled to announce I’ve moved into a beautiful studio in San Francisco. I am still in the process of framing up new work for the walls, but when they’re up, I’ll snap a few images to let you see :) Until then…
Here’s wishing everyone an amazing 2014! And if you’re thinking of booking a wedding for 2014 – don’t hesitate – weekends are filling up quickly!
Just a quick casual Friday post of a photograph I snapped last weekend. I had the good fortune to attend a “workshop” put on by Capture Integration and hosted by plenty of nice folks. I quote the word workshop because the attendee list was full of full-time professional and advanced-amateur photographers. It was more of a gathering to play with some really amazing photographic tools – like Phase One’s IQ250 – graciously supplied by Capture Integration. Somehow I failed to link up with the crew for the sunrise shoot on Saturday, so I had to use my lowly Nikon D800 (just kidding – I am loving this camera every time I use it.) Driving around Highway 1 at 5:30AM, I made the call to pull over and capture what I could, where I was, with the system I had. This is one of my favorites from that crazy 30 minutes of light. Zero scout time + steep terrain make this a keeper for me.
When I first got into photography, landscape photography really drew me in. But the more I pursued it, in a way, I less interested I became. Maybe my pictures sucked? I dunno. I think I craved stories that changed, and changed quickly. In the words of one famous engineer, “I’m a people person! I have people skills!” But with all first loves, they somehow have a way of re-kindling the flames in your heart. This coming year I am looking forward to some early mornings, along with pushing myself to learn and progress with an art form that captivated me from the very beginning.
Our weather has been fantastic the last few weeks. Shit, the last few months have been great for the SF Bay area. So of course when the swell and the talent showed up, we’d get some haze in the air and crappy light for the morning location I had scouted. But after editing the photos and changing most of the surfing shots to black and white, they sort of fit the bill. Mavericks is cold and shitty most of the time. The for horn blows a consistent rhythm that neither ebbs nor floods with the tide. And even when it’s pumping, it’s a hazardous, grind you down, “I don’t give a fuck about you” place. It’s killed people, and will continue to do so as long waterman challenge it. I think there were at least two two-wave hold downs, even as the guys were equipped with on-demand inflatable vests. There’s so much power and water moving out there, the concept is hard to grasp until you see it in action. A pretty good example, if you’re a non-surfer, is to look at the 2nd wave shot. Look at that barrel! That’s a 40ft face pitching out over a shallow reef. Tons and tons of water.
When I quipped on Facebook to Peter Taras, the photo editor at Surfing Magazine about getting me on a boat, he fired back, “Get some photo-journalism stuff before the main event, and I’ll run it.” Cool and ’nuff said. The dock was pensive at O’dark thirty. All the big names of big wave surfing were prepping their gear, selecting boards, slugging coffee, and getting in the zone. No one could see how big it was, but everyone knew the swell was pumping. Just how pumping was the question. Be your own judge.
See you out there.
It was great to see so many faces yesterday at the Ritz Carlton in downtown San Francisco. I think we were short a few people due to the 49ers playing and successfully moving onto the NFC Championship. Obviously a tough game ahead, but we shall prevail! Anyway, getting back on task, if you stopped by the booth to say hello, thank you. We received some nice compliments, but my favorite among many was utter by Anna when she said this, “Your photos capture the essence of the couples and family. Your photos are real.” Aww, my heart sank. My job as a visual storyteller is wrapped up that gem of a nutshell.
Didn’t get a chance to meet me yesterday? That’s cool. Shoot me an email or call so we can set up a meeting at the studio. But don’t wait too long! Space is limited and weekends are booking up. Looking forward to hearing from you!
The door opened at the cafe, and when I looked up from my hot cocoa, we both smiled and let out a quick chuckle. Now, thinking back on the phone call I received from Brian, apologizing that they’d be a bit late for our meeting, of course that’s why his voice was familiar in some distant way. As it was, Brian just happened to once upon a time live one floor above me in the same dorm room some (many) years ago at Cal Poly SLO. “Out of all the gin joints in all the world…” But yeah, it is a damn small world.
So the world is small, but it’s also enormous. It’s full of wild encounters, amazing people, and endless stories. Today Raissa and Brian wrote their own story, on their terms. They tied their own knot, literally, as a symbol of their bond. Their wedding ceremony was intimate, love-filled, comedic at times (horse-radish!), and honest. I am honored to have been a part of it. What follows are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
Kim and Matt’s Wedding was everything you’d expect from a day up on the northern coast of California. A touch of wind, fog moving in, and a slight chill in the air. It was my first time photographing at the Compass Rose Garden, and I loved it. No wonder these two fell in love with this place. Nestled back in among lush green trees with ferns dappling the hillside, it was a photographers best case scenario. Everything was outstanding this day; The flowers were amazing, food was off the hook, the cheese spread clinched best in class, and some amazing toasts from friends and family were orated with excellence. I have never seen someone get so emotional about shoes (Katie!). There was also the wedding dress strap snap heard round the world, a wave at the dinner table, and some general craziness happening on the dance floor.
What follows are some of my favorites. Hope you enjoy them.
Bit of a side story here. I grew up on the east coast until I moved to CA when I was 16 years of age. Man, what a cultural difference. Southern California was like a foreign country. The styles, the freeways (The 5, The 405), Hal Fishman reporting what the Hollywood Stars were doing on the local evening news, the way people talked – it was all so different. But now I am one of them, and it’s the east coast (northeast) that is so foreign to me. There’s this immutable intensity that shrouds everyone, and for no particular reason. Maybe it’s the winters and ice and salt coupled with the bitter cold? But the moral is that I miss parts of it. I miss those lush, fecund, green summers. I miss rain squalls that brew off in the distance and march unstoppable, bringing a deluge of cascading sheets of rain, whether it’s needed or not. I even miss that intensity, which I rekindled – not on my own terms however – but a 1/2 mile from the car rental kiosk (sorry I missed the turn and stopped short guy.) Nothing like getting a huge and agro middle finger waved at you for a greeting. Ah, much as it ever was… And with that, I give you Scott and Melissa’s Wedding in the Adirondacks.
Melissa and Scott have been together for a long time. Like a loooooong time. I didn’t know this until I got out to NY. I mean, I had chatted with Melissa on the phone about some general details, but we didn’t go into great depth about her and Scott. So it was a surprise when I kept hearing these repeated phrases as I walked around, sipping on a few beers at the rehearsal, “Yeah, I didn’t know if they’d do it, but here we are.” And there I was as well, a few thousand miles from home photographing someone’s wedding in upstate NY. Honestly, sometimes I have to step back and look at the duality of my job. On one hand, it’s totally rad that I get to travel and photograph a couple’s destination wedding, and on the other hand, it’s absolutely ludicrous! Either way, I was thrilled to have attended and been allowed the honor to capture Melissa and Scott’s wedding at the gorgeous Burlap and Beams. What follows are some of my favorites.
I was fortunate enough to have had back to back Lake Tahoe weddings. If you’ve never been to Lake Tahoe, don’t bother, it’s horrible. It sits at over a mile in altitude, cleaning your lungs with every breath as National Forest surrounds everything, anchored by one of the most pristine lakes in the world, flanked on all sides by the Sierra Nevada. Ack. Whoa, that just made me want to go back up there! Nate and Katie’s wedding day was absolutely perfect. We had great weather, an amazing gathering of family and friends, and a spectacular location. I can’t say enough about the Tahoe Tree Company’s grounds. Yes, I love to garden and landscape, and walking around the place, I must say it was one of the nicest nurseries I’ve been to. And what a great place to host a wedding, right? Grounds that nurture and coddle young saplings and tender flowers until their all grown up and ready to embark on a life of their own. Sounds like a perfect metaphor describing two beautiful people starting a new chapter of life. What follows is one gorgeous day that will be followed by many more to come.
When a really good friend comes to the table to cash in his chips, what’s a guy to do but say yes? Steve and Abbie are dear friends, and I was stoked and honored to have been asked to photograph their Lake Tahoe beach wedding. A few caveats were laid down if I was going to do this baby pro-bono publico. I had to enjoy some craft brew made by one of his friends (check)… and I think… that was it. Wait, does that mean I will work for beer? Possibly, but if we haven’t known each other for almost 2 decades, it’s not gonna happen. Holy crap I am getting old! But what photographer worth his or her salt wouldn’t want to capture a stunning bride in one of the world’s most pristine places. Steve, you’re not so bad yourself, but that dress Abbie! I loved it. The ceremony was short and sweet, with tons of love and energy floating through the air. What follows is short and sweet as well, but I am sure you’ll enjoy it. And no brother, you didn’t burn down any bridges; although I may be needing a place to crash when the pow comes
Owning a VW has it’s advantages. When you meet another person who can appreciate the Vanagon Westfailia as much as I do (read money pit), you know you’re in good company. My first meeting with Gabe and Casey was at a cafe in Menlo Park. They got some soup, I had a mocha. We spoke of other stuff than wedding talk. Things like where they were from, how they met, motorcycles, and yes, VW’s. By the time they returned to the table with their meal, I think it was decided that I was the guy for them. I can only say I am honored to have been your photographer. It was such a blast to hang out with your family and friends, see you guys interact and have a great time, all the while capturing some amazing moments. What follows is a slice of the day… or a tiny baklava bite… your choice.