I am a talker. I love telling stories and spinning a good yarn. And if you get me going on bees or photos, I will talk your ear off. Sometimes this can land me in trouble. Close friends know some infamous stories of both my feet in my mouth, at the same time. But one particular day last year, the situation worked in my favor, for as I was selling my honey (State Street Honey…shameless plug…) at the farmers market in Pescadero, Nichole overheard me say that I was also a photographer who specialized in weddings. Well, how serendipitous, as she and her betrothed were to be married next year and were still in search of someone to fill that role. Fast forward. Nichole and Gordon are now married, and I photographed their wedding. What a great day – full moon, perfect weather, great light, AMAZING food, barn dancing – it just doesn’t get any better. So please peruse a quick selection of the day’s photographs that will hopefully take you back to that amazing day. Enjoy!
Amy + Greg – Fort Mason Wedding – San Francisco, CA
There’s something about a big green lawn in front of a body of water. It makes you want to get out the lawn bowling equipment, mix up a mint julep, and just watch the ships go by. They are also good spots for weddings. It just so happened that Greg and Amy mixed the two together, and the end result was a damn good time. The only real variable with any outdoor wedding is the weather. Add to the fact that we are in San Francisco, and things can get dicey at times. Not on this day my friend. We had a picture perfect day with blue skies, green grass, and a bartender who knew how to pour. What follows are some of my favorite from the day. Enjoy!
Marissa + Tom – Half Moon Bay Wedding
Anytime I can reference a Lord of the Rings quote to someone, anyone, and especially at a wedding, I just know it’s going to be a good day. I won’t go into details, but it involved a past bride and the fact that I was now Todd the White. I had flown through space and time, evolved if you will, and she had no power over me. We all laughed a good laugh, and I went on my merry way taking pictures as I do.
Marissa and Tom’s wedding was blessed with a typical Half Moon Bay day, which is slightly overcast and cool. A win win for brides in dresses and photographers trying to avoid harsh light. The Pacific Ocean was also right next door, and that’s a win for everyone involved. Any day at the beach is a good day, right? And so it was, on this fantastic beach day that Tom and Marissa merged their two lives and will go forward as one. I consider myself lucky to witness and photograph such happiness, coupled with the right amount of free spirit and goofiness. May the good times continue to roll…
Pt. Reyes Kayaking Trip – Adventure in My Own Backyard
I used to live on a sailboat. I’ve sailed over 7000 nautical miles, and 4000 of those were totally alone, up and down the Mexican coastline. I’ve encountered storms, thought pirates were going to come after me, close calls with tankers, and collided with a whale at over 5 knots. And then one day I sold my boat and left for the heart of Japan where there are no oceans, to swim in a field of powder for a few years. Now I am back along the coast, with some of the best sailing around, but I’ve managed to make it out on someone else’s boat a handful of times.
But I learned something all those years ago. You don’t need to sail around the world to have a real adventure. It’s actually right outside your door. So I loaded up my canoe to rendezvous with a friend who had just finished his home built kayak at the shores of the Pt. Reyes Peninsula along Tomales Bay. Before heading out for a quick paddle and overnighter, we loaded up on about 30 oysters each at Hog Island Oyster Co. With the B Vitamins pumping though my blood, we were ready to paddle. I was concerned about the wind and my big old canoe, especially since I would be solo paddling, but our weather window was descent, and Greg and I made short work of the mile and a half paddle.
What waited for us across the way was something totally unexpected: White sand beaches, clear water, lush forest, and some wild creatures that said hello in the morning whilst drinking a very strong cup of coffee. If you have the means to get up this way and are feeling like Tom Sawyer, I suggest you head out past the water’s edge. An adventure awaits indeed!
Nicki + Simon – Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in San Jose – The Ranch Reception
Nicki and Simon were married on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in San Jose at the Cathedral Basilica of St Joseph. It’s a stunningly beautiful church with lots of natural light and amazing architecture. Plus, it had a balcony! I love it when churches have balconies, because it gives us photographers another amazing angle to tell the story from. And although there’s just a few images from above, it helps fill in the story leaps and bounds. But I digress…!
The morning started off right with champagne for the ladies and Don Julio shots for the boys. Anything to relieve the nerves. No matter how many times I see it, the moment never gets old. Even the most stalwart of brides and grooms eventually have “that” moment when you can tell the emotions and the reality are settling in. That’s where booze comes in handy! I’ve been known to take a nip myself sometimes 😉 Artistic freedom is my excuse!
I didn’t have anything this fine day, because all the pieces were in place, and Nicki and Simon’s wedding was gorgeous. Come take a look and see for yourself.
Nicki and Simon, thank you so much again for allowing me to photograph your wedding day. Best wishes.
See you down the road.
Annemarie + Eric – Mt. Tamalpais Theater
I love the weather. I look at my weather app everyday to see the forecast; to see what’s going on for the next few days. Since I keep bees now, I am always looking for what’s blooming – a eucalyptus here, some star thistle there, or maybe an acacia bursting with pollen. I also love outdoor weddings in beautiful settings. Annemarie and Eric chose to tie the knot atop Mt Tamalpais. As outdoor weddings go, it doesn’t get much better than this. That is of course, if it doesn’t rain. Well, luck was on our side, as the rain preceded all vows and brought a carpet of fresh fecund grass and dappled wildflowers to the hills. No one could ask for a nicer spring day. Here are a few of my favorites.
I’ve been photographing an ongoing project with Genentech over the last few months. They have a mentor-ship program which provides tutoring and science activities to some local schools. We set up a photo-booth and tricked it out (as best we could) with some science props, lab coats, and a healthy supply of dry ice + warm water. After watching everyone have so much fun for the last few months, and with the space totally empty, it was only a matter of time…
Mwah hah hah…!
Capture Intigration Workshop
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.
2014 Mavericks Invatational
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.
Ritz Carlton Bridal Fair Success!
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!
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