Emily and Chris Wed at San Francisco City Hall ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

Emily and Chris are just the sweetest people and I was so honored to be their photographer, guest and witness all in one.  These weddings in the beautiful San Francisco City Hall are just always fun.  The intimacy of them just teaches me something every time I do them.  Emily is so sweet and her gorgeous red hair with the gold inlay of the front doors I just love!  We got a very fun officiant and had just a wonderful time.  They then were going to surprise family on Christmas Eve with “guess what!”.  It did go well because I got a lovely email from mom thanking me.  All the best Emily and Chris!

Children’s Portraiture ~San Francisco Family Photographer~

I love photographing kids and pets.  It is a dirty job as I don’t do this in studio.  I actually get on the ground and crawl on my knees to get to their level and make them feel comfortable and me less large.  Photographing children has to go kind of quickly too.  You never know when sleepiness or hunger may set in!  I photographed Amanda’s wedding a few years ago and this year had the pleasure of meeting and photographing her son!  What a charmer he was!  So easy going even considering what mom’s last costume change was! But he was a New Year’s Baby!  Oh my will that be embarrassing when he’s 13!   The card I got this year was one that I surely will be holding on to!  But it was so much fun and I love to share in the lives of my clients and see them happy.  All the best to them!

Holiday in the Middle East

I’ve always dreamed of seeing the Pyramids of Egypt and Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan and finally made that dream happen this month.  It is an amazing place full of amazing people and just the best experience!  We had a very full 10 days but our tour director did a great job getting us around and seeing the most important things and learning a thing or two as well.  It’s a different world to be sure but we also share so many things and I walked away with great memories and many new friends.  A few marriage proposals too but alas I had to turn those down.   The Pyramids of Egypt were incredible and possibly the most amazing place I’ve ever been is Wadi Rum.  Truly breathtaking.

The people were so kind and fun.  At a mosque I was inundated by about 20 kids on a school outing who were asking me a bunch of questions and just as intrigued by me as I was of them.   I rode a camel that decided it didn’t want to go up the mountain but back home to dinner at a gallop but fortunately I was saved by my Bedouin who ran down to get him back.  That was fun!  But here are just  slight few of my favorites from an amazing holiday abroad to the Middle East.

Michelle and Dan at Arista Winery ~Napa Wedding Photographer~

Michelle and Dan had their wedding during my most favorite time of the year–Fall!  The wedding was at Arista Winery in Healdsburg, one of my favorite spots.  The cake was from Patisserie Angelica and the flowers by Dragonfly.  It was such a beautiful day.  The weather rained the day before and the day after but not that day!  The vines were a deep gold, the sky a beautiful blue and clouds made for perfect texture and depth.  It was my first time to meet them as they planned the day from New Jersey.  Their friends and family brought the East Coast to the West and made for a lot of laughs and memories.  All the best to you guys.  Come back and visit!

San Francisco Engagement Session ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

Heather and Jeff are getting married next year on the East Coast but live locally and wanted photos that screamed San Francisco.  So we went to Chrissy Field for the Golden Gate Bridge of course!  Timing is really important when being outside for portraits.  The sun can create harsh and unattractive shadows not to mention major squinting.  When the sun is going down it is typically easier to deal with these issues.  Living in San Francisco you almost never know if you are going to get sun, fog or rain this time of year.  We got really lucky!  Heather and Jeff were fun to work with and we got some lovely and fun shots.  All the best on the big day….I do travel guys!

More on Wedding Day Details… ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

Here are a few more shots that I think are worth seeing.  Again the details just say so much about you and your day and set a vibe that guests remember.  So have fun and be creative!  A big budget is not necessary for this.  The card holders made of the tree slices were cut by the groom himself.  The brides bouquet had rosemary, heather and other various “weed” type plants to fit the surroundings of Big Sur.  Plants and vegetables make great additions to bouquets.  The cakes with the fine detailing are by Patisserie Angelica.  Something so simple in an outdoor, wine country wedding are perfect.  Let nature speak for itself!  Splashes of color can have huge impact in a natural setting.

If your wedding is in a hotel or more urban setting usually lines are better when clean and work with the architecture.   A large room needs large centerpieces but be sure your guests can see and speak to each other!  Nothing worse then leaning into your neighbor to converse with the person across from you.

But most importantly just have fun with your plans and be creative.  Let your professionals help you to create something that is unique to you.

Wedding Details ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

The details of a wedding really set the day.   The littlest of elements are indicative of you as a couple and set a tone of the day.  This wedding was in Big Sur and the elements blended like nature themselves!  It was elegant but casual and comfortable.  Enjoy and think of what “says” you!  The place card holders were cut by the groom himself.  The bouquet consisted of many natural plants like heather and rosemary and blended perfectly into the Big Sur settings.  The cowboy boots worn by the bride were THE perfect choice!!!

Rebecca and Greg’s Engagement Session ~San Francisco Wedding Photographer~

Rebecca and Greg are so cute together.  We had a lot of laughs and a margarita on this shoot!  Rebecca was such a natural and really brought out the best from Greg too who was just a bit on the shy side!  But it was fun and some lovely images were made.  We made use of a local bakery, coffee shop, floral shop and Mexican restaurant.  Try it!  Be polite and ask if you can use their store and most will say yes.  If you have a favorite place and think it is something worth photographing it will only just add to the fun and memories.

Annie and Joel at Russian River Vineyards ~Napa Wedding Photographer~

Annie and Joel are the cutest couple.  Their wedding at Russian River Vineyards was just beautiful.   There was a long walk to the ceremony site under a beautiful tree, dining under the redwoods and dancing like crazy!  There was so much love and joy and tears at this wedding!  But good happy tears and a great time was had by all.    All the best to you guys!

Dawn and Brent’s Wine Country Wedding at Arista ~Napa Wedding Photographer~

I just adore Dawn and Brent.  They are so remarkable together and just caring, loving, fun and well loved too!  Their wedding at Arista Winery was just beautiful.  This time of year the light is just beautiful and some of my favorite images of the year!  I especially love the series of Brent when he waits then sees Dawn coming.  The groom at this moment is one of my favorite things to shoot at a wedding.  I always have  my lens pointed at him at this moment.  Those few seconds just say so much.  I wish you both the best in your future together!

Acting Head Shots ~Los Angeles Headshot Photographer~

I love working with actors!  Some are a little camera shy oddly enough and some just eat it up.  It was like this with Christy.  We did the “get me work” shots and then just had a little fun with it like “your son just wrote on the wall!” and “please stop crying, please” head shots.    Head shots should be fun but there are things you have to do for great shots.

  • Wear clothing that is simple, no busy patterns and with sleeves.  Make sure everything is pressed if need be too.
  • Get rest the night before.  Your face really can show stress, lack of sleep or a hangover!
  • Make up for women needs to be simple.  Don’t go overboard.  Agents, casting directors and the like want to see you as you really are.  If you go overboard on the retouching or make up and walk in looking NOT like your photo it’s deceptive and may not work well.
  • Connect with the lens and show personality!  Show a range of ages, looks and smiles or reactions.

Your head shot is your first impression to the people you want to hire you so put your best face on as this really is your business card and needs to be the best.  Good luck!

New York City, Home away from home…

I lived in New York City eons ago.  I go every year a couple of times and walk my butt off each and every time.  I recently went for my birthday and as is my norm took my camera everywhere.  So just  a few images to share…

Family Portraits in Central Park ~San Francisco Portrait Photographer~

I’ve known Karen and Eric for an unbelievable 8 years.  IT was that long ago that I photographed their wedding in Wine Country.   A few years ago they moved to New York City and we’ve kept in touch over the years.  Well, last year on one of my regular visits we did Karen’s pregnancy photos.  It was so much fun.  Karen is a petite little hottie who is quite shy and reserved but we got great shots with her, the belly, Eric and the cats too. Well, this year it was a pleasure to work with Liam too.  What a cute kid!  We spent just an hour in Central Park on the West side and got so many lovely shots.  Poor Liam had to wake up but he was quite awake when it came to a popsicle!    Photographing children is a lot of fun.  Do remember to keep it quick and work around their needs and schedule.  Take a break if you must and if they start to cry, just keep shooting!  Those are moments you will cherish too.

All the best to the Hopps and I look forward to next years shoot!

New York City Tribute

Three weeks after September 11th, 2001 I went to NYC on my yearly Fall trip.  I’d originally planned to go this week for my birthday and my friend’s birthday but knew it was going to still be muggy and hot so I changed it for three weeks later.  Fortunately for me.  Flights had resumed and my trip was on.  There were only 6 of us on a huge jet but on the way back it was a completely full flight.  I knew I was only going to shoot black and white film while I was there as it was just the most fitting thing to do.  But while people were still hurting, life was still going on.   Just like today.  A lot of my still very favorite images were taken that week.   This is just to remember.