I fell completely in love with Rachel and her girls the moment I met them… I loved all her hand crafted details, and the bond between Rachel and her friends and family was such a wonderful backdrop for a perfect wedding! Held on the property of a family friend that sits above a beautiful pond, the ceremony was a mixture of laughs and tears as their officiant spoke about the couple and their families! The food was delicious, especially all the Italian cookies and pastries made by Alex’s mom and grandma. Check back for more images, but for now, here is the best set of girlfriends a bride could ask for!
Since relocating to Grass Valley, I have clients scattered all over California that I photograph… One of my favorite things is when one of my wedding couples expands their family! It can happen in so many ways and is always cause to celebrate! Recently I was in San Francisco to capture this special nesting time for Eric and Jenny! We talked about our ideas for the session, and they wanted to show off their lovely room they made for the baby girl they were expecting, but also wanted some images that looked like they had been done in the studio! This image was captured as the beautiful sunlight poured into the baby’s room, which has bright white walls with colorful zoo characters on them! I have a fondness for beautiful abstract maternity images that show off a woman’s spectacular curves, so I knew I wanted a few images like this, despite the light airy feeling in their home! Congratulations to Eric & Jenny on the birth of the lovely baby Charlotte, and I can’t wait to meet her for her first session!!! Much love and happiness to all my readers in this brand new year!!!
One of my favorite things about living and working in Grass Valley is all the wonderful new people we have met here! April and Eric and their two adorable boys are always great fun to photograph… we have had so many fun sessions, but today in the studio there was one smiley birthday boy, and so much cuteness!!! Happy first birthday Cade, and I love watching you grow up through my lens!!
I haven’t blogged my film images yet… wanna know why? There were so many that I loved that I had a hard time choosing. Seriously. I am in love with the colors in my scans (yes, when I shoot film I still get digital files) We had wonderful models (many of them FINDers and friends of FINDers) for the workshop! Day one I was faced with feeling like I was in high school again… It is strange to think that you are fairly proficient at something, having done it professionally for almost 12 years… but give me a new camera, and film to load into that new magic box, and 5 minutes to shoot each couple, and I felt all brand new and shiny… and a bit frustrated until I got the hang of loading the film… It is good to feel vulnerable in a learning situation. Jon and Joe, and my fellow FINDers were always willing to lend a hand and advise me until I was loading film like I had been doing it for years! Our workshop house was in the SF Marina district, and while it has never been a favorite neighborhood of mine, I really saw things I had never taken the time to see… like ceramic birds in a tree and some really nice architecture, not to mention our lovely models! Here’s a selection of shots from my first day… developed and scanned by the FINDlab…
Moving to a new town, trying to serve current clients in the old town, and feeling that I want to differentiate myself in a sea of digital photographers… The situation was ripe for the picking, and when I attended Jonathan Canlas’ FIND Workshop in San Francisco earlier this month, I think I found my new distinction. Film… it’s gorgeous, you don’t have to sit in front of a computer to make the images look amazing, it makes you a better photographer who must meter for exposure and control it… and my new to me Contax 645 camera is a miracle box… That beautiful Carl Zeiss 80mm F2 lens is like nothing else I have on my digital. It is a thing of beauty. So, I loaded it up, and shot some stuff… 14 rolls in 3 days… some people, some scenics, and a bunch of stuff in Chinatown… Got my scans back today… will be adding images to this post shortly. Oh, and I only took two cameras on vacation with me… the Contax 645 and my iPhone. I smell a cool breeze drifting in… Can’t wait to share my most recent passion with my current and new clients!! just look at the color tones, and how perfectly things look right out of the camera… I did not edit anything about exposure or color balance… It’s just perfect – it’s film!
Who doesn’t want to look younger than your actual age? Having grown up in Florida, I was always told the importance of taking good care of your skin! I feel lucky to have been born into a family where the women have always looked younger than we are (and plus we never act our age either, so bonus!) An integral part of looking fresh and young is having an awesome skin care regime… Something that isn’t easy to do on your own unless you are a professional esthetician (or your best friend, spouse or room mate is one!) My dear friend Lynde Alvarez approached me with a great project a few months ago that she has had in the works for a couple of years… She says to me, “Parasol Atelier – Palo Alto… Google it!” so, of course, I do, and I discover a very funny coincidence! I have known the owner of the salon for 14 years… Lynde tells me, “of course you do… you know everyone!” Yep, things like this just tell me that I am in just the right place at the perfect time! So of course I wanted to be a part of their project together!! We gathered at the Salon with a lovely breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, and set out to photograph several of Julice’s beautiful clients! Everyone was absolutely delightful! Thanks for coming out to the salon and sharing all your beauty… both on the outside AND the inside! Contact the studio for a personal consultation and natural headshot session!
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams
and that is my commitment to all who are in front of my camera… I promise to honor you with my photography as you have honored me by choosing me to photograph you!! Grass Valley has become my home so quickly because of the amazing people I have met here! I am going to be back to post more and update my blog with all the groovy things that have been happening at Mill Cottage Photography and Catchlight Workshop Series, but had to post a quick note with Ansel’s beautiful sentiment and Lisa’s beautiful portrait… much love!
Haven’t you ever been on a wonderful vacation with your love and really wished you had a great professional portrait of the two of you to remember the special trip by? Well, Leslie was brilliant, and booked a session with me on her wonderful baseball tourism vacation with her husband of 10 years, David! They were the kind of people I felt like I had known forever, and we had a really great time capturing some great images!! We also met some interesting people at the beach… a group of picnickers who didn’t offer to share their beer (LOL), and told us grand tales of a bucket list and frolicked in the waves nearby… The weather in San Francisco was spectacular. Unbelievable that we would have a summer day turn out like this with no fog, and beautiful amazing sweet light!! Seriously, my first July in San Francisco so many years ago all I can remember is trying to watch fireworks on someones roof in the Marina with winter coats and gloves, drinking red wine to keep from freezing to death…
Anyway, thanks to Leslie and David for their great company, and for being willing to dip their Louisiana toes in the chilly Pacific Ocean, and here is a favorite to tide you over til your previews are ready!!!
I am a sucker for black and white photography… Of course as a visual artist I love color and feel it has its place for sure, but there’s something about a dramatic black and white that just isolates the subject and commands you to look! Nothing to get distracted in but the sultry emotion… and believe me, these two have plenty of that! They wouldn’t stop kissing… all day… and night… and well, duh?? It was awesome! I am so glad they hired me to capture their memories on their beautiful wedding day! And grateful to Lynde for traveling with me to photograph it (you know I want you to shoot with me all the time now… <3) and to Amy and April for having such a wonderful family and introducing me to the whole gang in Texas!! Don’t worry… there will be many more images to come! xoxo
a bit behind on my blogging… but I have been traveling and working really hard!!! Mayte and Steven’s San Antonio destination wedding was completely amazing… How could it not be with April of Petalworks at the helm of event design and florals ?! Here are just a few of the beautiful, colorful flowers that April designed for Mayte and the girls…
Travel like a rock star, yes, please! I love shooting destination weddings, and have been all over in the past couple of years! In the country and out of the country, my gear and I are ready to travel!! Looking forward to Mayte and Steven’s wedding in the Spanish Governor’s Palace in San Antonio, Texas, and having photographed them last September when they came to San Francisco for their engagement session, I know it will be a blast! Flowers, design and coordination by the wonderful April of Petalworks, I am giddy at the thought of how much fun we will will have with all the details and portraits in interesting places… Ahhh… only a few more weeks to wait, and get on the big plane to Texas! Here is a sneak peek of their custom designed wedding guest book… hope you love it!!
For many of us, the road to parenthood is fraught with pitfalls and heartbreak… and nothing is more beautiful than when, at the end of a difficult process, we finally hold our child… What I have seen first hand (and blessedly so…) is that it does not matter how you become a family, your child is your child, and the blessings and joy they bring. One of my most rewarding groups of clients I work with are prospective parents who are building their families through open adoption. Ellen Roseman has been a huge force in this movement, and I am so happy to have so many clients who have come from other parents referrals in this special group! My dear friend Melissa and her husband were just blessed with their second baby, and they will have their own special blog post as soon as I get my other computer up here to my new office… and Adam and Earl are now proud papas to this adorable baby, Ethan, and you can just feel the joy that their family exudes! One of my greatest joys is to photograph portraits of new babies and families… It’s spring time here at the cottage, and the pitter patter of tiny feet is a sound most welcomed! Enjoy!
I have had the pleasure of shooting quite a few intimate weddings this year, and it is always a joy to be among a small group of people celebrating, whether it be at a hotel suite, San Francisco City Hall, or a quaint venue in the wine country. I have special coverages available for these special occasions whether it be a short coverage for the ceremony and a few portraits, or a longer coverage with photography with one photographer. I’d love to hear more about your intimate wedding, and design a coverage specifically for you! Here is a slide show for Paul and Christine! Warning… the pie images in this slide show will make you hungry!!
Next, Kelly’s florist, Christine Cater, laid the scene with just the right complement to the amazing atmosphere that is the Big Sur River Inn… I especially loved the “bling” she added to the bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets.. awesome. Kelly and Kevin chose teal and purple as their wedding colors, and with the lush green river side location, everything was really just perfect! We spent the whole weekend with them, and everything was casual and relaxed, and we were able to really capture the event well. This is one of my favorite albums I have ever designed, and I can’t wait to hold it in my hands (and place it, ever so reluctantly, in Kelly’s hands!) Don’t worry, I will be ordering multiple copies… Diane and my friends at Big Sur River Inn, and I will have to fight over the rest! ;^P
Orange and Black are everywhere! I love the crisp fall days, and changing leaves of red, green and gold!! It makes me gasp every year that it’s almost holiday time… wow.. my little boy is almost 5 now. I have been photographing him every year in the same pumpkin patch, and I love comparing the images from previous years to see how my baby has grown into such a little boy… This year we stopped by the patch with his best friend, Luci, and I was so happy to get these two active little guys to sit still for a minute so I could grab a shot! They are like brothers, and it is cool to see their relationship grow as they grow up in the same daycare. Next year they will likely be in different kindergartens, but we will work really hard to make sure these best friends see as much of each other as possible!
We have been enjoying a lot of fine weather lately, and fall is always my favorite season… Warm colors, crisp clear days, chilly nights with tea or hot cocoa around the fireplace (since we actually have one now!!) I also love it when creative brides buck tradition and have pie at their wedding instead of cake… Christine and Paul had a very lovely wedding day at the Kenwood Depot in Kenwood (Sonoma area.) Their ceremony was held under a tall redwood tree as they were hand-fasted together in a touching ceremony! An AMAZING dinner was served at one long table and Cochon Volant has my vote for the best barbeque I have ever had, especially at a wedding! Everything was done to perfection!!! I’ll share more details later, but here is my favorite part of the whole day… PIE!! Each one that I tasted took me back to family celebrations with my grandma… homemade and delicious pie! Don’t look at these pictures if you are hungry… mmmmm… pie….
Just wanted to share some details from this beautiful wedding at Wente Vineyards! The Vineyard Lawn was the perfect setting for the ceremony and celebrations! I love that Wente has a great variety of locations on their property to choose from, and have photographed weddings at all of them! The food and service is stellar, and the wine, well, award-winning wines like Morning Fog Chardonnay and my personal favorite, Riva Ranch Chardonnay (crisp, and fresh tasting without the oakey/buttery taste of the usual Chardonnay…) The team and I had a wonderful time with Nikki & Phil and their friends and family! I love this ring that was one of Nikki’s “something borrowed” – and those shoes… way to go on the blue sparklies, girlfriend!! Nikki also ordered each of her bridesmaids and herself a custom bridal clutch purse, and Nikki had personal messages to each of her girls into the purse. This is one of the coolest bridesmaid appreciation gifts I have ever seen!! The photobooth was a hoot, taking our King & Queen theme to the extreme, and everyone carried on to the afterparty back at the hotel into the wee hours!! So glad that Nikki & Phil chose me as their wedding photographer, and thanks to my team, Joerg and Carrie, for rocking out the photobooth and making the coverage such a great collection of images for Nikki & Phil to enjoy for the rest of their lives!
Ohmigosh, destination wedding weekends are really awesome! Just barely over a year ago Kevin and Kelly got engaged on Pfeiffer Beach. They knew they wanted to have their wedding in Big Sur, and immediately began planning! They chose 9/10/11 as their date (a year from the date they got engaged) and the fabulous Big Sur River Inn was THE venue!! Lucky for me, Kelly didn’t even have to think twice about a wedding photographer… She’s seen me a lot over the past few years at her best friends’ weddings, and, also lucky for me, not only loves my work, but also thinks I am pretty fun to have around on a wedding day… go figure! :^P I was completely thrilled, and we headed out to Big Sur for a site visit and their engagement session. So much fun that I can hardly call it work!
Kelly knew she would want to work with a coordinator to help organize everything, and inspire her wedding vision, and ended up finding Diane Allen of Big Sur Weddings, who would immediately become a special friend to Kelly and Kevin! Diane and her staff were a dream to work with, and the details were perfect! Makes me want to re-do our wedding, and head right back down to Big Sur myself, and everyone knows how much I loved my wedding…
Great big fun was had by all in our Photo Parlor, hosted by my friend and lighting expert, Joerg, who had just shot Stephanie and Rich’s wedding a couple of weeks ago with me at Wente, and was happy to see their familiar faces and a bunch of new party people hitting the booth… You know it’s a fun wedding when everyone gets in the booth… the friends, family, event staff and photographers… even Bob, our favorite bartender. Here’s a link to the gallery… it’s password protected to protect the semi-innocent, and the pass word is the bride’s maiden name, (just last name, all lower-case!) Here’s a little bonus… anyone who purchases prints or downloadable files can feel good too, since a portion of the proceeds will be donated in Kelly and Kevin’s honor to Susan G. Komen For The Cure, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Big hugs to all of you, and I’ll have more of Kelly and Kevin’s photos ready in about 4 weeks!
To Kelly, Kevin, and all your friends and family… we had a blast. you did too. here’s proof! love, Kim, Anna & Joerg from Mill Cottage Photography