Archive for June, 2010

Yosemite National Park Travel Photography | Photography

Monday, June 28, 2010

Last week we had our 28th annual family vacation to Yosemite National Park. This is the place that got me into Photography in the 1st place!  As a kid, I spent hours in the Ansel Adams gallery there, waking up at 6am to go on the photo hikes capturing images and taking pictures for hours before breakfast.  I’d travel to Yosemite 2-4 times a year and hike or bike around, shooting for hours, getting inspired, whether it was snowing or sunny out.  I would then come back and print black and white images in the darkroom in high school.  When I got my Hasselblad, I ended up spending even more time in the darkroom.

The 1st thing we would always do is plan our hikes and hit the trails.  Basking in the warm sun and smelling the pine trees is such a relaxing way to revive my mind & body.  I love to read and have my quiet times to get into the word and be filled.  Next to a river, sipping on some tea in the warm morning sun.  Enough said, enjoy this collection.











In the mornings we would always make a hearty breakfast and get filled up for the day.

It rained and snowed so much last year that the rivers and falls were full and gushing!













One of my favorite reasons why Yosemite is such a great place to shoot is the variations of color in the granite, and foliage.  Greys & greens, against blues.







A favorite place for us to visit is always the Ahwanee Hotel.  Built around 1925, it stands as almost part of the park, blending in beautifully.  Relaxing in the shade you can have a refreshing afternoon drink or ice cream and watch the falls and lay on the grass in the meadow in front of the hotel.  Then later we would go biking around the valley, which is the fastest way and easiest way to get around.













We also love rafting down the Merced river, which takes 90 minutes and is a class 1 river, BUT it’s super relaxing to find a beach and have lunch secluded with a view of the falls or granite cliffs in the background.













I highly recommend everyone going to visit yosemite, however, to stay in the valley you must book reservations 5-12 months in advance to stay in the park between May 15th and Sept 15th.

Dana Powers Wedding | Jeff & Darcy

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I’ve been shooting so many casual portrait sessions lately, which you can see from the posts I’ve been writing about.  Now that wedding season is in full swing I’ve been artistically on a rampage with creativity and I’ve been excited about what I’ve been capturing.  This wedding was at one of my favorite locations, the Dana Powers House (where our photographer and album designer Jake & Necia got married last fall, check out their picts here and on The Wedding Chicks where they were featured). The luxurious floral decor was coordinated by Corinne at Panacea Floral Event Design.  The Sea Shanty provided the food & the Cakery made their fantastic cake.

Jeff & Darcy.  They were a couple who knew what they wanted.  They had great classic style and were very fun to work with.   They wanted to make their wedding different and the coolest thing was to see how much they cared for their family & friends.  Above all, as a photojournalist, capturing people loving people, never goes out of style.  Thats the most exciting thing to capture for me.  There was plenty of that for me today!

As we were shooting, I followed Darcy around the 3 story house and captured her getting ready from a distance and occasionally we found some really cool stuff that inspired me to shoot some of these portraits












Jeff, you got such a gem, she was so excited to meet you all day.  I know you know this, but you are blessed my friend.













the Dana Powers house has so much variety and the diversity of rooms, and elements and spectacular lighting give me so much to shoot with.  I could shoot here for a week and still have inspiration to get ever diverse shots.






the pillow fight, enough said.  This was all them.

Ok. Jeff, the pride on your face of the day you committed to the girl of your dreams.









Here are some of my favorite details & shots of the day.







3 pm and its time for the Ceremony.  All their guests gathered in a warm spring morning to see Jeff & Darcy tear up as they met in the isle, later parading out proud as could be.











Jeff, on his own cue, picked his wife up for the last shot of them at sunset, Darcy loved being picked up by Jeff and was such a happy ball of excitement.



Summing up the day well, The Photobooth Experience was there capturing all the guests, kids, grandparents and family laughing, loving, & being silly together.  Barn weddings rock.  As much as I love the European Castle weddings, there is something charming about the quiet countryside barn weddings in California that have so much style they have a spot in my heart.  Thanks guys for an amazing day.

Springville, CA Wedding | Chase & Bernadette

Friday, June 11, 2010

What do: Chase, Bernie, Berries, 55 Chevrolet, Sierra Nevada Foothills, 300 people, and a spring afternoon have in common? Read on…

I first met Chase and Bernadette when Bernie was the MOH at Casey and Samantha’s wedding in 2008. We all became friends and I have been looking forward to their wedding for a long time and it was worth that wait! With the help of their coordinators at Happily Ever After Events, Chase and Bernie planned an warm home town style in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada event with amazing whimsical and refined details, fun surprises (a yellow school bus showed up to transport the wedding party!), and lots of love (and berries). The event was held at the Walker Residence back in the canyons of Springville. The wildflower themed floral arrangements were put together by  Christine’s Flowers. Hair and makeup by Salon Sassafyed. Everyone was excited to be a part of Chase and Bernie’s big day and the guest count totaled around 300, but the quantity did not affect the quality of food one bit thanks to Sue Sa’s fantastic catering team who set up an amazing chicken/steak dinner buffet. Finally, Haro Entertainment kept everyone on the dance floor late into the night. All in all a huge success that I was happy to be a part of!

I like Chase because he has style and he is fun to hang around.







Bernie is pretty sweet as well, Chase got a good girl, her parents room with a dark nook in the background.  We had to light this up with a sunbounce small reflector, a key factor to lighting indoor shots.













Scouting out sweet locations they had a swing, by a 100 year old oak tree.












The clouds and lighting was uh-mazing, we got spots of sun amongst intermittent clouds.  As a photographer this light is rare and SO fun to shoot with.







This shot below was one of my favorite shots of Chase.

Chase, your the man.







Her dad had a beautifully restored 55 Chevy Wagon.

Like a queen, Bernadette was having the time of her life. Exiting her car to head to the ceremony

The clouds cleared and the Ceremony was warm and







Maybe I love shooting weddings so much because of the smiles from my couples, and I get to see how genuine they are at the altar; the tears, laughter, joy and
































Can a photographer get so lucky, sunsets every night, I wish they lasted as long as they do in Northern Europe in the summers, but we are still blessed to get them this long.  The average person lives for 25,000 sunsets, but may see 2,000.  I’m thankful my career is to capture as many as possible, when the light is the sweetest.

Chase worked for a berry company.  Berries are my favorite food group, and were adorning the whole reception.  By the end of the night, I think I had taken 3-4 baskets to “photograph” ;)



















Rock on guys, I hope your honeymoon is splendid!

Engagement Shoot | Drew & Cassie

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drew and Cassie like to take one Friday a month off to spend the day together enjoying the Central Coast and wine tasting at all the local wineries. Drew set up a special surprise one Friday though and had prepared an secret engagement hangout(or just a date as he would have said) at Hammersky Vineyards. He then proposed the question to her and she accepted, and they spent the weekend relaxing, enjoying life and getting ready to plan the beginning of forever together.

A few weeks later, when deciding on a location for their engagement session HammerSky was an obvious yes! After working with them on the style and vibe of their shoot, we came up with a storyboard and his electric guitar was a for sure deal, working for Ernie Ball, you bet Drew has a passion for music & instruments, designing guitars for Ernie Ball. It was fascinating listening to them and getting to know this couple. I really am looking forward to their wedding!

I first shot Hammersky in October for the golden fall colors and fell in love this this little cabin in the rollings hills out in west Paso Robles area.  I highly recommend taking a trip out there.













Can you just feel how cool this place is, I love the style of the land here.

Despite the rain that day, it was green and warm.

Um the ladder to shoot this shot was super rickety and I was close to falling, BUT, it was SO worth it!



















Being a musician myself(see my new facebook profile pic), I was pretty amped on this guitar (no pun intended).





































the end.  Of this shoot, that is, but not of how cool this story is gonna be to tell & unfold.  Rock on guys, see you around town and in a few months at your wedding!

UCLA Engagement Shoot | Dustin & Chelsea

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I love it when we get to do shoots that incorporate personal elements about the couple’s relationships. Dustin met Chelsea while he was studying at UCLA and Chelsea would spend time with him studying up on campus so we did the whole shoot up on campus. Chelsea works for Toms so we included that in the shoot too! And the bracelets they are both wearing are very meaningful too – they are in memory of Chelsea’s brother who passed on earlier this year… this couple has amazing chemistry and a strong bond that I loved capturing and I hope they love the shots we got!