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Formula Drift, Round 7, Irwindale Speedway 2013

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Last weekend was the 2013 Formula Drift Finals in Irwindale.
I was out shooting for Falken Tire unexpectedly, which is always a great thing. They’re a fun to team to shoot for and work around. Unfortunately though we didn’t have a strong weekend. All three drivers qualified Top 32, however both Justin and Dai were knocked out before top 16.

Saturday was my only actual day there to shoot. However I showed up on Friday to get my media vest early. The biggest problem with the Drift Finals is that there are a TON of people that apply for media passes. And I’ll be completely honest, most of them have no business being there. They’re un-experienced and represent no major company, no team, nor driver. There are people that I’ve met at these events that simply have their own auto blog and were able to get credentialed in.
To be clear, I’m all for people learning and working hard to advance in a competitive industry. However these inexperienced people tend to be rude, don’t follow rules, and have no common curtesy nor professional respect I find when I shoot a series like American Le Mans.

So rather than deal with a ton of people in the media meeting on Saturday, I showed up on Friday to check in early and then spent most of the afternoon seeing a few friends on other teams and with various vendors.

Race day was busy, as is every Irwindale race.
So, read on, check out a bunch of the shots I’ve selected to upload, and maybe I’ll see you guys out during the 2014 season!

Click the break to read on:

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The Joe-Fischbach Wedding – Napa Valley, Calif.

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Stephanie FINALLY let me photograph her. But, really, she didn’t have much of a choice..

I’ve known Stephanie for 11 years. She’s one of my best friends and probably my closest female friend. And I’ve been bugging her for yearsss to let me photograph her and she pretty admittedly refuses. Hahaha. Clearly she loves me.
I’ve known Adam for nearly 7 years now, he’s been exceptionally kind to me during our friendship and has become someone I look forward to seeing with Steph on my trips back to the Bay Area. I mention this because it’s very rare that female-friend’s boyfriends get along with me. Adam and I get along great and he understands my friendship with Stephanie goes back many years. And in reality, he “wins” that game anyway. Stephanie and Adam have been friends since childhood… like 5 and 6 six Steph and Adam have pictures together. It’s one of those disgustingly cute things. Even though they’ll laugh and tell you there was never any sort of childhood crush or anything, it’s still cute that they have those kind of pictures from their past.

Also, Adam (unlike Steph, yep, calling you out again Stephanie) has let me photograph him! Hahaha. Adam owns several motorcycles and a couple years ago I wanted to test a new camera rig and remotes I had just bought. So Adam was happy to go out and let me practice with him.

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Stephanie will of course just say “Well Adam got to wear full gear so you couldn’t even see him!”

Either way, Stephanie and Adam got married just over a week ago in Napa Valley – and I was fortunate enough to be their photographer. While they were picking out dates for the ceremony a year ago they kept checking with me and my availability. I told them I would understand if, because of my busy Fall, they chose someone else if I couldn’t make it. Steph basically “John. We’re choosing a date you’re free. We want you there to shoot for us.”

Their wedding day in Napa Valley was gorgeous, too.
I think I was just as excited for them to be married as they were.

The ceremony was at a location in the hills called Aburge de Soleil, a restaurant and small vineyard in the hills. But, a lot of stuff there has a small vineyard, right? haha.
We started bright and early that morning since it would be a mid-morning ceremony. So that meant that I was up at 4 am to be ready and meet the girls at 5 am in Steph’s room as they did hair and makeup. Rebecca and I started the day at Starbucks – where she quickly pointed out that I was way too happy and awake for that time of day. In my defense I was stoked for Adam and Stephanie.

The wedding morning, ceremony went really smooth and very quickly. It seemed to be exactly what Steph kept telling me she wanted… something small with family and a few friends. And even though their small wedding was still bigger than they wanted, it was beautiful, and people had a great time.

I’m not going to write a bunch more because I’ll leave all that for captions.

Be warned, though, as there are a ton of photos to follow.
I love Stephanie and Adam and it was just too hard for me to narrow the photos down. So there are nearly 300 shots of their wedding weekend after the break.

Read on! …if you have time, and enjoy the shots!

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