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Bedford Wedding – Livermore, Calif.

Last weekend was Ryan and Lisette’s wedding reception here in California.
So although the two of them had actually flown to Hawaii for a destination wedding, they waited til they were back on the mainland to celebrate with a reception forĀ the rest of their family and friends.
Unfortunately I was busy at a triathlon the weekend of their ceremony on Maui – they had actually reached out to see about me coming with them to shoot the wedding day, too. And honestly that would have been a lot of fun and I’m bummed that I missed it. However I was still able to be a part of their reception and photograph that, as well as meet their friends and family.

Ryan and I go way back. We met twelve years ago, in college, while we were working at DisneyWorld as lifeguards. So I have a ton of great memories with Ryan and he’s remained part of our core group of friends that still keeps in touch and gets together occasionally for reunion trips.
I met LisetteĀ a couple years ago during our 10-year reunion trip. Ryan brought her along to introduce her to this “last” group of friends of his that she hadn’t met. I remember talking to Ryan and he told me something along the lines of: “This is it.. If she can put up with me around you guys then I’m going to ask her to marry me.” For those who don’t know, our old lifeguard group is still pretty close. And when we get to together it’s a lot of laughing, joking, giving each other a ton of crap, and all around just having fun. But whereas some people might not like getting thrown into a group of old friends like that, Lisette seemed to have a great time with everyone that week. And a few months later (if I recall correctly) I was hearing more about proposal plans from Ryan when we caught up briefly.

Their wedding reception was held in Livermore, on the edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up in the South Bay Area, so it was simply a matter of going home to visit around the time of Ryan and Lisette’s reception.

I’m going to save some other comments for the captions, as I usually do in my blog write ups.

But first, let’s go for a brief stroll down memory lane with Bedford all the way back to our Disney College Program days, yes? Yes.

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The Sit-Yun Wedding – Morgan Hill, Calif.

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It’s already October 1st and that means that I just photographed Chris and Rene Yun’s beautiful end-of-September wedding here in the South Bay Area!

You couldn’t have hoped for a better weekend, too! The SF Bay Area got a couple days of rain in the week leading up to their wedding which meant clear and clean blue skies for their afternoon ceremony! And what a fun time we all had, too!
I met Chris and Rene several years ago through the automotive community here in the Bay Area. And like most people these days we’ve stayed in touch primarily through social media. Rene had kept up with my photography work on Facebook, and later instagram, as I got busier traveling around the US shooting all manner of weddings.
So, when Chris proposed to her she reached out to me about shooting for the two of them. Chris later told me they were both thrilled that I was going to shoot for them and all he needed to know from Rene was “Just tell me where to send the check!” Haha! It sounds silly, I know. But honestly it’s very flattering to hear that the only concern from your bride and groom is your mailing address because they know you’ve moved recently. Chris and Rene both had full faith in me that I would be able to capture all they photos they were hoping for.

And we had a blast.

Both of them were perfect examples of “Don’t take your wedding too seriously” as the weekend flew by. They were laughing, joking around, and doing everything the way they wanted it to be done. Chris high-fived friends as he walked down the aisle, they took jumping-high-five photos during the portraits we shot, they pre-planned their first dance ahead of time, and made sure to say hello to every person that attended whether it was to thank them, take photos with those who traveled far to be there, or simply catch up on life for a few minutes. I don’t think Chris stopped smiling that whole evening.

So, onto the photos!
I’ve made a large selection of just over 360 images to tell the story of Chris and Rene’s wedding weekend. As always I will caption various moments here and there so those who couldn’t be there will know what’s going on.

Enjoy!

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Zhang Wedding – San Ramon, Calif.

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Last weekend the crazy rainy weather in the Bay Area broke for just one day for Gee Lyn and Evan’s wedding – and it turned out to be gorgeous that afternoon for a few outdoor images of them and their wedding party.
Evan and Gee Lyn were referred me by several friends of theirs when they had started looking for a wedding photographer for their San Ramon wedding. Evan said I was very highly recommended – which is always a great thing to hear at the end of a wedding day as things are winding down and we finally had a chance to chat a bit after a very long day.
Both Evan and Gee Lyn are car enthusiasts, which is how they eventually met me… through the car community. We had spoke entirely through emails leading up to the wedding figuring out several different details and getting plans in place for their wedding day. I did my absolute best to keep things laid back and chill for them when it came to photos, letting them know I didn’t need many more details beyond the “absolutely must have” photos unique to them or their family, as well as keeping me updated with the rehearsal times, etc.

Evan and Gee Lyn got married at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. The rehearsal evening was rainy and blustery out – but the weather the next day called for clear skies. I even got to see and catch up with Eryn and Ryan King, other old friends whose wedding I shot, because they live nearby St. Mary’s so it was a great opportunity to visit the Kings and catch up on life.
The wedding day started just like any other for me. I met up with the girls in the morning while they were getting ready. Gee Lyn and her five girls made up a bridal party of six, so that’s a lot of hair and makeup to get through between them and the moms, as well. Gee Lyn and Evan had a full catholic mass wedding with several family members involved in many part of the ceremony. It was definitely very sweet to have so much close friends and family involved in their day. And when it came time for their reception that night there were some 200 or so people if I remember correctly that attended – plenty of friends and family to celebrate the night with.

I’ll leave the rest of my comments about the day in the captions below. Click the break for just over 250 photos from Evan and Gee Lyn’s wedding day! It was a gorgeous wedding and everyone was a blast to hang out with. I had told Gee Lyn and Evan as we left that night that “I don’t advertise myself as a wedding photographer, and because of that everyone I shoot for is some sort of referral… which means that I end up with wonderful couples and great people at all my weddings.” Gee Lyn and Evan are no different. I had an amazing time and felt as though they were just like any other friends I shot for that I had known for years. I hope you guys enjoy my images from the their wedding day as much as I enjoyed creating them.

And to Gee Lyn and Evan, Thank you for having me be part such an important occasion. If you manage to get to a computer with broadband during your honeymoon in Europe right now I hope you enjoy the photos!

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Molly and Alan Rowe’s Los Gatos Wedding

Two weeks ago I was back in the Bay Area to shoot the wedding of Molly and Alan Rowe. Being asked by Alan to shoot for him and Molly came as a complete surprise to me, to be honest. I knew Alan back during high school from playing sports together. But, I’ve known him much more over the years as “Monica’s friend Alan” since he’s very good friends with my sister and is part of their high school group. So, it was a big compliment for a second wedding couple from my sister’s circle of friends to contact me about shooting for them – the first was Nicole and Will Machallister a couple years ago.

I’ve ALWAYS remembered Alan as that upbeat, goofy crazy kinda person – and that side was totalllly apparent during the wedding weekend I spent with Alan and Molly’s families. The best part is that his goofiness totally compliments his wife’s quieter, shy demeanor. And when they interact you can see how much they care about each other – even while Alan was doing ridiculous things like “now dip me!” during their first dance! HAHAHA!!!

Molly and Alan got married in Los Gatos at a family friends house in a beautiful little ceremony in the backyard – it’s a huge backyard though, don’t be fooled everyone. LOL.
The day started out normally enough… with me meeting all the girls at the hotel while they started their hair and makeup for the morning. I was met with groans and “um, don’t take pictures of me looking like this!!” when Molly’s sisters realized a boy was going to be hanging out with them all morning. Sorry ladies! Hope you approve of the shots!
I broke away later on to head over to Alan’s house where all the guys would be getting ready before heading to the wedding location. The men had started their morning a bit slower, and Mrs. Rowe was teasing me saying “Waittt! No photos here! I’m not ready!” when she realized I was showing up to the Rowe residence, camera in hand.
Shortly after getting a few of the various shots I wanted I took Alan’s sister with me back to meet up with all the ladies as they finished preparing Molly for that afternoon. As Molly’s Mom and sisters all helped her with her dress and the last bit of preparations, the guys started to arrive. We were going to do a first-look due to timing of the events that afternoon. The family was starting to rush around thinking we were running late – all the while Molly was casually just waiting for her moment to go see her husband-to-be, as she laughed with her bridesmaids.
Alan and Molly’s first look was really cute. I think at first they seemed to feel like “so we just look surprised?” but after a minute or two they quickly seemed to ignore both myself and the family watching from the balcony and chatted with each other, talked and walked around the ceremony area, and even (completely on their own) walked over and stood in their positions they were about to get married in. Too cute.

The ceremony went off great with both lots of laughs and several tears from parents and family. The reception was a blast – and I wouldn’t expect any less. As I mentioned this is the second wedding I’ve been part of for this group of friends – and I’ve always known them to be a lot of fun. A couple hours of food, toasts, cake, and dancing later the evening was coming to an end – but not before Alan had to go through a car full of balloons with the car key hidden in one of them! How’s that for one last “Congrats” from your buddies before you leave for the hotel?

As always, I’ll post other details in my captions. But please read on and enjoy 150 shots from my weekend with the Rowe, McSpadden and Ward families!

Click the break for more:

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Preview of a busy week…

That’s me and best friend TJ, rollin in his ’08 Subaru WRX. My first car rig test shoot.

I’ve been in the Bay Area nearly a week, again. I came back into town here to photograph the Lordan wedding in San Jose (more on that shortly). But, I spent all of Friday with my oldest friend TJ, doing some shooting of his car while testing both my brand new 5DII, and his new camera mounts.
It took a little while to find settings that I liked, get the feel of the lense/mount/remote setups… And I’m sure even for TJ to find a speed at which his car was smooth and steady. We also tried a few garages and outdoor locations.

The main reason I was in town though, was the wedding of Amy and Michael Lordan!
Their ceremony was gorgeous. It was at the same location I shot at last time I was here in town, however, this wedding was outdoors since the weather cooperated for just one day this whole week!
Amy and Michael are both really amazing people with really incredible families. I’m looking forward to editing more photos to share with you all as I begin to sort them in the week ahead. Please check back in a few days for more on their wedding!

As I said above, TJ and I tried a number of different locations both indoor and out.
The rig we used was actually TJ’s new video rig, which, held my 5DII great. These shots were all done with the Canon 15mm Fisheye lens, too.
I’m currently working with a fabricator back home in Socal to develop a completely custom rig for myself and my work. Hopefully that will be done in the near future since I’m really excited to continue to experiment with various shots.

Speaking of experimenting with angles, gear, and rigs… check out this shot of Adam.
Also coming up this week I’ll post a few more images of Adam that I shot today – yep, we went out on Easter morning. I wanted to try some rig-mounted motorcycle images of him since he’s one of the most experienced riders I know. We tried a number of different things before the weather turned foul. Also, now we have some more ideas for next time of what worked and what didn’t.
So, next time around, they’ll be even better.

And lastly, I want to leave you all with this little gem…

This was the first image I shot with my new 5DII this week the day after it arrived.
Keepin’ it classy.

The three-day Soni-Jiwajinda Indian/Thai wedding weekend…

Sunol Country Club – Sunol, Calif. This is just one of three wedding ceremonies that I had the extreme pleasure of celebrating with Ahn and Krishan last weekend.
The above image is also straight out of camera. No joke. I removed a few dust spots with the dust removal tool in Lightroom, but other then that, this is how I saw it… and how I shot it. It was a GORGEOUS day that Sunday.

This particular wedding spanned three days and three different ceremonies – Thai, Indian, and American. Every one of them was unique in it’s own way. But I’ll be honest and say that the cultural ceremonies, Thai and Indian, were the most colorful and ceremonial. They really make it bland an American wedding can be by comparison.
That’s not to say that they simply had a white-wedding for the “white” ceremony, haha. Just take a look at the picture above… it was still bright, colorful and happy.

First, I’m going to have to start with this amazingly hot photo of Arsie and me… I’ve known her since 7th grade, and by our senior year in high school she was one of my best friends. I was there to work, so I didn’t get as much time to catch up on life as I would have liked… but it’s ok, we stalk one another on facebook and twitter to keep up with each others world travels and crazy lives…

The first ceremony was at the Thai temple. This was a completely new experience for me. I’ve shot various cultural weddings, but not Thai… and certainly nothing with monks (who were all very sweet). I don’t recall exactly which water ceremony this is unfortunately… so I won’t try and label it out of concern I’ll say it’s the wrong thing.

I always keep and eye on the fathers during weddings. This was right as Mr. Soni started to tear up during the Indian sangeet ceremony Saturday evening. Watching him embrace Krishan for this series of shots was really heartwarming – you could see how proud he is of his son. Also, all the flowers they used for their ceremonies were flown around the world the day before just for these events, and their robes hand selected by Krishan’s aunts in the markets of New Delhi.

Another favorite shot of mine is this image of Ahn’s hands. She had traditional henna tattoos applied to her hands Saturday night at the sangeet. She opted to only do her palms since she wanted the outside of her hands clear in the wedding photos on Sunday. They did a really beautiful job though, I’m so glad I was able to capture it.

“Let’s go take shots somewhere nicer than the hall” is what was said after this image was shot. I actually disagree. The moment, the pose, and a beautiful bride having just put on her wedding dress make this photo everything that it is. Ahn’s dress was ordered and hand made in Thailand. All the beading was done by hand – incredible.

On the way out… Ahn started walking faster to see how well she could move in her dress. Turned out to be a great opportunity for another shot.

I loved this moment where Ahn was watching out the window as her guests seated themselves outside. Like I’ve said many times, I’m not a fan of posed images. This moment is real, and something that she’ll be able to look back on and possibly remember what she was thinking rather than it being a shot I asked her to stand there for.

It was a bright and sunny day that Sunday afternoon in Sunol. The country club provided a beautiful backdrop, as a photographer I couldn’t have had more perfect shooting conditions.

Say it with me everyone… “Aweeeeeeee!!!”

After the ceremony, photos, etc Krishan and Ahn changed into their traditional Thai attire for the Thai water blessing. This was where their marriage was now official in Thai culture – a process they started the day before at the temple. And they definitely received a whole lot of blessings too – I had time to go get a number of other shots from the reception during this time, haha.

Their cake was beautiful – and equally delicious when it was finally cut later that evening.

Still in their ceremonial Thai clothing, Krishan and Ahn thank everyone for being part of such an important day. Much of their family flew all the way around the world from Thailand, India, and even South Africa – oh and all those East Coast friends, their flight was drop in the bucket by comparison.

Ahn’s younger sister, Arsie, made a photo slide show for them to watch. Krishan busted up laughing and Ahn hid her face when an elementary school photo of Ahn popped onto the screen.

The Daddy-Daughter dance… always one of my favorite parts of any wedding.

I never know what’s going to happen during the cake cutting… will someone smash it in the others face? Or will they not? In this case Krishan ended up shoving the cake up Ahn’s nose, she sweetly fed him cake normally… bummer, she missed her chance.

Like I said, the cake was delicious. You can already see them putting out slices in the background for everyone.

It’s always fun watching other newlyweds at a wedding. So cute.

Brides ALWAYS break it down on the dance floor… and if they have a little sister there with them… you damn well better get a shot of it.

Better yet, get a few photos…

After three days, three ceremonies, and 2,460 shots on my camera… The weekend comes to an end. Here’s Krishan, me, and Ahn. I do have to say we all still look pretty good considering how busy the day was. Thank you guys, you were families were amazing.

And one last shot of me and Arsie before I headed out for the night, and ultimately back to Socal the next morning.

Wow, so, if you read all that… I hope you enjoyed the shots. I’ve been incredibly swamped recently and have actually done about six other shoots in the last week. I did two back to back shoots the day before driving up to the Bay Area for this wedding, too.
But, alas, those shoots are for that client I mentioned and the project I can’t talk much about prior to publication. But, I’m sure I’ll have something later this week to share with you all. I also have my trip to Korea coming up quickly. Wow.

Good night all!

Trips back to the Bay Area are never dull.

I’m not even sure I can find the words to describe the hilarity of Jared’s mustache.
First, I haven’t seen this guy in at least two years. And then he comes walkin’ in with this Mario Brother’s ‘stache and shaggy, curly hair. I think the conversation went like this: “Dude, you got to let me take you picture” “Ok.” “No, really. Can I?” “Sure.” “Ok, cuz I have my light kit in my car… I’m gonna go get it…”

Anyway, Jared was a great sport and we took a bunch of shots playing with lighting a bit to try and get the effect that I wanted. I’m thinking that this is pretty close to what will become the final version. However, I’m positive the Gamma on my monitor is off… so this version might be overly contrasty to you all.
We’ll see…

But, this is the main reason that I returned home:

TJ’s surprise Bachelor party weekend!
Amazingly, he had no idea. Which worked out pretty considering that I came up from Los Angeles specifically for this event. It was great though, and we were all glad that TJ was surprised.
In this shot is me, TJ, and our friend Evan. We’ve all known each other since Jr. High. I’ve actually known TJ since 6th grade… which is crazy when I think that we met 15 years ago… and now he’s gettin’ married in a month.

The man with the plan was long time friend, and incredible drummer, Justin Imamura. I’ve known Justin for 8 years now. We met back when we worked in theme parks in the Bay Area. Check Justin out in Street Drum Corp: BANG, and the band PNDRS. Plus, we’re both Eagle Scouts… which makes him that much cooler, haha.

I’m not going to bother everyone with the shots from that evening, but rather share this last one of everyone before we split the next morning after breakfast. Overall I had a really great weekend with all the guys. It’s definitely hard to be so far from certain friends. However, I see them when I can and spend the rest of my time incredibly busy with my sports photography, fashion work, and weddings. My photography is my life, but my friends and family make up who I am where I’ve come from.

I also was lucky enough to see Liz, Steph, Linn, Chantel, the Bay Area S2ki guys, and Jill briefly before I left town. Thanks for making time everyone. I don’t know (other than the wedding) when I’ll be back in the area just to visit. The way that my shooting schedule and bookings are looking… it won’t be for a while.

In the meantime I’ll be rockin’ in Socal.
Hit me up people… I don’t have time for much, however I can always do lunch and dinners.

And, on a professional note: I have some really incredible shoots lined up. I’m doing one tomorrow morning with my gorgeous friend Jenny, and will be doing another one either this weekend or early next week with a few other models. Big news coming… just can’t share it quite yet..