The Lanza Wedding, New Jersey


The Lanza Wedding.

I just returned home to California from Joe and Erin’s wedding out in Jersey. At I have to say spending the last three weeks with these two was a blast. Yep. Three weeks.
So let elaborate a bit more on who I am for those who might just know me as “Joe’s California friend”. I’ve known Joe for 13 years. We did the Disney College Program together. Ironically, while we knew each other somewhat during that 9 months at Disney, we moved in different social circles. So we actually never hung out. It wasn’t until a few months after returning home, and re-connecting online as all us former-lifeguards did to keep in touch, that was when Joe and I realized how much we had in common.
He’s been a very dear friend of mine ever since.

And while many friendships since our days at Disney have changed, I would quickly point out that Joe and I have only become better friends over the years.
During my many trips back out to Florida I stayed with Joe over half of them. And on those trips spending most of the time sitting around talking was pretty much the norm.
Joe would joke with me that “Your room is always available” about his guest room in his apartment. And when him and Erin recently bought their house, one of the spare rooms they both refer to as “John’s room”. It’s funny, but also very sweet.

But what the most fun part of the entire Lanza wedding as a whole? In any aspect?

That’s easy. It’s having been part of Joe’s life, and now Joe-and-Erin’s-life, long enough to go from those college-years-conversations with Joe about “I don’t think I’ll get married, John” to “Things are pretty serious with Erin, man..” and eventually “I’m going to propose.”

That was very cool.

And I love Erin – she and Joe are great together. And to be part of their wedding weekend (and entire wedding month pretty much) was great. But before I get into all that, let’s have some fun and take a stroll down memory lane. Shall we?
I have the most extensive photo record of our circle of friends since ’03… so this’ll be fun to zip through real quick ;)

What do you say, you guys ready to scroll through tons of photos?
How about you, Joe?

FLA Jan 2006 191

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The Sit-Yun Wedding – Morgan Hill, Calif.


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.


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The Maxwell-Barron Wedding. Monterey, Calif.


The Maxwell-Barron wedding last weekend was absolutely gorgeous – and a ton of fun.
I’ve known Paul for 19 years now… wow… just did the math. That’s a long time. Hilary I met either in Jr. High or High School, I don’t really recall exactly when however I do remember back when we were all attending Cupertino High.
Over the last several years it’s been fun to watch the two of them together as they’ve dated since they’re ridiculously cute when they hang out with one and other. Paul and Hilary are one of those couples that just always seems to be having fun together. And having grown up since my early teens with Paul, knowing what a kind person he has always been, and knowing Hilary through my high school years, as the always-sweet-and-friendly friend of my younger sister, it was disgustingly cute to see them wind up together. Hahaha!

I have a lot writen out about their gorgeous wedding in Monterey. And I have various photos from all the weddings I’ve been lucky enough to attend with Paul and Hilary.
So click past the break and read on if you have some time! I hope you enjoy the images. I had a lot of fun with the Maxwell and Barron families and I hope all of you enjoy this glimpse of their wedding day!

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The Starr-Hauck Wedding, San Jose – Calif.


Last Sunday was my last wedding of 2013. Michelle and Chris’ San Jose wedding up in the SF Bay Area.

I’ve went to high school Michelle years ago, but for some reason in my head I placed her behind me in graduation years rather than directly in front. It’s something that made sense to me, even though her circle of friends was the class ahead of me (so therefore I should have realized my mistake). Haha, but hey, plenty of people hung out with others outside their class. Right?
Though it was funny when Mrs. Starr, Michelle’s mom, found out I had the ages wrong for her daughters. One of Michelle’s younger sisters is Nicole, whose wedding I shot three years ago, was who I thought was the oldest for some reason. Mrs. Starr started laughing and pointed out my error to Nicole; Michelle laughed and said “Well, Nicole IS the mature one…”

It’s always a great feeling to be asked back by a family to come and shoot for another sibling. The Starr family is the third family I’ve done this for (after the DeLand’s and the Lordan’s). Plus it’s always nice to be able to catch up with everyone that I haven’t seen since the last wedding, too.
Michelle and Chris had been in touch with me throughout their planning and were on top of pretty much everything. They were having a pretty good sized reception with a lot of friends and family, but made sure to schedule plenty of time to greet everyone as well as get all the photos shot that they were hoping to do.

The rehearsal was a few days before the wedding due to the schedule of the venue, so I arrived in town early to attend and meet everyone. Since I’ve shot at this venue a couple times I wasn’t too concerned with “how things go” and was able to chat a bit more with some of the family and catch up on life. Plus I totally feel loved when parents like Mr. and Mrs. Starr walk up to give me a hug and ask how I’ve been right when they see me. And during dinner I ended up spending a ton of time chatting about photography with Chris’ father, Mr. Hauck, who also happens to be a photographer himself.

The wedding day was beautiful with great weather for a November afternoon. It was just warm enough without being too hot – or even too cold, and as far as light quality we could not have asked for a much better day. Winter and Fall days can always be hit or miss but this one was great. And with Chris and Michelle’s schedule planned out as well as it was, we had plenty of time and everything went really smoothly on my end.

I’m going to leave a lot more of the comments about the day for my captions. This being my second time shooting for the Starr family I had a hard time narrowing down the selection of images I wanted to share. I will say that I had a blast with everyone and spending the day with both families. The Starr and Hauck families are both wonderful. And it was cool to see a few old faces from high school again. Plus watching everyone party and break it down at the reception made me think I totally should have got to know all these people better in high school. They seemed like a pretty amazing group. Hahaha!

So click to read on past the break, and check out just over 300 images of the Starr-Hauck wedding weekend!
Like I said, there are a lot… but I got some great moments I want to share with everyone that was there, and of course those who couldn’t make it.


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Sarah and Ernesto’s San Ramon Wedding Weekend


Another pair of high school friends are now married, making me feel that much older. Haha!

Last weekend I spent with the Randle and Villarreal families for Sarah and Ernesto’s wedding in San Ramon, Calif. I’ve known Ernesto since elementary school – and we played sports together in Jr. High and High School. Sarah I don’t think I met until High School. However they’re part of the circle of friends my younger sister has known through school and college, so I grew up around all of them to some degree.

Last year Ernesto and Sarah contacted me about shooting their engagement photos during one of my trips the Bay Area. We had went out to Mountain View and spent a few hours together shooting and catching up a bit on life. Shortly after they discussed the possibility of me also shooting their wedding.
But when it came time for their big weekend last Saturday I finally had more time to catch up and hear about how they’ve been the last, well, many years.

I had a blast at the wedding – which I fully expected that I would. I knew several people that were guests, and a few of them I’ve shot for in the past. What made it even more fun was seeing and hearing the little things that Sarah and Ernesto did for their wedding to make it fun and meaningful to them. And even though Sarah joked with me many times that she hates being the center of attention, she definitely seemed to have fun and pretty easily ignored me pointing a camera at her all weekend! Plus it helps that Ernesto has no problem being the center of attention if needed. lol!

The weekend started out with the rehearsal in the afternoon at the San Ramon Golf Club where they would be having the ceremony at. It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend – which was a welcomed change from the cooler overcast weather the Bay Area had been getting. The pastor who would be performing the ceremony was a wonderful guy named Steve who I had met last year at the Rowe wedding. After a couple run-throughs of how the ceremony would go down on Saturday everyone headed back to the South Bay where we would all meet up that evening at the Randle house for dinner to celebrate with everyone. I was able to squeeze in a quick stop on my way home to see my brother-in-law and my niece, which was nice since I don’t see them as often as I’d like to.

The next day started in the afternoon for me. I met up with the ladies as they were starting their hair and makeup. All the girls were surprisingly chill and relaxed – usually it seems like wedding parties are a bitttt more anxious. But, all the girls were just hanging out talking about stories of their bachelorette weekend trip or catching up with those who hadn’t seen each other in a while.

The ceremony later that afternoon was beautiful. It was sunny, warm, and just breezy enough to not being annoying but also keep it cool enough that the everyone was comfortable in their dresses and suits. Ernesto and Sarah opted to do a first-look to be able have their own moment with one another as they saw each other for the first time; we were also able to take some photos of everyone before things started.

I’m going to just stop here and leave the rest for the captions about different parts of the weekend. Below the break you’ll find over 250 photos of my time with the Randle and Villarreal families. I had a great time and it was really cool to be part of another pair of friend’s wedding. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting for several old friends and it’s always sweet when they’re equally excited to have me as part of their wedding.

So, read on! And enjoy the rest of the photos from Sarah and Ernesto’s wedding..

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The Vaccaro-So Wedding, San Jose


I just returned from San Jose where I shot Phil and Jacque’s gorgeous January wedding.

It was a cool weekend up in the Bay Area, but the weather stayed clear and sunny long enough for the So wedding ceremony to be comfortable despite such a chilly week leading up to the event.
I’ve known Jacque years now… since high school. Actually it was after high school that her and Julia and I started hanging out more often. Up until I moved to SoCal years ago we would get together occasionally for dinner or drinks or coffee at Santana Row. So it was very flattering with Jacque got ahold of me to tell me she was engaged and interested in me shooting her wedding weekend for her.


The last time I had seen Jacque and Julia was at Satana Row, of course, when we met up briefly for dinner one night.

And now we’re just barely into January and I found myself returning back to the Bay Area after having just been in town for the holidays. The weather was freezing… literally freezing. Night time lows that week were in the mid-to-high 20’s! In the Bay Area! Friday afternoon I went out to Cinnabar Golf Course to meet up with Jacque and her family for the rehearsal. I had shot at this location about 18 months ago – so I was already familiar with the grounds and how they do their weddings. Mostly I was just there that afternoon to shoot around to get a few “practice” photos for the family to have. Rehearsal was fairly quite and most people seemed to understand it well enough. Though to be honest I think everyone was getting too cold out on the patio to admit anything if they were confused about the order of events anyway.

Afterward we all went out to dinner, courteous of Phil’s family.

The next morning started as every wedding does for me, with hanging out as the ladies all start their hair and makeup. The girls were all getting ready at the venue so that certainly made things much easier on my end. The men all arrived a few hours later and prepped in the men’s locker area themselves. For the most part the whole morning was very smooth. Although Jacque later told me, while laughing about it, that she did have her own small panicky moment that morning right before getting her dress on. But hey, she’s all married and things are fine so clearly it was all good. haha.

The ceremony was gorgeous and despite it being very chilly out later in the evening, the afternoon sun was warm enough for people throughout the vows and pictures afterwards.

I’ll save the rest of the various details for photos below.

However I do want to share something that Jacque said to me at the end of the night when things were winding down. While talking with Jacque she thanked me and said “There was no question that you were going to do my wedding photos. When I got engaged I knew it was going to be you, so, Thank You.”

Those kinds of things mean so much to hear, especially from old friends. I’ve been very lucky to shoot for several old friends over the years and to continually have others book me and be pleased with their decision is a wonderful feeling.

So, click past the break to check out just over 200 additional photos of Phil and Jacque’s wedding in San Jose. I know there are various friends and family that couldn’t make it, as well as Jacque’s brother who is currently deployed. For those that couldn’t celebrate with everyone here’s my view of the So wedding last weekend.


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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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The Gayle-Lordan Wedding, Costa Mesa

“I got a jump photo and a dip photo… I’m happy John. I’m not worried about anything else now.” -Amanda, right after this photo on her wedding day. Ha!

Last weekend I had the privilege of shooting  the wedding of Tim and Amanda Lordan. I first met both Tim and Amanda nearly two years ago at another Lordan wedding – Amy and Michael Lordan, one of Tim’s older brothers. And then last winter I received an email from Amanda titled simply “Game for another Lordan wedding?”. Shortly after Tim proposed and she started her wedding planning she reached out to me to check on availability, details, etc on me as their potential photographer. Long story short, we worked out the details and I was scheduled to shoot for them this January.

Amanda was a bride that was certainly on top of planning everything, too. She quickly worked out all the details with me as she gathered them. As soon as something was added, changed, or whatever else I was pretty quickly updated with an email on the plans. I could definitely understand that part of the reason was that their wedding was right after New Years, which is also right after Christmas – times that everyone is busy with their families and other things.

As the wedding weekend approached I could tell by Amanda’s emails that her excitement was growing. I myself was looking forward to seeing the Lordan family again and getting to know the Gayle family a little bit as well. I attended the rehearsal, as I always try to do, to get an idea of the venue and some of the rules. It was a new church to me and their are always new rules. This one was definitely going to be a bit tricky. I’m used to a no-flash rule (just crank that ISO up to a thousand or two and you’re all set!). But their church had a “line” that I was not allowed to cross. For those of you that don’t do many weddings, it’s typical to not be allowed on the marble, or steps, etc. But in this situation I had to remain a minimum of 30 feet away from the front of the church. VERY different than I’m used to. My photojournalism background means I prefer to be closer to my subjects. I stay low and out of the way, but I like photos that are a bit more intimate you could say. So, this would definitely bit a challenge – but never let this be a hurdle for you photographers out there. This is why we have telephoto lenses and image stabilization at weddings, too. haha!

The morning of the wedding started VERY early for me. I was up at 4am to double check my gear and give myself plenty of time to get on the road to meet the bridal party at 6am. A typical hair-and-makeup morning hanging out with Amanda and her girls and they prepared for their morning wedding. It’s always fun hanging out with the bridal party before weddings because you get to hear stories about how they met, or the engagement, or random girl-talk stories. LOL!
I broke off briefly to go meet up with the guys at the hotel as they finished getting ready and then it was on to the church! There ceremony went off without any problems, and we even finished our portraits ahead of schedule.

We arrived to the reception early as well; we got there right in the middle of cocktail hour. I had the chance to meet several family friends of the Gayle family since I was seated at what we later joked was “the creative table” since the florist, cake maker, and me the photographer were all seated together.

I’ll leave much more details about the day in the captions of the photos after the break. But I will say I had a wonderful time shooting for Tim and Amanda. The Gayle family and friends were a riot to joke with and get to know. And, as always, the Lordans were so welcoming with me being part of everything throughout the day.

So Thank You to the Gayles and the Lordans! I hope you enjoy this brief preview of what I shot throughout the day. I had so much fun!

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