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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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The Flagg-Fasbinder Wedding – Half Moon Bay, CA

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of shooting the Flagg-Fasbinder wedding in Half Moon Bay!
It turned out be a gorgeous Sunday for a beach wedding after several hot days earlier that week. It was overcast most of the afternoon which kept things at a comfortable temperature, and also kept the lighting pretty diffused – which is never a bad thing as a photographer.

Now I had originally met Jenn three years ago at Amy and Michael’s wedding. Jenn was Amy’s Maid of Honor at her wedding, and last week when Evan proposed Jenn contacted me immediately to check on my availability to photograph her wedding, too. And a few months after that, once they had made their decision and I had a chance to meet Evan, it was clear that this was going to be a very easy weekend with both of them. Both seemed to very collected and very excited about the wedding weekend. “We’re having a hybrid wedding” Jenn said to me. It would be a half Catholic and half Jewish wedding. And despite the frustrations that they were describing trying to mix tradition from both into one ceremony, they seemed surprisingly calm about the whole thing.


-Jenn giving her speech at Amy and Michael’s wedding, April 2010-

Another thing that was great to hear from Evan was that he had spent some time researching and really looking at the different photographers that Jennifer had picked out as her final choices. This is really important in my opinion. And it’s a huge relief for me when the groom (or sometimes bride) hasn’t met me previously to know that they took a long look at my work and decided I was right for their wedding.

Well, when the wedding rolled around the weekend got started at a small rehearsal in San Jose. Jenn said she didn’t want everyone to have to drive all the way to Half Moon Bay just for the rehearsal since most people weren’t staying there and would have to drive back that night and then back out again the following day.
But it was a great warmup for people to get both an idea of how the ceremony would go, as well as time for everyone to socialize and catch up on life. This is always a perfect time for me to get know people too. Then the following wedding day they’ll see me, but mostly ignore me since I’m not quite a random a person walking around with my camera. Haha!

On Sunday the morning started out very relaxed at the salon with some of the girls. Lots of laughing and joking with the stylists as they asked me about photography and my career. I suppose sometimes my direct answers come across a little strong since I answer quickly when I’m shooting and am focused on things other than the conversation. haha. Whoops.

Later that afternoon we all made our way out to Half Moon Bay – where there was a ton of traffic because it was such a pleasant day at the coast.

The ceremony was held at La Costanera Restaurant on their patio overlooking the water. It was a pretty great location, and despite some initial concerns there wasn’t too many people walking by as people originally feared. And since there was a cloud cover that day it kept the temperature comfortable enough for people to not have to worry about overheating in sun, or needing sunglasses. There were several prayers mixed into the ceremony to be able to do things for Evan and the Jewish half of the wedding. What was great was that the Rabbi would explain some of the traditions to everyone so they understood the meaning behind things since he was aware many of the people there were not familiar with Jewish weddings. It was interesting for me, too, since I had never been to a Jewish ceremony.

The rest of the evening went great with some family photos down on the beach, lots of dancing and laughter at the reception, and even some time for me to chat with the family members a bit more during some of my down time that night.

I’ll save some of the rest for the captions. But please click the break and read on! I’ve uploaded just over 250 different photos from Jennifer and Evan’s wedding weekend!

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The Burney-Parsons Military Wedding in Palos Verdes

Kristen and Dustin were married just over a week ago at the Wayfarer’s Chapel in Palos Verdes in a beautiful evening ceremony in a gorgeous glass building. I had never been to the chapel they selected for their wedding, but was looking forward to seeing the venue after they told me the name and sent a link with photos of the grounds.
The Wayfarer’s Chapel is a small building made mostly of glass which made for great light during the evening ceremony they had planned.

I have known the Parsons family for several years, so being thrown into a busy wedding weekend with them wasn’t much trouble at all. Both sides of the family were pretty busy running around taking care of last minute preparations and getting things set up. Kristen’s brothers are all military men who flew in from around the US for the ceremony. Dustin and his twin brother Dillon are military as well and have recently returned from their tours. The cool thing about all of this is that everyone was going to be in their dress uniforms for the ceremony!

The evening of the rehearsal was short and sweet with most all of my questions being answered with “No. You can’t do that.” Basically I was banished the back of the chapel with further restrictions on when I could shoot (no flash, etc). This is always incredibly frustrating as a photographer since it basically makes the wedding a one-lens affair. I had to use my telephoto pretty much the entire time since I was 30-40 feet away from the front.

The wedding day started later than normal since the Parsons planned a night ceremony at 8pm. So the bridal parties prep was started right after lunch. Sister-in-law Lauren was doing hair and makeup for Kristen and several of the family members and bridal party.
Once everyone was ready we took a few moments before loading up into the limo to do a very quick first-look. Since everyone was going to be in the same car on the way to the chapel Dustin and Kristen agreed it would be nice to have images of the first time seeing each other.

After arriving at the chapel we took some time during sunset to get some of the different group shots out of the way. There wasn’t a clear answer on exactly how long we would have after the ceremony for photos, so we wanted to try and get as many done outside as possible in case we couldn’t do them inside afterward.

The ceremony was beautiful, but the lighting was pretty difficult. When a venue tells you “You can’t use flash, but don’t worry you’ll have plenty of light coming in.” they obviously mean day time weddings… and have forgotten that you’ll be shooting an evening ceremony. Thank god for today’s sensors and RAW image processing to get enough detail in low light shots. Keep in mind everything had to be shot with a telephoto in addition to no flash AND little sunlight. hahaha!
They still came out great though… scroll down and you’ll see. Promise.

The reception was a blast, but very short since everything was later in the evening due to the ceremony time. Click past the break for over a 100 images from my weekend with the Burney and Parsons families.

Enjoy!

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Ana and Daniel Godoy’s Socal Wedding

Ana and I have been talking about her wedding since last year – and now it’s already over and they’re returning from their honeymoon! And when I really stop and think about it, it doesn’t seem like that long ago that me, Ana, and several of our other friends were sitting around in college playing pool and ordering food late at night at Santa Clara University.

I’ve actually known Ana for nearly nine years – I met her through a couple friends of mine back in college when we both still were in living in the Bay Area. Since then I’ve traveled around the US while completing my degree – and now for my photography. Ana went on to move to Los Angeles, continue even more schooling and become a doctor. But we would keep in touch online over the years. And then, last year, when Daniel asked Ana to marry him, Ana asked me to be her photographer.

For those of you guys that follow my work on Facebook, you may remember seeing their engagement photos that we shot at the LA Zoo. Those were actually somewhat recent since all of our schedules are pretty hectic and it took a while to lock down a date that worked with everyone’s schedules.

Daniel and Ana were married last week in a gorgeous catholic ceremony in Southern California. ¬†When I arrived that morning the men were just heading out to another house for the day. The ladies would actually be using Daniel’s families house to prepare for the morning. So I said my hellos and goodbyes to guys and waited and for Ana to arrive after getting the all-clear that Daniel wasn’t there any longer.

The plan was to eventually make it over to meet up with the men as they got ready… and that just didn’t end up happening since things with all the ladies ran a bit later than we expected. Oh well, they have to wait for the bride anyway, right?

The ceremony was beautiful, and the church was surprisingly well-lit. Typically for church weddings that I’ve shot they tend to be very dark with very few windows, so it was awesome that this location had tons of light pouring in and made it very easy to shoot plenty of images for Ana and Daniel.
At the end of the ceremony, after the pastor introduced Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Godoy to everyone in the audience, Daniel turned and said “So can I kiss her now?” to which the preacher started laughing and said “YOU BETTER KISS HER!”

From there we headed out to the golf course where the reception was being held. The first hour or so we spent outside taking photos and getting a few more group shots and fun shots in with everyone. And, of course, there HAD to that jerk-golfer-guy that clearly sees us taking photos yet seemingly tries to walk into each of our shots and stand on the practice putting green in the background. There were several times that we had to wait because he walked closer to us to “practice” or whatever. Haha, there is ALWAYS someone like that. You think people would be polite enough to wait 5 or 10 minutes til were were done taking a few photos at that spot and had moved on.

Ana and Daniel’s reception was a blast. They seriously had one of the best DJ’s I’ve heard at a wedding as far as his music selection for the night. And there were several family members that didn’t seem to leave the dance floor the entire night – they seriously danced for like 6 hours it seemed like. I stuck around and chatted with Ana as the night went on, and even though I wasn’t really shooting any more at that point it was nice to get to know everyone a bit more and talk.

As I do with every wedding blog, I’ll leave the rest of my comments for the captions. The biggest “problem” with this blog is that Ana is a very old friend of mine, which made it very hard for me to narrow down the image choices to share. So, click past the break for over 200 images from the Vargas-Godoy wedding in Los Angeles a week ago…

And to Ana and Daniel, Thank You for having me be part of your day!

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The Moody’s Snowy Virginia Wedding

Ryan and Jen Moody – on their surprisingly chilly and snowy wedding day in Virginia!

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting for Ryan, one of my old roommates from when I lived in Florida. He asked me nearly a year ago to keep the date open for his and Jen’s wedding weekend on the East Coast. I was paid an amazing compliment when he said “Two things we knew we wanted were the church, and your photography.”
How awesome.
And personally, this photo of the two of them while it was snowing outside made for a wonderfully unique shot.

So, a bit of history about me, Ryan, and best-man Mike. We all used to live together in Florida. We were all roommates while doing the Walt Disney World College Program in 2003. Basically it’s a work program that allows you to earn college internship credits while working for the Mouse. I, personally, was a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer for Blizzard Beach water park. And that was one of the best years of my life so far. Ryan and Mike (his best man) were two of the other six guys I lived with out in Orlando. I have so many great memories with them from our time living together that it was awesome to share such an important day with Ryan.

Ryan is originally from Texas, and now lives in Virginia where both him and Jen work in government. Originally when planning my trip out to shoot for them I was expecting one of those stereotypical New England falls with lots of colors in the trees and bright blue skies. And, to be fair, it was like that the day before the wedding for the rehearsal when we all were arriving in town and running various errands.
The weather reports quickly shifted from Sunny, to Chance of Rain, to Rain, to Chance of Snow, to Blizzard. Well, it definitely did start snowing in the middle of the night and continued the rest of the day and through the wedding ceremony. Good thing we were indoors!!

Since I’ve lived with Ryan in the past, and it was just like living with him again while I was there, the morning of the wedding when he was out shoveling snow I was able to run out to take photos and laugh without feeling bad. Actually, I ran out, took a few photos, teased Ryan about how that’s how he got to spend his wedding morning, sent out a photo with my phone to our other old roommates from Florida, and then ran back inside where it was warm.
Lift with your legs, Ryan!

Unfortunately, due to the unexpected weather, it caused a few small issues with the morning. I wasn’t able to get out to the girls while they had their hair done and the usual wedding-morning stuff. There were also a handful of guests that couldn’t make it due to the road conditions. But it also made for a few fun things, like snowboots and photos with falling snowflakes.

Both Ryan and Jen are pretty chill and laid back about things. Which as I’ve said before almost makes things tricky for me because they’re going to be ok with almost anything I tell them or ask them. “Do you want A or B” “That sounds great John! Up to you.” “Wait, no, which do you want!?” Haha, kinda like that…
But we all had a great time. Their ceremony was smaller and made up of their closest family and friends. The reception was at the George Washington Hotel – and many people were able to make it there that may have missed the ceremony earlier that afternoon.

I’ll save the rest of my comments for the captions, as usual. But again, I had a great time meeting both Ryan and Jen’s families. It was awesome to see Mike again, too, who I hadn’t seen in five years since he was still living in Oregon (and we were at another old rooomate’s wedding!).

Click the break for more..

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Mattie & Vince’s Minneapolis Wedding

I recently returned from Minneapolis, Minnesota where I shot the wedding of Mattie Crawford and Vince DiDona. When I have the chance to head out to the midwest it’s usually an opportunity to see a lot of old friends. In this particular case the brides family and I go back a number of years – I met Mattie eight years ago in Florida when we were both lifeguards. But I met her family years later while attending school in Michigan. I photographed the second half of her gymnastics career for our college newspaper. Vince was a college wrestler, and while I don’t recall shooting him at his meets, I do remember photographing a number of his groomsmen that were on the team.

So, there were of course a lot of the gymnasts from college attending, as well as other friends that I knew from school but hadn’t seen in many years. It was awesome to catch up and see so many people. And I joked with Mattie that it would probably be a lot easier to shoot her walking down an aisle instead of flying and flipping through the air, hahaha.

I flew out to Minneapolis one day after returning to Socal from the SF Bay Area where I was the week before shooting the Balatoni wedding. So the quick turnaround was somewhat tricky – especially knowing that I had to return to the Bay after flying home to Socal from Minnesota. Yep. Lots of traveling right now.

But it was awesome to see Mattie’s family again. Honestly, I can’t believe had been five years since seeing all of them. It makes you realize how fast the time really does go by. It had only been two years since I last saw Mattie and Vince at the Knudson wedding in Michigan during the summer in 2009. Everyone looked the same, so it was like no time had really passed as I caught up with the family after arriving. The Crawfords are wonderful people and truly made me feel like family during all the sports events I would see them at during college – which was awesome since I was 3,000 miles from my own family.
I met a lot of the extended family, friends, and Vince’s family as we passed the time before heading to the rehearsal.

The wedding was going to be at St. Boniface – a huge old catholic church. The pastor who would be marrying Mattie & Vince turned out to be a very cool guy. He told me I was more than welcome to use flash as long as I wasn’t obnoxious about it. AWESOME. You have to love any catholic church that allows flash – I would say that 9/10 do not. The rehearsal was a breeze, and everyone shared in laughs as they figured out order of events and people for the ceremony.
Dinner was after at a nearby park where the families had decorated the picnic area with lanterns and candles.

Mattie and Vince’s wedding day was incredibly smooth. I spent the morning hanging out with the bridesmaids and bride, as usual. The problem, if you call it that, is that I hadn’t seen most of these girls in five years… so catching up a little bit was inevitable and I had to keep some conversations short so I could bounce between the rooms the girls were getting ready in.
After heading to the church we did a first-look that way we could shoot all the family photos before the ceremony. It helped shuffle everyone out the door after the wedding, and allowed us time to go out and get a few images with the downtown skyline in the background. The image above we tried twice. And there was just no way we were going to get everyone’s faces showing with 21 people on a high-traffic bridge on Friday afternoon… ha!

The reception was a blast and I even had time to sit and catch up with the Favazza family who attended the wedding! They are Lisa’s family from the Knudson wedding two years ago; and I would definitely consider them one of my many extended families out in Michigan now, haha. I also had time to catch up with the gymnast girls more, and even Mr. Langley, one of the gymnast dads I used to see and talk to at all the meets. Really it was just awesome to catch up with everyone. Makes me realize I need to take a trip to MI and the Great Lakes areas soon. Or maybe after winter…

Saturday after the wedding was pretty chill. I actually didn’t end up taking any photos and instead socialized and relaxed with everyone. We all had a picnic out in the park and spent the evening hanging out at the hotel.

Minneapolis was great. I had an awesome time and it’s a really cool area in the parts that I got to see. Who knows, maybe I’ll eventually be heading that way. For those of you who remember, earlier this year I was one of the nationally selected applicants for the Viking’s team photographer position. They postponed interviews unfortunately so I don’t know if it will open up again to continue the interview process.

Mattie and Vince, I had an awesome time. Vince, your family is wonderful and I’m so glad I got to spend some time getting to know them in between all the running around. Mattie, you know I love your family, they’re amazing. To everyone else that are old friends or new, it was great catching up, and awesome to meet the rest of you between all my running around.

After the break are over 150 images from the wedding. As usual I’ll throw in various captions here and there. Otherwise simply enjoy them, I liked a lot.

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