post

The Favazza-Bastow Wedding – Michigan

JRX_9487-wed

I just returned from Michigan where I spent the last weekend photographing Alex and Laura Bastow’s gorgeous wedding.

Firstly… it’s pronounced “bass-toe” like the fish and appendage on your foot.. How many people’s minds were just blown? Anyone? Cuz there were definitely friends at the wedding that didn’t know how to correctly pronounce Alex’s last name. Haha!
Anyway, I had a great weekend with these two who were kind enough to fly me out and host me for several days in the middle of all the normal craziness of a wedding. To add insult to an already-hectic time in anyone’s lives there were massive MASSIVE rains in the greater Detroit areas and their basement flooded a week before the wedding. These two handled it like a boss, though, and didn’t let it phase them or their plans for a great weekend with their relatives.

Read More

post

The Maxwell-Barron Wedding. Monterey, Calif.

JRX_7059

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!

Read More

post

The Curry-Butner Wedding. Saratoga, Calif.

JRX_4215_duo

The Curry-Butner Wedding at Saratoga Springs in Saratoga, Calif… a beautiful setting for a really gorgeous wedding.

Being able to be part of the Nicole’s and Rob’s weekend was awesome. I’ve known Nicole for 12 years… TWELVE.YEARS.
Crazy right? I met Nicole back when we worked at Paramount’s Great America. It’s a theme park and we both worked in the Entertainment department. She was a dancer and performer, and that particular season I was part of the Special Events technician crew. Nicole was part of the Nickelodeon show, a show that I was a performer in for two years prior to her joining the cast. And I’m really disappointed that I don’t currently have copies of my photos from those years with me. They’re all back home in SoCal on my storage and archive drives. So sadly I won’t be able to share those with you guys – though I’m sure Nicole is breathing a sigh of relief right now that there are no Nickelodeon or Scooby show photos posted up. Haha!

But they exist. ; )  ha!

I always had a lot of fun memories of working with Nicole those many years ago during that season. I also rode along with her down to Disney one time with another co-worker Nikki to join the rest of the Nick cast for a weekend at Disneyland in Anaheim. We even ended up in the parade as the guest-performers who danced along with the various characters.
..wait… WAIT!
OH MAN. I just found TWO photos from that trip on a folder on my server that I thought might have a couple images. Yesssss… hahaha!

disnick02      ncprde

So the left photo is all of us at the Sword in the Stone anvil. I’m on the top left and Nicole over on the right obviously. And the other photo is Nicole and Max (Goofy’s son) in the parade. One of our friends at the time recorded the parade with my camera so that’s a video still, actually. Woo!

Anyway, over the years as we all grew up I’ve been bouncing all over the world, country, and state but we’ve both kept up on what the other was up to. When Rob proposed to Nicole she said that I was among the first people she wanted to get in touch with to see if I was available to come to the Bay Area and shoot her wedding! Always so very flattering.

I finally got to meet Rob a few months back when we all went out to dinner. Wait, that was the first time we met, right? I think so… Honestly seeing their posts about running, and my joking that they should be in SoCal so I can train with them, etc has made it seem like I already knew Rob.. And certainly made it feel like far less than five or six years (at least) since I had seen Nicole in person the last time.

As their wedding weekend approached it was fun to see/hear Nicole’s excitement escalate in her messages/emails as we went over just a few last details as things got closer. Sometimes people get stressed out.. but that certainly wasn’t the case with Nicole. And I honestly think her excitement made me that much more excited as well.

The entire weekend was a blast. The ceremony was beautiful. Nicole looked amazing in her dress and Rob was super sharp in his new suit.
As always I’m going to share more in the captions below. So, click the break. Read on! And check out nearly 400 images from Nicole and Rob’s wedding at Saratoga Springs!!
It’s a lot. I know. But, I know that there are those who will look at every photo, and those who don’t want to can scroll to the moments they want to see ;)

Enjoy everyone!

Read More

post

The Biggs Wedding – Annapolis, MD

JRX_1611-Edit

Another Disney lifeguard wedding for the books!
In the last several years I’ve had the pleasure of watching several of my friends from DisneyWorld get married – and this past weekend the next person to add to that list was my good friend Chris Biggs when he married Brandy.

I met Chris (who we’ve always just called Biggs) 11 years ago when I was a lifeguard on the Disney College Program. He was a lifeguard at Typhoon Lagoon, and I was a guard at Blizzard Beach – Disney’s two water parks. However, we worked together the first several months and had enough mutual friends that we still saw each other and remained friends throughout the year.
In the years that followed working for Disney, Biggs was one of the core group of guys that stayed in touch with each other, planned additional trips, and did our best to keep our friendship strong despite all of us living hundreds or thousands of miles from each other.

Read More

post

Zhang Wedding – San Ramon, Calif.

IMG_8473_1

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!

Read More

post

The Starr-Hauck Wedding, San Jose – Calif.

IMG_4536

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.

 

Read More

post

The Joe-Fischbach Wedding – Napa Valley, Calif.

IMG_2499-Edit

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.

IMG_1485-Edit_1

 

IMG_1450-Edit_1

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!

Read More

post

The Foyt-Hornshaw Wedding, Lake Orion, Mich.

IMG_9664s

I just returned from the Foyt-Hornshaw wedding and their gorgeous weekend in Michigan!

I’ve known Caitlin and Phil since college at Central Michigan University. We all worked for CM Life, the school’s newspaper. I have a ton of great memories from my time at CM Life even though there are only a handful of friends that I still keep in touch with.
Caitlin and Phil are two of those people.
During college I knew Caitlin a bit better than Phil, I think mostly because her and I always seemed to be in the office at crazy hours. We also both put in long nights between her writing and my managing the photo department. I remember her always sitting at one of the computers writing something or working on her classwork while waiting on stories to appear (via the police scanner or otherwise). This is also why we ended up joking around or talking to pass the time.
It led to moments of the utmost productivity, like this gem:

asdfh389

Clearly we were working very very hard that night.

Quite similar to how hard me, Phil, and the other editors were working this afternoon….

1m23sA
We got some serious distance with that launcher. Don’t worry, no one was around. But that fruit cup…um… didn’t survive.

After graduation I returned home to California, and then about a year later I moved to LA. An about a year after that was when Phil and Caitlin decided to move west and head to LA themselves.
It was still quite a while before our schedules and lives slowed down enough to a point that we finally crossed paths, but that’s LA for you. Everyone is busy a lot of the time and really you just need to schedule time to have time… plus it’s fair to argue that I’m not around that often, either.

Well, fast forward a bit and Phil and Caitlin are engaged! And I’ve been asked not only about their wedding photography, but also engagement photos, too!
Sweet! And we’re going to the Color Run in San Diego for them! Even more awesome.

IMG_7396-2

You guys might remember seeing these. It was a pretty fun morning but these were definitely the highlight for me. Something totally different for their engagement shoot!

IMG_7419

Well, since that day in November (wow! it was a while ago now, wasn’t it?!) the wedding has come and went.

Michigan turned out to be a bit chilly (for my Californian blood anyway) and I found myself turning on the heater in the morning when it was 58 degrees out and I left the house to go get my iced chai tea… Yep, I’m that guy at the coffee shop – the one that doesn’t drink coffee.
But the wonderful thing about Michigan in the Fall is the light. Hell, most of the year there is such incredible light to shoot with. I don’t know if the people there realize how great they have it. Blue skies and white puffy clouds are totally normal. We have to photoshop things like that back in Los Angeles.

I’ll get to the pictures here shortly and let them do the rest of the talking with some captions here and there. Save to say that my weekend with the Foyt and Hornshaw families was pretty awesome. I had such a wonderful time getting to know everyone. I had met a small handful of Caitlin and Phil’s friends back in LA, and a couple of them were there at the wedding, too. But to have more time to hang out, talk, and laugh with everyone was a blast.

So, with that… I’ll shut up. Click past the break for the remaining images in this 250 photo blog post about the Foyt-Hornshaw wedding out at Lake Orion, Mich.

Read More

post

The Thesing Wedding – Clearwater, FL

JRX_5422

So, last month I was at the Thesing wedding – pronounced “Tess-ing”…
Did you guys know that we’ve all pronounced Aaron’s last wrong for ten years and he never bothered correcting us?! I’m completely serious. Aaron NEVER corrected us… ten years… TEN years, guys. Joe and I couldn’t believe it.
Seriously. We – as in “all of us from lifeguarding” – have pronounced it THES-ing… apparently the “H” is silent. Ha! Joe and I, in shock (TEN!!!) asked Aaron why he never said anything. Aaron laughed and said “Well, how often do you guys really use my last name… and it’s not like you don’t know who I am. So it didn’t matter”.

Just wait til my wedding, guys. You’ll find out that you’ve pronounced my name wrong all these years, too!

So a little back story for those of you who don’t know much about me and my past. I lived and worked in Florida briefly during college. While working as a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer for the Disneyworld Water Parks I made some of my closest and best friends that I still keep in touch with and visit to this day. The choice of going to Florida during 2003 was easily one of the most significant impacts on my entire life.

rbjrat

Above: Ryan, Me, and Aaron – somewhere on Disney property. I’m fairly sure it’s at Disney Quest. 

Anyway, because of that decision I have friends scattered all over the country. Most of them I still keep in touch with to this very day. And quite a few of them I’ve even done photography for.
But the coolest part, for me, is the amount of weddings of these great friends I’ve been able to attend. When Aaron proposed to Danielle and then invited me as part of a very small list of friends and family I knew I would have to figure out how to get out to Florida for what would be my second of three trips to Orlando in 2013. It didn’t take long for me to convince myself to just put the trip on my credit card and go have a great time with my friends out there. I’ve been to pretty much every wedding of all my Disney friends that have invited me (in Texas, Boston, Oregon, Calif., etc.).
I wasn’t about to miss Aaron’s.

While working as lifeguards in ’03 Aaron and I were carpool buddies for several months. It worked out well since Aaron had a car in Florida and I’m punctual and always wake up on time for work. So, I would knock on his door at 6:45 each morning, and he’d wake up grab his things, and we’d leave for work at 7:30 at Blizzard Beach. Haha! He’s also been a great host to me over the years when I would visit Florida on Spring Break or during various trips. I crashed with him at his place two or three times – including during my move to England for school when I stayed at his place for several days before leaving the US.

After seeing Danielle and Aaron in March when I was in town to photograph the American Le Mans season opener race I knew I had to solidify plans for the weekend of the wedding. Danielle gave me permission to bring Joe as my date since he’s another Disney friend of Aaron’s and I don’t have a girlfriend/wife to bring anyway, lol. The week that I went out to Orlando – and eventually Clearwater – for their wedding I spent most on my laptop working and doing email.
But regardless of how busy I was with email/calls on the weekdays leading up to the weekend, the actual ceremony and two days in Clearwater with Joe, Aaron, Danielle and their families was a blast.

I had permission from both Danielle and Aaron to take some photos during their wedding, too! Which to me, is great. I’m all for enjoying the ceremony, however photography is enjoyable for me. And, more importantly, I want my own photos of such an important event in my friends lives.

So I’ll stop rambling and reminiscing about Florida, Disney, and all my great memories with my friends there. Click past the break for over 150 photos from the Thesing wedding!

Read More

Young Wedding – Half Moon Bay, CA

At Andrew and Calli’s wedding last weekend, everyone joked “It’s about time!”, and even I recall Andrew asking me nearly two years ago about shooting his wedding in the future.
Long time coming or not, the weekend turned out beautiful. And everyone that was there had a great time. Andrew’s nervousness slowly left him – but turned into strong emotion and happiness. Where as Calli became more and more nervous as the ceremony approached – giggling and laughing in nervous excitement at being a little scared that things may not go perfectly.

I had a wonderful time being part of such an important day for these two. I know Andrew through a car group that I’m a part of… or should I say was a part of when I was living in the Bay Area. Andrew, too, was once part of that group. He now lives in Texas with Calli, but they returned to California for their wedding.

It was supposed to rain that weekend. However, as you can see, it turned out to be clear and sunny. It was windy, sure, but still a gorgeous day.

The entire day was full of laughter and jokes. Andrew is a huge dork… I’ll just say it. Calli is also making jokes and constantly making faces in all her photos. So I knew going into this that it was going to be one really interesting weekend. And while the image above may be romantic, scenic, or whatever “nice” word you want to use… there are others below that are much more “real” and true to their personalities. haha!

I’ll keep this short as I’ll be adding captions to many of the shots to help tell the story of their wedding weekend.

Read on after the break…

Read More