Viewing entries in
Engagements

Maricela and Jose | Engagement | San Francisco Golden Gate Park

The forecast was for rain... which was hard to believe since it was 90 degrees in the days preceding Mar and Jose's engagement session. Well it did indeed rain, but luckily cleared up just in time for a really fun time in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. I have to admit I don't know the place well. Every time I had photographed in this huge park it was always at locations suggested by the couple. But this time I was determined to seek out new ground and find untypical locations for Jose and Mar, who were driving up from the South Bay.  I got to the park more than 2 hours early with my jogging shoes and set out to conquer a good chunk of the eastern half. Wow, from flower gardens, fountains and all things pretty, to some amazing architecture at the California Academy of Science. Jose and Mar "worked it" and I was so happy for all the great photos we made together. Thank you guys for an amazing afternoon together and I look forward to the big day coming up!

golden-gate-park-engagement 575
golden-gate-park-engagement 576
golden-gate-park-engagement 577
golden-gate-park-engagement 578
golden-gate-park-engagement 579
golden-gate-park-engagement 580
golden-gate-park-shakespeare-garden-wedding-engagement 181
golden-gate-park-shakespeare-garden-wedding-engagement 7181

Engaged: Lee and Jessica... it all started in 7th grade!

One of the benefits of being a wedding photographer is hearing all the great love stories. This one is special because it started when they were in the 7th grade. How many middle school relationships end in marriage? Their amazing story, in their own words:  "Jessica was the tallest, blondest, prettiest girl at Sequoia Middle School." Lee says. "I was four-foot-six in 7th grade, and Jessica seemed to stand two full feet over me. But I didn't care. I was in love."

He continues, "I walked her home from school. Sometimes I held her hand. We went to movies. I took her to the Spring dance. I remember we had to dance at 'elbows length apart' most of the time, but during the final dance I pulled her close. She could rest her head completely on top of mine. It was magic."

Scroll to the bottom to here her side of this sweet story.

Her side of things was just as sweet. "I still can't believe that the man I'm going to marry is the boy that took me to the spring dance in 7th grade." Jessica says, "He even wore a suit to the dance. All the other boys were wearing the typical baggy pants and big t-shirts, but not my Lee. He has always been very classy, even as a 12 year old boy! He was also my first boyfriend. I was extremely shy and timid in middle school. I was a scrawny, tall, gangly girl, and I often got teased for these things. Lee somehow saw me as gorgeous. Still to this day he says he thought I was just so pretty!"

She continues, "As many young romances go, we parted ways around the end of 7th grade. Little did we know, that wasn't the end of our story. We kept in touch on and off over the years; we even dated again for a while in 2008. It seems we couldn't stay away for too long. In September of 2011, the time was finally right. After a wonderful year together, Lee proposed in Hawaii on September 2, 2012. He said he just couldn't wait any longer. We are so excited to spend the rest of our lives together! I believe some things are just meant to be, and I am definitely meant to be with Lee. He is the funniest man I've ever met. We laugh together every day. He knows how to make me feel better when I'm down. I feel so lucky I get to spend even a minute with him, let alone the rest of my life! I couldn't be happier that I get to marry my best friend."

Well if that's not the sweetest love story that started in the 7th grade I don't know what could possibly top it. Thanks guys for the wonderful engagement shoot and I'm totally excited to photograph the wedding!

Engaged: Aaron and Lauren at the Ruby Hill Winery and Vasco Road Barn

Engagement shoots are always really fun, especially ones that involve wine and trespassing. And ones where we get in trouble are always the best.  Aaron and Lauren were game for all of it, and while we didn't get arrested, we did get kicked off of private property twice. It could only have worked out better if we got kicked out of all the places we visited -- oh well. We started off at the Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton for some tasting and a few warm-up photos. We weren't suppose to walk through the vineyard, but nobody seemed to care. From there we drove over to the Mitchell Katz Winery, whose staff DID care a great deal that we took a photo in front of their building. We left immediately, but didn't really appreciate the snooty nature of the women who kept an eye on us until we drove away. No matter - we were off the old barn with the American flag on Vasco Road, which is behind barbed wire and off limits to the public. Exactly the sort of place we wanted for some rustic engagement portraits. Just as we wrapped up though, we were caught by a park ranger who was quite nice about making sure we left right away. Our last location was west of Brentwood on a pretty field just before sunset. A perfect ending to a really fun day with a really great couple.

Aaron and Lauren I'm really looking forward to your wedding next year! And it will be so fun to see Corey and Michelle! For readers of this blog, they are the fun couple that referred me to Aaron and Lauren... and the couple that graces the top banner of this blog!

couple having portrait at pleasanton winerycasa real event center portraitvineyard portrait engaged couple casa real event centerold barn engagement sessionrustic barn engagement portrait vasco barn engagement portraitsunset engagement portrait in brentwoodsunset with oak trees in brentwood

 

A bold new promise - Your Beautiful Wedding Photos in 2 days!

I've heard the story more than once and so have you. A couple gets married, and 6 or 9 months later the photographer still hasn't handed over the photos. I heard the story again just the other day from a couple that booked me for their wedding. One of her bridesmaids got married and is still waiting, not for the photos actually but for the video. And it isn't just 9 months, it's been a year and a half.  Wow. When I first started the wedding photography business I delivered the digital negatives to clients in 3 weeks. Then last year I started delivering in 10 days and the feedback was incredible. Now it's time to up the bar even more: 2 Days!  How does this happen without compromising the quality of the editing? Simple. I totally and completely block off the entire day following your wedding to meticulously cull, edit and prepare all your photos. I then upload them to your wedding website for you to share and enjoy. That's it! I might be turning down extra commissions to deliver this service, but for me it will be worth it: couples get to instantly enjoy going through their photos on phones, ipads, laptops, or good' old fashion desktop computer, sharing and facebooking all those photos to their hearts content. And I get the satisfaction of making my couples very happy -which for a helpless people pleaser like myself, it doesn't get any better.

wedding photo processing time two days

Michelle and Corey's Wine Country Engagement

Michelle and Corey's Wine Country Engagement

I first met Michelle and Corey to talk about their wedding on St. Patricks day at a Brewhouse at 7pm. What was I thinking? It was a complete madhouse and we found a quieter spot that still served beers. I have to say while it's nice to meet clients for coffee, beer is way better! I'm definitely going to offer that option to folks in the future. They had in mind to have their engagement shoot in the beautiful wine country just north of Napa in a little town called Healdsburg. They know all the wineries up there and knew exactly which ones have the best photographic possibilities. Little did I know exactly how jaw-dropping beautiful these places were -- especially the Jordan Winery just north of town. You'd think you drove up to a centuries Tuscan old winery when you see this place for the first time. We took a guess that to get married here you'll drop around at least a $100K, but apparently they don't mind if you sneak in and do some engagement portraits at the west end of the building. It was raining off and on which actually helped out in a way -- the ground was all wet and provided a shiny look. The clouds offered a nice diffusion of the big light in sky and surprisingly we weren't kicked off the property. We were off to Hawkes Winery and later White Oak Vineyards, both places where Michelle and Corey have memberships. This was really helpful and allowed us to sort of go wherever we wanted to take pictures.

There's a "Save the Date" video coming out of their engagement very soon, but because I know they're anxious to see some of the better shots here you go Corey and Michelle! Thanks for planning such an awesome day!

engagement portraits jordan healdsburg

engagement portraits jordan winery

engagement portraits healdsburg

 

[dan johanson] weddings

Katie and Nate's Engagements at Kirby Cove

I have to hand it to Katie and Nate for finding a Golden Gate Bridge angle that I hadn't used for a portrait location. The key to finding this gem is that it requires a 20 minute descent to this place called Kirby Cove, and that's just far enough to deter a lot of folks from being there. We had the place practically to ourselves and that's no small thing when you're trying to capture a couple's love for each other while including the beautiful natural surroundings. Nothing destroys a captured moment like some shirtless beer guzzlers in the background!

Another Save the Date film - Beautiful Napa Valley

Another Save the Date film - Beautiful Napa Valley

healdsburg-napa-winery-engagement2

So excited to wrap up Corey and Michelle's Save the Date film for their wedding website! The photos from their Napa Valley engagement session are here in a previous post.  Our shooting locations were basically the town of Healdsburg, Jordan Winery (amazing place for a six figure wedding), Hawkes Wine and White Oak Vineyards, which was the only place that has both an impressive Mediteranean-style winery and a picturesque vineyard. Not all "wineries" have vineyards and not all vineyards have wineries next to them, so I learned. Shooting this film was trickier than usual with a spring thunderstorm passing through and because my wife came along as an assistant, that meant we brought the baby which (note to self) actually means I end up working without an assistant...that and Corey and Michelle insisted that I do wine tasting with them, so if there is a camera shake here and there it's your fault you two!

Our "Save the Date" video: Paul and Krista

Our "Save the Date" video: Paul and Krista

I've been wanting to offer something a little extra for couples for their engagement portrait session. Introducing the "Save the Date" video which can be posted, emailed, or made into a DVD. The feedback is super positive and I am thrilled that I can provide a little something extra for couples beyond the standard set of portraits. Featured in this film are Paul and Krista from Colorado. Paul and I spent time together in Bishkek, Krygyzstan back in 2006-07. I was thrilled that he asked me to photograph their wedding, which took place a day after this engagement shoot! The backdrop here is beautiful downtown Denver, which was quite chilly this January afternoon. But we turned it out and capped off the day with some great beer at the Great Divide, a second home to Paul who knows way too much about beer. Good thing Krista loves beer too!

engagement portraits colorado

train station engagement portrait

engagement portrait session denver

colorado engagement portraits

denver engagement portrait train station

denver ally engagement portrait

engagement portraits denver

engagement portraits denver

Rhodora and Brent - a match made on BART

Rhodora and Brent - a match made on BART

I never knew anyone who met their future spouse on public transit until Rhodora and Brent contacted me about their upcoming wedding. They were riding BART to their jobs in San Francisco...a conversation started... and the rest is history. So random at first but then destiny stepped in and laid out the course for their lives. I love stories like that. These guys have really creative ideas for their upcoming wedding in Portola Valley this December. I won't give those details away yet so their guests can be surprised. On our engagement shoot, we started at a small park near Brent's office where they often have lunch. From there we of course had to go back to where it all began -- the BART train! Then we went to this super awesome ally, a photographers dream location, and got some really sweet pictures. And of course we had to drop by the place Brent proposed, Dolores Park which has the San Francisco skyline in the background.

Our team of photographers and videographers are shooting their wedding in Portola Valley in December and can't wait to put up their highlight video and wedding photos. Thanks Rhodora and Brent for the great engagement shoot and look forward to seeing you soon!

I almost forgot -- since they already had a wedding website, I just made them a simple gallery website with all the best photos from the day. Thanks guys for a super unique engagement shoot!

engagement-portraits

engagement portraits in san-francisco

bart train engagement san francisco

engagement-photography-san-francisco

engagement photos san francisco

san-francisco-photography-engagement

romantic engagement san francisco

engagement portraits san francisco

engagement portraits san francisco

san-francisco-engagement-portraits

bay area san francisco engagement

san-francisco-proposal-dolores-park

Julianne and Andy’s misty S.F. engagement

Julianne and Andy’s misty S.F. engagement

The weather said showers in San Francisco, and ok I was a little concerned. Not that we couldn't get great pictures, but because I was afraid Andy and Julianne would think twice about pushing thru. Well I obviously didn't know them very well because they were totally game no matter what the forecast said. How cool is that? I love them for taking a risk with me and we ended up having a great time and lots of nice pictures! These engagement portraits are all from one general area around Palace of Fine Arts / Crissy Field on a misty September afternoon. Check out more of their photos at their wedding website I designed, which is included in all my wedding packages. Can't wait guys for your wedding at Casa Real next April!

engagement-photography-san-francisco

engagement photos san-francisco

engagement photos crissy field san francico

engagement photos san francisco

golden gate bridge engagement photos engagement photographs san francisco

engagement pictures san francisco

engagement photography san francisco

engagement-san-francisco

engagement-san-francisco-photography

San-francisco-portraits-engagements

Michael and Jessica’s “Giants” engagement

Michael and Jessica’s “Giants” engagement

san-francisco-engagement 260

Michael and Jessica are by far the biggest Giants fans I have ever met, crazier than even my brother Matt who wrote two books on the team. Being a Giants fan myself, I was totally down for their engagement session at the ballpark. These guys brought signs, jerseys and lots of bubbly energy that made for some really fun pictures. And after a quick eat, we headed to Union Square for some night portraits before calling it a night. What a great time guys -- look forward to your Chinese wedding/ tea ceremony! engagement photos san Francisco

engagement photos san francisco giants engagement shoot san francisco union square engagement san francisco engagement shoot in san francisco

Glenn and Vickie's Engagement

Though Glenn and Vicki booked me a year ago, only recently did all of our paths cross at the same in SF for their engagement shoot. We were really happy to hang out with them for a bit, wondering around Crissy, the Yacht Club, and of course the Palace of Fine Arts. See you guys at your wedding!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

San Francisco Engagement shoot with Archie and Rosie

Archie and Rosie's engagement shoot in San Francisco was a lot of fun, not just because the locations were awesome but mostly because Rosie and Archie are really funny people to be around. Ok at first Archie was a little stiff, naturally of course because how often to people pose for "engagement portraits" let alone really know what those really are to begin with. Brides surf all the wedding sites and are usually savvy about the whole thing, but guys tend to need a little time to get comfortable with the whole idea. My approach is to encourage couples to just enjoy the moment wherever we happen to be. They kiss, whisper, giggle, smile and point at the cute dog walking by... and I capture all the giddy goodness that engaged people naturally exhibit. If necessary I do pose couples who need a little extra help or if I see something that would be oh-so-cute, but other than that we just hang out and make pictures of their lives together.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Treasure Island engagement session - a step back in time

Treasure Island engagement session - a step back in time

treasure-island-engagement

Tagging along with my buddy Zac on an engagement shoot he did for some clients. We did the shoot on Treasure Island which has tons of interesting locations inside the abandoned military base. His visit lasted all of 36 hours, besting my 18 hour visit to his place in North Carolina. Here are some shots that I got of Sean and Mindy.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
the zac man