Cassia + Dustin - Another majestic wedding in the Redwood Groves, U.C. Berkeley

Truth...I have never been around a bride more radiant than Cassia! I don't think she stopped smiling for one second on her wedding day and I'm pretty sure her smile muscles were sore for a week. Dustin and Cassia planned a beautiful ceremony at the U.C. Botanical Gardens, which includes the Redwood Grove across the street. It's one of my favorite places for a wedding as it is simply the most magnificent venues in the Bay Area. Just a short drive up the hill for everyone to the Brazilian Room where they were ready for a charming reception. Thank you Cassia and Dustin for a memorable and fun day--it was such a pleasure!

Lee and Jessica's Bridges Golf Course Wedding - Dublin CA

Our 6-year old Nathan recently received a note from a classmate, telling him how much she loved playing with him... and how much she loved him!  She told him that he could not marry his grandma (as he had planned), and that they would be married when they were "old". The day after this note, she wrote another asking why he decided not to play with her at recess. Alas, this budding relationship might not work out after all...and so goes almost all childhood relationships! 

Lee and Jessica prove that young love can indeed grow at a young age -- they were childhood sweethearts that found there way back to each other in adulthood. They were married a few years ago (yes, I'm that behind on my blog) and Nathan's recent relationship brought them to mind. I loved their story and the beautiful wedding and thought it was high time to get back into blogging... at least until the next moment of inspiration!

Click on the first image here to see a longer highlight reel of their wedding at The Bridges Golf Club in Dublin CA.

What can I say about these two -- they probably needed some advil for those smile muscles -- they just couldn't stop smiling! It's so much fun to photograph couples that are truly enjoying their wedding day.

Laura and David's Wedding at the Bernadus Lodge - Carmel Valley

David and Laura's wedding at the Bernadus Lodge in Carmel Valley -- a small, intimate affair that was immensely fun to photograph. Did you know this is where the rich and famous stay in Carmel? I didn't either until I saw a certain celeb at the pool.... well I was told he was anyway. I had no clue about the guy, which happens when you have kids and haven't been out to the movies in a few years.  

Back to the wedding -- it was a perfect setting to have their ceremony outdoors at the Bernadus Wedding Garden. The outdoor seating was surrounded by oak trees and a view of the Carmel Valley, with vineyards in close view.  The reception nearby in their Meritage Ballroom was a perfect size for their small sized party. 

Thank you David and Laura for the wonderful day! 

Click the video below to see their slideshow!

 

 

 

Fall Engagement Session - Napa Valley

Marco and Laura were one of the great couples I met at a bridal fair last year. Thanks guys for booking me! We hit the jackpot for fall colors in Napa Valley for their engagement session. Laura's folks have a beautiful home and winery where we did all their photos in short order. It was a privilege to have a private tour of their wine cellar and take home a bottle of one of their best cabs -- thank you Marco and Laura! Can't wait for your upcoming wedding at the Meadowood Napa Valley Resort!





She said yes, in PARIS - RJ and Megan's Engagement Session

Single men, our friend RJ just set the bar high. He proposed to the love of his life Megan in the city of lovers, Paris. It was a genuine surprise for Megan, who thought the ring shopping was yet to happen. Photographing an engagement in Paris is, well, a photographer's dream!  RJ had given me a code-phrase for when he was about to pop the question "Dan, I think we're missing something here".  And at just the right spot with the Eiffel Tower in the background, RJ and Megan became officially engaged! Now for those of you wondering, yes, I flew all the way to Paris just for to photograph their engagement. Yes, men, I will fly back there to photograph YOUR surprise proposal in Paris!






Blog crickets explained

Blog crickets explained

This is so bad -- all the weddings from last Fall and this Spring have yet to be blogged. It might have lost me some business when couples don't see any recent work. But I don't care much.

The reason? I'm completely in love with a little now 9-month old who at the end of the day when I usually catch up on blogging, starts to cry on the 2nd floor of our home, just above my office. She wants to spend time with her daddy while mommy is cooking dinner.

Between the blog and her, she always wins. This is what happens when you have a premature daughter who last September, came almost two months early.

The day before her arrival we were at Eden Hospital, with what they thought was false labor. At the time, it was a relief because I had a wedding later in the afternoon. Sure I had an awesome backup lined up just in case, but I've never had to send someone in my place and ideally I wanted to keep it that way.  During that wedding Hazel stayed at my parents house just in case, and thankfully nothing happened. The next day was Sunday and with no wedding to be at, we enjoyed watching the Giants beat the Yankees. And after the last out, baby wasn't waiting any longer--suddenly she wanted out, fast.

I had never seen Hazel cry before from physical pain and with scary amounts of blood I packed our 3-year old Nathan in the car and we raced back to Eden, breaking numerous traffic laws along the way. When we got there, nurse Karen, who in the absence of the doctor, took charge. Karen was calm and her tone of voice was reassuring.  But she couldn't hide the seriousness of the situation--she was working her tail off racing here and there, putting lines in Hazel's arm as fast as she could. I still remember the sweat beading up on her forehead with no time to wipe it. That was the point I got scared.  Holding Nathan in my lap and waiting for the doctor who was rushing from home, it was the longest 10 minutes of my life.

Even before the doctor arrived, Karen was prepping Hazel to be transferred to a hospital with a Level 1 NICU which can handle babies this early. Within minutes she was in an ambulance heading to Alta Bates in Berkeley and I was driving separately to where my phone led me, which was Alta Bates Oakland. Parking was hard to find and then comes the news from the information desk: I was at the wrong hospital. Now completely stressed out I sped up to Berkeley where they were prepping Hazel for an emergency c-section. With about 2 minutes to spare I was able to jump into a gown and rush into the room where the baby was just about to come out. But there was a problem: The baby's blood had rushed out of her into the separating placenta (which was breaking away from the baby and causing this emergency). The doctor squeezed the placenta, thus sending the blood back into baby and giving her a chance to survive.

After what seemed a long time, baby was separated from mommy and we heard her first cry, which of course made us cry. After 15 days in the NICU we got her home. She completely captivates us, including her older brother who loves to help her figure out all the toys strewn throughout the family room. 




Van and Ricardo's City Hall Session

Ricardo and Van wanted their wedding portraits done at SF City Hall so much that they drove up from San Diego to make it happen. Oh and SF is just a quick stop before they drive back to LA to catch their flight to Vietnam where a 700-guest wedding awaits them on a beach. Wow!

Thank you both for rockin the Hall -- can't wait to see your wedding photos! 

san-francisco-city-hall.jpg
sf-city-hall-wedding.jpg
city-hall-bride.jpg
v-r 006.jpg
bride-groom-sf-city-hall-wedding.jpg
v-r 075.jpg
v-r 007.jpg
v-r 086.jpg
outside-city-hall-wedding.jpg
city-hall-snow-bride-groom-san-francisco.jpg
v-r 090.jpg