The Blog

Connect "Two"

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Michelle and Kyle got married last Saturday in a beautiful outdoor wedding in Danville, California.  The sweltering heat couldn't stop these two from putting on a stunning event.  These two have known each other since they were NINE YEARS OLD.  There are no two people meant for each other than these two lovely people. 

by Michael Clemens

Lance, Michael, Lilly, Chip and Dale

     I had the pleasure of photographing this wonderful family that just increased by 2 with the addition of two little ones named Chip and Dale .  Dads, Lance and Michael, are animal activists and do so much to help animals in need.  They were so wonderful and told me the story of how they were just fostering these two little ones until they found homes for them.  Well, after housing these two pups for just a couple of weeks, it was clear, Chip and Dale weren't going anywhere!   While Chip and Dale warmed up to me right away, it was harder to gain the trust of Lilly, their older protective sister always staying "nearby" to watch over things, but not giving me the full "you're ok" :) .  I think all 3 dogs (and their dads) shined in their photoshoots.

If you'd like to adopt a dog, foster one, or simply donate, you can go to Vanderpump Dogs www.vanderpumpdogs.org

To see more of Chip and Dale, you can follow them at www.instagram.com/chipanddalepups

To see Michael's artwork you can go to michaelturchinart.com

Follow Lance at www.instagram.com/lancebass/

 

Melissa and Jeff | Kohl Mansion Scout

I love shooting weddings, but nothing is more fun than shooting a wedding for people you love.

Melissa (and her two older sisters) have all babysat my girls growing up.  So this is a special wedding for me.  Today I got to meet Melissa and Jeff down at their venue for a scout (couldn't have picked a worse weather day!!!)

Regardless, not only are they excited with the wedding just a few weeks away, but the venue is simply spectacular.   That makes me even more excited because I know the kind of images we can get there.  Can't wait for the "real thing". 

The Standoff

My money is on the one on the left. . . .

Oh if I could only have known what was going on at this moment.  But I nearly dove across the venue in order to get this shot before one "gave in" and ended this intense test of wills.

by Michael Clemens

Paige and David Sneak Peek

I also had the pleasure of shooting Paige and David's wedding this weekend at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose.  What a beautiful venue and couple.  This was one of the rare times that I hadn't met the groom prior to the wedding day.  Well, within 3 seconds of meeting David in his room getting ready, I instantly felt like I had known him for a long time.  And having all his buddies there from L.A., we quickly bonded of our hometown sports teams.  This was a FUN wedding. . . I don't think I've seen guests this energetic in a long time.   Got this one shot at the end of the night on a sky bridge that connected the two buildings of the hotel.  I went down onto the promenade and hoped for some magic. . . I didn't have to hope too much with this couple!  Congratulations Paige and David!  #fairmonthotelsanjose #wedding #bridge #love #cranes

Jen and Gene Sneak Peek

Holman Ranch, Carmel, California.  Jen and Gene have a TREMENDOUS story that goes back decades where they first met.  Their story added a perfect chapter this past weekend when they were married.  Surrounded by family and friends at the gorgeous Holman Ranch, it was a truly wonderful , emotional, funny, and relaxed wedding that showed off the love of these two people and everyone that surrounds them.  Congratulations Jen and Gene. . . can't wait to watch the story continue.

Amelia Paris Sneak Peek

Lovely .  

That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Amelia Paris.  From her radiant smile to her beautiful service, Amelia is an incredible young woman.  Here is just one image from her special day.  Congratulations. 

Shelley and Brett Sneak Peek

This lovely couple was married on Saturday in a gorgeous home in Orinda, California.  They couldn't not have been more charming or photogenic.  The day of the wedding was the first time I met the groom , which is not typical for me, but Brett and Shelley live back east.  I had met Shelley one afternoon when she came for a visit and a planning session in Orinda.  Even though I spent so little time with the couple before the big day, only minutes after meeting them each, I felt like we were old friends.  Gracious, classy, and fun, this small wedding was one of the most warm and loving ceremonies I've had the pleasure of photographing.   Here is just a quick sneak peek of one from the day.  Congratulations Shelley and Brett. . it was truly wonderful.

by Michael Clemens

Amelia

I got to meet up with Amelia and her parents on a scout for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah.  This young girl, besides being a beauty, and having dimples for days, is charming beyond her years.  I'm really excited to see her shine while completing her Bat Mitzvah.  Also, I hear her friends are characters too. . . 

Christine + Ty Wedding

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
— Muriel Rukeyser

From the Claremont Hotel to the top of the Berkeley Hills at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Christine and Ty have started their story together. 

The scientist couple chose this unique venue to get married to represent who they are. Friends, family and guests all had an amazing time and incredible views.  

Here are a few from the evening. . .

"Blind" (Wedding) Date

When someone contacts me about potentially photographing their wedding, I encourage them to meet me for coffee.  I think it's a good opportunity for me to show more samples, talk about my process on a wedding day, and gives them a chance to get to know me a little to make sure the like and trust me to be the one responsible for preserving the memories of their day.   Well, in this case, a potential bride contacted me from the East Coast.  She's getting married in Orinda, but lives in Michigan.  So , meeting for coffee was going to be difficult.  Despite that, Shelly booked me for her wedding.  This was one of the first time a bride (couple) booked me without meeting me first.  Well, Shelly made a trip out to go over some wedding day details at the beautiful home that will be hosting the wedding, so I got to meet her there a week or so ago.  She was not only a fantastic girl, but so photogenic as well. .she is going to make my job easy!

Grabbed a quick portrait while I was there  (the "before" if you will) :)

Looking forward to shooting the real thing in a few week.


On the Rhodes again

Looking towards the new adventure. . . 

Looking towards the new adventure. . . 

OK. . .a bad pun, but I'm a photographer, not necessarily a "writer".  Aaron Rhodes and I met YEARS ago while working for a VFX company.  Since that time, I have photographed his wedding , photographed his first child, photographed his second child, as well as extended family.  Well, the Rhodes family is moving North to another state for a job in a cool tech field.  While they will be greatly missed by many, we're excited for their new adventure.  I have been so fortunate to photograph and watch their family grow.  We were able to get in one last family shoot before they left.  Best of luck Rhodes!

by Michael Clemens

Bob and Brad Sneak Peek

It would be nearly impossible for me to convey in this blog post just how much love Bob and Brad have.  Not just for each other, but their friends, families, acquaintances (and photographer).

Their stories are both unique and incredible, and finding each other was perfection.  

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
— Maya Angelou

Congratulations Bob and Brad.  I'm so glad love won!

"Gary"

A horse gallops with its lungs, perseveres with its heart, and wins with its character.
— Tesio

This quote could also apply to this lovely young lady as well.  It's rare you come across someone her age, 19, with such a strong understanding of who she is.  Paige is someone that makes you smile when you see her.  She's the kind of girl that comes over just to "hang out" because she enjoys being with family.  And Paige is someone who LOVES her beautiful horse "Gary".

My girls and wife and I went to see Paige compete out in Rancho Murieta at the Murieta Equestrian Center about 25 miles east of Sacramento.  Paige was calm and poised while she was getting herself and Gary ready.  As usual, she has a nearly permanent smile on her face. 

Not knowing this "world" at all, I was excited to see "behind the scenes" as she was preparing.  Then, out to the warmup arena where, like any athlete, you and the horse warm up.  And finally, out to the main arena for the competition. 

In some classes, there can be as few as 1 competitor, however, in this one, there were at least 10-12 competing .

All the horses and riders are spread around the arena , and when the judge calls out a move, the riders/horses have to execute them (down to starting off a trot with the correct foot).  I had NO idea what was involved.

On this day, Paige came in 2nd (lost to a non-amateur which is not supposed to compete in this class).  But as expected, although disappointed, Paige took it in stride and continued to show the class and grace she always exudes.  

She met us for a victory lunch afterwards in Sacramento and we got to spend more quality time with her (sans Gary).

Congratulations Paige!

by Michael Clemens

Gillian and Kevin "Sneak Peek"

Wow!  That's all I can say about Gillian and Kevin's wedding at Wildwood Acres.  Simply magical.  A fun, smart, loving couple, a gorgeous venue, nearly EVERY guest on the dance floor, made for one of the most special weddings I've had the pleasure of photographing.  Thank you Gillian and Kevin for making me a small part of your big day.  Congratulations!  

"If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything" - Marty McFly

And so he did.  My nephew Charlie was challenged by his grandfather (Kip) to a goal.  It was going to take hard work and determination, and not easy.  Kip said "If you can achieve this goal, I'll buy you a car".   Charlie, 14 at the time, was now more motivated than ever.   Charlie's next question was "What kind of car"?    Kip, now in hindsight, regretting the next words that would leave his mouth. . ."What kind of car do you want"?    Well, not only did Charlie achieve the goal set out by his grandfather, but Grandpa came through fulfilling his promise. . . .

Now all Charlie has to do is get his license (oh, and learn how to drive stick)!

“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything”
— Marty McFly

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth and Ron Sneak Peek

From their first email to me inquiring about my availability to shoot their wedding, I loved Elizabeth and Ron.  Fun, warm, and brilliantly funny emails made me excited to meet them.  And now, after meeting them, and then shooting their wedding, I can easily say that are two of the most wonderful people I've met.  Their wedding was this past Sunday, and I was honored to share 'Father's Day" with them.  Here is just one quick sneak peek from their loving wedding in Piedmont, California.

by Michael Clemens

Christine and Ty | Sneak Peek

This Saturday I was lucky enough to shoot the wedding of Christine and Ty.  A lovelier couple you will not meet.  For these two scientists, the entire wedding was at the Lawrence Hall of Science located in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus with 180 degrees of the San Francisco Bay.  As typical with this time of year, and that high up , the fog rolls in magically covering the entire city.  With that, it made this wedding feels as though they were getting married on the top of the world.  

Mother and Son

I had the privilege to photograph this little boy just a few weeks after coming home.  As you can see, mother and son are already quite fond of each other :)

by Michael Clemens

Shooter becomes Subject

Megan has been an assistant I've worked with on many shoots.  She's personable, reliable, and a good photographer herself.  Well, this time, she got to be IN FRONT of my camera :).   Megan is a High School Senior who is off to college in Texas in the fall, so it was time for her Senior Portraits. She nailed this too!  She will be missed (by none more than her boyfriend as you can see)

by Michael Clemens