The Blog

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.

Milly and Jeff

I had worked with Milly on a previous wedding as she was the event planner.  She was dedicated, sharp, and funny.  I hoped that I would get the chance to work with her again.  And then, one day, I got an email from her about my availability for another wedding.  I took that as a compliment because when a wedding planner/coordinator likes you, that's says volumes about you as a vendor.   She liked my work, she liked me as a person, she thought I delivered to my clients. . . all those great things.  We went back and forth a few times, and then , in her last email, she wrote : "oh yeah, by the way. . . it's for MY wedding".  I was floored.  Out of all the photographers she deals with from all of the events she puts on, she thought of me.  

Well, getting to shoot Milly (and Jeff's :) )   wedding gave me the opportunity to get to know Milly even better.  What a wonderful person.  And this was my first time meeting Jeff. . . again, incredible guy.  There are, unfortunately, wedding I've shot that I wonder why the two people are going through with this.  Milly and Jeff are NOT one of those couples.  They play off each other, are intensely in love with each other, and have so much fun together.  It was such a pleasure to watch unfold. 

Here are a few images from their wedding that I hope captured all that makes them so perfect for one another.

Van Selow

Joy and Jonathan chose me to shoot their wedding.  It was a gorgeous event at the Jefferson Street Mansion in Benicia , California.  It has been given awards for the restoration to its pre-Civil War grandeur.  From the outdoor ceremony site, to the reception in the beautiful white tent adorned with chandeliers, this is one of the most unique venues I've had the privilege to photograph. 

Only a place this unique would be suitable for Joy and Jonathan.  They are talented people whose love for each other was undeniable.  I caught so many photographs of them just being in the moment with each other. 

I was so fortunate to not only shoot their wedding, but get to know them.  You will not find two nicer people.

Below are some of my favorites from the day. (including one of the funniest images I've ever captured in my career :) )

Congratulations Joy and Jonathan!

Van Selow Sneak Peek

Saturday I got to shoot the wedding of Joy and Johnathan.  This new couple got married at the Historic Jefferson Street Mansion in Benicia, CA.  This is such a unique venue that lent itself to gorgeous outdoor ceremony to an elegant reception in a permanent large white tent on the side of the Mansion.  Joy and Johnathan met at another wedding I was attending.  I had brought my camera to that wedding (because I can't help myself).  They happened to see those photos and found me that way.  I'm so glad they did.  A really wonderful couple who, as you can see in this one (of many) images, was so in love.

Congratulations Joy and Johnathan!  I'm honored to have captured your very special day.

Help me choose. . .

Since posting the free LGBT Wedding Photography giveaway, I've received a lot of incredible entries.  One thing I'm learning is that I have NO idea how I'm supposed to pick one couple over another that is more "deserving" of winning.  Every single entry that I received is "worthy" of getting the free photography shoot for their wedding, but I simply HAD to narrow it down.  That's why I'm turning to you. . .

Please fill out your name and email (and optionally a little something about why your couple should win) and cast your vote for whom you think should win.

Below are the four couples (in no particular order) that I've narrowed it down to and their responses to the question "How did you know that your partner was 'the one' "   (I've changed names to maintain a little privacy)

Voting will end at 11:59pm on Thursday, July 24th, and the winner will be announced on Friday, July 25th.

The votes will be tallied and go "towards" the final decision, but the vote alone will not determine the outcome.  So share with all your friends to make a push for the couple of your choice.

Thank you everyone for your support for these incredible couples.


Couple 1:   Spouse 1 & Spouse 2

There was never a moment when I knew he was “the one.” I don’t believe in “the one-“ I believe that a successful partnership requires hard work, and there’s no short-cut to partnered bliss. Over the last five years as we’ve gotten to know each other, we’ve learned that sincere communication is the most important part of our relationship. Spouse 1 is my best friend and I know I can be completely honest with him and get nothing but love and support- and the occasional kick in the butt when I need one. He’s “the one” because I trust him with every secret, every flaw, every imperfection that I hide from everyone else. He’s “the one” because our love and companionship have become the most important parts of our lives, quite without our expecting it. He’s “the one” because he is the person that changed my mind about marriage- we are getting married because we are building a life together, and the stability of a loving, respectful marriage is the cornerstone upon which we hope to build our family.

Couple 2:  Spouse 3 & Spouse 4

After being together for 14 years through thick and thin, we keep smiling and still get goose bumps when we get close to each other. We complete each other’s sentences and laugh constantly. There is nothing that we can’t do together. We’ve raised our pups, our chickens and various amounts of fish during our time together. We’ve also built a house, two decks, several ponds and a relationship that’s bullet proof.

Couple 3:  Spouse 5 & Spouse 6

There is no other more sincere, loving, happy, or humorous person than Spouse 5!! I knew within the first few months after we met in 2001! It’s been an amazing journey ever since!!

Couple 4:  Spouse 7 & Spouse 8

I am so very thankful to say I cannot give just one reason as to why I know that Spouse 7 is the one. Each day presents a new reason, or reaffirms a previous reason, as to why Spouse 7 is the one for me. And for that, I am extremely lucky.

Spouse 7 and I are both animal trainers by profession. We have both established careers working with exotic animals, allowing us to explore behavior and learn how to understand it. One of the first reasons I can recall that began to show me why Spouse 7 was the one, was the fact that his behavior was unique to me. Even more intriguing was the effect he had on my behavior. One of our first encounters with each other was in Hawaii at Spouse 7’s place of employment where he introduced me to one of his co-workers, Makani, a California sea lion. I was impressed by the relationship he showcased and the level of trust that existed between the two. As the years progressed, I continued to see this theme in everyone that crossed Spouse 7’s path, animal and human alike. He has been always open to anything someone offers and earns the trust of many people extremely quickly. Spouse 7’s heart is always open to new people, to new experiences, to new adventures; and this is one of the many qualities I love about him. To find someone that truly shares these qualities with me, that truly cares about the world and each individual that inhabits it, that has passion for life, is one of the reasons I know Spouse 7 is the one for me.

Spouse 7 was born and raised in Hawaii and I believed in my heart , from a very young age, that I would fall in love with someone from the islands. I was fortunate enough to have that belief become a reality. After being in each other’s company for several years in Hawaii, Spouse 7 and I lived apart for numerous years due to work, with him residing on O’ahu and myself in California. But despite being divided by the massive Pacific Ocean our connection never faltered. I can still remember the feeling of my heart racing each time I saw an email in my inbox from Spouse 7 and I am proud to say that still holds true today when he emails me from work to see how my day is going. The fact that my feelings have not changed, but have only strengthened in intensity, and that his behavior still effects me so and makes me smile with the largest grin, is yet another reason I know Spouse 7 is the one.

Spouse 7 continues to be a passion in my life. His aloha spirit and addictive personality remind me daily of my luck and fortune to have him in my existence and to be getting to pledge my devotion to him for the rest of my life.


Thank you for helping me make this very difficult decision.




 (none of the information collected will be used for anything other than this vote)
Your Name *
Your Name
Which couple are you voting for? *
(optional) Add a quick note about why you think your couple should be the one picked.

Pride Week Wedding Photography FREE Giveaway

In honor of  Pride Week I am giving away a FREE wedding shoot to one LGBT couple.  Yes, "Free".  No gimmicks, no hidden fees, NO MONEY!  

I will be there the day of the wedding to shoot the couple getting ready, the ceremony and reception.  Afterwards, the couple will get an online gallery with all color corrected images , a download link for all the digital files, and a professional video slideshow.  

There have been so many positive strides made in recent times, that I wanted to keep the momentum going and simply do something nice for a loving couple.

Please fill out the form below and answer two simple questions:  

  1. How did you know your partner was "the one"?
  2. Why do you feel I should choose your wedding to shoot?

If you are reading this and you're not an LGBT couple, and/or you're not getting married, please send this to someone who is!

                         Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on July 7, 2014


Name *
Partner *
Wedding Date *
Wedding Date
Number of guests
Answer these questions for a chance to win free photography for your wedding day.
How did you know your partner was the one?
Why do you feel I should choose your wedding to shoot?