The Blog

Angelina and Dorin "Sneak Peek"

Angelina & Dorin

From the picturesque Treasure Island, this lovely couple consists of two incredibly genuine people.  It's rare you connect so quickly to "strangers", but from the first time we met, we had such a mutual liking of each other.

Months and months later, nothing had changed.  I got the chance to shoot their wedding at the Aracely Cafe on Treasure Island.  Surrounded by friends and family, the even was full of love.

Congratulations Angelina and Dorin!


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". 

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.

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. . .

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.

Collins | Hunt Wedding

V. Sattui Winery, Napa, California

This was a very different wedding that I've ever shot before due to the fact that I hadn't met , or laid eyes on the bride or groom.  The couple lived in Texas, so all my communication and meetings were with the Bride's mom.  A stylish classy woman, Shelly made all the arrangements, hired all the vendors, and did it all in 3 months.   Shelly was so incredible and so complimentary to me, I was excited to shoot for her daughter.  However, I was nervous not having met the couple.  I did my typical scout a week or two before the wedding day to make sure I knew what I was up against at the venue . . . light, angles, space, etc.  The wedding was to take place at V. Sattui in Napa, California , a gorgeous winery in the heart of St. Helena. 

On the day of the wedding, I showed up at the exquisite home of a friend of the bride where she was getting ready.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I met the bride.  Not only was she beautiful, and a smile that lit up the room, but relaxed and excited for her big day, and couldn't have been nicer.

From there, it only got more amazing as V. Sattui was spectacular.  From all the point lights hanging over the ceremony, to the spot-lit wine barrels lining the Barrel room, every little detail was thought of.  The bride even gave her bouquet to her grandmother in a very touching moment.

Here is a taste of the day. 

Thank you Allyn and Paul (and Shelly) for trusting me with your special day.

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.

Mitchell | Munch Wedding

There are times in the life of a photographer that you are faced with challenges.  The Mitchell | Munch Wedding had it's share, but also lent itself to some spectacular imagery.  The beautiful bride and handsome groom were not the challenge. .  . the challenge was how to capture the ceremony.  The rules are VERY strict inside San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.  I was not allowed past the last piew , nor was I allowed to go down the outer sides of the church during the ceremony.  No flash, no noise, no chance. . right?  Well, knowing that 99% of the ceremony was going to look the same, I took a chance on the bride's walk down the aisle.  Sure, I could have gone for the "typical" or "traditional" shot of her and her dad coming towards me, but since the rest of the ceremony wouldn't lend itself to being creative photographically, I decided to take a chance now and get a shot that was different from the norm.  

This was an all day wedding with getting ready shots beginning at 2pm and the wedding didn't end until after midnight.  But what a wedding it was.  From the earlier mentioned Grace Cathedral to the gorgeous Fairmont blocks away, it was a true fairytale wedding.

There was even an old Rolls Royce to take the couple from the church to the hotel.

The bridesmaids were stunning, the groomsmen all good looking nice guys, this was a wedding to remember.

A phenomenal touching speech by the father of the bride, a crowd that danced all night, and a fantastic band.

My 2nd challenge , as gorgeous as it was, was the fairmont reception.  With styled lighting, comes a very dark place to take photographs.  Having done a scout and planning ahead, I used my first "assistant" to help me with some off camera lighting (thank you Megan!).  

Here are some of the results . . .

Tanya and Sean

Nothing like Vacaville in June for a wedding.  Well, was I wrong!  The weather was perfect!  I had been looking at the forecast for weeks anticipating 100 degree temperatures.  But when the day came, it couldn't be more perfect.  The wedding was at Pippo Ranch , about an hour north of San Francisco, a unique venue where the ceremony and reception both took place.  It lent itself to many wonderful moments and images.  The bride, Tanya, was so fun and incorporated balloons and other festive things in the wedding and photographs.  Sean, who is in the Coast Guard, displayed his incredible honors dressed in his military attired.  Besides being such a wonderful couple, they approached the day with such a fun , light, attitude in the spirit of why there were there. . . for each other.  Here are a few from their day.   

Just Married (in style)

Forget limo's, horse drawn carriages. . . leaving your wedding in a classic Impala says, we're married in style!  So many people take their weddings so seriously.  Although it's a serious commitment, it's supposed to be fun and a celebration of the two people .  I love when couples have fun with their weddings.  Not only is it more realistic, but it takes some of the pressure off.  The best advice the priest that married my wife and I (side note, and speaking of "style", the first time I met him he pulled up on his Harley) was that whatever happens, right or wrong, pretend it was supposed to happen.  Nobody will be the wiser.  I've kind of vered off a bit on a tangent, but the point I was making that being married in style isn't just about the wheels. . .it's about the attitude.

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by Michael Clemens

shooting a friend's wedding . . .

I have to say, there is nothing that stresses me out more than shooting a friend's wedding.With 'strangers', I am so concerned that I get them the best images possible , but with friends, it takes it to a new level. I have full confidence in myself as a photographer, but I have to live up to being a good friend as well. I couldn't have asked for a better setting for my friends Brad and Juwana. Stinson Beach, sunset. . . please! If I couldn't get something good, then I need to stop photography immediately. The wedding was small and intimate and really fantastic. The certainly focussed on what was important. . themselves. Just hit the 'send' button on the email with the instructions to view their images. . . will be nervous until I hear back.

by Michael Clemens

Presidio Social Club = Hip

What a cool hip venue this was.

Throws you back into the Sinatra-esqe days.

The staff was incredibly on top of EVERYTHING.

Classy, intimate, clean and a memorable place to have an event.

I felt lucky to have shot there. . . hope I get to do it again.

by Michael Clemens