How I love Calistoga! When you drive through winding country roads thick with trees and a brush, windows open here and there to reveal spectacular views of valleys, canyons and vineyards. There seems to not be a bad meal to be had in the Wine lover’s paradise – and what better place for a sommelier to marry the postal worker of her dreams! Courtney and Brandon brought all their friends from Vegas where they live, and around the country and treated them to a gorgeous wedding on a sunny October day, with dinner in a wine cave and a great party to boot. I am grateful to have been there to celebrate their love and fabulousness!
Ah yes! A rare Sunday post before taking a break for the first of my favorite holidays!
It is such a joyous serendipity that three years after (ack! Has it been that long?!?!) shooting Cailen and Seans fairy tale wedding in the Loire Valley of France, we all find ourselves here in sunny southern California, where the weather is easy, and the sunshine is nice. I seriously FLIPPED when Cailen sent me an email redently letting me know that she and Sean are expecting in the coming months. Not only can I obviously relate, but another chance to make the journey out to see these two (I always seem to be meeting up with these crazy kids somewhere in paradise) and spend some time catching up. Even Uma came to assist me (obviously), and the Bean family was happy to offer a glimpse of the amazing future that lie ahead of them. And what’s better is when this (fatefully) perfect and gorgeous baby makes it’s arrival, we’ll all get together again and lament about days where we slept through the night, and rejoice in the small price that is to pay to bring a child into the world as your own.
Also, did I mention that Cailen and Sean are pretty much the easiest people to photograph I could ever hope for? Yes. There’s that.
The time I spent with Shannon and Ken was so short compared to what I would have wished, were we not a country apart. We had a brief but memorable meeting and a dimly lit restaurant at their recommendation, where the food was superb (almost ALWAYS a sign that we are made for each other), and the company bright, shining, and happy in love. The both of them are easy to laugh and smile, they make you feel like a part of their club while flitting meaningful, loving, amazed glances at each other so full of the love they’ve discovered in one another. But these two – are filled with love, in fact, they are beacons of shining love so bright you couldn’t miss them with your eyes closed. Man! I was SO excited to be their wedding photographer, to finding my own self shining in that light, blazed between those stolen glances with my trusty camera. And this is what I found.
In the final days of September, I was lucky enough to spend a day with Sarah and Howard. I told Sarah, as I tell all my clients who have me for an engagement session, that this day is so much more than taking pictures. It’s a memorable day – a day that goes down in the catalogue of your experiences together, and me and my fancy camera just happen to be along. This session was an adventure of great fun, from brunch to dinner, we got to know each other. And what I love most about that day? I, who lived in this great city of New York for 10 years, with Sarah and Howard, stumbled upon places I’d never known existed – a market under the high line with delightful little shop stands, and I beckoned them to come see the bathrooms at the penthouse bar at The Standard Hotel, where we did a couple of shots of Tequila beneath a golden trumpeted ceiling surrounded by humongous windows giving us an tremendous birds eye of this city. We snuck all three of us into one of the spectacular bathrooms and took pictures. We traversed uptown to the NY Public Library and were reprimanded by a guard while some extravagant wedding photographer was bowling into me to take pictures of another bride and groom. And we ended the day in my most favorite place, Long Island City, for one last glimpse of the skyline as dusk approached. Yes. It was a memorable day, and I’m so grateful to have spent it in such great company.
Erica and Marco have been together since just after they graduated high school in Windsor. Now they live in New York City, and to meet them you would think they only just discovered each other. I look at their faces. Their elation, their love, palpable. I go through these images to make a blog post, and it was so hard not to post every beaming smile, tender look, sideways glance, deep, breath. It was pretty amazing to be at this wedding, with Erica and Marco, and their dearest friends and family.