I finally had the opportunity to visit Venice Beach, Ca. Unfortunately my time was limited, so I was only there for about an hour. I wish there was some way to convey my experience besides the photos I took.
There is an energy that pervades the atmosphere. Music emanates from the storefronts. People eating, walking, talking, be-bopping, watching, entertaining, riding, dancing, playing, hanging out – this was just a slice of the energy of people converging in a space that invites us, all of us, to an experience of openness and freedom of expression.
It was a perfect summery late afternoon that invited me to join in. My favorite parts . . . walking along the boardwalk, making contact with a fellow free spirit and dancing our way down a ways to the music – and encountering a group apparently making a music video. I observed the gamut from Muscle Beach enthusiasts to art forms of various types.
And many thanks to my bff Cathrine for accompanying me and helping support me in my difficulties navigating from the parking area and back. Oh, and who has a building dedicated to the love of someone named Werner across from the parking area one block from the beach?! Simone, I hope your love story continues on.
A cloudy day around here for a photographer is like a ufo sighting – we have to run out and see if we can capture a shot! So on 2-28-15 I took off on my trusty steed down Hwy. 41 E. Perfect time of year because the grasses are still green, and that doesn’t last long around here. A sky full of puffy clouds can turn a mundane country road view into something a bit magical.
There were many highlights to this day, including a reading of their love story from each perspective . . . But back to the beginning . . . As I turned the bend on 101 towards Pismo, expecting bright blue skies – there before me was the thickest fog I had seen in ages. As a photographer, it made my day, being provided a gigantic softbox knowing that my bride and groom would not be dealing with harsh shadows and contrast from the bright sun. The setting was magical, complete with a gazebo decorated with flowing white material.
On a hot summer night in August, these long-time sweethearts tied the knot in their hometown of Atascadero. Friends and family attended from near and far and shared in the celebration of their special day.
Mariika and Leo were married in the gorgeous huge lawn area at the home of Leo’s parents in Atascadero. I loved how very family-oriented the event was – I don’t think I’ve seen so many generations from the children to great-grandparents . . . aunts, uncles, cousins, and on and on. Mariika’s mom hand-made all the distinctly unique bouquets and boutonnieres. They even encouraged everyone to choose a seat and not a side as they witnessed the union of two lives joining together. As the day turned into evening it became more and more chilly – but that didn’t deter anyone from enjoying all the festivities of the joyous celebration.
Brooke and her wedding party stayed at the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero where they got ready for the big day, and then departed in a stretch limo fully stocked with adult beverages and more from Paradise Limousine Co. They rode in air conditioned comfort out to the venue, The Loading Chute in Creston. The searing temperatures didn’t dampen the joy and exuberance of their celebration of marriage and the festivities that followed.
Brian and Linda arranged for their 5 kids, their wives, and their children to all meet up at the Taft Barn in Atascadero, Ca. Especially because their daughter Jen, her husband Michael and their 3 adorable boys were visiting from Michael’s homeland – Australia. Maybe the ultimate challenge for a photographer is a huge family grouping – but there was such a great camaraderie amongst this family that it made my time with them a great pleasure!
I realized that many of the photos from this session epitomize who I am as a photographer. I strive to capture the heart of who people are – not direct people to put on a “smile for the camera”. I don’t want to come away with a series of pictures of people who performed for the photographer – I want to portray people in moments as they interact with each other. And that they will be left with pictures that years later will evoke emotions and feelings and special memories of their times together.
Tawny and Bob chose to have a small, intimate wedding at her parent’s beautiful victorian house in Paso Robles. Everything was perfect from the weather to the setting to the vows which touched hearts to the delicious brunch served up by Chef Jeff. By 2:00 they were off for Yosemite which I’ve heard is the most beautiful it’s been in years.