I had to set aside my role as a family member and put on my photographer’s hat; not an easy task. I hope that through time my sister Bonnie, her daughter Ilana and all the other dear family will look back at these photographs and be stirred by the feelings, emotions and memories they conjure up. I was touched by the wonderful conjoining of two family groups becoming one through the marriage of Ilana from California and Jacob whose family reside in Washington state. For me, this was not work – it was a work of heart.
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.
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.
Luis and Vaneza said their vows in a room full of friends and family from far and wide (as far as Germany!) After the ceremony they made their way to Shell Beach Dinosaur Caves Park in the coolest 58 Chevy for a photo session overlooking the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. Then, on to the iconic Madonna Inn for a reception that included lots of dancing, toasts, and even a Mariachi Band. A highlight of the evening was when the mothers came forward and shared special words and prayers, along with a few tears.
As filmmakers who have been making films and programs showcasing the beauty and wonder of the natural world, it’s no surprise that Sally and David chose the rugged beauty of Hearst Beach in San Simeon, Ca. to exchange their vows. The ceremony was simple, yet full of meaning as they combined traditions of her Jewish heritage and his Italian roots. I loved my position as their photographer, recording images of two people very much in love proclaiming their love and devotion to one another on a picture perfect day that seemed made to order.
You can learn more about David and Sally’s documentaries at Backcountry Pictures
As a wedding photographer, I come across many situations where the bride/groom weren’t aware of certain things — and I love the opportunity to help out by pointing out things, like, for instance, the positioning of the wedding arch (like – where will the sun be . . . what is in the background . . . ).
Something that I’ve been noticing is that many wedding dresses get picked up and brought to the dressing room on a generic hanger – and often times it is in a hotel room with no other choices. SO. Put it on your list of things to do . . . find a pretty hanger!
There are lots of places on line where they can be found. Here is just one link: