I used to be more of a writer, thankfully (for my audience) that ended. These days I keep a running ‘to do’ list and rely on photography to remind me of what’s happening in life. This is one I shot last week from my office window.

The scope of these fires burning in California at the moment has been so huge that I feel the need to take a moment to pause in respect for everyone affected by this situation. My brother and his family live in Santa Rosa, and have come to stay with us in Oakland for a few weeks. My parents had to evacuate my 92 year old Grandfather from his care home. We’re the fortunate ones. So many people have lost everything, including their lives, in this fire. ‘Heartbreaking’ doesn’t even begin to describe.

Yesterday was also the anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and another reminder of how quickly things can change. I grew up in Stockton, in the Central Valley area of California and we felt that quake all the way out there. It was terrifying, and so was watching the news footage of how it impacted the Bay Area. This is to say.. Everyone should have an emergency kit. Food. Water. There is a wealth of information on this online, as well as places to purchase fully stocked kits. Much of what is in ours I was able to find via amazon.com, which made it much easier to make sure we are well supplied if when the inevitable occurs.

Thank you for taking this little pause with me, it just didn’t feel right to continue the stream of joyful wedding photos when so many people are still evacuated and uncertain about the future.

 

 

 

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This was one epic, gorgeous wedding.

Thank you to The Chapel for doing a terrific job of handling the whole event, from lighting, to catering this is a terrific venue.

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I’m looking forward to photographing Lola and Rizzo’s wedding in Oct, their tea party theme engagement session was a lot of fun.

Cupcakes are from Sweet Dee Cupcakes in San Leandro and they were delicious!

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I’ve had an eye on my neighbor’s magically overgrown backyard as a potential shoot location, it’s full of nasturtium, blackberry brambles, and trees in desperate need of a good pruning. Model and artist Valentine is one of the most adventurous models I know, and she didn’t hesitate once to crawl through all kinds of overgrowth for our time together. The flowers are from Mille Fiori, a small flower stand on Piedmont Ave in Oakland which has some of the best prices on quality blooms in Oakland. Our concept for this session was a gothy alternative bridal summer look.

 

 

You can check out Valentine on her Instagram (Heads up, some of her other work is a little less clothed than this session! ) or reach her via twitter if you’re interested in booking.

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My beloved Xpro-1 died on our recent trip to Paris, so while I’m waiting for it to come back from repair I pulled the trigger on a long-needed camera upgrade. After a lot of reading/research/fretting, I finally pulled the trigger on the Fujifilm X-T20 after seeing some results from a friend who has been shooting with it quite a lot. One of the best pieces of advice a teacher gave me in regards to photography gear was to invest in good quality lenses in whatever system you were shooting; there’s no point in constantly upgrading your camera body if you aren’t shooting with decent glass. I currently own four of the Fuji Lenses (18-55mm, 35mm 1.4, 56mm 1.2, and 14mm 2.8). After only a week of shooting with the T20 I’m kicking myself for not upgrading sooner, as the Fuji system has improved in leaps and bounds since the Xpro-1 and I’ve been wasting these amazing lenses on such an outdated system.

I’ve been falling more and more in love with this system and am going to invest further in a few more lenses for wedding work. I’ve been a canon shooter for much of my life and career, but I love the low profile and quiet shutter of the Fuji and it’s become my only go-to travel kit camera. Just for fun I challenged myself to shoot first with the 18-55mm kit lens, as it’s a lens I’ve never really liked much and was considering selling. It’s optics come across much nicer on the Xt20 and while I’m happy with these results, I’ll likely sell it and invest in the 16-55mm 2.8 next.

 

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 Daed and Erik are a striking couple with terrific style – their wedding was 100% a reflection of their personalities, a weekend long celebration with all of their closest friends at Walker Creek Ranch in California. Their ceremony was held in a fairy-light lit barn, at the reception booze, food, and a lot of music brought everyone out onto the dance floor – especially the kids. The weekend brought one of the biggest storms of an already wet winter, but no one was deterred and this was one of the most heartfelt parties I’ve ever documented.

Rings are by Thorston, and the glittery mini-cupcakes (including vegan and gluten-free options) by Angel Cakes. I sampled.. one or two of them. They were delicious.

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I’m heading to France, and will be in Paris from April 24-27th with a few spaces for bookings. Local models, performers, trans and non-binary folks drop a line if you’re interested in collaborating.

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I finally toured the old 16th Street Train Station in Oakland, and we didn’t even have to hop any fences. This gorgeous old building is now being cared for and one can rent it out for events, including weddings!

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More below the cut, the back of the building is covered in some terrific graffiti….

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