Wendi Maxwell and the Tres Hot Jazz Band

Just a couple of snaps of a terrific live band we caught while I was out visiting my folks over Father’s Day weekend. I spent the time filming my grandfather telling his stories of Omaha Beach and his time in the Navy, figured out how to use the old Super 8 mm film projector to screen some very old family movies (soon be transferred to digital media for preservation), and enjoying the warmer weather of the central valley. I’m continuing a love affair with this lens, the Canon EF 85mm 1.8.

Jody and Anthony’s Heavy Metal Super Hero Wedding

Jody and Anthony's Mendocino Wedding

This wedding was, in a word, epic. Jody and Anthony are both artists, music lovers, incredible dancers, and pretty much the nicest cool kids you’ll ever meet. They threw a weekend-long wedding party in the woods outside of Mendocino that began with a super-hero theme welcome dinner and ended with a heavy-metal Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. And somewhere in the middle they got married.

Jody and Anthony's Mendocino Wedding

Jody and Anthony's Mendocino Wedding

The wedding location was deep in the woods outside of Mendocino, California. We arrived at the site and were given a cabin assignment, our official temporary tattoos, and a schedule of the weekend events.

Venture onward to the rest of the story…

Continue reading “Jody and Anthony’s Heavy Metal Super Hero Wedding”

Surprise Party Snapshots

There’s one in every family.

The sender of birthday cards, the planner of parties, the remember of anniversaries, the matriarch who makes sure no one is left out or left behind. In my family, it’s my Aunt Patti. She and her husband now live in Mexico, their extended families spanning both coasts of the US from LA to Baltimore. This year she turns 70, her husband, 75, and both of them contacted a close friend in Los Angeles about hosting a surprise party for the other.

She threw him a party.

He threw her a party.

To make things easier on everyone involved, our very generous hostess opened her home to everyone. Wonderful chaos ensued. The best part? No one ruined the surprise.

I cannot resist snapping photos of kids with cake crumbs all over their faces.

It’s been a bit of a tough year for my family. We lost my grandmother in October and my great aunt is currently on hospice. It was lovely to have the chance to visit with my extended family under much happier circumstances.

I was too busy talking to people to shoot many photographs, but we did take the time for a full family portrait. When I meet with wedding clients, we always discuss the importance of setting time aside time to get family photographs.¬† It can seem tedious, but it’s so important to record these celebrations. Kids grow up, old people grow frail, and family is a blessing. So get your camera out (or hire an event photographer), and make sure to document your happy memories.