San Francisco Commitment, a Handfasting in Stern Grove

I’m an enormous fan of the Offbeat Bride blog, and was so thrilled to see one of my shots from this small but very beautiful commitment ceremony show up in this week’s Monday Montage. So, if you’ve found me via Offbeat Bride, welcome! I love to shoot commitments of all kinds, especially alternative ceremonies. This was my first handfasting ceremony, while researching the meaning and origin of the practice, I found this – “Handfasting was originally practiced by the Greeks and Romans. The Romans created a garland made of magnolia, elder and roses. It was then wrapped around the couple’s wrists to signify love and fidelity. In ancient legends, lovers were united together as they “tied the knot” in the tradition of Celtic handfasting.” Such a cool ritual.

Lilith and Michael planned a small ceremony with some of their closest friends witnessing and participating. We met on a perfect bay area day near Stern Grove, surrounded by redwood and eucalyptus trees, while a family of hawks hunted overhead. Michael told me later that he timed the event to coincide with golden hour – which as you can see worked out very, very well.

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Street Photography

Over Pride weekend I participated in an street photography workshop with the extraordinarily talented Emilio Bañuelos of Black Books Ink. We were challenged to choose one camera and one lens, hit the streets and break out of our comfort zone. Doing this workshop was a birthday present to myself to deliberately force away from my usual style and to work towards being a more versatile and confident photographer.

All artists are our own worst critics. Until you go into a critique and other people start giving you constructive feedback. That this point you realize that other people are seeing flaws in your work you missed. Ha! An essential skill all creative people need to learn is to take feedback on what we make – while staying positive and excited about what we’re doing. With that in mind, Emilio, if you read this, know that I am still hearing your voice in my head whenever I compose along the same horizon line!

Here’s a few of my more successful shots from the weekend. I had a great time meeting some very talented photographers and I highly recommend participating in one of Black Book’s workshops if you have the chance.

All photos shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide-Angle Autofocus Lens. Processing done in Lightroom.