I met Jenn & Leon in November of 2009, they were a referral from a previous wedding I’d done (as is usually the case these days). We chatted over coffee, got to know each other and as the minutes flew by, I got more and more excited about their upcoming event. They have this spark, you see, and when there’s chemistry involved, my job is that much easier. When a couple comes together naturally, I don’t have to fuss over adjusting awkward poses, which means I can focus more on great composition, light, and of course, timing. Luckily they didn’t make me wait long after our initial consult, they wanted to book me for their wedding the following July.
Early 2010 Jenn contacts me, wanting to add an engagement shoot to the package – which is great in my opinion, as it’s a “trial run” for makeup, hair, and sets the photography expectations high for the Big Day. Plus it give the three of us a chance to develop a more natural rhythm and comfort. They’ll know what I’ll need from them with less prompting, and we can take the time to explore different ideas in a low-pressure setting. I highly recommend engagement shoots to all my brides.
Everyone loved the shots we took at the e-session at Carmel Beach, so the pressure was on for me to really shine on July 17th which, as I write this, has come and gone with great success (and relief!). The venue was Hotel Valencia at Santana Row, so right off you know this is going to be a night to remember. The ceremony was held at 5pm on the 3rd floor in an open courtyard, but being surrounded by 7-floor buildings, we didn’t have to deal with any direct sunlight, much to my (and the videographers’) delight. Splitting the rows of guests was a long, rectangular pool of water with artfully placed lilies. When standing at the front with the priest, Jenn & Leon were beautifully reflected in the water. The ceremony was meaningful and full of emotion, and just the right length.
After the ceremony and quick run through of family & bridal party formals, the four of us (my highly talented assistant photographer Sam Fontejon joined us) ventured out into the busy, early-evening Saturday crowd milling about The Row. Since I’ve shot here several times before, I knew all the cool places to check out, and we had no shortage of attention from the crowds, people constantly shouting out their congratulations to the perma-smiling couple. We had a good 45 minutes to explore all the photographic opportunities Santana Row has to offer, which was great as I usually have much less time for these important photos.
The reception was a blur of dancing – this was one of those weddings where the tables are practically empty because everyone is up socializing and shaking their collective booty. Looking back at my photos form this time, I realized that 95% of my candids were on or around the dance floor, the center of all the action. I left exhausted, but pleased and excited to see what my cameras and I had captured that day. Here’s my usual “Top 150,” I hope you enjoy. Print orders can be made here.
Bride’s Makeup: Aimee Lam
(I was very impressed with her professionalism and attention to detail. Very natural look. Read my Yelp review of Aimee here.)
Dress: Trudy’s Brides
DJ: Joel Nelson
(These guys were super-nice and were highly conscious of working with us photographers at every step. Read my Yelp review)
Cake: A Piece of Cake Bakery
(Brilliant execution, my Yelp review is here)