Stylish Story Telling with Raw Emotion
The story of V&F begins many years ago at math camp when V, from Alabama and F, from Texas, sat down to crunch some numbers. Somewhere between
…and lunch, a connection formed. Ok, so maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way but I’d like to think it did. They say that you find true love when you’re least looking for it, and I’m certain that was the case this time. Fast forward to the present day and this love has only grown… these two simply adore each other. F calls V his star and is besotted with her, as is she with him.
Leaving behind the cold, damp spring weather in New York City, the couple arrived to azure blue spring skies, green hills, and blooming Dogwood trees. From the ceremony at the Holy Family Mission in Napa and back to the Vinter’s Glen at Meadowood, the hot afternoon transitioned into a warm, spring evening. Guests enjoyed craft cocktails, made new friends, and wrote personal messages in their fine art sign in book. Daylights’ departure signaled the beginning of the starlit dinner service. Joined by family and friends from their alma maters – Stanford and Harvard – they were luminous, full of joy, and completely in the moment, enjoying every bit of their beautiful day.
As speeches led to dancing, and dancing led where it always leads…an appetite for cake, V & F gave an appreciation speech acknowledging the love and support of all who had travelled to be there. Again, a day full of love that seemed to be over too soon!
** The answer to the problem above is i <3 u (i love you)
It was a day of new beginnings; The Vernal Equinox, the Persian Nowruz (or New Year), and the day that the friendship of H&E would transform into a lifetime partnership.
We couldn’t have had a more perfect day either, as we arrived at Gardener Ranch under a resplendent spring sky. The air was fresh and still and an overall calmness sat over the venue as mom and dad put the finishing touches on the Sofré, friends relaxed under majestic oak trees in hammocks, and excited children ran across the property chasing butterflies. Inside the grooms camp, there was a bit less tranquility, and more of a sense of urgency as the realization set in that nobody knew how to tie the groom’s bowtie…myself included. I swore from that day forward that I would be the go-to-guy you could rely upon to save the day like Adam Sandler diffusing Steve Buscemi’s off-color speech in The Wedding Singer, with a flash of the hands, setting up any groom for certain success. I’m almost there…but not quite.
Our slight haberdashery-hang-up led us to a perfect example of how an unexpected hiccup can turn serendipitous – and often does – so NEVER panic on your wedding day, just go with the flow.
As E pulled his bowtie tight and finished his preparations, we walked outside to a secluded spot under the trees where H would meet him for their first look. Many deep breaths later, she walked up and emotions peaked. The bowtie delay caused the timing of this moment to coincide with H’s sister practicing singing their wedding song – La Vie en Rose – off in the background. The moment was subime and proved to be one of H’s most vivid and emotional memories from the day.
Despite nerves all morning from both H and E, when the two saw each other, exhaled deeply, and looked into each others’ eyes, everything felt just right.
The day was very personal and many people contributed their talents to tie it all together. As mentioned earlier, H’s parents (with some help from her sister), assembled the Sofré, the favors were hand-calliagraphed buy E’s mom, table names and escort cards were made by the bride and groom with help from one of her bridesmaids, they wrote the ceremony script themselves, her brother officiated, her sister gave several incredible vocal (and piano) performances, a silly poem was read by a friend, the guest book was a gift from their close friends, and an old caricature painting of the two was used as the base for the book, designed by E. There was also a tea ceremony to honor E’s family and their traditions.
As the evening went on, dinner ended and guests moved onto the dance floor where the there was a traditional Persian knife dance and cake cutting. We had a bit too much fun with guests painting with light and taking photos under the stars and Gardener Ranch’s giant trees…if only every wedding could end with a sparkler-fest!
Like us, Anna and Danny are lovers of the outdoors and nature, so Jack London State Historic Park was a clear winner as our location choice for their engagement session. The 48-acre property, author Jack London called home is a very special place – beautiful and wild – situated on the eastern downslope of Sonoma mountain in the quaint town of Glen Ellen. Up until about 12 million years ago, the area was part of the Pacific sea floor, but a few massive tectonic events, some erosion, and 12 million years later…the park is now home to beautiful groves of Oak and Madrone trees and an expansive vineyard. It was the perfect spot for us to meet this sweet couple – who’s wedding we’ll be photographing later this summer in the Sierra’s – and have some fun exploring around and taking photographs. Anna is a middle-school teacher, so she’s got patience to spare (and a big heart) which made our pedestiran-tiki-tour around the park’s trails a piece of cake. Danny doesn’t love having his photo taken, but he does love Anna, so that fact (and the awesome lunch he was promised), were good sources of motivation. We walked the trail to the ruins of the Wolf House, an enormous stone structure where London and his second wife Charmian had planned to move into before tragically, it burned down in 1913. We ended our shoot on the western flanks of the park at the winery cottage, where London lived out his final days and, looking south across the vineyard, it’s easy to see why he called this property The Beauty Ranch. Great day with great people in beautiful Sonoma!
Photographing weddings for us is deeply personal. We get to know our clients with such intimacy, we get to see all the family dynamics, all the little looks, we get to experience everything these people go through one of the most important days of their lives. We feel pretty lucky about that. What we feel even luckier for, however, is when we get to see these clients every year to photograph their growing families. To be able to watch our couples love for each other grow deeper and extend that love to their children, it is truly something special.
Lisa and her family are one of those clients, they have become like family. To see Cole grow into a cheeky active young boy, to see Lisa pregnant with ? – then to experience Cole as an older brother to watch the relationship now between these two boys grow. It really pulls at my heart strings.
We met Lisa at the Old Northern Bridge in Boston and planned to shoot and walk around, ending at the Greenway and the awesome carousel. In Jason’s place (he had a valid excuse and was away for work), was Lisa’s amazing nanny. The kids had a blast and by the time they left we were all best friends.
Spring is a magic time for photography, and for life in general. There’s such a feeling of new life in the air and it was especially so this afternoon! Sana and Brent live in the hills east of Malibu and it’s there that we met for their engagement session. Just a few days earlier, the impossibly dry winter let its guard down for some brief, showery weather and on this day, the hills breathed a momentary sigh of relief; sprouting up grasses and colorful wildflowers under newly budding oak trees.
Sana and Brent suggested some locations for our afternoon shoot and despite an ambitious schedule, we loved every spot! It didn’t hurt that we were spoiled with incredible light and color, and that they’re both very much into each other, so nerves were never a worry. We had a classic Viera-tiki-tour, starting near their home in a beautiful oak-fringed hillside park, braving shoppers at Malibu Country Mart and making great use of so many incredible colors and textures, and finishing further west at El Matador beach where we watched the sun fade into the Pacific.