Stylish Story Telling with Raw Emotion
In some cultures, rain is a sign of good luck on your wedding day. It symbolizes cleansing and fertility. But it can be tough to view it as a good thing when you’ve planned an entirely outdoor, non-covered wedding with no real backup plan.
After what had seemed like an eternity since the last rainfall, on a day not typical of rain, it finally rained. As I drove down toward the coast, the clouds mocked me as if they were following me to wherever I was headed. When I arrived at Linsey’s childhood home, in the distance, I heard the sounds of maracas, tambourines and chanting. Linsey and some other family members were on the balcony doing a rain dance. The photojournalist in me was disappointed to have missed such a moment. The artist in me was still thrilled because I knew the light was going to be beautiful.
Even though the rain didn’t really stop until the reception festivities began, there was a beautiful sunset that night and Linsey, Roy and nearly every single guest were nothing but smiles the entire day. I’ve always been a go-with-the-flow kind of gal. It doesn’t make much sense to fight things that can’t be changed (like rain) But I learned a lot from this couple and their families that day besides embracing the unchangeable. The rain didn’t effect anyone’s spirits that day, they embraced it (despite trying to make it go away with a lighthearted rain dance!) and one another. The warm, loving families with kind souls and cheerful dispositions filled my heart and showed me that the capacity we have to love one another is truly endless so long as you accept it completely without prejudice.
Cheers to you both Linsey and Roy and I hope the wedding day rain brings you lots of babies in return!
A special thanks to Sarah Dupree for shooting alongside me for the rainy day celebration.
Grapevines are laden with the season’s harvest and the smell of freshly crushed fruit fills the air as the warmth of the afternoons give way to the chill of the evening…it’s a great time to be in wine country! We arrived at Jacuzzi with smiles on our faces, and just as all the other times we’ve shot there, the light was magical. Christine was putting on her finishing touches in the Bridal Suite and the nerves were just starting to set in while Doug greeted his family with quiet confidence and an infectious smile. With support from her best friend, Christine was just able to hold back the tears…and then she approached the aisle and saw Doug for the first time. At that point, everyone shared tears of joy. Although we only had limited conversations with Doug and Christine leading up to their wedding day, we are both perceptive and empathetic people, so we can figure a lot of things out very quickly. It was quite clear to us as Doug and Christine – holding each other’s hands tightly – and looking deeply and into each other’s eyes, have the kind of relationship that will stand the test of time.
As the sunlight faded and the sky turned a rosy amber, guests were passed wine and hors d’oeuvres as the couple went for walk amongst the vines. The dinner was served in Jacuzzi’s open air courtyard and guests laughed and made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and enjoyed dinner served with a great selection of wines from the family estate. The evening finished off in the barrel room with an incredibly high participation dance party, as the two families cemented their union with some solid rump-shakin’. A perfect day.
As a photographer, you have to take advantage whenever you can of great light opportunities. The other morning, as summer continued its fruitless campaign at asserting itself as a season, clouds hung low over the valley to the east. I headed back out to a place I remembered on one of our house-hunting expeditions from the same time last year. Although we only increased our latitude 6º north in moving to Cotati, there’s a much more pronounced shift in the seasons up here and I always feel the transition from summer into fall is the most dramatic and my favorite.
Shot with the Pentax 6×7 – Tri-X Film
As summer winds down and the we count the days before Alex returns to school as a third-grader on two hands, we jumped at the opportunity to hit the road. This time, we were off to Washington and the town of Sequim on the Olympic peninsula. Along the way, we visited two national parks and drove straight through some of the smokiest valleys we’d ever seen as the wildfires continued to build in the mountain valleys of Mendocino. I had a few cameras with me but here’s all the frames I shot on my Pentax 67. I don’t know why I shoot film – it’s not convenient, I know I may never get into the darkroom to print the negatives, it’s expensive, I know I’d have more control with my digital options…but I do anyways. Maybe it’s because if forces you to take your time (while being eaten by mosquitoes), who knows, I just know I’ll always travel with my film cameras. Here are some photos starting at Jedediah Smith Redwoods then off to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, and back through the smoky valleys of Humboldt county near Happy Camp.
One sunny afternoon recently, Jaime and I were in the yard when we heard the most beautiful sound. Just across the road, outside the Prairie Sun recording studios and through the oak trees, there was a woman playing her guitar and singing, her voice echoing through our little valley. I couldn’t have been dirtier – covered in sweat, dirt, and grassy bits of all variety – yet Jaime ordered me to grab a camera and go over before the moment was lost. So reluctantly, I grabbed a few cameras and headed over where I met Lauren Murphy and her daughter. She was just putting in the last hours recording her new album. Typically you hear an artist, like what you hear, buy the album, go to a show, etc…but it was a privilege to flip that sequence around and meet someone so talented in person as they’re hard at work on their new baby.
Lauren, you’ve got an incredible voice and we can’t wait to hear your full album when it’s released this fall!