Why it’s important to have an engagement shoot

Over the past few years, we have had a lot of couples ask us wether or not an engagement session is really important. Our short answer is YES! VERY! Now let me go into a detailed explanation... Here are 4 major reasons you must consider having engagement photos taken prior to the wedding day.

City view wedding on Treasure Island

If you are getting married in San Francisco then you are sure to want an epic view of the city skyline. Parmeet and Lee knew that the best seats in the house would be on Treasure Island overlooking San Francisco and the bay.
The couple exchanged their vows under a floral arch with the iconic Bay Bridge in the background. The wedding was a blend of the old and new with traditional Indian garments as well as a modern twist on the ceremony and table settings. Black, gold, red, and white created a perfect blend of trendy and traditional.

San Francisco city scape view

The Lyford House Love Story

The story of how the Lyford House came to rest on the cliffs of Richardson Bay entails a romantic unrequited love story.  The Victorian mansion was built in 1876  by Benjamin Lyford. Lyford’s son, John Paul Reed, fell in love with Rose Rodrigues da Fonta, the daughter of a man in his employ. They were never able to marry due to their class difference, but on his death bed, as a token of his love for her, John Paul gifted the Lyford House to his beloved Rose. Later in 1957, to save the house from destruction, a volunteer brigade was raised to move the house across the Bay on a barge to where it now rests proudly on 10.5 acres overlooking Richardson Bay and the stunning views of San Francisco.

Blue Note Weddings Lyford House

A Christmas Elopement at the City Hall

It was such a romantic and festive day witnessing Kerry and Robert elope under a gold trim Christmas tree at the San Francisco City Hall.  The break in the rain allowed beautiful light to enter the iconic building as the two danced their way up to the 4th floor for their couples portraits.

Welcome, Baby Theo

It's a special thing to be invited to document a newborn. I am always honored to be trusted with these special images because this time is so fleeting. From day to day the changes are tremendous. Little baby Theo had one of the most gorgeous nurseries I have ever seen. The little details and the restoration hardware crib made the small space feel luxurious. The colors of his room were calming and perfect for a baby boy.

Restoration Hardware nursery

Film Vs Digital Photography

I am a lover of all things old and new. I appreciate art and music of all genres. When it comes to my own style of photography, I have always seen myself as a fine art photographer. That can mean a wide variety of things to different photographers and I feel the term “fine art” is used very loosely used these days. In the dictionary “fine art” is defined as “creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.”

So what exactly does this mean? I love the words imaginative and esthetic. My style has been developed over time and inspires a visual esthetic that is soft, timeless , painterly and graceful while invoking a creative response in the viewers of my images. These qualities name how I love to produce my imagery and all those things encompass my film works.....So why film?

Claremont Hotel & Berkeley Botanical Gardens Wedding

What is better than getting married in the trees? This adorable couple, Sheila and Ian made all the right moves in having the most epic wedding ceremony at the Redwood Amphitheater in Berkley. The two were witnessed by friends and family in a magical forest setting whilst the majestic redwoods surrounded them as they said their I do's.

She Said “YES”!

When Wade Poezyn asked Haley Scott to marry him, it was as if we stepped into a fairytale movie.  He had planned to propose to his long time girlfriend at sunset, by the cliffside gazebo, at the Heritage House Resort in Mendocino, CA. The view alone was breathtaking. The luxurious and rugged coastline stretched far up northern California's Highway 1 for miles, with redwood trees that towered close by and into the mountains. 

A Punjabi Wedding

From the rituals to the celebratory excitement of the guests, nothing falls short of excitement at a Punjabi Indian wedding. Karun and Pallavi's wedding at the San Ramon Marriot was filled with family and friends that showed up to support the couple on their new endeavor into marriage. Indian weddings often times feel like being in a Bollywood film!

Wente Vineyards Private Estate Wedding

Out in the country, with a quiet energy surrounding this property, we had the perfect setting for a first look in  “Olive Lane”, two stately rows of olive trees stretching for two city blocks. The light painted captivating golden hues filtering through the green of the olive leaves wrapping Nick and Niki in a warm summer day.

Paris, With Love

Paris. Need we say more? With its stunning views from the Seine river to the iconic Eiffel tower, its a must for any wedding photographer to travel to this incredibly gorgeous city. Even though I have travelled to Paris many times before, I was captivated and fell in love with Paris all over again. For this trip I decided to leave my digital camera at home and travel with only my film cameras. With my Contax 645 and the Contax 35mm as my cameras of choice I remained engaged and inspired the entire time. 

Flat Lays and Details

I believe that in order to always be perfecting your craft you must constantly be learning and growing as a photographer. Workshops are a great way to change up my focus and inherit new perspectives in my art. They encourage me to practice slowing down and give me the chance to roam in my creative space while refreshing my mind with the technical side of photography. I chose to take Rebecca Yale's workshop because in my opinion she is the queen of flat lays and details. Her understanding of leading lines and color theory is impeccable. She has an attention to detail that drives all her imagery. 

A Fairytale Wedding at the Ritz Carlton

The Ritz in Half Moon Bay is one of the most lavishly glam hotels perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The castle by the sea is nothing short of inspiring and elegant. Combined with its breath taking views and the salty ocean, being there almost feels like you are in a Monet painting. It’s no wonder why this will always be our favorite Bay Area venue to shoot at.

Southern California Elopement | San Juan Capistrano & San Clemente

The Old Mission in San Juan Capistrano is said to be a sacred sanctuary for swallows to return to every year. With its gorgeous ruins, Spanish architecture and over 240 years of love stories that have passed through this quiet sanctuary, it is no wonder why so many couples want to be photographed here.

The Palace Hotel Wedding In San Francisco

I arrived at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, CA in November to shoot the wedding of Eri Tagaya and Jason Riback. If you’ve never been, the Palace Hotel is a video or photo shooters dream! The place absolutely shines with style. From the chandeliers to the sconces and the classical molding, the Palace is designed like a something out of a fairytale.

5 Reasons Why You NEED A Wedding Video!

So you’re engaged. Congratulations! Like many couples, the first steps you start taking when planning your wedding is find your photographer. At some point during the planning process you may ask yourselves, “Do we want a wedding video?” Of course, a lot of couples already know they want a video, but I’ve met with and talked…

A Beautiful Engagement

I am always amazed at how gorgeous Indian wedding traditions are.  Karun and Pallavi came face to face in a traditional reenactment of their engagement betrothed to each other by their friends and families. The engagement ceremony was beautifully performed under a mesh tent where the bride sat on a plush vintage chaise lounge whilst showered with gifts of gold bangals, dried fruits and other lavish accessories. Guests enjoyed a delicious Indian lunch coupled by a mimosa bar and tons of sweets to choose from. The bride-to-be wore an ear to ear smile and both her and her groom were an absolute delight to photograph. I can't wait till there wedding next June!

Kings of Love

Corey and Haley were clearly meant to be in each others lives'. They were such a joy to photograph on such a heartfelt occasion witnessed by family and friends. As a hybrid film and digital shooter, I was over the moon with how my film scans turned out and paired so nicely with the digital images. The two joined in marriage at the Lake Merritt Untied Methodist Church in Oakland, CA, where guests filled almost every seat in the church.

A Coming of Age Debut

To celebrate Marielle's 18th birthday, her family and friends gathered to celebrate the debutante at the exquisite Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. There is no better place to celebrate an event with such class and style than at the Ritz.  Perched on jutting cliffs that overlook the water, it was such a gorgeous day and we had so much fun being carted around the property taking photos in almost perfect conditions.

Lake Bride Magazine Publication

We are super excited to announce that we got published in the spring issue of Lake Bride Magazine!
My husband and business partner Laif Gilbertson was born in Minnesota and we frequently go back to visit his family there. On our last visit we had so much fun to connecting with Photographer and friend Trisha Spencer out in Two Harbors Minnesota at the Larsmont Cottages

Sandra & Mathew’s San Francisco City Hall Wedding

Sandra and Michael were a match made in heaven. The two were such a pleasure to work with and complimented each other beautifully. They had a quiet ceremony at the San Francisco City Hall's 4th floor North Gallery witnessed by their closest family and friends.

Obsessed: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Last year, I created a styled boudoir shoot for my friend Lena Hall. I styled Lena's hair and makeup then photographed some in studio portraits of her using both 35mm film and Digital.  My intention with the over all styling as well as with the photography, was to showcase her sensual femininity whilst complimenting a quiet strength that she demonstrates both in her body as well as in her stare. 

Brian and Virginia’s Muir Woods Wedding

Brian and Virginia's intimate wedding took place in the magical forest of Muir Woods.  We were delighted by the enchanted energy of the redwoods and incredible light that surrounded them throughout the day.  The couple exchanged their vows under the infamous Pinchot tree, a special place for the two reminding them of their first date.

Tim & Michelle | Brazilian Room | Tilden Park Wedding

Tim and Michelle were a darling couple that pulled all our heart strings during their beautiful ceremony. The two were so comfortable in front of the camera and were lost in each other and in the moment of the day. The groomsmen wore Navy blue suits with very sophisticated accents of blush and magenta tones amidst a neutral palette.  The two had their first look in Tilden Park surrounded by majestic redwoods and the Bride presented her perfect silhouette in a gorgeous mermaid style gown.

A Romantic Sailboat Elopement

A few years back, before I was married, I had a dream that I was on a boat sipping a glass of champagne, looking into this man's eyes, and feeling so swept away. The summer breeze blew through my hair, the warm light reflected in his eyes, the sounds of the waves, and just us, on this amazing boat.  I remember in my dream I felt like I was so in love and so in trust with this man...it was one of those dreams that you wake up from feeling like you so desperately want to go back to sleep. 

Michele & Jeremy City Hall

Michele and Jeremy's City Hall Elopement was such a sweet union of two families coming together to celebrate union.  I was so excited that Michele wanted to do getting ready photos followed by a first look in Burlingame on the waterfront walkway just outside of their hotel.  I wanted the portraits following the first look to be memorable, so I asked the couple if they would want to pose over the wall on some big rocks on the water.

Brian and Virginia’s Engagement

I feel like I won the lottery with these two. As playful and excited as Brian and Virginia are to get married we slowed things down with a beautiful walk through Lovers Lane in San Francisco's Presidio. Later we drove down to the Sutro Baths by Ocean Beach for some amazing sunset photos on the ruins! I can't wait to photograph these two for their special day!

Anticipating the arrival!

I had the pleasure and honor to photograph a beautiful friend of mine that is expecting a baby soon! What an incredible woman Jamille is. She truly embodies a nurturing and warm spirit, a beautiful smile and a baby inside of her that has her absolutely glowing! We hung out, drank coffee and casually took pictures of all the cuteness that surrounded her in the house.

Shehla & Damian | Observation Post San Francisco, CA

Arriving to the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco, I entered the hotel suite to a very calm, beautiful bride sitting in a chair getting her makeup and hair done.  Shehla greeted me with a warm smile and soon the room was sparkling with dazzling jewelry, dresses and shoes.

Ojai Valley Engagement | Dave & Cambria

Cambria and Dave decided to have their engagement session in Ojai Valley, the place where Cambria grew up. Ojai is situated in a small east-west eponymous valley, north of Ventura and east of  Santa Barbara. The adorable town is lined with cute shops and restaurants and has a charm that invokes a really happy feeling in me.

Family Portrait Sessions

Now that the holidays are here we are excited to offer our holiday family portrait sessions!  This is loads of fun for both the kids and couples to get dressed up and take some fun photos that can be printed on cards or just to have in a family photo album!  Contact us for special rates and info! 

Radonich Ranch Country Wedding

I had the pleasure of second shooting for long time friend and business associate Sonya Yruel.  We had such a lovely time capturing Marci and Kyle out on Radonich Ranch in Los Gatos. The country style wedding was surrounded by rolling hills, amazing sculptural tree, and a calming river that ran beside the property.

Eve & Corey

The story of Eve and Corey is an amazing tale that started as a young love in high school. I had the pleasure of knowing these two lovebirds at San Francisco School of the Arts High School at the age of 14. I remember the progression of what started out as an innocent love, and, unbeknownst to us all, would turn into an everlasting joining of two souls, Eve and Corey.