On arriving at Cindy’s hotel room last Saturday morning, I knew two things very quickly. The first being that Cindy was one of the happiest brides I’ve photographed all year, and the second being that there would be no lack of food and fun throughout the day (but with multiple popcorn flavors and a table full of exotic candy at the reception, the kid inside me immediately wanted to skip dinner). Over the course of my time getting to know George and Cindy I’ve found them to be some of the warmest and generous people I’ve had the pleasure to interact with. Their joyful spirits made this wedding day a gift to to everyone who attended and a reflection of what will be a beautiful marriage for years to come.
Its not every day my clients fly across the Pacific to come hang out with me and my cameras. But Karen’s trek from Hong Kong was a little more than that. She was really here to spend Leland’s Thanksgiving break with him, and visit some of the significant places that have been a part of their relationship since they met while she was a summer student at UC Berkeley with him. We had a great afternoon traipsing through San Francisco’s gorgeous City Hall and then head up to one of my favorite little towns, Mill Valley. Here’s a taste of the afternoon.
As I was preparing this blog post going through Josh and Alexis’s images from Santa Barbara I found myself getting pretty emotional. The reality is that being a part of their wedding was a huge gift for me and I was struck again by the sheer magnitude of what “getting married” really means. On the one side, Josh has been one of the greatest encouragements and advocates of my photography. When I was first considering jumping into the wedding photography world full time, he was extremely generous with his time, talent and wisdom. He allowed me to tag along on his shoots, ask him questions, and critique my images. He offered to let me borrow his (expensive!) lenses and came along to second shoot for me for virtually nothing. He continues to inspire me with the way he sees light and composition, models artistic excellence, and displays business acumen and willingness to learn from others even after he has been in the business for much longer than most photographers I know.
On the other side of my emotional coin, this day wasn’t about photography. This day was about a guy who madly fallen in love with a girl, and together decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. About friends, family, community, and maybe more than anything else, about commitment. Laughter, and lots of it, filled the day. As I observed Josh, I was reminded of what it was like for me to get married. I remembered the jitters, the wide-eyed emotion of seeing my bride for the first time, and the thrill of realizing that everyone around me was celebrating the fact that I had just made the biggest decision of my life. Josh and Alexis will spend the rest of their lives together. I can’t think of a better “first day of the rest of your life” than this one. Congrats, and love to you both.
Last weekend I was given the pleasure of shooting Rachel and Lee’s wedding at the Claremont Hotel and Berkeley. And this is what I saw…