San Francisco Photography Weddings » San Francisco Wedding Photography, Where Fine Art & Photojournalism Collide

Barbara & Don’s Wedding, The Purple Orchid Inn, Livermore CA

Their wedding was epic. All the regular adjectives (beautiful, gorgeous, emotional, exciting… etc.) apply with fervor. But here they apply in a different sort of way. Barb and Don have been through the ups and downs of life in a way few couples who are just getting married have. And on their wedding day, as I woke up and drove out to Livermore I felt like everything about the day had been created for them. The deep blue sky, the rich olive trees, and the roses growing through the grounds of the immaculate Purple Orchid Inn were all were saying in unison… “we are alive to celebrate this couple, join us!” And the people did! For me this was one of the most emotional weddings I’ve ever shot. Don and Barbara have, over the course of the last 6-8 months after I met them become my friends, and I was moved by their wedding and the tenderness with which they obviously love each other. Rarely, if ever do I cry at a wedding, since I’m so intent on shooting and my mind is running a mile a minute. But I think I cried twice on this day, once during the ceremony, and then again during the best man’s toast. And I wasn’t the only one.

While they could have been married anywhere in the Bay Area, and many of their friends drove in from San Francisco, they chose to get married ten minutes from their house. Livermore is a rich wine country, but it also has some beautiful orchards, and the Purple Orchid Inn is nestled at the foothills of some olive trees which were dripping with ripe olives. I love the burnt summer grass and juxtaposed with the flower gardens. Personally every six months or so I feel like I take my photography to the next level. I’m not sure what exactly happens, but all of a sudden things I’ve been working on fall into place, and bam! I’m struck by how excited I am about the images I just captured. I feel this wedding, along with the one I shot a couple days ago (which is soon to come) was one of those turning point weddings, and I’m thrilled to share it with you today. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Along for the day, I had the talented Chris Shum, who caught this shot below, and some of the details you’ll see later in this post.
Chris’ shot below.
Don had pocket watches made for all his groomsmen, and I wanted to catch his reflection in the shine of the watch (above). I also thoroughly enjoyed photographing his groomsmen, who were some of the easiest guys to work with. I could almost palpably feel how much they cared for and respected Don. I think the image below embodies that.
I try to always have my second shooter with the bride right before she is about to walk down the aisle, here she’s watching from a room as the ceremony begins. Nice work Chris.
Along with the tears there was quite a bit of laughter during the ceremony.
Just following the ceremony the couple and their best man and matron of honor went upstairs to sign the marriage license. Sometimes the best was to catch an emotional hug is to look for a different angle. I loved what I saw and dig the final result below.
Cork!
Is she stunning or what?
Don and Barbara are also part of a sweet band which did set the crowd rocking later on in the night. Everything looks so classic all set up and ready to go.
The favors were fantastic little cookies that Don’s mother baked from scratch.
Before the band took the stage Barbara surprised Don with a song that put him and pretty much everyone else in tears.

Awesome job! love all the details and your use of shadow 😉

Wow! Love love all these images! Your composition and lighting are fantastic as well as your ability to capture a true moment. I am crazy about your last shots and the silhouette shots too. That shadow of them by the door…. Fantastic! 🙂

love the colors you’re getting. So bright, clean and saturated. Fantastic job on the silhouette shots too.

Cristin & Luke’s Wedding, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Marin

I have been looking forward to Cristin & Luke’s wedding ever since we had a blast hanging out for the afternoon in San Francisco during their engagement session. Marin is full of quaint rustic locations for a wedding, and the San Francisco Theological Seminary was beautiful. The chapel itself looks like something straight out of the 1600s, while the grounds gave us plenty of space to find some beautiful light for portraits in the trees. Cristin is one of the most laid-back brides I’ve ever witnessed, and I feel like every time she looked at Luke for more than a moment a tear started to well up in her eye. Her sweet bridesmaids made sure her every need was attended to and laughter and joy filled the air all day. Now for some pictures…

Cristin’s dog, Murphy, was an integral part of the wedding day. As a member of the wedding party himself, he had quite the floral garland for his collar .

I love the look on Cristin’s face here before she’s about to head downstairs to meet Luke. I think it exemplifies the calm joy she carried throughout the day.

Both the flower arrangements and the chapel itself are intricately stunning.

Cristin changed dresses three times, to honor her Vietnamese and Chinese heritage. The lion dance shook the floor.
One of the things I love most about weddings is the emotion. Whether its dancing, toasting, or congratulating every moment is wondrous.
Cristin & Luke’s first dance was an intricately choreographed Latin spectacular. Afterwards they had Salsa lessons for everyone and burned holes in the floor themselves.
At the end of the night we took a moment to incorporate their centerpiece candle into a moody shot.

Beautiful, colorful and oh, that doggy is just so awesome. Way to capture the love fun and feeling of this wedding! 🙂

San Francisco Brides Magazine Vera Wang Show

Right before I went on vacation a couple weeks ago I was asked by my friends at San Francisco Brides Magazine to photograph their “Afternoon of Bridal Luxury” featuring the dresses of Vera Wang and hosted by the staff of the elegant St. Regis Hotel in downtown San Francisco. I love pretty things, and photographing this event was a blast. The event was truly stunning and the dresses were absolutely gorgeous. If you’re considering a Vera Wang dress may these images bring you one step closer… and go try one on!

Wedding dresses weren’t only thing on show. Among others, I’m loving the St. Regis cakes, hors d’oeuvres, and their wonderful staff, the Champaigne of Nicolas Feuillatte, and the fantastic floral designers from Floramor.
And now for my four favorite dresses of the day…

“Only Count the Sunny Hours”, Cindy & George’s Shakespeare Garden Engagement

Today I feel grateful. I received a fantastic thank-you package from a lovely bride of mine from England, had some street tamales outside Trader Joes after a shopping trip, got to work with San Francisco Brides Magazine on an event they’re planning,  and am going to spend the end of the afternoon with one of my best friends in San Francisco hanging out in Dolores Park with a bottle of something hoppy. Life is good. And to make it better I’d like to share a beautiful little engagement session.

Alright, so I’ve been extremely busy the last couple months and I end up blogging a lot less than I shoot. For me my work is all about taking and editing beautiful joyful images and delivering them to my clients in a timely fashion. What this has meant is that I just don’t get to take the time to blog every engagement session and wedding I shoot. My friend CK is telling me that I need to hire some staff, but I’m not quite ready to do that. So for now, that’s just the way it is.

But this blog isn’t about me its about my new friends Cindy and George. The reality is that I can’t help blogging certain shoots because I get so excited about being a part of a couple’s story. I had a pretty good idea when I met up with Cindy and George on a cold San Francisco day in July (yes, it really is cold here sometimes in July) that this was going to be one of those shoots that I was just going to have to blog.  They like to laugh… a lot! And that makes my job a beautiful thing. We decided to start at the San Francisco Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park. When we got there a wedding was just finishing up, so we hung out a little before we started shooting.  Once we did, the fun didn’t stop.

I love black and white, and I had a tough time not blogging the whole shoot in b/w, but since the colors on this cloudy day were so beautiful I decided to show a mix. I think black and white is a beautiful medium for timeless elegant pictures, I also thing it does a great job of isolating emotion because the viewer can keep from being too distracted by the colors.

If Black and White = Elegance, then Color = Pretty. Now that’s the math I love, and I hope they’re teaching it in schools :).
After the Shakespeare Garden we headed down to the baseball fields across from the Botanical Gardens where the fun continued.
Cindy is going to be a such an elegant bride.
George is pretty much a stud too.
For cuteness…. see below 🙂

Now that you have seen the laughter, the snuggles, and the playfulness of these images, you’ll probably agree with me that George and Cindy have the makings of a both a fun and absolutely beautiful wedding: Genuine sweet love, laughter, and willingness to be a little silly. Did I mention they really like each other?

Cindy H

Thank you Matthias for a wonderful and fun afternoon! The pictures turned out great!

We can’t wait for you to capture our big day! Thank you!