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

Nichole and Brett’s Wedding, Rios-Lovell Estate, Livermore CA

When I arrived at the Rios-Lovell Estate on the morning of Nichole and Brett’s Wedding I kept finding little nooks, crannies, and walls that reminded me of my time traveling in Italy. Everywhere there was vibrant color, beautiful plants, and the light and expansive openness that comes with having an outside ceremony. Shooting at wineries is a thrill for me, and it was a joy to get to spend the day celebrating Brett and Nichole’s wedding in such a beautiful place. Not only was the scenery gorgeous, but the sheer amount of love and joy expressed between Brett and Nichole, their family, and friends all was really emotional for me. Laughter, tears, and a spirit of celebration made this a truly unforgetable day. I love pretty pictures, and Rios-Lovell gave me the opportunity to shoot some favorites, but more than that I love being a part of a wedding where the bride and groom are madly in love. That made this day special for me. I was able to get to know Brett and Nichole a year ago when I shot their engagement session, and I think their love for each other has just continued to grow. They are going to have a beautiful life together surrounded by the love of others and full of continued love for each other. Now on to some pictures…

Let’s make one thing clear from the get-go, Nichole is a stunning bride and looked so beautiful!

One of the things I love is capturing dramatic portraits while the bride is getting ready, here, on the left you can see she’s getting help putting on her necklace, on the right you can see how the way she was holding her arms made a perfect frame for beautiful face and eyes on the left.
Meanwhile, the guys are having their own good time. My friend Chris Shum, who is an amazing award winning photojournalist in his own right was working his own magic with the guys. The two below are his. 
The flower girl was totally cute and stopped running around for one minute to let me get this shot.
The ring-bearer on the other hand looks like he’s still getting used to the idea of wearing a bow-tie…
I really enjoy the anticipation in this next shot by Chris.
Lots of crying and laughing….
Ok, here’s my favorite part of the day… I like a capturing fleeting moments, but there is something about a beautiful portrait that just get’s me so excited… Here’s a few:
I’m totally digging her blue shoes and his converse.
And a few more…. This wall really took my right back to Tuscany.
So many fun wedding details. Candy is always a winner!
As big San Francisco Giants fans (maybe that’s why we’re friends), Brett and Nichole ordered tables according present and former Giants players. 
Chris nailed this shot as Nichole and Brett made their entrance,
And once the toasts began the laughter and tears really kicked into high gear…

And the joyful tears just didn’t stop..
And then the dancing started in earnest. These people can get down!
When I saw this staircase and the wall’s colors and designs earlier in the day I knew I wanted to use it for an image… happily Nichole and Brett didn’t mind taking a minute out of their dancing to give it a shot. I think it was worth it 🙂
Finally they moved outside for some final dancing, and I love what this allowed me to do with the lighting as they danced unaware of everything around them. I got to frame this shot and wait for their kiss… Here it is:
Kris Ramirez Brides Mom)

The pictures are breathtaking!

Just beautiful, you really captured the moments and emotions going on.

Thanks everyone, it was fun to work with you Chris.

Lots of good catch! Love your staircase shot, well done Matthias!

love the couple shots and dancing shots. really skillful play of light and shadows.

Great job! Love how you captured the feel and emotion and romance and fun of the day! Yes! Reminded me of Italy for sure! 🙂

Tracy & Charles’ Engagement: San Francisco Botanical Gardens

Tracy and Charles have been good friends of my wife and I for over a year, which made this engagement session a blast for me. Watching their relationship develop has been really exciting for us and we’ve hoped they would get engaged long before they were ready to take the leap themselves.  There’s something about taking pictures for people I know well that both completely freaks me out and causes me to produce some of my best work. I have really high expectations of myself every time I shoot, but this only gets doubly augmented when I know the couple. Charles had the fantastic idea of going to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens which turned out to be an amazing location for an engagement shoot. We had one of San Francisco’s best days of the year, where the fog didn’t role in and we had beautiful light for over 2 hours of shooting.  I can’t wait for their wedding in Saratoga in September!

I love the way the way they relax with each other, and are just so comfortable being close to each other. I think closeness is beautiful.

At the Botanical Gardens we wondered through the trees looking for patches of light. Once we found one, I just couldn’t stop shooting.
And not only did we find cool light, but we also found mist… thanks to the afternoon sprinklers at the Botanical Gardens. I’m all for that grass getting watered!
Everything is just so green, and the colors in the afternoon shade explode vibrancy.

We found this funky structure, maybe something out of Jurassic Park?

Tracy is going to be an absolutely stunning bride!
So by now you may have realized that Tracy and Charles have everything that inspires me to shoot weddings.

Their delight in each other, their playfulness, and the tenderness they care for each other with is all just magnificent.

I could not decide between these last two shots. I love them both for different reasons. The black and white silhouette is just such a bold image, but the color of the evening sky and the tenderness of their touch really stands out in the second. Which do you like more?
You guys inspire me, can’t wait for September!

What a stunning job you do as a photographer….bravo!! Your work stands out amongst the best, and I’ve worked with a lot of photographers in my flower business…..a wedding couple is lucky to have you.

[…] friend Josh Gruetzmacher along to shoot with me. A few months ago I shot Tracy and Charles’ engagement pictures, and which just confirmed to me what I already knew, that their wedding was going to be a special […]

Just love the image with those beams of sunlight filtering through the leaves. Takes a very skilled photographer to balance that kind of exposure.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Tracy, I’m loving all the comments I’m hearing from our friends. Charlotte, I believe you are my farthest fan. Yay for shoutouts from England. Any time you and Shane are back in San Francisco just give me a call.

Charlotte Tomlinson

I love these photos Matthias. The light is beautiful. It makes me want to come back and do it all over again ourselves!


You’re awesome, Matthias! We’ve been so blessed by your friendship over the past year. Thanks again for a wonderful shoot…can’t wait til September!


Really nice pictures Matthias, I think some of the nicest engagement pictures I have seen!

Beautiful photos Matthias!

John & Aileen’s Wedding, San Francisco CA

Sometimes I have so many images to share that I have a really hard time blogging a wedding. John and Aileen’s wedding just had so much going on, and around every corner there seemed to be another chance for a beautiful shot. Rather than wax eloquent here at the start, I’d like to share the images and offer a few comments along the way.

My friend Rosaura Sandoval came along with me to shoot for the day, and I love this shot she took… What’s the story on this one? Wait isn’t that guy on the right getting married today?

While the guys were “getting ready”….. the girls were actually getting beautiful.

I love mirrors, negative space and the possibility of capturing the drama of the moment by utilizing them creatively. This next shot was untouched in photoshop… just a clean white wall.
Once at the Church I saw the officiant walking around with the wedding program and was caught by the fact that the colors of his robe matched it perfectly.
So many emotions run through a wedding day, but I love this image of anticipation as Aileen waits for people to be seated just before she walks down the aisle.
And here comes the bride…
Its always a little risky to leave the hall when the ceremony is going on, but I pre-visualized this image and was able to catch it quickly.
Below is one of my favorites of the day, there is something timeless and firm in the marble cross, with the soft juxtaposition of John and Aileen in the background on their knees.
Below, this little guy’s just chillin’, wondering why the guy with the camera keeps lying down in the aisle… (see above)
Another one of my favorites is here below. While I love the framing and the reflections of light off the stone, what makes this shot for me is the man’s reflection in the top right corner watching Aileen.
Now for a few of the couple at Sutros Park after the ceremony… Can you say, IN LOVE?
Once at the reception we were in for a serious spread! Mounds of fruit, lamb, salads and so much more.
And of course cake!
One of the other things that John and Aileen did a fantastic job of was making sure everyone at the reception had a great time. This included having a special entertainment room for the kids where they could color, play and entertain themselves with kid-fun.
And of course, they were appropriately greeted by the bride and (evidently very funny) groom.
And we did slip out for a couple more shots right before the sun went down…
How about some dancing?
As the sun fully set the beauty of the candlelit centerpieces really shown.
Unbeknownst to me, Rosaura has a special skill at being the human “kiss-cam”. Below are her shots.
Sometimes I’ll walk into a location and see a shot that I know will make it on my website. The minute I saw this orange wall light in the reception hall I planned this first dance shot. My absolute favorite of the day.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank Jessica Goldblatt of Dreams on Dime, who did an amazing job coordinating this event, and James Burkart whose videography talent made working as a photographer/videographer tandem easy as pie.

Love the portraits of the couple. Good use of light and beautiful composition.

What a fantastic wedding! You did a great job capturing the spirit of the wedding and the love between Aileen & John. Love all your creative angles! Oh, and I too love love the shot shot of the Aileen coming into the church! It was super great to work with you, you rock!

Matthias –
I’ve been going through your blog and have really enjoyed looking at this last entry – I love the creative perspectives, the un-posed, un-scripted feeling of it all. Sometimes I even get a little choked up – but that might be because I’m a bride-to-be myself :0) Looking forward to working with you tomorrow!


Hey Matthias, great photos. Looks like this was an awesome wedding! That’s really fun that Rosuara came with you; her photo at the top is killer. I love the bride entering the church shot. The centerpieces look really cool how they are all lit up too. Well done!

Leslie & Brad’s Wine Country Wedding

I really can’t get enough of the fact that my wife and I live smack-dab in the middle of wine country. With Santa Cruz & Monterey to the South, and Napa, Sonoma, and the Russian River to the North, their is an endless supply of fantastic wine. Very rarely do I find myself drinking wine from anywhere other than 100 miles from my house… and I love that. I also love that beautiful people come from around the world to celebrate their wedding in my backyard. Its like the locals get to share this lovely secret that is Northern California with everyone else that comes by. Leslie and Brad may not have come from around the world, but they came from Texas. They knew they wanted a simple unpretentious wedding that celebrated their relationship, and that is exactly what they designed (with the help of the wonderful staff at the Farmhouse Inn and Russian Hill Estate). After their intimate ceremony we spent a couple hours shooting before they cut their cake.

Leslie told me that they love black and white… me too! Especially when there is a gorgeous bride like her to photograph!