Archive for December, 2014

December 31, 2014

So….when you’re in a faraway location, you have no friends or family close by, and you’re about to embark on yet another photo adventure to a place you’ve never seen, sometimes the fastest way to acclimate yourself is with an internet search of the location. In other words, try to blend in with the locals. This session was at Muir Beach, near Mill Valley, CA, and promised to be a dramatically romantic setting.  It also promised to be a little daring, given the ‘Tips’ I found on the website. Just my kind of session!

There I met my couple, Lib and Magnus, who are true Californians in every since of the word — in-love, carefree, adventurous and totally captivating.

Just before our short session, I was staring in wonderment at the scenes before me. They were utterly gorgeous — crashing waves, high cliffs, winds blowing from the coastal waters — it was like a dream world.  I tried to keep in mind the ‘Tips’ I had read on the website:
Tip #1 – “The site is scenic but windy.”
Tip #2 –  “Avoid the Overlook Trail if you’re afraid of heights.”
Tip #3 – “Cliffs along the coast are isolated and very dangerous.”
Tip #4 – “Use caution. There are no lifeguards.”

I gave the ‘Tips’ no more than a fleeting thought as we headed to the water, then scaled the cliffs for the perfect picture.  More than ever, I could feel my surroundings as the beauty captivated my soul.  I was in my element — a destination shoot, a trip into the unknown, and an adventure that keeps me yearning for more.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~ Susan Sontag


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December 11, 2014

Wedding Photography can have so many facets. From the Engagement through the Wedding itself, it’s a whirlwind of sessions, and many times the stress involved for a couple can be nearly overwhelming.
Typically, many couples are forced to choose a wedding venue based on the size of their guest list and the many accommodations needed for a large wedding party, thus their dreamy idea of an isolated mountaintop are cast aside for the more practical locations.

For Jennifer and Neil , they opted to fulfill their dream with a Day After Session in the wilds of Boone, North Carolina.
We had actually attempted scheduling the shoot several times, but had to delay each time because of snow in the mountains.  Finally, with the temperatures barely reaching 50 degrees, we traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of a ridge we had only ever read about.

We were dressed for hiking, and in addition to all the camera gear, we were also carrying all the required wedding attire. You can only imagine the looks we received along the trail that day. After a lengthy hike, which included crossing over downed trees, we reached a spot that could double as a dressing room of sorts. Walking several yards off the trail, Neil and I held a sheet behind which Jennifer changed into her wedding gown. The process was repeated as Neil donned his tux.

We continued with our hike, albeit much slower.  If we thought people were staring before, it was nothing like the looks this couple were now receiving from the other hikers along trail. They were sudden celebrities and hikers stopped to talk, and wish them congratulations on their wedding.  Here we were, miles from civilization on a windy mountaintop. It was just surreal.  Both the couple and myself felt the amazing peacefulness of our surroundings envelope us.  It was honestly one of the most amazing moments I’ve had as a photographer.  I could easily picture shooting an elopement from this scenic spot — it was inspiring and captivating to say the least.

Once the sun began to ebb, the shadows suddenly fell over the mountains, leaving us chilled and ready for the trek back down the trail. Using our flashlight apps, we navigated our way down the mountain and back into civilization.  But for a short while, we were at the top of creation in our own world. A world filled with dreams and inspiration. A world in which Jennifer and Neil will now travel together as husband and wife.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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Hair and Makeup by the amazing Lindsey Regan Thorne of Be Pretty.

Bouquet by Toni Brown Designs.