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I’m sure I can guess what you’re all thinking… Didn’t we see a lot from Melissa & Jared’s engagement session already?
Yes, yes you did!  When we went out for their original engagement session in February, time was of the essence.  All the locations were equally fantastic and we could have easily spent SO much time at each one.  Unfortunately when we got to the DeYoung Museum on that day, we walked up in high spirits to find them closing the entrance gate right in front of our eyes.  On the plus side, this ended up meaning another trip to San Francisco where we got to focus specifically on this one location and it was fantastic.  We kicked things off at the DeYoung as planned, making use of the area in the open area right in front of the entrance.  After a quick wardrobe change we crossed over to the science museum and used the lush greenery that was perfect!  I had such a blast spending time with these two lovebirds again and hear more about the adventure of their wedding planning!

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MJengaged-7I’ve come to know Melissa quite well the past few years, more so than I really did when we were in the high school marching band together.  I’ve joined her for many game nights and girls nights, costume parties and college graduations, and even dance and theater performances.  Melissa took the stage in the spring 2014 production of “Cats” and coincidentally, so did Jared.  What started out as a friendship between two musical theater enthusiasts grew to be much more.  By the fall, the two were much closer in their friendship, and on October 1st of that same year Jared and Melissa shared their first official date and the rest quickly became history.  Melissa and Jared have become quite the paring, enjoying everything from science fiction movies and conventions to musical theater shows and Disneyland trips.  Not only acting as performers, but these two have shared their love for theater by teaching multiple mini musicals together for young children within the community.  A perfect balance of arts and science, Melissa and Jared spent the year growing together on their journey.  Jared knew early on that Melissa was the one for him, and a year to the day they began their relationship, Jared went down on one knee in the most magical land and asked Melissa to be his bride.  You guessed it, right in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland.  Literally a dream come true, am I right??  In the midst of it all, Melissa asked me to stand by her side as a bridesmaid and I couldn’t be more honored.  Well, that was until she asked me to spend a day with them in their hometown away from home, San Francisco, for some truly special to them engagement photos!  We spent the day hopping around the city, kicking things off at their favorite Starbucks in Laurel Heights.  From there, we popped over to Potrero Hill for an amazing view of the city from the top of the hill.  A quick stop at the DeYoung Museum was rounded off with the day ending at Baker Beach with a sunset that couldn’t have been any clearer for us.  I am so excited to celebrate with these two this year starting their new adventure together.  Of course, the journey as Mr & Mrs begins on October 1st 🙂

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I absolutely love when long time friends contact me about photographing their wedding and April is no exception to that!  I have known April for at least 10 years since high school, and even photographed her younger sister Robin for senior portraits back in 2012.  I just love the way they met, as it was in a way totally unique to them.  As far back as I can remember, April has been in to geocaching, and from month to month, attended various meet ups within the community.  April and Mike met nearly two years ago at an event being held in Napa.  Their relationship took off in July of that same year, this time out in Yosemite at another Geocache event.  Since then, these two have shared this hobby together, and even take the time to find a cache together every day.  April and Mike were looking for an outdoor location that was woodsy and cozy, and I think we found the perfect place!  A friend of our suggested Scott’s Flat Lake out in Nevada City, so we made the trek up there together at the beginning of December.  As we drove, it rained off and on the entire drive.  As we got to the reservoir, it continued to rain some more.  April and Mike we real troopers the entire time, even crossing through some mud just to get the perfect spot – and kudos to April doing it all in heels!  April even took the time to make some holiday props to make these photos extra special for this time of year.
I am so excited that a fun session with these two rounds out the year for 2015, and I cannot wait for their June wedding next summer!
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aileenbenBLOG-2It is absolutely crazy that I’m writing this particular post.  So please bear with me 🙂
I vaguely remember the day I met Aileen.  It was March 29, 1996, and I still have the “big sister” shirt to prove it.  It’s hard to believe that just about 20 years later, we’re preparing for her to get married.  She’s come quite a long ways over the years, that’s for sure.  I know many of my friends remember her with her pigtails, watching my middle school sports events eating goldfish crackers.  Now, she’s away in Idaho studying physics with an emphasis in math and preparing to head back to the trenches and teach high school one day.  Kudos to her, right?  Now let’s rewind a little ways and talk about Ben.  Yes, I do remember the day I met Ben, and I have to say it’s a very appropriate story as far as Aileen’s introductions go.
I recall Aileen talking to our dad about the movie Maze Runner, and asking if the book was any good.  She mentioned that she was going to see it with a guy, and that was that.  After the movie was over, and Ben brought Aileen home they both came in to my parent’s living room.  Aileen was chatting with him about something, walks in to the room with the rest of us, turns to Ben and says, “and this is my cat, Mushu.” Never mind the rest of us humans in the room as well.  🙂
All teasing aside, it has been quite a journey for Aileen & Ben thus far and the adventure is only beginning.  I’ve watched my sister grow in to quite a strong young woman, and I am certain that Ben will do wonders in caring for her.  They both share a love of nerdy things – Aileen is a science major while Ben is planning to be an accountant.  Oh, and their wedding theme?  It has a very strong Lord of the Rings/Lothlorien Forest vibe.  Clearly they are meant to be, as she had no intentions of ever going anywhere terribly cold for college, and where did she end up in the end?  Idaho with Ben.  My mom and I journeyed out over the week of Thanksgiving for wedding planning extravaganza.  We got extremely lucky with freshly fallen snow on Thanksgiving morning for their engagement session photos.  I don’t know if I have personally ever been this cold in a long time, if ever, but I think it is safe to say it was worth it!  It is always hard to narrow things down to a few favorites, so I suppose my “baby” sister’s engagement photos are even harder!  Enjoy!
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bartlettweddingBLOG-1The night before Carley & David’s wedding it rained.  Well actually, it POURED.  As I drove to the little town of Volcano, I prepared for everything.  Buckets of rain, thunder and lightning, the reception venue picking up and landing in Oz.  You name it, I was afraid it would happen.  Once I walked in the room where Carley & her sister were getting ready, I knew I had nothing to worry about.  Carley was all smiles and ready to marry the man of her dreams regardless of the weather outside.  David, who was right next door to the girls, seemed relaxed and ready to marry his girl.  Family was a key element throughout the entire day.  David’s sister did Carley’s hair, while his cousin did her make up.  While family was physically present throughout the day, there was still one very important individual missing.  David’s mother passed away earlier this year and while she was not there physically, she was there in spirit surrounding these two with her love.  Carley wore a beautiful necklace belonging to her, also worn by David’s two sisters on their wedding days.  At one moment during their bridal portraits, a single pear fell down from above, leaving the newlyweds smiling from her presence.
As these two became husband and wife, it was clear they were perfectly matched for each other.  Their wedding was a day to remember, and I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to round out my 2015 wedding season.  I have loved getting to know these two, and know their life journey together has just truly begun.  Congratulations again, Carley & David!

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rotchfordblog-2One of my favorite things about the holiday season is photographing families for their annual holiday cards.  It gets even better when my best friend asks me to do something totally crazy, like photograph her, her husband AND their two fur babies.  Of course I said yes in the blink of an eye!  I last photographed Erika & Matt a few years back when they were celebrating their first holiday season with their new puppy (at the time) Moose.  Now, a few years later they’ve added another little one to the mix, and named him Bear.  Super cute, right?  It was a great Saturday morning spent with these guys, and the weather couldn’t have been any more perfect.  These pups sure kept me on my toes, that’s for sure!  With our friendship spanning more than a decade, I cannot wait to keep seeing how Erika & Matt’s family grows in years to come 🙂

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