A few days ago, I photographed a High School graduation. I’ve been to Pinewood School before (click here to see some photos). It was so great to be back! There is an energy here that is hard to describe. Let’s just say, when the faculty talked about the students, it sounded like they were talking about their own children. <3
With other photographers there to capture the formal shots, my focus was to capture the graduation in a photojournalistic style. (Focus, get it? Yea I know, it’s late.)
Now onto the good stuff.
The end of the school year means more than just empty halls.
The end of the school year means…
Tears of Joy
…and maybe sadness too.
Congratulations to The Class of 2013 at Pinewood School and other High Schools!
What an amazing achievement! I tip my hat to you (I really am wearing one right now) and say, “WOOOHOOOOOOOO!”
I wish you much success and happiness in all that you do.
The decor, the food, the adorable details were handmade, home-cooked and made with love. Move over, Martha Stewart!
Today’s San Francisco Bay Area Event Photography was for a birthday party of a sweet little girl whom I met this Spring.
Meet Martha…I mean Emily!
Who is having the most fun here? Tee hee.
Did you do a double-take on his eyes, like I did?!! They are fantastic!
Happy Birthday, Jules!
The Birthday Cake
Here is Jules with her first birthday cake.
Minute 1…. “What am I supposed to do with this cake?”
Minute 4… poke poke.
Minute 7… mmmmm.
Happy VERY FIRST birthday, Jules!
May your year be filled with cool adventures, incredible growth, good health, and lots and lots of love and kisses!
I hope to see you in 2012,
Your very own paparazzi – Annie
My good friend, Ivan, whom I’ve known for almost 20 years tied the knot to the love of his life this Labor Day.
Their wedding was decked out to the nines with details at every turn, DIY crafty delight and raw emotion.
Both Irene and Ivan looked marvelous, as expected, but the most attractive “accessory” they wore were the giant smiles on their faces!
[Note: I was a guest at Ivan and Irene's wedding and not the wedding photographer. These are my images, taken as a guest.]
In all my years of knowing Ivan, I have never seen him smile like that before. It makes me so happy to see and brings tears to my eyes!
My message was: laugh everyday.
Enjoy a mint julep…
…and “leaf” a fingerprint.
may your days be filled with tender kisses, open hearts and kind eyes. i love you both!
I attended and photographed a very special event this past weekend. It was a birthday party of my very own little monkey who turned 4!
It was a challenge to come up with the perfect theme because Ian wasn’t in love with any particular activities or sports — unless doing things-you’re-not-supposed-to is an activity!
So one day while showering (is that TMI?!!), I remembered how Ian and I play Ice Cream Stand and Lemonade Stand at home. Sometimes with real food items and sometimes with plastic toys or cut out drawings. (When they are real food items, we actually give him money! He comes up with the price, sales tactic and marketing, aka a beautiful sign, so I figure a quarter is worth rewarding his entrepreneurial spirit.)
Once I had a theme, everything else just fell into place!
Ian and Mia helped paint and decorate the stand.
The entire stand is DIY a la my husband! I drew a picture of what I envisioned and he did the rest! My only requirement was that it can be disassembled. I was, and still am, utterly impressed with how it turned out!
Most of the pieces are from Lowes and things we already had in our house, like the antique white paint and the wooden crates.
I have always wanted to put lanterns up in a tree for photos, but I decided on these colorful flowers from Oriental Trading Company, which were more unique and cost only $6 for a dozen!
My chalkboard from Holly McCaig Designs was the perfect finishing touch!
It was a sunny and hot day… perfect for a pool party with an ice cream theme!
Ian took his role seriously. He took everyone’s order, instructed his patrons where the toppings were and was very polite.
There were toppings to suit everyone: fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries), crumbled cookies (Vanilla, Oreos), traditional toppings (sprinkles, chocolate syrup), and cereal.
Not all toppings are shown here. I was busy enjoying the party. It’s tough to be the mom of the birthday boy, the host of the party AND the event photographer!
I bought retro bendy striped straws with accordian flamingos for ice cream floats. Who knew straws could be so festive and fun?!!
You know you’ve enjoyed your ice cream cone when there is evidence on your chin, in your hair and on your shirt! Tee hee.
Happy 4th birthday to my sweet boy and funny monkey, Ian!!!
I know I can’t stop you from growing up, but I can take lots and LOTS of photos to capture all your stages. I love you!!!
Alas, I have more time to post photos from Ria and Jose’s wedding 2 days ago. [Click here to see part 1, their Old Hollywood shots.]
This wedding was a photographer’s DREAM. Take all the fun things to shoot — the ceremony, wedding details, and styled bride and groom portraits — and voila, my wedding shoot for Ria and Jose!
Throughout the planning process, Ria and I exchanged numerous emails about inspiration ideas, accessories, props, attire, location. It was exciting to see everything evolve and then get to shoot the wedding 2 years later. Thank you, Ria, for trusting me with such a special life event and involving me in the whole process!
Ria’s bouquet from Floral Ornament was so lovely! I think peonies are my new favorite flower after seeing this bouquet!
When you don’t know which shoes to wear, wear both!
A gorgeous vintage headpiece to spice up a timeless, elegant 3/4 length wedding gown
A handmade boutonniere and a vintage 1960s bow tie
They thought of every detail, even Jose’s argyle socks!
For extra special occasions, I think it is nice to get a shot of the day’s newspaper to show the date and the headlines of the day.
For the birth of my kids, I like to keep the newspaper of the day they were born. I’m kind of sappy, huh?!!
This editorial shot looks like it was taken in the 1940s in a lobby of a hotel.
Sharing a shake at a diner is oh-so romantic!
Ria and Jose had a black Town Car on their wedding day. It felt like a Batmobile bec it zoomed all around the city quickly and effortlessly.
The driver of this Batmobile was really friendly, and we found out he got married not long ago in the same place as Ria and Jose!
Fave Editorial Shot
Let me explain why I like this shot bec it may not be obvious…
1. The similarity of body positions between the man walking by and Ria. They both have their head forward and a leg bent. It creates parallel (crooked) lines, which is visually interesting.
2. The clash of outfits. Ria and Jose’s vintage-inspired wedding attire is classic! Then you have that man’s outfit, which I also love: a rainbow cap, yellow jacket and skinny jeans. He gives the image a hint of pure whimsy.
3. There is a nice balance in this shot. The man is walking away on the left side while Ria and Jose are standing on the right side of the frame. There are still subjects and moving subjects. There is something set-up (Ria and Jose) and something candid (man).
Finally, I processed the image to give it a vintage flavor, which I think fits this shot so well. Ooh, I want to make this into a card to send to everyone!
Lastly, here’s a quick story I have to share! It made mama so proud.
When we were taking photos inside City Hall, someone asked Ria, “Where do you want to go now (for photos)?”
Ria’s answer: “It depends on the light!”
Bride’s Wedding Gown: Nordstroms Wedding
Groom’s Wedding Suit: Paul Dione Classic
Bouquet: Floral Ornament
Hair/Makeup: Renato Herico of Star City Salon
Car: Red Tie Transportation, driver Giovanni
Bride’s Headpiece: Vintage Pale Blue Ribbon and Organza Fascinator Headpiece from Kisses from Ana
Green Shoes: “Heather” by Miz Mooz
Handmade Flowers: Etsy Champagne Mum Flower Bridal Shoe Clips by C Shiver
Boutonniere: Preppy Chic Boutonniere by Pixel and Hank
Bow Tie: Vintage 1960s Brown Stripes Bow Tie from Raleigh Vintage
Groom’s shoes and argyle socks: Cole Haan
This morning’s wedding had a vintage-inspired theme (ooh la la) and involved a very sweet couple, Ria and Jose. They are also former clients of mine, so they are smart and have impeccable taste in art too (hee hee)!
Out of sheer excitement, I went through all the wedding images this afternoon. I even skipped lunch to do this, and if you know me, you know I love my food! So this is a big deal.
I won’t have the full sneak peek until this weekend, but I just can’t wait! So here is a sneak peek of my Sneak Peek. These images were shot in a hotel in downtown San Francisco. They remind me of Old Hollywood.
Old Hollywood 1
Old Hollywood 2
Stay tuned for the full Sneak Peek this weekend!
Last weekend, I shot a double birthday party for 2 sisters who are both lovable and darling, but have very different personalities. I can tell this even at the ages of 1 and 3!
It is such a privilege to watch them grow. I saw noticeable changes in the girls since their last shoot, especially for baby Charlie who couldn’t even sit up at her first shoot last year.
Happy 3rd Birthday, Danica!
Happy 1st Birthday, Charlotte!
I love the story of this shot. It gives you a hint of their personalities just by the way they position their arms!
Before the party started, we did a mini shoot!
That way, we got a mix of family-focused lifestyle portraits and editorial event photography!
Some Party Details
The Doting Grandparents
I should title this photo: How many grandparents does it take to feed Charlie a bottle? Just kidding.
I really found this to be one of the sweetest images! Look how they are all touching Charlie.
The Petting Zoo
What a delight it was to have a petting zoo for the kids! Below are a few of my favorites.
On the left we have Mr Houdini Chicken, The Escape Artist. On the right is a beautiful, but daring peacock. You’ll see her again soon…
This baby girl goat kept jumping on me. I didn’t care about my pants or her breath or her little feet scratching me… it was my gear I was protecting. Down, goat, down!
Meet Einstein the Duck.
Seriously, that’s his name! I wonder if the duck really knows the Theory of Relativity? Hmmmmm.
This is how much Danica — one of the birthday girls — liked the Petting Zoo! =:O
Actually, she loved it. Most of the kids were a little apprehensive when they first entered the Petting Zoo because the animals would walk right up to them!
But after they watched the animals for a few minutes and saw how tame they were, the kids loved it!
Here is a great example of why some of the kids were afraid of the animals. Remember that pretty peacock?
This big bird walked right up and stuck her face in my lens! Check out her body language here! This peacock had attitude.
It cracked me up to watch Daddy Alex hold Charlie by the sweater, so she wouldn’t fall over.
What was also amusing was that animals would walk up to her, lick, nibble or brush against her, and she wasn’t afraid!
The only animal that made her cry was the gi-normous bunny who must have weighed 20 lbs!
I typically avoid capturing photos of people eating (c’mon, who wants a photo of their mouth full of food?), but I love the moody light from the large windows and the silhouette.
Happy Birthday, Dan-Dan and Charlie!!!
On Christmas Day, Santa brought my 5 year old daughter a white Zhu Zhu Pet that she named Miss White. (The name wasn’t very inventive, but hey — she’s five!) Melia was so happy that Santa “was watching” to know she had good behavior this year and that he read her October letter that stated her desire for this specific toy.
The rest of that day consisted of creating a wedding between Miss White and Mr Nugget (the orange Zhu Zhu Pet she received last Christmas). From the clothes to the lavender for Inch, the Flower Girl worm, Melia and her stepsister Kaitlyn spent hours upon hours creating the perfect little wedding that I could not resist photographing!
Mr and Mrs Nugget’s wedding became a 2-day project.
Day 1 (Christmas Day): Designing and performing the wedding.
Day 2 (today): Creating a wedding photo album and slideshow. I had such a blast doing this with them!!!
When I look at the photos or watch the video, I think of my creative girls… and I feel so much joy and love because of the fun we had and bond we shared during this project!
A Few Favorites
A view of the groom when Miss White was walking down the aisle…
Miss White and Mr Nugget just tied the knot and are now about to cut their wedding cake...
One of their Bride and Groom Portraits taken after the ceremony: It was under the trees and next to a fountain… (Are you laughing yet?!!)
The Wedding Slideshow
Click on this image to take you to the YouTube video:
Click on the arrow to view the slideshow here:
You may remember the e-session of my gorgeous couple, Oren and Kelley, from August. Well, on Friday night, they tied the knot!
As a reflection of their love, they kept their wedding sweet, simple and fun by getting married on the beach… barefooted!
Even in the dark, the bride’s bracelet would sparkle!
Of course the boulder I wanted to shoot the rings on were located high above ground, so I had to climb several boulders with all my gear dangling around me to get this shot!
So take an extra moment to gaze at this image, so that my risky moves were worth it!
A second after I took this shot, the bouquet started rolling! I had to lunge forward to catch it before it took a 2-story leap to its death!
Kelley saw my lightening speed reaction and warmly congratulated me with “Good catch!” when I returned her bouquet. I love her!
This is Kelley’s mom, Ann, getting her hair done while Kelley was peeking at the beach from the balcony.
Suzy the dog knew just where to lay down! I think she was warming it up for Kelley and Oren!
Grandma watching and waiting from the side. The late afternoon light streamed in through the windows and hugged one side of her.
As I was heading up the stairs from the beach, I saw a glimpse of this dad rocking his 3-month old baby in a carseat on the deck.
Only at a specific angle could I see both his and his baby’s face between the slats of the wood. And that was exactly the shot I wanted!
The Beautiful Bride: Kelley
I had actually taken a few bridal portraits of Kelley outdoors, but the impromptu ones on the bed are my favorites!
We had time to spare because the ceremony was delayed. (We were waiting for the last arrival of guests.) So I hung out in her room and we did some semi-boudoir shots! Fun fun. Kelley was fantastic and was game for anything!
[FYI to Photographers: I wanted to highlight her lashes and the flowers in her hair, so I took a top-down viewpoint. There are many ways you can get creative: the pose, composition, ISO/aperture/shutter speed, processing and also the perspective!]
Togetherness Before the Craziness
No matter how elaborate or simple, large or small your wedding, there is always a bit of craziness. What I mean by that is, there will always be things that don’t go as planned during a wedding. That’s part of the charm of weddings!
So Oren and Kelley had their first meeting before the ceremony, and we spent time taking bride and groom photos before all the “craziness” began.
I like the way their legs are touching. It is so loving in the simplest of ways.
Seeing each other before their wedding began ensured that they would have time to focus on each other and how they were feeling.
They kept the guests on the patio with drinks while they had the beach all to themselves. This is one of my favorite shots!
Love the long shadows late in the day…
And in case you’re wondering, here are a few of the unplanned “charm” that happened: missing guests, a power outage and someone’s hair caught on fire! The amazing part is that Kelley and Oren took everything in stride. Kelley had a smile on her face the whole time, and I even saw her helping other people relax. Incredible.
I wish Oren and Kelley the very best in their life together. May you always find the joy in being together and have patience when times are trying, just like I saw on your special day! XXOO! ~Annie
For Psi and Helen, it was love at first sight. Some of you skeptics may not believe in that, but if you met these two, you would know that soul mates do exist!
I truly believe you can meet thousands of people or just a handful, and you can be of any age… When you find your soul mate, you’ll know!
Here is a sneak peek from yesterday’s magical wedding in San Francisco.
A Few Details
Becoming a Bride
I love Lynette’s tats! It creates a nice contrast to Helen’s softly made up face.
I couldn’t resist this top-down perspective!
When Helen’s dad came to the dressing room, it was emotional for Helen… and then for the rest of us too!
It was incredibly touching to see the bond and feel the love Helen shared with her dad.
One of the many things that I loved about this wedding was how personal every aspect of it was. Almost everyone involved with the wedding was a friend: the wedding coordinators, Robin and Michael; the officiant, Colleen; the hair and makeup artist, Lynette; and also the florist and the pastry chef of their wedding cake!
So, in this photo, I love how you can see Colleen in the heart-shaped space created by Helen and Psi kissing. It is very meaningful.
And not to worry, Helen and Psi! Not every photo of you kissing at the ‘alter’ has Colleen in the middle!
The Best Expression of the Day!
“Snow White in the Enchanted Forest”
“Being Present” with Each Other
Psi and Helen often spoke of “being present” during their wedding and in how they live their lives. I wanted to incorporate that philosophy into one of their bride and groom photos!
I have a few variations of this shot, but they are all of Helen and Psi being present and still with each other while the World — the bridal party — move around them.
Congratulations, Mr and Mrs M! And thank you for choosing me to capture one of the most precious and memorable days of your lives! XOXO! ~Annie