Whenever I think of winter weddings I think of snow. I’m from Buffalo, so, it’s natural. But we would NEVER get snow in San Francisco, EVER. Don’t worry, I’m not complaining. Claire and Geoff’s winter wedding was on a beautiful sunny day at the end of December and was special for many reasons (aside from the no snow in December!). Claire is from Ireland, so most of her family and friends traveled so many miles to be here for their celebration. They live in North Beach and were married at their local church, Saint Peter and Paul. I don’t get to photograph ceremonies in churches too often, and it was amazing to shoot in such a beautiful space that was a part of their everyday life. We walked around their neighborhood afterwards, and took photos in front of some of their favorite places (like Goorin Brothers!) and with their adorable pup Harvey. We were then invited to the top of the church for photos at sunset. Then it was off to Claire’s family’s bar, Danny Coyles, for their reception! Can I just say, having your wedding at a bar…not a bad idea, whether it’s family owned or not. Congratulations again Claire and Geoff, I’m so glad I got to work with you guys!
Where to have your engagement session…you can’t go wrong with a local farm! For Christine and Jake’s session, we headed to Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma. This must have been the most relaxing engagement session EVER! And bonus, we got to pick up fresh eggs, bacon, bbq and delicious vegetables on our way out. A huge thanks to Tara Firma for hosting us…if you’re ever looking for something to do on the weekend, I would highly recommend checking out their free tours on Saturdays and Sundays, so cool! Make sure you head over to The Wedding Chicks to check out Christine and Jake’s feature…I can’t wait for their wedding this summer!
I love shooting engagement sessions. I just love it. There is a part of me that loves it more than weddings. I really like getting to know new people and I’ve always enjoyed bringing people out of their shell. Usually my couples are nervous about being photographed, something I completely understand. I hate being photographed. I will do it and won’t make a fuss, but I will rarely ask someone to take a photo of me. Aside from my own wedding, the only time I’ve ever sought out having photos taken of me in recent years, were on trips to London. So really, that’s saying something about London. My point though, is that I totally get it.
When I spoke with Jen, she told me how much her fiance, Brian, hates having his picture taken. Whenever someone tells me that, it’s hard for me to not respond with “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!” I obviously want to give my couples lovely photos from their engagement session, but I also want to give them a fun experience. They are of equal importance in my book. I love talking to people and hearing about their lives. I want to joke around with them and be a bit of a goof. My father is an accountant, and I remember him telling me one tax season when I was helping out, “my business is as much listening to and talking to people as it is doing their taxes.” That comment has always stuck with me and I have come to realize that I am as much in the business of listening and talking to people as I am photographing them. The photography brings us together, but building a meaningful relationship has as much to do with our interactions.
This brings me back to my first statement; I love shooting engagement sessions. There are no distractions like on the wedding day. It’s just the three of us enjoying some time together and taking some photos along the way. Getting married is not just about the wedding day and the party, it’s about two people who are choosing to be with one another over anyone else. I think that’s something that as an industry, we have lost sight of. I love how an engagement session can go back to basics in that way. Two people, who love each other, and are choosing to be together. I am so excited to celebrate Jen and Brian’s wedding next month in their own backyard!