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Dancing with the Cows

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: engagementportraitsbarnfarm.cowslove

Born and raised in Petaluma, Joseph has been visiting his friend at a barn on the mountain since high school. After the wedding proposal to his sweet heart Joanna, Joseph called me to shoot their engagement portraits at the barn.

On the way to Petaluma's country road, I was expecting to use a horse as the prop and was trying hard to compose some ideal shots in my head. But when I arrived the barn, I quickly found out that there were no horses but rather a bunch of cows!

So we crossed over the fence and carefully walked toward the cows to include them in the background. I remembered many years ago when I was driving in a remote area in Yakima, WA, I pulled over to a cow farm to take photos of the peaceful looking cows. As I approached closer to the fence, one of the cows was surprised by my presence and ran quickly toward my left. Suddenly the rest of the cows (hundreds of them) all charged in the same direction, and I was shocked and scared for my safety.  So this time when I crossed over the fence to shoot the portrait, I was a bit hesitant.  Foruntely, the cows were calm and just gazed us with curiosity from a distant. Thanksfully, we had some great shots.

Modern Vintage Photo Backdrop at Fort Point

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: engagementportraitportraitweddingfortpointgoldengatebridge

Engagement portraits are usually taken months prior to the wedding. It's a perfect opportunity to wear the favorite clothing and have romantic portraits taken professionally. San Francisco provides so many beautiful backdrops for portraits of all kinds - the beach, downtown skyscrapers, lakes, gardens,  etc. Yet the iconic Golden Gate Bridge remains the top popular location for locals and tourists.

The couple loved the architectural elements of Golden Gate Bridge and bricks at Fort Point. It's a distinguished spot that has both modern structures and vintage textures. Built in  1853, the fort was completed just before the American Civil War. Canons were mounted on the rooftop aiming toward possible enemies that might pass through the strait, where Golden Gate Bridge was built many years later. Although no battle occurred at the fort, it remains an interesting site to visit as a historic landmark. The best thing about it is that one can see Golden Gate Bridge up close directly from below. This location is one of the most unique spots for photographers.

Row. row, row your love - engagement portrait at Stow Lake

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: boatlakeloveportraitengagementstowlakegoldengatepark
Jordan is an avid boat rower and wanted something different for engagement portraits. I suggested that we go to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Parks where they could rent the boat for an hour.

It was a beautiful sunny morning on the date of the photo shoot. I arrived a bit earlier to scout out the best lighting and noticed the glare from the rising sun over the lake. I knew it would be the perfect back-lit light for dramatic effect but would have to careful with the low contrast and light spills.

Leanel, Jordan and I met at the boat rental, and I followed them around the scenic lake on foot. At first, I was a bit worried that I might not catch up with the speed of the boat. It turned out that our pace was about the same. That allowed me to take my time to compose and capture the photos. Communication wasn't an issue as I used my body language to tell them to stop or spin the boat around for the perfect angles. I used a long lens (Nikon 70mm to 200mm f2.8) to zoom in closely from the far distant on the shore, and this narrowed the perspective and highlighted the depth of the couple on the boat.

The bride and groom to be now have some awesome portraits for their Save-the-Date cards.

When Delia met Vince - the man who proposed with nine engagement rings

Published by in Headshots ·
Tags: authorbookengagementstoryfunnyweddingproposalgoodtothefog

Delia came in for headshots for her new book titled, "Good to the Fog". While we waited for the hairdresser, she told me the fascinating story of how she met her husband.

Delia was publishing a book in Romania and needed a landscape photo for her book cover. So she went on Flicker and found a perfect photo and contacted Vince the photographer who was in San Francisco for the permission to use the photo. That opened up the conversation and they both felt a strong connection with each other.

For the next two months, they exchanged emails and Vince spent $3,500 on international phone bills (that was before Skype existed). Vince decided that he should fly to Romania to meet Dalia in person. When the plane landed in Romania,  Delia has no idea the flight arrived several hours ahead of schedule. She was desperately looking for Vince at the airport but there was no sign of him. Broken hearted, Delia thought she has lost him as she wandered alone in the airport. Suddenly Vince jumped out from behind a column gave her a big warm hug.  In shock with mixed emotions, Delia got a crowded bus with Vince to downtown. Vince suddenly pulled out an engagement ring from the pocket and proposed to Delia on the bus. Delia just couldn't believe what just happened, but she said "yes"!

The next two years while they waited for the U.S. to approve the immigration, they visited nine countries in Europe. In each country, Vince would propose to Delia again with a new engagement ring. Delia has a total of nine engagement rings, and they are happily married ever since.

Joanne and Niko's Unforgetable Night Photo Shoot

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: engagementportraitspier7

Engagement portrait photo shoot at night can be charming and enchanting. Thanks to the great winter weather (although California really needs water due to lack of rain in this season), Nicole wear able to put on her favorite red dress and her fancy red shoes for the shoot.

Taking portraits at the popular Pier 17 can be challenging. It's usually windy and sometimes crowded. We were fortunately enough to arrive at dusk while the velvet sky was just turning deep blue. The romantic couple Joanne and Niko will be getting married at Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Oakland. They have selected their favorite large framed portrait to be display at their wedding reception. I love their portraits so much that I also printed a colorful large portrait for my studio's back-lit LED frame display.

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