Last Wednesday we started the day with a drive into the city for a very special SF weekday wedding. Megan & Nathan are still on their honeymoon in Cabo and we’re hoping to sweeten the last days of their vacation with a sneak peek of their wedding photography.

The day started at the Loews Regency San Francisco Hotel with a beautiful blue sky and the bride & groom’s first look on the 40th floor observation deck.
Loews Regency Wedding Photography

 

The ceremony was held on the Governor’s Balcony of San Francisco City Hall. We were able to grab a few shots of the couple on the grand staircase before leaving in the limo.

SF City Hall Wedding Photography

 

We had the limo driver take us to Crissy Fields for this shot of the Golden Gate Bridge as she’s often seen in the summer months, half-covered with fog. We used an infrared converted camera for this photograph. In a rare turn of events, both Mischa and I fell in love with the same image.

Crissy Fields Infrared Wedding Photography

One more from Crissy Fields, this one with a little extra artistic effect by Mischa.

Crissy Fields veil blowing SF Wedding photography

Dinner was held at the incomparable Wayfare Tavern (upon Mischa’s recommendation after Nicole & Kaz’s wedding last year) and we were invited to be honored guests. We will not soon forget the amazing meal and lively conversation we shared with Megan & Nate’s friends and family.

After dinner, we stole the bride & groom away for one more series of photographs. Some light painting/night portraits at Cupid’s Span along the Embarcadero.

Cupid

One of the things we love most about photographing weddings is being able to capture a “Hero” image. One that has impact and staying power. That sticks with you. Some weddings we’re able to get one… others it’s hard to choose between our favorites.

We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of Megan & Nathan’s SF weekday wedding as much as we enjoyed photographing it.

This is the second Senior portrait session we’ve photographed at Pine Trails Ranch in Davis, CA. The first was for class of 2014 Senior, Zoe.

Macy, saw the images we captured and wanted a similar shoot at the same location:

FFA Senior announcement

 

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Macy graduated in 2016 and asked us to do both her portraits and her announcements. Here’s the finished announcement design and a few of our favorite individual images from Macy’s 2016 senior portrait session at Pine Trails Ranch.

Card Front

 

senior portraits

 

FFA senior portraits

 

senior portraits

 

senior portraits

 

senior portraits

 

senior portraits

 

senior portraits

 

We love collaborating with seniors to design a portrait session around their interests. It’s not a cookie cutter experience and we provide truly unique art from this transitional milestone. If you know a graduating student (2017 and beyond) who would has an extraordinary passion, we’d love to photograph them!

One year ago today, we were photographing the emotional same-sex wedding of Ryan & Phillip at the Brazilian Room at Tilden Park in Berkeley.  (you may remember them from their BART-themed engagement session). This gorgeous Summer ceremony has been on my list of “events to blog” for an entire year now, and when I noticed it was their anniversary, I couldn’t stop thinking about them and how emotional their wedding day was.

Now, I  wouldn’t dare suggest that I don’t cry at every single wedding we shoot – I’m an emotional lady, but Ryan & Phillip’s wedding took it to a whole other level.

Let’s start at the beginning. We began the day at a nearby hotel with Ryan and his besties.

same-sex wedding

 

same-sex wedding

 

same-sex wedding

 

We arrived at the ceremony & reception site, the Brazilian Room, where Phillip and the guys were getting ready.

 

Brazilian room

 

same-sex wedding

 

We arranged Ryan and Phillip in a nearby redwood grove for their first look. This was the first time I cried, and we hadn’t even made it to the ceremony.

 

same-sex wedding

 

same-sex wedding

 

There’s a bit of a height difference between Ryan & Phillip. It seemed to be a running theme in their details.

 

same-sex wedding

 

same-sex wedding

 

same-sex wedding

 

I continued to mind my own business, photographing details before the guests arrived…

same-sex wedding

 

same-sex wedding

 

..when I was caught off-guard, by the most heartfelt of tributes to Ryan’s late mother…. yep full-on ugly cry. I had to set down my camera.

 

tribute to mom

 

I composed myself, continued to shoot and focused my attention on the the ceremony. The mood was joyous, it was a perfect day to be outdoors and there wasn’t a dry eye to be found. The genuine love Ryan & Phillip share is contagious.

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

And they are so much fun to photograph,

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

even as the fog rolled in and the party moved indoors.

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

Someone would make us all cry…

 

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and before we knew it, we’d be laughing again.

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

After Phillip and Ryan shared their first dance together, and Phillip danced with his mother, the chair designated for Ryan’s late mom along with a photo of them together was placed in the middle of the dance floor. I quickly abandoned any hope of staying objective.

emotional tribute

 

After a few quiet moments, his aunt approached to embrace and dance with him. It was an extremely moving tribute.

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional tribute

 

Even after the most emotional parent dance I’ve ever witnessed, it wasn’t long before the party was lighthearted and we were all laughing again.

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

emotional same-sex wedding

 

I hope Ryan and Phillip have had an exceptionally happy first year as a married couple. Their wedding will live on in my memory as one of the most emotional weddings we’ve ever had the pleasure to document. I hope you’ve enjoyed re-living it along with me on their anniversary. Cheers guys, here’s to many more!

What were you doing in April 2009?

Obama was still in his first 100 days as president, Mischa and I had just moved in together, and the Sobalvarro family was searching on the internet for a family portrait photographer.

We’re so glad they found us!

They arrived at our San Francisco studio space, three generations of them, and posed for a traditional studio family portrait.

All 24 of them have been framed on our studio wall since then.

Here are the Sobalvarros in 2009:

family portrait

 

It’s been 7 years since that portrait was taken, and they emailed us to see if we still remembered them. (“Of course! You’re on our wall! We see your faces all the time!”, I thought)

Last month they made the enormous effort to once again coordinate schedules and wardrobes, and take an updated family portrait.

Here are the Sobalvarros in 2016:

updated family portrait

 

When I first sat down to edit this year’s portraits, I was sad to notice the loss of their patriarch. I smiled giddily while I matched each kid to their older selves. And I was inspired by the strength of this extended family’s connection.

Getting a large family together for a portrait takes effort and the reward really comes with time. I hope we continue to watch this family grow for many years to come.

If you’re inspired to get your family together for an updated family portrait, whether in studio or outdoors, we’d love to help you make it happen. There’s no time like the present.

~ Brie & Mischa

We recently spent a long sunny day poolside (well, Mischa was in the pool, I was poolside) to build our portfolio of underwater portraits.

We had three gorgeous pregnant volunteers who spent energy they didn’t necessarily have to spare getting dolled up and dunking themselves repeatedly in the deep end of a saltwater pool.

In addition to our pregnant mamas Julie, Liz and Natalie, (and their toddlers) we also had Jess & Eric, our real newlywed couple and Kylie, our teen-aged “ringer” who already had experience being photographed underwater by Mischa from her family’s portrait session in the Fall.

Modeling is tough! Add to that the element of water and you have a truly challenging set of variables. It’s not just look at the camera, smile and try to act naturally… it’s also hold your breath and try not to float awkwardly to the surface!

Julie was first in the pool. Determined to get her 2 year old home in time for his nap, we are so glad to have had this opportunity to photograph her beautiful pregnant belly. Her second son, Jude, decided to come earlier than expected and was born yesterday afternoon. A little over three weeks since Mischa took this photograph. (everyone is healthy & happy)

underwater portraits

 

Next up was 2 year old Ella. What a little fish! She made it look so easy. Just a few takes in her pretty ruffled dress and her perfect little self was off to school for the day. We hope Ella wants to model for us again in the future!

underwater portraits

 

Ella’s mama, Natalie, looks like a magical water nymph here in my favorite of all the day’s images.

I. can’t. even.

The light, her dress, even the delicate sparkling bubbles above her head look other worldly. A perfect silent moment between a mother and her growing baby. I always come back to this image and smile.

underwater portraits

 

Kylie was as comfortable underwater as we remembered and rocked the long flowing fabric Mischa brought along with floral arrangements by Cheryl of Accents by Sage, designed specifically to be submerged. How gorgeous are these?! It was too hard to choose just one favorite…and there are more!

underwater portraits

 

underwater portrait

 

My favorite image of Liz, unfortunately, doesn’t show her face (or her makeup by Beela or her hair by Deborah, d’oh!). But this pregnant goddess had the most awesome reflection photo of the day. (and her daughter Avery was a delight to hang out with during the shoot)

underwater portrait

 

In addition to modeling, and being underwater, Jess and Eric had the added challenge of interacting. Here, with another unique underwater floral design by Accents by Sage which includes dangling crystals.

There’s something extra romantic about the implied quiet of these underwater portraits.

underwater portraits

 

Extra special thanks to all of our volunteer underwater portrait models and their kids, makeup artist Beela from Henna Moods, hair stylist Deborah Fischer, floral artist Cheryl from Accents by Sage, Natalie & Jeff for the use of your awesome pool and home on a triple digit day.

* and aloe, for the serious sunburn Mischa came home with after hours in the pool.

Keep watching our pages and our blog for more images from this underwater shoot and future underwater work. If you’ve always wanted to be photographed underwater or think you might be a great model for an underwater concept shoot, let us know! We love to experiment with our craft and refine our techniques.