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Hana & Ken | San Francisco Engagement Session

A morning session starting out at Sutro Baths followed by a walk through Lands End Trail was the perfect way to start the day. Hana is soft-spoken and sweet, while Ken is romantic and thoughtful. Together, they make such an adorable couple, always stopping to check in on one another, quickly exchanging looks of reassurance, keeping each other warm, relaxed. They are the couple you meet and instantly want to become friends with, the couple you root for, and know that they will be happy together.

Hana and Ken were married last year. Having already witnessed their beautiful wedding, I'm so glad they chose to have me along, to document their story. I can't wait to share photos from their wedding day!

Emeryville Lifestyle Maternity Session

My last post was over a year ago. As you may know, last year, we had a new addition to our family, a baby girl. While I continued to work throughout 2017, this site has been neglected for some time in order to make room in our lives for a whole new person, and quite a demanding one. :)

I love that I have this session to share as my first post in 2018. It seems appropriate. Karly, the glowing and beautiful mother-to-be, was my son's babysitter since before he could crawl, and stayed with us until he started preschool. Needless to say, this session was very close to my heart, to be able to capture her with her husband during this remarkable time in their lives.

Recently, I've been bringing along at least one film camera with when I shoot lifestyle sessions, especially sessions with older children or adults only, which allows a bit more time to focus on the shooting. I try to shoot a couple of rolls, both color and black and white. This is all just for fun, but I'm loving the results, and I make sure to send them to my clients as well, and have been getting pretty good response for them. I believe I will continue to do the same for my 2018 shoots. 

Below there a couple of film shots nested between the digital. While I think the difference is quite obvious, I don't necessarily think one is better than the other. Digital or film, they are simply different styles, and I love them both. Can you spot the film shots? :)

Laura & Beckett | San Francisco City Hall & Japanese Tea Garden

Laura and Beckett were simply lovely. The couple eloped at San Francisco City Hall just a week before the new year. The words they used to describe themselves were literally, "We're easy-going." They wanted a no-fuss, effortless type of wedding, and City Hall was the perfect venue. Following their civil ceremony, we proceeded to the Japanese Tea Garden for some outdoor shots.

I really admire the couples' simple elegance, and the fun little looks they exchanged with one another in between takes. This was my last wedding of the year, and what a perfect end to the 2016 season it was. 

Day in the life | San Francisco Lifestyle Family Session

Hong and Arun showed me, on a typical Saturday afternoon, what it's like to raise two kids under two. The amount of planning required to keep both kids busy and happy is intimidating, but they manage. Coordinating nap times successfully to avoid meltdowns. Diaper changing, eating, playing catch, stacking, singing, and reading. As parents, they are tired and sleep deprived, and probably wish they can go for a coffee or nap break sans kids, but they also fully embrace this time, a new phase in their family life, and pour their love into it. What this family has taught me is, during this time, survival may seem tricky, but the tiny victories are huge. When the kids are happy, they are ecstatic. Chaos can be pretty wonderful, when you're not busy trying to make everything appear perfect. Life happens, and it's beautiful.

San Francisco Family Portrait Session

Rachana and Rahul, who are friends of mine, recently left the Bay Area and moved to the East Coast. Before their move, Rachana approached me about doing a family session to help them remember San Francisco, their home for the last 10+ years. For this session we decided to meet at the Warming Hut. Located midway between Crissy Field and Fort Point, where in every direction you look, there is a view of either the Golden Gate Bridge, the ocean, the beach, cityscape, or boats and people/joggers passing by. We couldn't have chosen a more perfect location to get the iconic shot of San Francisco as the background. 

Sharing these photos remind me how much I miss these guys. So happy and honored that they had me capture these memories of this beautiful city for them.

Stephanie & Vinh | Santa Ana Wedding | The Estate on Second

Stephanie and Vinh's wedding at The Estate on Second was beautiful, rustic, and intimate, and the day full of laughter.

Their wedding day began in the morning with a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese traditions. The groom was tasked with a number of "tests" before he's introduced to his bride, all in good fun. Following the games, traditional tea ceremonies and a church ceremony were held to honor their families.

During the reception, the bride performed a song for the groom, and he pulled a flower from his pocket for her. Can this couple be more adorable? They also made sure to set aside time during the eventful day to include photos with their beloved Shiba Inu, Kayla. 

This is why I love weddings. To be able to witness the love couples have for one another, their friends and families, manifest into so many memorable little moments and thoughtful details. I am honored and happy to have been there to capture such an important and special day for them.

Ceremony: St. Anne's Catholic Church

Officiant: Rev. Joseph C. Nguyen

Reception Venue: The Estate on Second

Event Planner: Victoria Nquyen

Flowers: 800RoseBig

Bride's dress: WTOO

Bride's shoes: Nine West

Bride's accessories: Cristabelle Earrings and Art Deco Leaf hair accessory

Hair & Makeup: Kelly Tran Artistry

Bridesmaid‘s dresse: Adrianna Papell

Groom's suit & shoes: Friars Tux

Groomsman's suit & shoes: Friars Tux

Catering & Cake: Jay’s Catering

Lighting: Elon Events

Videographer: Artifact Film Collective

Photo booth: Snap Snap Images

DJ: KSDJ

Nam & Tri | Los Altos History Museum Wedding

Classic, summer, outdoor, nature, and love, so much love. These are the words that come to mind to describe Nam and Tri's wedding day.

After the morning festivities, the second half of this gorgeous wedding began with the couple exchanging their wedding vows at the Los Altos History Museum, in a ceremony officiated by a family member.

To kick off the outdoor reception, the wedding party danced down the aisle, introducing the couple. Following their grand entrance, Nam and Tri danced under strings of lights. It was definitely a night to remember. The couple made sure their wedding was full of details most important to them—good food, music, and being surrounded by their closest friends and family.

Venue: Los Altos History Museum

Event planner and florist: Vicky Alvarado

Nam's dress: Maggie Sottero

Nam's shoes: Stuart Weitzman

Tri's suit: ASOS

Bridesmaids dresses: Lulus

Groomsmen suits: Zara

Catering: Flourishing Gardens

Cake designer: Linda Tran Negoro

Bar: Pour Girl Bartending

DJ: Jay Baltazar of DJ Prodigee

Photo booth: PhotobomBayArea

Videographer: JaeMarie Studios Videography

Officiant: Groom's brother-in-law

 

 

Nam & Tri | Los Altos Wedding | Vietnamese Tea Ceremony

Nam and Tri started their wedding day with a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony to express their gratitude and respect for their families. 

Nam wore a traditional Vietnamese gown (Áo Dài) and hat, and Tri arrived with his groomsmen and family members to receive the bride in her home. Following the tea ceremony, which consisted of the burning of incense, praying to ancestors for their blessing, exchange of rings, gifts of jewelry for the bride, the bride and groom serve tea to their familes while they offer their well wishes and advice for the married couple. Family members are then invited to a reception at the groom's house, where a second tea ceremony is held, and lunch is served.

Stay tuned for the second half of their wedding day where they confirm their marriage and exchange vows at the Los Altos History Museum!

Stephanie & Vinh | San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session

The first thing I noticed about Stephanie was her impeccable taste, and through discussing and planning her wedding with her, how incredibly organized she is.

Stephanie met her fiancé, Vinh, in school. They both majored in fashion design. (Which explains how stylish they both are!)

"He was the only straight man in our graduating year."

The couple chose San Juan Capistrano for their engagement session, and brought along their Shiba Inu, Kayla, to join them in the photos. Each with their unique sense of humor, these two kept me laughing the whole time.

When I asked Stephanie how Vinh proposed.

"He slipped that he was going to propose during a completely unrelated quarrel...but if only you've seen Vinh play Taboo, you'd understand.

He did the formal proposal in a private box at a Clippers game which I already had an inkling was going to happen. It was the group of friends and family at a restaurant together after the game that really surprised me."

They are such a sweet couple, can't wait for their wedding this month!