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The beginning of happily ever after…

This was one of my favorite weddings from last summer because the groom, Martin, is the brother of one of my favorite photographers in the world, Art Rogers. Martin is also a photographer and worked for National Geographic for many years… so the pressure to create good photos was on. But everything was planned so well that it made my job easy and fun.

Congratulations, Emily and Martin. It was an honor and pleasure to photograph your wedding.

Many thanks to Green Girl Events for putting on another wonderful event at the the Banta residence.

When the days were warm and long, and tomatoes were at their very best…

Jennifer and Ramsey got married.

Their love-filled event took place at the Banta Residence, in Lucas Valley, with the help of the fantastic planning duo, Green Girl Events. Their wedding was significant to me, not just because it took place on a long summer day, with a ridiculous amount of fresh heirloom tomatoes, and in a gorgeous setting, but because their love story deals with a subject that is close to my heart.

Jennifer and Ramsey have both experienced recent hardships, which have taught them the value of life and the importance of living life as much as possible before it is gone, which includes marrying the person you love most… but then came politics.

Jennifer has a sister who is a lesbian. And one day after Ramsey asked Jennifer to marry him, Jennifer’s sister lost her basic human right to marry to the person she loves because of Proposition 8, in the 2008 election.

Heartbroken for her sister, Jennifer did not feel it was fair for her to be able to get married when her sister did not have the same right. But her sister, who is also responsible for setting Jennifer up with Ramsey, gave Jennifer her blessing. And at their wedding, Jennifer’s sister delivered the most incredible toast that brought everyone to tears… including me, which made it very difficult for me to focus my camera.

But hopefully their story will help focus the attention that is needed to change this ridiculous law that prevents people from obtaining basic human rights. And hopefully someday soon everyone will have the right to experience the overwhelming love and support that you feel when you marry the one person you love most in the world… just like Jennifer and Ramsey got to feel on this warm, long day, when the tomatoes were at their very best.

One last reason why I loved photographing this wedding, was because I had the help of another awesome photographer, Jessamyn Harris, who was second-shooting for me. Because I knew I had such a great back-up photographer, who was covering the day with her digital camera, I was able to play more with film, which always makes me happy.

A Black Tie and Cow Patty Fairy Tale Come True…

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Veronica and Mike’s wedding was nothing short of incredible. Veronica wanted to have a memorable party and I believe she got it, but not without a lot of work and a lot of luck.

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Work because the wedding was held on top of a hill in a cow pasture, accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles, in order to have a 360º view without any buildings. So everything had to be brought up to the top of the hill and created in the cow pasture, including… electricity, tent, floor, stage, tables, chairs, kitchen, food, bar, alcohol, photo booth. And Molli Milner and Denise Rocco-Zilber, from Green Girl Events, deserve a standing ovation because they made it all happen so smoothly, as if that hill is always so magical.

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Luck because the wedding was held in October, just three days after the biggest rain storm we have had in over six months. On the Wednesday before the wedding, as the rain was still coming down, I was a little doubtful that the event was going to happen at all.

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But sure enough, the sun came out on Friday and dried the muddy roads and fields so the show could still go on. And by Saturday, everything was perfect. The fog did make an appearance, as is expected when you are on a hill overlooking Tomales Bay, and it rolled in with a strong windy force, but that just pushed the festivities inside the cozy tent, with see-through walls, which made it better for the string quartet and the opera that preceded the ceremony.

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Veronica and Mike love the opera, so they asked some students from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, one of the most acclaimed schools of opera in the nation, who they saw perform at The Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station, to perform a few of their favorite songs.

They also asked David Lomeli, who is an Adler Fellow and who has received a first prize of Placido Domingo’s Operalia award, to sing as well. They were absolutely thrilled and shocked when he happily agreed. 

I haven’t been to an opera in over 10 years, so I am not an expert on the topic, but they were amazing.

Everything was amazing.

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It was a small and beautifully intimate black tie affair. Black tie was required, because Veronica liked the idea of black ties and cow patties. And I like the idea too.

So loved ones, let this be a warning… if Arann and I do get married again, like we hope to do, because getting married is so much fun and we think couples should do it again every year… you too may be asked to wear black tie in a cow pasture on top of a hill… ’cause it sure makes for a pretty wedding and pretty photos to go with it.

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One last very important detail about this love story… Veronica and Mike met on match.com. They are two more reasons why I am a believer in Online dating. Veronica and Mike’s fairy tale is definitely a fairy tale that tops anything Cinderella or Snow White can bring home from the bar.

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So congratulations to Veronica and Mike. Keep dreaming big… what you create from your dreams is worth all the hard work, and luck is on your side.

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Top 5 Reasons to Do Engagement Photos…

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1… You get to snuggle and kiss the person you love most.

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2… You can visit amazing places you have never been before… like Samuel P. Taylor, home to endangered salmon and giant redwood trees.

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3…. You get to practice being photographed during intimate moments, which you will soon have to do many many times as people hit their wine glasses with their utensils, signaling for you to kiss, over and over again at your reception.

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4… You get to know your photographer, who will be following you around and documenting those intimate moments, on the biggest day of your lives.

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5… You get to have lots and lots of cute photos of just the two of you, right before your lives change forever.

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It was fun getting to know Jennifer and Ramsey during our photo shoot and I can’t wait for their wedding in August. Thank you to the Green Girls, who recommended me as a photographer.

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