Thanks for stopping by. Check in every so often to see recent photography sessions, weddings, and family fun. I also post little tidbits about my life and work so you can get to know me a little better. Take a peek, enjoy, and let me know what you think!
Being back at Chatham Hall, in many ways, can feel for me like time has stood still. Most of the same traditions still exist as when I was a student at this Virginia Boarding school 30 years ago. My French Teacher, Mary Lee Black, (aka: “Madame”) has remained, although retiring this year after more than two decades of service. Even the students looked familiar, a few of them daughters of my own classmates. I was reminded that the school has also retained the same spirit of generosity and kindness that I remember fondly from my time there; Shelley, my assistant from California, said she loved the community welcome we received.
After 29 years of photographing Chatham Hall graduations, the atmosphere and feeling of homecoming never gets old.
Each year I appreciate, more than ever, the opportunity to contribute to a part of the school’s history, and, remembering everything the school taught me, share in the joy of watching these confident, beautiful young women graduate.
It’s a jam-packed weekend of shooting, as you’ll see from the photos of all the events, and I could not do it without the help of my assistants. This year Shelley joined me from California, and I was also fortunate to have the dedicated help of Kelsey, Yolanda and Annika, students of the school.
2013′s festivities were also blessed with incredibly hot and humid weather and so I would also like to thank Schay and Hunter (and Ranger) who offered us much-needed air-conditioning on campus as well as the pleasure of their hospitality during our visit.
Many thanks to Chatham Hall and the Classes of 2013 and 2014 for visual inspiration for this years slideshow, and to the my artist selections for lyrical and musical inspiration.
Note: In order to view the slideshow you must have Adobe Flash. What this means is that ipads and iphones will not play the slideshow. It’s more fun anyway on a larger screen:) Later the week of June 17, I plan to have the entire gallery ready for viewing. Thanks in advance for your patience.
The Chatham Hall Class of 2013
Emily and Shannon were married atop a gently sloping hill at Vine Hill House, overlooking acres of O’Connell vineyards.
There was just something special about this wedding that it was hard to put your finger on. Was it the buzz of eager anticipation in the air? Was it the warm, genuine hugs from the family and friends that flooded in with broad smiles on their faces? The constant soundtrack of laughter that enveloped you everywhere you went? Or was it just Emily and Shannon, who seem to have touched so many people with their generosity of spirit and sweet love story?
Maybe it was all of those things combined that left me and my assistants, Ashlynn and Michelle, with a warm glow as we sped home from Sebastapol and back to the foothills in time for mother’s day, exclaiming “That was so much fun!”
When two people so clearly in love come together to celebrate their commitment to one another, with the resounding and enthusiastic support of their friends and family, it makes for a magical and emotional day. As a photographer who is just as inspired by capturing the connections between people as by the art of light and composition, Emily and Shannon’s wedding was like a candy-shop of sweet opportunities to do what I love most – and best.
This was the first time I have shot a wedding at the Vine Hill House and I want to say – wow! What a location. I loved the gorgeous ceremony site with a canopy of trees and a view to the valley below, and the opportunity to capture quiet moments in the vineyards with my two brides. Best of all, however, was the attention to detail by Dan and Jill O’Connell themselves, who personally made it their sole mission to ensure that everything was executed perfectly for Emily and Shannon – right down to holding the ceremony up a few extra moments to ensure that the light would be perfect for photos. I love a venue owner who pays attention to the light and timing of it throughout their location. Thanks to Dan for providing me with some spot-on tips that made for a much smoother day for everyone.
Second Shooter: Michelle McDaid
Assistant: Ashlynn Gist
Images to right, below, Michelle McDaid
Image, below left, Michelle McDaid
I love this image of Michelle’s below……
Image, bottom right, corks, Michelle McDaid
Image, below left, Michelle McDaid
Image, below left, Ashlynn Gist
The Fausel Family are near-and-dear to my hearts not least because I have had the privilege of photographing many amazing weddings at their ranch in the past few years. Fausel Ranch is simply one of the most beautiful and friendly wedding locations to work at in El Dorado County and, through those weddings, I have had the honor of becoming a friend of the Fausel family.
In addition to photographing two Fausel family weddings (check out Mark + Sharlot and Albert + Melissa) in the past, Deanna and David have been kind enough to refer numerous other close family and friends to me over the years. So I was excited when Deanna and David’s daughter, Lydia, asked me to capture the entire family this time; with three gorgeous grandchildren and a fourth on the way for William and Danielle, the time was right.
So often we think of “family sessions” as being for just our spouse and children, but I think it’s a lovely idea to get the extended family together every few years to document the joining of new members, life experiences shared, and bonds cemented. Especially once grandchildren start arriving, it’s great to see cousins playing together and beginning a whole new generation of memories.
What else can I say? I adore this family and loved that I got to share this carefree time with them all together.
The road behind her family home led to the perfect spot for my session with graduating Senior, Amanda, recently. The light was stunning – as was Amanda’s smile – and the cool, clear waters of the Consumnes River added the perfect backdrop.
I met Amanda’s family through some good friends, the Crovitz family, on a group camping trip to Wench Creek. Laura, Amanda’s mom, remembered the Crovitz’s own daughter’s Senior session and looked me up when graduation time was near. I’m so glad she did.
Amanda has been home-schooled and so it was fitting that mom came along to watch the session. No matter where you graduate from, Senior photos are such a right of passage. I get a lump in my throat watching mom watch her daughter pose for the camera. In those moments you can see glimpses of a girl turning into a woman right before your eyes. It’s such a pivotal moment: goodbye to childhood and welcoming the excitement of the unknown but boundless future. Yes, it makes me and my camera hummm with excitement!
After we captured Amanda solo, her whole family joined us for a couple of shots. Wherever she heads to from here, she’ll always have this moment to remember.
Huge thanks to my assistant, Shelley, for joining me on this adventure and for bravely holding the light diffuser in the wind (and not sailing away in the process!) Thank you Laura for your generous tip which allowed me to take my assistant out for Indian food in El Dorado. I loved getting to know Amanda during the session and wish her success in this next, exciting phase of her life.
I adore this family! I have been photographing them for several years, dating back to 2006 when I shot Tony and Tara’s engagement photos. My how their family has grown, starting with their daughter Zoe (check out this great “Then and Now” blog post from Zoe’s first birthday) and then baby Wyatt (who is now no longer a baby), and now their newest addition to the family, Gage. Although I have fun with all my clients, there are just some families you “click” with; there is a level of comfort and easiness that flows both ways and I am lucky enough to have that with this family.
To celebrate them now being a family of five, we decided to schedule two sessions: one capturing the whole family hanging out on their farm and a second in-studio session for Gage and mom, to document sweet baby lips and chubby fingers. The sessions were held on different days, which meant we had plenty of time to ensure baby Gage was well-fed and sleepy for his close-ups (Tara even got a cat-nap in the studio!)
I had a blast at both sessions for completely different reasons. The feeling of freedom and energy on the farm, where the children are running free and are obviously so happy, was incredibly contagious – I could have stayed and followed them around all day! Those smiling-for-the-camera family shots are fantastic and always a staple of my sessions but it’s the moments when I am just a casual observer, where I, personally, get a huge smile on my face. There is so much love and connection and it’s a privilege to capture that, particularly on home turf. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, quiet time in the studio with Gage and Tara was like soul-food for the photographer: sleeping baby, relaxed momma, and the click of my camera. Ahhh… bliss.
Many thanks to my assistant, Cassie, who has helped me out on numerous sessions for this family over the years.
The Little Family at Bacchi Little Farm
Baby Gage – Studio Session