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!
This sweet, generous couple was such a treat to work with. So gracious and genuine, Leah and Bruce were married at John and Annie Bowler’s fabulous Flower Farm in Loomis.
Bruce, from Alabama, is a real southern gentleman. Leah grew up in San Francisco’s Mission with hippie parents. During the First Look, Bruce came out the door from behind Leah and completely surprised her (she thought she was in someone’s way)!
Just close friends and family made up this small, intimate wedding, serenaded by a string quartet. Unexpected tears were shed during the toasts. The striking color of the orchids and Ambiance Floral’s beautiful work were the perfect accents throughout the day and venue. All the guests (myself included) received amazing orchids like the ones in the bride’s bouquet. What a treat!
Leah’s niece played a moving solo during the reception. Earlier, not to be taken too seriously, she encouraged Leah to hold a chicken at the chicken coop (when wedding photography goes fowl)!
At the Flower Farm, everything is focused on the best interest of the couple. It’s a beautiful and relaxed setting where everything is well organized and everyone is well cared for. It is an amazing location to capture a wedding. I take it as a compliment that I’m one of their preferred vendors!
After the wedding, the entire group spent time getting to know each other at a local family pool party. Beauty, humor, and sweetness marked this special day for Leah and Bruce.
What a beautiful day, down at the river’s edge at Alder Creek Tract, just up Highway 50.
The Bonzo family won an auction item of a free session that my business donated for a local fundraiser. As most sessions go, there is a period of warming up to each other, and of course, the kids, wondering…What have Mom and Dad gotten us into?!
Well, I don’t want to put words in their mouths–but while those feelings may have existed–any worries soon subsided into a really fun and laid-back session. Lisa and Ed have raised completely delightful children: David, Emma, and Andrew. They are fun-loving and easy-going. The more time we spent together, the more fun we had, and the more natural the images came.
Even mom “got in the picture” (which, as a mom myself I completely get & support) –how great is that? The oldest, David, is heading off to college in the fall, and Mom and Dad were taking in the moments. This is a super time to get a picture of the whole crew, right before a transition into a new phase of life as a family.
Allyce and Billy, a gorgeous couple, started the day at Wine and Roses (where I am proud to be a preferred vendor). I met them early in the day and did most of their photography prior to the ceremony, as their preference was to spend their time with their guests during cocktail hour. This included a “First Look,” where couples have the opportunity to see each other prior to the ceremony and get their nerves adjusted, as well as complete many of their family portraits which are often reserved in that time during cocktail hour…and who wants to miss that?
The stunning Morris Chapel is where they took their vows, amid close friends and family. After, we returned to Wine and Roses for more candid captures. Because of the way their schedule was organized (photographs up front), they were able to jump right into their cocktail hour which included a few tears as it can be a tad overwhelming to have all of your friends and family there(at the same time) supporting you!
It’s so important to make sure that the wedding day is not all about photography (even though I am quite sure I would have fun with that). I try to encourage my couples to allow me the trust to capture the day as it unfolds—the particular rhythms, ebbs and flows that mark that day, and create a natural and authentic album of memories. Like so many of my brides, the photography of Allyce’s wedding was really important to her. She reserved my services about a year out, as do most of my clients.
Sometimes there are strong expectations of the look of the wedding pictures. Part of my job is to work with those hopes and to show other perspectives that may not have been imagined. We all know what we like, but sometimes it’s good to have other views in order to achieve something even better than we had dreamed.
Finding images that show Allyce and Billy’s great affection for each other was easy! I love to capture my couples candidly in a way that shows their love naturally. And, WOW! Allyce’s dress was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
Michelle and Mikal are a super-eclectic couple; they’re expressive, emotive, creative, and they are clearly meant for each other. I had a great time doing their engagement session last month, which you can see on the big bright beautiful blog. Their wedding definitely reflected their personalities and their sense of humor and aesthetic. Their wedding invitation said, “Dinner, drinks and awkward dancing to follow.” The theme colors red and turquoise figured prominently, giving me great contrast and super-saturated hues to play with. Check out the wedding party’s shoes!
Michelle’s dad drove her to the ceremony in shiny (RED!) ’55 Chevy that also served as the couple’s wedding “get-away” car. It was a great chance to capture some emotional father-daughter moments.
Michelle is a local photographer. In fact, if her maid of honor, Vanessa hadn’t been in the wedding, likely she would have been shooting it. I was honored to be trusted to do this. I wanted to do a great job for her, capturing not only the whimsy but the powerful and sweet emotion of the day. Forest House Lodge was a wonderful setting: spectacular views for the ceremony (which drew some happy tears from Michelle and her dad), a comfortable getting ready suite for the bride and her bridesmaids, and a great set up for Mikal and his crew’s “Mancave.” Matt Brys (the DJ) of Extreme Productions and Alley Pappenberger and all of the staff of the Forest House Lodge are exceptional wedding professionals and it is always a pleasure to work alongside them.
With such a intricately detailed event like this, sometimes the bride can underestimate the time it takes to get herself ready for her big day. Things were running a bit behind schedule, which definitely happens from time to time. As a professional, it is my job to work with every situation and shift and adjust as needed to make the most of the day. So with the bridesmaids, we did most of their photography getting ready and at the ceremony site; the guys tromped around downtown Foresthill with me.
Shelley Morford, my assistant, did a fabulous job as always—thank you!
I just finished this year’s Graduation slideshow. I never know exactly how it is going to turn out or even what music I will use, but I have found over the years that if I just surrender to the creative process and let it happen, everything seems to fall into place. I am grateful for that.
This year sifting through countless images, I’m struck with the theme: Time Marches On. We have a brand new class of high school graduates, the Class of 2014: well equipped for the world, confident, and about to embark on their next adventures in life. Time marches on. This year marks my thirtieth year photographing graduation as well as my thirtieth reunion from Chatham Hall. As an extra-special reminder of the ticking clock, my nephew Cam, a recent college graduate and photographer, flew down from the Northeast to help me out this year. How lucky I am not only to have been a student at this fabulous school, but also to be in the position of seeing a place shift and change over time.
This year I lost a friend. In fact, we all lost a friend. Ann Beal, educator at Chatham Hall for twenty-nine years (once my English teacher too), lost her battle with cancer (see “My Friend Ann” http://lisarichmondphotography.com/blog/?p=11528).
I had known Ann since she arrived at the school. We arrived the same time. I have been visiting Chatham every year since my graduation in 1984. During all that time, Ann was kind enough to put me up in her home each year. The mixed blessing of my visit this year is that although I lost a friend, I got to see her the day before she passed. I am grieving her passing, but I am also happy to have been able to say goodbye to her at her home in Hillsborough, NC, to wish her well on the next part of her journey. I am truly grateful for that timing. It’s remarkable, actually.
While it was a tough time to sit back and feel sorrow in the midst of the excitement of graduation, there were unspoken nods and hugs among all of us who were experiencing the dichotomy of emotions of the weekend. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. There’s something so heartening about being among those who can share your experience without needing explanation. Even while carrying a sorrow, we could be joyful to do it in each others’ company.
Ann’s passing has made me recognize even more deeply the importance of my Chatham Hall family. All those classmates who I still keep in touch with on Facebook and who, through our common experience, could sit down with me at any time and enjoy a long conversation… It made me realize my continued acceptance by both the staff and students at the school even today, though my own graduation was decades ago. It made me realize the depth at which the staff and faculty care for the school and its students, whether present at the school currently or embarking on their own next adventures.
Time marches on. Good-bye to Gary and Missy Fountain. Through warmth and personality, they have always made me feel welcome at Chatham on my annual visits over the past decade. I remember the first time I heard Gary’s graduation poem in 2004 in which he humorously crafted a verse about each graduate. I thought, “How awesome to have a Rector recite something so personal and funny.” He really had to know each student–he would have had to make it a priority to get to know each student–to write something like that. I instantly felt a connection with him and looked forward to his annual offering.
Time marches on. Whether you’ve been associated with the school for half a year or half a century, doubtless you feel the same kindred spirit with Chatham that I’m talking about. The cycles of seasons and years and graduating classes continue, shifting and changing with the addition of new faces and the tender parting of others. But Chatham’s sustaining character remains as one of home, family, supportive challenges, and acceptance.
Special thanks to Abbi Plemmons who was my student assistant this year and did a fantastic job, to La and all the CH staff, for being great team players, to Owen for his beautiful image of the old oak tree, to Cameron Held, whose beautiful photography is throughout the show and to Schay and Hunter for their warmth and hospitality!
Enjoy the slideshow. And remember, it is a show that requires Adobe Flash, so put down your iPhone or iPad and watch it on your main computer or one that supports Adobe Flash.