If you love trains and you’re getting married, you really have to check out Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton, California. Carol and Nick (well, especially Nick), dig these steam-driven monuments to living history, so it was a natural choice for their Big Day to choose Roaring Camp as their wedding venue. It was Cinco de Mayo, and we were graced with amazing weather all day. Even though Roaring Camp can host large weddings with over 200 people, these two wanted something a little more intimate, allowing for family-style tables at the reception, and setting up a really cool lounge area outdoors around a fire pit. The ceremony was held in the upper redwood grove, and the train ride up and down Bear Mountain is always one of the most memorable aspects of a Roaring Camp wedding. I got so many great candids throughout the day, please enjoy some of my favorites in my album design below:
Aside from weddings, I probably put the most effort into helping plan surprise proposals for romantic guys who really want to make this moment special for their girls. From detailed and diagrammed satellite imagery outlining the target area for where I’ll be waiting, to making sure I receive a selfie of the couple so I don’t accidentally “stalk” the wrong couple, I go to great lengths to ensure all the randomness of nature and life don’t prevent me from capturing the moment, then expanding that moment into many moments, guided by my experience and natural feel for this sort of thing.
Even though we had a surprise river bisecting the beach, even though the tide (and waves) were so high that we couldn’t explore half the beach, even though it was a Sunday afternoon and we had a ton of partying teens cheering the couple on – everything came together in a magical way that I hope was everything Shamik imagined it could be. Here’s the highlights of our short time together, I hope you enjoy them.
Panther Beach is one of the more popular engagement photography destinations in the Santa Cruz area, mostly because it offers stunning natural features and is fairly private, as it’s challenging to access. But with great beauty, comes another natural risk – big waves! This is the only beach I or my couples have fairly routinely gotten wet at – usually by accident :) Luckily I was able to get a bunch of great photos before the risky shot at the end. A sneaker wave pummeled the rock these two were standing on and utterly drenched them. I got the shot (of course), because that would be a real bummer way to end a session if I didn’t! Luckily they were in good spirits and it wasn’t too cold (even though it’s March). Enjoy a few of my faves below:
It’s been rainy… rainy… RAINY for weeks, and it’s been a real challenge to schedule (and reschedule) around the weather since 2019 started. It had been raining on and off all day, and I knew my clients were coming from the East Bay for their engagement shoot, so I was worried they’d drive all this way for nothing. Luckily we caught a break about 45 minutes before sunset on the beach in Capitola, California. Sweet! I’m shooting with to very different cameras now, my trusty Nikon D850 and my new mirrorless Nikon Z6. They are both amazing pieces of tech, and while it’s generally more efficient to shoot two of the same camera bodies (especially when it comes to editing), I’m embracing the unique way each camera renders light and color, bringing more variety for my wedding clients. All the wide-angle shots below are with the Z6, the tighter shots with the D850. Which do you like best? Enjoy…
These two were flying back to New York the same evening, so rescheduling their west coast engagement was… not an option. While I waited for them in the Palace of Fine Arts parking lot, the sky opened up and rained… Part of me was expecting the client to cancel via text, but alas the rain stopped and they showed up not too long after, ready to go! Even when the weather is cold and drizzly, the Palace of Fine Arts is a very popular tourist destination, and they get dropped off to explore the property by the busload. And of course there’s always photographers, both amateur and professional, snapping away at the architectural wonders or, like me, shooting sessions with couples. We took our time exploring the property, getting both wide shots to show off the towering architecture, and closer in, more intimate photos. The challenge is really to make it seem like my clients are the only ones there – and I think we more or less accomplished this! Afterwards we drove 10 minutes to Baker Beach, another popular tourist location given the great sunset view of the Golden Gate Bridge. After a quick outfit change in my Sqivvy pop-up tent, we finished the engagement shoot on the beach, getting some romantic sunset shots along the way. Enjoy a few of my faves below!