I had the privilege of photographing Mario and Ashley’s wedding.  You might remember them from a recent engagement posting.  The ceremony was held at St. William’s Parish in Atascadero.  The reception followed at the Sylvesters Winery in Paso Robles. Both Mario and Ashley were easy to shoot and an overall great couple to work with.  Mario was one of the most laid back and fun grooms I’ve had in recent times.

As always children are such a wonderful part of most weddings and one of my real joys as a San Luis Obispo Photographer.   You’ll see this little handsome guy quite a bit.

As we got ready to shoot the groomsmen – the groom graciously helped the ring bearer put some final touches to suite.  I just wish I could tell what this little guy is thinking at the moment!

Obviously Mario loves children too.   Whatever better way to break the ice getting ready for the shoot – than a little play time with the groom and the ring bearer!

In a moment of desperation and weakness – Mario spends a moment asking himself, “how did I get myself into this mess!”   Of course it is all in good humor – playing for the camera – and Mario in fact feels extremely blessed and very excited to be marrying the love of his life!

One of the important aspects to every wedding is not only the location and decorations of the ceremony and reception sites, but also determining where we will take pictures before and after the wedding. Sometimes it is the ceremony site, the reception site or a site unrelated to the wedding.  This is always something I discuss with the bride and groom and want their input in.   For the guys (a few pictures above) Mario and Ashley had proposed The Paso Robles City Park.  However,  upon arrival we found the park occupied by  some type of carnival, with booths and vendors everywhere.  We had to quickly come up with a “plan B”, so we headed just a little ways down and across the street to the Paso Robles Inn, which has quite a bit of lush greenery.     For the girls, my assistant and I headed a good distance out in the country to Ashley’s parent’s house – a beautiful plantation style estate.  Just gorgeous!    My only regret was that we didn’t have more time there.   I could have easily spent another 1/2 to 2 hours photographing Ashley and the girls.

It’s always wonderful to capture the relationship between individuals at weddings.   This little flower girl was absolutely endearing with here bubbly inviting personality and beautiful smile.  She certainly stole my heart.  It was very pleasurable for me to capture the genuine affection between Ashley and her flower girl.

The girls were a lot of fun as well getting right into a Charley’s Angles pose with not much coaxing.

I just absolutely love this shot that my assistant Tatiana grabbed (below) as we headed back to the house….with one of the bridesmaids playing a little spoof on the bride’s sister.  I just smile every time I look at this one.

Soon it was time to leave the glorious estate and we headed to Atascadero for the church.  Once there, Ashley sequestered herself in of the chapel rooms from which she would make her grand entrance.  While we waited for the start of the ceremony,  I had some extra time to get a few more pictures of Ashely – just before one of the biggest and most wonderful moments of her life!

My favorite flower girl of the day kept peeking into the room Ashley and the girls were waiting in.  I think she was just as excited as Ashley. She seemed to enjoy having her picture taken as well.  The little smiles that we shared through out the day will always be dear to my heart.

One of my greatest joys and biggest responsibilities (as I see it) is capturing the special moments between the bride and groom during the ceremony.  Often this is challenging because quite often couples want a very, very short ceremony.  I always recommend that couples allow there ceremony to be at least 15-30 minutes.  However, regardless of the length of the ceremony it’s my passion and mission to capture those special little moments that often times happen in the blink of an eye.  However, in Mario and Ashley’s situation the ceremony actually went closer to an hour.  This afforded me much more time to capture their ceremony.  Of course being a church ceremony there are always more limitations on where I am allowed to move during the ceremony.   Often times flash is prohibited as well.  Fortunately, equipped with some of the best equipment Canon has to offer I as was able to capture these pictures with no flash – in a (photographically speaking) very dark environment.

Let’s just say if you are accustomed to cartoons and fast paced activities, like this little guy  –  some ceremonies can get a little long. It was fun to be able to get a quick shot of this special moment before he woke back up and realized someone was watching him!

Following the ceremony the brides mother enjoys a special moment with the newest member of her family.

Another fun,  little personality I had the joy of being around.

My absolute favorite pictures to capture are real moments of joy between the couples.

Another contestant for cutest girl of the year award….and a likely winner!

The Sylvesters Vineyards and Winery features a historic train on the property, so it was only fitting we try to make use of it.

Organizing and shooting group shots is not the funnest part of my job.  However, it is an important one.   What is fun is though – is when groups organize themselves and line up for someone else without me having to do anything…and then stealing the shot with out them even knowing it.  Now that is fun!

First dance.  The expressions say it all!

One of the richest sunsets I have seen in a long time.  The sky turned from gray and cloudy to this vibrant, rich, colorful sunset in the matter of a few minutes.

It’s really key that all of your vendors are of the same mindset.  That mindset being:  “We are her to work together for whatever is the absolute best for the bride and groom, no matter what!” Having said that  – such is not always the belief of some vendors.  Some get more concerned with doing it their way, making sure their timeline or pride does not get messed with.

However, I was really touched that all of the vendors at Mario and Ashley’s weddings were indeed working towards the couples best.

According to the time line it was time for the money dance or such. However, in just the course of a few minutes this brilliant sunset unfolded.  Seeing and knowing from experience that this opportunity would literally live only a few minutes (since the sun had already dipped below the mountains)  I whisked the couple from the dance floor to set up and capture these shots while we had the chance. I wanted to discuss this with the DJ before doing such, but I knew that I only had a couple minutes and every second counted.    Many DJ’s would have cried foul or been upset that someone had altered “their timeline” and been so rude to change things up with out even discussing it with them – and  reacted harshly.    However, this was not the case with AMS Entertainment.  After we had concluded with the sunset photographs I went over to the DJ to apologize for whisking the couple away.  The DJ completely understood and agreed with my actions saying he understood exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it…and in fact with a sunset like that, if I hadn’t have done such “it would have been criminal”!    No ego, no attitude – just wanting what was best for the couple.  I truly appreciated that!

As the night wore on, Mario and Ashley took a few minutes to get away from the dance floor to cherish this life altering day for themselves, picking a spot in the darkness of the night.  Not wanting to disturb the couple with a harsh flash thrown on them – the only way I could capture the moment was to leave my shutter open for more than a half a second  ( a long time – in photography), thus causing some  camera shake, but also adding a different possibly “mysterious” dimension to it.

It was a great day, one I feel privileged and honored to have been part of.  Thank you Mario and Ashley and may your love for each other live on and on and on!

Warmly,

Trent

Along with the start of wedding season – also comes the start of High School Senior Portrait Sessions.  It’s always fun to shoot Seniors with their sense of freedom and adventure. It was my pleasure to shoot Kiri recently. She is a beautiful and delightful young lady.  Here are four favs I grabbed.

There are many great things about being a wedding, engagement and portrait photographer.  Where ever I travel throughout California  I am blessed to meet and photograph awesome couples that are in love with each other and  who are loads of fun. I try to incorporate as much natural, candid, photojournalistic photography as possible.  Where needed I’ll use contemporary posses.  However, for the most part my goal is to use as much natural light as possible and to capture the essence of who you are as a couple in a relaxed and fun way.  I’m a relaxed, chill guy and usually this will help my clients relax and have fun.   It’s always enjoyable for me with a bride tells me that her fiance has hated having his picture taken in the past – but says after our experience:  “I can’t believe it…he said he actually had fun and enjoyed it!”

Back to being blessed with what I do.  It was a blessing to provide photography for Mario and Ashley.  They are a fun loving, vivacious couple. One of the cool things I get to experience is the variety of each couple.  Each couple ultimately picks the location we shoot at, the clothing they will wear and the aspects of their personality that they will bring to the shoot.  I often give my clients clothing advice prior to the engagement or portrait shoots – but I alway preface it by saying that the clothing choices really don’t make or break the pictures. It’s the expressions, emotions and love that will really make the difference….and when I look at a good number of Mario and Ashley’s photographs – my eyes are immediately drawn to their expressions and the emotion and relationship that is captured.

It was a beautiful day to be shooting in the Laguna Beach, Newport Beach – Irvine  area.  Orange County in general  is just so gorgeous  and Crystal Cove just stellar.

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It is hard to put into words what great people Tony and Heidi are.  Everything about them pours forth class, kindness, thoughtfulness, respect and FUN!  Tony and Heidi are people  with a strong and wonderful faith and a faith they put into action. I love Tony and Heidi and it’s couples like this that keep my passion for doing what I do – going strong.

The Gorgeous wedding venue was THE CASITAS of Arroyo Grande .    This is a new  and amazing wedding venue for the Central Coast, that not very many people know about. It’s a Spanish Style Bed and Breakfast tucked on a hillside with an absolutely amazing view overlooking the surrounding are. It’s beautiful, cozy,  warm and inviting, private and run by two great hands on owners: Pat and Tony Goetz.  Heidi and Tony were able to come in the day before the wedding and set things up. This saved them a ton of stress and impossible logistics.   I’ll tell you more about it when I do a separate blog featuring this awesome wedding venue…hopefully very soon.  Regardless if you are in need of a wedding venue unlike most others – be sure to take follow the link to their website, give them a call or contact me and I’ll be happy to share more!

We started the day at Kim and Co. Salon in San Luis Obispo.   I got to the Salon first, then “Heidi’s Girls” started to trickle in getting their hair done.   Soon Heidi showed up and I grabbed this shot of here coming in the front door.  I think it depicts her personality very well:  fun, willing to ham it up and not afraid of the camera!

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If your in need of hair or make up on your wedding day you might consider Kim and Co. Hair Salon located in San Luis Obispo.  They have ample room and staff to accommodate a good number of girls.  Kim has a ton of experience – and a great attitude to go along with it.

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Beautiful Heidi takes one last look before  she turns into “Super Beautiful Bride – Heidi”.

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That’s right – little cute flower girls have to have their time at the Salon as well!

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Heidi’s mom was such a great sport about having a few pics taken of herself.  I think it is so wonderful when everyone realizes that “getting ready” is part of the whole wedding day experience and that the bride and groom will find enjoyment in looking back at ALL the moments leading up to their wedding.  You can see where Heidi get’s her great smile from!

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Now just to make a disclaimer so Tony doesn’t get harassed by anyone:  Tony was not at the Salon.  He got ready at The Casitas.  It just so happens that they had this mirror in the bathroom there and Tony kindly obliged my request to get a photograph of him looking into it.  Thanks Tony!

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Kim and Co. Salon:  Very cool Salon as you can see.

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The Casitas of Arroyo Grande is a great wedding venue – in case you are looking for one.

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Ring shots are on the major “to do list” for me – unless you let me know otherwise.  For this to happen though I need to get there early and you need to have the rings ready for me so I can spend some quality time with them -just the two of us – well the 3 or 4 of us depending on how many rings you have for me. Heidi was awesome and had the rings waiting for me when I got to The Casitas ahead of her. Thanks for trusting me Heidi!! Don’t worry I will care for your rings like I would a new born baby if you will trust me with them.

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Heidi was one of the most radiant and beaming with joy – brides I have had the privilege of photographing.  All day long her smile shouted:  This is my wedding day!…this is the day I have waited and yearned for…today I will marry the man I love and the man that loves me with all his heart…this is the day I have waited for…the day God has promised and provided for and NOW IT IS HERE!!!  REJOICE!!!!

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Tony was amazing as well. A very special guy for a very special woman.

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I’m not sure who this little angel  was looking at, but apparently she thought they were very important or amazing   :  )

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Just CLASSIC…. “hey you talking to me?”

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In case Tony had any ideas about backing out of the wedding – Heidi’s dad sent him a soft subtle message…probably whispering in his ear just before this hand shake:  “no Pressure Tony”.

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Apparently this little angel in the front had studied up on the the official  flower girl pose!    Yes, totally unprompted.     I just love it.

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Watch out ladies!  In only 10-15 more years this little guy is going to be breaking hearts I tell ya!

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“I need to concentrate so I can  pick just the right rose pedal…and then the audience will erupt in cheers for me!”

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These “angel wings” in the rich blue sky spoke to me of God’s blessing on Tony and Heidi’s wedding.

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Heidi and Tony had a close friend read something very special for them during the ceremony.  Obviously it meant a lot.

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If you’re wondering how long it took me to photoshop the below photo…the answer is very long.

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And after all that – I think I like the color versions better!

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So I’m standing in the buffet line with this guy  (see below)  and his family.  I say hello and “let me ask you something…do people often tell you, you look like someone famous?”  Before I can even completely finish – his family starts laughing and he tell’s me – “don’t you dare say I look like _______   _______.”   He then goes on to tell me of occurrences where people have come up to him in airports and had full on convos with him as though he was actually so and so.   So here’s my request.  Make a comment in the below comment area and tell me who and/or if he looks like any Hollywood actor. Also include how much he resembles him:  1 being slight, 10 being identical.  I’ll send him the results  :  )

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Some of my absolute favorite shots.  Totally real, totally candid, totally full of emotion.  The eyes and smile say it all!      So in love!

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It’s hard work being a flower girl – enough to completely tire you out.  The hours are demanding, the work difficult and the pay not so good. It’s a rough job but someone has to do it.

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A big thank you to all of Tony and Heidi’s friends and family who were such a blast to be around on that wonderful day!

Tony and Heidi,  the highest privilege, honor and fun was granted to me in photographing your wedding.  I feel greatly benefited from having experienced you in my life and hope and pray all of God’s very best for you!

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