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I’m excited to post these wedding photos. About a month ago, I traveled to Chico, California from Bozeman, Montana to photograph the destination wedding day of Sara and Jason. These two lovebirds booked me well over a year out after her work friend found me and showed my photography to Sara during a internet search for Northern California wedding photographers during a long overnight emergency work shift (Sara is a veterinarian). Talking with with Jason and Sara on the phone we quickly bonded over discovering a mutual love of the outdoors, fly fishing and the occasional craft beer. These were my kind of people. I had been looking forward to their wedding day for a while. Our first time meeting was in the morning of their wedding day but it was like being reacquainted with old friends. I met up with them as they were getting ready at the Hotel Diamond in downtown Chico and photographed them as the day unfolded.

Their wedding was a fantastic DIY (Do it yourself!) event hosted at his mother’s farm property outside of town called the Double R RanchIt was put together with the help of friends and family who were successful in creating a charming garden farm themed wedding celebration. Dinner was served in the garden amongst the sunflowers and squash on wood tables made by the groomsmen. The barn itself had been just finished by the wedding party in time for the event. Everywhere you looked there was a personal touch. It was a beautiful day filled with warm weather and smiles. A fun weekend with great people! I am just thrilled for these two! Congrats to Sara and Jason and many years of continued happiness! -Mike Greener

To see all of their wedding celebration photos, click here.

 

Just got back to Bozeman, Montana after spending the last four days traveling to Chico, California to photograph the destination wedding day of Sara and Jason on their family farm. Such a fun weekend with great people! This was a fantastic DIY (Do it yourself!) wedding. I’m excited to show you more of the fun. Here is a quick preview of their wedding celebration photographs. Many more to come! Congrats to Sara and Jason! -Mike Greener

In addition to photographing Emily and Matt’s wedding celebration, they also hired me to set up my photo booth at their reception at the Odd Fellows Hall in Davis, California. Photobooths are a great way to add some fun to the wedding reception. It’s amazing the positive energy it can bring to a wedding celebration.  Their wedding guests were able to trigger the booth remotely themselves which meant I could continue to photograph the festivities elsewhere. The results are often a surprising and hilarious discovery and random creativity. I’ve made it a rule now never to have beverages around my computer while editing photobooth images. Too funny. You never quite know what you will get. This crowd did not disappoint. What a fun evening! -Mike Greener

To see all of the photo booth images, follow this link.

I came to know Molly and Brian through a referral from my friend and wedding planner extraordinaire Fearon, of Fearon May Events. The two were looking for a destination wedding photographer who specialized in a candid documentary photographic approach for their wedding photography and Fearon put us in touch. From our very first conversations about their wedding day back in November of 2011, we hit it off right from the get go. I love Midwesterners. Both of them are living in the Chicagoland of my youth working as financial advisory consultants, a job that allows them to travel all over the country. All the traveling has helped to develop their love of fine dining and good wines which they where sure to incorporate into their wedding celebration. Coincidentally, they met at a work happy hour and after dating for the past two years when the time came for them to choose a place to get married, these two foodies had their hearts set on a Sonoma wine country wedding. They could not have picked a prettier spot. So about a month ago, I traveled out from my new home in Bozeman, Montana back to lush, green vineyards of Sonoma, California for a weekend documenting their wedding festivities at the BR Cohn Winery.

Other Vendors:

DJ, Lighting, Officiant: Extreme Productions

Catering: Grapevine Catering

Florist: Sonoma Flowers

Dessert: Sift Cupcake

Rentals: Wine Country Rentals

Limo: Royal Coach Limo

Here are some of my favorite photos from my time with Molly and Brian. I have had so much fun getting to know these two. I wish them all the best! -M

To see all of their wedding photos and more, you can view them here

I’ve been meaning to post these pics for a while now. A couple months ago, some friends of mine, Ben and Charlotte, approached me about making some fun portraits of them that they could send to their families both here and overseas in Germany and Belgium. They had never had professional portraits taken together and wanted photos that would accurately show their relationship. I really enjoy going out and making photos of friends. Having watched their relationship blossom over the past couple of years I was excited to try to capture it in a formal portrait setting. We ended up checking out the trail along side Putah Creek on the outskirts of Davis and as a added bonus, they brought their puppy Timo along for some entertainment. I find having dogs on a shoot can either be hit or miss. At times they can be very distracting to the subjects but more often than not they can be a fun addition to bringing out the best in my subjects by helping to make them laugh. Timo behaved perfectly and I think added a nice touch to their portrait session. Another fun afternoon with friends. -M

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be one of the featured photographers working at the upcoming 2011 Lavish & Fabulous Bridal event at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa on November 10th, 2011. The event is being put on by my good friend and talented wedding planner Fearon DeWeese, of Fearon May Events in association with Real Weddings Magazine. The two have teamed up to create an exclusive couture bridal event featuring the top wedding vendors in the Sacramento region. Lavish & Fabulous was designed to take bridal shows to the next level by showcasing all of the vendors in themed vignette table top designs. They pride themselves on only selecting the best professionals in the area and personally invite them to participate in the show. This boutique style soiree allows couples to find wedding resources in a low-key, modern and fun environment. This is an event unlike any other in Sacramento that caters specifically to the couture bride and groom. With fashion, food and fabulous vendors, this is definitely a show you will not want to miss out on. Come see the latest trends from New York to San Francisco for your 2012 wedding. We invite brides and grooms-to-be to this one of a kind luxury showcase at one of the premier wedding venues in Northern California. This is a bridal show that even the groom will enjoy! With a special groom’s lounge, delicious food and no pressure from vendor booths, you can make it a fun night out for the two of you. When you enter Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa you will start your evening by being greeted with a glass of champagne as you walk the red carpet. You will walk through the themed table tops designed by Fearon May Events, be inspired by the breath-taking decor by our amazing professionals, taste delicious hors d’ ouevres & beverages and dance the night away to live entertainment! Inspiration, delicious food, alcoholic beverages and live entertainment for only $15! Tickets are on sale now! By your tickets now before they sell out. We hope to see you at the show! Cocktail attire suggested.

Check out their website for all of the details. http://www.lavishandfabulous.com/

Hope to see you all there! -M

A couple weeks back I was emergency hired to document a family reunion of Plush Wedding & Events planner Michaela Rodgers. Her former photographer backed out at the last minute and she was left scrambling to find a replacement. Through the great wedding network of Sacramento, Michaela was able to track me down and asked if I could help her out. Being a professional photojournalist at newspapers for the past six years, I’ve often been thrown into a photographic situation at the drop of a hat where I’ve had to roll with it and make captivating images. I was happy to offer my photographic services and a couple days later, I found myself hired and driving eastbound towards Lake Tahoe for my Saturday with the Rodgers documenting their family festivities.

The Rodgers Family gathering was focused around the birthdays of the grandparents Donna and Kirk and their kids wanted to celebrate the event with a surprise weekend in Lake Tahoe. Michaela married into the family with her high school sweetheart now husband Cameron, the youngest of the six children. The two have known each other since their junior year of high school.

Coming from a smaller family of three kids, my eyes were definitely opened to a whole new family dynamic of six children and ten grand children. There are eighteen grand children now,” said Michaela Rodgers about life as a Rodgers family member, “It’s never a dull, or quiet, moment.  I knew right away that this family was special and they have taught me a whole new meaning of what being a family truly is.”

The whole idea of their special surprise weekend began months earlier stemming from Cameron’s older sister, Tawna (third oldest sibling).  Their parents, Donna & Kirk both recently turned sixty-years-old this past year and their kids and grandchildren wanted to do something meaningful for them. The kids figured since their parents had taken care of, supported and loved their children and grand children every day of their lives their recent birthday was a good excuse to celebrate in style. So Tawna gathered the family members together, gave us each tasks and assignments to get the planning underway.

I’ll let Michaela describe how the weekend went with a letter she sent to me.

Everything about this weekend was a surprise to the parents.  The first day, we put together a scavenger hunt that began in Lincoln, CA and led Donna & Kirk up to the cabin in Lake Tahoe.  They were welcomed with a huge gift basket of their favorite treats: Popcorn, Hot Tamales, Diet Pepsi, Pellegrino, M&M’s, all their favorites along with beautiful fresh flowers to brighten up their room.

The second day, we surprised them with our fabulous photographer, Mike Greener of Greener Visuals Wedding Photography.  The idea of having Mike share our weekend celebration with us was so that he could capture the everyday silly, goofy, emotional and special moments that we have with one another regularly. It’s those special moments that we rarely are able to capture because we are always “in the moment”.  We wanted Mike to document our day with his beautiful pictures and he delivered above and beyond what any of us had envisioned.

First, let me back and up and mention how we came to find Mike…and let me say too that he was our savior for this weekend!  We actually had another photographer lined up, but she canceled two days before our departure!  Needless to say, I was in a panic, and happened to call a dear friend/colleague of mine in the wedding industry, and she gave me Mike’s name and information and said I have to give him a call.  I was a little hesitant at first, being that I had never met him before, and we all know how important pictures are, right?  So, I checked out his website and was blown away!  I gave him a call and his kindness, compassion and eagerness to help us in our oh-so-desperate situation was more than I ever could have ever asked for!

So, when Mike arrived at the cabin, we had our picnic lunch all packed up and we headed out to the beach!  There we ate lunch, played some football, volleyball and baseball and simply hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.  Mike was awesome!  He captured everyone in his or her truest state of being and living.  We gathered all twenty-three family members for a family picture in front of Lake Tahoe and let me note there were two families that weren’t able to make it.  We have a huge family!

After the beach we made Donna & Kirk one for their favorite meals, Mexican food galore and each family member around the table shared a special memory that we had of them.  Needless to say, the room was filled with an immense amount of emotion, love and tears.

Following dinner was the biggest surprise of them all!  Tara (second oldest) wrote and directed a play for her parents.  This play was a representation of Donna and Kirk’s life together, beginning when they first met in 2nd grade, their marriage at 16 (just juniors in high-school) and they re-played each child’s birth.  The twelve grand children that were there played the parts of their parents as they were growing up, high-lighting extra special events and moments that occurred throughout their lives.  Having such special meaning only to our family, watching stories being acted out that we have heard throughout the years, the amount of laughter and tears that were shared during this moment, were indescribable.

And thanks to Mike, he captured it all flawlessly.  Because of him, we will forever have these intimate memories of this weekend to look back on and reminisce about and forever smile upon.

Thank You! Thank You!  Thank You!”Michaela Rodgers

Upon my arrival at their snow-covered, cabin doorsteps it was immediately apparent that this was a loving, tightly knit family. I had so much fun watching and documenting the Rodgers family play and laugh together. I quickly felt right at home. One after another there were jokes and stories of the family’s past being retold and laughter and hugs ensued. You knew it hadn’t always been smooth sailing for them like most families I know but here they all were older and wiser laughing till their stomach hurt, recounting all of the antics and struggles big and small that they endured over their childhoods. This was a family that had grown strong together. A family that had supported each other through thick and thin and now were here to honor and celebrate the two parents that had given them that unwavering foundation and guidance along the way to adulthood. It was a cool thing to behold…laughter, tears and all. Here are a couple favorite images from my time with them. It was yet another fun weekend photographing in the mountains. I was glad to help them out. –Mike Greener

The California wedding season has begun! A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing two of my oldest friends tie the knot at a small vineyard-surrounded property outside of Hopland, California. I met Ashley and Trevor back back in 1994 when I was in sixth grader at North Junior High School in my hometown of Crystal Lake, Illinois. It was a big time of transition at that point in my young life. Junior High meant attending a new bigger school with new kids and multiple teachers, all of a sudden girls started being topics of interests for me and the other boys, we no longer had recess at school (a huge disappointment) and instead, we got our daily fun through games in gym class. It was gym class where I first met Ashley. She was this pretty, firecracker red head who had grown up playing softball and now was a lethal force against anyone playing gym class dodge ball. For all the other pubescent boys and myself it was an immediate infatuation. This girl could throw a ball better than most of us. I’ve been luckily to call her a friend ever since that day.

Now all grown up, I have long since left my Illinois roots and I’ve found that there are not many people from my hometown that have ventured out west of the Mississippi. Ashley and Trevor were some of the few who did. It’s funny to me how as you grow older in your life you never really know what friends will continue to be apart of your journey. Thankfully somehow, some way Ashley and I have remained in contact and have stayed friends throughout. I have had numerous opportunities to meet up her and Trevor (once they started dating) over the years. Their wedding day was a long time coming. These two are perfect for each other and I’ve always been impressed with their shared passion for the flavor of life both in cuisine and culture. Fast forward 16 years since the 6th grade, the two have made a life together working in the fine dining industry of San Francisco and many times they have offered up their apartment couch to me during weekend visits to the city by the bay. Trevor has quickly turned into one of the top up and coming chefs in the San Francisco bay area. I had the opportunity to photograph (and sample) some of his first restaurant dishes as he was starting out. I still dream about them. He graduated from California Culinary Academy in 2005 and quickly became the executive sous chef at Umami Restaurant and has since moved on to become the executive chef at Mission Beach Cafe over the last year. Trevor’s big news is that he just recently signed on to this new project, which will be called Chambers located in the Phoenix Hotel, a notorious destination for famous “rock n’ roll” musicians staying in the city. The restaurant is slated to open the first week of May and the food will be California cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. If it’s anything like his previous restaurants gigs that I have dined in, I have no doubts it will be a huge success. Ashley is balancing her time between being a head server and wine guru at the Betelnut Restaurant in Marina District of San Francisco while finishing up a major in Business Management with a minor in Economics at the San Francisco City College. I would not be surprised at all if these two opened their own fancy restaurant down the road. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

When I got their wedding invitation in the mail, I knew it would be a mini Crystal Lake reunion. They had their intimately small wedding outside of Hopland, California at the Mendocino Hill Event Center. It was really a beautiful ceremony filled with great friends and warm familiar faces. I attended this wedding as a guest but I decided to bring along my camera for fun. It provided a good opportunity for me to experiment and try out different approaches to shooting. Between catching up with old friends, laughing and telling stories over local wine and eating an assortment of fine cheeses and roasted duck, I managed to snap a couple pictures. Here are some of my favorite images I made of their wedding day. You can find more photos from Ashley and Trevor’s wedding here. It was so great to be apart of their special day. I wish them all the best. -M

Yesterday evening, I had the privilege of attending my first Sacramento Swop Meet attended by of all of the local wedding vendors from around the Sacramento area. The event, a bi-monthly social mix-up, was hosted by the editorial staff of Sacramento Bride and Groom magazine at the beautiful Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom, CA. I saw the gathering as the perfect opportunity to introduce myself and my business, Greener Visuals Wedding Photography, to all of the wedding planners, florists, DJs, venue managers and other photographers in my area. I’m quickly learning that so much of what makes a business great is who you know and your willingness to help out others. I found the whole experience a really inviting one. From the moment I walked in the door, SacBride.com publisher Tami Miller and saleswoman Lisa Duncan took turns showing me around and introducing me to the other vendors. I spent the evening mingling, enjoying the complimentary drinks and appetizers while learning about my fellow wedding vendors. I met a lot of great, friendly people who were anxious to tell me about their businesses. I was struck by the stories they related to me about how they became involved in the wedding industry. No two people had the same story as to how they got involved in weddings, but it was clear that each was passionate about their specialized area. Everyone I spoke with was so generous with their time and knowledge. For a young up-and-coming wedding photographer like myself, I was very impressed with the sense of community the event provided. How great is it that these professionals gather together to network, make friends, all sharing the common goal of creating a better experience for potential wedding couples. It was immediately apparent that everyone was on the same page. I’m already looking forward to the next meet-up.

2011. Oh the possibilities. To ring in the new year, I celebrated with some good friends from around Davis, California. We had a great time. Here is some fun pictures from my photo booth that I set up at a friend’s house party. I can’t wait to see all of the opportunities the new year will bring. Happy New Year everybody! -M

Happy Holidays everybody! I opened my email yesterday to find out that I have been accepted as a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association. It’s a pretty big deal for me. They are the elite, industry standard of wedding photojournalism. To quote their website, ” Leading the way in Wedding Photojournalism, WPJA represents the most discriminating talent around the world technically, creatively and visually. Qualified members hold industry-leading standards, skills and business integrity.”

It’s great to be associated with such a top notch organization aimed at maintaining quality wedding photojournalism. I’m proud to be apart of it and I wanted to share with all of you. For brides-to-be, now is a great time to book your wedding photographer. I still have plenty of dates open but they are starting to fill up fast. Always a good thing. I’m really looking forward to the new wedding season but for now I’ll enjoy the winter holidays. Happy New Year everyone!


Fall has come to California and I find myself meditating on my good fortune to have had the opportunity to photograph so many of my friend’s weddings this year. But none have had so much anticipation and impact on me like Zack and Anna’s wedding did. I’ve known Zack and Anna for almost four years now. They were some of the first friends I made after arriving to my first newspaper job in Redding, California. When the time came to move on from Redding and travel to South America with my brother, Zack and Anna left their positions as bird researchers and began graduate school in ecology at The University of California Davis. Little did I know that upon my return to the states, I would get a new newspaper job close to Davis and would eventually become roommates with them and four egg-laying chickens.

Unlike other weddings I have photographed in the past, being roommates to an engaged couple automatically made me apart of the wedding planning. It was fun to watch their excitement grow as the months and weeks counted down to their big day. Because of my inclusion in the preparation, I felt the whole wedding day to be all that more important. We headed out towards Lake Tahoe to a beautiful secluded log mansion for their wedding weekend. They completely made the day all their own with the help of their great friends. Everything from the two wild pigs that were shot then roasted to the homemade decorations to the relentless energy and good spirits of their guest that helped keep the party going long into the night despite plummeting temperatures. It was incredible to see the amount of giving each of their friends and family members gave to help celebrate the union of these two individuals. We had a great time and I was proud to be apart of it. There are countless photos from their wedding day and I hope you get a chance to check them all out. You can find all of their wedding photographs here. I wish them all the best. -M






The Greener Visuals photo booth is open for business. For it’s inaugural run at Zack and Anna’s wedding, the photo booth was an instant success. The idea was to set up a camera rig that would allow all of the guests of the wedding to make photos of themselves from a remote radio camera trigger. I had never done this before so there was a bit of a learning curve. Despite the frigid mountain temperatures numerous people found their way over to make some pretty creative photos with the help of the costume box from distinguished members of the UCDavis Ecology crew. Thanks for your help guys! I uploaded the entire take to show the progression of the evening. To see more of the fun go here. Truly a great time was had by all.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing an old friend and colleague’s wedding in Chico, California. I worked with Lauren when I was a staff photographer at the Record Searchlight newspaper in Redding, California. At the time, she was a reporter and for over a year, we would accompany each other to assignments around the town. You really get to know your colleagues well at a newspaper because you are all working together to put out the newspaper everyday. Often times while waiting for an assignment to begin, conversations turn to personal stories and day-to-day ramblings in your life. For me it was always about my latest fishing trip. For Lauren it was her boyfriend in Chico. For as long as I’ve known Lauren, she was living in Chico and then would commute up to Redding for work. An hour drive on a good day. I could never understand why anyone would willingly put themselves through that kind of inconvenience. And during our assignments together, I would constantly let her know I thought she was crazy. Looking back on it, I don’t think I was seeing the big picture. Her reasoning was always the same. She kept talking about her wonderful boyfriend turned fiancée now husband Richard and the life they were living together in Chico. When Lauren called me up a couple months ago asking me to shoot their wedding, I just had to smile. It was a long time coming. Last weekend I finally got to meet Richard and from the very moment I saw them together, it was clear that they were head over heals for each other. I realize now that her driving commute was small sacrifice compared to the overall happiness that these two shared together as a couple. To Lauren it was well worth it. Ah, the things you do for love. It’s good to see.

The wedding was a lot of fun to shoot. A beautiful outdoor ceremony in Bidwell Park then the wedding party walked through downtown to the reception. You couldn’t ask for a nicer day. I love watching friends get married through my lens. Here is a sampling of photographs from the wedding. To view more wedding photos you can find them here.

I love this time of year. The rains are subsiding and California is enjoying it’s brief window of green before the summer heat scorches us to our usual golden brown hue. More importantly the early spring time signals the start of the wedding season. My bookings are really starting to fill up. Always a good thing. Two of my good friends Zack and Anna recently got engaged and hired me to shoot their engagement and wedding photos. Both are ecology graduate students at UC Davis and through their studies have come to really enjoy bird watching. They came to me looking for a creative photographic twist to capturing their relationship. We spent an afternoon playing around one of the beautiful Davis parks and made some traditional and non traditional images. We had a great time and I think their relationship really shows in their photographs. I’m look forward to shooting their Lake Tahoe wedding in August.