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
A few weeks back I had the honor of photographing the spring wedding weekend of my good buddies Emily and Matt in Davis, California just outside Sacramento. I hopped a flight from Bozeman, Montana and flew back to my former stomping grounds of Northern California. Before moving to the mountain paradise of Bozeman, Montana, I lived in Davis for three and a half years photographing weddings and working at a newspaper in the San Francisco bay area. At the time, Emily and Matt were attending UC Davis as Ecology PhD graduate students. Over the years as our friendship grew, I watched their relationship blossom and flourish. Early on, it was apparent to most onlookers in our friend circle that they were a close match and soon it was not so much a question of if they would ever get married but a matter of when. Surrounded by hundreds of friends and loved ones, these two finally made it official with their beautiful ceremony in the lush green scenery of the UC Davis Arboretum. The following evening their reception kicked off in the heart of downtown Davis at the Odd Fellows Hall. Rather than have the run of the mill wedding, these two tapped into their love of dance, performance and the decor of the Burning Man scene – a place and experience both bride and groom hold in high regard- and shaped their reception into a colorful exotic ball. The end result was a wedding unique and beautiful unto itself. The way all weddings should be, a complete representation of the wedding couple’s own awesome style. As it turns out, these two were able to source many talents from friends and family -from helping to plan out the wedding, to DJ’s to florists to foodies to yours truly behind the camera- everyone came together to help make their colorful California wedding a reality. Even the onset of spring rains that at the last minute forced a wedding ceremony to be held inside couldn’t keep anyone’s spirits down for long. It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter, love, feathers and a copious amount of dancing. Don’t believe me? Check out the photo booth these two had at their reception. Yes, those are custom made bride and groom super hero costumes they are wearing. My friends are awesome. So glad I could be there to photograph their wedding day. I wish them a lifetime of happiness! -Mike Greener
Reviews of the Day
“My husband and I met Mike in Davis, CA, where we had the privilege of getting to know Mike as both a friend and a talented photojournalist and burgeoning wedding photographer. When it came time for our wedding, there was no question that we wanted Mike to be our photographer, despite having to fly him out to CA from Montana.
We have zero regrets. I appreciated that Mike talked with me before the wedding to get a sense of our vision, and share some of his own ideas. When our plans for a fun photo shoot didn’t work out the day of our wedding, Mike just rolled with it and rescheduled it for later that weekend. He made a point of making sure that he wouldn’t add any extra stress to the event. Far from adding stress, Mike’s positive energy and supportive attitude made him a blast to work with, for my husband and I as well as our guests. At the end of the weekend, I kept hearing the same words from my friends and family, almost as though someone passed them a political talking point: “Best wedding photographer EVER!” And that was before we saw the photos…
Mike’s photojournalism background is evident in his approach to wedding photography: rather than doing round after round of boring posed portraits, Mike keeps the focus on candid shots, making people look their best while also looking REAL (though he snaps a nice portrait as well!) While looking through our wedding photos, I feel like I’m reliving the events, seeing genuine happiness and love in the faces of our friends and family. We now have the story of our wedding captured in beautiful photographs, and we will treasure them for a lifetime.
It’s hard to say what I appreciate more about Mike as a photographer- his positive energy and downright charming manner, or his fabulous photographs. It’s rare to find a person who is both easy-going and fun, AND extremely professional. Mike is both of these, and I highly recommend him to anyone who needs a wedding photographer!” – Emily & Matt, married 2014
“May I just say how thrilled I am that my sister hired Mike Greener as her wedding photographer? His warmth, energy, and enthusiasm made the day all the more wonderful for all of us. Mike was able to capture so many details, expressions, and special moments without ever getting in the way. My sister, friends, family and I couldn’t have been happier to have him with us to document the weekend-long occasion. When the bride endured some wedding stress, Mike helped her re-focus on the positives of the day, keeping her laughing and making her feel beautiful. His pictures were a reflection of that positivity. No matter how rushed or stressful things got (which, you know, often happens at weddings!), Mike kept his focus, rolled with the punches, and extracted joy from every subject. The vibrant, creative, beautiful photos he captured that weekend will be a permanent reminder that my sister chose the right photographer. We can’t recommend Mike Greener highly enough!” -Laura, sister of the bride
Just got back from a trip to Davis, California where I photographed the wedding weekend of Emily and Matt on the beautiful UC Davis Arboretum. So many photos to show. I’m hard at work editing through them. This is a mere taste. I can’t wait to show you all. Stay tuned…-M
I’ve been excited to share these photos for a while now. Three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out with my engaged clients Molly and Brian during our engagement photo session in Sonoma, California at Jack London State Historic Park. Having recently moved back to Montana, the trip was a fun adventure back to sunny California for my first engagement session of the 2012 wedding season. The spring California weather was predictably gorgeous as we ventured out for an afternoon of exploration and portrait making. Molly and Brian, by way of my sweet home Chicago, were looking to have a California wine country wedding and engagement photo session and found me and Greener Visuals Wedding Photography through a recommendation from a local wedding coordinator friend of mine Fearon, of Fearon May Events and Engaged Now What , (an up and coming wedding resource website) when they were looking for a photojournalistic styled wedding photographer in the Sonoma Wine Country. We got in touch and hit it off from the get go. When we met for the first time, I recommended we check out the ruins of the famed American writer Jack London’s mansion and state park just north of Sonoma. It was a pretty surreal place to photograph and it would make a perfect starting place both to avoid the harsh mid day sun and it presented beautiful shade with interesting directions of light shafts. Back in 1913, a fire destroyed the famous writer’s dream house deemed “Wolf House”. The stone walls still stand with an ancient, architectural beauty surrounded by old growth redwood trees. It’s a truly beautiful place. From there we drove south towards Sonoma and explored the sights and sounds of the wine capital’s downtown streets and photographed the gorgeous afternoon golden sunlight illuminated the buildings. These two lovebirds were just awesome. Together we made some creative images that I think turned out great and I am really looking forward to returning to California in June for their wedding day shoot. Congratulations on your engagement you guys! See you at your wedding in June! -Mike Greener
To see more photos from the engagement shoot go here.
The first wedding of the season is always an exciting opportunity for me. After I’ve having had the time to ferment on my previous 2011 wedding season, I always look forward to how I can push my wedding photography to a new level for the next year. In the weeks leading up to my first wedding of the 2012 wedding season, I’ve felt like a thoroughbred race horse at the starting gates. It’s an anticipation and excitement that I’ve come to relish over the years. So after a long year waiting and planning with Michelle and Brian, I finally had the pleasure to document their wedding celebration at the beautiful Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma, California a couple weekends ago.
Michelle and Brian met each other two years ago while attending a friend’s birthday party near their home in Los Angeles, California and cultivated a relationship with each other through the social media power of Facebook. Michelle is an elementary school teacher by trade and Brian works at SpaceX as a software developer for a company that is venturing into space exploration roles NASA has handed over to the private sector. After two years of dating, they got engaged, got their ball-o-energy Labrador mix puppy “Ali” and decided to venture north to the wine country to celebrate their wedding day. I made the journey from my newfound Graceland of Bozeman, Montana to my old stomping grounds of Sacramento, California and drove over to Sonoma to find friends and family of Michelle and Brian getting things ready for their afternoon wedding ceremony. The Cornerstone Gardens was really fun place to photograph. It was pure, visual eye candy for this photographer. Everywhere you looked, there were colorful artistic installations, sculptures and decorative gardens created by the world’s leading landscape architects surrounded by the famous grapevines of Sonoma County. The place was quite impressive and I had a blast exploring and photographing in it. I loved the energy this couple and their friends and family brought to the wedding day. Their enthusiasm and high spirits created a fun atmosphere to document in photos. Like all successful wedding days, Michelle and Brian had the help of many fine wedding vendors that helped make their union a seamless, gorgeous wedding event. My job was made all the easier with the help of wedding planner Kelly Cloney, of Kelly & Company Events who worked as the conductor/coordinator of the day making sure that everything ran smoothly. Michelle and her bridesmaids looked fantastic throughout the day. They had their hair done by hair stylist Justina Downs and their make up by Julianne Chai, of Pretty by Julianne. During the reception, the wedding party and guests dined on the delicious food from their caterer Amy Meadows, of Alex’s Catering and nibbled the delicious cupcakes made by Stephanie Scheff, of Kara’s Cupcakes. I’d like to thank my photo assistant Kris Holland for all of his help throughout the day. All the hard work and talent given by these vendors helped make Michelle and Brian’s wedding a memorable, fun day. It was the perfect way to start out the 2012 wedding season for Greener Visuals Wedding Photography. Here are some of my favorite photos from my time there. I wish Michelle and Brian all the best! -M
To see all of their wedding images, you can find them in my photo archive here
Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of photographing the January 2012 Sacramento NACE (National Association of Catering Executives) meeting at the Hyatt Regency at Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento. I’ve been a member of this wonderful organization for the past year now. Like all NACE events, they are held monthly at a different venue throughout the Sacramento area where wedding vendors from around the area come together to network, socialize, laugh and learn. It also presents a great opportunity to try local food vendors dishes, hear the talents of local DJ’s like Music and More Entertainment see a variety of floral arrangements from Ambience Floral Design and different table setting designs from our member wedding planners. Tuesday’s event took place on the 15th floor of the newly redecorated Capitol View Room at the Hyatt while where we wined and dined while learning about the new wedding trends for 2012. Guest speaker, trend expert and wedding planner Jason Diavatis, President of San Francisco NACE, is a Wedding and Event Designer with nearly 20 years in the event industry. Overall it was a great night out on the town. Here are some photos I made during the event. Cheers! -M
I’m happy to announce that Greener Visuals Wedding Photography is the newest member of the Sacramento chapter of the National Association of Catering Professionals. NACE is the oldest and largest professional association that addresses all aspects of the catering industry. According to their mission statement their goal is to provide catering and event professionals superior education, networking & resources to enhance career success and deliver excellence to clients. The group is a collection of some of the best wedding professionals in the Sacramento area including wedding planners, florists, caterers, photographers and high-end wedding venues. It has quickly become a great resource for inspiration, education and networking. I feel it will be the perfect resource to create a network of solid wedding professionals whose services I can extend to my clients. The members I have met so far have been incredibly outgoing, gracious and welcoming. So much that they recently asked me to speak this upcoming Tuesday during the group’s monthly meeting about applying green/eco-friendly practices revolving around green wedding photography. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m proud to be apart of this prestigious organization. -M
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
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.