Posts

Just found out my Greener Visuals Wedding Photography photo shoot from last spring’s Lavish and Fabulous Couture Bridal Event was just blogged about from my friends at Real Weddings Magazine. Behold the awesome colors of the Moroccan Lounge. What a fun event. If you are in the Sacramento area next spring be sure to check the event out. You can view their blog post here. Cheers, -M

I’m happy to announce that one of my go to wedding photo assistants and long time friend Brad Zweerink just found out that a photo of his from our coverage of Gillian and Jeff’s Wedding last May won and is a finalist in the Photo District News (PDN) “Top Knots” wedding photography competition. We had such a fun time photographing these two. The winning photo is of Gillian being hoisted up on a chair during the horah dance of their Jewish wedding. Gillian had a great surprise reaction on her face that I think really adds to the success of the image. It’s a big, national photo competition and I’m thrilled for his good news. Way to go Brad!

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

What a year! I had the fortunate opportunity to photograph numerous weddings over the course of 2011. During the last couple of weeks, I’ve been going through all of my wedding shoots from this past year. It was so great to go back and relive those celebrations that I was lucky enough to photograph. So many fun times and way too many photos to choose from. I feel very fortunate. A big thank you to all of my wedding clients from the 2011 wedding season. Wish you guys all the best and thank you for letting Greener Visuals Wedding Photography be apart of your wedding day. Here are some of my favorite wedding images from the past year. I’m looking forward to making the 2012 wedding season even better. Happy New Year everyone! -M

A couple weeks back I was asked by my friend Catrina, of Catrina Maria Designs and The Venue Vixens, to photograph the social meet up of the Association of Bridal Consultants Sacramento chapter meeting. The quarterly event brings wedding planners from throughout the Sacramento area together for educational and networking and was held at new CAVERNA 57 wine cellar in Sacramento. My job was to document the evening while also photographing the new venue for an upcoming Venue Vixens review. The place was so new that much of it’s landscaping wasn’t finished so I was forced to get creative about how I composed my shots. Once the venue shots were taken care of, I started to document and socialize with the guests. I love these types of events for numerous reasons. It’s a very welcoming educational scene, it allows everyone to experience the different, new concepts of floral displays and venue set ups, it’s a good opportunity to sample the foods and beverages of the local vendors (which can be a good reference when suggesting food vendors to potential wedding clients) and best of all it is a perfect place to network and to meet with like-minded friendly people in the Sacramento wedding industry. Overall the evening was a lot of fun. The CAVERNA 57, when completed, will be a great little venue for small intimate weddings or social events. Definitely worth checking out. -M

After I spent the first half of the evening photographing the 2011 Lavish and Fabulous Couture Bridal Event VIP Black Carpet portraits at the Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, I wandered the venue documenting the fun. The annual event is put on by my wedding planner friend Fearon, of Fearon May Events, in association with Real Weddings Magazine as a chance to show case the top wedding vendors in the Sacramento region to local brides and grooms in numerous themed vignette table top design settings.  Each room within the spacious resort vicinity had a different theme that introduced brides to an assortment of different design possibilities they could apply to their own wedding. Fearon also asked that I photograph two rooms for future publication in the Real Weddings Magazine including the Moroccan Lounge and A walk down the Aisle room. One thing I really liked about the venue setup was that each room was so unique from the others. The Moroccan Lounge offered an outdoor setting where guests could warm themselves by a fire while watching a belly dancing demonstration or enjoy a freshly rolled cigar from Casilla Cigars while being entertained by a Egytian music duo. It had a surreal feel to the place with lots of pink and blue color tones throughout. The Walk down the Aisle room offered a very different feel. It had a more subtle yet elegant feel to it with plenty of candles to light a centered room alter surrounded by flowers and guest chairs. It was a great intimate setting to it that would be perfect for brides considering a small family wedding ceremony. After guests had a chance to wander through all of the decorated rooms and sample the desserts and foods from the selected vendors, the remainder of the evening was spent socializing and dancing to the music of the Mother Mayhem band. Overall the event was a huge success and a lot of fun. I was proud to be apart of it. Until next year. -M

To see of the event photos you can view them on the Lavish and Fabulous website here.

Last night I had the privilege of photographing the 2011 Lavish and Fabulous Couture Bridal Event at the Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa. The annual event is put on by my wedding planner friend Fearon, of Fearon May Events, in association with Real Weddings Magazine as a chance to show case the top wedding vendors in the Sacramento region to local brides and grooms in numerous themed vignette table top design settings. It was incredible. Each room within the spacious resort vicinity had a different theme that introduced brides to an assortment of different design possibilities they could apply to their own wedding. I was asked by Fearon to help out by photographing two of the rooms (which I’ll talk about in a future blog post), documenting the guests having fun at the event and lastly to make portraits of the brides an grooms on the black carpet entry way as they entered the event. This turned out to be a lot of fun. I decided it would be fun to turn it into a glorified photo booth and set up my big lights combined with a reflector to create a beautiful lighting scheme that helped to make everyone’s skin toned really pop. The “black carpet booth” was also a great chance for me to meet all of the brides and grooms and get them riled up and smiling for the event. Everyone was in a great mood and it made for some really nice portraits. I had a great time. Here are some of my favorite photos from the black carpet photo session. I’ll be writing up a post on the rest of the Lavish and Fabulous Couture Bridal Event experience soon. Stay tuned…

To see all of the black carpet photos you can view them on the Lavish and Fabulous website here.

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 ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of new found friends Krysta and Nathan in Chico, California. The two are making a life together down in Irvine, California – Krysta works in the insurance industry and Nathan works as a software company programmer that services the broadcasting industry. After two years of dating, they got engaged and decided to marry at Nathan’s parent’s home in Chico. It always amazes me hearing the different stories of how my clients find each other. The two are southern California natives and I was surprised to learn that these two had both gone to the same high school down in Orange County near Los Angeles but never knew each other. It was only after finding each other on the online dating site match.com years later that they finally connected. Funny how two lives can run so close and parallel to each other but not cross paths until much later in life. When it came time to plan out their wedding, they opted for the homemade, do-it-yourself approach which was assisted by the whole family. They bought organic flowers from California Organic Flowers and made their own cute bouquets, boutonnières and table settings set in old mason jars. Her sisters Rachel & Alyssa along with close friends Robyn, Macy, Mike, Trevor and Mansur scattered the yard and swimming pool with mini electric candles and rubber duckies for the ambiance and helped set up the tables, chairs, linens and plates that were rented from A & J Party Center for the reception. Aunt Arlene made their wedding cake which was decorated with the leftover flowers, Nathan’s father cooked the dinner and the rest of their family and friends helped with the finishing touches like bubbles blowing vials for their married walk back down the isle. Their wedding ceremony and reception took place in the backyard of Nathan’s parents home. In all, everything came together and they pulled off a small, yet lovely wedding day that had the stamp of Krysta and Nathan’s own unique personalities throughout. It turned out great.

Certain things for their wedding day they did leave up to wedding professionals. The girls had their hair spruced up by the talented Costa Mesa hair stylist Ona Zimmerman, of Gods & Heros Hair Stylists, and their makeup done by Sacramento wedding and bridal makeup artist Jill Briggs, of BeautyBox Makeup Artists. We all spent the morning laughing and chatting as Ona and Jill did their styling magic on the girls while they sipped pink cosmopolitans and did the last minute prepping for the wedding ceremony. The other professional task concerned their wedding photography. For this task they reached out to Greener Visuals Wedding Photography to capture and document their big day celebration. The two located me through the power of Google and found a previous wedding I had photographed in Bidwell Park near downtown Chico. I can’t think of a better excuse to visit Chico than to photograph a wedding. I have always had so much fun visiting Chico and their wedding didn’t disappoint. The weather was picture perfect. After the wedding party was all dressed, we headed to the beautiful wooded scenery of Bidwell Park to make some family and bridal party portraits before returning for the ceremony. I had such a great time getting to know their friends and family. With everyone helping out to make this wedding special, it was apparent just how much love Krysta and Nathan have surrounding them. I wish them all the very best. Congratulations you guys! -M

To see all of the wedding images of Krysta and Nathan’s wedding day please click here.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now. Ever since the beginning of May it has been go go go weddings the entire time. A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of returning home to find a big package delivered to my doorstep…Gillian and Jeff’s brand new wedding album from West Coast Albums. These are a new style of wedding albums that I am offering to my clients as a higher end wedding album option. They are really stunning. Gillian and Jeff opted for a 12″x 8″ gold fabric cover with a olive colored book spine and a recessed cover image of them under their wedding altar. Some of the things I love most about these wedding albums are handmade, totally customizable both in size, color, cover material and the pages lay flush and flat. I don’t care who you are in this digital age there is still something to be said for holding a fine print photo album in your hands.

I’ve really been impressed with this album company and I’m thrilled to be able to offer it to my wedding clients.

A couple weekends ago, I had another opportunity to spend the afternoon with my wedding clients Gillian and Jeff at a party her mom was having in celebration of their recent nuptials. It was a chance for all of  the family friends that were unable to attend the actual wedding at the Firehouse Restaurant in early May, to come over for food and drink and chat the newlyweds. By far one of the best complements I can receive is when my satisfied clients hire me on for more work. From the get go Gillian, Jeff and I just clicked and the success of their wedding is a direct result of our like minded personalities. I was thrilled to work with them again. For their afternoon party, they wanted me to capture the fun as the party progressed while stopping to take some formal portraits of them and their guests along the way. It was a small but elegant catered event complete with incredible desserts from Pastry chef/sweet goddess Carissa at Sugar & Spice Specialty Deserts and live background music from the band Cold Shot. The advantage to having previously photographed clients and many of their wedding guest before is that they were already comfortable around me and my camera. Unlike the pressures of documenting a wedding day, this was a more laid back event where I could spend more time getting to know each of the guests in attendance. It was wonderful to see all of the immense love and support that Gillian and Jeff have through their friends and family. They are truly a fortunate couple. To see more photos from their Sunday afternoon party please go here. It was a pleasure to spend another afternoon toasting the union of Gillian and Jeff. I wish them all the best. -M

 



The second part of my duties as the NACE event photographer focused more on the hard work of the other vendors. Like I mentioned in my last post, the monthly events are a time for the vendors to educate on topics but also show off their strengths in what that particular vendor does. Here are some of the scenery images I made of the green layout and concepts from Catrina Maria Designs. I asked Catrina, who specializes in sustainable event planning to explain a bit about what she was striving to accomplish with her beautiful green table inspirations pictured above.

“The table inspirations where done in a variety of four looks. We were inspired by the traditional and expected ‘green’ look that we called ‘hippy/earthy.’ We dressed each table up a bit from there to cover your softer and more elaborate side of the earthy look, your urban look, and finally, a soft, more romantic feel that many brides can relate to.
1. Earthy table-woods and touch of kiwi green. All eco-friendly elements on the reclaimed wood tables. Recycled pots with succulents, and herbs.
2. Rustic table-woods, pewter, clay (brunt orange) and kiwi
Clay pots nestled in grapevine heart. Mix of organic flowers in burnt orange and cream with herbs and succulent accents.
3. Urban Square table- Grey and kiwi patterned linen, other natural elements in a modern feel (wicker, glass…). Gray cinderblock “vases” filled with organic flowers and organic greenery.
4. Romantic oval tables- Natural ekru and ivory hemstitch, rustic metals, glass Tablescape of Burnt orange recycled glass containers and metal accent containers. Ivory flowers and green accents. Add recycled ribbon accents.
5. Cocktail Tables – recycled paper flowers by Beatnik Artist. Made from old books that have recycled into art. Soy candles throughout
Lounge furniture through Classic party Rentals. Their eco line is made from recycled stuffing/padding and flax exterior in burnt orange and kiwi green.”

As the saying goes…the devil lies within the details. It was great to see all of the clever, sustainable concepts that everyone brought to the event. There were the staple green items like using organic produce but also the not so common items like bowls and plates made from compostable bamboo. It’s those little things that make the difference. I was impressed.  So much creativity and so many great ideas to build off of. Again, thanks to all of the vendors who went all out with the May NACE Green event including Ambience Floral Designs, Jackson Catering & Events, Sugar & Spice Specialty Deserts, Classic Party Rentals, Pamela Pamperin, Harpist and Extreme Productions for all of their hard work. -M

 

Last Tuesday was the annual monthly meet up of the Sacramento chapter of the National Association of Catering Professionals. The group is a hodgepodge of wedding planners, florists, DJ’s, photographers and all of the other types of vendors that cater to couples getting married. It has been a great place to network and establish relationships with other wedding vendors throughout the Sacramento area. I feel like I’ve learned so much already. I am brand new to the organization but I have quickly made connections and have met some great people in the organization.

Every monthly meeting is used to help the member vendors get to see a select few vendors to their thing. Each NACE meeting is a professional catered event complete with the goal of educating NACE members on the latest trends, styles and cuisine. It’s like a competition and participating vendors go all out to showcase what they do best. It works two fold. First, it allows you to show others what services you can provide for your mutual clients and second it lets them learn more about you as a person. In business, it’s all about who you know and the system NACE has laid out is perfect for this by creating business friendships. Everyone from all corners of the wedding market working together towards the same goal of having satisfied wedding clients. Brilliant.

This past Tuesday had a green wedding theme and a wedding planner friend Catrina, of Catrina Maria Designs, asked me a month back if I would not only photograph the event but also talk about green wedding photography practices. I accepted her invite and spent the better part of the month researching how I could make my business more green. I wanted to share some of the photos I made from the members that were there. I’ll post my green photography methods in another blog post. It was a fun filled evening at the Beatnik Studios in Sacramento. I loved it. Plenty of big windows, great light and a overall cool space for an event. Thanks to all of the vendors including Ambience Floral Designs, Jackson Catering & Events, Sugar & Spice Specialty Deserts, Classic Party Rentals, Pamela Pamperin, Harpist and Extreme Productions for all of their hard work. Congrats on a beautiful fun May NACE event. I was proud to be apart of it. I’m looking forward to the next one. -M

The first weekend in May I had the pleasure of photographing Gillian and Jeff’s wedding day at the beautiful Firehouse Restaurant in Old Town Sacramento. You could not have asked for a nicer day. The comfortable mid day California sunshine warmed down on their outdoor wedding where big oak trees gave a lovely cool shade over the festivities. I met Gillian and Jeff back in February through a wonderful wedding planner I’ve been working with named Catrina Arcularius of Catrina Maria Designs. Right from the get go of our first meeting in Sacramento, we hit it off. We talked for a solid hour and I learned all about their story. Gillian through the encouragement of her good friend Bianca (who would eventually be her maid of honor) and Jeff upon the suggestion of some friends met through the online dating site called JDate, a jewish community online for dating jewish singles. Neither of them had ever used the online dating service before yet on their first date back on July 9th, 2009, they found an instant attraction to each other and have been dating ever since. The two have made a life together in the San Francisco Bay Area Gillian as a lawyer and Jeff as an entrepreneur while sharing a love for each other and dogs. They were quick to tell me all about the antics of their two border collie/chow mix dogs Lila and Maggie. The way these two talked, joked and looked at one another during our meet up it was apparent that they are just crazy for each other. I had no doubts that they would be a great fun couple to photograph on their wedding day.

And they did not disappoint. It was the first time I had ever photographed a Jewish wedding ceremony. It was great to see how other faiths celebrate the union of two individuals. The wedding was beautiful. Between my assistant Brad Zweerink and I we ended up talking over 6300 photographs from the wedding. With so many smiling faces, great finger foods, friendly guests and plenty of dancing that kept everyone entertained throughout the afternoon, it was hard to stop photographing all the great moments in front of me. Catrina along with Shannon and The Firehouse Restaurant staff created a beautiful outdoor atmosphere and layout across the brick patio while flower arrangements from florist Cheryl Sage of Accents by Sage added just the right amount of spring colors to the mix. Subtle yet elegant. To see more photos from their Sacramento wedding you can seeing their wedding story here and their entire photo take here.

Yet another fun day celebrating with and photographing some new friends. I wish Gillian and Jeff all the best. -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

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.

Greener Visuals featured on Blurb.com

I have to say one of the best complements I can receive for my wedding photography is when others recognize my work, especially if it’s a national book making company like Blurb.com. I just found out that I am a featured photographer on their new wedding book website. I got a call from the folks at Blurb a couple weeks ago complementing me on the creativity of the numerous wedding albums that I have designed for my wedding couples and they wanted to know why I chose to use their services for my wedding business After using Blurb to publish my first book “Shopping for Dynamite – A Brotherly Adventure to South America,” I was sold. I found the quality of the books to be top tier. Everything from the color reproduction to the thickness of the paper to the look and feel of their ImageWrap book covers.

The San Francisco based company has taken notice of all the great impressions their custom made books are making on people, myself included, and are now actively marketing to professional wedding photographers. And they should. This isn’t your grand parents dusty wedding album. Their wedding albums go above and beyond the typical wedding mementos. I started using them for my wedding albums soon after my first book and they have been a big hit with my brides ever since. I couldn’t be happier with them and I’m flattered that Blurb.com has chosen to feature me on their wedding book website.

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!