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The Shapiro Family – Ancil Hoffman Park Family Photo Session

This will be the second time I have photographed the extended Shapiro family. The first time was 5 years ago and, since then, Samantha (who originally hired me), has assisted me on several weddings, and her and her brother, Matt, acquired significant others who they brought to this year’s session.

We met at Ancil Hoffman Park, this year, looking for some green grass (which is uncharacteristic in early Fall) and some Autumn colors. The leaves had only just started to change but the light was warm and beautiful.

I love the Shapiros. There is so much genuine warmth and I appreciate so much their trust in my process; they totally go with the flow, commit to my games, ignore me and interact with one another when I ask them to. It’s never forced, it’s always fun, and I love the photos we captured again this year.

Ancil Hoffman Park Family Photo Session

Ancil Hoffman Park Family Photo Session

Ancil Hoffman Park Family Photo Session

Ancil Hoffman Park Family Photo Session

Still haven’t booked your own family’s photo session for 2018?

My last session to get you photos before Christmas is the first weekend in December. I only have a couple of spots remaining. Get in touch now if you want to get on the schedule!

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JR + Wendla – Granite Bay Golf Club Wedding

JR and Wendla are married! You may remember them from their beautiful winter engagement session, their laughter and kisses often combined. These two clearly make one another laugh and their wedding day at Granite Bay Golf Club was no exception. A little nervous before their first look, her stomach a little unsettled as she grabbed a snack before the festivities, Wendla relaxed and came alive as soon as JR tapped her on the shoulder. From thereon out this day ran so smoothly and joyfully, not a moment of it felt like work. From our golf-cart adventures through the edges of the golf course, to dancing with the many children who loved the spotlight, this was a beautiful, happy day for two people who very much deserved it.

Big props go to Kelle Collier, the on-day coordinator at Granite Bay Golf Club. I have worked with many site-based wedding coordinators but none have ever been as organized, caring, professional, and fun as Kelle. She’s working with 60 couples this year and this is her (I think she said) 14th year with the club, so there’s no doubt she knows her job inside and out, possibly with her eyes closed. She was the grease that oiled every part of the wedding day machinery. I hope I get to work with her again.

JR and Wendla left the very next day for their honeymoon to Hawaii. I know they’re back now and eager to see their photos. Here is a teaser while their gallery is finished…

Assistant: Vickie  Horvath | DJ: Chris Santos from True Note Media | Flowers: Peggy Bimbi (Wendla’s talented Aunt)

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Wendla + JR – Fair Oaks Engagement Session

JR and Wendla are getting married in July at the Granite Bay Golf Club. JR lives in Dixon and Wendla currently lives in Napa and so they are busy making it all work somewhat long-distance now. In keeping with their desire to get married in the Sacramento region, we met up at Sailor Bar in Fair Oaks for their engagement session. These two love to laugh, especially JR who finds it hard to keep a straight face for longer than a few moments. Except, that is, when he’s kissing Wendla, which he very, very serious about.

We had a fantastic time in the sunshine exploring the local trails. Can’t wait for their wedding!

Fair Oaks Engagement Session

Fair Oaks Engagement Session

 

Know someone getting married in 2018?

I specialize in last minute weddings, second-time-around weddings, and intimate affairs. Click here to learn more.

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Karla + Eric – La Provence Wedding, Roseville

The weather forecast said rain. The skies most definitely said rain. The drops on my windshield on the short drive out to Roseville definitely said rain.  But when the time rolled around for Karla and Eric to stand on the other side of my camera, the clouds parted and the sun even peeked out. I guess you could say it was meant to be.

And it felt like that all afternoon and into the night, listening to stories about how Karla and Eric met, and how much their friends and family loved their new member, and spending time with two people who seem not only at peace with one another but also with themselves. They were the calm in the storm of their own day, present and joyful, so wonderful to work with and to spend the day with. When, as their guests were tucking into La Provence’s delicious dinners, I stepped outside to be greeted by the most magnificent sunset, made more intense by the storm that had preceded it; it seemed fitting somehow. Not all our stories unfold the way we expect them to but, eventually, we get to meet the one person who was meant for us and walk off into the sunset together.

Gorgeous flowers by Katie Edwards at Ambiance Floral Design and a special thanks to Bobby from DynamikSoundz who was a joy to work with. Most people don’t know how much a photographer and DJ work together during the reception and how communication between the two can make all the difference in both the photos you get and the flow of your evening. Trust me, good vendor communication and cooperation is a big plus.

Last but not least, thanks to my friend and assistant, Vickie Horvath, who puts up with the short words that tend to come out of my mouth when I’m focused on lighting and composition and bride and groom. I love that she can laugh at me even when I’m at my most frustrating.

La Provence Wedding, Roseville

La Provence Wedding, Roseville

La Provence Wedding, Roseville

Now booking weddings in 2018

I specialize in small and intimate gatherings, perfect for elopements and second-time-around affairs and, unlike many wedding photographers, I cater almost exclusively to couples who want shorter packages of 2-5 hours of coverage. If you know of someone who wants beautiful photos from a seasoned photographer with all the gear to capture the important moments, but without the commitment of all-day coverage, please have them get in touch.

2018 Wedding Inquiry Form

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Mala + Shane Part Two: Fort Bragg beach wedding

(Part One: the Mehendi Celebration is here if you missed it.)

On a cool and blustery beach, just north of Fort Bragg, two families, two cultures, and two people in love came together; imperfectly, joyfully, and beautifully. With bare feet and hair flying in their face, a 30-foot rock for an altar, and the sound of crashing waves for music; with their children as best man and maid-of-honor, and with more love than fanfare, my friend, Mala, and her Shane, made their happily-ever-after.

Here is the story of that day…

Fort Bragg beach wedding

Fort Bragg beach wedding

After everyone changed back into their comfy clothes, Mala’s daughter, Evani, presented her mom and Shane with a framed copy of the speech she had read aloud during their ceremony. Of all the emotional and touching moments of the weekend – and there were plenty – this was probably my favorite. The emotion on both Shane and Mala’s face (that’s Shane being choked-up in the first photo) and the tears of joy my friend shed as her daughter and new husband embraced… it was the perfect ending to the perfect weekend.

CONGRATULATIONS MALA AND SHANE!

I wish you a lifetime of moments just like this.

Fort Bragg beach wedding

 

Know someone getting married in Northern California?

I’d love to tell the story of their day too. Please contact me to learn more about my wedding packages.

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  1. Mala + Shane Part One: Mehendi Celebration, El Dorado Hills - Memories by Michelle Photography - […] (See Part 2: The Wedding here) […]

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Mala + Shane Part One: Mehendi Celebration, El Dorado Hills

(See Part 2: The Wedding here)

Some people in life you share the good times with. Some people you share the bad. Others you’re lucky enough to be there for both the sunshine and the rain, your relationship bonded by the shared laughter and strengthened by the shared tears. My friend, Mala, comfortably falls into the latter category. She is one of the most courageous, creative, passionate, and joyful people I know. We share our immigrant status, her from India and me from England, our artistic nature, and our love of travel. Our friendship spans fourteen years with babies born and marriages made and then failed. As she said herself while we were photographing her getting ready for this, the next, beautiful chapter of her life with her now-husband, Shane:  “you have been around for almost all the best moments in my life since I moved to the U.S.” It’s true and it’s humbling. This woman is my family.

Mala and Shane met online in the only way that two single parents really can these hectic days: swiping right. I knew it was serious when Mala disappeared from my social calendar and started popping up all over California with her daughter, Evani, Shane and his son, Aiden. The sparkle in her eyes when she talked about him told me everything I needed to know and so I wasn’t surprised when she returned from a Tahoe break, engaged. From the outside looking in, it looked like a whirlwind romance. But spend an hour or two with these guys and their kids, together, you realize one simple and very powerful fact: this isn’t just a coming together of two people that love one another, but the coming together of families. When people in love say they “found” one another, I think Mala and Shane’s new, blended family is exactly what they mean: together, they have been found. As I share their photos from their weekend, over and over again you’ll see that, yes, these are two people that love one another, but that this celebration is a family one, shared by both of their children.

The thriving Indian community Mala belongs to would never settle for a small wedding by the beach and so Mala and Shane planned a wedding weekend. A traditional Mehendi celebration on Friday night in El Dorado Hills and then a wedding weekend in Fort Bragg for a smaller group of friends and family.

If you’ve never been to an Indian party, you’ve never been to a party. They love to socialize and dance… and DANCE! Everyone can not only dance beautifully, it seems, but loves to perform on stage with abandon to happy, boppy, Bollywood tunes. Mala even got her non-Indian friends in on the act, choreographing a routine for some mutual friends who did an awesome job up on stage. Way to represent, girls.

Me, I hid behind my camera and tried to capture as much of all the joy and genuine love as I could, while also dancing and having a good time.

The evening began, uncharacteristically, with the bride-to-be, dressing her mother-in-law-to-be, Deb, in a Sari for the occasion. Their relationship is close and touching. Like I said… Mala found a family, not just a husband.

Mehendi Celebration, El Dorado Hills

Mehendi Celebration, El Dorado Hills

Mehendi Celebration, El Dorado Hills

Part Two in Fort Bragg is coming soon. Stay tuned…

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