Exquisite succulents, flowing white tulle and organza, gorgeous accents and wonderful hues. Every Thursday, experience unique wedding days through Catherine’s stunning real wedding photographs, love stories and inspiration boards.
Weddings Comments Off Thu 01.10.2008
I just did an amazing portrait session with a recent bride & groom in Marco Island. There destination wedding was in Carmel so we thought it would be fun to do a session close to their home. It wasn’t just fun, but also really HOT.
Such beautiful people with so much passion for one another. I love my clients! Thank you Sarah and Kevin Mihailoff for being so amazing together. And thank you Curt Littlecott for your help with the shoot, you are always such an inspiration for me.
July 21, 2007
Hollister Ranch, Santa Barbara
Featured Wedding Slideshow
Heather Wall and Andy Katsev met in San Luis Obispo while she was attending Cal Poly, and he was working as a realtor. The perfect pair it was, one woman’s search for housing for her final year at college, and another’s search for the perfect tenant to fill his listing. After she moved into the neighborhood, where the couple still resides today, they crossed paths many times. One day when Andy was strategically walking the dog passed her house, Heather made the first move and invited Andy over for salmon fish tacos. Andy, who was raised in the Midwest, never says no to home cooking and couldn’t resist the offer. From that evening on the couple was inseparable. After courting for six months, Andy surprised Heather and asked her to be his wife, on Valentine’s Day in romantic Cambria.
The wedding festivities were designed around the location, leaving no doubt that it had to take place at Hollister ranch, where the brides parents had just completed building their Mexican Hacienda style home, on100 acres of pristine Santa Barbara property. The event was so extraordinary because it not only celebrated love but also the, easier said than done, completion of Heather’s parents dream home. When it came time to planning, the natural beauty of this outdoor setting was enough on its own. With that in mind, the couple planned to a non-traditional wedding that took advantage of such an incredibly unique venue. They wanted their wedding day simply to be a festive party, where everyone would feel comfortable and get the most out of the amazing setting.
Heather’s personal style set the theme by wearing cowboy boots, as did the rest of the wedding party and most of the guests. At four o’clock in the afternoon the guest lounged on hay bails, and a handsome nine piece mariachi band played “El Niño Perdido” as the unrehearsed father walked his daughter down the isle. At this point the event came alive as guest whistled and screamed with joy, the groom and groomsmen removed their cowboy hats and bowed to the bride while the bridesmaids simultaneously curtsied. The couple chose to be married by a witty close friend that illustrated to guests the humor they both share.
The vibrant colored flowers and bright Mexican serapes lied across the tables in an enclosed courtyard for the reception. The wedding party entered the courtyard reception through an arched door with a bell over it. When it was time for the bride and groom to enter, Heather’s brother, along with a few delighted children, rang the bell several times by pulling on a long rope.
THE REAL THING:TRUMPING IMAGE MANIPULATION
We’ve all seen them: vignettes and faux hand-tints; cross-processed images that overwhelm the senses with an unreal look; a heavy-handed use of flairs, starbursts and diffusion effects; cheesy frames. They cry for attention, hijacking the image in the photographic equivalent of a velvet Elvis wall hanging.
Where is the value, the poignancy, and the essence in these photos?
Today’s digital post-processing tools can be a force for good in the right hands, but can create visual mayhem when used without the proper judgment or in lieu of an essentially good image to start with.
Wedding photojournalism is all about the image and how it captures the moment and emotions. Any manipulation in post-production should be undertaken very carefully, beyond the temptation to incorporate trendy effects at the expense of the visual and documentary essence that make an image great in the first place.
“It is disconcerting to see mediocre wedding photography made to appear ‘fantastic’ as a result of drastic image manipulation,” says San Francisco-based WPJA member Catherine Hall. “Ten years down the road when the novelty of the current special effects fade, the images will lose their impact and become passé.”
A QUESTION OF RESPONSIBILITY
Wedding photojournalists have an obligation to help clients understand what is good and what is going to last. Certain effects are going to impress some people, especially a bride and groom who may not be trained in photography. As an accomplished professional, you have a responsibility to give them something that will resonate years from now with true quality.
Hall points out that couples are spending thousands of dollars on albums that are intended to last a lifetime, and sadly, some of the results are very gimmicky. “Many photographers abuse special effects such as image tilts, altered edges, and opacity fades. There is a time and a place for such effects, but one has to be careful not to overuse trendy techniques that will date the album. The most exquisite albums I have seen and produced are very simple and focus on the images.”
“Theoretically, I could probably give my clients an album that is over-designed and full of special effects,” she explains, “and they would probably like it because they have faith in me and at the time it looks fantastic. But the scary thing is what happens in five or ten years, when the novelty of overworked images is a thing of the past? We have a social responsibility to keep away from trendy effects so that the brides aren’t just satisfied when they’re writing the checks, but satisfied for the rest of their lives.”
TRENDS AND TIMELESSNESS
Trends in image manipulation are not unlike trends with fashion or anything else— they’re always going to shift and change. It’s therefore much better just to keep your photos simple, elegant and about the imagery itself.
“There are always looks that are in vogue, whether cross-processing or something else,” notes Pulitzer
July 28, 2007
Featured Wedding Slideshow
Published In: Modern Bride
Kate Dietrich and Kevin Davis met in Lake Tahoe when they lived there several years ago. It was only natural that they chose this breathtaking area for their wedding. Top choice for a location was the lakefront historical Thunderbird Lodge on the East Shore. This magical stone castle was the playground of 1930′s notoriously eccentric millionaire George Whittell famous for his all-night parties (with Bill, his pet lion), colorful celebrity guests and high stake card games. Wedding guests were shuttled to this lakefront location and, before the wedding ceremony, treated to a tour of the unforgettable property including the quintessential rock gazebo and secret underground tunnels.
Soft, feminine accents contrasted by natural, organic elements delighted guests in all the details from the first oh-so-important Save the Date complete to Kate’s Wedding Cake. Tahoe tradition was included in the Ceremony by tossing flowers in remembrance of family into the Lake. The Ceremony and Dinner were both held lakeside maximizing the unforgettable views of Lake Tahoe and surrounding Sierra Mountains. The color scheme of salmon, gold, chocolate brown and cream complimented the stone castle and granite boulders perfectly. The famous, crystal clear Lake Tahoe blue water was echoed in the Wedding Favor – a nest with robin blue soap eggs at each place setting. Lake Tahoe’s alpenglow (sunset) was captured in their Signature Drink – a pear-melba martini, a stunning salmon color.
Not one guest will leave Lake Tahoe without feeling as if they had been a part of something truly special and magical – the meaningful, loving marriage of their friends in an unforgettable setting. Kate and Kevin couldn’t have been more radiant and in love through out their special day.
Feature Verbiage by: Merrily Rocco
June 30, 2007 Highlands Inn, Carmel
Sarah, 25, a Marketing Specialist, and Kevin, 32, an Everglades National Park Guide, met while Sarah was doing an internship in Naples, FL for her last remaining credits towards a Communications degree from Michigan State University. The pair clicked instantly on their casual first date over sushi, and a shared love for the beach and being on the water. Truly, it was love at first site, so after graduating from school, Sarah moved to Naples. After two wonderful years together, Kevin asked Sarah to be his wife on her 25th birthday while the couple was sharing a romantic evening overlooking the Gulf of Mexico at twilight.
When it came time to plan the wedding, the couple decided that they wanted something intensely romantic, dramatic and intimate. The found everything that they were looking for at the renowned Park Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn, on the picturesque coastline of California. Carmel is known for its world-class golf featuring Pebble Beach and Spy Glass golf courses, as well as a quaint, downtown area filled with art galleries and small cafes. Sarah had fallen in love with the spot while vacationing there with her parents as a teenager and witnessing an outdoor wedding on the hotel balcony which overlooked the cliffy, white-capped Pacific Ocean.
Sarah planned each detail of the wedding to be simple, elegant and personalized for the 30 family members making the journey out to California. The invitations and cake incorporated iridescent tones, pearl finishes and rich creams. The outdoor ceremony included a lemon leaf, eucalyptus and orchid garland draped over an archway framing the couple during the marriage ceremony. Pale pink peonies, tulips, orchids and hydrangeas were tied all throughout the wedding in the table’s cape, cake decor, boutonnieres and bouquets.
The ceremony commenced at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on a perfect June day. Sarah chose a classic sweetheart cut Mon Cheri Couture gown and complimenting scalloped veil adorned with Swarovski crystals. Kevin wore a timeless Ralph Lauren tuxedo and soft pink vest and tie; to accomplish the look of a classic gentleman. During the ceremony, Sarah’s young cousins stood up in front of the congregation to read a special poem about the personal meaning of love and marriage to Kevin and Sarah.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed champagne, native Californian wines and artisan cheeses while listening to the live acoustic guitarist who had also played softly as Sarah graced down the aisle with her father. The party then moved into an intimate reception area with a long conference style table, fireplace and windows lining the walls looking out towards the Pacific. Their dinner menu reflected Californian cuisine, incorporating artichoke hearts, Dungeness crab, local sea bass, and lots and lots of wine!! Dessert was a delicate, chocolate buttermilk cake filled with layers of chocolate panache and fresh raspberries, and covered in a white fondant with a cascade of orchids for decor.
The party lasted until 7:30, and the guests danced the night away to the sounds of Motown and Nat King Cole while looking out over the water and feeling the overwhelming love that a close knit family can collect when they join together in the joyous celebration of marriage.
Venue: Highlands Inn | Event Coordinator: Erna Clay at Highlands Inn | Dress Designer: Mon Cheri Couture | Florist: Fleurish | Cake Designer: Parker Lusseau Pastries
Classical Guitarist (during outdoor ceremony): Terrence Farrell | DJ: Peter Burkhard | Caterer: Highlands Inn