Ok, this one was a little crazy & fun, even for me. I’ve never been asked to do a destination engagement like this before, especially one that was so secretive. Andy (a superb photographer himself) asked me if I could join him and his girlfriend for a few days in Mykonos, Greece. The plan was to go sailing the first day, followed by dropping anchor in the bay near Little Venice to enjoy the sunset. Andy came up with the story that he had found me online while I was “vacationing” in Mykonos and asked me to document their sailing adventure for the day. Our story must have been convincing because Michelle didn’t catch on and just enjoyed the extra company. After some swimming and a chef prepared traditional Greek lunch, we ended up opposite the Windmills of Kato Mili for sunset. The tricky part was making sure Michelle wasn’t going to see him coming, so I had her turn away for some portraits while I gave the Andy the signal to come up from the galley with his ring in hand. He dropped a knee, she dropped some tears, and I sighed in relief that it all went smoothly.
Once we got off the boat, her friends and family were there waiting for them to celebrate the rest of the trip. The next day we walked around town exploring the beauty of Mykonos and taking some fantastic portraits.
You might remember Ben & Brian from our NYC Engagement Session last year. They flew me out to Vieques, Puerto Rico for a few days to document their extraordinary destination wedding in the Caribbean. If you’ve never been on this tiny island off the main island of Puerto Rico, then I only have two recommendations for you – stay at the W Resort & Spa and go kayaking in the bioluminescence bay on a moonless night in the rain. Oh and have some awesome people with you like I did.
The weekend was rounded out by parties on the beach, dinner and music at a neighboring relative’s incredible domicile, both Chinese and Jewish cultural wedding traditions and A LOT of epic dance moves.
Venue // W Resort & Spa
Planner // Tropical Weddings
Photography // The Photogenic Lab // Denver wedding photographer
Last fall I spent a week cycling around Italy (Tuscany region to be exact) and afterwards I took a train to Cinque Terra for a few days, where I met Mary & Reid, a couple cute Canadians traveling together enjoying their honeymoon. After a bottle of prosecco at lunch together, I gifted them a portrait session and we wandered around Vernazza, the jewel of Cinque Terra, in a rain storm and made some memories. All captured on one lens, sometimes you gotta travel light.
One of the best aspects of living in Denver (besides the 1001 hobby sports to choose from) is the ability to just break away from the concrete and hit the mountain towns. Most are only a couple hours away (Breckenridge, Vail, Estes Park) but if you truly want to experience the quintessential beautiful mountain village, then take the 4.5 hour drive over Independence Pass that leads right into the famous town of Aspen, Colorado.
Jenny & Kip couldn’t have picked a better location to exchange their vows. The weekend celebration was set at the exclusive Little Nell resort at the top of Aspen mountain via a gondola lift. The sundeck offers one of the best sunset views of the mountain range and despite some early bad weather, the afternoon cleared up and allowed for some beautiful imagery of this lucky couple.
San Francisco is like a second home to me. Many of my best friends live there and every time I visit I never want to leave. The city and surrounding area has so much to offer in respect to art, music, cuisine, and outdoor activities, that the city never lends a dull moment.
This post is really a double post, but due to proximity of their locations and their connection to each other, they really go hand in hand. I was invited up to Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma Valley by my friend Jason Rose, who served as their Executive Chef, to sample their wine and food pairings prepared by him.
Any words written here cannot truly justify what really transpired in those few hours, but needless to say, hyperbole is warranted & deserved. I’m not a food or wine critic, but its not hard to judge that Ram’s Gate and Jason Rose created culinary combinations that transcend excellence. If there’s one chef to follow in SF, it’s Mr. Rose: he had a heavy hand as the Project Manager for Delfina Restaurant Group including the opening of Locanda restaurant and before that he was the Culinary Director with the Tyler Florence Group & Culinary Director for La Cocina, a kitchen incubator for restaurant entrepreneurs.
Yup. The dude is gifted.
While at Ram’s Gate, it was a rainy day, but I managed to walk around and capture a few shots during Jason’s tour of the vineyard complex. Afterwards, it turned out that Jason had another surprise.
As any self respectable chef should do, he likes to reach out and support local farmers for organic natural ingredients. Turns out, he had struck a deal with a ranch hand across the street for some cage free eggs on a weekly basis.
Also turns out that the ranch hand works on the famous Donnell Gardens ranch across the street. Designed in the late 1940s by famous landscape architect Thomas Church, Lawrence Halprin, & George Rockrise, it’s a cultural iconic landmark for it’s modernist architecture that has been featured in countless architecture & landscaping magazines.
I’ve been told that the ranch encompasses about 15,000 sq acres in Sonoma Valley. Basically as far as the eye can see. And the best part is that the land and the ranch have been left untouched since it was created.
The pool was the first item to be built on the property, even before the main house. Near the pool are two building structures, one setup as the bar & entertainment area with floor to ceiling sliding glass windows and doors opening up to the pool. The other structure was the changing area, but seemingly was much more than that, as there were several rooms available for guests to relax in.
A short distance away was the main house that overlooked Sonoma Valley from on top the hill they built it on. The best part about this ranch is how EVERYTHING is original artwork, furniture, wallpaper, books…down to the bathroom tiles.
It’s a timewarp back to the 1950s, and walking around this place in awe, you can only imagine the social gatherings that have transpired here during its prime years. It’s like a cross between the Brady Bunch and The Playboy Mansion. Crazy stuff. Enjoy.