November 14, 2011

Sneak Peek - San Francisco Engagement

Last week's engagement shoot with Thea and Matt was amazing!  We had wonderful light, great locations, and Thea and Matt were so fun to work with!  I am positively in love with Thea and Matt's images, so here's a sneak peek from their shoot....

Happy Monday!

November 7, 2011

Adventure Camera - Biking Route 1

With our metric century through Davis completed last month, we've been looking for nice, long, hilly rides in the Bay Area and beyond to train for our next great biking adventure-- the Hell's Gate Hundred.  Whereas our ride from Davis to Winters was, well, pretty much flat, Hell's Gate will be anything but.  With a 20-mile climb up and over the 4300-foot Daylight Pass in Death Valley, we'll need some serious hill training.  So, with that in mind, we headed down to Big Sur to ride the 26-mile section of Route 1 between Big Sur and Lucia.  Hills galore, great scenery, and courteous drivers made for a wonderful out-and-back ride, and by mid-morning we were joined by many other friendly road bikers.

Our turn-around point was Lime Kiln State Park.  Situated in a canyon, the park's geography ranges from rocky beaches to brushy peaks high above the ocean's waves.  There's a small campground reaching back from the beach, and the campground host is one of the nicest people we've met.  Incidentally, he's just created a bike-and-hike campsite for those biking or backpacking along the coast.  It's a nice little site with an ocean view and a bench.  It's a great place to stay if you're in the area on foot or two wheels.

Happy Monday!

November 3, 2011

Sneak Peek - Ralston Hall Mansion Wedding

It's been a very busy week, so I've taken a few days off blogging (sorry!)... However, I'm working on Wendy and Rob's wedding images, and I can't help but share one!  They were married last month at the gorgeous Ralston Hall Mansion in a beautiful ceremony and reception.  Here's a sneak peek from their first look.... Love!

Happy Thursday!

October 27, 2011

Sneak Peek - Sierra Nevada Mountain Wedding

We woke up to some very chilly temperatures this morning, and the briskness in the air reminded me of Wanny and Mike's wedding in the forest of the Sierra Nevada a few weeks ago.  A snowstorm three days before their Big Day unexpectedly rearranged a few things, but resulted in a truly unique day, full of family, friends and a whole lot of fun!  Here's a sneak peek!

Happy Thursday!

October 25, 2011

Everything but the kitchen sink...

With wedding season finally winding down a bit, Josh and I decided it was high time the house got a good cleaning.  So, we headed over to the new Target in Dublin (crowded!), loaded up on cleaning supplies, and started scrubbing.  After a while, the house was starting to look pretty darn good, so we called it a day and moved on to making dinner.  As I was setting the table, I heard Josh say "Huh."  This is rarely a good thing.  I turned around to find him holding the handle of the kitchen sink faucet.  Sadly, it was no longer attached to the kitchen.  Turns out the little fork bracket (or whatever you want to call it) had simply sheared off, and there was no fixing it.  It was time for a new kitchen faucet.

After an informative trip to Lowe's, we had a snazzy new faucet and a complete realization that this was well beyond our home-maintenance skills.  So, we also ordered Lowe's installation services, and we should have a working kitchen sink sometime this afternoon.  In the meantime, you would not believe how much a broken kitchen sink can affect your day when you work out of your house.  We've taken to keeping a pitcher of water next to the sink as a replacement, but food prep and washing dishes is still a little sketchy without a steady flow of water to the dish disposal, and making tea or coffee requires a trip to the bathroom.  Yeah.  Needless to say, we took the Lowe's salesperson's advice and ate out last night.

Happy Tuesday!

October 24, 2011

Two Years!

Today is Josh's and my two-year wedding anniversary.  Like many people, these milestone days always getting me thinking about how far we've come sine the last milestone, and where we're headed in the future.  It's been a very interesting year for us, and I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for us in the next year.  And I couldn't imagine experiencing it all without my best friend by my side.... Happy Anniversary, Josh!

October 21, 2011

New! Automotive Art

Last night, as we were watching I-don't-actually-remember-what on TV, one of my favorite commercials came on.  It's a commercial for Bridgestone tires that features an older couple driving their 1950s Caddy like stunt drivers on a salt flat.  After whipping around the flats, the car stops, and the couple gets out of the car to switch drivers.  As they cross paths in front of the car, the women says "I got this one, Old Man," and slaps his butt.  I love it!  Makes me smile every time.

And that brings us to something new and exciting.  Those of you who have seen my business cards know that they're two-sided.  One side is Wedded Bliss Images, and the other side is it's sister company Twisted Rock Photography.  When we first started, Twisted Rock was simply my outlet for my fine art photography projects, and we sold prints, cards, canvases and metal images at art festivals around the Bay Area.  Now, Twisted Rock is getting a new direction that combines my infatuation with classic (and not-so-classic) cars and my absolute love of creating photographic art out of just about anything.  For now, I'm going to call it "Automotive Art."  So, if your car (or motorcycle, as the case may be) is your passion, give me a holler, and I'll create some chrome-inspired custom art just for you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

October 20, 2011

Susan + Watson - Wedding Day Art Book

One of the highlights of this wedding season has been working with Susan and Watson.  From our trip to the San Francisco Zoo for their engagement shoot, to their record-breaking ceremony and all of our meetings at the Marriott, they're always fun, easy-going and totally genuine.  So, of course, when their Wedding Day Art Book arrived this week, I was positively stoked.  So much so, I squealed with delight and went running to the kitchen to open the box.  Inside, pure gorgeousness!

Art Book Stats: 12x16 with an Armour metal cover (love!) and Passion red leather spine and back

You can also see more of their album design from last month's blog post.  Happy Thursday!

October 17, 2011

Foxy's Fall Century

Earlier this summer, Josh and I traded in our old road bikes for some shiny new models that fit a lot better.  Riding suddenly got a lot more fun (even though we really liked it before!), and we started challenging ourselves on longer and longer rides.  Eventually,we started wondering whether we could ride a century (100 miles) in one shot.  We haven't quite gotten there yet, but we did ride Foxy's Fall Metric Century (100 km or about 60 miles) last weekend.  What a great ride!  It was our first foray into organized rides, and having so many other bicyclists out there with us added a whole other dimension and a sense of community to the ride.  We finished considerably faster than we thought we would, and had so much fun that we're planning to take on the Hell's Gate Hundred in Death Valley next spring.  It's going to be a heck of a challenge (it's a true century at 100 miles and over 8500 feet of climbing), but it will be really neat to go out and see one of my most favorite places by bicycle.  Let the training begin!

And to wrap up, here's an image from our very first trip to Death Valley years ago... We came across this long-abandoned car, and to me, it speaks volumes about the lives and challenges the miners of Death Valley faced.

Happy Monday!

October 13, 2011

A Year of Adventure

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging with an important message... Today is Josh's birthday!  It's been a year of full of adventure, both indoors and outdoors, and we've come a long way over the last 365 days.  So, here's to another year of great adventures, fun, excitement, and love... Happy birthday to my bestest friend!

October 12, 2011

Sneak Peek - Hannah Nicole Vineyards Wedding

It's been a very busy fall, filled with gorgeous weddings and happy couples.  Angela and Paul tied the knot a little over a week ago, and I absolutely love the images from their reception at Hannah Nicole Vineyards in Brentwood.  Here's a sneak peek!

Happy Wednesday!

October 11, 2011

Adventure Camera - Altamont Pass

Years ago, when Josh and I moved from the east coast to California, we packed everything we owned into a bright yellow moving truck and drove across the country, towing my car (with our kayaks on top) behind the truck.  Six days and several adventures later, we were driving over the Altamont Pass, ready to arrive at our new home.  At the time, I'd never seen anything like the large wind farms that top many a mountain ridge in California, and I found the windmills to be fascinating.  I still do.  So, as Josh was battling traffic up the pass, I was holding my camera out the passenger window trying to take as many photos as possible.

Last weekend, we were up near Tahoe for Wanny and Mike's slightly snowy wedding, and on the way back home, driving over the Altamont Pass, I was reminded of our move to the west coast.  So much so, I pointed the Adventure Camera out the window and happily fired away...

Happy Tuesday!

October 7, 2011

Random Photo Friday - Lava Beds National Monument

As a photographer, I face the constant battle of organizing my images in ways that allow me to find a specific image easily at a later time.  It's been a challenge, to say the least, especially given the fact that, while the images I've taken over the past couple years are well organized, the plethora I took back in, say, 2007, well, they aren't even close.  So, each week, I try to spend a little time going back through those old images and sorting them into their rightful places.  It's actually quite fun-- I look at images I haven't seen in years, and they bring back all the memories of our adventures.

This week, I found one from an unexpected trip to Lava Beds National Monument.  I say unexpected because, well, we expected to be taking some rock climbing lessons around Mount Shasta that weekend, but a rain storm rerouted that adventure.  With two days suddenly free, we decided to head father north to see what northern California had to offer.  A few hours later, we arrived at Lava Beds National Monument, which sounded like a great place to be in inclement weather, since the main attraction, lava tubes, was underground, and thus out of the raindrops.  We secured a campsite, stopped the visitors' center where we procured yellow souvenir hardhats and some large flashlights, and headed underground for two days of exploring some very cool tunnels and rock formations.  Mind you, it's probably not the best activity for the claustrophobics in the crowd, but it's a ton of fun nonetheless.

Have a wonderful weekend!

October 6, 2011

Adventure Camera - Snow!

Josh and I love snow sports.  From downhill skiing to snowshoeing to moutaineering, if it involves snow, we're there.  Since the rains came in on Monday, Josh has been checking the Sierra webcams hourly to see how much snow has dropped over our favorite ski resorts and working out plans to go skiing as soon as possible.

Growing up, "snowsports" was building snowmen, attempting to build igloos, skiing down hills on over-sized cross country skis, and ice soccer (yes, it's as painful as it sounds....).  Then I met Josh, and he took me downhill skiing at the local landfill-turned-downhill-ski-resort.  (Hey, we grew up southeastern Michigan, it's a little lacking in large hills and mountains.)  We got fitted up in straighter-than-straight 1980s vintage rental skis and rear-entry boots, and headed out to the snow, where I immediately learned what a "yard sale" is.  Every time I tried to turn those skis, I'd fall, lose at least one pole, and watch my skis go sliding away, usually in opposite directions.  Josh followed me down the hill time and again, picking up the pieces and trying to teach me, well, anything.  Then I had an epiphany: I always fell when I tried to turn-- if I didn't turn, maybe I wouldn't fall!  So, I pointed the skis downhill and let loose.  I sped all the way to the bottom of the run without falling, and used a very convenient fence to stop myself.  Josh was mortified.  I think his exact words were "If you crash and break a leg before track season, your dad is going to kill me."  Back to the drawing board we went....

Skiing didn't really catch on with me that day, but a few years later, snowboarding did.  Then a temporary job at a local ski shop gave me access to way too many skis, and I was soon racing down the Sierra on a shiny pair of red Atomic skis.  From there, we discovered snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and mountaineering, and started camping out in the snow to get farther into the backcountry.  To this day, my favorite overnight trip was a climb up Lassen Peak.  We headed out one morning, climbing up past Lake Helen and to the shoulder of Lassen Peak, seeing only one ranger and a small day tour group in the distance.  That night, we had the mountain to ourselves.  We were up and climbing towards the peak at sunrise, and the view from the top was magnificent.  You could see for miles and miles in every direction, and I felt very small in a very big world.  Back down at camp, we ate breakfast and packed up for the trek back to the car with a definite bounce in our steps.  I can't wait to see what snowy adventures this winter brings!

Happy Thursday!

October 5, 2011

Adventure Camera - Rainy Days

Fall is finally arriving in the Bay Area, and with it, the rains.  While I definitely am hoping for sunny skies for all of our upcoming weddings (fingers crossed!), on a personal note, I'm loving the cooler weather and rainy skies.  I've been so over the summer heat since the beginning of September, and now that my tall boots, scarf and peacoat are out of the closet, I'm happy.

It's supposed to pour today, and so far, the weather is living up to the predictions.  But, out here more than anywhere else I've lived, there's always a rainbow after the rain.  Already, during a brief break, Josh spotted a rainbow, and it reminded me of another rainy (and snowy!) day from our honeymoon at the Grand Canyon, and the gorgeous rainbows that seemingly popped up everywhere....

Happy Wednesday!

October 4, 2011

Sneak Peek - Oakland Metropolitan Golf Links Wedding

It's been one of those super busy mornings (hence the later-than-usual blog post)....  I'm starting into Amy and Jerry's wedding images, and I can't tell you how excited I am!  Here's a sneak peek....

Happy Tuesday!

October 3, 2011

Guest Sign-In Album - Jessica and Jay

Jessica and Jay's custom guest sign-in album arrived last week, and I would have to say it's my favorite design to date.  We had a good bit of fog on the day of their engagement shoot, and I love the intimate, romantic feel it gave to their images and album....

Happy Monday!

September 30, 2011

The Smurfs

It's funny how things come back around.  Way back when, I used to watched the Smurfs cartoons on TV, and followed their battles with the evil Gargamel and his cat Azreal every Saturday morning, along with He-Man and She-Ra.  Then, they all went off the air, replaced by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which just came back around itself!) and a variety of other shows I don't even remember at this point.

Now that the Smurfs have made a resurgence with feature-length 3D movie, McDonald's has, of course, added Smurf figurines to it's Happy Meals.  Since Josh's dad has an in on the Happy Meal toy front, a box containing the entire set of Happy Meal Smurf figurines arrived on our doorstep last week.  Which led to Josh comparing me to a Smurf each day.  At some point during the day, he leaves one of the Smurfs on the table next to my reading chair.  One day, I was apparently Panicky (it was one of those days...), and yesterday, after having gotten my hair cut (cue the Hallelujah chorus-- I was in dire need!), Vanity Smurf was sitting next to my Kindle.  We'll see which Smurf today brings, but I will say, if Papa Smurf shows up on my reading table, well, I'm just not so sure about that.... 

Happy Friday, and have a wonderful weekend!

September 29, 2011

Adventure Camera - Sutter Creek

A while back, Josh and I spent a few days in the Sierra foothills riding our bikes and touring around.  After a particularly strenuous ride one morning (you wouldn't believe how steep some of those hills are!), we decided we needed ice cream and headed off to the Sutter Creek Ice Cream Emporium.  That's right, an emporium of ice cream.  Behind an old soda shop counter, the servers dished out cones filled with scoops of a large variety of flavors.  Somehow, Josh and I both described their ice cream as "fluffy."  I'm not totally sure how that works, but it was quite delicious in both strawberry and cherry-vanilla.  We took a stroll around town, popping into the six-or-so antiques shops for fun.  We're not really the antiquing type, but it was fun to see what's considered an antique.  The luggage, in particular, amused us because we spotted two pieces, a hard-sided suitcase and hand-held beauty case, that have twins still in use today by our grandparents.

In addition to antiques and ice cream, Sutter Creek has a bunch of wineries, tasting rooms and restaurants, though we didn't try any of those on this trip.  Being a town with a history, though, we did find a lot of neat architecture and, my personal favorite, an old Shell gas pump.

So, if you're in the area, Sutter Creek is definitely worth a stop, and the whole area around the town has a lot of attractions as well, from vineyards to natural caverns and old mines.

Happy Thursday!

September 28, 2011

Libby + Rob - Round Hill Country Club Wedding

The halls of Round Hill Country Club were quiet in the early afternoon of Libby and Rob's Big Day.  Libby smiled happily as she put her earrings in, and as she walked out of the women's lounge to meet Rob for their First Look, she was calm and content.  Outside, Rob waited excitedly for his bride, his love and best friend.  As Libby opened the door, they both broke into big smiles.  The day that was over a decade in the making was here.  Throughout the day and into the evening, the shared loving gazes, secret smiles and tons of fun moments, best friends ready to embark on a new adventure together.

Libby and Rob's day was all about spending time together, and they built in lots of time for photos together both before and after their ceremony, which I absolutely love!

Pre-ceremony, we toured around the clubhouse and found tons of great nooks to shoot in...

A happy moment from the ceremony...

After Libby and Rob's ceremony, we grabbed a few golf carts for a trip around the golf course...

One of the things I love about shooting in the Bay Area, and especially the East Bay, is all the oak trees.  They make perfect natural backdrops, and every oak has its own personality...

Libby and Rob's wedding cake was simply elegant, with white scrollwork on chocolate frosting, and bride-and-groom-styled chocolate-dipped strawberries on top.

Most couples take some dance lessons before their wedding in order to look good for their first dance as a married couple.  Libby and Rob took it to the next step with a full performance that ended with pizazz!

Now, if you've read my blog for very long, you know I'm a huge fan of classic cars, and that I love love love when classic cars and weddings come together.  Rob's neighbor lent them his Mustang for their Big Day, and, well, I'm totally jealous!

Libby and Rob, I have had the best time working with you, and I'm so glad to have been a part of your wedding celebration!  It's such a wonderful thing to be married to your best friend, and I wish you the best in what's to come.  Love and happiness... Erin.

September 27, 2011

New Galleries!

Over the past couple months, I've been working on a number of website upgrades, and I'm pleased to announce that I have new public galleries posted to the main Wedded Bliss Images website!  There are now nine galleries to browse through, detailing each part of the wedding day, from The Preparations to The Happily Ever After.  I'd love to know what you think, so please feel free to leave a comment below!

September 26, 2011

The Wonders of Craig's List

Most people, come the warming temperatures of spring, feel the need to do a solid spring cleaning and purge their house of excess things.  Us?  Well, somehow that urge hits us in the fall.  Or mid-winter.  Or anytime but spring.  So, tired of climbing through "Bicycle Alley" in our garage and armed with a trusty point-and-shoot camera, we pulled out all the sporting goods we don't use anymore and posted them to Craig's List.  Ten minutes later, the we had people interested in bicycles, golf clubs, an old roof rack system and more.  That's the great thing about Craig's List-- it allows items that still have use in them, but aren't used by their current owner, to find a new home and new life with someone who can use them.  It keeps perfectly good items from going to a landfill, and makes the environmentalist in me happy, as well as fostering a sense of community.  So, hooray for Craig's List, and happy Monday!

September 22, 2011

Sneak Peek - Crown Beach

I had a truly wonderful time with Nicole and Ben at their engagement shoot yesterday.  They're a fabulous couple, full of love and life, and I'm so happy for them!  Here's a sneak peek...

Happy Thursday!

September 20, 2011

Wedding Day Art Book - Susan + Watson

Susan and Watson were such a joy to work with, and last week we finalized and put in the order for their wedding day art book!  It'll be a little while before it arrives, but in the meantime, check out their design... It fits them to a tee, and I simply can't wait to see their Armour metal cover.  It's going to be positively amazing, just like Susan and Watson.

Happy Tuesday!

September 19, 2011

Adventure Camera - Sunset in the Sierra Foothills

One of my favorite things about the Sierra foothills is the massive oak woodlands.  I love the way single oaks stand out from each other, dancing in the sunlight, and I especially love how their gnarled silhouettes stand atop rolling ridgelines in front of the setting sun.  It's one of those images that simply puts me at peace.  So, here's a little peace to start off your week....

Happy Monday!

September 16, 2011

Diamonds + Coals - Biking and Fall

Somewhere along the way this week, we decided to finally sign up for an organized bicycle ride.  I'd call it a race, but, well, I have no intention of racing-- I just want to finish in one piece.  So, with a date now looming, we've finally got the appropriate motivation to start seriously biking during the week.  (We've been a little lazy lately with the heat and all...)  We headed off on one of our favorite local rides, Del Valle Road.  The road climbs roughly 600 feet in a little over a mile and a half, and makes for a great workout.  You sweat on the way up, and cruise on the way down.  This time, we had a bit of an unofficial race on the way down, and I managed to clock my fastest speed on bicycles ever: 37.75 mph.  Scary fast, but totally exhilarating, and I can't wait to get back out there!

So, without further ado, this week's coals go to...
- Junk mail.  Holy cow.  I opened my mailbox yesterday only to find that our mail carrier had stuffed it full of more junk mail than I've ever seen.  It literally exploded out of the box.  Now I"m on a mission to take our address off every catalog and coupon subscription known to man.
- Satellite radio.  It seems to have an on-again-off-again type of relationship with my Jeep.  Monday was on.  Yesterday was off.  Let's just make up our mind on this, shall we?

This week's diamonds go to...
- Biking.  You may not feel like going for a ride, but once you get out there, it feels great.
- Fall-like weather.  The break in the heat has been fantastic, and I already feel like pulling out my sweaters and tall boots.  Sadly, it looks like net week's going to heat up again.
- Finao.  For being awesome to work with.  Their albums are top-notch, as are the people who work there.

Have a wonderful weekend!

September 15, 2011

Sneak Peek - Lake Tahoe Beach Wedding

I have to admit, I've been looking forward to Shea and Gus's wedding all summer.  About halfway through their wedding planning process, they decided that things just weren't quite right, and started over.  When Shea told me that their new venue would be right on the beach of Lake Tahoe, I was thrilled!  A totally fun couple, a gorgeous beach, and a beautiful wedding... Heaven!  Shea and Gus tied the knot last weekend in a beautiful sunset ceremony, and I'm so excited about the images I can hardly contain myself.  So, here's a sneak peek!

Happy Thursday!

September 14, 2011

Rosa + Raudel - Livermore Wedding

It was a toasty August morning in Livermore as Rosa and her bridesmaids dressed and put the final touches on their hair and makeup.  The hotel suite was abustle with a dozen girls, and suddenly, they were running late.  As the driver hurried the limousine to the church, Rosa called Raudel to say she was on her way.  When they reached Saint Michael's, Rosa and the girls jumped out of the car and right into line for the processional.  Raudel's parents walked him down the aisle to start the ceremony, and a smile of joyous anticipation curled on his lips.  His love was here, and he was about to be reunited with her after a very busy morning apart.  A few minutes later, as Rosa walked down the aisle, she saw only Raudel, waiting at the altar for her.  Throughout their ceremony and the rest of the day, they sneaked little glances at each other and smiled, happy to be by each other's side and celebrating the start of their new life together.

From her shimmering champagne-pink heels to her rhinestone-trimmed garter, Rosa sparkled on her Big Day.

A special thanks to Jaymee Govia of JTGlamour for Rosa's beautifully romantic hair and makeup.

I love Raudel's reaction to seeing Rosa for the first time walking down the aisle!

Saint Michael's Church was the perfect setting for Rosa and Raudel's Spanish Catholic ceremony.

I don't usually post formal portraits, but with lighting like this, I simply couldn't resist...

After their ceremony, Rosa and Raudel allowed three hours for a photo shoot with their bridal party around Livermore before heading to the reception.  Love it!  We started the shoot at one of my favorite Livermore landmarks, the Duarte Highway Garage museum.

Josh captured this happy little moment between the newlyweds.

When I posted Rosa and Raudel's sneak peek a while back, I had trouble deciding between two of my favorite images... Here's the second one-- I just looooove how the wind caught Rosa's veil at just the right moment!

Next, we headed to downtown for a walking tour down First Street.  Our first stop was the regal Independent building.

Then onto Valley Furniture... Rosa and Raudel's bridal party was a ton of fun and I loved their style!

 I loved that Rosa and Raudel held hands throughout most of the shoot... Adorable!

A favorite ring shot...

Rosa and Raudel's reception was a HUGE celebration, full of love, laughter, and lots of dancing.  Before the dance floor got busy, however, they shared their first dance.

And an image of pure happiness to finish...

Rosa and Raudel, you're an amazing couple, and are surrounded by so much love!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your celebration, and I wish you nothing but the best!  Love and happiness... Erin