Featured Wedding: Vanessa & Jared’s Northern California Wedding on The Disney Wedding Podcast!

Disney fans are everywhere, so naturally, there are plenty of people looking for Disney wedding ideas.  If you’re one of them, you can start with the The Disney Wedding Podcast blog, where Vanessa and Jared’s Disney-filled Oroville wedding was featured HERE!

chanterelle photography featured on disney wedding podcast blog

Wedding: Vanessa & Jared – Calvary Baptist Church & Lake Oroville Event Center – Oroville, California

Some of you may know I was born and raised in Northern California, so it may not be that surprising that I shot a wedding there.  What IS surprising is my upbringing had ZERO to do with me booking this wedding – so how did it happen?  I’ve known Vanessa’s dad Derek since I was just a couple of years into my photography career, we met because he was a photographer too.  I even did his headshot about 7 or 8 years ago.  A few years later, we shared an obsession with long distance running – we even ran the same marathon in Sacramento the weekend before the wedding (and yes, we made sure to stop and give sweaty hugs when we passed each other on the course!).  So when he mentioned Vanessa’s wedding, I was happy to do it, but I admit it it made me a little nervous.  Shooting the wedding of a photographer’s daughter?  No pressure there, right?  Then I found out that not only is Vanessa his only daughter, she’s his only child.  Did I mention Derek is also a retired cop???  😮

Vanessa is a big fan of Disney and DIY, so naturally, the wedding had plenty of both.  Hidden Mickeys were everywhere – in tiny rhinestones in her veil, and in the bouquets (which she made herself using flowers from Costco!).  Disney may be the happiest place on Earth, but I think Vanessa’s suite at Feather Falls Lodge was a close second when a rather large box from Jared arrived containing several gifts for Vanessa, including a pair of crystal-studded Gucci shoes and a black beaded Ralph Lauren dress to wear during their honeymoon.

bridebride putting on jewelry sacramento weddingmickey rhinestone heads in bridegroom gives bride gucci shoes for wedding giftbride holding ralph lauren dress given by groommother and bride getting ready to put on her allure bridals dressgirl watching bride get ready at  feather falls lodge

Vanessa and Jared decided not to see each other before their ceremony, but Vanessa did want to have a first look with her dad once the Allure Bridals ballgown was on.  Derek arrived (with the help of mom Teresa) decked out in a throwback tie pin and a Disney wedding appropriate set of “Father of the Bride” cufflinks.

father of the bride first look at sacramento weddingfather of the bride pin and cufflinks at disney themed weddingfather of the bride emotional during first look at feather falls lodgebride smiling before her oroville weddingbride in satin allure ballgown at feather falls lodge

Meanwhile, Jared was busy putting on some cufflinks of his own (Mickey heads, of course).  When Derek first met him, he said his first thought was, “Who is this freakishly tall guy?” My first impression was the same, though that’s not saying much since I’m short and everyone is tall to me!   Don’t let his size fool you though, it didn’t take long for me to figure out the freakishly tall guy is also a freakishly nice guy.  He seems like the type of friend who would offer to help you do the most heinous of chores, like helping you move.  *shudder*

groom getting ready before oroville weddinggroom portraits at oroville wedding

The Disney love continued at the Calvary Baptist Church ceremony, where the wedding programs were a perfect knockoff of a Disney park map, guests signed in on a poster of Mickey balloons, and more Mickey heads lined the aisle.

disney themed programs and decor at oroville california weddingbride and groom during wedding ceremony at calvary baptist churchbride and groom assembling unity cross during oroville church ceremony

After the ceremony, the bridal party and I headed to the Oroville Chinese Temple for pictures, where the bridesmaids demonstrated their dedication – the dye from the ribbon on their bouquets had slowly started to stain their hands pink!

bridal party with fall colors at oroville weddingbridesmaids with hands stained from ribbon at sacramento weddingfunny bridal party picture at oroville california weddingbride and groom walking portrait at california weddingbride portraits outside in orovillebridal party at oroville chinese templegroomsmen and groom at chinese templebride and groom portraits in oroville californiabride and groom overlooking oroville dam behind event centerbridal party silhouette at oroville california wedding

The reception at Lake Oroville Golf & Event Center was a Disney wonderland, with decor inspired by Arendelle, the kingdom in Frozen.  Paper lanterns formed Mickey heads over the dance floor, escort cards looked like retro Disneyland tickets, tables were named for Disney attractions, and vials of glittery pixie dust served as favors.

chinese paper lantern mickey heads at oroville wedding receptiondisney themed escort seating cards and pixie dust favorsarendelle themed frozen wedding reception in californiadisney frozen arendelle wedding reception themefather of the bride dance at sacramento wedding reception

During his toast, Derek mentioned that Jared had asked him and Teresa for permission to marry Vanessa.  Teresa immediately said, “We’d be honored!” – Derek joked that she had stolen his chance to jerk Jared around a bit and make him sweat.  Then in an unexpected turn of events, one of the groomsmen (who happens to be a legit auctioneer) stood up to give a toast and started auctioning off a centerpiece to get the newlyweds some spending money for their honeymoon.  Seriously, when you think of what a stereotypical auctioneer sounds like withalltheirwordsrunningtogethersoyoureallyhavetopayattention, that’s what he sounded like.  No one expected it, so when he started it was fun to watch everyone’s eyes start to get big, looking at each other like, “Are you hearing what I’m hearing???”  Another groomsman won the auction, which I think ended at about $400!

father of the bride giving funny speech at oroville wedding receptiongroomsman auctioneer at oroville event center wedding receptiondancing at oroville event center wedding receptionphotobooth at oroville wedding reception

Thanks Vanessa and Jared for trusting some tiny weirdo your dad recommended to shoot your wedding, and thanks to Derek and Teresa for trusting me with your baby’s big day.  And just for giggles, here’s that headshot I took of Derek a hundred years ago. 🙂

headshot in front of red wall nashville

Happy Holidays from Chanterelle Photography: “Going UP”

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to reveal the annual Chanterelle Photography holiday card, it feels like we just revealed the 2015 Sherlock Holmes card!  For 2016, I wanted to do something completely different from anything we’ve done before, so we went ANIMATED (okay technically “illustrated”, but you get the idea), so here is “Going UP”!

holiday christmas card with dog based on disney pixar up movie

Choosing the Disney/Pixar movie “Up” as inspiration was a bit of a risk.  I try to choose themes that are easily recognizable by most people, but occasionally I have an idea that goes with a very specific theme.  When you get too specific and/or too contemporary, you run the risk that many people may not “get” the reference, simply because they haven’t seen the original – like with our 2013 “Hunger Games” card.   I knew that even though “Up” came out in 2009, it was contemporary enough that some folks (especially those without kids) might not have seen the movie.  But Watson naturally has eyebrows just like the character Carl Fredricksen, so who was I to go against what nature was telling me? 😉

The animated/illustrated front of the card required 2 days of Photoshop work, mostly because I’m a photographer, not an illustrator.  So I had no idea how to make this happen, and had to teach myself (you really can learn just about anything online now!).  It involved drawing over the original image (which was shot on my front porch), simplifying it into into areas of light and shadow, and making my house look more like Carl and Ellie’s house.  It just took A LOT of small steps to get there.  I probably should have just paid someone to do it, but alas, I am ridiculously stubborn and a glutton for punishment.

Our outfits and props came together relatively quickly.  Watson’s jacket and my shirt came from Target, and his glasses came from Dollar Tree.  Watson’s tiny white toupee and my hat came from Amazon.  The balloons came from Walmart, and were tied to Watson’s harness (fed through a hole I made in the back center seam of his jacket).  We had almost everything else at home already – I tapped into my crafty stash to make the Wilderness Explorer flag, the sash of patches, Watson’s bow tie, and the bottle cap “Ellie badge” to pin onto Watson’s jacket.  I scrounged around my house for props to go on what would be Russell’s backpack, and discovered when you don’t have a butterfly net, a Thai tea strainer looks basically the same, haha!  I had planned to wear the backpack in the pictures, but after taking a few test shots, I realized you couldn’t see enough of it for it to translate well, and it would be more effective set off to one side.

I’m sure the neighbors that saw us setting up the shoot thought we were nuts – imagine looking over at your neighbor’s house, seeing her dressed up like the Disney/Pixar version of a boy scout, and her dog in a suit jacket tied to a bunch of a balloons. 😮  Thankfully no one tried to commit me to a mental institution.  Let’s hope it stays that way in 2017.  🙂

Thanks for a great 2016, and Happy New Year!

Engagement: Elaine & Jordan – San Francisco, California

When Elaine and Jordan booked me for their Alabama wedding, they weren’t sure if they’d be able to do an engagement session because they were currently living in San Francisco.  I already had a wedding booked in Sacramento later that year, so I hoped that if the timing worked out for everyone, I could potentially make a side trip to shoot their engagement session in the Bay Area.  Lucky for us, the stars aligned and we were able to make it happen before I left California.

Since Jordan is a self-proclaimed “coffee snob”, we started at one of their favorite haunts, Philz Coffee.  They brought along their super adorable dog Carl, who somehow managed look cute and innocent one minute and make us all lunge to save him from certain doom the next, when he dove headfirst into a nearby planter to grab the remnants of an old sandwich that had been discarded there.  Did I mention he wore a bow tie for the occasion?  One does not planter dive in casual wear, people.

engagement session at philz coffeeengagement pictures with dog at philz coffeeman on a scooter in engagement picturesan francisco engagement pictures

What you don’t know about the next two pictures: Carl wasn’t supposed to be in these.  Apparently he saw mom and dad snuggling and didn’t want to be left out, so he decided to photobomb and then give me the side eye for laughing at his antics.   Elaine and Jordan are some of the most laid back people you’ll ever meet, so naturally, they weren’t bothered and decided to just go with it. 😀

engagement pictures with dog in bay area

engagement pictures in the middle of the citysan francisco california engagement session

After stopping at a few other local favorites, we headed to their building’s rooftop to grab a few pictures overlooking the city as the sun was going down (and the wind was kicking up).

san francisco rooftop engagement picturesengagement pictures in san franciscoEven though I was born and raised in Northern California, I hadn’t been to the city in a while and had almost forgotten what it was like to have to parallel park, feed meters, and pay bridge tolls.  When you move to Alabama, it doesn’t take long to get spoiled with being able to whip into a parking lot, get what you need, and be home again in no time!  Stay tuned for pictures from Elaine and Jordan’s Camp Hill farm wedding!

Commercial: The Cockentrice 1 Year Anniversary – Krog Street Market – Atlanta, Georgia

A couple of years ago, I start working on a project featuring artisanal food products around the South.  One of the first people who jumped on board was Kevin Ouzts, owner of The Spotted Trotter, an Atlanta shop specializing in house made charcuterie.   It was clear from the get-go that he was extremely passionate about his work, and judging by the dishes he made (and I photographed) for special events like the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, he was a stickler for detail, even if it meant each small bite had 10 different components that required assembly.  He and his wife/business partner Megan are also some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet – how many clients offer to let you crash at their place when you’re in town to shoot a late night event with them AND tell you to bring your dog?  That’s a rare thing in the world today.

So when they crossed off one more “bucket list” item with the opening of their restaurant The Cockentrice, plus a second Spotted Trotter location in Krog Street Market, I was beyond happy for them.  When the restaurant celebrated its first anniversary I was there to get a snapshot of the festivities, from the swing band to the constant flow of food coming out of the open kitchen.

chef kevin ouzts at the cockentrice in atlantaband at the cockentrice 1 year anniversary partyband playing at the cockentrice in atlanta georgiafood at restaurant in krog street marketthe bar inside the cockentrice restaurant in atlantathe cockentrice restaurant in krog street marketbar at the cockentrice atlantabartender at the cockentrice in krog street marketchef kevin ouzts toastingIf you’re a business owner, you know running a business can easily take over your life.  If you or someone you know is involved in the restaurant industry, you know the hours can be crazy and you rarely see your friends and family because you work opposing hours.  Kevin and Megan recently made the decision to close The Cockentrice after nearly two years in order to reclaim their lives (and maybe make a baby Ouzts!) –  and again, I couldn’t be happier for them.  The Spotted Trotter locations will remain open, and I can’t wait to see (and shoot, and eat!) whatever they come up with next!