Benicia Engagement Photos with Lina and Buddy

Jim Vetter Photography recently did an engagement session in Benicia, CA with a very sweet couple.  I photographed a wedding in Benicia at the Arsenal a couple of years ago but had not seen much of the area.  The Benicia State Recreation Area, as it is called, gave us a great backdrop of rocks, water and sky to create these images.

What started out as a misty, overcast morning turned into a beautifully warm day and afforded us some killer skies!

Buddy is from Hawaii’s Big Island where they will be returning to for the wedding.  Lina has never been to Hawaii and, understandably, cannot wait!

I’ll be photographing Lina and Buddy’s engagement party this weekend and will have more images to share soon!

Mountain View Wedding at Rengstorff House with Alicia and Dave

Jim Vetter Photography had the great pleasure of photographing the eclectic wedding of Alicia and Dave this month at Mountain View’s historic Rengstorff House followed by a colorful reception at the beautiful Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto.

Since the ceremony took place under a hard June sun, sunscreen, colorful sunglasses & parasols and lemonade were supplied to the guests upon arrival.  This contributed to a very festive pre-ceremony gathering which bounced to the music of a 5-piece brass band.  Kudos to Libby at Event by Libby for such meticulous and artful planning!

Ceremony Details - Rengstorff House Wedding

This same brass band played the theme from Raiders of the Lost Arc as the groomsmen and groom made their entrance to the ceremony.  The bride then made her grand entrance to the Beatles’ Penny Lane.  Nothing about this wedding was average.

Alicia was beautifully elegant in her gown from BoLee Bridal Couture with floral from Laughing Gal Floral.  Of course the suite at the Garden Court Hotel offered beautiful light for the bridal portraits below.  This really shows off the fantastic work of Elizabeth Chang in Alicia’s makeup and Swirls & Curls who did her amazing hair.

Rengstorff House Wedding - Bridal Portraits

The Jewish ceremony was masterfully choreographed by Yehudit at A Sacred Event and the Rabi was rather progressive and generally a hoot to be around.

Rengstorff House Wedding Ceremony

The couple certainly traveled in style in their vintage Rolls Royce Limousine from Elegant Journey Limousine.  George from Elegant Journey was a great guy and very accommodating.

Rengstorff House Wedding

The reception was back at the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto.  I love their courtyard and lobby for portraits.  its a real gem tucked into downtown Palo Alto.  Oh, and the dinner service was superb!  One of the highlights of the reception was the Bride and Groom’s first dance.  It was a carefully planned and perfectly executed dance performance to Spamalot by Monte Python.  Did I mention that this was an eclectic wedding?  It was awesome!

Garden Court Hotel Wedding

I want to thank the bride and groom for allowing us to capture such a beautiful wedding and for being so much fun to work with!  Thank you Alicia and Dave!!

Rengstorff House Wedding

Here are the highlights from the day.  Enjoy!

Winery SF Wedding Photography – Courtney and Matt

Treasure Island weddings can be windy and cold but the warm rustic feel of this wedding at The Winery San Francisco more than makes up for the nippy bay air.  Jim Vetter Photography had the pleasure to photograph Courtney and Matt’s wedding on Treasure Island in May and what a sweet wedding it was!

There was the killer atmosphere of the Winery SF, great food from Simmer & Sear, and some good old funk thrown down by The Nibblers.  This was the best wedding band I’ve heard in a long time.  Go check out one of their shows.  They kick ass!

Here is a video slideshow of some of the highlights from the day.

Below, Courtney finishes getting ready and shows off her gorgeousness.  The shot in the middle is one of my favorites.  This is Courtney as a child with her late mother.  The sweetest thing ever.

Treasure Island Bride

Dad gives the Bride away

The details at the wedding were very cool.  Check out the fitting placecards below!  And I LOVE the His and Hers guitars on their chairs.  Oh! … and nice socks Matt!

Treasure Island Wedding Details - Winery SF

First Wedding Dance on Treasure Island

Thank you Courtney and Matt for including us in your awesome wedding day!

Inverness Wedding Photography in the California Coastal Hills

Bay area wedding photography can be so much fun when you get to work in such interesting locations as the quaint little St. Columba’s Church tucked up in the hills of Inverness, California near Point Reyes.  This little country church was originally built by a railroad executive who wanted his daughter to be married at home.  So he built a house with a church in it – or maybe he built a church with a house in it.  I’m not sure which is more accurate.

Elizabeth & David are both Marin County firefighters and they adore the coastal hills where they now live.  In fact, David proposed to Elizabeth on one of their long leisurely walks up their favorite fire road.  I blogged about their engagement a few weeks back.

You couldn’t find a nicer couple than Elizabeth and David – I’m so glad they found me to photograph their sweet wedding!

Marin Coastal Hills Wedding

Marin Weddings in the Coastal Hills

Congratulations Elizabeth & David!

San Anselmo Engagement Session with Desiree and Nikos

Engagement sessions in Robson Harrington Park in San Anselmo are one of my favorite sessions to do with clients.  The park is so quaint and really lends itself to romantic settings such as engagement sessions.

On August 11th, I’ll be photographing Desiree and Nikos’ wedding at Brix Restaurant in Napa.  They are a really sweet couple and we had a great time at this session tonight.  I can’t wait for the wedding!

San Anselmo Engagement Photo

Congratulations, Desiree and Nikos!

Jim Vetter Photography featured on Adore with Delight online magazine

As a San Francisco wedding photographer, I get to shoot in some awesome locations.  You may remember the inspirational shoot I did earlier this year at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley.  Well, this shoot was featured yet again – this time by Adore with Delight.

Check out the feature here: Adore with Delight

ISES Northern California Parties at Jillian’s at the Metreon in San Francisco

Tonight I had the pleasure to cover an event for International Society of Event Specialists (ISES) Northern California Chapter. Jillian’s at the Metreon in San Francisco hosted the event and there was Skee Ball and more provided by Plan-It Interactive.  Good food and great company was what I found.

The new Board of Directors was also inducted tonight.  You can see their group shot in the video and at the gallery.

Top 5 Tips for Looking Great in Your Photographs

As a wedding photographer in the San Francisco area, I photograph a huge variety of people. Big & small, short & tall, shy & bold, young & old. Regardless of who you are, you will look best in your photos if you follow these 5 simple tips for looking great in your photographs.

Tip #1 – Closer is Bigger

If you don’t want your butt to look bigger than it actually is, shift your weight to your back foot and push your hips away from the camera.  This tip applies to any body part.  Whatever is closest to the camera will look bigger!

 

 

Tip #2 – Slimmer from the Side

Turn your body so the camera sees the side of your waist – it is much smaller from the side than straight on.  This is true not only for your waist but also for your shoulders and hips.  Guys may want their shoulders square to the camera so they look bigger but most women don’t want to look broad so remember to avoid facing your body square to the camera.

 

 

 

 

Tip #3 – Lean in to look Lean

Leaning back can make anyone look like the Michelin Man!  So, to get rid of the extra chins, you need to slightly lean forward from your waist up.  This also makes your chest bigger than your hips which most of us want.  Lean in to look Lean.

 

 

 

Tip #4 – Roll ’em Back to remove the Rolls

If you’re wearing a strapless gown, then you run the risk of looking like a snow cone or the top of a muffin if you don’t roll those shoulders back!  Only the super skinnies can get away with that high fashion forward shoulder roll.  So, make that expensive dress look its best by rolling your shoulders back.  This will also accentuate your bust line – just in case that’s of interest to you.

 

Tip #5 – Show them Big Sexy Eyes!

Your eyes will look bigger and more beautiful if they are open a little wider.  To do this without looking like someone just pinched your bottom, I suggest lowering your chin slightly while doing the Lean (Tip #3).  When you lower your chin, you’ll be looking up a bit to the camera which opens you eyes and makes them look much more bright and sexy.

 

Bonus Tip – Relax!

If you can’t remember any of the Top 5 Tips above, just relax and think of the camera as a good friend who’s trying very hard to flatter you –  you beautiful thing, you!

 

Do you have friends who would benefit from these tips?  Share this post on Facebook with the link below.

Here’s to looking amazing!

San Francisco Artist Valerie Orth Rocks the City

I recently had the pleasure of honor of making images for an amazing San Francico musical artist, Valerie Orth.  Before the shoot, I met up with her and her rockstar hair stylist, Tracy Shelor, downtown at this cool salon on Sutter Street called Echos.  Valerie walked in and I was floored!  She looked amazing.

I had only been contacted the day before so we didn’t really have a plan and were largely  playing it by ear.  Sometimes that’s the best way and this was no exception.  It was a very organic and fun shoot that yielded some awesome images!

We started in the lobby of the building which the security guard found quite entertaining.  (Thanks for letting us shoot there, dude!)  Then we went to a nearby parking garage which turned out to be a fantastic location.  The light and textures were very cool.  We also hit some interesting alley ways, a pub (photos + whiskey), a hotel lobby and of course, the street.

Valerie was so much fun to work with and I’m proud of these images.  Keep an eye out for this rocker chick on the charts sometime soon.  Check out her new album, Faraway City on iTunes.  I think you’ll LOVE it!