5 Great Reasons to do an Engagement Photo Session

If you’ve recently gotten engaged and you have not yet planned an engagement photo session, then you should consider this…

  1. Your engagement photos are all about you and your fiance.  They are not about the flowers or the dress or the cake or any of the other things that wedding photography needs to capture.  Engagement photos are meant to feature your relationship with each other in a relaxed environment.  (and they are fun!)
  2. You can use the engagement photos for your Save-the-Date cards.  Your guests will love the card and will probably pin it up or hang it on the fridge.  Who doesn’t want to be on their friends’ fridge??
  3. Engagement photos are a fantastic way to fill your wedding guest sign-in book.  Every guest will sign it because they will just have to look at all of the photos!
  4. You will soon be married and your engagement days will live in your memories.  Your engagement photos will be a wonderful reminder of your courtship and the sweetness between you and your fiance.
  5. Engagement photos are the perfect way to get to know your wedding photographer so you’re more comfortable with them on your wedding day.  The better you know your photographer, the better your wedding photos will be!

The Knot did a little video piece on Engagement Photography that you might find interesting as well.  It has lots of ideas for how and where you might do the session and how to use the photos.

I consider the Engagement Session to be so important that I include it in all of my wedding photography packages.  Please visit Jim Vetter Photography to see my portfolio!

I hope to be shooting your engagement session soon 😀

Jim Vetter Photography coverage of Beats for Boobs Breast Cancer Benefit at Mezzanine SF

I just had the great honor and pleasure of photographing the annual breast cancer benefit, Beats for Boobs.  I’ve covered this wonderful event as principal photographer for several years and it just keeps getting better!  The fashion show, the music, the art… It feels so good to be part of this organization.

Beats for Boobs™ is an all-volunteer organization that grants financial support to local breast cancer non-profits that provide direct services to people battling breast cancer and survivors, promote prevention or offer breast health education. Beats for Boobs™ strives to encourage volunteerism and philanthropy towards the breast cancer community. For the past 8 years, Beats for Boobs™ has united a diverse group of artists and activists to honor and remember people impacted by breast cancer.  They maintain low event overhead and keep attendance fees low to maximize community involvement.

If you didn’t make it to this year’s event and you’d like to contribute, you can always make a donation at www.beatsforboobs.org.

The event was held at Mezzanine in San Francisco, CA.  The large club is filled with displays and delectables including live artists, sculpture, paintings, food, live performers, awesome DJ’s, a huge raffle and of course, the fashion show featuring local designers.

I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering my services with Beats for Boobs over the years.  Just look at this small sample of culture, color and beauty and you’ll see why I love it so much.  But more importantly, the B4B executive team are all good friends and I know that they pour every ounce of their heart and soul into this fund raiser.  They have set this example that I have followed by producing the best images I can to document this amazing party.

I’d like to acknowledge the exec team of power ladies here:  Juliana Cochnar,  Radhika Ragsdale, Katherine Vicker May, Shabnum Mehra, and Summer Frundel.  Thank you all so much for making this a reality!

The fashion show this year had 12 designers and more than 40 models – all volunteering their time and talent to put on a remarkable show.  The images above are a small sample of what I captured.  It was awesome this year to shoot behind the velvet rope!  Thank you, Summer for giving the photographers a little room to work the end of the runway!

I must admit that my favorite part of the shooting this event is the backstage activity.  The energy back there is just wild.  There are people running in every direction, clothes flying, hairspray in my eyes and on my lens and champagne flowing. It’s mayhem!  But everyone is having a fantastic time and getting along famously.  Its such a fun thing to shoot.  The images above are from the backstage coverage this year.

Please do become a fan of Jim Vetter Photography on Facebook.  I’ll be publishing my full coverage of the event on my fan page very soon!

Below is the event detail from the beatsforboobs site so that I can give proper credit to everyone.

The Event

The Beats for Boobs™ San Francisco team is skillfully crafting a stellar roster featuring the very best in local DJs, artists, fashion designers and culinary masterminds.

The Venue

A richly diverse gathering space, Mezzanine showcases live and electronic music from all genres – rock, dance, hip hop, soul, jazz, salsa, world beat – as well as multimedia art events, fashion shows and video/film installations. The multi-use venue boasts state-of-the-art lighting technologies with custom-built sound systems for both live and electronic music. Beats for Boobs™ is proud to return to Mezzanine for our 2011 event; the perfect setting to handle the large-scale performances, musical acts and activities offered at our lively fundraiser.

Mezzanine is located at 444 Jesse Street @ Mint Street, San Francisco, CA 94109. For more information click here.

Fashion Show Designers

DJ Line-Up

Culinary Delights

  • Sauce
  • Golden Gate Meats
  • Royal Hawaiian Food
  • Sysco Foods
  • A & B Produce
  • McQuade’s Celtic Chutneys
  • Pretzel Chips
  • The Cake Gallery
  • Escape from New York Pizza (Downtown SF)
  • Kome Matsuda
  • Jeff Trevathan

Live Performances

  • Light Performances by Solar Flare
  • Aerials by Jozie Gato and Trapeze World

Live Art Gallery

Interactive Art

Video by Hamish Reid

Jim Vetter Photography

The Beneficiaries

Beats for Boobs™ San Francisco is proud to announce the local beneficiaries that will benefit from the profits raised at this year’s 2011 event. Beats for Boobs™ is a 100% volunteer organization. Proceeds from ticket entrance, merchandise sales, donations, raffle tickets and sponsorships will go towards supporting these San Francisco based organizations.

BREAST CANCER EMERGENCY FUND
www.bcef-sf.org
Breast Cancer Emergency Fund responds quickly and compassionately to provide emergency financial assistance to low income women and men of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties who are in active treatment for breast cancer, in order to cover basic human needs, lessen financial burdens, and improve quality of life.

BREAST CANCER FUND
www.breastcancerfund.org
Breast Cancer Fund’s mission is to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of the disease. Growing scientific evidence shows that the toxic chemicals and radiation we’re exposed to in our everyday lives contribute to the high rates of breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Fund translates this science into public education and advocacy campaigns that empower women to reduce their risk and to take part in big-picture solutions so that our daughters, granddaughters and planet can thrive.

SHANTI: LIFELINES BREAST CANCER PROGRAM
www.shanti.org/pages/about-lifelines
Shanti’s Breast Cancer Program is one of San Francisco’s most highly regarded breast cancer support programs offering free culturally competent care navigation services, in-home peer support, translation and transportation assistance and wellness education in Spanish, Cantonese and English to ensure that low income and underserved individuals can access medical care, complete treatment regimens and enjoy an improved quality of life with better health outcomes.

The Sponsors

Beats for Boobs™ San Francisco would like to thank our supporting sponsor, The Walking Company!

Kaleigh and Brian Engagement at the Stanford Dish

Jim Vetter Photography:  As a wedding photographer in the San Francisco Bay area, engagement photography is one of my favorite things to do.  This is the time when I really get to know the couple as we just go out and have fun making beautiful photographs.  The wedding day can be pretty hectic but the engagement session never needs to be that way!

Kaleigh and Brian met me in Palo Alto at the Stanford Dish for their engagement session.  The Stanford Dish is a hiking trail next to 280.  It gets its name from the large radio satellite dish on top of the hill.  Its a popular spot for locals to do short hikes (or long walks).

Kaleigh and Brian are as sweet as they are cute.  We had a great time making these images despite the angry hornets, nagging gnats and prowling mountain lions.

Thank you, Kaleigh and Brian for making it so much fun.  Good times!

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Thanks!

Silicon Valley NACE & Duncan Reyes Present Aqua Latino

When Duncan Reyes Events by Design asked me to cover the Aqua Latino party he was planning for Silicon Valley NACE aboard the luxurious California Hornblower, I jumped on immediately.  I knew it would be a night to remember!  Duncan does it right.

The yacht was fully decked out and appointed with a dining room fit for royalty.  The food was amazing and it just kept coming!  Check out the menu below.  Many of the guests even arrived by chartered limo.  What a night!  We even had dance lessons.  (Please see Duncan’s full description here – I’m just a photographer after all 😉

Aqua Latino Highlights

To join us for another sensational program or to become a member of Silicon Valley NACE, visit their website at www.siliconvalleynace.org.

Sponsors included:

AVR Films – David Ethridge

Cheryl Burke Dance Company – Cheryl Burke, Sherri Burke, Stephanie Castor, Hays Hopkins and Mila Salazar

Classic Party Rentals – Gwen Alaura, Mario Berrettoni, Susan Kidwell and Mindy Roark

Corinthian Ground Transportation Services – Kyle Baldasano

f. duncan reyes events by design – Duncan Reyes

Hornblower Cruises and Events – Michelle Casciato, Jewel Drexler, Denise Fattal, Lisa Gallup, Chef Gerado Hidalgo, Heidi McCaughin and Bianca Shiver

JCD Atmospheric Studios – Justin Brenner Greg Cunningham and Tyler Cunningham

Lone Star Limousines – Jennifer and Alex Jaciw

Three Sisters Flowers – Susan Kelly

Marizette Paperie – Marivic Cagatao and Zuesette Zamora

Music Solutions Disc Jockeys – DJ Jason Mitchell

Jim Vetter Photography – Jim Vetter

Victory Events – Victor Castrillo

How I saw Burning Man 2011

Burning Man is many things to many people.  Whether you come to dance, meditate, party, perform, create or just to observe – you don’t leave unchanged.

The Temple this year was larger and more impressive and moving than in any other year I’ve visited it.  The images above are a small sample of my experience there.  People go there to mourn losses, to honor those who have passed and also to give thanks.  Throughout this beautiful structure, messages are inscribed by visitors during the week of Burning Man.  The Temple is then ceremoniously burned on Sunday night in a deeply reverent gathering in the middle of the desert.

I’m never any less amazed at the beauty I find each year out there on the playa.  The costumed people, costumed cars and buses, and the graceful movements of thousands of happy people caught up in the rapture of the festivities.

Fire seems to be a favorite display on the nighttime playa.  Looking across the desert, you can see bursts of flame that might remind you of lightning strikes under a late night thunderstorm.  Its mesmerizing.

One of my favorite things about Burning Man is the incredible sky and the shows it puts on every time the sun nears the horizon.  The colors in the sky at dawn and twilight are indescribably beautiful and photos don’t do them justice.  You have to see it with your own eyes to truly appreciate it.

The playa sky is such a gorgeous and surreal backdrop.  Throwing images against such a sky seems to me like having the perfect canvas.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in this festival and for the wonderful friends that share it with me!

I hope to see you on the playa in 2012 !!

Thank You Awesome Bridal Fair Visitors!!

Today in San Jose, Jim Vetter Photography (that’s me) exhibited at the Bridal Extravaganza bridal fair.  It was a small exhibition but there were some fantastic brides (and a few grooms2b) who visited my booth.

This blog post is a big THANK YOU to my booth staff and to the AWESOME BRIDES who visited me at the show.

I could not have done it without the tireless help of my buddy and kick ass wedding DJ, Jason Mitchell!  He got up very early after a very late night and schlepped a long way to help me today.  THANK YOU Jason!

Also, I huge THANKS to my recent wedding client, Kyla who joined us at the booth today and talked to brides about her experience with Jim Vetter Photography.  Kyla, you were so swwet!

Finally, the most important thank you goes to the brides and their friends/family who were dragged along to the bridal fair.  I can’t wait to connect with each of you!  So, here is a shout out to my beautiful brides2B…

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Brides to be who spent some time with me today… Jennifer P, Carol L, Naomi and Kenji, Melissa G, Maria and Tim, Michelle A, Marlene C, Ali H, Susan A, Naomi V, Monica E, Raquel H, Sheila G, Janelle W, Melissa T, Diane T, Maria S, Edwina K, Vanessa S, Groom2b – Matthew Stein, Thao H, Linda P, Jennee A, Groom2b – Benjamin B, Andrea H, Becky A, Cassie S, Kaleigh A !!

So many great weddings coming up in 2012.  It is going to be an epic year!

Kyle’s 40th Birthday Party Rocks the Cova

Last weekend I had the honor to shoot one of the best birthday parties I’ve ever experienced.  My friend Kyle was turning 40 and his lovely wife Radhika pulled out all of the stops and created an amazing event on the roof of the Cova Hotel in San Francisco.  I had not been to the Cova before and was delighted to see how nice the roof deck was!  The views are amazing and the event people over there are great to work with.  If you want to do an event there, be sure to ask for Mohi.

The Cova Hotel in San Francisco

The party theme was casino formal and everyone really came out in their best.  There were blackjack tables, roulette, a giant champagne bottle and a very large ice sculpture which we discovered will eventually topple over when it melts just enough.

The birthday boy and his goodies.

This birthday party was kind of like a reunion for many of us there.  I saw friends I had not seen in years and everyone had a smashing time – including the ice sculpture.

One of the highlights of the evening was a surprise performance by Radhika and her lady posse when they appeared on the dance floor to do a fully choreographed number which closed with Radhika materializing as the devilangel to seduce Kyle.  (I think it worked.)

The Birthday Devilangel Seduction

What a fantastic night for a fantastic guy.  Happy Birthday Kyle!

Classic Bridal Stylings

I had been kicking around the idea of doing a wedding shoot for the past several months. I wanted a lot from this shoot and I’m proud to say that the final outcome exceeded my expectations!

The actual wedding day is nearly always very rushed and affords the photographer little control over the location, time of day, wardrobe, hair or makeup.  So, getting portfolio worthy images isn’t a sure thing with any wedding.  For this reason, I wanted to work with several other professionals to create a gorgeous set of images of which we had complete creative control.  And that’s just what we did.

I had been wanting to work with Lana at Style by Lana for many months and this was finally my opportunity.  Her hair designs are exquisite and I knew that she’d make the brides look amazing.

Earlier this year, Lana and I tried to plan this shoot but the bridal gowns fell through and we had to cancel it.  But then I discovered Amy-Jo Tatum Bride and fell in love with her gowns.  Her classic designs are so sweet and elegant – I had to bring her into the project.  Her gowns were then a primary influence on the vision that took shape for the shoot.

My vision for this shoot was to create an intimate and demure mood that reflects my style of wedding portraiture.  I chose a beautiful location north of San Francisco in Marin county where I could create and old world feel among stone walls and brick pathways through intimate gardens.  It was the perfect setting.

Lana then introduced me to JuAn Li of Elite Stylist who came on as our Makeup Artist.   JuAn was awesome at creating the clean, yet glamorous look that I was after.  The bouquets were provided by Victoria’s Floral and Event Design – beautiful, yes?`

We were so fortunate to find our brides, Joy Mann and Rocio Flores.  Their sweet faces and demeanor were just what I was looking for and the dresses worked so well on them.  Our grooms, Curtis and Keith were excellent as well.  Many thanks for the models’ patience on a long day of shooting!

Finally, I want to thank all of my collaborators for your generous contributions and fabulous company!

In Love on Baker Beach: Barbara & Rod

One of my favorite things about being a Bay Area photographer is the incredible variety of locations at which to shoot.  Baker Beach is one of my favorites.  It is seldom crowded, it has views of the Golden Gate Bridge and is very accessible.  I had the pleasure to shoot there again recently and the even greater pleasure of getting to know Barbara and Rod.

Barbara was one of my earliest Facebook fans.  She would often comment on my posts and was always very sweet to me (thank you, Barbara!).  A couple of months ago, she reached out to me asking about a portrait session.  I love to shoot for my fans when I can so I was delighted to have them as a client.

They drove more than two hours to get to the city and were so excited for their weekend away.  The weather that day was as good as it gets at the beach in San Francisco.  The sun was warm and painted the world in the most beautiful golden light.

I was fortunate enough to not only make pictures with them but I also hung out with them all evening for an amazing dinner at Gitane on Claud Lane in the city.  I was really struck by how sweet Barbara and Rod are together.  They’ve been married for ten years and they still behave like newlyweds.

It is always an honor to get to know awesome people like Barbara and Rod.

I love my job and it sure beats working!

Please Fan me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.  There is much more to come…