Thursday, May 29, 2008

Amy and Eddie

Last weekend was a lot of fun. The 2008 Wedding season started out right for me. I left the beautiful blue, sunny skies of Seattle on Saturday night and flew to San Francisco where I was greeted by gray skies, cold weather and sprinkles of rain. It didn't look good. I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up on Sunday morning however when I saw that the skies were blue and the weather was just right. Not too cool, not too hot...a perfect day to get married.

The first time I had met Amy and Eddie was on their wedding day. Upon meeting them both separately (they weren't seeing each other until the ceremony) it became very clear immediately that they were absolutely perfect for each other. Both Eddie and Amy were beaming with happiness. Each with a highly contagious, radiant smile on their face all day long. It was so much fun to watch them with each other and with their great group of friends and family. From the beginning until the end they each enjoyed their wedding day to the fullest.

With their wedding coordinator Shannon Berryseeing to all the details while we were off in a limo shooting pictures on a pier with a view of the Bay Bridge the Old Fed aka the Bentley Reserve in the heart of San Francisco's Financial District was converted into an elegant ballroom filled with amazing flowers and happy people.

The entire wedding day was so much fun and it was an absolute privilege to fly down to photograph it. I hope to shoot more weddings in the Bay area for sure. Here are a few of my favorite photo's from the day. I'll post a link to a slide show when it is ready.

Mat Hayward

This was a seriously funky statue in front of the Bently Reserve
Makeup time for the bridesmaids
The Happy Bride getting her hair done.
Her dress was stunning!
A little bubbly in the bridal suite.
Makeup and Champagne..this bride knows how to get ready!
I love shooting the details on wedding day.
Every other car was honking and shouting out their congratulations while the ladies were getting their photo's taken.

I like how this shot catches just a bit of the motion in her hands. The harp is a beautiful instrument.
A fun moment before the ceremony.
Mom, Sister and Bride moments before the ceremony.
Something caught Amy's attention and I caught this photo as a result. My wife was ooing and ahhhing over her eyelashes in this one :)
Seeing each other for the first time.
Amy's expression says it all.
Getting frisky in the middle of the group!
Is it obvious these two are madly in love with each other or what?

A lucky gust of wind just after the portrait session.
A few ladies from the bridal party checking out a funny photo.
It's hard to resist shooting pictures when the kids are twirling :)
Fun on the dance floor
One of the "best men" giving his toast.
First Dance
There was some serious dancing going on at the reception!

Monday, May 26, 2008

San Francisco

Today is my beautiful bride Lea's birthday. We started the day pretty far apart. Myself in San Francisco where I spent the weekend to photograph the awesome wedding of Amy and Eddie. Lea down in Eugene with her family where she was showered with gifts and very thoughtful cards letting her know the tremendous impact she has on the lives of those lucky enough to have her as a part of it.

I wasn't going to do the "touristy" stuff in San Francisco but found myself with an extra hour or two before I had to leave for my flight so I hopped in a cab and checked out the Golden Gate Bridge. I snapped a few pics, cruised over to the observatory for a couple more pics, flew back to the hotel to pack (it's amazing how big an unorganized mess can pile up in a short time when Lea isn't around to keep me in line:).

Of course there are many photo's to come from this weekend. I will blog more soon!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Queen for a Day

For the past three years I have had the privilege of documenting a wonderful event through my photography at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lynnwood. Pastor Judy Hoff puts together a huge event with hundreds of volunteers to bring in dozens of women from shelters around the state. These women inevitably show up on the bus with looks of apprehension and skeptisicm. They are immediately greeted with a hug from Judy and escorted down a red carpet by a Navy man in dress uniform. They enter the lobby to find hundreds of volunteers cheering wildly. They are then escorted into a dining room where they find entertainment and a gourmet meal.

After lunch they head out to get a new wardrobe, massages, makeovers, hair cuts/styles, foot cleansing, manicures, pedicures, waxing...the works! It's amazing. That is followed by a ceremony where they announce that they are a Queen and they receive a rose.

The transformation in spirit from the time they arrive to the time they are at dinner is awe inspiring. These once somewhat shy, apprehensive women are filled with laughter, tears of joy and they all have a certain indescribably swagger to their step that says "Yeah, I still got it!" It's a great event and I am proud to donate my time to it.

You can view my slideshow of the most recent event here.

The following is a letter and request from Queen for a Day....

This only takes a second, but could have a huge impact on the work we do
to help women from local shelters and transitional housing!

There is an article about the event on The Readers Digest website and a chance to win a prize which could enable them to help even more women! Please, if you'd like, they need your support by visiting the Reader's Digest web page and voting for the event at:

Readers Digest Web Page
To Read and Vote: Click on Judy Hoff and read the story at the bottom of the article right below MUST READ then, click on Yes! I vote for this story

Then Click on our DVD to watch and rate our story you will see the five stars click on them and your vote has been tallied. We can watch our popularity grow.

You can vote every day!!! Please pass this on to everyone you know.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Robin Williams

Easily the funniest man in the world...Robin Williams. He flew up to Seattle to do 3 shows at a super cool club downtown called the Showbox at the Market. The club only seats around 500 people so it was a very intimate show. Not a bad seat in the house.

I read in Steve Martin's book Born Standing Upthat when he became a huge mega star he would perform in huge arena's with tens of thousands of fans and the show lost it's appeal and wasn't as fun for him any more. If a heckler in the front was being obnoxious he couldn't respond because the people way in the back wouldn't hear the heckler and would have no idea what he was responding to. That was not the case here for Robin. There were a few people in the crowd that perhaps had over-consumed a bit and let me tell you something...Robin Williams ripped them apart! It was seriously funny! "Don't $%@# with me woman! I do this for a living!" was one of my favorite quotes of the night. Obviously, Robin Williams is one of the biggest stars in the world. He's performing in Vegas at the MGM Grand at the end of the month and I'm sure he'll get a fat paycheck for it. He performed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday this week and all the proceeds from each show went 100% to charity. How cool is that? I would imagine it must be fun for him to get back to his roots and play these smaller clubs every now and then. The show was called "Working on New Material." I don't know if it was literally for that reason, if so..he's got it down pat because I couldn't breath through most of the show I was laughing so hard. I wouldn't do any of the jokes justice by typing them here. If he puts out a DVD you should buy it!

We previously met Robin back in 2002 in Portland after his show. He came out and was greeted by a group of people hoping for an autograph or a photo. That night he didn't leave until everyone got to say hi and get a signature. At the time I told him my wife didn't really want the autograph, really she wanted a hug...He gave her the biggest hug of her life and a big wet kiss on the cheek. He was so incredibly nice, funny and generous with his time and made us so happy.

At that show, I didn't know I would get to meet him and I didn't think to bring my camera so no photo's. Last night I hoped to meet him again so I stashed my camera in the car. After the show we ran back to get it and ran back to the club. Minutes later he showed up in the back and there were about a half dozen or so of us. His car pulled past us to a different door so he could jump in and not be bothered. He clearly looked very tired yet he ignored the car and went to us to sign autographs and pose for these two photo's. I have said before and I will say it again...Robin Williams is a class act and if you get a chance to see him live...DO IT!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Deadliest Catch

Left to right: Jake Anderson, Norman Hansen, Sig Hansen, Edgar Hansen, Matt Bradley

Tonight the crew of the Northwestern featured on the popularDiscovery Channel show "The Deadliest Catch" stopped by the restaurant for dinner. They were nice enough to sign some autographs and pose for this photo in front of the restaurant. They've got a clothing line out at Helly Hansen.

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous when they were ordering King Crab for dinner. They said it was good and this group of guys don't seem like the type to BS you so I was pretty darn happy about that.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Andrea and Reid

The photo's for Reid and Andrea are finished. Here are a few of my favorites from our session together. You can view their slideshow here...

Andrea & Reid
The entire gallery is here...


Never take my word for it when I say the ground is just a "little damp." :)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tulip Season Finale

Those of you reading this from the Seattle area know that Spring has been unusual this year to put it mildly. We went from a 70 degree Saturday to a pouring down rain Sunday shortly followed by a snow storm that left up to 8 inches of snow on the ground for a couple of days. All this happened in the heart of tulip season. Mount Vernon, WA has many fields that during the month of April come alive with vibrant colors stretching out as far as the eye can see.

Because of the freak weather, the tulips didn't bloom until much later than usual. The season was supposed to end a week and a half ago but I heard on the radio that because of the late bloom they were extending it another week. That was good news for me as I had a Mother's Day project at the restaurant that needed a good tulip photo to complete. Saturday, I hit the Freeway and drove up. Halfway there it started to rain. Not a light sprinkle, but a seriously strong downpour that had me driving 45 MPH at most on I5. I was determined to get at least one decent shot rain or shine so I pressed through.

I got up to where I knew there were tons of fields and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that they were all gone! They topped off the fields even though the radio had said they were waiting until Monday to do so.

I kept driving and saw a small sign that said the word "tulips" with a small arrow. Just then, the rain stopped. I took a right and couldn't believe my luck. With dramatic clouds in the sky, nice even light there were acres of tulips brighter than ever!

The strong rain had created dramatic color saturation with the flowers and the raindrops were a great added element to the close up shots.

Another fun part of the storm was the thick, oozy mud everywhere! People were slipping and sliding. Many a rump was covered in muck! I saw a woman walking in bare feet after she lost her shoes to the goop. I didn't even hesitate for a second to ask her if she would let me take a picture of her feet! I wonder if she thought I was some sort of a weirdo :)

The tulips are gone until next year but I've got some good photo's. The Lavender fields bloom in June up here. I've never seen them before but hopefully I'll get some shots.

This is the lady that lost her shoes.

This guy was driving people that didn't want to brave the mud.
I wasn't the only one taking advantage of the photo op. I love the umbrella in the field.
They almost don't look real.
This is all that's left of the tulip fields today.
I don't know if these were the most practical shoes, but they sure made for a cool picture.