La Dolce Vita, "The Good Life", and so they say it apparently for a very good reason, as I discovered in my ten day trip over to Rome and Tuscany for Keren and Robin's home away from home destination wedding. One of the very best things, and what I never take for granted as a photographer, is the ability that this career gives me to get to places I have not yet had the chance to explore while meeting a couple's most loved friends and family along the way. From the welcome dinner on the top of Robin's mother's apartment overlooking the Colosseum to the day trips Josh and I took to the Mediterranean coast there was no doubts in my mind as to why the Italian's have coined this phrase as their motto. I can't wait to share some of the beautiful wedding photos in the weeks to come but first I wanted to just give you a sneak peek of some of my travels along the way.
Rome is a city made for the foot. Pack up a backpack pack (thanks Adrian) and get to going. The city of Rome is alive; bustling, moving, pulsing as the veins of local motorists and European tourists traverse across the literal top of a city close to 3,000 years old. And that is freaking cool. Every building from the Pantheon to The Sistine Chapel is built with the scale of the human eye in mind, and you feel this as you walk into these grandiose places taking in as many of the details from chipping paint to the ornate sculptures as you can. This may sound silly but to me I felt like I was walking in a me-sized game board of LIFE, hopscotching from one giant extraordinary landmark to another.
Raves: Cacio de Pepe, Trastevere at night, Strolling up the Tiber River, Walking up each and every marble step to the top of St. Peter's basilica (without cheating and using the elevator), watching Josh try and drive a Fiat Panda stick shift from point A to B, The Coffee, The little 6 Euro caprese sandwiches everywhere, The Final Judgement by Michelangelo (who knew its cooler than the famous ceiling)
There were a few other stops along the way. Porto Ercole was one of the discoveries that you make after making one right turn. It's an Island situated off of the Peninsula of Orbetello, don;t give up just keep on diving over the bride, past the marina and around the Island. You'll see another tiny island and a cliff. That's right where you need to be, capiche? Let's just say that the aqua bathtub temp water there is only complimented by the laid back vibe and Spritz cocktails served on the beach to you and your Speedoed male co-patrons. Those seeking a daub of adventure can find themselves jumping off of the many rocks encasing the beach. (Just be mindful as not to kick a sea urchin like I did).
A necessary stopover after the Tuscan wedding at Cinque Terre was a good mix in. It was definitely a backpackers town. No locals here on the weekends but beautiful none the less. The whole place is five towns divided into the fingers of a mountain's cliff. You can reach each one by hiking through the hills blanketed in vineyards (no cars allowed here and no roads between). It is a special place. Eat at Billy's in Manarola. Get the Crab. You will be happy you did; no bullshit. Okay enough with the words. Here are some of my snapshots. Keep an eye out for wedding pictures soon!
Lara and Eric had an intimate backyard wedding over memorial weekend They started with a little ceremony for 15 in the backyard of a gorgeous victorian rental in the Castro on Friday followed by dinner at one of my new fave restaurants La Mar
. A BBQ was held on Saturday for guests. I joined back in on the fun on Sunday for a wild after party at Park Tavern
; the celebration ended in broken glass and bloody knees from too much dancing. DJ Chris wiggum shut the place down with a not-so-sober backstreet boys sing along.. it was a successful hitching I would say.
If you follow my wedding work, you know that above all else I believe in the act of doing things your own way. That is why when Mari called me and described her ceremony to Christian: just the two of them...a friend and their son Z, in the morning, mid-week, at Lands End I was stoked. I think it was a good Omen, Kaitlyn and I took an Uber as close as we could get to the sweet lookout spot and hiked through a few trails, running into an early morning riser coyote strolling through. The ceremony itself was beyond sweet and calming. I adored the intimacy of just having a few people around to witness the moments. Later we ventured to the Sutro Baths and Caves. It was really a special morning and I feel honored to have been invited to such a wonderful ceremony. Congrats guys and much love!
Here are some faves from Luke and Lilian's Sonoma Wedding. Loved every minute. These guys made it so clear that this day was all about the party and I think they nailed the game plan. Also cheers for getting married on an overcast rainy day- you guys owned it and didn't let it bring you down!
Venue: Ramekins Culinary School Makeup: Bings DesignPlanner: Kelly and Company Videography: Eric Chiu Production