The Rupperts in Seattle | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

My final class/session at Click Away in Seattle was a second run of The Playful Portrait Session. Teaching others how to walk into a family session and make it not only stress free, but FUN, for the clients is one of my favorite things. We chat like friends, tell jokes with the kids, and overall just have a great time which results in beautifully fun, playful photos!

This family is super special to me - Brad actually used to be my husband's boss and was the one who got us to move to Seattle in 2012! In the 3 years that we were there we spent a ton of time together with our families, and Charlie, their youngest, was due the same day as my daughter Sloane! Christy and I were literally due date buddies which was fun since we literally lived down the street from one another :)

Montalvo Arts Center & Villa | San Francisco Bay Area Wedding Photographer

Last week I had the opportunity to tour the breathtaking Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga. You'll find the center at the end of a winding road lined by beautiful homes and towering oak trees. One of the more exclusive and high end venues in Silicon Valley, Montalvo Arts Center exudes luxury and historic charm reminiscent of a true Italian villa. The villa itself is decorated with 100+ year old wisteria that comes to life during the spring bloom. Year round the landscape remains lush and green with shade trees and sprawling lawns. Throughout the villa you will find hand carved doors, a light drenched spiral staircase, floor to ceiling windows,  beamed ceilings, beautiful wood casings, fountains, and individual rooms filled with charm and character. For a wedding each room and space can be given a unique purpose, from cocktail hour in the courtyard to cake cutting under an antique chandelier.

The venue offers a choice of ceremony locations. You can either opt to have your ceremony in the Oval Garden (best for it's proximity to the cocktail and reception spaces) or over in the Love Garden. The Love Garden will require a bit of a walk but the wow factor is huge with a long path leading directly to the alter. Either space would be wonderful but from a photography perspective I have to say that I'm smitten by the idea of a Love Garden ceremony. Umbrellas are provided to create shade for your guests.

Receptions are held almost exclusively outdoors on the front steps and outdoor spaces of the villa with views across the main lawn down towards the Love Garden. Large clear tents are available in case of rain allowing you to remain outdoors to enjoy the beautiful views.

The venue can accommodate up to 300 guests, but it sounds as though 200-250 would be more comfortable and allow for ideal use of the spaces.

Montalvo Arts Center offers a massive chef's kitchen and they do require that most couples use a preferred caterer (exceptions can be made). Worry not, as their preferred caterer list is extensive and offers plenty of options.

One thing that I found unique and special outside of the sheer opulence and beauty is the fact that some proceeds from wedding and events held at the center go towards community outreach, including camps and classes for underprivileged youth. To learn more about holding your wedding at the Montalvo Arts Center, please contact Tiffany and team at

San Francisco Bay Area Wedding Photographer | Regale Winery Los Gatos

Stacy and Brian made my job easy. Stacy sent me a perfectly laid out timeline a couple of weeks before the wedding and when I asked who her event planner was she casually said, "me" :) They each got ready at a beautiful hotel in downtown Los Gatos before we all got in cars (okay, so I totally rode in a limo) up the mountain to the stunning Regale Winery. From there Stacy and Brian did their first look, we took portraits of the wedding party around the grounds, and finished in plenty of time for everyone to go back inside for some air conditioning.

One of the coolest things for me as their photographer was seeing my former bride, Kira, as their officiant! I photographed Kira and Jordan's wedding back in 2013 in Monterey (Jordan was a groomsman and gave a pretty hilarious speech). Another one of my good friends was in attendance all the way from Hawaii with her husband so while I had only met Stacy and Brian a couple of times prior to the wedding I felt very welcome and at home among their friends and family.

The speeches were full of tears, even more laughs, and then we snuck off for a few more photos just before the sun dipped below the hills covered in vineyards.

I had the best time and yet again feel so lucky to have the opportunity to photograph days like these. I never knew how fulfilling it would be to document weddings and the longer I do it the more I appreciate it. Moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area has made a great impact on my business and photographing weddings so close to home is a great treat!