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{ a week to remember } mexico . wedding photography

putting down roots. giving time and space to grow

Here is the first of a few posts from my time in Mexico. ( All images Contax 645 | Fuji 400H Pro | Richard Photo Lab)

Mexico Fine Art Film Wedding Photography


As this season winds to a close I celebrated by fifth year photographing weddings. It has been an incredible five years full of discovery, excitement, hard work and bliss! I know that I am doing the right thing when I still wake up excited to go to work and leave a shoot with more energy than I started with. Simply put, photography excites me! I celebrated my 5th year anniversary by giving something back to myself- a photography workshop… A Jose Villa Mexico Workshop! But it was much more than simply photography- I walked away re-inspired and motivated to push my art to the next level. I am taking a step back to strengthen my roots by shooting all film( Yes..actual FILM!)  and giving myself space to reach and grow.

I am incredibly grateful for all of the speakers and sponsors who gave so generously of time, talent and experience:

Workshop: Jose Villa Workshop:
Design and Styling: Lisa Vorce –
Design, Styling, Floral and Cake: Mindy Rice –
Cinematographer: Joel Serrato –
Painter and Inspirational Speaker: Karina Puente –
Hair and Make up: Mar of Team Hair and Makeup –
Models: Citro Modelos and Amy and Erich Mcvey –
Gown: Claire Pettibone –
Styling: Mitra Hosseini  –
Workshop Assistants: Lacie Hansen and Nancy Villa
Location: Hacienda El Carmen –
Table Linens: La Tavola Linens –
Tabletop Glassware, Plates and Utensils: Casa de Perrin –
Paper: Wiley Valentine Paper:
Invite: Papel Paper and Press:
Calligraphy: Purabelle Calligraphy:
Calligraphy for welcome cards: Chelsea Petaja and Julie Song Ink : and

Guest Speakers:
Lisa Vorce
Joel Serrato
Abby Larson
Mar of Team
Karina Puente
Brian and Angela of Richard Photo Lab
Shira Savada

Richard Photo Lab
Cypress Albums
Michael Chinn Albums and Boxes
Velet Raptor
Fuji Film
Ryan Malmberg of Finch Designs
Style Me Pretty

{ fall } Children + Family Lifestyle Photography

What is better than fall colors, crunchy leaves and cool crips air???…beautiful families enjoying it together!

{ surprise! } Surprise Birthday Celebration . Auberge Du Soleil

What is more fabulous than a birthday celebration surrounded by a lifetime’s worth of family + closest friends at Auberge Du Soleil? A surprise birthday celebration!

{Katherine + James are Married…again!} Anniversary Shoot . Auberge Du Soleil

When Katherine first contacted me for a photo shoot, I quickly realized what an important weekend this was for them. With five years married, two kids and a busy life as doctors- a weekend away meant the world. To document the experience they decided to have a little 5 year anniversary celebration photographed. I love any time when people slow down to enjoy each other and show their love! I love it even more when I am fortunate enough to document that love! 


{growing up} St. Helena Children & Family Photography

I met this beautiful young girl when she was just weeks old. A couple of years later, her handsome brother arrived and they became a family. I’ve always loved her fiery spirit, passionate intelligence and grace. Her brother has followed in her bright footsteps and brings his own sweetness balanced with drive. I remember when they were younger; the photo shoots would involve a great deal of chasing, laughing and a wee bit of artful distraction. Last week I felt that they each have come into their own and I was able to see a glimpse of the people that they will one day become.

As a photographer, I am a storyteller. On days like these, I simply get to hold up a mirror and the children tell their own story…and its a beautiful thing.

{Kate & Dave Engaged} Napa Valley Lifestyle Portraits

From the moment I met Kate & Dave I felt like we were already friends. They were super sweet, relaxed  & so obviously in love. It was that real love too…the kind that feels good to be around. I can’t wait for their wedding. They’ve given me the greatest gift a client can give a professional photographer…trust.

{days move on} children & family photography . st. helena

You may remember this beautiful wedding at Auberge  from a few years ago-…easily one of my favorites, marked with an exceptional family (who happen to own my favorite health food store: Nature Select Foods)  & the kindest people you could meet!

Well, as I’ve said before, probably the best part of my job is getting to follow a family through their life’s huge moments and document these joyful times.  Last week, I got to spend an afternoon with this adorable couple and their kind-heated adventuresome daughter who is soon to be a big sister! Can’t wait to meet the new little one…this world needs quality people!

Abby + Graham {engaged} Bardessono’s . Yountville

Despite the fear of rain dampening our experience, these two know how to enjoy themselves! We had a beautiful shoot at Bardessono’s. I loved their sweet nature and Abby’s laugh was contagious! Can’t wait for their summer wedding!

{Editor’s Choice Award} thank you!

Thank you Two Bright Lights for this generous award! I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing couples & stylish wedding professionals. This season it’s only going to get better. Super excited for the weddings to come!

Editors Choice Award

{moments of 3} sonoma county family + children’s photography

There are significant moments in life. First love, wedding day, birthday celebrations & the birth of your child. It’s fabulous to document these times and share the stories of joy & love for years to come. But one of my favorite things to shoot is the moment between moments. The fleeting moment before the ‘big’ moment. This afternoon was one of those beautiful times. The warm anticipation of the baby’s new arrival. The sweet love shared among these three. The joys of being four…there are just so many.

Thank you for giving me the gift to tell your story. One moment at a time.


{ sand & smiles } Tiburon . Marin Children’s Photography

One of my favorite ways to get new clients is from warm referrals. Although Napa Valley is a beautiful place to live and photograph, it’s always fun to have an excuse to play with new locations and light.  I met this beautiful family near their hometown and we explored a bit of Tiburon. I adored these children- full of energy, curiosity & a bit of spunk…my kind of kids!

My message to parents

{many more roads} personal

This past month as I’ve been challenged to some new & exciting projects, I  have realized something about myself. Early on in my career I remember a professor demanding that photographers will never make it unless the specialize. Focus. Narrow down the scope. I’d leave his lecture visualizing looking down a long road and the destination is perfectly clear.

There is just one problem. I’m not so sure that I want to go down just one path. I love the little tugs for me to wander to the left. The giant push for me to leap up to another hillside. The sweet breeze that catches my attention just long enough for me to notice something beautiful off to my right.

Focused?  Yes, I am… but narrowed? No, instead I feel as though I am stretching. Reaching. Widening my scope. I am inspired…and that inspiration breaths life into my dreams.

I’ve got many more roads to travel and the destination is so very far away…this journey is too much fun to even contemplate arrival.

{fall joys} lifestyle children’s portraiture . napa valley


.things to do on a crisp fall day…

….. 11. go outside . breathe deeply

12.. run into the arms of someone you love

13. explore & discover the beauty around you

14. hold the hands & swing bravely high into the air


thank you little Noe for bringing us out into a crisp fall day; I enjoyed every moment!

{ Angie + Andy } Sonoma Wedding

When Andy & Angie and I began our discussions about their wedding day, I knew from the first moment that this day was going to be a whirlwind of celebrations.  They had friends & family who traveled from far and they decided to incorporate both families’ traditions into the day.  We began at St. Eugene for a full mass and then went on to St. Francis for a wine tasting & charcuterie lunch. Then, we moved on to Ledson Winery for a  beautiful outdoor sunset ceremony. The guests enjoyed touching toasts, a dramatic moon rise over the mountains followed by hours of photo-booth and dancing fun! It was a challenge to choose a selection from the day for this post but I hope these images tell the story of the amazing wedding of Angie & Andy! Congratulations to you both!!

As usual I must say thank you to the amazing team of vendors who make my job so much easier on such a grand affair as this:

St. Eugenes Catholic Church, Ledson Winery, St. Francis Winery

Park Avenue Catering

Aaron Lee Films

Fluers De France

Wine Country Piano Music & Strings

It’s a Date at the Powder Room

Perfect Day Events- Photobooth

ATL Events- Lighting

A Dream Wedding by Robbin Montero