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Posts tagged ‘photography’

{Beauty} life + love multiply

This beautiful couple is expecting twins in a few short months so we decided to take this opportunity to photograph her beautiful growing belly in the beauty of a summer afternoon.

{Danielle + Torrey} Intimate Wedding . Calistoga

Danielle & Torrey had everything they needed for the perfect little wedding- close family, gorgeous location & a whole lotta love!  It was a special afternoon spent enjoying each other and the gorgeous surroundings. I love that during one shoot we could enjoy an orange orchard, redwood forest, meadow & grapevines!  During our portraits they were even greeted by two beautiful horses. Can’t get much better!



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!

{Building Hope} Constru Casa . Guatemala . Photo Philanthropy

Today is a good day.

As many of my followers know, we spend a month in Guatemala last spring documenting for Constru Casa (a non-profit organization offering basic housing to families living in extreme poverty.) It is a story of success and one that needs to be told. BUILDING HOPE photo essay

This week I was able to put my work into action with the photo essay appearing on the Photo Philanthropy’s website. This morning I would love for you to enjoy this site ( and look at all of the essays). Please take a look at the good work people are doing around the world and the shinning photographers that are donating their time to tell these NGO’s story.  It is a brilliant way to begin the day!
Nancy Farese, Photo Philanthropy’s founder writes, “…engaging photographers to create high quality photography to inspire people in a variety of ways. We also believe in people’s interest in knowing more, in understanding better, in seeing the story, which can then lead to action and involvement. We believe we can make a difference by bringing these communities together for social change. We are excited to be part of this new movement, existing as it does in a universe of evolving media use, changing roles for photographers, and funding challenges for non-profits. In this universe also lies compassion ignited by a powerful image, the human drive to connect with others in need, and the generous act of giving of our talents to effect social cause. This is our universe, and we intend to make a difference. We encourage you to get involved with your camera, your intellect, your support. Join our movement.”

Since I began my photography career, it has been a goal of mine to have a strong philanthropic arm to my business and today I can see that goal is one step closer to being realized. One step at a time. One photo at a time.

Enjoy my photo essay. I hope it inspires you to get involved with a cause that speaks to you.

And thank you to all of you who helped us get to Guatemala; we couldn’t have done it without you!

{mindi + chris are married} st. helena wedding photography

From our first phone call, I knew I was going to love this couple! Mindi shared the details of the day adding that they definitely valued photography and wanted me to sneak them away for a quick sunset photo shoot in the valley! Yes please! It was magical light & we were honored with a  spontaneous visit from a vintage bike &  beautiful horses.

Mindi’s comment at the end of the session summed it up for me, ” This is just perfect – exactly like I imagined it!” Thanks for sharing your day with me Mindi & Chris!!

©  2011 briana marie photographyimages not to be used without prior permission . thank you

©  2011 briana marie photography

images not to be used without prior permission . thank you

Flowers: Tesoro

Catering: Knickerbockers

Hair/Make-up: It’s a Date at the Powder Room

Music: Eloquence Strings

{are you a “WEDDING” photographer} Q&A + myths debunked

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some questions that I am often asked.  I’m taking some liberty with the phrasing…you get the idea.

Q: So, are you a WEDDING photographer. I see a lot of other work on your site? I’ve been told that I need a photographer that specializes in only weddings.

A: Yes, I am a wedding photographer. I am also a portrait photographer, a travel photographer, an event photographer and I work for non-profits in developing countries. I freelance in commercial photography and play with vintage cameras, Polaroids & Holgas. I also shoot & sell stock photography. I am always confused by this question because if i answer yes, I only shoot weddings, does that make me a better wedding photographer? I find that my global experience with a myriad of personalities, lighting situations, subjects and environments has given me an immense set of ‘tricks & tools’ in my bag to draw from.  For example, after years of photographing children in natural situations, I’m confident that I can help that little ring bearer feel comfortable and smile naturally. I can also photograph your details of your wedding as though I would photograph a beautiful fine art piece.

In addition, I know for a fact that many wedding photographers have a limit. You rarely see a wedding photographer that has been photographing for 10+ years and still loves it. (My apologies if this is you…kudos!) Keeping my subjects & environments fresh feeds my creative spirit and helps my photography remain authentic. I love what I do. I adore my clients & am genuinely excited about photographing my next project;  be it a bride, a bottle, belly or b…b… hmmm… can’t think of any more ‘b’ words… worthy cause.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Thoughts? Please leave a comment. Thanks!

{since you asked…} tips & inspiration for wedding photography

Those of us in the industry affectionately refer to this as ‘the season’…where life is a flurry of inquires for next summer, engagement shoots, pre-wedding site visits & meetings and oh yeah…weddings! It is the race that we all love to run and though harried you will see me with a smile on my face; this is where it gets fun!

During my pre-wedding chats I spend time with couples preparing the steps to make their wedding photography a success. Here are just a few things that I may highlight (Featured on CeciStyle Expert Style Tips/ Wedding Photography)

Wedding Photography Tips by Briana Marie Photography:

  1. Light, light, light: You often hear that location is everything but when it comes to photography, lighting is everything. Amazing light can transform an image from mediocre to magical. Empower your photographer to work with your wedding planner to find that light and schedule your day accordingly.
  2. Trust your choice: Undoubtedly you looked at many photographers and something about your choice spoke to you, whether it was her approach, style or presence. Once you’ve made that choice, trust her guidance and enjoy the experience. I like to plan extensively before the wedding day so that we can simply flow and follow the action on the day of…because we’ve already planned for plenty of time, great light and a reduced number of formal images. With a narrow list of staged shots, I can move freely to capture real moments throughout the day.
  3. Be authentic: Let your photographer guide you to a beautiful location with dynamic lighting and the rest will follow. One of my favorite portraits is of a couple in a sweet embrace in a vineyard row with rich backlit colors sweeping around them; in that one image their love is so apparent and it was a fleeting, tender moment. The best part is that if you look closely, there is a tangled piece of the vine tugging on her dress. If I had taken the time to fix her dress, the authenticity of the moment would have been lost and the image would be nothing like the one created.
  4. Focus on your love: Spend less time fretting about your pose and more time focused on the person you just married – your joy will show. I always tell my couples that I’ve done my job well when they look back at the images and remember every emotion of their wedding day. Kiss, embrace, laugh and enjoy each other and listen for the occasional guidance from your photographer.
  5. Details, details, details: You’ve spent months choosing textures, colors, and designs that represent you as a couple. Make sure to let your photographer know that the details are a priority to photograph. Bring your invitations, programs, rings, and any other sentimental items so the photographer can shoot them in the wedding environment. You will be so pleased you have these images that tell the rest of your wedding day story.

Thanks Ceci for featuring these tips and feel free to comment below if you have questions or other tips to pass along.

{…and then there were children} family portraits . sonoma

One of the best parts of having friends is sharing parenthood with them. These two families gathered for a family vacation in Sonoma and their children are all super fun ages of exploration & wonder…let alone some pretty darn cute expressions!

{little curls} children + family lifestyle portraits | napa valley

i love this little ones curls & adorable expressions…here are just a few:

{3 reasons to smile} napa valley children’s photography

{Lauren & John – Destination Hawaii Wedding}

Originally Lauren & John booked for me for a Napa Valley wedding and I was thrilled when they changed venues and asked if we could join them in Hawaii for a destination wedding! For three days Lauren & John’s guests enjoyed the many thoughful events that they planned, including sailing, snorkeling as well as a welcome party and dinner on the beach.

Lauren & John – you two are amazing together and I feel honored to have been present  to document the joy of your wedding!

To view complete slideshow: 

COORDINATION: Hawaiian Island Wedding Planners – Tori Rogers –

 HALEKULANI: Tom Nguyen-Halekulani

FLOWERS/DÉCOR: Su-V Expressions  http://

 SPEIALTY LINENS:Les Saison, Naomi Lee Owner

WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY: IMF Visions – Ian M. Fernandez


ENTERTAINMENT:   Donald Baduria & Co.

{Jen & Zack } Kings Hill Cellars . Sonoma Wedding Photography

When I first met Jen & Zack, I was so struck by their down to earth, mellow approach. They quickly let me know that their wedding wasn’t going to have the typical drama or fanfare but instead they were going to focus on amazing friends, top-notch food & wine & fantastic music. Jen admitted that photography wasn’t a top priority when she began planning but she had come across my site and was drawn to my natural style.  I was touched that they included me in their day and had a fantastic time documenting the many ‘real’ moments throughout the day. The flowers were all grown on-site by her mother and her Dad was intimately involved in many of the details. Kings Hill Cellars gave the wedding guests a dramatic backdrop as they enjoyed some stellar music from start to finish. Congratulations Jen & Zack…you really did create a day for all to remember…and I am so glad that I was there to capture it all!

Catering:  Grapevine Catering

Hartmann Studios for their rentals

La Tavola for their linens

Venue: Kings Hill Cellars ( Private Winery)

{the joy of a boy} Napa Valley Children’s Photography

This little guy gave us a lot to smile about this weekend! He was off & exploring his world & eager to share his adventures with us. Here’s a sneek peek of a few that caught my eye… enjoy!

{for the love of friends} sneek peek

These three families have been friends for years and their children have grown up together like siblings. It is always such a pleasure for me to work with them… here’s a sneek peek of each of their beautiful children. 

:: 7 years ago ::

Today is my oldest son’s seventh birthday. 7 years ago, my life changed in more ways I can describe. Today,  life has more giggles, more wonder, more adventure & lots more sweetness. Happy Birthday  my little peduncle !