Old Ranch Country Club Wedding Photography

Kerry was determined to do her wedding right! She and Mark selected Mark's home church Bethany Lutheran in Long Beach as well as the gorgeously renovated Old Ranch Country Club for their respective ceremony and reception venues, and researched and hired talented vendors such as Flower Allie florist, HD In Vision videography, Beauty and the Beach hair and makeup services for the gals, Station Identification DJ service, OC Limo transportation, Wedding Paper Divas for the stationary details, and Cinderella Cakes bakery for the cakes.  There were so many creative details with splashes of rich purple color I thought my shutter finger was going to fall off photographing it all!Couple with veilargyle socks

Kerry gave Mark a guitar pick inscribed with song lyrics as a wedding present (Photos by Matt)Kerry's radiant smile never left her face, ALL DAY!Eye-popping bouquet from Flower Allie, complete with a brooch depicting a special location to Kerry and MarkgarterKerry's lovely Steve Madden Luxe shoes and Enzoani dressgentlemenflowers and bridal partyWOW! That wispy Enzoani dress!laughing bridegirlsWhen I saw these enormous clouds of baby's-breath floral arrangements decorating the ceremony site, my mouth fell wide open!pre-ceremonyKerry and Mark added a personal touch to bottles of Jones soda for the guests---Jones happens to be Mark's last name!  (R) Ceremony programs were designed as telegrams and presented in an adorable little blue suitcase!  Photos by Matt.gossiping grandmashere comes the brideWhenever I look at this photo I can't help but wonder what is going through Kerry's mind with that expressionceremonyemotionalceremony detail

kiss the bridefunny bridal party

dinner setting

seating chart

Cute succulent touches on the cocktail tablescard boxMark's dad brought his badical Oldsmobile for the "getaway"!receptionfirst danceThe breeze sure has perfect timing.Assorted delectables from Cinderella Cakes in lieu of traditional wedding cake.I saw this Dharma groom's cake and squee'ed. LOST!!MORE LOST!! AHH!!Kerry and her dad danced to "Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III and Peter Blegvad, which was a nice change from the more common father/daughter dance songs I've heardComplimentary flip-flops for guests to use while dancingpartylaughter

Sweetest Perfection industry event

On Thursday several of the event industry's up-and-comings threw an event designed to inspire today's bride and planners looking for unique creations and delightful concepts.  It was held at Party Rental King and attracted over 200 visitors.

event industryThe tent setting. Tables and furniture courtesy of the fine folks at AFR Event Furnishings.

tunnelFantastical tunnel constructed by Party Rental King, ending at the wondrous chocolate fountain from Chocolate Delights with some cool curtains a lá West Coast Drape

charm eventsA pretty gnarly room designed and decorated by Patricia (right) of Charm Events

cakesINSANE cakes by Cake Fusions!


more than just weddingsThe ever-cheerful Wenda from More Than Just Weddings

candy buffetDelectable candy table by Charm Events

lollipopI may or may not have pilfered a lolly...

decorationAn amazing, inspired design by J'Adore Florist and Flowers on Mars (and influenced in part by the movie Avatar!)

j'adoreJoan, the visionary behind J'Adore Florist


crystal treeA crystal detail from White Feathers Events

candy and makeupStunning makeup by Jesse Sillas, and delightful candied apples by Berry Beautiful Creations

event designMagical butterflies from Flowers on Mars and J'Adore Florist, as well as scrumptious cupcakes by Miss Priss Cupcakes & Such

press boardWith Mars & Nancy from Flowers on Mars.  Mars is a pro DJ and mixed up some serious tunes that night, too.

I seriously don't know how everyone else isn't squinting against the bright lights like I am. I also don't know how I managed to dress like Han Solo and not notice until after I took a picture of myself...but there you go.  A little Star Wars for your evening with Sweetest Perfection.

Thanks for a great event, everyone!

Inspiration of Baraka

Some of you (OK well, maybe just a few of you) already know I'm gearing up to head to Israel next week. I'll be visiting my father, who is a scholar on sabbatical there.One of the movies I always like to watch before I head to another country with my camera is the 1992 film Baraka. My parents have been National Geographic subscribers since before I was born, so as I grew up I developed a tremendous amount of respect for the photojournalistic style of photography that I came to admire through that magazine: the style that portrays the colors, textures, and emotions of us as a human race.Baraka does the same, only it's not just about the human race; the film might as well be a love song to human civilization. The director/cinematographer, Ron Fricke, traveled to 24 different countries (including Israel, I might add...a complete list of places in the film is here) to film common aspects of human life, including religion, dance, work, poverty, and more. He filmed it in on large format (70mm!) and when it debuted on IMAX it received high critical acclaim. Let me just say that Fricke must have the patience of a saint---the footage he produces is mind-blowing, and I have little to no idea as to how he acquired much of it.Don't get me wrong---this is not a high-octane blockbuster, or even a nature special. There is no narration and no titles, so much of what is shown blends into one amazing work of art that is simply rife with natural and humanistic beauty, and symbolism. You may not find it at your local video store, but it you appreciate intense cinematography WITHOUT special effects, you'll love this and want to pick it up from Amazon or somewhere. The stuff Fricke does with time-lapse is eye-popping.I was quite thrilled to recently learn that Fricke is finally developing a sequel to Baraka. He photographed the similarly-styled trilogy known as the Qatsi triology, but they are directed by someone else and while equally artistic, do not hold that breath-taking element that I'd always found Baraka to have. I can't wait to see the next one.Here's a clip I found on YouTube that's probably one of the most interesting parts of the movie. Sadly, without narration or titles, much of the cultural features in the film may remain a mystery to some viewers, though I think anything can be researched online nowadays. I was fortunate enough to discover what this clip is about due to a World Music class I took in college:This is a traditional dance called the "ketjak," (monkey chant) performed in Bali. It depicts a scene from the Hindu epic "Ramayana" in which a monkey army comes to protagonist Prince Rama's aid against the evil King Ravana.
I suppose it's a little weird if you're used to Discovery Channel specials with narration, or if you're not used to Discovery Channel-type stuff at all, but I absolutely love this kind of thing. I simply adore culture.Here's another clip that probably better illustrates the film:You may recognize Tokyo in this one!