Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Photographer's Curse

On the eve of Halloween, I find it fitting that my focus be on some truly scary pictures. You see, I am a photographer. I take pictures of people and do what I can to make them look their best. I've had the great fortune to photograph very attractive people so my job has been pretty easy. But every now and I have a tough customer. No matter what I do, this client just never looks right. Not flattering, not genuine, not good.

This client is me.

And herein lies the Photographer's Curse. No picture of the photographer ever looks good to the photographer. Try as I might, I just don't like em. Maybe I just need a new face. Maybe I just need a really good photographer of my very own.

I wanted a new picture for my website. I tried and tried and even enlisted Emma the dog to help matters. In the end, I conceded to the Photographer's Curse and just decided to make a collage of my attempts.


My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph. ~Richard Avedon

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jenica + Heath: Jewish Wedding at the City Club of San Francisco

I have kind of gotten behind in my posting but I wanted to share this beautiful wedding between Jenica and Heath that I shot with the talented Lisa of Lisa Leigh Photography.

My day started with the groom and his groomsmen at Barber Lounge in San Francisco. I don't know how they came across it but it was simply perfect and oh-so-trendy. It's on the third floor in an old building in SOMA and has these great old windows across the front of the reception area. It stretches back with lots of space filled with hair stylists, masseuses, and, of course, barbers. If you get a chance, I highly recommend checking this place out. It's just so unlike the other salons I've visited. As if this place weren't cool enough, they have a resident "Scent Expert" with the laid back Louie the dog. Heath gave all of his groomsmen classy cufflinks with their last name's initial on them.



From there we met up with the ladies for a quick jaunt around town to take in some San Francisco classics. We drove to the Union Square area and found an empty cable car that was just perfect for the wedding party poses. Dodging traffic, we took some great shots there and then moved on to the little oasis in the city, Levi's Plaza. Our last stop was right around the corner from our final destination. The group moved on to Equinox gym located in the old Pacific Stock Exchange building. This building has elements that just make photographers melt. There are a dozen or so steps leading up to huge Greek columns out front. We went through the groups again but the groomsmen were feeling a bit peckish so off they went to the closest McDonald's. The group (including the bride) dove in and devoured the fries before we even got to the wedding venue - The City Club of San Francisco.



A half Jewish, half Christian wedding, Jenica and Heath recited their vows to one another under the chuppah and broke the glass to a celebratory group yelling "Mazel Tov".



I managed to get a shot of the two of them kissing as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife.



Everyone gathered upstairs for dinner and toasts. The room was spectacular. Bright orange and yellow tulips, orangey-red roses, bright red and orange peppers and a splash of green limes brought everything together as the centerpieces. It was certainly an unusual combination but it looked fabulous. Rather than wedding favors, Jenica and Heath gave fortune donated money to charity and gave guests little fortune cookies with the fortune, "Live Well. Laugh Often. Love Much." I was really excited to sneak back downstairs during dinner to get to the cake table. Or I should say, cupcake table. There were four or five decadent kinds of cupcakes awaiting the guests after dinner. It was a very cool display. The location where they had exchanged vows earlier had been tuned into a sleek reception area with a dance floor, cake table, sofa and lounge area by the fireplace, and assorted chairs and tables for guests that needed to give their feet a break.



And let me tell you, I'm sure their feet were sore at the end of the night. The guests were getting down and having a great time. Jenica and Heath started out the dancing with their first song, Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are", which had some of the bridal party swaying and singing along. It was a fun time and had almost everyone out on the dancefloor. I have to say though, Heath's sister Paige took the cake with some hilariously fun dancing with her boyfriend - especially when Sir Mix-a-lot's "Baby Got Back" came on. Too funny!



It was a beautiful wedding and Jenica and Heath were great together. Thanks, guys!

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.
- Billy Joel "Just the Way You Are"

Oralia + Zack : Wedding at Crow Canyon Country Club

I had forgotten how different Catholic weddings are! The other week I shot the wedding of Oralia and Zack with the wonderful Julie Cheshire of Julie Cheshire Photography. This wedding was sooo different from the last one I shot with Julie out in Woodside, CA. Whereas Dan and Jessica had a very short ceremony led by their brother in a very casual and natural setting, Zack and Oralia held their wedding at the beautiful St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Pleasanton, Ca.

Outside the church there's a huge, artistic statue of a woman gathering in four little children and there are fountains all around it. It's really quite beautiful. The inside of the church is nice and open. Instead of pews being directly facing the altar, they were turned 90 degrees and it felt more like a welcoming and community atmosphere. There were great stained glass windows all around and incredibly tall ceilings with skylights, which just added to the open feel. Oralia's six maids wore stunning bright red dresses and the flower girls were in white with red sashes.



The reception was held at Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville, CA. Julie and I had actually shot a wedding there a few months earlier so we were fairly familiar with its fabulous view of the golf course and Mt. Diablo.



After the guests were seated, the wedding party made their entrance with Oralia and Zack finishing with a dip and a kiss. The toasts followed and were quite funny. We learned that Zack lived with Oralia's brother in college and introduced the two. The best moment was when her brother was describing his very first encounter with Zack and it was as he drove his truck up to their dorm with Shania Twain blasting on the stereo. There were some sweet moments too and I caught Zack's mother letting out a few tears.



They group gathered near the dance floor and watched as Zack and Oralia had their first dance together as husband and wife. If was very sweet - the flower girls can be seen dancing in the corner of the dancefloor too. Zack danced with his mother and since Oralia's father had passed away, her oldest brother came out to dance with her. This was no slow dance though, DJ Hector started up some fast Spanish music and they both really got the party started. (On a side note, I highly recommend the DJ - Hector Duron - he worked the crowd perfectly with great timing and none of the cheese that you see so often with wedding DJs. As an added perk, he also speaks Spanish.)



This was such a great group. They were just so real, friendly, and fun. Oralia must know her brother fairly well. As she was gearing up for the bouquet toss, she faked him out as he went bounding across the floor for an interception. Zack was hilarious as well. After climbing up Oralia's dress for the garter, he jerked backward as if he were having trouble with the garter and came tumbling out with a pair of big, lacy, granny panties. And when it came time for the cake cutting… well, I'm sure you can guess how that went…



The rest of the night was filled with dancing. There were so many fun pictures from the event. There was a money dance (and I think the lowest donation was a quarter), a conga line led by Oralia, a fabulous song that got everyone stomping their feet, and DJ Hector even brought out some glow necklaces that had the guests twirling them above their heads. Even the kids were having a blast on the dance floor.



Oralia and Zack were simply a genuinely nice couple and I wish them nothing but the best. Congrats!


You're the reason I believe in love
And you're the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
My dreams came true because of you
- Shania Twain "From This Moment On"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Featured Photographer on LetsGetTrashed.com!

Woohoo! Lindsay Docherty Photography has been featured on one of the hottest new websites for seniors, Let's get Trashed ! No no, this isn't about parties while the parents are away. What started with adventurous and fun brides getting down and dirty in their dresses at TrashtheDress.com , has now become a senior sensation with high school senior men and women going out and having fun in their prom formalwear and letting lucky photographers (like me) come along for the ride. It can mean totally trashing it – like cutting it up, rolling around in mud, and splashing in the ocean or just taking it somewhere unexpected and not-so-clean like a grungy run-down building, a grimey city street, or a dusty country farm.

Check it out!



You may recognize her from a month ago – it's my Senior Ambassador Felicia from the Baker Beach Session . I have gotten so many positive responses from this shoot, it's unbelievable. Congrats, Felicia!




I cannot wait to do more prom dress trashing! Contact me to set up your senior session and we'll have a ton of fun. Who knows, maybe your prom dress will be the next one to drown on the Let's Get Trashed website.

p.s. If you'd like to be my next Senior Ambassador, check out this post and shoot me an email at lmdocherty@gmail.com. It's lots of fun and will get you a free session plus free photo goodies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Old Pet Month Promotion!

In honor of Old Pet Month* I'm offering discounted sessions for those with senior pets. I've actually been getting several requests lately from people wanting to have some sort of photographic legacy of their best friends and I couldn't support that more. If you book a session now through November 20th for your senior (10+ years old) dog, cat, fish, snake, parrot, ferret, pig, monkey, or unicorn you'll get a discounted sitting fee. So honor your most loyal companion and contact Lindsay Docherty photography right now. Call 415.515.3575 or email lmdocherty@gmail.com.

p.s. If you know of any nonprofit pet organization that could use photography services (free of charge), feel free to refer them to me. You'd be amazed at how much faster dogs and cats are adopted when there are great photos to get people excited about the shelter pets.

*Okay, so I made up Old Pet Month, but it seems like a very worthy cause.


"Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well." -Bonnie Wilcox


Friday, October 5, 2007

Senior Ambassador Shoot in Piedmont

So I don't know if I've mentioned how much fun it is to do senior shoots. If I haven't said it before – I LOVE SENIOR SHOOTS! Some photographers feel that teens can't open up and really show themselves but I haven't found that to be true at all. Last week I did a shoot with Mimi (a nickname that came about from her toddler years of saying "me, me") at Piedmont Community Center and it couldn't have gone better.




Mimi is one another of my Senior Ambassadors, this time from The Head-Royce School in Oakland. Mimi has this look that seemed like a combination of Felicity's Keri Russell and Mariah Carey, in her pre-Glitter days.




She has quite a few interests outside of school that contributed to making her session a bit unique. Mimi skis and is a ski instructor in Tahoe and it was imperative that we get some pictures with her fun and funky fur accessories.




She brought several outfits which was just perfect for the different surroundings I had scouted out for us. We were initially going for a wintery look but the day was just too beautifully bright and green to go that route.







We had a really good time and we got some great goofy and modelesque shots of her at the fountain.




Surprisingly, she had never modeled before. She was so natural and even came in with some stuff that she wanted to try herself. I absolutely love it when the models bring in suggestions of their own. This was one of hers…




All in all it was a great time. Here's the picture she chose for her senior picture.




Thanks, Mimi! You were awesome!



When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. -Joe Namath



p.s. If you'd like to be my next Senior Ambassador, check out this post and shoot me an email at lmdocherty@gmail.com. It's lots of fun and will get you a free session plus free photo goodies.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Jessica + Dan: Wedding at Woodside's Mountain Terrace

This time I shot a wedding with Julie Cheshire of Julie Cheshire Photography Julie Cheshire Photography in Woodside, California at this great restaurant, Mountain Terrace. True to name, this place was the perfect blend of casual wedding and beautiful scenery. You'd never see it unless you were looking for it. It's next to a little deli and across from Alice's Restaurant along a very windy road. Once there, though, you'll walk through the restaurant to the back and see a huge lawn lined with huge redwoods and a great view of the mountains between them.

I'll let you in on some of the details from the day…Placecards were handmade with dried, pressed wildflowers that were totally unique for each guest. This theme carried through to the centerpieces of colorful wildflowers in mason jars and at the end chairs along the aisle. They had a ukulele player throughout the ceremony and dinner which was a very neat spin on the string group you see at most weddings. I also got to take a peek at Jessica's vows as she practiced them before the ceremony.





Jessica's mom helped her prepare for her big day. There might have been a few tears welling up; but they were all suppressed for the sake of the makeup. You should have seen Jessica before the ceremony. She was pretty calm and stayed in her room so that Dan wouldn't be able to see her before she walked down the aisle. She read and reread her vows while waiting to be escorted out by her father.



The ceremony was super short but very heartfelt. Each read their own vows which was Dan's idea, showing his inner romantic. It was presided over by Dan's nervous brother who did very well considering it was the first time he had ever done anything like that.



Here's a glimpse of the scenery from the yard. The colors were fantastic. As for the newlyweds, they were just giddy. A man of few words, Dan makes up for it with the way he looks at Jessica and the way she looks at him.


The toasts were great, especially the one by his brother who was able to say all the things he knew he couldn't during the ceremony. We learned of Jessica and Dan's past 7 years together, with their first meeting at a Starbucks while Dan was living it up hippie-style in a van. It was also important to get pictures of the "Vegas Girls". The sextet went to Las Vegas to celebrate Jessica's bachelorette party and four of them came back with a dragonfly tattoo!


Again, I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding where the guests were hitting the dance floor like it was their job! Jessica's father was cutting the rug all night with his hot moves. One guests got so into his moves that he split his pants! You know it's a good party when someone goes home needing a tailor. Also getting down was Dan's grandmother from Canada. She was out there twirling around like everyone else. When I asked Dan how old she was, I was blown away by the fact that she's 93! She was putting the majority of the younger folks to shame.

It was a beautiful night and I wish Jessica and Dan the best of luck far into their nineties.


Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.

- Robert Browning