Stephanie & Ray Wedding Featured on Style Unveiled

I’m always thrilled to shoot a beautiful wedding, and Stephanie and Ray’s was no exception. Pasadera Country Club in Monterey, California, was the setting for this exceptionally gorgeous and unique wedding. I was privileged to be there for this wonderful celebration and enjoyed every moment with this lovely couple and their friend and family. To add frosting to the cake, their wedding is featured in Style Unveiled magazine. Hurrah!

Full post (full of very useful information) here.
Link to their photos here.
Link to their video here.

P + N

They were both raised in the Bay Area, Northern California amidst a population of more than eight million other people. The odds of not finding each other, falling in love and entering into marriage were definitely high. But they found each other.

This love story is attributed to the office romance. They managed to co-exist in close proximity to one another, despite, an undeniable chemistry between the two of them. From being co-workers they became true friends. Their friendship in time grew into something even more special.

They are best friends, true companions by definition. P and N have a number of special friends, but when the other is around, their relationship transforms into something more special and indefinable. This undeniable chemistry that exists, enables them to achieve their desires. The great wine collection of theirs helps too! Also, P. is a huge hockey fan, and Sharks are her favorite team. Can you believe, she introduced her future fiancé to hockey on the first date!

Most people do not know, but they planned the Hindu ceremony, Catholic ceremony, reception, festivities and various logistics leading up to the wedding in less than four months! Why wait? Coincidently, we were the first vendor they booked.

During their Catholic ceremony, the priest almost omitted the key symbolism of marriage, the Exchanging of the Wedding Rings. N reminded him just before the signing of the license, Father humbly acknowledged to which he gestured to the organist to stop playing. Rings were exchanged. Father indicated to all present that the “oversight” has never occurred to him, performing over hundreds of marriages. N’s two-year old nephew Charlie took his role as Ring Bearer seriously, demonstrating “resolve and piety” in his duties displayed for all on the altar. After that was an Indian wedding ceremony tradition, called Baarat, when the groom’s side dances their way to the venue, and the groom rides on a horse or elephant. N, mindful of his Italian heritage, rode in on 483 Horses-blue Ferrari California Convertible. It was an awesome surprise!

N proposed to P. in Italy, in the seaside town Polignano a Mare, Apulia, Province of Bari at the romantic and majestic cave restaurant, the Grotta Palazzese, a natural preserved cave formation turned into a restaurant. He executed his plan with poise and precision. She thought she was accompanying him to Southern Italy on a short business trip, in the region of his surname. He said, “P., one day you will take my last name, ‘Mastrangelo,’ so, you should come with me because I want you to see the region where it originates.” He was serious. What happened next, P. remembers vividly, like it was yesterday. It was one of the most magical and the happiest time in their lives.

This is how P. remembers that wonderful day-“The moonlight glistened off the Adriatic as the waves crashed against the limestone cave formation around us and a soft sea breeze blew my hair over my eyes and cheek. N rose from his chair and approached my side of the table. He looked determined and handsome. He pushed the hair from my face, took my hand in his and spoke sweetly, “Come with me,” and then escorted me from my chair to the center of the Grotta Palazzese. He said something about something, or nothing about nothing. I’m not sure what he said exactly, because the noise grew softer as I began to sense the sincerity and magic of the moment. The world became quiet, as if we were the only two people in it, we were attuned; I noticed his every movement. N. reached into his pocket and slowly dropped to one knee. Our eyes met and we shared a lover’s gaze. In that next moment, in that breath, in those eyes, I realized he pledged his love, he vowed his heart – forever. I knew I loved him. I’ve been in love with him for quite sometime. “I have one more request to ask of you. P., my love, will you honor me as my wife? Will you marry me?” And the rest is present”. This is how it was for P. and N., and how it will stay in their hearts forever!

N. hired Italian photographers to capture every moment of the proposal. Like true paparazzi, they covertly photographed the happy couple that evening and like true paparazzi, the telephoto lenses and constant flash-focus caused quite the stir. Camera flashes drew whimsical glances, invited inquiry and created quite the buzz with fellow patrons. Their intrigue became an intrigue for everyone in the restaurant as they observed an increase in flash activity. N. even joked- “What, this isn’t the common occurrence whenever you go out?” Later, the owner of the place informed curious patrons that one of them was an American actor. P and N. still wonder which one of them.

What made their wedding special was the significance of the date 1/4; they had their wedding on 1/4/14. Numerically it commemorates the anniversary of their first date. Their favorite numbers are, easy to guess, 1 and 4. Another special moment was the presence of their parents and friends. It made their big day even happier. They love their parents dearly – without them the day would not have been as wondrous and meaningful. And they are happy they have amazing families and friends, whose support was incredible and well appreciated.


Us for photography;

Wicked Entertainment – DJ and Lighting;

Dress Your Face: Make – up and Hair;

Nebulous Dream Productions – Videographer;

Le Meridien Hotel – Catering;

Bently Reserve (SF) and Fairmont Hotel (SJ) – Venues;

Cake – Coquette;

Say Ya – Photo Booth;

San Francisco Conservatory of Music;

Dreams on a Dime: Day-Of Wedding Coordinator;

Saints Peter and Paul Church (San Francisco).

I am 35 years old…

Today I am 35 years old, and on reflection, I have decided that I want to thank everyone who has supported me in the last year. My life is so full of wonderful people.

It was a fast and exciting period in my life. My photography took me to new levels. I still can see the difference each year that I work and it means that I have managed to learn something new. The ability to keep learning is a gift by itself, but I got so much more.

My mother finally moved to the U.S. after being separated for eight, long years. My dad will join us soon. Isn’t that cool? My brother has lived here for three years already and we share so many things in common. He is videographer and I am a photographer. Could this get any better?
Oh yeah! I am blessed with my beautiful wife, Masha, and my gorgeous daughter Katya. And now we are expecting a baby boy! This is so much, isn’t it? Could I possibly ask for more? Oh, I got more! Last year seven couples changed their wedding plans and traveled across the globe to San Francisco (and I say this with humility) for me to be their wedding photographer. Isn’t that crazy? I’m still having a hard time processing it. More than ten weddings from last year are in process to be featured in leading national magazines and blogs. I received so many wonderful blog comments. And one of my past clients and good friends even wrote a poem about the way I photograph. I have absolutely amazing friends I can count on.

I wouldn’t have written all of this when I woke up today … I hadn’t yet felt much of the excitement until my mom told me, word for word, everything you’ve just read.

Thank you, everyone, for such a wonderful year.

I need a glass of wine…

Ilona+Alex | The Double Wedding | Bay Area & Bahamas

Tomorrow is my birthday, but today I’m dedicating my entire day to pulling together a preview for Ilona and Alex of the entire scope of events at their two weddings (yes, they had two weddings). There are way too many photos for a single blog post, so I’m posting it as two slideshows.
For this wedding I didn’t feel at all like a hired professional, but rather as part of their big family. It was such a great feeling. I took my family with me on the cruise and made new friends. Oops, I forgot to mention that on the second part of the cruise there was a wedding. I hope my photos reflect everything that happened, all of the emotions, all of the fun, all of the spirit, of this amazing celebration.

Stella + Mike | New Years Eve Wedding | Ralston Hall

What a way to cap off a wonderful year! Photographing Stella and Mike at their 31st of December wedding was a celebration for all concerned. It was great fun not only because they are a stylish and loving couple but also because they have wonderful friends who provide tons of the kind of support we all need from our friends. To top that off, I got to know them personally. They were very particular clients who knew exactly what they wanted. So we talked a great deal about photography. I really appreciate it when clients have an interest in the photography itself and we can really work together to create something special
We had already shot a super exciting engagement session with them and I was stimulated and energized by their continuing feedback and responsiveness to my ideas. It just felt like a great match of client and photographer. Dialog like this goes a long way toward creating not only good relationships but also some pretty good photography, (if I do say so myself!).
Their wedding day on New Year’s Eve started out at one of my favorite hotels, the Sir Francis Drake. A rich, traditional ceremony followed at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church on Commonwealth Avenue in the City. The reception followed at historic Ralston Hall situated on the campus of the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, all once part of the Ralston Estate. Stella and Mike as well as everyone at the wedding gave us wonderful photo opportunities. Thank you, everyone! We had a wonderful time.

Carol and Thomas wedding at Mira Vista Golf Club

Thomas and Carol… A beautiful winter wedding. It is hard to portray winter in Bay Area, so I just mention it. Lovely couple, great friends, beautiful venue.
So much to say but will leave the photos speak for themselves.

P.S. We are leaving for a destination wedding so all communication will be slower. We are back on the 28th. There will be a team of associate photographers in case of last minute assignments.
P.S. 2. We will be not accepting new workshops for the first two weeks of March. All previously set up workshops are still on.