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Frank Gomez Photography | Affordable Artistry

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Elegant Backyard Wedding in Cambrian Park Neighborhood, San Jose, CA

Pauline Nguyen reached out to us by phone in early October asking about our availability in November and I confirmed that we were tentatively free so  we scheduled a meeting with the couple at their home in the quiet Cambrian Park neighborhood where they lived. When we arrived we met the family, including their lovely children, Nathan, Bella, Madison and Marina. Pauline and fiancé Sonny explained their plans for a family oriented, intimate backyard wedding with approximately 70 guests. They had recently performed a major remodel on their home, and given the large open floor plan, their house was ideally set up for entertaining. Pauline explained their photographic needs for their Big Day and we all agreed with the style of photography they were looking for on their Big Day.

Bride and Groom portrait, elegant backyard wedding, San Jose, CA. Portrait taken by Frank gomez, Professional Photographer, Affordable artistry

When we returned on their Wedding Day,  Pauline and Sonny's pride of home ownership was very apparent. Not one thing was out of place, inside or outside their beautiful home. The inside of the house had been set up perfectly to accommodate the "cocktail hour" and Sonny had obviously spent hours arranging their already immaculate back yard to accommodate seating seventy or more of their guests for the ceremony, dinner, and portraits. I had planned to shoot family portraits in the front yard, but why do that when the back yard was just lovely, and we had a better angle to the sun? Everything was turning out perfect!

We (my wife, Angela, who is also my Second Shooter) make a point of not just being on time, but generally arrive early because we like to spend time setting up our gear and evaluating the lighting conditions. During our set up time it we were able to observe Pauline and Sonny's comfortable, relaxed personalities as they mingled and spoke with a few of their early guests and family.

It was especially heartwarming watching Pauline's mother, Mary Ly help make the final adjustments to Pauline's wedding gown, and put on some new jewelry. Of course, Pauline, the ever present mom helped her son, Nathan, and fiancé Sonny, with their boutonnieres. Everyone was ready just in time to greet the family Matriarch, Pauline's grandmother Ba Ngoi, who flew in from Viet Nam to witness her granddaughter's wedding!

Sonny was accompanied by a group of old school friends, Benny, Duc, Jack and of course, Omar, who all kept the atmosphere light and fun for the rest of the guests. Omar performed a heartfelt ceremony where he recounted how Pauline and Sonny met, and how they grew together, and their decision to "make it official" and blend their two families into one via an elegant sand ceremony.

Pauline and Sonny made an excellent choice in hiring Karen Bevels Custom Catering and Events (Facebook: @Karen Bevels Custom Catering and Events) to fully staff their event, which to the delight of their guests, included a professional bartender and hosted bar. Karen's  team served up a tasty assortment of hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour, and a delish plated, sit down dinner of the guest's choice of fish or steak, both of which looked tempting!  Karen Bevels described her menu choices as "healthy gourmet."  

Karen Bevels and her team of chefs cooked all the food on site, using the highest quality organic ingredients. She informed me that their "busy season" is October thru December, and that typically a client should inquire at least 30 days in advance of their event, but sometimes they shorter notice is possible. Karen Bevels Custom Catering works out of Hayward, CA, but they serve the entire Bay Area. 

The rest of Pauline and Sonny's evening went on like a dream, as Sonny toasted his new in laws and friends, and family. They danced, ate cake, and enjoyed the company of close friends and family on what was a truey  elegant wedding night.

Headshot Photography Session in The Park

Portrait image of female subject in white sleeveless blouse with golden retriever dog against green park background, Lake Anderson Dam Park, image taken by top wedding and portrait photographer, Frank Gomez

Last May we were contacted by Natalie, who was in need of some headshots. She was eager to start a new real estate marketing campaign as well as a headshot she should use for her business cards and online presence, but she didn't want her headshots to look like her colleagues. This was perfectly understandable, so I suggested an "Environmental Headshot" format. These portraits are not the typical indoors portrait against a neutral grey backdrop. Environmental Headshots are usually taken in the subject's "environment," be it their office, or workplace, or outdoors. Lighting can be natural light, or a little help from a reflector or strobe, or portable studio light. 

Our new client also wanted to know if we could take a few pictures of her and her Retriever. "Yes, of course!" I replied. As a dog lover, I actually looked forward to it.

On the day of the shoot we met Natalie at a local park where we were introduced to Ruby, a beautiful and friendly Retriever who immediately stole our hearts. It's not unusual for photo clients to show up for portrait sessions with their pets. But it is unusual for their pets to be so well behaved.

My wife, Angela, and I took turns holding Ruby's leash during Natalie's session, and to our amazement, Ruby just sat at our feet while we worked. Angela helps as my lighting assistant, so it's important she hold the softbox steady; no problem, Ruby sat calmly at her feet, watching Natalie and me.  

When it came time for both Natalie and Ruby to pose together, I was amazed at how easy it was to work with Ruby -she was a dream.

I look forward to working with Natalie again -and hopefully she'll bring Ruby.  :-)

You can view some of the actual headshots from this session by clicking below: http://frankgomezphotography.com/headshots