Tag Archives: 4×5

San Francisco City Hall Elopement

04 | 01 | 2013

When Lisa called me about her wedding—or rather, her elopement—she didn’t just ask me to make the photographs, she asked me to be their witness. I think the act of making wedding photographs is actually an act of witnessing, so her very literal proposal to do just that was thrilling. Plus: the civic nature of the elopement, or maybe the public civic nature of their getting married was really fascinating. I loved how the on-lookers became part of the celebration of their vows and day, and there were so many other folks at the San Francisco City Courthouse doing the exact same thing we all were. Even more than that, I couldn’t have anticipated how contagious Lisa and Jared’s joy was.  Lisa has contagious laughter. I think you’ll see and I hope you enjoy their wedding and meandering SF portraits (some on 4×5 film!) just as much as I did.

photos: Gia Canali

Venue: San Francisco City Hall | Dress: BHLDN | Shoes: Cole Haan | Veil: Ornent | Necklace: J. Crew | Groom’s Suit: J. Crew | Groom’s Shirt: H&M | Tie: Ben Sherman | Floral Designer: Studio Choo | Cupcakes: Miette | Hair, Makeup: Wow Pretty


S + J – Romantic Black Tie Garden Wedding in Bel Air

02 | 13 | 2013

We love everything about this sweet, thoughtful summer garden wedding at The Hotel Bel Air.  For a big wedding, it managed to feel intimate and quiet, which is quite a feat and a credit to this couple.  They also did a really good job of making time for each other on their wedding (not so easy as it might sound).  It’s a great take on a classically elegant wedding.  The soft palette and florals complement the colors and feel of the setting and adds a little (more!) romance to the black tie soiree.  We hope you enjoy!

~ ♥ ~

Wishing you guys so much happiness!

photos: Gia Canali

florals: Flowerwild; venue & catering: Hotel Bel Air; wedding planner: Maryam Forutan, Delicate Details; rentals: Town & Country; linens, La Tavola Linens; video: Gina Jones, Lola Video; makeup, Ronann; dj: Unite Entertainment ; click here for feature on Style Me Pretty.


G&C : Elegance & Whimsy – An Enchanted Wine Country Wedding with Amy Kaneko Events

04 | 24 | 2012

We loved so many things about this wedding, not the least of which was the couple’s dog, Lola, who was a total show-stopper with her sweet and spunky personality.  Rare is a wedding as thoughtfully and soulfully planned out as this one.  The couple considered every single detail, and Amy Kaneko designed their extraordinary lush, natural ceremony “altar,” the olive tree “guest book” (aka wishing tree) and the escort card tree, which was hung with mica “fairies,” crystals, and quotes from the bride’s brother’s poetry, as a memorial to him.  The escort cards were hand-wrapped with wire and attached to gemstones that matched the gemstone table names.

The bride planned a ton of extra time for getting ready and for pre-ceremony photographs, so that no matter what, they wouldn’t be rushed or stressed out as they prepared themselves for their ceremony.  This kind of foresight had great pay-off, not just for the couple, but also for their photographs.  They look well-composed, relaxed, happy, and excited because they are well-composed, relaxed, happy, and excited.  (What a good trick, huh?!).

photos: Gia Canali

design & planning: Amy Kaneko Events; venue: Meadowood; videography: LoveSpun Films; florals: Cherries Flowers; officiant: Dr. Judith Caldwell; Linens: La Tavola Linens; Rentals: Hartmann Studios; Hair & makeup: Sarah Hyde; On-Site Dressing/Pressing: SewHeidi Wedding De-Tailor (707.479.0790); Paper goods, Gemstone escort cards, Table numbers: Amy Kaneko Events


Jess’s Fine Art Bridal Portrait Session

08 | 03 | 2011

The great thing about bridal portrait sessions, as opposed to weddings, is that you have the real luxury of having time to make portraits, slowly.  I mean: I love the challenge and the rush of making portraits happen in the swirl of the events and obligations of a wedding day (what wedding photographer doesn’t?!).  And Jess’s session was slower than most because we intentionally sought to make images on our slowest, most deliberate cameras.

Bridal sessions are about the bride and certainly also about her exquisite refinery.  Jess’s dress was designed and lovingly crafted by Suzanne Hanley of Atelier des Modistes.  Sue is a genius designer and I feel lucky to count her among my friends.   I particularly love the lace chevrons (though, seriously, I can’t fathom how much time it took her and her team to make those) and the bustle, which reminds me so much of the wild, wild west.  Jess’s bridal session is also featured {here} on 100 Layer Cake today, with an interview from Jess about the custom dressmaking process.

Neither one of us could have known that Jess’s wedding day would bring rain (or rainbows) and mud or that the slow moments in the day could be counted on the fingers of two hands, so I am extra grateful we made time early in the summer before her wedding to make these portraits.

Jess found other value in making these images.  This is what she wrote:

“I thought it was really helpful to do the portrait session before, because it was an excellent introduction to you and Matt, and how you like to work. It was also great for me to hear some tips from you on posture, how to stand, how to act, etc., before the “main event,” so to speak. It was certainly a little more challenging to take photos alone, as opposed to how much more natural and easy it felt when I was with TJ.  But I think for people who haven’t been photographed much before [their weddings], it’s a great introduction. Plus seeing these initial proofs, I could then say to myself—well, I like it when I smile like this or that, and I love how my hair and makeup looks in these photos, and so onso it was a great dry run overall.”

photographs: Gia Canali

gown: Sue Hanley, Atelier des Modistes, whose little shop in San Francisco I featured awhile back; hair and makeup: Sharon Tabb.