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I recently photographed the Synergy 2013 Spring collection. (Synergy’s lines of dresses, skirts and yoga wear are just gorgeous, as you can see from the 2012 catalog I helped with last year.) For six days I had the opportunity to work with a group of energetic women just bursting with creative ideas! With Halloween just a few weeks away, they were talking about making costumes from some of the Synergy pieces, and I knew I had to photograph the results. Laurel, the store manager, created the costumes; Lorene with Stylist with a Flair did the hair and makeup and a few of the sales associates were the models.

cemetery photo shootSo on a dark and stormy night we headed over to Evergreen Cemetery near Costco to begin our shoot. I’ve done other sessions at this Civil War-era cemetery, and I love the way the photos turned out. Talk about a dramatic setting!

looking for clues

She’s watching the detectives … or maybe they’re watching her! A black cotton jacket and some accessories complete this stylish detective costume. A black cotton jacket and some accessories complete this detective costume.

lil red riding hood costume

The sun set fast and we ended up at a pumpkin patch on Post Street. Matt, the pumpkin farmer, was kind enough to turn on some floodlights and let us run around his pumpkin patch. If you’re looking for pumpkins, go check out the 15 different pumpkin varieties at Matt’s homegrown pumpkin patch!


  A great fitting little black dress, a cape, some boots and fangs, and Jessica is ready to scare a couple of trick-or-treaters!

Check out Synergy’s 2 Santa Cruz locations or online.

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If you’ve ever thought about getting married on the beach in Santa Cruz, you might want to consider the fabulous weather we have in the fall. When the rest of the nation is pulling out their sweaters, we here on the Central Coast are heading to the beach! Case in point: this lovely September wedding at the stylish, retro Dream Inn.

Dream Inn wedding

santa cruz bride

Santa Cruz beach wedding

This couple had their ceremony at Cowell’s Beach, right in front of the hotel. This is a great beach to get married on! It’s centrally located and has a sweeping view of the bay, the wharf and the Boardwalk. Palm trees and clear blue skies, anyone?

wedding couple on Cowell

Congratulations, Victor & Heather!!!

couple in lobby of the Dream Inn

The lobby of the Dream Inn is colorful and inviting—an ideal place for candid shots like this one.

santa cruz weddingJust after the wedding we took the short quarter-mile drive from the Dream Inn to Lighthouse Field, another Santa Cruz coastal landmark. I love the dramatic look of the cypress trees there. And in the September light, the golden field practically glows. You can’t buy light like that!

wedding day photos

wedding on the beach

Just across from Lighthouse Field is the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, a gem of a museum in a tiny lighthouse. I am a big fan of weathered brick, and the combination of all those reds and the bright teal accents make for a really striking portrait.

beach wedding

couple dancing at Dream Inn

If you are planning a beach wedding in the Monterey or Santa Cruz area, give me a call! I have years of experience shooting weddings on the Monterey Bay, and I can be a great sounding board for your ideas on a truly dreamy oceanfront wedding. Rebecca Stark (831) 325-4183. Other vendors who made this wedding so special were Aurora from the Dream Inn, Lezlie Johnson with Monterey Event Flowers (don’t you just love Heather’s white orchid bouquet) and Lorene Stewart the Stylist with a Flair 831-239-6427 .



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There are several reasons why one of my favorite wedding venues on Monterey Bay is the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz.

the bride and groom on the beach at Cocoanut Grove

Reason No. 1 is that really laid-back and playful couples seem to get married here. Matt and Erica definitely fit that description! I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that these two have been together since high school. They are such an easygoing and fun couple to be around. It’s so cool to grow up with your spouse when you have that kind of relationship!

wedding photos

 Another thing I like about Cocoanut Grove is that there are so many fun places to take couples during the portrait walk—which is perfectly fitting for a historic amusement park! Here the newlyweds sit in a pedicab across the street from a rustic hotel. Check out this past wedding for more portrait spots.

wedding photos cocoanut grove

I also like the personalized marquee at the Cocoanut Grove. All couples get to see their names on display on this lovely bright sign with the elegant lettering. It just adds to the special excitement of having a wedding at such a beloved historical venue.

If you are thinking of getting married at Cocoanut Grove, give me a call at 831-325-4183! I have photographed many weddings and portraits at the Boardwalk and have many more samples to share.

Click here to see a slideshow from this wedding.

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I have a lot of catching up to do! The summer has been flying by and I’ve been busier than ever. I took a few days off for a little r&r with my family and now I’m ready to catch up on my blog. I photographed this lovely family wedding at Shadowbrook last month.  The couple’s children were in the wedding party and we decided to meet early to take family portraits.


Before the wedding ceremony we met at their hotel at  the Inn at Depot Hill. What a lovely bed & breakfast! The light and decor are amazing. The perfect place for a honeymoon, destination wedding or a stay-cation.

bed and breakfast

The newlyweds each have 3 children and now they are one big happy family. Check out these smiles!

family portrait

The ceremony was at Shadowbrook over looking the Soquel Creek. A lot of people like Shadowbrook because it’s a pretty place and it has a sideways elevator. I like it for the food and wine selection!

wedding ceremony

kilt wedding

 Congratulations Stacey & Gavin!

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The other night as I drove home from a beautiful wedding, I realized I was on a roll. It seems like every wedding I’ve photographed in the last few months has put me in contact with so many nice, kind hearted people who know how to celebrate! Not only the couples and their families but also the other vendors they have hired.wedding at Radonich Ranch

I think these images from Chris & Lora’s wedding at Radonich Ranch express that. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’m so fond of some of these new favorite photos.

MOB and MOGNew favorite photograph; The Mothers. Sometimes referred to as the MOB and MOG. I think they had a great time:)

Barn decor by Eventscapes, Ltd.New favorite venue photograph; The Lounge. Eventscapes did a marvelous job decorating the barn!

dj matt rileyNew favorite DJ photo; The Party Meister, DJ Matt Riley. No words needed, I have pictures! See slideshow below.

If you are planning a wedding at Radonich Ranch or anywhere in Northern California, give me a call. 831-325-4183 I still have a few dates open in 2012 and am booking for 2013.

  • Holly - August 5, 2012 - 5:44 AM

    Beautiful alnd Fun! Wow. I love this series. What a beautiful family.

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