Personal and Travel

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Weddings and Engagements



Welcome to my visual journal! Here you'll find posts of some of my favorite weddings and engagement sessions, educational tips and insights on photography and wedding planning, and personal photographs of my trips around the world. Enjoy browsing! 

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San Francisco City Hall | Wedding | Joelle + Kenny

The iconic city of San Francisco, with its eclectic neighborhoods and historic landmarks, sets the stage for countless love stories. One such tale unfolded at the impressive and mesmerizing San Francisco City Hall between two amazing human beings – Joelle and Kenny.

Being a Northern California wedding photographer, I’m often brought to this beautiful building multiple times a year. Wedding photographers in San Francisco can easily spend hours inside due to the building’s pretty natural light, sharp corners, reflective marble flooring, and grand views that will make anyone whisper to themselves “whoa”. Don’t believe me? Keep scrolling.

One of my favorite events of a wedding to photograph is the getting ready portion. The bubbly get’s popped, friends and family begin to arrive, and the butterflies start to to flutter because it’s go-time. It allows me to get my creative juices flowing. The party began inside two suites at the historic Fremont Hotel. This hotel welcomes its guest with an impressive lobby that feels like you’ve been transported back to the 1930s. The gardens in the back offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. This was a perfect location for the first look that took place shortly after my arrival. After documenting their first look and shot the wedding party, we boarded a bus that transported us to San Francisco City Hall.

The ceremony took place on the top balcony over looking the entire atrium, surrounded by their closest friends and family who had gathered to witness this momentous occasion. The service was short and sweet, filled with plenty of laughs and hand-squeezing moments.

One of the highlights of the day for me was when it was time to do couple portraits. We had only 10 minutes before the buses arrived to take everyone to the reception, so we jumped into action directly after family photos. You have to act quickly as a wedding photographer, and it pays to have a plan ahead of time. In this case, I had an idea for a series of epic environmental portraits because the views inside San Francisco City Hall are simply too grand not to take advantage of.

Once I positioned Joelle and Kenny, I set my off-camera flash, slapped on a blue gel from MagMod, and ran across the atrium as quickly as I could. Once I dialed in my settings and composition, I snapped away, giving off posing directions over speaker phone with the groom.

After a few moments we had at least 10 awesome “big world, tiny people” themed portraits. My couples love these type of portraits, and I love creating them. One of these photos even won an international award from WedAward! Once our time was up, we rushed into the elevator and onto the buses.

The reception was held at a cozy restaurant called Firenze By Night. Their food would make any Italian food lover blush. The newlyweds and their guests indulged in a culinary journey, savoring dishes so delicious that would make any Italian food lover blush. The atmosphere was filled with laughter, joy, and the clinking of glasses as toasts were made in honor of the couple’s union. The last photo request by the bride was a photo at the bar. The result was a beautiful candid moment, with a priceless look on Kenny’s face looking at his new wife.

The San Francisco City Hall seamlessly blended tradition with modernity, allowing the couple to infuse their unique story into every detail. As the night concluded, the hall bore witness to the creation of a beautiful memory, and one of my favorite weddings of the year.

In their words

What was your favorite part of the wedding? Actually marrying my husband! But also celebrating with all of the special people around us before, during and after the ceremony!

What was something quirky or crazy that happened on the wedding day? My husband and I do not like to be the center of attention and become very uncomfortable with it, I think it was fun to have everyone understand that, poke a little fun at it and we could have fun making jokes about ourselves throughout the day/night.

What was the most special moment of your wedding day? Hearing Kenny’s vows and then enjoying a delicious and special dinner with all our close family and friends.

What do you look forward to most about being married? A future with my partner!

What were your 3 top priorities when you were first searching for a photographer? Someone we were familiar with and could comfortable with, someone we could be honest and open about what we wanted and someone with great experience.

Was finding & choosing a photographer easy? Why or why not? Yes because we already knew Courtland obtained all of those!

What were your first impressions of my photography/website? FANTASTIC! The photo of Kenny’s cousin Andy and her wife Megan kissing in the rain was amazing and breathtaking! It was one of the things that interested me in Courtland!

What did you most value about what I offered? Easy to work with, we could have fun, you are VERY creative and you helped not only us, but everyone around feel comfortable.

What was the least important feature about the services I offered? None.

What questions or concerns did you have when deciding whether to book with me? None.

What could have made booking a “no brainer” decision for you? It already was!

If you had three words to describe your experience with Courtland Photography, what would they be? Easy, fun, comfortable.

What is the most important thing people should know about working with me? You really know what you’re doing and you make an effort to be apart of then group which makes you very easy to work with!

How likely are you to recommend Courtland Photography to others? Very likely.

Do you feel like you got your money’s worth? Absolutely!

How would you rate your overall experience? 5/5

Why did you give that rating? You’re incredible Courtland! We really appreciate you and your work!

Please share with me anything else you would like to include! I’ve already got a few friends interested so I will be sending your contact their way!

Thank you! If you want wedding photography like this, please inquire to see if your date is available.

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