Though the future of the festival is uncertain, this year being the final year in its current form, the imprint it has made on my life is remarkable. It is an honor to have been a part of something so rich in color and love over the years. It is the confluence of so many life-giving things: family and music and nature and food, friendship, art, conversation, and history. What a gift. Thank you to all who have made it what it is.Read More
It rained on Anna and Mike's wedding day. And not just a little bit of rain, more than I have ever seen on the Mendocino Coast. Sheets of water fell from the sky, pooled on the roads and made it scary to drive. Most of their guests came from out of town or flew across the county to be there, and Anna's main concern was that everyone make it in one piece. They had planned to get married in a field, and luckily, the Caspar Community Center could accommodate a last-minute indoor ceremony. So much love surrounded this couple, the rain stopped just before the sun went down, and these two got their moment in a field.Read More
Danielle and Brandon did it right. They said their vows on a bluff overlooking the town of Mendocino, surrounded by their closest friends and family, and celebrated with a beautiful brunch with ocean views. It was one of the warmest days I have ever spent on the Mendocino coast, and from a photographer's perspective, the bright, mid-morning sun proved to be a challenge. But the love and gratitude radiating from these two made every moment meaningful, and I am really proud to share these images. This is what can be achieved in two short hours of wedding coverage. Who needs golden hour when your couple is so full of light.Read More
An extraordinary amount of love goes into this festival and I feel privileged to be a part of it.Read More
The afternoon I photographed Matt and Laura was a dream. They suggested we do the shoot at Goldeneye Winery, and it could not have been more beautiful. The sun sets early and fast in the middle of November, and so we had a short window of good light. The reflections in the pond, the fall colors, the vineyard up the hillside. I love Anderson Valley, and I love photographing people who know how to have fun.Read More
I am honored to have been a part of this gorgeous wedding. The best kind of people, the most incredible property, so much thought and attention given to all the little details. Chris and Johanna, you make a perfect team, I know you will be very happy together.Read More
I envisioned these photos for months before we took them. And of course they turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined. They always do.Read More
Flash back to January. I remember it was raining in San Francisco (did it even rain at all in January?), and Nicole and I were getting our nails done. We were happy to spend the afternoon being pampered, catching up, and talking wedding. Ross had proposed on Christmas, things were starting to come together, and it was all very exciting. When Nicole asked if I would shoot her "getting ready photos" I was blown away. I knew that by September I would have eight months more experience under my belt and so hopefully I wouldn't let her down.Read More
Sunday feels a bit nostalgic, or maybe it only felt that way for me because it was our last day. For everyone else the festival is half way over, but even after two days, we have become a family. Pretty soon we’ll have to pack up camp and say goodbye.
The music on Sunday was fantastic. The Carper Family ladies are pure talent. Their music makes you want to dance, and I was serenaded on my walk down the dusty road to the garden, where I found Christa harvesting a box of veggies to send home with us. There is something that is pure magic about a woman in her garden, it is one of the most beautiful things.
Most of all, I feel blessed by the relationships and sense of community that comes from spending three days in the company of such quality individuals. The generosity astounds.
The festival continues through Monday night, and by Tuesday noon, there is hardly a trace. People return to their lives grateful for the chance to get away, for the days under the trees and the nights under the stars. For the music and the food and the people.
For more photos and to purchase prints from Sunday, click here.
To learn more about the festival, check out their website.
Saturday morning. I wake up early to catch the kitchen crew in the garden, I know they'll be harvesting for that night’s meal. And then I stay because only half the garden in bathed in morning light, mainly the sunflowers, they’re the tallest. The bees are making their rounds and I can hear the campers beginning to stir, hungry for breakfast. Music plays all day. The band that afternoon—Front Country—is terrific.
I am drawn to the children on Saturday. They are happy and relaxed and so beautiful. Excitement is building for the parade that evening, when the giant Jerry Garcia puppet will emerge and everyone will throw flowers because “that’s what love will make you do.” We rock out to Melvin Seals & JGB and again, everyone is smiling.
The meal that night is unbelievable. Coconut curry with fire roasted veggies served with red lentil dahl, basmati rice, rice noodle, cabbage, and tofu salad, and red onion, peach, and raisin chutney. A killer yogurt-cucumber and heirloom carrot raitta. And Mendocino coast salmon, Potter Valley pork, String Creek Lamb, and Magruder beef.
As if that’s not enough, when everyone’s done rocking out to Halden Wofford & The Hi-Beams, and we’ve eaten our fill of popcorn and cookies, and the BBQ is cooking wood to warm our bones, pizzas start flying out of the wood oven and the musicians get their instruments and play around the pizza oven until the early hours of Sunday. And everything is beautiful.
For more photos and to purchase prints from Saturday, click here.
(If you missed Friday, click here.)