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One Love| Anderson Valley Wedding Photographer

Kendra and Lee. Your marriage celebration was simply breath taking. We can not begin to tell you how beautiful it really was. You are a sweet sweet couple. Your Our family is amazing.

We always love it when our clients also happen to be our family.  This last weekend’s wedding was immensely cool for both Cameron and me. From hanging out with family we have known and loved for years, and meeting new family we didn’t know anything about, to discovering new friends, it was a great experience for us both. Thank you Kendra and Lee for including us in you special day.

The Boonville Hotel is outstanding. If you have been thinking about a getaway, Anderson Valley is THE place to play!  Serious.

We can’t say better things about the team that made Kendra and Lee’s day a success. Big Ups to The Boonville Hotel for Event Styling and Catering.

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Kendra and Lee chose to forgo renting chairs. Because of this, they opted to use the chairs that the hotel could provide. The eclecticism of the chairs fit perfectly with the over all feeling of the venue. Perfectly styled if you ask us. But who are we right?!?

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Not a lot of detail was needed to add beauty to this venue, but what the staff brought to the table was fitting for the location and spoke volumes about the couple and their heritage.

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Don’t even get us started on the food! Crab and Shrimp Ceviche, Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Fire Roasted Pizza were on the menu for the evening. Cooked to perfection and served with style. I think Table 128 at The Boonville Hotel comes by the slogan “so hot your cool, so cool your hot” honestly.

A shout out to Amanda at Anderson Valley Salon for hair and make-up.

Kendra and Lee’s message to their guests was “One love, one life, let’s get together and feel alright.”  We don’t think that any other phrase could describe their celebration more perfectly.  Complete with a bagpipe performance from Kendra’s Brother, the ceremony was heart felt and encircling.

Of course you can’t have a celebration with out two lovely people in love with each other.  Kendra and Lee, you are a beautiful couple inside and out.

Thank you again Kendra and Lee for inviting us to share in your celebration! Hope you are having a wonderful honeymoon!!

To see more photos of this amazing event please click here to visit their facebook album. Of course, if you ever have any questions or would like to book your own session please contact us at mcfaddenstudios@gmail.com.

Peace.

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Fort Bragg California Photographer| Communication is an Art

The Art of Communication. Yes, communication really is an art. Communication takes finesse, thought, the ability to listen, time, and most importantly patience.  Communication is the key to any business relationship.  Generation X as we like to call ourselves has communication down to a science. Sometimes to our own demise. With email and social media at our fingertips via our smartphone, tablets, and even laptops it is virtually unnecessary to carry on a conversation face to face.

This may be the reason why I put such a HUGE price into sitting face to face with every. single. one. of my prospective brides. I want to know if we can carry on a conversation, if we are compatible and share a vision.

All that being said, we are changing our consult structure just a bit for the 2013 wedding season. We will get into the details a bit more as the time comes, but let me just say, I think our clients are going to love it just as much as we are. We will give you a sneak peak as the 2012 wedding season comes to a close. It’s unique and innovative. We hope you like it as much as we think we will.

These are just somethings that I have been pondering today. Happy Tuesday!

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Mendocino County Wedding Photographer|Dylan and Michaela

What is more romantic than a proposal by burried treasure?  Yes folks, Dylan built Michaela a treasure chest, burried it on Pudding Creek Beach and took her on a treasure hunt.  He even orchestrated a photographer (sadly I did not know the beautiful couple at that time) for the day along with a videography crew.   I mean, Dylan is what you would call a true romantic.   After hearing the proposal story, I was not surprised by the labor of love that went into their wedding day.

Our morning started off at Mendocino Baptist Church. The hustle and bustle of  wedding day preparations was alive in the sancuatary. Everyone was excited and happy to see each other.   Alan Reaves would officiate the wedding ceremony.  He was alive with excitement for this young couple who he had watched grow in their love for each other.

Cyprus Gove is a very beautiful location for a wedding. February did not provide the most pleasant weather. Despite that, the ceremony was beautiful.

It was a tad blustery out at Cyprus Grove for bridals, so we headed over to the Mendocino Hotel and captured the love between these two wonderful newlyweds there.

McFadden Studios

McFadden Studios

McFadden Studios

Even more refreshing than the romance was this couples love for the Lord and their devotion to keeping each-other pure prior to marriage.  Yesterday, Cameron and I got to witness their Very. First Kiss. EVER.  Some may say that it’s old-fashioned, unheard of, not possible, but for Dylan and Michaela, it is true.  I will never forget the excitement in the preachers voice as he introduced them as husband and wife. I don’t think anyone will ever forget Dylan twirling Michaela in the air as they celebrated their union.  The day was so special.  It was an honor and a privilege to be invited to share it with them.

McFadden Studios

I had the pleasure of attending church services with Dylan’s family when I was a child. I also was one of his father’s students in Junior High School.  So for me, it was like watching old friends celebrate a joyous union.  Siblings were on hand to make the event even great.  One of my favorite photos from the day is of Dylan and Michaela surrounded by Dylan’s Brothers and their wives.  They wanted a photo together welcoming their “newest” sister to the family.

Desserts were prepared by family and friends for the dessert table. Just another example of the love that was put into this special day.

Karina’s Catering prepared a family style meal.  Paella is Karina’s specialty and it was amazing. She prepared it out on the back deck of  the reception hall. We had the opportunity to take some photos. It was one of the most beautiful dishes either one of us has seen.

Flowers were provided by Susy Kitaharah of The Garden Cart.  Michaela wanted something like wild flowers.  I had the opportunity to speak with Susy for one fleeting second at the ceremony, she was so concerned about whether the boutonnieres were going to be the right color.  She chose green rose buds and they were PERFECT!

McFadden Studios

Thank you Dylan and Michaela for sharing the beginning of your ever after with us. We are immensely honored and overwhelmingly blessed by both of you.   For just a few more photos from this beautiful day head over to their facebook album and show some love.
As always, if you have an questions for us, or would like to sit down and tell us YOUR love story, please don’t hesitate to contact us at mcfaddenstudios@gmail.com or 707.964.7150.


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Our Love Story Part 2| Looks Can Be Decieving

In Our Love Story|Part One you learned what a “real date” looks like.  Apparently Cameron is just a hopeless romantic, what can I say.  Today, a totally new chapter to the story. In which you find out, something you may not know about either one of us.

Did I mention that when I met Cameron for the very first time he was the pastor of my church? No, dear readers, your eyes are not deceiving you. Cameron and I met in church.  I had a beautiful 2 year old at the time. You may know him. He’s my eldest child.  He was adorable then like he is now.

I walked into the sanctuary that day as I always had before. My 2 year old toddling along with my parents a few feet behind me.  At first glance, Cameron thought I was single. He took one look at me, thought, “now there’s a girl I would like to date”. I took one look at him, with his goatee and rugged good looks, thought, “pastor, no way, never going to happen”.  In my mind, Cameron was unattainable.

I sat down and prepared to listen to a sermon from our new, very good looking, young pastor. Aiden crawled up in my lap.  Cameron noticed Aiden.  Thought “she’s married” and crossed me off the list.

Boy were we both terribly wrong about each-other.  See, looks CAN be very deceiving. What you think is true about someone may very well turn out to be completely false.  At first glance, I was a married woman. In Cameron’s head my husband was off at war, working, or hunting.  I thought, pastor of a church, not my type. not at all. I am the “bad boy” type of girl. I mean I had just finished up a few dates with a Harley Davidson riding, smooth talking, firefighter just weeks prior to our first encounter.  Little did we both know, there was a much bigger picture to the whole ordeal. We would soon find out many truths about each-other. We would go through some life changing moments together.  And that my friends, is why, looks can be deceiving.

Stay tuned for part 3.  I think this series will have several parts. I’m enjoying telling the story.

Cheers,

Chelsi

As always if you have any questions about our photography or if you just want to drop us a line, our email is mcfaddenstudios@gmail.com


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Mendocino Wedding Photographer {Attitude VS Gratitude}

For those of you who are reading,

Let me begin by saying, it is totally not in my character to come unprepared to any situation.  That being said. . .

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a couple who will be getting married in June.  The morning that I was to meet with them, I exported a slideshow of our most recent work from Photoshop Lightroom 3 (for those of you who have no idea what that is, let’s just say, it’s a digital darkroom) onto my handy dandy flash drive. When I went to make sure that the file was there I found that the program had exported my slideshow as a MPG4 file. I had never seen such a file before nor would any computer in my procession open such a file.  I was in panic mode. I had two hours before my meeting.  I am always a nervous wreck walking into a consult but this just made it fifteen times worse.  I went back into Lightroom to see if I could export it some other way. Much to my dismay, after exporting, LR3 ate removed my slideshow.  I didn’t have time to remake it.  Needless to say, I walked into this consult, flash drive in hand, hoping and praying that the wedding coordinator’s computer could access the file.  It couldn’t.  I was completely and utterly unprepared.  My hard fast rule is to always be prepared.

This particular day, I failed.   However, I put a big smile on my face anyway and decided to roll with the punches. We had a nice chat, I left my information for them to contact me, and we said our goodbyes.

Needless to say, I did not get hired to shoot this particular wedding.  I walked out of the meeting knowing that I had not made the best first impression possible. I walked away knowing that they would choose someone else.  You know what, I was okay with that.   WHAT?!?   Yes dear readers, collegues, partners, friends, I was OKAY with it.

I don’t shoot weddings because I have to. I shoot weddings because I want to. I shoot weddings because I believe that every bride and groom deserves a flawless, stress free, happy day.  Hopefully they only get one day to celebrate a beautiful and perfect union. That’s why friends, I am okay with not being hired by ever single person that I have a consult with. That’s why I am not jealous of other photographers in my area.  I am grateful for the opportunity to meet with whoever is somehow inspired by my work or has been referred to me by someone who is. I am grateful to live in a place wrought with beauty.  I am grateful to be surrounded by so many talented people in this wonderful industry.

When I walk into a consult  I hope to bring with me something that inspires people.  If they LOVE my work. Great.  If they don’t, that’s fine too.  More importantly, I want them to LOVE me.  Yes I say LOVE.  I hope that if you are a newly engaged bride searching for a photographer that YOU like Love the person that you are going to hire. You LOVE their work. You LOVE their style. You LOVE the shoes they wear. You LOVE their personality. I will go so far as to say you LOVE their letterhead.  It is so so so important that you are completely comfortable with your photographer.  Many things will disappear and be forgotten from your wedding day. Your photos are forever.  Make them count. LOVE your photographer. Spend the money and the time.  Do your research.

So that friends, is why, I’m OKAY with it. I figured that it’s better to have gratitude than an attitude. Am I right?   And because no post is complete without a photo, I will leave you with this one:

“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” -Elizabeth Edwards

Cheers,

Chelsi