Domonique + Joshua | Intercultural & Interfaith Wedding | Beach wedding photographer

Domonique + Joshua | Intercultural & Interfaith Wedding | Beach wedding photographerI absolutely love this couple. I have known Dom since she was an Engineering student at Cal Poly. I also remember her dating Josh during this time. I was so honored to have her ask Renoda Campbell Photography to photograph their wedding. Avila Beach is a very popular and beautiful destination. There were many tourists watching the ceremony as it took place. The couple also received many congratulations as they walked to the ceremony site. During the ceremony, the couple both jumped the broom, an African-American tradition, and had  the breaking of the glass.

The reception was a lot of fun and jam packed! They played the shoe game . Instead of using shoes, they used Barbie dolls dressed in bridal attire. There was also the Hora  where the bride and groom were lifted on chairs during the Hava Nagila song.

Below is how Josh, the groom discussed their romance on the knot:

“Although the story really begins the week before Freshman year started at a fraternity house and includes many nights dancing together at parties, we are going to start our story halfway through our first year at college. Thanks to having mutual friends dating each other the couple began to spend more time together. Eventually, near the end of Winter quarter, they started spending some time alone(1). This mainly included him helping with flashcards and buying her Starbucks as a reward, as well as going on late night walks discovering the hidden parts of campus using only the moon as their light. She claims that she wasn't falling for him, but the many late night taquito meals she provided(2) and early morning smoothie/donut deliveries directly to his room beg to differ. One night they went with some friends on a night hike to Pirate’s Cove (where he later proposed) to watch the sunrise, not realizing that you cannot watch a sunrise over the Pacific. This is the agreed upon date where they started liking each other, though we can see that is not the case for her. Before the quarter ended she invited him to play on the softball team she was starting up in Spring. Even though you can take one look at him and clearly see he is athletic enough to play any sport at a high level, he was able to  convince her that she needed to come over during Spring break to give him some lessons on throwing. This was clearly supposed to take place as she somehow got lost on a two-stop BART ride, but that did not prevent this practice from happening (although he should have picked her up in his car).

When they returned to school and as the sun began to come out for Spring quarter, so did a couple of sweet and odd quirks. She began her habit of drawing him cards for different occasions; that was sweet. During down time while hanging out she would draw her made up character Dog-Boy everywhere, including his arms and legs; that was slightly odd. He was also given a very short list of foods that she was willing to eat–and a page and a half long list of foods that she would not even touch. This was perfect for him as he was planning on asking her on their first date. The date did not start well for her as she spilled yellow sunflower pollen all over his white tee. He laughed it off though and they took the bus downtown to have some Firestone and frozen yogurt. One night he gained the courage to ask her to be his girlfriend. She seemed hesitant at first, clearly pretending(3), but the answer was always going to be yes. As the year came to an end he was worried they weren’t going to see each other over the summer and things would come to an end. Even though they did not have a plan, he clearly remembers her last day on campus Freshman year in her white and yellow dress with the big bow on it with the biggest and most beautiful smile he had ever seen, and knew he would make it work. It ended up not being hard at all as they only lived 20 minutes from each other and both got jobs at the mortuary. Somehow, even though he got her the job, she got paid more. He’s still bitter to this day about that.

The rest of their time in college provided plenty more chances to grow together and experience new adventures. During their Sophomore year he broke his ankle a few hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve (thanks to one of the groomsmen) and was on crutches for a few months. She was then tasked with driving him around and helping him with his chores. They then spent that summer teaching S.T.E.M. classes to an elementary school in Oakland(4). Their Junior year they took their first big trip to Pittsburgh, PA for the Nationals conference for the National Society of Black Engineers. That summer they spent together in SLO taking online classes and working at their job in the administration building (this job she got him). Finally in their 4th year they started doing things outside of SLO, such as taking day trips down to Santa Barbara, and finding their favorite coffee shop in Morro Bay. At the end of that year he graduated and moved back to the Bay Area while she stayed in SLO to complete her final year. They spent many nights video chatting each other and split traveling to see each other every other weekend, cramming as much fun as they could in such a short amount of time.

While things seemed so promising, their path took a turn for the worst. Even a glorious trip to Brazil for the World Cup could not help them through their differences on how they wanted to live the next few years of their lives. He then moved to live in San Francisco and she lived in Pleasanton. Even though they were an hour apart and rarely spoke, the love and chemistry was never lost. Eventually he moved out of the city, quit his job, and did some traveling. Before him leaving for Europe they had dinner and feelings started to rekindle. Upon coming back, things picked up right where they were left off. She visited him in Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve and they eventually deemed themselves a couple again. After a few more months of enjoying their newfound relationship he finally decided it was time to propose. He took her down to SLO, to Pirates Cove, the place they agreed they first started liking each other, just as the sun was setting. He snuck her friends down to take pictures, but they came out too early. He then put the ring on her finger, forgetting to ask her the question. She kindly reminded him and then said “Yes!”. They then popped champagne and spent the next 10 months planning the wedding." 

The Bride’s Footnotes:

  1. "Most of these new hangouts were sparked by him “forgetting” his glasses in her dorm,  and leaving again without them.
  2. Her Costco taquito bill tripled per month due to this.
  3. She was not pretending.
  4. She enjoyed watching him play soccer with the kids during recess."

I have no doubt that this lovely couple will have a successful marriage with a lot of love, sense of humor.

Lylah | 5th Birthday Party | San Luis Obispo | Special Events Photographer

I had the pleasure to photograph this beautiful girl right after she was born. Now she is 5 years old and is even more special to me.  Lylah is smart, strong, kind, and caring. She has good friends now that she will probably be friends with for life. She was so excited to share her 5th birthday with her friends.

Her mom and dad did an amazing job organizing Lylah’s party.  I can only imagine what her Sweet 16 will look like! Balloons, cake, pizza , friends and freeze dance were the highlights of the party. Her younger sisters also seemed to have a great time at the party.

Happy birthday sweet girl! Wishing you a lifetime of love, laughter and joy!

Venue: San Luis Obispo Country Club

Birthday Girl’s dress: Amazon

Crown: Little Blue Olive

DJ: LaDell Erby - Epic Entertainment 

Photo booth: Epic Entertainment

Cake vendor: Christine's Cake Creations

Alex | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018 | High School Senior Photographer

Alex was a great Senior. He has aspirations to become a mechanical engineer and after college, work in the Automobile industry. I wouldn’t be surprised if he invents and patents a new engine part or something. He also requested to be photographed with this awesome black Ford Mustang convertible. I gladly said yes.

Best of luck with Senior year Alex.

Matthew | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018 | High School Senior photographer

Matthew and I went on an adventure for his senior portraits. We decided to shoot at the Pismo Beach Pier, which is under construction!

We actually went around the construction and found great locations where he could be photographed. We found lots of pillars (wood and metal) to give us different textures in the images.

In speaking with Matthew, he wants to go to university to study engineering. We are so fortunate in San Luis Obispo that our local university is in the Top 3 for Engineering and Architecture. Since he loves San Luis Obispo and Engineering, his dream school is our local university, Cal Poly (www.calpoly.edu)

Best of luck with Senior year Matthew. Let me know which college you choose. (wink, wink).

Luca | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018 | High School Senior photographer

“His name is Luca…” Does anyone know of this song by the singer, Suzanne Vega? When I initially saw this high school senior’s name, I started humming the song. Sad song, but uses a cool name.

I had a fun time with Luca. He was very specific on the area where he wanted to be photographed, so I took on the challenge. We came to an agreement and I think the images came out great!

I was excited to hear what Luca wanted to do post-graduation. He plans on being a politician. This is a really tough job, but we need strong young leaders right now. I am confident that he will succeed. He is currently an officer in Youth and Government (just like one of my previous seniors, Eva).

Y & G gives high school students an introduction to legislation (researching, writing bills and implementation among other parts of the political process).

Best of luck with Senior year Luca. Let me know which college you choose.

Michael | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018 | High School Senior Photographer

I am proud to say that I photographed the last three Moore sons for their high school senior portraits!  

Michael plans to study Business with a Sports Management concentration. He will do well in this field due to his love of sports (and making money!) .  His brothers and he played Varsity basketball at the high school and he and one other brother played Varsity football.

I had a feeling that Michael wasn’t too interested in having his portraits taken, but he did very well during his session and I tried to make it as painless as possible for him.

Michael, let me know which university you choose! Have a great senior year! I may see you again to photograph YOU at a basketball game!

Eva | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018 | High School Senior Photographer

Eva and my daughter were high school participants of Youth & Government. I loved hearing young adults learning about and wanting to get involved in the political process. 

I had a BLAST with Eva! She totally rocked it. The location she chose had fun geometric shapes and so did her clothing! She had a vision and it worked out well.

I love it when students have some idea about what they want to study at university.  Eva wants to study the Humanities. I do see law in her future as well. Okay, enough of my future predictions. Eva, have a great Senior year and let know which Liberal Arts college you choose.

Maya | High School Senior Portrait Photographer | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018

As a photographer, you never know if a high school senior is going to have a great look in front of the camera. I am always pleasantly surprised when these seniors SLAY their sessions. I have been so fortunate that each one does an amazing job!

Maya is no exception. She came dressed in a Free People "esque" dress and was amazing! So great, that I felt inspired to blog her pictures in black and white to make an even greater statement! I also loved her freckles, so kept them in each image.

Maya is regal and confident. She knows what she wants to do for her career…and she will be one of the individuals improving our society and our world.

She is my 3rd or 4th student that aspires to be a doctor! This means lots of schooling, and very challenging classes. The San Luis Obispo Class of 2018 has really impressed me so far, and school has just started!

Best of luck during your senior year Maya and please let me know which college you choose!

Amber + Red | Non-traditional wedding photographer | San Luis Obispo

Photographing intimate weddings, weddings lasting less than 5 hours and with less that 50 people is something I truly enjoy. Although I photograph many traditional weddings, my newest clients, Amber + Red had a totally different concept about their special day. Their wedding was a Faery themed wedding. The guests dressed as woodland creatures, while others dressed in really fun costumes.

Amber and Red met years ago through friends in San Luis Obispo, CA. Although they have now moved to the Pacific Northwest, San Luis Obispo is still one of their favorite places. They shared their love of this town through this special ceremony.

Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

Lukas | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018

Lukas!!!!! I had such a great time with Lukas. As a mom, I appreciate courteous and communicative people. Lukas is one of those individuals.  During our session, we inadvertently blocked walkways and he greeted almost every person before he moved out of the way.

Lukas plans to study Pre-Med and will go out into the world to help his community. He is good at Math and Science, but also has the proper communication skills to work in the Pre-Med profession. I cannot stress the importance of bedside manner when one wants to possibly become a doctor. By the way he treated the general public during the session, he will be a great physician.

Best of luck Lukas. Let me know which university you choose and best of luck with your noble career.

Britney | Senior Photography | SLOHS | Class of 2018

As soon as I walked onto the Avila Pier, I noticed Britney and her parents looking over the side of the pier. Unfortunately we didn't see any whales that evening.  It is my goal to arrive at least 15 minutes early to every session. It was a very bright evening, so I was excited to have two photo assistants (aka parents) and kept them busy working while watching their beautiful and confident daughter have her photos taken. Britney was the perfect model! She smiled on cue and could “smize” (smile with her eyes) whenever I needed her to.

I enjoy taking the time to speak with every senior during the session. In speaking with Britney, her goal is to attend university and become a CPA. I was so impressed with her goals and aspirations. I see her getting involved in the college accounting clubs as well as other business clubs. I know she will be very successful in all that she chooses to do.

Britney, wishing you the best of luck in your senior year and let me know which university you choose!

Shane | Senior Portraits | San Luis Obispo High School | Class of 2018

As a former Academic Advisor and now photographer, I enjoy speaking with High School Seniors about their future. Although my clients fill out a brief questionnaire before the photo session, it is always a goal of mine to speak with High School seniors at the beginning of the session to get to know them a little better, to find out some information about me and to feel comfortable in front of a camera. Shane was great!

1.     He has very high expectations of himself and his next steps in life.

2.     He had the GQ look down!

3.     He felt comfortable doing whatever crazy requests I had for him.

Best of luck with your Senior year and let me know which college (of the many you will apply) you choose!

Tyler | Headshot Photography | San Luis Obispo, CA

As a portrait photographer, I always enjoy photographing clients who are excited with the outcome of their images. Tyler has always been that way, vivacious, strategic when posing, enjoys life and can’t wait until her online gallery is up!

Tyler is an actress who updates her headshot images bi-annually. I enjoy when she visits San Luis Obispo to hear about the fun things she is up to. During the storytelling process, I enjoy living in the moment with my clients, being that "butterfly" on the wall.

Tyler enjoy your Southern California summer, audition frequently, and let me know when you’ve scored that TV pilot or film! If there are any casting directors reading this, consider Tyler for a possible part in your project.

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Film vs Digital photography - which do you prefer?

When my father passed away, he left me one medium format film camera Mamiya 645. I had it looked over, cleaned and was ready for use; until I didn't touch it for YEARS! That beautiful camera loved by my dad stayed on my shelf. This was the time when people were putting down their film cameras and going digital all the way. I felt he would prefer for me to purchase a digital camera and use it frequently vs. using a film camera sporadically. I unfortunately sold the camera to purchase my first digital camera.

One of my former graduate students was a camera collector. When he moved from the West Coast to the Mid-West, he gave me his Mamiya 645! I cried, knowing my dad would be happy that I have the camera that he loved. I did not have it cleaned this time, and it stayed on the shelf for 3+ years before I wanted to start a relationship with it.

When I sold the first Mamiya, digital images did not have the caliber or look of a film picture. I succumbed to the digital way of life and after years of shooting digital, I am interested in using film again. There are quite a few wedding photographers in my area and in California who shoot a hybrid of half-digital/half-film and I am leaning towards that way of shooting weddings. 

I purchased my first light meter last week, so that I can make sure my lighting is correct, but it's really scary starting this new adventure. I am so excited to start this adventure! I am shooting a wedding on July 1 so please send your positive thoughts and prayers when I do this. Here are some images from my playing around with the Mamiya. My real test will be in two weeks at the wedding. I'll keep you posted. :)

Rachel + Robert | Intimate Wedding photography | Santa Maria, CA | Renoda Campbell Photography

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In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”  --Maya Angelou

I was so happy for Rachel and Robert's wedding. Rachel is a kind, demure woman and she meets a good man,  Robert who loves her and enjoys to make her smile and laugh. Seeing the two of them together is refreshing.

It was an emotional wedding for all of the guests. As Rachel walked down the aisle, her son sang a beautiful song. To see Robert’s expression as Rachel walked down the aisle had the audience tearing up. Rachel's church members led the couple in a prayer circle. The couple participated in the sand ceremony joining both families together. All guests felt the love throughout the ceremony and reception.