Christopher is not one who enjoys photos so I had to work FAST. My smallest package session time is for 30 minutes. Many of the high school males refer this timeframe. I had my locations pretty much scoped out and was prepared to give him a lot of direction. I was wrong! Christopher changed poses of facial expressions every four clicks! This was more fun than I thought! We stayed within a 1 block radius to complete our session. I believe a photographer needs this “speed session” every now and then. It keeps your mind sharp. Thank you Chris for being my “emergency test”.
OMG! I had a blast with Dylan! I expected him to be a great senior portrait model, but he exceeded my expectations.
Dylan was calm, cool and collected for his session. I gave him very little direction and these amazing photos came to light. I asked him if he had modeled in the past, and he hadn’t. Okay #modelingagency, sign him!
Some of the things we talked about were his goals after high school. One of his goals is to work with animals. He has the temperament and positivity that animals will trust quickly.
Best of luck with your senior year!
Unlike most high school seniors who want you to photograph them with their cars, Michael wanted to take photos in front of a private jet. Can you say “high aspirations”! :) Yes, he plans on becoming a pilot. He even plans on attending a university that specializes in flying or being a pilot.
The world is truly at his feet. Congratulations Michael! I hope to have you fly me to London someday! :). Thank you to ACI Jet Center for allowing us to shoot around your beautiful property| #flyinghigh, #pilotlife, #leavingonajetplane, #pilot, #renodacampbellphoto @acijet
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:
- "Most of these new hangouts were sparked by him “forgetting” his glasses in her dorm, and leaving again without them.
- Her Costco taquito bill tripled per month due to this.
- She was not pretending.
- 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.
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
Not many people know this, but San Luis Obispo, CA is a popular destination wedding location. Audrey was a very special bride to me. She was my second photographer for one summer in San Luis Obispo. We kept in contact even after she moved to Northern California.
On our photography journeys, we would talk about our love for photography, cameras, (we both use Canon cameras) and our careers in photography. We dreamed big and made each other our accountability partners, until her big move North.
When she said she was getting married, I was so excited for her! Not only that I would be her photographer, but I wanted her to find love and be happy in her private and professional life.
Here’s what Audrey had to say about how she met Josh: “We met in the 6th Grade. I always called him ‘my best guy friend’ until now.” Audrey said she turned around one day after many years and thought differently about him. Their friendship turned into romance. They had their son and one night, he proposed to her in their son’s room.
Both Audrey and Josh love the outdoors and the ocean, so chose Pismo Beach, CA as their wedding destination. They were also the first to have their reception at the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach. The family and friends who attended had a great time! I look forward to seeing how their family as well as their love grows.
Congratulations A & J!
Wedding dress: Miosa Bride
Caterer: Morro Bay Farms BBQ & Catering
Second Photographer: Nadeen Sparks Photography
Wedding venue: Pismo Beach, CA
Reception Venue: Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Pismo Beach
It's High School Senior session time!!!!! Yay!!!! I LOVE photographing Seniors! Their enthusiasm for the new chapter in their in their lives is so exciting!
Samantha is no exception. She knows what she wants to do in life and is ready to begin her journey, after Senior year, of course. I was fortunate enough to photograph her sister, Hanna two years ago as well. Both women are driven, like helping others and interested in the Medical profession. Hanna is currently studying Nursing and Samantha plans to do the same!
I admire people who choose the medical field. I think of them as detectives figuring out what is going on in our human bodies!
Samantha, let me know when you get into the Seattle U Nursing program. With your ambition, and determination you will go far! :)
The month of December is the month of celebrations; Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice to name a few. BUT, it is also a time to celebrate Cal Poly seniors who graduate in the Fall. Approximately 900-1,000 graduates will receive diplomas and turn their tassels to the left while their families, faculty, administrators, and friends watch this accomplishment.
Karina is one of those seniors graduating in December. I met her in 2013 as an excited Freshman (we called them FIRST year's at the university). To see her now as a senior photographer, it gives me such pride. Cal Poly is not an easy university to graduate. She was patient, persistent and practical while attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Liberal Arts. Congratulations Karina and to your family. I celebrate with you!
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).
“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.
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 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.
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!!!!! 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.
As a wedding photographer in San Luis Obispo, each wedding is different and beautiful in its own way. I enjoy photographing non-traditional as well as traditional intimate weddings. Elizabeth and Ryan’s wedding was a 1950’s inspired destination wedding. The couple enjoy visiting San Luis Obispo county so it was perfect for them to have a casual home wedding in this area.
The happy couple met working together at a community college in Southern California. Both were sign language interpreters who interpreted a German class for a Deaf student. The rest…was history…
In addition to their love for sign language, the couple love crafting. The cactus canvas image, created by our groom Ryan, was for guests to sign in. Cacti paintings created by Ryan were all over the grounds, which were really beautiful. In lieu of traditional flowers, one of Elizabeth’s friends created her paper bouquet as well as paper flowers for Elizabeth’s veil and Ryan’s boutonniere.
The wedding ceremony and reception were emotional, and full of support and love from the couple and their guests. During the ceremony, the couple created a time capsule that was buried on the grounds and the couple would come back in 10 years to celebrate.
I also enjoy seeing the bride and groom’s culture infused into the wedding ceremony. The couple incorporated an Indonesian tradition of joining the bride and groom’s hands, which was beautiful as well. They also included the red cord around the bride’s ring with a small sentiment of Ryan’s blessing to her.
All guests and couple had a great time. Congratulations Elizabeth and Ryan!
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!
Although I have lived in San Luis Obispo for many years, it wasn’t until I became a photographer that I started to venture out into our community to scout out interesting locations for High School senior locations. San Luis Obispo County people, you MUST get out and see our area’s beautiful surroundings! Lemmy and his family hadn’t visited our location before. Now, they have a new place to visit and enjoy.
Lemmy, have a great Senior year and let me know which university you choose!
Don’t you love hearing the stories of how a couple meet and how the proposal takes place? Call me too inquisitive, but those two questions are the two that I usually ask.
Allyson & Ryan met while working together on a Coast Guard ship. The military doesn’t allow outward relationships, so they had a hidden relationship for about two years.
Allyson and Ryan were the cutest and calmest couple on their wedding day. If they were nervous, one never knew. The two do not live in the area, so their wedding was a San Luis Obispo destination wedding. Allyson still serves in the Coast Guard so planning, especially a destination wedding would seem problematic, but she made it look easy. As their San Luis Obispo wedding photographer, we communicated a few times on the phone and online to ensure their photographic ideas were honored.
It was a beautiful day in July 2017: the sky was clear and the golden hills of San Luis Obispo were ready to celebrate with the happy couple and their families. The venue, The Prefumo Crest Inn stands at the top of Prefumo Canyon with 360 degree views of San Luis Obispo, Morro Rock, the golden California hills and the ocean. The fog did roll in heavy during the reception.
It was an emotional wedding. The couple presented each other with wedding gifts before the ceremony. Allyson received a beautiful kite and infinity necklace while Ryan received a completed journal written by Allyson. The ceremony was beautiful, but the couple more than anything wanted to celebrate this great event with their families.
One surprise of the day was the gift given to Allyson from the Chavira sisters (Ryan’s sisters). It was a Coast Guard jacket with her new married name that she could wear while on the ship serving her country.
When the fog rolled in from Avila Beach, the sky turned grey, jackets came on and blankets were shared, so Allyson’s new jacket was perfect to wear during the reception.
Instead of a wedding cake, the happy couple decided to have a pie that they loved, pumpkin pie as the dessert of choice. It was a great day. Congratuations A + R!
Florist | Ellen Benner, Burlap bouquets
Caterer | The Rib Line
Bridal gown designer | Wine Country Bride | Santa Rosa, CA
Venue: | Perfumo Crest Inn |San Luis Obispo, CA
For the past 29 years, Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) has celebrated the graduating African American students by honoring them with a Black Commencement ceremony held on the Friday before the larger commencements. At Cal Poly, the African American student population has been less than 1% of the general student population (147 students of21,300 students according to the Cal Poly 2017 PolyView) for a few years now. The graduating committee worked really hard to make this event a success for this small and prestigious group. The theme for this graduating class was “Love, Integrity and Enlightenment.” The event started off with the Sitkoto Drummers. Their style of African drumming shaped how the rest of the commencement would be, soulful and lively. The keynote speaker was Bri Blue. Her keynote and take-aways for the graduating seniors was not just for the students, but for all who attended. One nugget of information that I will remember is “flowers wilt, be the tree” in all that you try to accomplish. The students are always so excited to receive their stoles made of kente cloth woven from Ghanaian craftsmen.The traditions of this commencement like many of the other cultural commencements (Chicana-Latino, Native American, Middle Eastern, Lavender and Asian Pacific Islander) are very heart felt and family focused. I look forward to next year’s festivities.
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. :)