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.

Audrey + Josh | Intimate Wedding | Pismo Beach | Destination Wedding photographer

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

Annelise + Seth | Destination Wedding | Dinosaur Caves, Pismo Beach | Central Coast Destination Wedding photographer

Annelise and Seth wanted to have a destination wedding at one of their favorite locations, Pismo Beach, CA.

This adorable couple wanted to get away from hot Fresno to enjoy their nuptials at a cooler and beautiful location. They did bring the heat with them to the Central Coast. It was a very hot 96 degrees on the beach with no breeze. It was okay, there was so much love in the air.

How did you two meet?

"We met through a mutual friend at Starbucks. We enjoy going for walks, taking trips to the beach with our dog, Dobby, and watching our favorite nerdy tv shows."And they ARE nerds which was so much fun! Their wedding theme was

Dr. Who meets StarWars

I hadn’t watched Dr. Who so I was a little concerned over how the details would look. It was a fun-filled and nerdy atmosphere for all.

The couple did not have a first look, so all of the group images were done after the ceremony. After the beach ceremony, the group celebrated at the Pismo Beach RV Park.

There were fun details at the  reception. The reception location was adjacent to the beach, so we had fun doing sunset photos.

Thank you for choosing Renoda Campbell Photography as your photographer!

Venue: Dinosaur Caves, Pismo Beach

Second photographer: Kristin Raynor

Bohemian + Irish Wedding Take 2 | Vivien and Garrett | San Luis Obispo Wedding Photographer

Vivien and Garrett (a.k.a. vivandgar) are an amazing couple that dated for eight (8) years before getting married! They attended the same elementary and secondary schools! Their love lasted even when Vivien attended university in the Mid West!

Garrett proposed while we were backpacking in Croatia! The proposal was adorable and totally unexpected. (Garrett showed me the video.) Months later, they were married at Zion National Park in Utah.

Since they had the traditional intimate wedding in Utah, the Devaney clan wanted to have a fun second wedding/dance party in their home town…which is where I come along!

Vivien made it clear that she already took the “traditional” images I’m Utah, her focus for this family was to celebrate with those members who could not attend Utah and to have a fun Bohemian celebration…which they had!

Congratulations vivandgar! You know how to throw a great event!

 

Photography:

Renoda Campbell - Renoda Campbell Photography 

Cassia Karin - Cassia Karin Photography (second shooter)

Flower girl - Miss Naya

Officiant - All of the siblings on both side

Florist - Lavender Smiths

Caterer - Kevin Devaney and the SLO Rugby Club 

Signage = Kathy Kahn Devaney Design

Bridal gown designer,

Dress: Wear Your Love

Band: - Gillie Wheesels

Riley Foster Evans: highland bagpipes

Venue - The Jack House


 

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!

Elizabeth + Ryan | 1950’s Vintage Destination Wedding | Atascadero, CA

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!

Caterer:

Choco's Mexican Grill

Bridal Gown:

Modcloth

 

Allyson + Ryan | Coast Guard Destination Wedding | San Luis Obispo, CA

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!

Vendors:

 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

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. :)

Megan + Christopher | Intimate Wedding on the Beach | Cayucos, CA

Megan + Christopher | Intimate Wedding on the Beach | Cayucos, CA

It was a beautiful day for an intimate wedding in Cayucos, CA . Not a cloud in the sky, different hues of blue ocean water, whales spouting, beautiful beach sand, and Morro Rock in the background. Megan is a medical doctor and Christopher an oceanographer. Having a beach wedding incorporated both the love for their town, love for travel and Christopher’s love for the ocean.

The bride decided that she did not want a first look. Christopher and his groomsmen got ready at their home while Megan and her bridesmaids at the wedding site. As Nadine and Theo, the wedding coordinators placed appetizers for guests before the ceremony; a sneaky spotted seagull had other ideas about the food. The seagull stayed perched on the roof loudly squawking at Theo (and signaling three other seagulls nearby). As Theo put down the appetizer tray, the seagull swooped down to steal one of the larger appetizers! It was amazing to watch! I couldn’t believe what I had just seen! Needless to say, the appetizers went back into the house until the official cocktail hour! The seagull stayed perched on that roof for an additional 15 minutes for another snack, but there was NO MORE FOOD for him and his friends!

Twenty guests stood in a semi-circle on the beach witnessing the happy couple. The groom’s oldest son, played electric guitar during the bridal procession, and during another special time in the ceremony. The wedding not only joined Megan and Christopher in marriage, but also connected two families and four children. The family of six participated in a sand ceremony to join the two families and incorporating the beach theme. It was refreshing to see the children excited for the wedding as well as family and friends. Congratulations Megan and Christopher!

Vendors:

Bridal gown:                    David’s Bridal

Hairstylist:                       Kristina Kolkowski from Fiero Hair

Make Up:                         Jennifer Hix from The Queens Bees

Floral:                              Festive Designs

Bridesmaids’ dresses:     Amazon