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Condor’s Nest Ranch | Wedding Venue


A common question I get from photographers is how do I handle all the post production when I shoot 4-5 sessions a week.  A common comment I get from non-photographers is how easy my job is to only work a few hours a day.  Recently, I did some calculations and I shoot about 14 hrs a week, on average.  The part that I didn’t realize until I hired an assistant is that between my assistant and I, we edit for at least 40 hours a week.  After you add the hours spent on email, meetings, prepping… there’s not much time left for me.  My new years resolution for this year was to seek balance.  I LOVE what I do, so it’s really easy to be a workaholic.  I need to consciously make more time for myself.  One way I’m hoping to achieve more balance is by shooting film.  It feels so good to send off my film at the end of a shoot and just wait for the surprise a few days later… resuming my life in the meantime.  It’s like Christmas each time I get my scans back.  This was the first time I shot 100% film.  I didn’t even bring my digital camera.  Since this session, I’ve shot 2 other sessions 100% film!  Oh yeah, and this is also my first time shooting with my new (to me) Contax 645.  I love how creamy it is!


Huge thanks to Alice for setting up this fun shoot at Condor’s Nest Ranch.  Condor’s Nest Ranch is such a unique and gorgeous venue for weddings!  When we left LA/OC, the weather was super sunny, but once we got into SD, it was super cloudy!  As soon as all models and photographers arrived, it was pouring.  Lucky for me, my first set of models, Natalie Brewter & Rob Burdick, were total troopers and were willing to shoot in the rain!  I wondered if my Contax was okay in the rain though…


The gorgeous styling was done by Aimee Eyre & Annaiz Rzepka.  The perfect hair & makeup was done by Clara Kim & Karla Montero.



Condor’s Nest Ranch had the cutest animals!  That little donkey above was one of our favorites, but don’t let the cuteness fool you!  He was actually one of the meanest animals on the farm.  While we were shooting, all the animals suddenly went nuts.  All the animals started to run around and scream.  We look over and this donkey was chasing the lamas, who was chasing a goat, who was chasing a horse… you get the idea.


And who can resist a red barn??  On a side note, we went into the barn and saw the cutest baby goats!!  We wanted to play with them, but mama was quite protective.




Such beautiful horses… who will try to eat your sleeves (Rob has stains to prove it).



Natalie & Rob are so awesome.  You couldn’t tell from looking at them, but they were freezing, rained on, & avoiding the horses who wanted to eat everything the wore.


One of my favorite portrait:


Our next 2 models, Matthew Lindbald and Kaylie Wilson, were also total troopers and braved the pouring rain!



Isn’t Kaylie gorgeous?




It was totally pouring by this point.  You can see how thick the clouds are!



So after all the models left and when we were getting ready to leave, of course, the sun comes out!  I really wanted to test out my Contax in different lighting situations, especially back lighting, so thanks Serena & Sarah for modeling for me.


Sarah’s makeup looks awesome, doesn’t it?  Partly done by Clara Kim.



A shot at some direct light:


Thanks for the fun day everyone!  I’ll end with this last image of them running in the rain.  It’s out of focus and I love it.


Alice Hu - May 4, 2010 - 9:35 am

I LOVE these Caroline! So much fun 🙂

lydia {ever ours} - May 4, 2010 - 9:54 am

these look amazing!! looked like so much fun, despite the rain! more film, i say!

Connie sithi - May 4, 2010 - 10:34 am

These are so gorgeous, Caroline! Do you think you’re going to shoot primarily with your Contax 645 now? I definitely fancy the way the photos from this camera and the Fujifilm come out. That + your mad skillz = stunning photos. Keep it up!

Therese Dozier - May 4, 2010 - 10:44 am

You are so awesome!! I can’t stand it!! nice shoot!

Melissa @ The Loveliest Day - May 4, 2010 - 11:08 am

These are amazing! I love film, and I love everything about this shoot. Love, love, loveeeeeee!

jenny - May 4, 2010 - 11:09 am

how do you like your new contax 645? love the results !

Mai - May 4, 2010 - 11:18 am

Wow, these are unbelievable. Yay for film!

jen@greenweddingshoes - May 4, 2010 - 11:18 am

These are amazing caroline!!! love the look and feel to them – congrats on the new film adventure 🙂

caroline - May 4, 2010 - 11:28 am

thanks, all!

connie & jenny, i definitely will be using my contax more often, but i love the 35mm just as much too.

Stephanie Stewart - May 4, 2010 - 12:33 pm

Amazing, Caroline! Love the creaminess and the colors! Especially love the bridal portraits…and the running in the rain and OOF shot, all so lovely!

Kathryn - May 4, 2010 - 2:31 pm

Gorgeous photos Caroline! The light is incredible.

Karleen - May 4, 2010 - 3:24 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE this series!! the color is just amazing! Esp the skin tones. That’s it, I’m throwing my digital camera away – you’re doing a darn good job of getting me to switch to film!! =)

connieMchung - May 4, 2010 - 4:01 pm

wow. these came out freaking gorgeous! LOVE the colors! lookin’ hot, sarah & serena! 😉

Brandi Corriveau - May 4, 2010 - 7:03 pm

Beautiful, yummy pictures! And kudos for prioritizing!!!

dorothy - May 4, 2010 - 9:20 pm

love love love the film!

Eve - May 4, 2010 - 10:10 pm

how fun! i love gloomy weather. the pictures still pop despite rain and clouds. great work, as always!

Kayla - May 5, 2010 - 7:58 am

These are SO amazing!!! I am loving your film work! Awesome!

Trude - May 5, 2010 - 12:57 pm

Yummm that’s definitely buttery! Love the colors too. Awesome!

Adrienne Gunde - May 5, 2010 - 6:28 pm

These are beautiful Caroline! Love them all!!

Michelle - May 5, 2010 - 6:57 pm

I love the film shots! They look wonderful. BTW-my workplace owns hundreds of Andalusian horses. They are pure white beautiful horses. 🙂

Rock 'n Roll Bride · Thursday Treats – 6th May 2010 - May 6, 2010 - 1:07 pm

[…] this picture – pink haired brides rock! ♥ The Green Vase – how yummy ♥ Condor’s Nest Ranch shoot ♥ Living in: Stand by Me ♥ Pretty Pouf… ♥ Bolero on the cheap ♥ Gala Darling – […]

lizet - May 13, 2010 - 6:04 am

what a cool couple!! 😀 beautifull photo’s!

Erin @ Chatty Brides - May 27, 2010 - 11:46 am

So beautiful! I love that birdcage veil with the polka dot flowers. The lighting is killer.

Kristin Genna - June 10, 2010 - 8:51 am

Love these!! so beautiful! I looked into getting married at the Condor Ranch, such a great place! Can you use your Canon lenses on the contax?

Paola - July 9, 2010 - 11:59 am

There’s nothing that I don’t love about this post. Amazing and PROPS to you for being able to be so patient in waiting for film!!

Jay Studio Photography - August 3, 2010 - 12:33 pm

I love this set of photos! Great job, as always. 🙂


a backyard bridal shower | linda


I came home from NY today with the pleasant surprise that I was featured on Style Me Pretty while I was gone!  NY was amazing!  Such an amazing city!  The crazy part is that we were at time square and didn’t even know there was a car bomb there until we got home and saw it on the news!  So glad nothing blew up!  On to happier matters, let me share this cute bridal shower with you.

Linda from Lumiani Events is usually the one planning events for other people, so it was so great to see her surprised with a party where she was the guest of honor!  The ladies at Lumiani Events did a wonderful job planning and decorating this charming backyard shower for her.


They did all the decor & flowers themselves!


The refreshing drinks were perfectly displayed for this warm backyard party!


And who can resist Sprinkles cupcakes, right?



One of Linda’s favorite cake & bakeries is from Susina.  The cake is amazing!


Each girl who arrived received a ring pop.  If you say “Linda”, you have to forfeit your ring to the person who first called you on it.  Her future sister-in-law was the master at this game:


Another activity was the underwear decorating contest.  Guests decorated throughout the day and hung them up for Linda to judge.


The winner also cracked me up!


I love their hearts theme!


You see those vintage chairs & benches?  The benches were all made by Linda’s fiance for their wedding ceremony.  What a keeper, right?  lol.



Their flower arrangements were so simple, but so very charming!


And I just love their tablescape!


Congrats to Linda & Dat!  Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!  Linda, hope you have fun with all your new toys from the shower!  *wink wink*

On a random technical note, this was shot mostly on Kodak film… expired in 2007.  The rest is digital.  With one of the cameras we bought, the seller threw in rolls of Kodak film.  I thought I’d try it out for the sake of it.  After using them, I looked and realized that they expired in 2007.   The colors needed a little correcting, but that’s it.

piet - May 3, 2010 - 8:38 am

i love these pictures.
very creative !!¡¡
G’ luck¡¡¡¡!!!!

Winnie Forbes - May 3, 2010 - 8:55 am

So much character and details. Simply gorgeous!

Dorothy - May 3, 2010 - 10:41 am

Love that decorate the undies game!

Sandy a la Mode - May 3, 2010 - 2:36 pm

Wow, this is one of the most beautiful showers I have seen! I love all the different colorful details and you just captured everything so beautifully! Not surprised that it would be featured on Style Me Pretty b/c of how lovely it is!!

Linda - May 3, 2010 - 5:32 pm

Thank you so much, I’m still so estatic you were there to capture my bridal shower! I love all the pictures, you always capture everything so beautifully!

Nhu {Lumiani Events} - May 4, 2010 - 9:56 am

THANK YOU CAROLINE!! You’re superwoman! The images are amazing, it’s more than I ever expected. I love the shots/composition. You captured the details but more than that … you captured the moments … the laughter, games, and just the love for Linda as her girlfriends gathered to celebrate HER before her and Dat’s big day! Thank you for making the time to come … I know your schedule is hectic! Love it!!! You were an absolute surprise for her and she loved it. It’s great when everyone can just relax and have the professional capture the special moments like the ones at a bridal shower! Thank you!!!!

Anastasia - May 4, 2010 - 3:26 pm

I love the “underwear line”. It’s so cute.

Dream Ideas ~ How to Style Wedding Chairs {Part 4} - July 4, 2011 - 10:32 pm

[…] Credits: Bench Seating Douglas Slocombe Photography, Bench Seating Carline Tran, Farmhouse Bench Seating, Moroccan Bench Seating, Picnic table and Stool Seating-Eat Drink Chic, […]


calamigos ranch wedding photographer | jen + paul

calamigos-ranch-01 I’m flying out to NY today!  It’ll be my first time there and I’m so excited!  Before I leave, I thought I would share the first wedding I shot in 2010!   I first met Jen at a Starbucks on her “lunch” break, though it was like 8:30pm!  They both work in the music industry and have crazy hours, so after one of my shoots, I stopped by to meet her by her work.  It was instant chemistry between us.  She shared how they were on a budget and will be DIYing everything.  Her family has a tradition where stay up the night before doing all the flowers, including the centerpieces.  To reduce the workload the day before, she limited the number of fresh flowers for her centerpieces.  I love how this wedding was an entire family affair!


I love how Jen’s wearing her mom’s robe here.  And I love how they made all the boutonnieres with non-florals:


A tender moment between mom & daughter:


All ready to see her groom!


Love all the fun socks:


The maid of honor in blue is Jen’s cousin, Jackie, who helped her plan most of the day:




I just love this photo.  I’m not sure why, but it’s one of my favorites from the day:


And I love the anticipation before the ceremony… can you tell it was a cold January afternoon?  You couldn’t tell by looking at Jen!



I love the big tree they got married under.



Their DIY bouquets & bouts turned out great:



Favors for the kids, and a little scavenger hunt for the kids… they each got disposable cameras and had to capture as many things on this list they could.  Jen & Paul would then also have their wedding day captured through the eyes of kids!


Jen wanted to incorporate her Vietnamese culture, so guests received these little drums:


They did such a good job on their own centerpieces!  And it was cute that tables were lettered instead of numbered… but I guess that only works when you have less than 26 tables.


Jen’s beautiful traditional Vietnamese gown, called an ao dai.



I love how clean their decor was.  Their tent was beautifully decorated.


The reception was kicked off by lion dancers!



I love this moment between Jen & her grandma:


One of the funniest best man speeches:


And yes, they broke out in full Backstreet Boys!


The band was even personal friends/co-workers/boss of Paul.



Cute moment on the dance floor.  (great capture, Jonathan!)


Have a great weekend everyone!!  (though I know it’s only Wednesday)  I’ll see you again next week!

lydia {ever ours} - April 28, 2010 - 12:51 pm

so many cute details! love that they broke out singing bsb! awesome job as usual, caroline!

Jeeryn Dang - April 28, 2010 - 12:56 pm

What a fun wedding! I love that they had favors and activities for the kids. Awesome DIY details too.

Betty - Type A Planning - April 28, 2010 - 1:49 pm

So cute!! I love how happy the couple looked!

jenny - April 28, 2010 - 3:04 pm

hehe I see Caroline in the last photo ,and you’re smiling always!

amy - April 28, 2010 - 7:20 pm

I love their simplicity clean decors! what did they make their center pieces from? what a great idea on the scavengar hunt! did they start that from the beginning of the wedding? if i didn’t know she was in the music industry, i’d guess she was a perschool teacher. the letters and emphasis on kids. beautiful job as always

lizet - April 29, 2010 - 8:21 am

really, you get the most beautifull weddings to photograph!! 😀
i love these!

Beth - April 29, 2010 - 9:01 am

What a beautiful wedding! I love the scavenger hunt: such a great idea! Amazing images 🙂

MERgetsMRSed - April 29, 2010 - 9:40 am

Love the “Just Married” sign on the head table! So cute!

Kwin Khieng - April 29, 2010 - 5:19 pm

This is the cutest wedding thus far. I love all the dyi projects. I am totally inspired by their creativity.

Jennifer Ha Than - May 6, 2010 - 10:01 am

It ‘s very original & divine to see your images had captured like it is ! Great talents .

By the way , me & my husband Viet Nguyen happen to be Jen’s parents close friend & we both live in Manhattan , NY City . If you have time , I , myself would love to host or meet you ….. For whatever I can offer like eating tips, shopping tips …. Please feel free to give me a call OK . Looking forward to hear & meet you .

Lana Buu - May 6, 2010 - 4:54 pm

I absolutely loved all of the photos! I was not able to be present for the wedding of the happy couple because I was out of the country. However, it was wonderful to see all of the details from the scavenger hunt to all of the DIY accents. You have truly captured the joy and elegance of this special occasion. Bravo!

amanda - May 14, 2010 - 8:11 pm

This wedding is AMAZING! I love your work!


a quick update

Photo above was taken at a wedding a few months ago.  One of my favorite wedding portraits to date.

Happy Monday, all!  If you have emailed me and I have not responded, I’m on it!  Emails have been coming in faster than I can reply.  I’m working on them today though.  I just wanted to do a quick update to answer the most common questions I have been getting…

  • My wedding calendar is booked through April 2011.  It breaks my heart to say no to a nice couple, so I’d rather not know what I’m missing out on.  It’s also in my nature to want to be helpful, so to tell someone that I can’t help them is really hard for me.  I naturally want to find a way to help.  So to make it easier for me, I am letting people know here that I am only booking weddings for April 2011 and on.
  • My other favorite thing (besides weddings) is portrait sessions.  I love the intimate nature of them.  I shoot my portrait sessions (engagements, boudoir, family, babies, etc.) on weekdays.  The next available date I have is in June July.  Edit:  after this post, June filled up.  I now have a few more spots left in July – they’re filling up quick though!
  • I have/will be traveling more these weeks than I have probably in my entire life!  I feel so incredibly lucky!  We just shot in SF two weekends in a row.  In the next month, I will be also going to New York, Hawaii (Oahu), & France.  Let me know if you’re in the area and want to meet up!  I’d love to try and set up a lunch date with you all!

Thank you for your continued support!  I have a lot of editing & emails to catch up on at the moment, but more blog posts are on the way!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Bill - April 26, 2010 - 9:48 am

Good job Caroline! What a success story.

Nhu {Lumiani Events} - April 26, 2010 - 2:13 pm

You’re great! Keep up the amazing work. San Francisco — I love that city! Hawaii – wow! France — I’m in love. Can’t wait to see all the images!

Kimberly - April 26, 2010 - 2:43 pm

Where are you going in France? I just returned after two glorious weeks and would be happy to share any information you might need!

Karleen - April 26, 2010 - 7:26 pm

so awesome that your business is doing so well and that you get to travel to places!! are you still gonna have time to mentor? =) i have my blog up now. hope you’ll have time to stop by & would love to hear any feedback you may have. xoxo.

jenny - April 27, 2010 - 11:01 am

remember to take care of yourself Caroline ! You’re working so hard !!

Tamara Kuzminski - April 28, 2010 - 12:53 am

That is a stunning image, I can see why it’s a favourite. I bet the couple adore it too.

kristi klemens - April 28, 2010 - 6:14 pm

I can’t even believe you would consider taking time to meet with me when you are SO busy woman! You are such an amazing photographer and I continue to be inspired by your work! Not only that, but an incredible person, SO excited to have you here in the area, keepin’ it real sista! Much love & happiness! x0x0

jengee - April 29, 2010 - 12:33 pm

when will you be on oahu? will you be accepting any portrait sessions while there?

Amy Morgenstern - August 7, 2010 - 12:21 pm

Caroline, I just wanted to contact you to also ask if you’re available for a wedding/engagement/portrait session during the week or an “off” day for a wedding. I know you have mentioned you are booked through April, but wondered if that included Thur,Fri, or Sun weddings? I am flexible and really would like to know more of my options with your work! Thank you!

~Amy Morgenstern

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