Part I: We’re Better Together

“What do you love about photography? What about it draws you in?”

The other day we were sitting around a table having coffee with some friends, when the familiar question was raised. Even though we’re asked this all the time our answer always changes – and each time, I think I’ve got the answer that speaks clearly to this passion.

I guess all good questions have lots of answers.

Which is the perfect excuse for another series on this blog!

How do we love photography? Let us count the ways!

#1. We love being a witness to loyalty and friendship. 

May we present a few of our favorite images from the past year that simply say, “We’re better together.”

Better Together from Daniel + Megan Photography on Vimeo.

Think about your favorite person in the entire world. The person you live for; the person you would give your life for.

Do you have pictures to convey your relationship with that person?

Because in the end, we’re thinking that enduring companionship and unabashed silliness are key elements of life together.

Warmly,

daniel + megan



[...] blog post is a response to our last blog post, Better Together, which we heard you [...]

The Christmas Scandal

Christmastime is full of scandals.

Some are sacred, from long ago:  A virgin heavy with a baby out of wedlock..

Others are current and uncomfortable: conspicuous consumerism in a world brimming with need.

And then, there is one scandal that we have been chewing on this month, in our community of faith:

Waiting.

Um.. you might be saying to yourself, Scandals require a THING. What are you talking about?

Here’s what I’m thinking: in our production-obsessed, stressed out, caffeine-fueled, lightening-speed, drive-thru culture of instant satisfaction…is not the hardest, most scandalous thing to wait?

I’m not preaching here.  I’m speaking from experience.

I was recently challenged by some friends to pray in solitude and silence for 15 minutes, as part of an experiment to initiate some meditative rhythms in life. I had to tell them a couple weeks later that not only did I not do it, I didn’t even want to do it. The waiting part was too hard.

Here’s another story:

Back in 1972, there was a mischievous Stanford researcher who made children wait to eat delectable marshmallows. He would place a fluffy piece of 100% high fructose corn syrup in front of each child, and tell them that if they could wait to eat the marshmallow until he returned, they could have two.  Then, he would leave them alone in the room, and observe the children squirming through their temptation through a two-way mirror. If they could resist, as promised, they would be rewarded with two marshmallow treats.

I totally would have failed that test.

But that’s OK. Because the difference between that test and real life is that life doesn’t happen in a sterile research lab. It happens in community – hopefully, a community that has grace for when Chubby Bunny happens instead of delayed gratification!

Mountainside Communion has been helping me to see the value of waiting. We’ve been talking lately about what it means that in this season of Advent, we are reminded that we wait for God. We wait for Christ to come – both as a helpless infant, God incarnate in human flesh, and to return with power to usher in what our pastor (and others) call “the Reign of God.”

In this mysterious time of waiting, we are trying (sometimes impatiently) to wait with—and for—hope, love, joy and peace.

And that is this year’s Christmastime scandal.

We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones!

Warmly,

daniel + megan

P.S. – In lieu of a Christmas card,  please enjoy these images of our family’s home around Christmastime!

This year I (Megan) made Daniel an Advent calendar with goody-filled envelopes hidden around our home.

Whatever the contents—a  Cashew Cookie Lara Bar, a brachiosaurus, or an adhesive mustache—its fun for everyone!

For the first time this year we live in a home that has a big window facing the street.

I love being beckoned home by the gold star and white lights shining warmly in the window.

Each ornament conjures memories.

Like this one, bought on our unforgettable road-trip Honeymoon to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite!

Each December we help my parents place a few decorative touches around their home –

always settling them in the exact same places as the year before.

We’re big on rituals.

We eat Christmas breakfast off the Spode Christmas dishes we’ve eaten on for my entire life, and beyond..

And we open our bulging stockings, which are actually my Grandmother’s old nylons..

Then there’s the nativity scene, complete with Lucy: the blessed chihuahua..

Who enjoys(?) flamboyant festivity this time of year!

And on that note, Merry Christmas!



Keys Creek Lavender Farm Wedding Part III
Leah + Armen

As we finished capturing Leah + Armen’s portraits in a scrumptious warm glow,

We all got pretty excited, because…

It was time to party!

Let me tell you, there is no better place to have a Wedding Reception

than on a warm evening on an organic family lavender farm!

The air smelled delicious – like lavender lemonade -

and everybody was grinning ear-to-ear.

I mean, how could you not? This was paradise.

Leah + Armen’s friends created a tree together as a guest book

(they’re a creative bunch),

Armen brewed lavender beers for his friends and family to enjoy

(I know, it just keeps getting better),

And everyone had the time.of.their.lives.

At Leah + Armen’s reception, everybody was surrounded by loved ones, and people had to shout to each other to be heard above the endless streams of laughter.

As the night grew dark, the tender toasts and slow dances began,

And soon, Leah + Armen’s friends swarmed the dance floor -

It was WILD in the best of ways.

See what we mean? A GREAT time.

 But the highlight of the reception, for us?

A photo booth, of course!

We love photo booths because they’re a way to ensure great photos of guests.

Also, they are HILARIOUS!

I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard since Leah + Armen’s Wedding!

My favorite photobooth images are when guests joke around with each other:

We just love it.

And photo booths are awesome because EVERYBODY can get involved and have a great time:

Friends,

Families,

and couples!

So, Leah + Armen:

Thanks for being So. Awesome.

For having amazing friends -

and for helping us have a job that we love, with people like this..

We hope that your marriage is full of playfulness and memories together.

Warmly,

daniel + megan


Wedding Photography: Daniel + Megan Photography | Ceremony + Reception Location: Keys Creek Lavender Farm | Officiant of Awesomeness: Joshua Smith of Mountainside Communion | Floral Design: Jerry Murillo | Dress: Dolly Couture | Wine: Smoking Loon by Don Sebastiani & Sons | Lavender Beer: Home-brewed by the groom




Misty - December 7, 2011 - 2:25 pm

so fun! thanks for posting these, friends!

Keys Creek Lavender Farm Wedding Part II
Leah + Armen

Imagine what it feels like on a balmy October afternoon on an organic lavender farm,

nestled in the bucolic countryside near San Diego.

You have already had some unforgettable moments,

and now everybody you love is gathered together with anticipation -

Eager for the ceremony to begin.

And there find yourself, with your Love.

It is your Wedding Day.

Isn’t it lovely?

What struck me about Leah + Armen’s Wedding was that beneath the excitement, there was a serenity.

Do you ever experience something, and find it impossible to envision it any other way?

This was Leah + Armen’s Wedding:

the way it was supposed to be.

Perfectly sweet and simple, both intimate and shared.

Peter, Amanda and Scott provided the music,

Melanie crafted a delicate handkerchief banner,

A homily was given by the Father of the Bride;

and prayers read by Leah + Armen’s friends..

We believe in “better photography through relationships” -

but I think its also true that weddings are better when couples are enveloped in a loving community.

As these two said their vows to each other with huge smiles on their faces,

those gathered together took a vow as well:

“Do you promise to do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?”

We will!

And Leah + Armen became Mr. + Mrs.

This is another moment when I had to use my photography-while-blinded-by-tears skills.

Isn’t this moment beautiful?

This is my second favorite photo of the day (my favorite is coming)

because of the blissful expressions and the context of those gathered.

This photo is what Leah + Armen’s Wedding felt like.

Isn’t it dreamy?

The family and Wedding Party kicked off the party of all parties

(you won’t want to miss Part III  – its nuts!) ,

And Leah + Armen slipped away

into a land of gorgeous warm light and lavender fields…

The first moments of marriage feel sacred -

Can you imagine a better place to spend them?

Leah + Armen seemed at peace and utterly happy.

It was a quiet moment in between the anticipation of the ceremony,

and the party that was to follow.

And for these few moments, it was like nothing else existed in the world but the two of them.

This, by the way, is my favorite image from the day.

Leah + Armen, you were amazing to photograph.

Just LOOK at you! You’re best friends in love.

Could there be anything more beautiful?

And the best part? The reception is yet to come.

And let me tell you – those images are downright WILD.

But we’ll reveal those next time!

Because today?

I think we’ve soaked up all the love there is in the world.

Warmly,

daniel + megan

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Leah + Armen’s Wedding Part I if you missed it.


Wedding Photography: Daniel + Megan Photography | Ceremony + Reception Location: Keys Creek Lavender Farm | Officiant of Awesomeness: Joshua Smith of Mountainside Communion | Floral Design: Jerry Murillo | Dress: Dolly Couture




Brett Siegel - November 30, 2011 - 11:49 am

What a great place for a wedding. Beautiful job with the shots, they look so alive and in love. Bravo guys!

daniel + megan - November 30, 2011 - 11:53 am

Thanks Brett! The location was fabulous. Those two really are in love. You can’t manufacture that. =) We see our job as helping others see that through our photography.

Leah - November 30, 2011 - 4:51 pm

Wow I am giggling with glee, just love these!

daniel + megan - November 30, 2011 - 7:29 pm

Yay! We’re so glad, Leah!

[...] we finished capturing Leah + Armen’s portraits in a scrumptious warm [...]