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  • Everyone has a blog nowadays.

    ...so THANK YOU for sparing a minute of your life and coming by to check out mine. It's truly an honor! Whether you're a friend, a photography buff, an old (or new!) client or a bride looking for a photographer - welcome and come back often. I'm happy to make your acquaintance.

    ~ Auey

    Most commonly asked question, "How do you pronounce your name?" Think Maui, without the M. Or, "It's Auey, like I have an owee." (boo boo, ouchie, auey ~ I'll be reduced to a scab soon).

How lovely to meet you! @ the Modern Luxury Bridal Faire, Ritz Carlton San Francisco]

I’m three days off my bridal faire high, and now ready to hunker down and get to business! The Modern Luxury Weddings held recently at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco was a wonderful success, thanks to the organizers, wedding vendors and lovely engaged couples who came out to the city last Sunday, January 6, 2013.

While my toes hurt from wearing my only pair of Manolos, my heart is full and happy to have connected with happy brides and grooms. My favorite part? Hearing their stories about they got engaged and about their vision for the wedding day. Planning is so much fun! But I still try to offer my little pearls of wisdom about wedding planning. Ready? Chose three words to guide you for your wedding and make sure all decisions align with these three words. For example : sustainable, fun and family. Or maybe modern, simple and whimsical. Also, don’t overthink it! Wedding planning should be fun!

January 6 was also very special to me because my hubby and I celebrated our 12th anniversary, working the faire together. What better way to bond and wax sentimental about your wedding then spend it at a bridal faire? Thanks schatze for the support and love (and yes, putting up with my quirks for the past 12 years). Here’s a photo of my handsome dude, enjoying the quiet before the storm (five minutes until doors open!)

I didn’t have a ton of time to walk around the bridal faire but I did manage a few quick snaps. Here I am!

Lots of couples asked me about this print of former bride and groom Alana and Shain on a bicycle. It was one of my favorites of 2012!

Meet my friends Frederick and Jaime of Sullivan-Botello. They are just awesome wedding designers and planners. That blood red lamp was simply stunning.

We did a raffle and gave away a copy of “How to Get Married” at every top of the hour.

We were constantly tortured by the smell of yummy food was wafting from nextdoor booth mates Shannie Cakes.  Their free sampling was a huge hit!

Brides and grooms got a chance to check out the pedicabs taxi service of Cabrio Taxi.

Here I am with with Eric Yee of Spintronix, who dropped by my booth. I’ve been so fortunate to work with him on numerous times and his DJ-light-design company is among the most respected in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

 

A Photographer’s Top Ten for 2012

*Thanks to the amazing Kinsley Wong for our annual family photo!

Ah…2013 – let’s cheer for the New Year! It’s time once again for the annual renewal of resolutions. Or as some people are now calling, “Setting of Intentions.” Well, I’ve got my resolutions in mind, but instead of boring you with that, here is my TOP TEN OF THE YEAR. Yay for lists!

#1 Education

Let me start with a few things I’m so proud of this year — and I apologize in advance if it’s sounds a little bit like horn-tooting — but hey, I’m happy!

So, this year I enrolled at the UC Berkeley Extension campus in San Francisco to take up a course in Multimedia. I have been playing with the idea of offering photography fusion multimedia pieces and this was a great place to renew my skills. I loved the class and (proudly) got an A. You can see my finished project here:

Arthur + Tony {The Beloved Experience} from Auey Santos on Vimeo.

 

#2 Beloved Photography and Getting Certified

2012 marked the completion of my Beloved photography training. In September, I took my certification and live demo exam in Palm Springs. Amazingly, I passed (yes!), along with a handful of Beloved photographers hailing from around the world.  Many of them were already established awesome photographers such as Ria Mishaal from the U.K, Juliana Wiklund of Sweden, Jacqueline Chang of Singapore. I was so happy to be amongst such talented company. Beloved photography and the experiential genre is fast growing in popularity around the world and it was just an amazing feeling to be part of the pioneering batch! I have been shooting professionally for over 10 years now, but now I feel that I’ve finally found my calling.

My own brand of spreading the word has begun. The Beloved genre of photography was featured this year in the UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center website. I was also invited to speak in front of the Bay Area Professional Videographer’s Association to speak about the Beloved technique. And you can watch my talk (cringe) here and here ! It was my first photography talk ever. I am used to talking but in front of a big crowd can be daunting. So, yes…another first for me.

#3 Personal Project: Flummox and Friends

As a parent of a child on the autistic spectrum, I’ve tried to be an advocate for information and education for the children with special needs. When my friend and fellow Joaquin Miller parent Christa Dahlstrom asked me to be part of her brainchild, a TV show geared towards kids with social difficulties — I just jumped on board! Through the support of a Kickstarter campaign, she created, wrote and produced “Flummox and Friends,” a quirky off-beat original TV show for children. I was just so ecstatic to shoot the stills for the show and be on board as script supervisor. It was such an amazing experience! I revisited my TV production roots and being part of a team with a bigger vision than yourself just lifted me.

You can watch the pilot episode for free, right here!

Flummox and Friends – Pilot: The Party from Flummox and Friends on Vimeo.

 

#4 Yoga, Mindfulness and The Whole Karmic Enchilada

Lots and lots of asanas this year. Namaste.

 

#5 My Favorite Session of the Year

I continually marvel at my blessings for doing work that is so meaningful to me. Every face I encounter is etched in mind and captured by my art. It was difficult to chose a favorite wedding or portrait session but one definitely stood out for me. This summer, I photographed Linda and her husband Robert. Their love story inspired me so much that I only have to revisit the images and tears of joy form in my eyes. Linda is a cancer survivor and her quiet strength inspires me tremendously.

I travelled to Mendocino to photograph them in their home. The images below were taken in their healing garden and the banner strung above represent each of their friends who died of cancer. I was incredibly moved to just be there. And as Linda read each name out loud, I sensed their spirit, lifting me to fight whatever personal battle I had. While I cry and laugh (sometimes both) at most of my sessions, this one could only be described as a spiritual experience.


#6 Camera of The Year – My Fuji XPro1

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I vowed to shoot more personal projects this year and had been drawn to street photography. However, lugging my Nikon DSL proves highly impractical at times. So I jumped in and bought a Fuji X-Pro1. I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s the best travel and always-in-purse camera ever. Just google for reviews and specifics, all I need to know is that it works for me.

Here’s an image I took inside the Chelsea Market in New York City in May. No flash, dark as hell. LOVE IT.

#7 Inspiration

On to the fluffy stuff that feeds the spririt —

TV: Downtown Abey, Portlandia, Being Human (BBC), Sherlock (BBC), Come Fly with Me, Parenthood, Mad Men

Music: introduced to Nick Drake, Band of Horses, Blind Pilot; watching Elvis Costelo and New Order live in concert.

Theatre: Book of Mormon, Once

Books: reading Game of Thrones (damn it’s long – still working on it), “Love Does” by Bob Goff and “Anatomy of Love” by Helen Fischer

Photography: Revisiting Man Ray and Discovering Lee Miller

TED Talks.

#8 Friends. Old ones, news ones…and those yet to be met.

#9 My family.

#10. YOU.

Thank you everyone for reading this far. It really was an amazing year. All 525,000 minutes of it.

May 2013 be equally or even more amazing. And amusing. Just say yes to the universe and it will respond  in mysterious and surprising ways.

Love,
Auey

You’re Invited! Luxury Weddings at The Ritz Carlton, San Francisco

Once again, I’m inviting all engaged couples to check out the Modern Luxury Faire at The Ritz-Carlton on Sunday, January 6, 2012. It’s my second year as a bridal vendor and it’s always a wonderful time meeting engaged couples face to face.  I’m excited to show you my albums and work and just chit-chat a bit.

Need a little more incentive?  I have a little giveaway for those blog readers and brides-to-be who can drop by. Drop by my booth and get a chance to win the raffle. I’m giving away copies of my favourite wedding book in the world, plus one Beloved engagement session to a lucky couple.

So come on over and let’s have fun hanging out. It’ll be blast!

For more details and ticket information, do check out the official event website.

Check out the fun photos from last year!

 

Lydia and Matthew | Sutro Baths San Francisco Engagement Shoot

I can’t believe I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay area and never shot a session at Sutro Baths before. It’s an awesome not-so-hidden gem in the city.  Power lawyer couple Lydia and Matthew chose the place for its unique structure and beautiful seascape and I can’t thank them enough for showing me around.

The now abandoned ruins was once a large privately owned swimming pool complex, built in the late 1800s.  The building housing the baths burned down in 1966 and was abandoned. The ruins may still be visited and are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It provided a backdrop to Lydia and Matthew’s engagement photos. They were such a joy to work with! And it was one laughing spree after another. Serves me right to ask lawyers silly questions! I can only envision a lifetime of fun debates, laughing and love for them both.

 

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Holly and Kelvin | Napa and San Francisco Beloved Engagement Session


The cities of San Francisco and Napa both hold a special place in the hearts of Holly and Kelvin. So much so that they flew thousands of miles from the Midwest to shoot their engagement session here. Of course, I was beyond flattered they chose me to take on this important task!

We were blessed with beautiful weather, sunny with just enough nip in the air. There’s nothing better than a long car ride for getting to know a couple. I learned they they are somewhat opposite in temperament, but they loved and valued the same things in life: food, travel, family – both growing childlike in their enthusiasm as they discussed their favorite things.

Such a great day to spend a day!

Here are a few favorites from their beloved engagement shoot.

 

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