commonweal garden: part 1

I spent half of this past year living at the Regenerative Design Institute at Commonweal Garden, outside of Bolinas, California, between the vast Pacific Ocean and the wilderness. I want to share some photos I took during my time there — though of course there are too many for one post!

Coming up in part 2: beekeeping, flower crowns, the fruits of our labor, and lots of community feeling.

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wedding! ben & elana at briones regional park: reception

When the ceremony was over, the party began! Ben and Elana’s reception included games, music, dancing, several theatrical performances written and acted by guests (including Elana’s youngest relatives), contra dancing, delicious food, a fun photobooth, and plenty of laughter and mingling. In addition to signing the guestbook, guests could contribute to a quilt or type away at a typewriter. When the sun began to set, everyone chipped in to help clean up the site before heading home.

wedding! ben & elana at briones regional park: ceremony

My sweet and fabulous friends Ben and Elana were married on August 27th at Newt Hollow in Briones Regional Park in the East Bay hills. I was honored to photograph their wedding, and I hope I’ve done justice to their thoughtful, personal, and totally rockin’ party. I took so many great pictures (hard not to with such great subject matter!) that in this entry I’m just posting photos from before and during their ceremony.

Ben and Elana began their ceremony with a human-powered Rube Goldberg machine, and then walked through a labyrinth lined with all the friends and family who have helped them become the people they are today. They entered separately, met in the middle, and walked together, past friends who have known and supported them as a couple, to meet their pastor. They called first upon their parents, then upon their family, and finally upon their friends to surround them and to support them and their marriage by symbolically placing a hand upon their shoulders. I learned that I can in fact take photos with an enormous zoom lens one-handed!

After reading their vows to one another and exchanging rings, they stood together as spouses and invited us to the party! More soon!

music! the grease traps at the shattuck down-low

Last weekend, funk band the Grease Traps asked me to take some photos of a show they were playing at the Shattuck Down-Low. I was worried that my equipment wouldn’t be able to handle the low light, but rather than blame the camera, I gave it my best shot, and I am pretty pleased with many of the images I got. Check it out: