The Christine and Hanlin Wedding Event: San Jose California

10:53 AM

For those of you who like moving pictures, I've prepared a sideshow above.
(If you are reading this from Facebook, the video won't show up. I recommend meandering over to for the goodies.

There's something about shooting in a location I've never been to before that is fresh, challenging, and awesomely refreshing. Shooting destination weddings is a great way to test my skills in uncharted waters so I always jump at the opportunity when couples ask me if I travel for weddings.

Often I get asked the question, "Have you shot at such and such venue or location" and if it's a Southern California location, odds are that I have. But there are times when it's a good thing to have no idea how the church, reception, and general wedding grounds look like. It can serve as a creative asset. The situation allows for me to try something new and build off of only what I see in front of me, and not of my previous experiences.

On Valentines Day I flew up to the Yay Area to spend the day with Christine and Hanlin. You see, it was their wedding day, and I, their photographer. If I could sum up the day in one word, I would choose "Sweet." They are an extremely cute couple and I'm not just saying that because this is a wedding blog. Seriously, they are one CUTE couple.

Me + the girls were at the church before Hanlin got there so I snuck Christine's dress out into the foyer of the church. I like finding neat spots for these kinds of shots because it's not a place you'd normally find a wedding dress hanging on the day-of.

The prep room was pretty dark so I used an old overhead projector I saw sitting in the corner of the room to light the shot of Christine's dress fitting. The resulting image has a very strong focus on just the bride which is an excellent thing.

I deemed it necessary to write a poem about the brides shoes. For the ladies out there, you don't need me to explain why these are important, but for all of us men consider this:

Shoes on a Pew
by John Yao

Shoes on a pew
So white, so new

High and low
To search she goes

The perfect shoe
There are too few

But when they’re found
They’ll hit the ground

With style and grace
They’ll make post haste

For today,
A wedding takes place

So white, so new
Shoes on a pew


The sanctuary had a very log-cabin feel similar to many winter retreat sites of the past. I think we all felt very at-home and cozy here!

With the reception restaurant so close to a newly renovated mall, we had some of our Bride and Groom photos done there. The colors and the textures are what really did it for me. =)
The wedding entourage taking up the entire walkway at the mall. That's how we roll baby!


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