Wedding Photographer

Haleigh & Mike | Wedding @ Sonoma Private Residence

Although I love living in the Northern California foothills, my hometown in the wine country holds a special place in my heart. Sonoma has always been a beautiful town, although it’s popularity has grown over the years. Once a hidden gem, it’s now a worldwide destination. Tourists come for the amazing wine & lifestyle, but for those who grew up there, it’s much more than that. There’s an unique connection between homegrown Sonomans that can’t be denied, and that’s why I was so honored to be a part of Haleigh & Mike’s wedding. Haleigh grew up in Sonoma, and also happens to be my sister-in-law’s cousin… so we instantly connected. I love her wild & free spirit, she’s so down-to-earth and fun… and while Mike shares similar qualities, he’s a calm, cool and collected type-of-guy. Together, they balance each other out so perfectly.

Haleigh & Mike’s wedding day was festive & full of love, in true old-Sonoma fashion. Haleigh’s aunt and uncle provided their amazing property for the wedding venue: an 1800’s farmhouse surrounded by vineyards. Not only that, but her aunt designed all the floral bouquets and boutineers, while other friends & family members contributed their talents (her cousin made a gorgeous wedding cake, and her friend officiated the wedding). Another cool & personal touch to the wedding day, were the potted succulents that decorated the tables & got sent home as gifts for their guests. Haleigh spent months growing them herself, which turned into a whole new hobby and fun Instagram journey. All of these “DIY” features made the day so personal & sweet, and with the help of some amazing vendors, everything was flawlessly beautiful.

Before their ceremony, Haleigh & Mike decided to have a “first look” and spend some time together soaking in the moment. Once guests arrived, they made their union official and spent the rest of the evening having fun, playing games, and celebrating to the fullest. Some of my favorite parts of the day were the food trucks, the bridesmaid’s sparkly dresses, the farm animals and dogs that mingled with everyone, the sunset photos in the vineyards, and the hilarious and heartfelt toasts from their loved ones. It was all such an amazing day, and ended with great music, keeping the dance floor packed the entire night. It was the best kind of party, with the best people, in the best little country town (ok, I may be a bit biased… but I’m cool with that.)

Congratulations Mike & Haleigh!!

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Venue: Private Estate in Sonoma, CA.
Officiant: Friend, Gloria Kashani
Floral Design: Aunt Kimberly
Cake: Haleigh's cousin, Shane Enzensperger
Wedding Planner: Camellia Lane Events
Rentals: Bright Event Rentals
Catering: Marks the Spot Fine Food
Dessert: Harvey’s Donuts
Videography: Reno May
DJ: Bay Area Beats DJs
Gown: Enzoani
Invitations: Minted
Transportation: Grape Escapes Limousine
Restrooms: Johnny on the Spot Portable Toilets

Heather & Joe | Wedding @ Tahoe City Private Estate

When Heather & Joe were planning their wedding, they envisioned a FUN-filled event with their closest family & friends, so… they invited their guests to stay with them for the weekend in a beautiful cabin overlooking Lake Tahoe! They planned games, activities, and adventures… the biggest and best being their wedding celebration. With an amazing team of vendors & their loved one’s helping hands, the cabin was transformed into a beautiful venue… and even though the weather was predicted to be stormy on this late Spring day, I arrived to Tahoe City & was welcomed by blue skies, big puffy clouds & sunshine.

Everything seemed to be going according to plan… until it didn’t. The thing is, when you’re a wedding vendor, you’ve seen timelines go off course, and little mishaps form; but if you’re truly a professional, part of your job is to help alleviate those issues by staying calm & finding ways around the problem.

So, when the discovery was made that the cabin stove wasn’t heating properly… stress began to arise. But fortunately, the caterers happened to own a cabin just a few miles away, so they moved their kitchen & made it work (although it wasn’t easy, and I believe they deserve a gold ribbon from the wedding Olympics, because they ran a marathon… and from the sidelines, you’d never know it!)

Despite the oven fiasco, everyone maintained such a positive outlook… and when it came time to have Heather & Joe’s first look, all was well. With just the two of them on a pier, surrounded by the pristine beauty of the mountains and blue waters… nobody could imagine a more perfect day.

They gathered on the cabin’s deck and had the most intimate and beautiful ceremony. With their close friend officiating their vows, another friend live-painting the scene, relatives reading heartfelt passages, and the rest of their small group bearing witness, they became Mr. & Mrs. and then celebrated to the fullest!

It wasn’t until right before dinner was served, that the clouds turned dark… and without much warning, rain poured down & thunder roared! But the tent was secure, the reception went on, and Heather & Joe grabbed their umbrellas with enthusiasm and joined me outside for some epic portraits!

This day was proof that although things may not go according to plan, it can be even better (especially when you have an amazing crew by your side to support you!) When love is at the center of it all, that’s all that matters anyway.

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Photography: Kathryn White Photography
Venue: Private Residence, Tahoe City // AirBNB
Officiant: Friend, Jackson Taylor
Florist: Fig and Vine
DJ: Nick Gianopoulos
Cake: Icing on the Cake
Hair & Makeup: Bride's Sister, Stephanie Dettling
Catering: Farm to Table Catering
Videographer: Friend, Jon Klemens
Rentals: Tin Roof Farmhouse & Pleasanton Rentals
Invitations & Live Painting: Pigment & Parchment
Bridal Gown: Miosa Bride
Bride's Shoes: Vince Camuto
Groom's Attire: Bonobos

Nevada City Elopement

This past May, I photographed an elopement so intimate, that it only included the bride & groom, myself and the officiant. My beautiful couple had been together for 11 years already, and described themselves as living the “married life” for quite some time… but now, they were expecting their first baby and the timing seemed right to make things “official.”

For the past several years, they have traveled to Nevada City and stayed at the Inn Town Campground; a quaint little getaway, close to town & the beautiful South Yuba River. It had become a tradition they looked forward to each year… so, when they decided to elope, Nevada City seemed like the perfect place to do it.

We walked to a field just outside the Inn Town Campground property, where they made their vows to one another & embraced wholeheartedly; then, we celebrated back at camp with fresh carrot cake (made by the groom’s sister) and toasted with fizzy soda. They put on their favorite song, and danced under the canopy of pine trees, before we took some portraits and called it a day.

It was so heartwarming to be a part of… and although I wish I could share some of the candid images & portraits that exemplify the love they have together, they have requested that I only post photos of the beautiful details, and I’m honored to respect their privacy. Simple & sweet sum up this day nicely… I am so happy I could bare witness to this intimate celebration!

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Photography: Kathryn White Photography
Accommodations: Inn Town Campground
Officiant: Jinnae Anderson
Bouquet: Soil Sisters Farm
Cups: Pickle Pottery

Andrew & Catharine | Wedding @ The Stone House

Grab a cup of tea and get cozy… because I’m finally getting around to blogging my 2019 weddings, and I’m starting with this charming European-American wedding that took place way back in April.

Andrew & Catharine were both transplants living & working in London, when they met and became good friends. They admit, it wasn’t love at first sight for either of them… but one Christmas, when Catharine couldn’t make it back home to the United States, Andrew asked if she’d like to celebrate with him & his family in Ireland, where he grew up. Andrew’s family could see that there was “something” between them even before the couple realized… but it wasn’t long before the sparks couldn’t be tamed any longer.

They planned their Spring wedding in Nevada City (Catharine’s hometown) entirely by themselves from across the world, and did a spectacular job. Every detail was meticulously chosen & had a special meaning to the couple: from their rings & jewelry, which were created especially for them by a close friend… to the cultural traditions they incorporated into their ceremony. I also loved how they chose to support & work with local vendors from their hometowns in Northern California & Ireland. Guests from each corner of their lives flew to be a part of their intimate celebration, and showered them with so much love. There was immense joy & laughter… hilarious speeches & heartfelt moments… and every bit of it I was honored to be a part of! Huge thank you to Andrew, Catharine & their families for making me feel so welcomed… let’s be friends forever, ok?!

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Photography: Kathryn White Photography
Venue: The Stone House
Officiant: Jinnae Anderson
Florist: Little Boy Flowers
Cake: Rachel’s Homemade Cakes
Hair & Makeup: Lisa Harter
Bridal Gown: Oleg Cassini
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Groom’s Attire: Magee 1866
Groom’s Styling: The Suit Lounge
Invitations: Blush & Gold
Rings & Jewelry: MacAngus Designs

Published! Real Weddings Magazine

Hey everyone! My apologies for being so quiet on the blog the last couple of months… I’ve been busy getting in the swing of my 2019 wedding season & Spring sessions! Despite the unpredictable weather we’ve been enduring (yes, I said enduring… the struggle is real!) in Northern California, I’ve been fortunate to have some incredibly gorgeous sessions, and I look forward to blogging them soon.

In the meantime, I’m SO excited to share some BIG news that I’ve been holding onto (as patiently as possible!) for a while now, and that is… I’ve been published in REAL WEDDING MAGAZINE again!

I had the chance to work with Real Weddings Magazine & photograph the cover of their Summer 2018 issue, and it was such a fun experience that when they asked me to be a part of this Summer’s issue, I jumped at the chance! I was especially excited when they let me know I’d be photographing a styled shoot at Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe. Let me tell you... this venue definitely lives up to it’s name! I also had an amazing group of vendors to work beside, and the Mid-Century Modern/Southwestern flare really came together thanks to Danielle from Omni Wedding & Event Planning. I loved all the bright colors, and attention to detail.

Here’s just a sneak peek of some of my favorite published photos from the shoot, but for the full spread, be sure to pick up the latest issue (or see the online version here!)

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Special thanks to the amazing vendors, and our model Amanda, who made this day so beautiful & fun.
Venue: Heavenly Mountain
Photographer: Kathryn White Photography
Design, Styling and Coordination: Omni Wedding & Event Planning
Styling and Floral Design: Wild Flowers Design Group
Cake Design: Frank Vilt's Cakes
Hair Artist: Alexis Reynolds of Halo Salon & Day Spa
Makeup Artist: Happi Ybarra of Happily Beautiful Makeup Artistry & Skin Studio
Gowns: Always Elegant Bridal and Tuxedo De La Rosa's Bridal Diamond Bridal Gallery
Jewelry: Macy's Style Avenue Studios
Paperie: Sayers & Co
Custom Decor: Swoonable
Rentals: Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents
Videographer: JB Wedding Photography
Produced by Emily Peter and Wendy Sipple of Real Weddings Magazine

Finding What Works... For ME.

Hey everyone,

I’m excited to be here with you after taking a hiatus from blogging over the past couple of years! 2019 will be my 9th wedding season as a professional photographer, but already, I feel like this year is profoundly different from the rest. Why? Well, I feel like I’ve finally found my “sweet spot” … as in, I’ve found a balance that works for me, and it feels wonderful.

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You see, for years I’ve been silently struggling, and comparing, and analyzing, and STRESSING… because I didn’t know another way. It all started when I began photographing weddings back in 2011. I only knew that I loved witnessing beautiful celebrations of love & commitment, as well as exercising my creative side. But, I had zero knowledge about running my own business. I literally jumped into my photography business as a means to have “something for myself” because you know, when you’re a 23-year-old stay-at-home-mom of two kids under three, it’s nice to have some time to cultivate your own dreams and purpose!

So, I took the plunge & began my photography business, but ended up juggling parenting with going back to school, and gaining photography experience by any means necessary. As a self-diagnosed perfectionist, this was no easy task. I felt like I was barely keeping my head above the surface, as I navigated the waters through trial & error (personally and professionally). I believed every door that presented itself was an opportunity to learn and further my success, so I just kept saying “YES!” and piling more and more onto my plate. This included opening another business (a storefront, mind you, which is on a completely different level of business know-how!) and, while it was an amazing adventure from which I gathered an incredible amount of knowledge, I quickly realized that the only thing I was mastering, was how to spread myself too thin.

I had to make some hard choices. I had to surrender what was no longer serving me, and take a good hard look at what I truly WANTED from my business, and my life. It started with being honest with myself.
What did I enjoy doing?
What could I let go of?
What could I designate to others?
If my wildest dreams came true, what would they be?

How do I want others to perceive my work?
How can I better connect with my clients?

How do I stay true to myself in my business, instead of following the trends?
How can I differenciate myself from other wedding photographers?

The answers were not simple, but have led me to great insight and profound clarity. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by everything, these questions have helped me compartmentalize & develop strategies to accomplish my goals and take my business to new levels.

Along with these questions, I’ve found certain “tools” have proven life-changing for my new business/life game plan. I definitely recommend the following to other photographers & creative business owners:

-The Passion Planner. I’ve never been one for lists or planners, but this amazing tool is different than the rest. With a passion roadmap that helps you narrow down your top priorities into short-term and long-term goals, as well as practical overall & daily calendars that help you focus on small tasks at a time, the Passion Planner has completely transformed the way I view my life, and has helped me implement positive change & accountability.

-Mentors. When I first started my business, I constantly browsed through photography & wedding blogs, soaking up every bit of knowledge I could. But reaching out to people (in real life) for mentorship has really proven fulfilling, personally & professionally. I’ve had several mentors throughout the years, who have taken me under their wings and shown me the ropes by helping me build a beautiful portfolio, and expanding my knowledge in areas of business marketing that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. The people I’ve been lucky to learn from have challenged & pushed me to grow, and I’m forever grateful.

-Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced. Reading this book literally felt like talking with a good friend over coffee; Rachel’s honest, relatable and motivating… with a no-excuse attitude. I’ve begun reciting certain passages from the book as my daily mantra & inspiration to keep going when I feel like giving in. It’s powerful, and I think every woman who picks this up will gain something from this easy-going yet powerful read.

-Photographer’s Edit. Ok, I’ll admit it: editing photos is not my favorite. But, it’s obviously a huge, important part of the creative process because it helps define a photographer’s overall style. That being said, spending hours upon hours staring at my computer screen, editing thousands of photos (when I also have a million other things to get done) feels daunting & counter-productive… always leaving me feeling drained. So, when I heard about Photographer’s Edit, I figured I’d give it a try. I signed up last year… but went the entire wedding season without sending in ONE photo (control issues much?!) So this year, I’m re-committing… knowing that the perks will far outweigh my control issues. For one, I’ll have the same group of talented individuals who will get to know my style, and edit using my favorite chosen presets. Also, they have a super speedy turn-around time… so I’ll deliver my images to clients in record time. It’s honestly a win-win for everyone… if I can just let go a little bit. Which I will. I swear!

-Useful Apps for Business & Life. Navigating social media for my business got a whole lot easier & time efficient when I found PLANN for Instagram & Tailwind for Pintrest (and Instagram). They allow me to edit and schedule posts so that my followers see new content… even when I’m completely offline. Also, I love that I can see what my Instagram feed will look like before finalizing my post; it takes the pressure of a “perfectly presentable feed” away, and makes social media fun again!!
As far as helpful apps for my life, a current favorite is the SWEAT app by Kayla Itsines (personal trainer & Instagram superstar). With a built in planner, daily circuit work outs & more, meal plans, community boards and educational reads, this app has it all & helps me stay accountable and focus on my long-term goals.

…I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but these five bullet points are noteworthy. If you’re looking to organize or implement some kind of positive change in your life, try these on for size. Also… stay tuned, because now that I’m blogging again, I’ll be sharing all kinds of fun stuff for clients, photographers and wedding industry friends, including... Personal Stuff… Educational Resources… Inspirational Musings… And of course, Recent WORK! So, let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see, and what you think of this post!

Until next time friends,

Kathryn White