August 30th, 2011:
Seated at my computer late last week around 11:30pm I turned to my wife and said “Done. At least for the next 37 hours.” (When we have a new wedding to photograph.)
“Does that mean we get to go see Tim Burton?!?!” She excitedly asked (referring to the Tim Burton art exhibit at LACMA). We have wanted to go for a while now, but sometimes I become so consumed in shooting and editing that I keep pushing things back. The Burton exhibit will only be at LACMA a couple more months, and I don’t know when we will be completely caught up again, so I agreed as she rushed to buy the tickets online.
The next morning, I traded my ratty t-shirt and old board shorts for a pair of jeans and a slightly newer t-shirt and we were off. We picked up our tickets at will call and crowded in with all the other camera toting Angelenos who had the same idea of how to spend a Friday afternoon. Right at 2pm they unleashed the hourly mob, who were all instantly disappointed (much like myself), at the “No Photography” signs everywhere and the ultra attentive security personnel. Alas, blogging about an art exhibit without a single photo of the exhibit is rather boring, but I shall let you enjoy pictures of my kooky wife instead.
The exhibit itself was stunning, watching Burton’s growth as an artist and the early work which showed his style was inspiring. The crowds much less so. Shoving, elbowing and jostling became the norm and it was all very un-museumesque. I kind of regret not showing up on a Monday morning right when the museum opened so we might have has a little more peace to look at the work.
After a couple hours in the exhibit we had some time left on the parking meter, so I just strolled around the outdoor areas of the museum with my favorite person, taking turns photographing each other. Afterwards we braved the L.A. traffic and I took Felicia home to cook her a simple dinner, enjoying each others company and the peace of not having my computer staring across the the room judging me with unfinished work.
All in all, a perfect day with the perfect woman – I can’t complain.
August 25th 2011:
A couple of months ago when Felicia and I flew out to Washington DC for a wedding, we also shot Angela & Jeff’s engagement session against the epic backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial. Jeff and Angela moved out to DC due to Jeff’s work with the US Coast Guard, but they recently wed in San Diego, back here in California, on a beautiful summer’s day.
Angela, who works in the wedding industry, designed her own bouquet of textured, cascading crimson blooms. (Felicia’s description, not mine)
White was the color of the day: Angela’s Dad is a Veteran who spent most of his adult life in the Navy.
Angela’s niece & nephew performed Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours as part of the ceremony. Unfortunately, Jason Mraz didn’t magically show up to crash the wedding.
I’ve always wanted a bride & groom to slice a cake with a sword. Licking optional. Angela & Jeff just made my day.
Congrats Angela & Jeff, have a beautiful life together!
August 22nd, 2011:
Sean and Amber were sent our way by Matt and Amber a few months back (Sean and Matt are good friends and refer to their respective ladies as “my Amber” whenever talking amongst themselves).
When we originally planned to meet with Sean and Amber, Amber was out for lunch with a friend the day before our scheduled meeting. They were discussing wedding planning and Amber mentioned they had a meeting with a photographer (me) the next evening. Her friend, Kelly, immediately told her not to book anyone yet because they “have to” check out this other photographer she knows. ”What’s his name?” Amber asked.
“Robert Paetz.” Kelly replied.
Sheer awesomeness when I have to start competing with myself for referrals.
Anyhow, Sean and Amber met Felicia and I at Caspers Regional Park just outside of San Juan Capistrano for their engagement shoot. The weather was perfect and the bugs numerous on this languid summer day, but other than a few wasted frames of Sean swatting gnats like crazy, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend an afternoon.
Congrats again Sean and Amber, and thanks for being so much fun to shoot! We’ll see you next month for your big day!
August 18th, 2011:
Over the course of the year, we’ve shot two engagement sessions for Dom & Lisette, and both times, they let their personalities shine through: Night-time shoot with lightsabers? Check. Hiking into the woods dressed in Batman and Superman tees? Check.
So how can you expect their wedding day to be any less SUPER? They had all their groomsmen wear Superhero shirts underneath their tuxes, which made for this very cool picture. Check out the special version of this picture Felicia made. (I can’t take credit for such awesomeness at 2am after a long wedding day)
Dom has got the most stylish stride down the aisle of any groom I’ve seen. Well done.
Some wedding guest got very creative with their beverages. Felicia shot this as-is: The glasses were already arranged so.
Dom’s childhood friend recounted a tale of Dom trying to hold a bumblebee in his hand. By Dom’s definition, holding a bee wasn’t really ‘bothering’ it. Totally sounds like something I would do. Except that I’m allergic to bees.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, Dom did get stung.
A broken foot clearly didn’t stop this wedding guest from having a good time!
(No, this is not a United Colors of Benetton ad.) Congrats Dom & Lisette! Thanks for your friendship, and thanks for having us be part of your special day! Here’s to many years of wedded bliss, and many little ones so Felicia and I can take pictures of them dressed as StarWars characters!
August 17th 2011:
Before I met Felicia and she beat me into submission to force an honest man out of me (she tries, but I doubt she’s succeeding…), I was fresh out of college, bartending, and being my raucous, rambunctious self.
During those crazy years, I had a bunch of bar regulars, some of whom followed my blog when I traded in the shakers and martini glasses for some round-the-world traveling – hence the title of this blog: Mom Says I’m Running Away.
Now, fast forward 6 years: I get a call from Pete, and I’m totally shocked that he actually got referred to me by another long-long-ago bar regular who STILL follows my work! I guess my transition from a life of debauchery to one as a married, semi-grown-up (sort of) is still interesting enough to keep people reading?
So anyway. Pete and Cindy are getting married in beautiful Napa Valley next month, and Cindy suggested a shoot in Ojai, which according to my wife, makes her want to do yoga.
Pete and Cindy both work for Porsche, so one of the perks was having access to a bevy of these beautiful vehicles besides their own. For their shoot, Pete brought out a flaming red Porsche 911 Turbo. (By the way, we verified with the professionals that it’s Por-sche, not Porsch, FYI.)
Post-shoot, we had a super fun (and delicious) dinner with Pete and Cindy, and we could’ve hung out all night if not for the waitstaff giving us dirty looks as we were the last people left in the restaurant. Thanks Pete & Cindy for being so awesome and fun. Can’t wait for your wedding weekend!
August 15th, 2011:
Friday afternoon I was feeling rather burnt out: we have been shooting and editing non-stop since June when we went to NYC and DC, and just felt like a couple days away from the computer would help me come back refreshed. It also coincided with the first weekend in a long time that we didn’t have a wedding, a shoot nor a meeting scheduled, so I used my niece Regan’s 7th birthday party as an excuse to shut down the computer and enjoy the finer things in life, like family, friends and a cold beer.
As I said, Regan turned 7 this year. She’s getting pretty huge and grown up nowadays, but for some reason I always remember her like this, and arguing about why a sunset is actually a rainbow.
These girls are like little fishes that can spend the entire day in the pool, while I just attempted to drink like one. Although after about 4 beers and a pile of cheese from the appetizer buffet my sister had put out, I didn’t have the energy to drink much more and just spent the rest of the day soaking it in.
My nephew, Preston, trying to learn to play ping pong.
The next day Felicia and I headed down to Seal Beach to visit my namesake – the 93 year old RCP-I. He was as lively as always and did his best to flirt with my wife the entire afternoon and harrass me, RCP-III, about making RCP-IV.
The computer stayed turned off most of the weekend, and a couple of days with the family/friends was just what I needed to recharge before heading into the second half of our busiest season.
August 11th, 2011:
Felicia and I met Shaby and Mike more than a year before their wedding day, when we shot their engagement session at The Grove. Time surely flies, as a few weeks ago, we were reunited again at their wedding at The Vineyards.
Shaby put in lots of effort with handmade details throughout the wedding, including these blue bows for a cohesive look. (I never thought I would need to pay attention to little wedding details – I don’t think I even paid much attention to these things at my own wedding – but now I do.)
Pretty shoes and comfy shoes.
Besides the Tiffany wedding bands, Shaby’s bridesmaids were also lucky recipients of Tiffany’s necklaces as gifts.
Being of Persian heritage, Shaby’s ceremony site also included the traditional Sofreh, an elaborate display of symbolic items. It was really quite beautiful and reminiscent of all the assorted ‘lucky’ traditional things that Felicia’s Mom prepared for our wedding too.
Dude, this was seriously the most epic array of fruit I’ve ever seen – at a wedding or otherwise. I didn’t gorge myself on fruit since I was working. Perhaps Shaby knew that too and sent us a fruit arrangement, post-wedding. Sweet!
Shaby designed the cake (and made the sparkly cake stand), and was absolutely thrilled that it turned out exactly the way she envisioned. No Cake Wrecks here!
Congrats, Shaby & Mike!
August 10th, 2011:
Michael and Genna are long-time sweethearts who have been together since they were 16. And throughout the years, visiting the OC Fair has been an annual highlight. When it came to deciding on a location for their engagement pictures, Michael & Genna decided without hesitation that the Fair would be the best choice.
They chose wisely, as the four of us had an absolute blast just running around for three hours, taking advantage of the myriad of backdrops despite the heat and the crowds.
On a side note… cotton candy is no longer just pink and swirled on a white paper cone. Instead, it comes in a 3 colored variety pack and smooshed up in a plastic bag… FAIL! We had to improvise and use a few plastic straws as a handle, but it was nowhere as fluffy & wonderful as the days of old.
Michael and Genna said this ring toss was ‘their’ game, and Genna always won a prize. Well, Felicia and I must have distracted them with our incessant shooting this year. Sorry guys.
Though they didn’t win at the ring toss, Michael showed some superb marksmanship as he out-squirted the competition to win Genna the coveted Hello Kitty she had wanted all night.
Thanks Michael & Genna for being such great sports and suggesting an awesome location! We had so much fun and look forward to your 11/11/11 wedding!
August 8th, 2011:
Sitting around the kitchen table with Felicia this morning reading the Sunday paper (we had a wedding yesterday – as with most weekends – so we catch up on the weekend LA Times on Monday), we were in the midst of discussing our tasks for the day, including blogging, when we heard a knock on the door:
It was a decadent fruit arrangement as a thank you gift from Shaby and Mike for shooting their wedding a couple of weeks ago! (It will be on the blog later this week).
Well, such a beautiful (and delicious) surprise certainly deserves its own blog post. Thank you Shaby & Mike for the lovely gesture, and we’re glad you’re enjoying your wedding pictures!
Felicia and I had a double wedding weekend (Friday and Sunday) and though our feet hurt and our shoulders ache today, appreciative clients remind us why there’s value in what we do. As my wife always tells me, there’s longevity in the pictures we create, where generations after, our clients’ children, children’s children and so on, can look back on these images and have a glimpse into the past. It’s kinda crazy to think that people who don’t even exist yet may look at these pictures Felicia and I took, long after we’re gone.
Anyway. I’m going to eat more fruit now and my wife can’t judge me because fruit is HEALTHY – yes, even chocolate-covered pineapple! Happy Monday!
August 4th, 2011:
Amber and Matt wed a few weeks ago at the very scenic Padua Hills Theater, having been referred to us by Brandon, the brother of one of our grooms last year (Katie & Brett’s wedding). Incidentally, during that time Felicia had to rush back to Singapore to see her ailing father and could not be at Katie & Brett’s wedding with me, so when Brandon saw her at Amber & Matt’s wedding, he asked if she was “one of the workers for Robert Paetz”. Of course, without missing a beat, my wife deadpanned “Yes.”
In all honesty, she is actually my boss. At least I get bossed around a lot. (Don’t tell her I said that or I’ll get into trouble. Again.)
But I digress. Amber and Matt are super cool, and they exemplified what it means to have a great time on your wedding day. It was certainly our privilege to be part of their special day with their fun-loving selves, family and friends.
Amber wore what could arguably be the most badass wedding shoes we’ve ever seen on a bride yet.
Amber’s grandpa is a collector of vintage cars, and he generously brought his ’58 Chevy Impala so that Matt & Amber could take pictures with it.
Amber’s Dad could barely hold it together when he saw her for the first time that day, and who can blame him?
It was a short ceremony, but what it lacked in length, it made up for with heartfelt emotion — there weren’t many dry eyes in the audience by the time Matt & Amber were done.
Amber, when I say ‘hot mess’, I really mean it in a good way, I swear!
A gorgeous black, white and red themed wedding. Felicia loved it all, and was quite thrilled when Amber insisted she take one of the centerpieces home at the end of the night. We even ran out of vases and jars to put the flowers in because the centerpieces were so lush — I’m pretty sure they each weighed 15lbs at least!
Irish Car Bombs! First of several rounds that night. I may or may not have been coerced into enjoying one. Mmmm….
Amber & Matt, congratulations on your wedding & marriage. We are thrilled for you both and wish you all the awesomeness that life can bring!