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Julia + Kevin | Julia Morgan Ballroom Wedding – San Francisco

First wedding of the year, off to a great start!

Julia and Kevin have gone down in history as our most photographed clients thus far. We began our time together when Kevin got in touch with us before they were engaged so that I could document their proposal. We worked out the location on an Embarcadero pier, and the approximate timing, and I pretended to be a tourist, taking pictures of the bridge, the Ferry Building, etc as I saw them approach me and walk past. I kept on eye on the action while doing my best “definitely not a creepy guy watching a couple on the pier” impression until he made his move.  It was fun operating like a clandestine operation, and thankfully Julia said yes before being ambushed by both their families.  We were off to quite the start!  We also did 2 engagement sessions prior to the wedding, another first!  They’re true photography enthusiasts, and it’s always a pleasure to work with clients who trust you and give you the time and freedom to push boundaries and technique to create something special.


This next image was quite a technical challenge.  I noticed we had some extra time with the wedding party, so I envisioned something a little extra special.  I’ve done a few of these types of images in the past, but this was the biggest.  This is actually made up of several images/exposures to allow me to create a lighting scenario not possible with a single frame.  Not something we get to do very often, but the result is pretty amazing.  (If I do say so myself);-)Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-14_14Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-15_15Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-16_16Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-17_17Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-18_18Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-19_19Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-20_20Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-21_21Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-22_22Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-23_23Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-24_24Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-25_25Julia_Morgan_Ballroom_Wedding-26_26


  • Chelsea Patricia - Well, just, dang.

  • Jennifer Skog Stewart - <3

  • Magic Moment - Really cool pictures. Congratulations.

Kathryn + Joseph | Martis Camp Wedding – Truckee, Lake Tahoe

Day two also took place at the wonderfully scenic, Martis Camp near Lake Tahoe in Truckee.  There were a couple of hurdles that nature had presented them, the raging fires in the area had introduced some smoke into the horizon, and carnivorous yellow jackets moved the meals into tents, not quite what they had imagined, but they took it in stride and never lost those smiles that seem a permanent fixture on their faces.  They have such a natural ease and enthusiasm for each other and their loved ones, it’s all quite infectious.

It has to be said that they likely owe some of the ease they experienced on the two days of celebration even in the face of these acts of nature to their amazing planner/designer Laurel from Esla Events.  Pulling off huge last minute changes of location and configuration would have been a daunting challenge without herself and her team.

I have to admit though, from a photography perspective the smoke was actually pretty cool.  It really gave the scenery a lot of depth, distinguishing one row of hills from the next, and filtered the light in interesting ways all day long.

Malarie’s shot:

Grandma couldn’t look more proud.

Malarie’s shot:

Getting ready to walk down the aisle as a family:

Malarie’s shot:

Their officiant was a dear friend, and he got to be the first to congratulate them.

The day was also characterized by the many children present.  These next two kids made quite an impression.  The first is a natural performer:

The second fell in love with a performer.  He danced staring up at her all night with stars in his eyes, and literally leapt at the chance to dance with her on stage.  He even brought her a cupcake when she took her break. Sounds like me at his age.:-)

Fire pits can be a little scary.

These were the wedding crashers.  Residents from nearby houses came down for their own bit of celebration in their PJ’s.

Thank you so much for bringing us along, and we hope to shoot a few more of your weddings in the future.:-)


Vendor Team:

Planning - Esla Events / Laurel Anderson

Venue/Caterer – Martis Camp / Pamela Schmidt

Florals – La Fleuriste / Lidia Sadoun

Band - The Cheeseballs

Hair/Makeup – Eliza Desch


  • ARI - Fantastic job Cliff.

  • Cliff - Thanks man!

  • Ron Miller - Awesome shots! Love the way you setup the location =)

Kathryn + Joseph | Martis Camp Birthday – Lake Tahoe

We first began the conversation with Kathryn + Joseph a couple of years ago when they began planning their wedding.  Then they were soon thereafter blessed with the news of their impending daughter, and their main wedding was put on hold, although they have had 2 private wedding ceremonies in the meantime.  There was the opening line from Kathryn’s vows that summed that part up perfectly: “This isn’t our first wedding, or our second, it’s our third wedding.  I’m also pretty sure it won’t be our last, because I so love marrying you”.  Kathryn + Joseph are the types to wear their feelings on their faces, and they made it obvious that they have enough love between them for dozens of weddings, and one really wonderful marriage.

We were with them for 2 days at Martis Camp in Truckee near Lake Tahoe, the first of which was a party for their now 1yr old daughter.  She’s adorable, and just as expressive as her parents. It was also fun to shoot something a little bit different.  Coventry and Kaluza of Circus Bella were there on hand as performers and taught guests juggling and hula hoop tricks.

Stay tuned for the wedding day tomorrow!

Malarie’s shot:

The birthday girl!

Kids do weird things sometimes….:-)

Malarie’s shot:

Joseph’s dad is crazy for that granddaughter!

Come back to see the wedding tomorrow!




Carolina + Vincent | Merida, Mexico Destination Wedding

Carolina and I attended high school together back in Tucson, AZ where I grew up.  I started a life in SF after college, and Carolina and Vincent met in Washington DC.  Through the magic of Facebook we rebooted our friendship cross country, and when it came time for her to marry, we were thrilled that she and Vincent brought us with them to document their destination wedding in Merida, Mexico at Hacienda Chichi Suarez.  It was quite a day.  The Hacienda was absolute photographic candy, and they definitely know how to party!  It was great to see an old friend end up so happy, and I’m so glad we could be a part of it.

*On a technical note I just completed a revamp of the blog design, and this post is the first with the new look!  The design is much more to my minimalist taste, and the photos are now 1000px instead of 850px.

It’s a little known fact that tequila aids in the wedding dress fitting process considerably.

Malarie got these next two of Vincent:

We could have shot portraits here with these two all day long.

A few of the days details:

This might be my favorite “entrance” photo yet.

Vincent’s family was there all the way from France, so we got to use our rusty French in addition to our even rustier Spanish.  Here they made up a song to serenade them.

Thanks so much for bringing us along on this part of your adventure!


  • Ryan C. Jones - Seriously incredible coverage. Great job man.

  • Ed - Gorgeous couple and stunning bride! Damn best set I’ve seen from you mang! Killed it.

  • Dexter Lo - Wow! Really, really strong work Cliff & Malarie. I’m sure the bride & groom are thrilled with their wedding photos!

  • Shauna - Beautiful work, guys

  • Chris Werner - Wow, you guys totally nailed this one. Nice!!!

  • Cliff - Thanks guys! We’re pretty proud of how this turned out!

  • Carolina - Cliff, you did an amazing job. I can’t wait to see the rest!

  • Hannes Uys - Stunning work Cliff! Beautiful!

  • Ashley - Love everything about this wedding. Where is the dress from? Especially love the picture of the little girl dancing with the mariachi band.