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Where Did 2017 Go??? :-)

It’s really hard to believe that we’re approaching the end of 2017 in less than 2 months.  We say it all the time, but where has the time gone?  I swear 2016 went by quick and it seems like 2017 is going by even quicker!

For our studio, the bulk of 2017 was spent really enhancing our cinematography business.  So much time was spent on making sure the studio had the right equipment to uncompromisingly capture the weddings the way we envision, and then after shooting, looking back at what we did right and more importantly analyzing how we could have done better, and then finally putting the effort in editing to create a video that our couples would want to watch over and over again.

It has certainly been a challenge, as each wedding is different, and we want to tell each story in its very unique way.  I’m often asked how we create our videos, and I tell them I honestly don’t know until I start looking at all the footages and painstakingly pick out just the right music based on the vibe of the day.  And that music becomes the backbone of the video.  Sometimes picking out the right music takes a couple hours and sometimes it can take a couple days, and I’ve been known to edit a whole video and restart from scratch because I felt the music just wasn’t right… (sigh) 🙂

As time-consuming as the process is, it’s been completely worthwhile as we’ve gotten nothing but love from our couples (yay!).  And recently two of our highlight videos have been featured on a prominent social media site, and our studio was invited to our first venue bridal show!

So in a nutshell, 2017 has been phenomenal and we can’t thank you enough!  We’re looking forward to 2018 but we want to savor the last couple months of 2017 first with some well-deserved time off in between our last weddings of the year 🙂  Have a great holiday season!!!

A Fallen Soldier Comes Home

This is a hard one to write as this isn’t as easy to write about as a beautiful wedding that I’m accustomed to capturing.  But it is a job that I took on as seriously as any I’ve taken, and by the end of it, I was quite drained.

A U.S. Marine that had just turned 20 years old mysteriuosly and suddenly died while working at the Pentagon in D.C., and I was asked to cover the 3-day memorial service for the family, starting from where the family would receive the body on the tarmac at SFO.  The family wanted his story to be told, and there was news coverage, including a live shot of the motorcade from KTVU News’ helicopter as it proceeded to the family home town of Tracy. There was no shortage of flags and uniformed police and fire fighters at just about every overpass on the 65-mile trek, and the welcome home by the locals in Tracy was nothing less than the heartfelt support that the family needed.

Riding with the Marines and a Navy officer in a chase vehicle in the police-led motorcade was something I won’t ever forget.  And the Freedom Riders, a biker club consisting of active-duty and veteran soldiers, came out in bunches to be a part of the procession.  Matt, a veteran and one of the leaders, insisted that they wanted to make the “best possible” worst-day ever for the deceased family.

The video below is the Hero Welcome of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Lenin Priego Zurita.

I want to thank Tami Weis who accompanied me as the photographer and who did a tremendous job documenting the memorial service while I did the filming.  And thank you to the Pleasanton Police Department who found out I was filming the procession and reached out with photos and videos from an overpass as the procession passed below.

Paws In Need

I had a super opportunity to give back a little to the community during the short wedding off-season by helping out some amazing folks at a non-profit organization called Paws In Need.  Paws In Need is an all-volunteer driving team that raises money and helps out low-income families when faced pet emergencies that can get pretty financially straining.  Paws In Need also helps alleviate over-population of stray pets without euthenasia by offering to trap and spay or neuter the pets without cost.  For more information on how you can help Paws In Need, please visit http://www.Paws-In-Need.org.

Church of the Nativity Wedding in Menlo Park | Faye & Eric

A January wedding amidst one of the wettest winters in California history, you’d guess it would be a wet wedding day for Faye and Eric.  But you know what, it rained all the way up to the day before the wedding, cleared up on the wedding day, and resumed with rain the day after.  The wedding day was beautiful, with the ceremony taking place at Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park, one of the really quaint steeple churches in the Bay Area — and certainly one of my favorite churches to shoot at!

And the Palo Alto Garden Court Hotel, a boutique hotel nestled off the busy University Ave, provided some very European flair for the afternoon reception.  The unique reception featured a piñata, and the talented families from around the world shared their singing, dancing, and piano performances.

Congratulations to you Faye and Eric.  Wishing you all the best in your next chapter together!

 

Photography: Alex Win Studios
Getting Ready Hotel: Stanford Park Hotel, Menlo Park
Ceremony: Church of the Nativity, Menlo Park
Reception: Palo Alto Garden Court Hotel, Palo Alto

Lake Merced Golf Club Wedding in Daly City | Yvonne & Steven

Such an amazingly fun time spending the day with Yvonne and Steven with their close friends and family on their special day.  All the boy band tunes (they reconnected at a New Kids On The Block concert) admittedly took us back in time.  But it was great fun and there’s no denying everyone loved the wedding.  Congrats to the newlyweds and thank you for letting us capture your day.  Enjoy the highlights!

 

 

Cinematography: Alex Win Studios
Venue: Lake Merced Golf Club

 

Wedgewood Napa Wedding | Millicent & Ahkin

The rain poured on this one Saturday afternoon in October 2016.  But it just made for a little wet but still memorably beautiful wedding for Millicent and Ahkin.

I promise to love you unconditionally when we’re together and when we’re apart through the sunshine and through the rain…

Thank you to my awesome team — Albert, Shelby, and Gilda — for capturing this wonderful day for Millicent and Ahkin.  I truly could not have done it without you guys!

 

Cinematography: Alex Win Studios
Photography: Alex Win Studios
Venue: Wedgwood Napa at Kennedy Park

Nella Terra Cellars Wedding in Sunol | Nikki & Nate

It was a terrific honor to have been a part of the wedding for Nikki and Nate at beautiful Nella Terra Cellars, a little-known venue nestled and hidden in the Sunol hills.  The long walkway down the steps amongst the vineyards certainly was most memorable for Nikki as she marched towards Nate, and we were fortunate to be able to capture this from a hundred feet above!  Check out their wedding highlight below, and stay tuned for an excerpt from this year’s funniest Father-Of-The-Bride speech at the end 🙂

 

Cinematographer: Alex Win Studios
Venue: Nella Terra Cellars

First Presbyterian Church Wedding in Richmond | Fernanda & Janser

Truly a fabulous day for our team of photographers and videographers to capture Fernanda and Janser’s special day, a unique blend of Brazilian and American cultures.  We loved the energy and vibe, especially the alternative to the more common money dance where the groomsmen go around coercing kindly requesting all the gentlemen into donating to the bride & groom’s honeymoon fund.  Truly a fun and fruitful tradition that we’ll keep in mind for our own family weddings!!!

Thank you so much to Fernanda and Janser, and to their amazing family and bridal party, who really made us feel like family.  And a big thanks goes to my team (Albert, Summer, and Austin) for successfully capturing the essence of the day.

 

Photography: Alex Win Studios
Cinematography: Alex Win Studios
Makeup: Cejana Ferreira
Ceremony: First Presbyterian Church
Reception: Pleasant Hill Community Center

 

Heather Farms Wedding in Walnut Creek | Jasmine & Johnny

When you first meet Jasmine and Johnny, it’s not hard to notice that Johnny’s the quiet one and Jasmine is perhaps almost quite the opposite.  But together, you can tell there’s so much chemistry between the two and that they’ve genuinely fallen for each other.

The long-distance relationship while Jasmine pursues her degree at UCLA while Johnny was working in the Bay Area obviously was not easy, but with Johnny recently finding a job down south, this wedding begins a new chapter in their lives together, in a big way.  And their wedding day could not have turned out any better — so many friends and family were there to celebrate with the two of them.

The day began at the Lafayette Park Hotel in Lafayette.  It’s the beautiful hotel nestled within the trees that always catches my eye when I’m heading west on the 24, and one that was on my Love-To-Shoot-At List.  And it didn’t disappoint.  This is where Jasmine, her bridesmaids, and Mom would get ready.

Nearby at the Embassy Suites in Walnut Creek, Johnny and his entourage prepared for his big day.

All prettied up and ready to go!

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The ceremony at Heather Farms begins as Jasmine is accompanied by Dad down the aisle while Shar stood to officiate her sister’s wedding.

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Re-enacting the kiss for the bridal party in case they might have missed it.  Pretty convincing to me!

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The sun was quickly setting behind the foothills, so as any good photographer would do, I made Jasmine and Johnny walk around the lake to get some shots. It was worth missing out on cocktails, right???

The fun night begins with some awesome toasts and continued with delicious food, fun, and a lot of Persian dancing!  Even Jasmine’s Uncle fought for and caught the bouquet 🙂

And with that, the night ends, and Jasmine and Johnny spends some alone time together under the moon (with me of course!)…

Thank you to my awesome photographer friend Dan from Dan Johansen Photography for capturing a lot of the amazing images.  Thank you also to Mirella Riga from An Everlasting Moment who coordinated the day.  And of course to Jasmine and Johnny, and parents, for entrusting me to press my shutter button at the right times!  It was certainly a pleasure for me to have captured a lot of special moments for you so you can reflect back on the day that came and went by too fast!

~ Alex

 

Photographer: Alex Win Studios
Wedding Coordinator: Mirella Riga, An Everlasting Moment
Hair & Makeup: Prettyologie
Hotel: Lafayette Park Hotel & Embassy Suites Walnut Creek
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Heather Farm Community Center

The Palm Event Center Wedding in Pleasanton | Mirium & Tariq

I have to admit, my jaw literally dropped when I saw how The Palm Event Center was decked out on this wedding day.  Everything was impeccable — the tea candle lit barrels, the chandeliers, the rose petal and candle lined aisle, the beautiful florals…

You can certainly tell how much Mirium and Tariq wanted their big day to be special and how much all their family and friends meant to them with the amount of planning that must have gone in to make this day happen.  It would be a celebration that everyone certainly would remember!

The day had finally come, and with that, the bride and groom prepped to look their best for everyone.

With the traditional suspenders and classic black on white tuxes, Tariq and the boys cleaned up quite nicely.  In fact Tariq looked quite royal, don’t you think?

This while Marium prepared to slip into her gorgeous gown and look simply stunning herself.  Stunningly princess you might say…

Mirium and Tariq chose to spend a private moment before ceremony with a First Look.  But as you can see, the guys couldn’t resist looking on.  The couple didn’t care, and two could not be happier to see each other.

And not soon after, the ceremony began.  It was a packed house, and everyone was dressed to the nines.

We had a brief time afterward to get some portraits, catching the sunset before the light dipped below the foothills.

And the party began shortly after, starting with a beautiful First Dance!

And it continued with delicious traditional Afghani food, fun, singing and dancing!

The night didn’t complete without an alone time before the balloon send-off by all the guests!

Quite an awesome day and an awesome night for the beautiful couple.  I hope your wedding was everything you dreamed it would be and more, Mirium and Tariq.  Thank you sincerely for allowing me to capture it for you.

Thank you also to the wonderful folks at The Palm Event Center, and especially to Jenny Whitney who was always helpful with a smile — it was so good to work with you again.  And to Tony Chu who helped me capture some amazing images.

~ Alex

 

Photography: Alex Win Studios
Venue: The Palm Event Center
Event Planner: Jenny Whitney, The Palm Event Center
Music/DJ: Ahmed Hashem, DJ Ahmed
Florist: Edgar Martinez, Flowers by Edgar
Lighting: Nick Lehr, Fantasy Sound Event Services
Food Purveyor: Zarmina Wahid, Salang Pass Restaurant

Kirigin Cellars Wedding in Gilroy | Shanna & Chris

It’s not often you meet a really sweet couple like Shanna and Chris, and when they asked our studio to capture their wedding with both photography and videography, it was certainly an honor. Chris proposed to Shanna at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, and this special winery is where they ended up tying the knot in front of their friends and family. Their wedding story is captured in this short highlight reel.

Congrats to you, Shanna and Chris!

Thank you to all our partners that helped in making this a very special day!  And of course, Albert and Raian for their camera work.

Wedding Ceremony and Reception: Kirigin Cellars
Photography: Alex Win Studios
Cinematography: Alex Win Studios
DJ: DJ Curtis

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