Happy Anniversary Ceci and Steve; It’s been five years already!

Every wedding is special. Often I go back and look at photos of a wedding just to cheer myself up. I thought that I would reminisce about the wedding of Ceci and Steve at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History five years ago! Happy anniversary! Since the wedding was so loooong ago, I thought it would be fun to age the photos. Here’s a playful selection from that very special day, officiated by Rich Tobin, with music by Spencer the Gardener, and a special performance by the groom himself, Steve Fort. Cheers!

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Wedding Dance Video with Exxxplosivo DJ’s

Wedding Dance Medley, featuring Exxxplosivo DJ’s from Isaac Hernandez on Vimeo.

I’m working on a new post with photos from Michelle and David’s wedding in Ojai, at Twin Peaks Ranch, catered by SBB Gourmet Catering, coordinated by Donna Romani Events, and DJ’d by DJ THC Electra from Exxxplosivo DJ’s. But there are so many great photos that’s taking me a while to make a tight selection. In the meantime, enjoy this video. I’ve never seen the dance floor so busy at a wedding. DJ THC Electra’s great. Thank you Michelle for counting on me to do your wedding photography!

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Lauren and Michael, Santa Barbara Wedding Photography Slideshow

The Wedding of Lauren and Michael from Isaac Hernandez on Vimeo.

You may remember this wedding from a previous post, but I had promised Lauren and Michael a slideshow to their music of choice. And here it is. They chose “In My Life” by The Beatles for the first part of this slideshow because that’s the song that played as they walked down the aisle after their wedding ceremony at Elings Park in Santa Barbara. “(I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons” by Nat King Cole was their first dance, and serves as the backdrop for the second half of this slideshow.

I’ve photographed many celebrities and personalities. When I photograph a wedding, I think of everyone as a celebrity, especially the bride. Thank you Lauren and Michael for letting me be your celebrity photographer. I suppose that’s why my son call me papa-razzi.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love being a wedding photographer because everybody has a good time during the celebration, and afterwards, when looking at the photos that help relive those wonderful memories.

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Five Fathers for Father’s Day

In honor of all fathers, and all mothers (because you need a mother to make a father), I’m posting some photos from my archives featuring fathers. Happy Father’s Day!

Magic Johnson and his daughter. Los Angeles, 1998.Mario Chavez kisses his son across the US/Mexico border. He cannot travel into Mexico because he’s on parole, and sees his family on weekends across the fence. Borderfield State Park, 2010.

Daddy Dan, Poppy Kevin and Sarah (left to right). San Francisco, 2000. Part of the story “Daddy and Poppy Love Me”, published in Magazine El Mundo (Spain). San Francisco, 2000.

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, 1991

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Laguna Beach Wedding

I’m a Santa Barbara wedding photographer, and I love it here. And I also love to travel, especially for a wedding. Last spring I went from photographing EcoHeroes in New York straight into photographing a wedding in Laguna Beach.

The ceremony was at St. Francis by the Sea, “The American Catholic Church”, a cute tiny building built in 1933 from materials salvaged from the Long Beach Earthquake. The aisle is so narrow that the bride’s parents had to walk pretty much in front and behind the bride. The reception was at the beautiful Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar. The chef was Pascal Olhats, chef owner of Pascal Restaurant, Épicerie Pascal and Café Jardin, in Newport Beach. The event coordinator and caterer was Patti Brienza, of Events by Patti in Costa Mesa. And the music was from West Coast Music. I have so many great photos from this happy wedding that it was difficult to leave many of them out of this selection. I’m including some photos where you can see the location, and some details, just in case they can inspire you in preparing your wedding.

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Susan and Jon Engagement Photo Session

Just a few photos from our fun photo shoot in Santa Barbara. I look forward to photographing Susan and Jon’s wedding.

I have the best job in the world. Being a wedding photographer I get to entertain people and make them look beautiful all at the same time, all while improving their memories and filling them with happy moments. You could say I’m a plastic surgeon/clown/neurologist/psychologist.

When I photograph, I see it as a mutual contribution. My clients contribute to the projects I’m passonate about, not only photography, but also kids’ theater, environmental journalism, painting… And I contribute to them with joy and beautiful happy memories/photographs. It’s a win/win.

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Natural births

At the birth of my children, I gained tremendous amounts of respect for all mothers. If every man in the world was to watch a natural birth, all mothers would be more appreciated and the world would be a better place.

I’ve been blessed to photograph a couple of natural births, one in a hospital (seen here) and one in a home. I didn’t photograph the birth of my own children, as my wife wanted my full attention and support.

At the home birth I even became a doula, that is, I provided non-medical support during the labour, the birth, and the postpartum period. Doula in Greek means female slave; I can be OK with being called female, but I’m not too excited about the slave part.

If you don’t believe in magic, attend a birth. Or better yet, attend a natural birth. You will experience magic.

When photographing a birth, respect comes first. I also choose to photograph with black-and-white film, as it occurs to me as poetry. If there’s a place where the photographer needs to be invisible, it’s in the birthing room. And at the same time, one has to mentally create a safe space for the child to be born into. When necessary, put the camera down and help.

I have great respect for midwives and doulas as well. That’s why I volunteered to take portraits for the Santa Barbara Birth Center. I also was part of a performance with my friend and doula Virginia Bobro, at the Yoga Soup. She pretended to be pregnant (with a realistic fake belly) and I was the clueless father not knowing what to do during labor. Then, like magic, I switched personalities and became a very supportive father/husband. We were supposed to show the crowd what a difference a father can make in the birthing room, just by being present and creating eye contact with the mother. Virginia did such a great job that I thought she was really going to give birth to “our baby” in front of all those people. I was to be part of an immaculate conception with the wife of my friend! Weird.

After this off-the-wall story, I’ll leave you with some photos of a natural birth with midwife Judy Nichols, back when Cottage Hospital allowed midwives to work alongside their nurses. Now, if you want to have a midwife-supported birth in Santa Barbara, you’ll have to do it at home, or hold the baby in until the Santa Barbara Birth Center opens later this year.

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Weddings make me happy (Inspiration from Elings Park)

“So very beautiful! We looked through the photos again and were so completely overwhelmed. You were able to capture such emotional and joyous moments. We are grateful to you for that. Your strength, no doubt, is your ability to capture “expression” in either one person’s face or in a shared moment between two. More than anything we wanted to have a very intimate wedding and your photos really reflect this. Such a blessing. You really captured some amazing human moments. Thank you!”  — Lauren and Michael

Whenever I feel sad, I like to paint. I also paint when I’m happy, so the fact that I’ve been painting abundantly doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m blue, except when I have painted myself cobalt or turquoise.

Another thing Another favorite activity is looking at wedding photos. Yesterday, I lost myself in the photo album from a wedding I photographed last September. It was great to revisit them. They made me feel good, and I even found some five-star photos which originally I had only rated with one star.

The most difficult thing about editing photos is detaching yourself from the memories of the emotions you felt when you took the photo, and judge just by the emotions the viewer may feel in the instant they are looking at the image.

I love photographing weddings so much that pretty much every photo out of the camera brings happy memories and makes me feel great. I look at the beautiful light, composition or expression, but, ultimately, they remind me of joy and happiness. For the photos here, I chose a few that I thought would bring joy to the reader, or some inspiration to the wedding planner.

I work/play hard at a wedding to make sure I do everything possible to make it the best for you. If these photographs fill you with tears of joy, I’ve succeeded.

If these pictures inspire you in rekindling your love for your partner, I’ve succeeded.

If these pictures bring you closer to your family, closer to other human beings, or closer to nature, I’ve succeeded.

If these photographs inspire you to get in communication with a loved one, I’ve succeeded

If these images inspire you to write poetry, to paint a picture, or to take photographs I’ve succeeded.

What’s not to love about photographing weddings? There are some many occasions for success!

I posted these photos here so that you can also get ideas to plan a wedding. This dress is from David’s Bridal.

You can consider a wedding at Godric Grove, at Elings Park, Santa Barbara (as long as the music is not so loud that it would disturb the neighbors).

You can consider Pure Joy Catering (delicious to the eyes and the taste buds).

You can dance if you want to.

Mazel tov!

Santa Barbara Wedding:

Godric Grove location rental: $4,500

David’s Bridal wedding dress: $300

Photography by Isaac: Priceless

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Happy Perihelion

A beautiful card resulted from a quick photo shoot at Leadbetter Beach and the Santa Barbara Wharf. Thank you, Andreattas for posing for my camera. Photo: ©2011 Isaac Hernández.

For as much as I complain about the commercialization of Christmas, I always love receiving holiday cards from faraway friends, and from those close-by. Sometimes the “cards” come as blog entries, such as this one from my friend and publicist Jeanna Zelin, who went as far as to praise my work as a photographer (you’re too kind, Jeanna).

I love to see people happy. That’s also why I love taking pictures of families and kids. I love to make them smile and laugh and have a good time taking photos. I want the people who I photograph to have good memories from the experience. Having fun is part of the process. For the pictures above, we played on Leadbetter Beach, and then went on to the Santa Barbara Wharf, which proved to be a great choice.

From here I want to say to everyone who has ever posed for my camera, thank you, happy new year and happy Perihelion.

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Seventeen dogs, and a pig.

After I painted Yoshi yesterday, I decided to post a collection of dog portraits for dog lovers out there. Some of these photos were actually taken at weddings. I included a couple of paintings, which I did from live animals, not from photographs. I love dogs. If you scroll down, you will also find a pig among the dogs. This is the same pig I painted for Christmas, when he was just a piglet.

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