Wedding: Planning our own!

November 30, 2011

Luke and I have been gradually planning our wedding for next August 18th. We chose the Plummer House in Rochester MN, it's a Tudor style mansion with beautiful grounds and gardens. As it's the first time doing this we've realized just how much work goes into planning a wedding! We're constantly amazed and inspired by the vendors we have been able to work with in the wedding industry, and it really does take many, many hands. We feel very blessed to have some of the MOST talented people be a part of our wedding: our friend Tanja Lippert is our photographer, with Tia Reagan styling, and Andrew Hsu of Studio MSV will be shooting our wedding film.

 After all the weddings we have seen and been a part of, we decided we wanted ours to feel "homemade, whimsical, rustic elegant," and to include things we love: luke's homebrewed beer, a piano outside, hand painted invites and signs... So here is a little board I put together of some of our ideas, and inspiration.

Wedding: Radhika & Nick at Paradise Ridge Winery

November 16, 2011

Radhika and Nick's wedding at Paradise Ridge Winery was a beautiful blend of both their backgrounds, with a traditional western ceremony and Indian ceremony. We had a great time working alongside Kristy Ahumada of Volatile Photography.

Wedding: Jennifer & Tom at V Sattui Winery

November 16, 2011

Jennifer & Tom were married at V Sattui Winery, in Napa. It was a beautiful day for a wedding in wine country, with miles of vineyards to wander through. A beautiful courtyard strung with lights set the scene for their ceremony and the reception was unveiled in the barrel room. Photographed by Shannon Stellmacher.

Maternity shoot: Gabrielle

November 11, 2011

A few months ago I tagged along on a great photoshoot put together by Crystal from Amazae Special Events and shot by Lindsey Freitas of BellaLu Photography. Gabi from Gabrielle's Bridal Atelier was beautifully styled by Maria Chang from Professional Makeup Artistry and looking stunning along with her daughter and husband. We shot this at Sand Rock Farm in Aptos, CA which was a new location for me (and obviously beautiful). It was a hard day of work without Pamela, and it reminded me of how hard she works on our shoots! We love working together so much, but we can't always both be there on some of these vendor shoots.

Wedding: Hyuni and Chris at Hakone Gardens

November 02, 2011

Hyuni and Chris were married at the beautiful Hakone Gardens. It's a beautiful venue in Saratoga, with lush Japanese gardens, bamboo forests and koi ponds. Hyuni and Chris celebrated their heritage with a tea ceremony during their reception. Pamela and I shot this wedding earlier this summer, and on a hot sunny day we had a blast!

Wedding: Aubrey and Derrick at V. Sattui Winery

August 27, 2011

Aubrey and Derrick had a beautiful day at V. Sattui winery in Napa. Pamela and I love shooting up there (even with the two hour drive each way). Aubrey loves cinema, and it was a pleasure getting to work with yet another wonderful client who appreciates film.

Jessica Fisher shot this one with us, it's always a pleasure to have her on board. Here's a teaser! Prospective clients; email us and we'll send you a link to the full length film. Shannon Stellmacher was the photographer.

Engaged: US! (Pamela and Luke)

July 12, 2011

Pamela and I have been dating for three years now, and have been friends for nearly eight. In mid June I proposed, and amazingly enough, she said yes! Pamela is my best friend and companion, she understands me like no other and we simply "get" each other.

We are so excited to plan our own wedding an join our clients in the "recently engaged" club. Pamela and I are planning a wedding for August 2012 in Rochester Minnesota. I took these photos a few hours before proposing in San Francisco.

Family Vacation: Colorado

June 29, 2011

The continental Divide
Every two years my family on my Moms side gets together for an amazing reunion in Colorado. This year we stayed in Fraser Colorado, and there were about 30 of us in attendance. (We typically have 50!) Pamela and I had a great time, hiking, swimming, rafting and enjoying the beautiful scenery. I'm especially fascinated with the CLOUDS. Here's a little time lapse footage I shot in about an hour one afternoon/evening. One evening there was a cloud that looked like a flying saucer! (See this, the last clip in the video).

Final Cut Pro X Released. A sad day.

June 21, 2011

I have waited a long time for Final Cut Pro X to be released (Several years of rumors). With big promises, it fails to deliver on the most fundamental features I need.

No support for opening old projects from FCP7, no multiclip, no XML support, no chapter markers (for DVD creation), and it is the buggiest piece of software I've ever worked with. You can't have two graphics cards in your system- period. It renders out garbage like this instead of video:

You are also unable to have both FCP7 and FCPX open at the same time, which considering they don't support each others files, you would think they would let you open both simultaneously!

Do NOT purchase this software before checkout out this article:

I will be staying with FCP7, and looking at adobe premiere pro as a more current software replacement. Apple, I may consider moving to a windows Machine if I no longer use FCP. I have owned 9 Apple computers in the last 8 years, and never have I felt so neglected as a user. Simply put: You can NOT edit a wedding video professionally on the new software. The software however will be wonderful for home users! Call it iMovie Pro.

After Dark Vignette.

June 10, 2011

I traveled with Tanja Lippert and Tia Reagan to LA last weekend to help out on a wedding in downtown LA. The skyline was amazing, and I couldn't help myself but to shoot a short time-lapse in some of our downtime. This is un-colorcorrected, and a quick little edit, but a lot of fun. We have a few amazing wedding edits we are working on right now, and Pamela and I can't wait to share them with everyone (especially the client!).

Nestldown Promo shoot.

May 24, 2011

A few weeks ago Pamela and I worked with a great group of vendors from Elite Vendor Group. Every single person involved in this group is on top of their craft. It was a pleasure working with them all. I will not even attempt to write about all of them, but their credits are listed below. It takes a large group of people to execute a shoot like this, and the same goes for a real wedding.

Nestldown is a beautiful private estate that hosts many weddings each year. The grounds are stunning and made for an incredible backdrop for our shoot. Take a look at this video to see what we came up with!

Laura Sabahi
LS Blooms

Christina Hernandez 
Nightingale Photography 

Kati Decker
LightSplash Photography
Kristen Calderaro 
Make-up by Kristen 

Gigi Moss
Hair by Gigi

Lauren Beene
Lauren Beene Skincare

Azita, In the Olde Manner

Sergio Arellano
BlazeWave Entertainment 
Eleanor Abril
2inspire Designs 
Lisa Eliopoulos
Cakepop Delight

Jen Kwapinski
Jen’s Cakes 
Susie and Sonny
A1 Rentals, Redwood City

Brooke Greene
Nestldown Venue

Arlene Marcos
“Ah…New Beginnings” Professional Wedding Consulting 

A1 Party Rentals

Garrett Dunham

Jillian Gomez
Amy Vosters

Flower girl
Elliana Sabahi
Victoria (Tori) Beene
Lauren Beene Skincare
A special thanks to the owners of Nestldown 
to opening Nestldown to us for this shoot.

Wedding: Yui and Duy at Clos La Chance

May 16, 2011

Two weeks ago Pamela and I shot a wedding at Clos La Chance, a winery we love to visit outside of weddings. The winery makes for a stunning backdrop and they added a wonderful color palate of cream and pink.

The vendors included Jondel Goldsmith with the fantastic catering of Le Papillon, which served a phenomenal meal; I have come to expect nothing less from them. Makeup was by Lisa Strutz.

We also worked alongside photographer Khris Griffis, and had a great time with them throughout the day. It's always great to meet photographers we haven't worked with yet! Flowers were Tanjeeryn Designs and the Cake was by Satura Cake.

We had a wonderful time shooting there! Congratulations and thanks to Yui and Duy for having us be part of their special day!

Spring Cherry Blossom Shoot

May 05, 2011

Last month Pamela and I worked on a collaborative project with Wedding vendors including: Photography: Jill Johnson Photography  Event Concept and Styling Coastside Couture  DessertsEdith Meyer Wedding Cakes  Beauty Ingrid Marayag Makeup Artistry  Hair Design Mimi and Taylor Salon  Video Luke Goodman Photo and Cinema  Stationery: Crescent Moon Paper Company   Florals: Fionna Floral  Dresses Gabrielle's Bridal Atelier  Suit Rental Eli Thomas for Men  Linen Rental: Alexis Party Rentals

I really enjoy working as a team, and it's why I love filmmaking.  You can't thist alone.  The girls put together a beautiful shoot, and we finally got the weather to cooperate.

The video is a combination of behind the scenes and beauty shots, and a great chance to get ready for some large weddings coming up and try out some new gear.  We shot at a cherry blossom field in Gilroy, and though many of the blooms had fallen due to rain, it was stunning!

We were published on Style Unveiled! I'm so happy to get our work out there!

Travelling. Flight. Noise Canceling Headphones.

April 04, 2011

I don't get to travel as much as I'd like to, but I do end up flying four to five times throughout the year.  I flew to Japan last spring and during that trip I found out what a pleasure noise canceling headphones can be.  At first glance, they seem like a great solution to tune out talkative adults and (more likely) crying infants on the flight, but after many uses I have found them to solve a few other issues.  Jetlag being the largest.  I noticed that when I fly with these on, I feel far less groggy, disorientated and fatigued.  I believe (however not backed up by any science whatsoever!) that tuning out all of the external noise and the loud roar of the engines creates this less stressful flying experience.

I have a pair of noise canceling headphones from Sony.  I found them to be the best buy for the price.  These headphones can get fairly expensive, some nearly the cost of a new computer.  This pair has functioned very well, the battery life is long and they are relatively compact.

I can't fly without them anymore.  We are constantly bombarded by noise in our daily lives, and flying is a social overload.  These could also be used at the office, or at home, to tune out unwanted distractions in our daily lives.  (I once used them while they were jack-hammering the concrete next door!)

Noise canceling headphones work in two ways: First, the simple part; most of them are closed ear design, meaning they physically block the sound by covering your entire ear..  The manufacturers even use special sound-obsorbing foam to keep out even more external noise.

The second half of canceling noise is a little more high tech.  A small microphone and speaker mimic the exact sound coming from outside the headphones.  Two identical sound-waves that point towards each other cancel each other out!

Overall, this makes for a much more tolerable flight experience.  Give it a try next time you fly.  Head over to your local bestbuy or fry's, pick out a pair, use it on a trip, and if you don't like the result, return them- my bet?  You won't take want to take them back.

Things to Consider When looking for a Videographer.

March 31, 2011

I was going to write an article on "What to look for in a Videographer or Cinematographer"  As it turns out, a friend of mine James Burkart of Burkart Studios wrote a fantastic article that is on his website, describing in great detail what to look for, and things to consider when commissioning a videographer for your wedding.  James is also a very talented videographer, meticulous about sound, and I don't hesitate to recommend him to anyone!

Minnesota Timelapse

March 28, 2011

I love where I grew up, southeast Minnesota.  Minnesota is absolutely beautiful in the summer.  Lots of sunshine, rain when we need it, and beautiful clouds.  I shot this time-lapse this past summer while visiting Minnesota to shoot a wedding.  This is the view from my parents garden on the back side of their house.

Minnesota Timelapse 2010 from Luke Goodman on Vimeo.

Beer: Brewing and the Keggerator

March 21, 2011

I have not shot my first wedding for the year, but I absolutely can't wait for this season to start!  My first wedding is April 8th down in San Diego (Hi Clare and Doug!) Then the season is going to be picking up momentum quickly. I have a few great shoots planned in the next month or two (if this rain will ever stop), and I'll be sharing them as they come back from the lab. In the meantime, a bit about one of my hobbies.

Keggerator: Keg+Refrigerator. In other words, a convenient way to serve beer in your home. My setup works just like a tap at any bar you might go to (although mine is MUCH cleaner). About three years ago I helped my longtime childhood friend George and his father brew a batch of beer in their Minnesota kitchen. At that point I had already loved beer, but I found that this was only the beginning. Shortly after this event, I purchased my own kit similar to this at Morebeer has a location in Los Altos, and the staff is very friendly and helpful.  I found that it was surprisingly easy to get started brewing!

A brewing overview:

Brewing consists of malting grains (think of making tea with grains), adding malt syrup, adding hops for flavoring and bittering, cooling the grain tea (now called wort) and then pitching (dumping) yeast in a fermenter. The yeast then ferments, eating the sugars and creating C02 and alcohol. The beer is then bottled or Kegged, aged and ready to be served. This process is no more difficult than baking a batch of cookies or making bread.  You can make any style of beer, and it's usually phenomenal!  I have brewed 28 batches of beer in three years, and I have yet to have a beer that hasn't turned out.

Here's a short clip of my Keggerator with my homebrew being poured off the tap.  Thanks to Pamela for being my hand model!

Currently I have the following beers either brewing or in keg in my home:

Simcoe Pale ale Dry hopped
Honey Wheat ale
Simcoe India Pale Ale
Seduction Stout
Russian Imperial Stout
Rye India Pale Ale
English Traditional Bitter
Irish Dry stout

...and a keg of Drakes Denoggonizer

I encourage anyone who loves beer to try brewing, as it's been a really great hobby in the last few years. Here is a great book on brewing from amazon, it has all the information you could possibly need.

Fraud Protection and Stolen Credit Card Number.

March 14, 2011

Three weeks ago we took a trip to Las Vegas for WPPI, the worlds largest photography convention. Pamela and I had a great time seeing friends, meeting new people, learning from other photographers and most importantly being inspired for the coming wedding season. We are booking up, and very excited to work with all of our new clients!

Three days after our trip, some odd charges started showing up on my credit card. I never lost it, and I'm very careful with it online.  I am also careful with my passwords for my online accounts. I use a piece of software called 1Password and it's absolutely a life saver. 1Password allows you to store ALL of your passwords, credit cards, and account info in one place, where it is encrypted online and accessible from all of your computers and devices. Have you ever forget one of your passwords? 1Password sets this up perfectly, not to mention you can have it generate very secure passwords along the lines of: "th37fqrtlmp89043ngk."

More to the point of this post, I believe someone in Vegas pulled my number, and started using it overseas. Five unauthorized charges showed up in Europe which prompted Capitol One to give me a call. They seem to have a good fraud protection department. They sent me a list of transactions online, which I verified as authorized or not, then closed out my account and sent me a new card.

Through this process I learned that by federal law you are only liable for $50 maximum, as long as the charges are reported in time.  Many card companies will even cover the $50 (as mine did), and the card user ends up liable for nothing at all. This is the way it should be, as credit card companies make a fortune from their users.

My advice?  Watch for credit card skimmers (which scan your card as you use an ATM), and keep a close eye on your transactions each week, if not bi-weekly. Use a website like, a completely free tracking software that allows you to view all of your accounts at once, such as auto/house/student loans, bank accounts, credit cards and more!
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