Wedding Photography | — Ken and Vesta —

Wedding Photography

This is the page where we feature a few photos from twenty or thirty of our weddings for you to check out, so you can get a better idea of our work. Also, the first six photo albums below have random files in them from several of our weddings and you can set them on slideshow and give them a watch if you'd like.

We try to rotate these weddings, you know, take one down when we add a new one, but sometimes we might add one or two and we can’t decide which one we should remove and sometimes we get backlogged and so this page might remain unchanged for a couple months (or even longer), even while we add five or seven shots of a newer wedding to one of our other pages. This happens because sadly, we don’t have a webmaster, so we have to do this website stuff ourselves and working on our website is, well, kind of a drag, while working on wedding photos is something both of us really like doing.


Ashley and Kevin with a glowing sunset behind them on their wedding day.


We are wedding photographers, after all, and we are that because it’s what we love. We don’t, either of us, enjoy doing webwork. We’d rather spend a long day with a bride, her groom and her guests, than a couple hours on the computer using web software from Hell. Maybe there’s software out there not designed by the Devil, but we haven’t found it. And besides, now that our website has grown so large, we’re stuck with what we have.


Brittney looking beautiful on her wedding day.


As for how we shoot a wedding, we usually start our day fairly early with the bride as she’s getting ready. We take photos of her getting her hair and makeup done and if her bridesmaids are there, we shoot them too. And if they go to the mall or a beauty salon to have it done, we are more than happy to go there with them. Heck, we’d go to Timbuktu or Kalamazoo if that’s what it takes to get pictures of her doing her makeup. 

Ken disappears when the bride starts to don her wedding dress and goes groom hunting. Once he finds the man of the hour and his groomsmen, he shoots them as they don their wedding attire, while Vesta shoots the bride getting into her dress.


April with her brides maids lacing up her wedding dress.


Then we head to the ceremony site. Vesta sometimes rides with the bride, getting still more photos as Ken waits with the groom, his groomsmen and the officiant. Shooting the ceremony is pretty straight forward. We’re polite with the pastor, priest, rabbi, reverend, minister, shaman or newly appointed internet officiant, when we ask them what their restrictions are, photography wise, and Ken always agrees to abide by their rules, but if they’re too strict, he always breaks them.


Jess and Dan posing in the Truckee river, Jess in her wedding dress and Dan in his tux.


Usually, we do the formal photos right after the ceremony as the guests leave for the reception. We try our best to get them finished in a half hour or so and we mostly succeed. Then it’s onto the reception, which, for us, is a lot of fun. We try to shoot every face there at least a couple times, so that the newly married couple can look back and remember all of the people who helped them celebrate their magic day.


A very large wedding party at the Galena Fish Hatchery.


And when the day is over and the bride and her groom have left the reception to begin their honeymoon and we know we’ve got the shots we need for them to look back on as they grow old together, we usually sit and have a drink together and relive the day.


Weddings Three 007


Vesta came up with the idea for this formal photo above. She thought since we always shoot the bride and her bridesmaids holding their bouquets and since Steve was in uniform that if he and his groomsmen did it and if he could strike kind of a sexy pose that it would be unique.


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Josh and Rebekah went to Burning Man and got Married and a whole bunch of their friends came along to celebrate. In this shot, the bride is the pretty girl in white who looks like a bride and the groom is the handsome man with his heart in his hand.


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Seconds after they said I do, their friends hoisted Josh and Rebekah on their shoulders, as they sang Hava Nagila loud enough to be heard across the Playa. It was a wonderful moment.


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Sometimes, if the couple are up for it, we'll shoot humorous photos, like this one above of Eric and his brother, who aren't really duking it out on Lake Tahoe's south shore. When I posted this on Facebook, I said they were fighting about who was going to be first in the buffet line.

And you can view some more of our wedding photos in the galleries below. And in closing, I'll say it once again, every wedding day is different. Every wedding is special.


*  *  *  *  * 

Weddings are supposed to be like children if you’re a wedding photographer, you shouldn’t have a favorite one. But I do. When Shino and Trevor came to America to get married. It was one of the happiest days of our lives.

When we started doing wedding photography five years ago, we made one of the photos from her wedding our signature photo. It’s on all of my cards. It’s all over our website.

I’ve wanted to put some of her wedding photos on our website for a long time, but I’ve held off, because we weren’t really wedding photographers when she got married.

It’s winter in Reno now and since winter means we have some free time, I’ve decided to finally gather up all of the photos we have of Shino on her special day and finally put them here.


Shino and Trevor

We first met Shino when we were living in a small town called Onerahi in New Zealand. I saw an ad in the paper which said they were looking for twenty-five families to host the same amount of Japanese girls for two weeks and I figured, since Ken studied Japanese in college, that we’d be good candidates.

Shino spoke hardly any English and as it turned out, Ken’s Japanese wasn’t so good, but we fell in love with her right away. Since then, she came to stay with us when we got back to California and she came to visit us when we lived in Trinidad and again in St. Martin.

And when she came to San Diego with her parents, her aunt and Yuko, her maid of honor, to get married, I was over the moon happy with excitement and joy. And I am so glad that I finally have the time to scan these photos and to put them here.


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The photo above of Shino and Yuko was taken in Japan. I put it in Photoshop and and played with it, trying different effects and styles till I found this one. I hope you like it.


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This is a photo of Shinos’s mother Yasuko. Ken had a Japanese program on his Mac which converted Romanji into Kanji and he’d written her a few times and she’d written back, but we’d never met, till the day before Shino’s wedding. Here and in the photo below, she’s playing the piano with Devon.


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I’m sorry, of course, it’s obvious they’re playing the piano. Yusuko doesn’t speak English, but then when this photo was taken, Devon was barely three and didn’t speak it very well himself. Yasuko is a school teacher and she and Devon were acting like old friends in no time at all.


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We all stayed at the Coronado Beach Resort and here Devon is playing in the lobby. Well, not the lobby exactly, but a room for the guests which is adjacent to the lobby. Trevor doesn’t look a bit apprehensive about tomorrow, which is good.


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Here are Shino and Trevor as they arrived for their wedding rehearsal. In a day they’ll be married. I can’t tell you how excited I was. Shino is rocking that leather jacket.


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Shino wanted Devon to be the ring bearer and we did too. However, we started to get a little worried, because every time he came down the aisle during rehearsal, he’d see us and come running right over. That didn’t seem to bother Shino any. I might have fired him, but she was confident he’d live up to the job during her ceremony, when it counted.


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Here, I’m telling Devon that he’s supposed to go all the way down the aisle and stay in place till he has to give up the rings. And you know what? When it counted, he did it like a champion. I was so proud of him.


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The guests have not arrived yet and Devon is all practiced out. Here, he’s waiting for his big moment.


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I don’t want to sound like a cliched person, but I really was so happy that I started crying. I do that even sometimes when I’m photographing a wedding, but I really let loose here. I started the second I saw Toshifumi walking his beautiful daughter down the aisle.


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Shino and Trevor have exchanged rings at this point and Devon has come running down to my side. He did a terrific job. The minister did too and in a few minutes Shino is going to be married.


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I’ve never been able to get over the fact that most brides who we work for plan for over a year for their big day and oftentimes the ceremony is only a few minutes long. It seems like it should be longer.


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Now they are married and I could just kick myself for not getting a pictured of when Shino kissed her husband for the first time. I pushed the shutter, but my little Olympus didn’t fire.

That would never, never ever happen to me now, because Ken and I both use Canon 6Ds and we both start shooting the second the bride and groom start the kiss. We usually get a ton of shots.


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Actually, even though that little Olympus camera was only like five mega pixels, with a lagging shutter and occasionally wouldn’t fire, I got a lot of pretty good photos with it, much better than most people get with their cellphones.

Shino and Trevor got married nine years ago and boy oh boy has technology come a long way since then. I am constantly amazed at what I can do with the Canon and Olympus cameras that I have now.


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Right when Shino and Trevor started coming down the aisle, I ran out ahead of them, so that I could get a shot of them coming out of the church. Both Ken and I liked this one so much that we cropped out Shino in her veil and made it our signature photo.


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This is just the same photo blown up. We use this crop in a lot of our literature.


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Shino is supposed to be holding the horseshoe the other way round here, so that the luck doesn’t leak out, but she’s got her hand on the one end holding it in, so she’s okay.


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If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Devon isn’t giving the camera his absolute best look. Actually, he’s having fun with Yasuko and is a little irritated with Ken, who is trying to get him to stop what he’s doing, look at the camera and smile.


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Me, right now I’m sitting on this bench with Shino’s dad, watching Ken chasing Devon around, looking for that great, smiling shot, which he didn’t get, because it was time to start the formal photos.


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I spent quite a bit of time in Photoshop, looking for just the right look for this photo and I finally decided on this, sort of a vintage look with a slight glow on Shino.


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Ken and I process a lot of photos in various versions of black and white and believe it or not, there are more black and white filters in more programs than I could possibly ever count and we have a lot of them.

However, in the end, we made up some of our own, which we like, and we go to them quite often.

In the photo above are Shino and Trevor, of course, her mom and dad, Yasuko and Toshifumi and Trevor's mom and dad, Betsy and Cecil.


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Here are Shino and Yuko, her maid of honor, with Trevor and and Cecil, who was Trevor’s best man. His dad was his best man. How cool is that? Very cool. Way cool.


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And here I am with the ring bearer. He’s not picking his nose. Really, he’s not.


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Every bride and groom should be as lucky as Shino and Trevor. They are a wonderful couple and they have a beautiful daughter. I am just so happy for them that I could bust apart.


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Here are Shino and Yuko. Ken and I have been doing weddings for a long time now and I’ve learned to love taking pictures of a bride and her maid of honor. They are almost always best friends and their smiles are always so real you could just melt.


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I like to think Cecil is giving Trevor some best man, fatherly advice here.


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And here I am with Ken, Devon and Shino. Can you see how happy I am. This was one of the best days of my life and I look back on it in my mind all the time.


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These stairs were close to the church and I think the building was part of it. Anyway, they made a good place for formal photos. I’m a big believer that not all wedding photos should be posed. Ken is too. We always try to get as many candid shots as we can, even during the posing of the formal shots.


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However, the formal photos are very important too. And this one is just about my favorite shot of Shino. I love how she’s smiling, love her dress, love her bouquet and how it just seems to go on forever because of the plants.


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Okay, okay, I confess. I did a little photoshopping here. This photo was actually taken in the church, but I didn’t like the brown wall behind Shino, so I moved her out into a field of yellow flowers.


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Here is Toshifumi in a pensive mood. His daughter just got married. Perhaps he’s thinking about her future. Or maybe Devon, who is sitting just outside the left side of the photo, has committed a faux pas. Either way, I like this photo of him.


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And here is Toshifumi happy as can be. As I said above, his daughter just got married and she married a great guy, that would put the happy in any man.


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And here is Ken, a little pensive looking himself. But I know him. That’s really his happy face.


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And here I am, smiling wide, because I’ve never been happier.


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Devon is pretty  happy too. I don’t think he knows just why, but everybody, especially me, was having a great time, so I think the mood just hit him and stayed there.


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Shino is getting her dress pinned up so she can walk around without tripping all over it. I’ve seen this done a lot and I always try to get a shot of it.

I remember, we did this one wedding, Ashley and Kevin, and Ashley had a dress which unzipped into a short cocktail dress. That was pretty cool, especially because her gown was made in such a way that you couldn’t tell until she actually unzipped it.


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Here Shino is in black and white. Ken made this preset after watching Casablanca and he wanted to duplicate the look of that movie. He didn’t exactly, but he really likes the result and we both use it a lot.


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I love the sound of clinking champaign glasses at a wedding. Who doesn’t?


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Devon got a lot of good stuff to eat, but he didn’t get to drink the champaign. However, I don’t think he cared, because he had cookies.


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Here is Shino all alone, with a lot of glasses. Is she looking for her beaux, her bouquet and her missing veil. Maybe, if she looks out the window, she might see just where they’ve gone.


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And here is the missing groom in glorious black and white, holding the bouquet and wearing the veil. Not just anybody could pull this off. I’ve looked at this photo often and I wanted to do it when Steve and Megan got married.

However, Steve was in uniform, so I felt I was pretty lucky just getting him to hold the bouquet. I figured, him being a United States Marine and all, that he just might not want to swap his cap for the veil, so I didn’t even ask.


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I just love this photo of Shino. She’s so elegant and so happy too. That’s a wonderful combination.


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And here is Devon, looking happy as a kid who’s eaten all the ice cream and hasn’t been caught yet in his new suit. Sadly, children grow so fast. In just a couple months, he’d grown out of it.


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And lastly, here is Shino the day after her wedding, looking out over the ocean. She’s every bit as beautiful out of the wedding dress as she was in it. I like to think she’s looking toward the future for her, for Trevor and for Freyja too.


If  you're here, you've scrolled down and read a long way and I hope you go even farther, becasue Ken and I shot one other wedding before we became official wedding photographers.


Brett and Wanji

Like Shino and Trevor's wedding, this was a special wedding for me, because I’ve know Brett since the day he came into the world. He’s a fine young man and I can’t say enough how happy I was to be at his wedding.

And I can’t tell you enough how much I love Wanji, she is bright, beautiful and funny. What more could any man want in a bride. This marriage was truly a match made in Heaven.


Brett and Wanji's Reno Wedding by Vesta Irene, Wedding Photography 001a


Here are the happy couple moments after saying, “I do.” Can you see how happy Brett is here? He is one lucky man.


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I think there is always something a bit mysterious about a bride with a veil. I know that originally, according to what I learned in school anyway, that the custom of the veil started sometime during the Crusades.

The bride’s father bargained her away and though all the negotiations, she was covered with a veil. In fact, her husband didn’t get to see her till after he was wed.

Jeez, that was taking a chance. I wonder how many husband’s cheated and stole a look before hand. 


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This is a candid shot of Wanji, taken just before the she tossed her bouquet. I wanted a photo of her where she wasn’t looking straight into the camera. I took several, but I kind of like this one, because, to me anyway, it appears as if she’s looking out of the photograph and into the future.


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Ken took this photo of the first dance. During every reception he haunts the dance floor, because he has an obsession with dancers. He’s always trying to make the perfect photo of a couple or a man or woman dancing alone, like nobody’s watching.

“Like nobody’s watching,” that’s important to him. He’s after whatever it is those special dancers have, that certain something which allows them to let go, to be themselves, to be one with their partner or the music. I think he captured what he was looking for here. Just look at Brett. It’s obvious he doesn’t care, or even know, anybody else is looking. And it’s obvious too, how happy he iis.

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Here, Brett has a mouthful of cake, but he knows I’m standing there with a camera so he’s doing his best to get it down so I can take the picture and perhaps I shouldn’t have taken this one, because one of my unwritten rules is to never, well almost never apparently, make a photograph of somebody eating. Nobody looks good when they’re doing that.

But when Wanji turned to look at me with the perfect Mona Lisa smile, and it’s in her eyes too, I had to make the picture.


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“Now you may kiss the bride.” I love those words. It’s what makes being a wedding photographer such a wonderful job. Seeing two people so happy. I just love it.


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Wanji again gave me a Mona Lisa smile, only this time she gave me the Peace Sign too, and of all of the photographs I’ve made of her, this may be my favorite.



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Wedding Shots Wedding Photography, Reno, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and Sacramento. Please email weddingshots@speedpost.net or call 775 393-9529.