MEF Photography Blog! bio picture
  • Hello, friend! :D

    Welcome, welcome! That's me over there. < -- I'm Molly, a San Francisco Bay Area-based photographer.

    I adore weddings, families and portraits, but my cat, food and house get a lot of my attention, too! I'm married to my very best friend, and we sing to each other a lot. I'm a mid-century modern home dweller. I'm always working, working, working to be better at life (a never-ending battle!). I get a kick out of simplicity, tea, bright colors, ice cream, cooking, sarcasm and books -- among other things.

    I love me some good, authentic, giggly love. And I love making people feel lovely in the midst of their good, authentic, giggly love. And if that's your thing, too, I'd love nothing more than to give you some good, authentic, giggly love photos. :)

                   

Mary + Lenny | Married at River Highlands Ranch

Hello, heartwarming wedding! Recall the awesomeness that is Mary + Lenny from their engagement session earlier this year. I already gushed about my love for these two in that post, so I’ll spare you my musings and just say that this wedding was wonderful in every possible way.

At M+L’s engagement session, I let Lenny know that he’s weird… in a good way. An assessment by which I stand wholeheartedly. Plus, it made Mary laugh. And shortly after that session, she found the card on the right and had to buy it for him. :D

Meanwhile, my outstanding second shooter, Elyse, was over at the cabin with the guys. Hi, Lenny! :D

This is SO Lenny (a nutrition-conscious, road cycling doctor). His groomsmen enjoy a drink, while he enjoys an Odwalla. :) (I’m on your team, Lenny. There were MOUNTAINS of brownies at this wedding, and I only ate fruit. HEALTH!)

Mary. I love you.

Way to look handsome, Lenard. It’s like you’re staring into my soul.

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a cabin! (P.S. You might not be able to see it from here, but they all have bicycles on their socks.)

I have no problem admitting that I totally stole the concept of this shot from their videographer. A good idea is a good idea! :D Favorite.

Ceremony time! This is the face Lenny made when Mary made it to the front of the aisle. :)

You might notice that the light in all of the outdoor photos is a little strange, and it’s not your imagination. The King Fire was still raging this day and the smoke was heavy in the air. It held in the heat and humidity, and made the sun a fascinating blazing orange color. You can see the smoke pretty well here. Bonus: It smelled like a campfire all day. :D

Their vows were personal and touching and hilarious.

Married! Do you notice there are two officiants? Lenny is Jewish and Mary is Catholic; their wedding was conducted by both a rabbi and a priest. And yes, they took full advantage of the opportunity to make a joke out of that. They did an awesome job. Easter Egg: Lenny’s sister’s face in this photo. Can you find her? ;)

Rustic look: Nailed.

Loved this shot of their first dance.

…and this one. :D

Then we snuck off for some portraits!

The Pinky Grab is an important trait of their relationship. Favorite from the day. :D

Speech time! :D

I’ve never seen a bride who didn’t look at least a little bit terrified during the hora.

But happier dancing was to come! :D

The streamers have bells on them—a perfect end to the night. (P.S. The smile on Mary’s mom’s face (far left) makes this photo.)

Mary + Lenard, oh how I love you.  I can’t say it in any other way. You’re fabulous people. You’re the rare and enviable combination of brains and kindness (and yes, weirdness!), and you have phenomenal futures ahead of you. I am honored to have been present at the start of your married life. It was a joy for me and I am proud to give you these images to remember it by. Let’s reminisce about it over healthy food sometime soon, okay? ;) Love and miss you, friends! xo, M

Venue | River Highland Ranch + Vineyard
Florist | Little Boy Flowers
DJ | Music + More Entertainment
Caterer | Rayna’s Gourmet Catering
Videographer | Beatnik Studios
Desserts | Emily’s Catering + Cakes

Shannon + Scott | Married at The Smog Shoppe

Do you remember Shannon + Scott? (If not, that link is worth a look!) I’m a little bit obsessed with them. And I don’t care how creepy it sounds, but I’m obsessed with Shannon’s laugh (you’ll be seeing a lot of it in a minute). They brought me down to Los Angeles to photograph their wedding at the only LA venue I already knew—and The Smog Shoppe didn’t disappoint. But even without the beautiful backdrop, I would still have loved every last moment of this wedding. Not only did I get to spend time with a woman whom I don’t see nearly often enough (we’re going on roughly twice a decade), but I got to watch her marry the most perfect man for her. And I got to take beautiful photos of all of it. As usual, though, enough of my babbling. Let’s get to the laughter!

Hi, ShannyPants! :D

When I turned around from taking the above photo, this is what I saw. Could they be any more perfect?

Shanny. I couldn’t love you more.

This is Shannon’s godson! :D

Meanwhile, my second shooter for the day, Melanie, was over with the boys. Hi, Scooter! :D

Love this shot of Scott’s dad helping him with his tie.

Ladies, if you have a corset dress, I have two suggestions: 1) Plan AT LEAST 20 minutes to put it on (it will take all of that time—trust me), and 2) Take off your shorts before you step into it, otherwise your very loyal friend and dedicated bridesmaid will have to get up in there to retrieve them. But the photos will be great. Behold! :D

Spontaneous moment in the lobby. These girls are ridiculous in the most amazing way.

Time for the first sight! :D

It was kind of perfect. Favorite.

Again with these ladies being adorable. This is what I saw when I turned around from taking family photos.

Handsome gents! Can you find Shannon’s brother? ;)

And can you find Scott’s sister? ;)

LOOK AT THIS BRIDAL PARTY!

Wedding time! :D

Do we even need to mention the living wall? If I did not murder almost all plants I’m responsible for, I would grow this in a heartbeat.

Remember when I said I couldn’t love Shannon more? I lied. :)

Married! :D

Then we snuck outside for a few more portraits.

I am really quite funny. Just ask these two. Favorite. :)

Then an outfit change and back inside for some toasts, during which the adorableness continued:

Scott + Shannon have been together for a long time (11 years!). This is their best man recounting that time early on in their relationship when, while toward the end of a backpacking trip through Europe, Scott deleted all of the photos from Shannon’s camera. And here they are getting married—that’s true love, my friends. :)

Ending with a favorite. Love this (and Shan’s dress) with all of my heart.

ShannyPants. Scooter. I cannot even put into words what it meant to me to be part of your wedding day. You are incredible human beings whom I am honored to know, and taking these photos for you was a highlight of my time in this profession (Seriously. It meant the world to me.). Your love, happiness and positivity pour out of these images and I am immensely proud to give them to you. I only hope you adore them as much as I adored taking them. Your futures are as bright as you are and I look forward to watching where life takes you (and to photographing your babies when life takes you into parenthood, wink). Let’s go ahead and see each other more than once per decade, okay? I love you both! xo, M

 

 

Laina + Chris | Married at Forest House Lodge

I know that Laina + Chris have been waiting so patiently to see these photos, so instead of me blabbing on with my inane (but meaningful! Is that an oxymoron?) musings, I’m just going to let you reference my thoughts on them from their engagement session and get right to the photos!

Hi, Laina! 1) I love me a beautiful, grainy black and white photo and, 2) Laina, you could have so easily been a 50′s movie star. Beautiful!

The first bow tie I’ve ever seen tied without the help of a youtube video. Hi, Chris! :D
Laina wanted a pastel color palette; her florist nailed it.

Chrissy didn’t look so bad himself. ;)

Pastel! :D

Laina was transported to the ceremony site in her Uncle’s vintage truck, which was perfectly color coordinated. ;)

Ceremony time! I loved this image grabbed by my outstanding second shooter, Elyse.

That, my friends, is the face of a man whose breath has been genuinely taken away by his bride. Can you blame him? :)

Let’s talk about the ceremony site at Forest House Lodge, yeah? You go first. (Stunned silence is an acceptable response.)

Just in case you wanted a better peek at the view. I am so deeply in love with my home state—an hour east and you can be in Lake Tahoe; two-ish hours in the other direction and you can walk the streets of San Francisco and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. Magical. :)

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have one of those smiles that lights up a room. I think I’ll just ask Laina. :D

Married! :D

Love the view on the left that Elyse grabbed while I was doing the formal pose on the right.
That truck! :D

Then we headed back to the lodge and wandered the nearby street for a few portraits. Purple shoes and socks. :)

I think it’s safe to say Elyse and I were sort of obsessed with photographing Laina that day. I’m not sorry about it. :)

I’m pretty sure I took this shot accidentally as I was putting my camera down. I think I deserve a cookie for that. :D

Hi, hello, hey there. Favorite. (Pssssst, make this a canvas, please!)

If you can tell me how I set up this shot, I’ll give you $10. Actually, never mind; I’ll just tell you: It’s a lighted makeup mirror plus two iPhone flashlights for backlight. Blammo. Favorite.

I love first dances. :D

Laina + Chrissy, thank you so much for inviting me to be part of your wedding day. Knowing what I do of your relationship, and the long road that led you to this day, it was truly an honor and a privilege, and I mean that with all sincerity. From your warm and welcoming color palette, to your grandmother’s cake topper (on your rainbow wedding cake!), to the way you welcomed and enjoyed the company of your guests, the whole day was perfect (hot, but perfect!). Good luck as you work to remodel your new house (I still want to see pictures!) and embark on married life together—you deserve nothing but the best! xo, M

Lisa + JR | Married in Lake Tahoe

Every wedding I have ever photographed has been beautiful (the people, the families, the details—all of it), and special in their own way and I have loved them all. But this wedding. Oh boy, this wedding. Lisa + JR’s ceremony  might go down as one of the most amazing I’ve ever experienced. I’m not even sure where to start. First of all: 22 guests, including the bride and groom; every last person there was cherished. Ceremony on a private yacht in Emerald Bay. Reception at a to-die-for restaurant. A couple who recognize that their union is a part of their destiny not to be taken for granted. I honestly can’t do this day justice with my words. Hopefully my photos will. :)

Hi, Lisa! You were glowing that day!

Hi, JR + Nathan! (This photo was a special request, so I had to include it. Thanks to my second shooter, Annie, for grabbing it!)

Just stop it. :D

JR is one seriously good dad. ;)

So the weather that day was ominous. Giant rain clouds and thunderstorms in the forecast. It sprinkled on and off throughout the morning, but the real rain waited until we boarded the yacht for our trip across the lake. It POURED until we were about half way there, and then? Then we broke into perfectly warm sunshine. I have no other word to describe it except, “divine.” Hi, Yacht! :D

Did I mention that half of those 22 guests were kids? They LOVED the yacht.

Lisa hid away downstairs as we motored over to Emerald Bay. I loved the nervous grace in her hands just before she went upstairs.

:D

Their ceremony (officiated by their good friend, Brian—it was his first! He did a great job! Hi, Brian!) was so touching. A lot of emphasis was placed on family, and here, Brian asked them to look at the people who were instrumental in getting them to this place on this day. Magical. Favorite! :)
That is the face of a man in love!

I mean. Seriously. Pinch me. Favorite.

MARRIED! Oh, the photo on the right: Another boat was floating nearby watching the ceremony (Sweet? Creepy? I leave that up to you.), and just as Lisa + JR kissed, they honked their boat horn (I’m sure there’s a proper nautical term here, but go with me). No one had noticed the other boat until then. It made for some great laughs.

See how he’s holding a camera? Hang on a sec… :D

He emailed this to the boat company, who forwarded it to Lisa. Technology is crazy!

The rest of their day was pretty non-traditional, but they did do a first dance!
I don’t normally include family photos, I know, but this is the newly minted Haas family—Lisa, JR, Nathan, Abby and Casey—and it just makes me so very happy to see. :)

Loved this, “We’re married!” photo Annie got!

Their toasts were great, and obviously pretty funny. :D

Here’s what we saw on the way back to the dock.

Once we got back on land, we stepped out for a few portraits. The light was soft and beautiful because of the storm clouds. Favorite on the left. :)

FAVORITE. I love your love. Love, love, love. :D

I also love Lake Tahoe at sunset. Duh.
Here’s my most favorite. The joy that you bring each other lit a little fire in my heart. It was an honor to witness. :D
We spent the rest of the night relaxing and eating delicious food, photos of which I will spare you. But I will end this by saying: Lisa + JR, I cannot express to you how much it meant to me to be present at your wedding. From the weather to the company, it was a perfect day—there’s no other way to describe it. That you found each other is miraculous, but that you love each other is inevitable and right. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me the privilege of photographing the start of your marriage. May there be many years of happiness in your future. I hope you love these photos. xo, M

Ceremony Venue | Tahoe Bleu Wave
Reception Restaurant | Riva Grill
Hair + Makeup | Imagine Salon
Florist | Thran’s Flowers

And because this is my website and I can do whatever I want, I have to include this image I got of my brother, sister-in-law and nephew at dinner. Arguments over bias aside, this is the cutest baby on planet earth. No objections will be entertained! :D

 

 

Sarah + Mike | Married at the Peninsula Golf Club in San Mateo

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but one of my favorite parts of this job is getting to meet all of the friends and family of my clients. It never ceases to amaze me how many wonderful people there are in the world, and how beauty and kindness attract more of the same to itself. Sarah + Mike’s wedding at the Peninsula Golf Club in San Mateo was a perfect example of this. Their parents, siblings and friends were all so warm and caring, which I think is a direct reflection of Sarah + Mike. But instead of me talking about how great they are, I’ll just show you, okay? ;)

Hi, Sarah! You look like a supermodel! :D

Fabulous bridesmaids, being fabulous. :)

Meanwhile, Mike was busy trying to remember how to tie his tie. I must say, he did a great job. That’s his smiley brother in the foreground, by the way. Favorite. :)

I had to include this photo of Mike’s best man, Steve, because, a) it makes me laugh and, b) he was awesome.

Ready to gooooo! :D

Hi, happy ladies!

Hi, dapper gents!

We had to wait for pauses in the wind to take photos. I’m starting to wonder if I somehow cause windy conditions, because I seem to be dealing with them a lot lately.

To the church! Do I even have to talk about how amazing it was? No? Okay. I won’t. (But it was.)

Married! :D

I loved the reflection of the redwoods in this shot.

My fabulous second shooter, Elyse, grabbed this beauty.

Helloooooooo, handsome! Both of these are favorites.

Oh, wait, so is this one! :D

Oh, wait, so is that one on the left. ;)

I casually suggested Elyse walk outside during dinner to get an evening shot of the venue, and this is the amazingness she returned with. WHAT?! So good.

And we might as well end with a favorite. I love the look on everyone’s face in this photo. This is happiness, guys. :)

Sarah + Michael, what a joy your wedding was! It was beautiful in every way, from the locations, to the details, to every last person involved in it. I was honored to be there with you and to capture these memories. I expect nothing but greatness for your futures and I can’t wait to see where life takes you. Thank you for inviting me into your families—it was a privilege. I hope you see your love in these images as clearly as I do; I’m proud to give them to you. xo, M