I shot some great wedding pictures at a wedding last year  at the Chateau St. Jean Winery in the Sonoma Valley city of Kenwood, CA. Here’s a little blurb from Chateau St. Jean’s website
Chateau St. Jean invites you to our beautiful winery for your upcoming Wedding Reception. Nestled at the foot of Sugarloaf Ridge and in the heart of Valley of the Moon, Chateau St. Jean provides the perfect setting for your guests. Our professional staff will treat you & your guests to a special day they’ll never forget. Begin the festivities in our historic Chateau gardens with world renowned wines and delectable passed hors d’ oeuvres. In elegant style, retire to the Chateau Terrace for a delicious meal, surrounded by vineyard views and glowing lights.
This is a great place to have your wedding. The ceremony takes place out on the lawn and the background is the Vineyards. Depending on the time of day of the wedding ceremony, the lighting can be a challenge. Any early on this wedding and it would have been very difficult. Luckily this wedding took place in the later afternoon. The lighting still wasn’t perfect but I was able to pull a rabbit out of my hat. I used a combination of manual exposure, flash fill, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to get me the best exposures.
Please take a look at these wedding photos from Chateau St. Jean and let me know what you think. I took near one thousand wedding photographs that day! So if you are getting married here contact me so I can show you the rest of these photos in person!
We actually started the day earlier at the brides hotel room taking bridal prep as the bride was getting ready. For the purposes of this display I have refrained from publishing those. These pre ceremony shots were taken inside Chateau St. Jean’s ready room.
I always try and find some natural light to place the bride for these types of wedding photos.
As I said earlier, the wedding ceremony takes place out on the lawn with the Vineyards as the background. As you can see, the sun was still pretty high in the sky which made it very difficult. You want to hire a wedding photography such as myself that can deal with obstacles such as bad day light.
The bride makes her way down the aisle. I wanted to illustrate how I RAPID FIRE shoot during a sequence such as this.
This bride and groom opted NOT to have a videographer [which I felt was interesting because the groom is actually a Film Producer LOL]. So I want to give them a sense of the MOTION with this sequence and many other through out the wedding day.
I actually DO NOT have my camera in BURST MODE. Rather, I have my finger on the trigger and am WAITING for the right moment so that I am not shooting blindly. BURST MODE is good but you get too many blinks. If I do it all by instinct, I can get the emotion I need to tell the story.
Now keep in mind that I was the ONLY PHOTOGRAPHER, this day. No assistant. So everything you see here was me moving from spot to spot to get all the different angles and emotions of the wedding story.
Like I was telling you earlier, the lighting was bad so I had to use a flash fill to fill in the shadows.
The bride recites her own vows.
Ok so now the groom is getting very emotional. This is another one of those times where I use my manual, instinct rapid fire mode to get the sequence. Natural, organic light is the best way to do rapid fire. No flash can keep up with what I am doing here.
Below, you see the parents of the groom getting emotional as well.
This is the view from the Chateau St Jean from the patio of the main house.
the lighting is getting good now so I opted to do all the family photos at this time.
I took the bride and groom out to the vineyards from some romantics before the wedding reception on the patio.
I took many pictures at the reception. I would love the opportunity to show them to you. Please contact me right away.
Some of my trademark night shots with the lightstick.
I hope you enjoyed these wedding photos from the Chateau St. Jean. Now that I have been here, I can’t wait to go back. So if you are getting married at the Chateau St. Jean please contact me right away!