Noah Hawthorne Photography | San Francisco Wedding Photographer » San Francisco wedding photographer specializing in artistic wedding photojournalism with an elegant, personal touch. Service to the San Francisco Bay Area and destination weddings worldwide.

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Evangeline and Jason were married at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park – an impossibly beautiful (or perhaps cute would be the better word) church nestled in the Menlo Park suburbs next to Stanford. The reception followed at the beautiful Ralson Hall in Belmont.

Thanks to Peter H. Chang for assisting on the day.

Peter’s photo:

Evangeline wanted to do a Vogue glamor shoot with her and the girls. It’s not my usual style – but breaking out and trying something new is a ton of fun. I really like it!

Dancing through the night at Ralston

This is one of Peter’s photos that I really like. It captures the antique elegance of Ralston Hall, the warm glow, and also the really quiet side of the wedding as well.

Amidst the many standard cake cutting photos, I love this particular one showing the head chef demonstrating the cake cutting. After a hard edit vendors can “disappear” from wedding photos, but once in a while I like to leave a few in, as they can be an important part of the wedding memories and moments as well.

Weddings can be long and tiring events to be sure.

Just a moment of quiet solitude at the end of the evening.

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  • LibbyJames - November 17, 2009 - 4:12 am

    awesome venue

  • Matthias Photography - November 19, 2009 - 8:40 am

    Noah, in this post its evident how aware you are of light. The first and last pictures really set themselves apart in this regard. Inspiring. I just added you to my current list of top ten photographers on my blog. Cheers! Matthias

  • Sandi - November 19, 2009 - 10:46 pm

    Well done, Noah! Love, love, LOVE the image of the Bride and her mom. Beautifully captured expressions and connections!

  • Hooman - November 20, 2009 - 4:04 am

    What a fantastic series of photographs. I love the compositions, the great lighting, and the mood I get from them. The B&Ws are especially rich, and the church shot with the father showing his son the book is excellent! I can’t wait to see more.

  • NickP - November 20, 2009 - 8:15 am

    Beautiful light and framing in these photographs! The Love and Joy really show through from your photography, well done!

  • Juli - November 20, 2009 - 10:47 am

    Super coverage of this wedding. You made the bride look beautiful in so many of the images ! I totally LOVE the image of the bride and bridesmaids !! Competition winner !!

  • Picture Perfect Photography-Dennis Gignac - November 20, 2009 - 3:29 pm

    Great wedding! I love the last BW images. What a sweet moment.

  • Ted Johns - November 21, 2009 - 8:31 am

    That vogue shot with the subdued sepia tone is really a nice touch, Noah. Love it. And getting a shot of the couple alone at the end of the night is always a nice touch.

  • Daniel Sheehan - November 22, 2009 - 8:48 pm

    These pictures are fantastic! I love all the expressions, the candid smiles and photojournalism from this wedding collection. Great wedding photography!

  • Tonee - November 23, 2009 - 7:54 am

    noah! These are so fantastic! LOL @ at the sleeping guy. :D
    and could your bio pic be any more awesome?! I think not!

    The venue was amazing, the bride was amazing! just wow, job well done!

  • Ken - November 24, 2009 - 2:44 pm

    Beautiful images, love the lighting and he Black & White conversion of the girls in the car, your Black & Whites are stunning :)

  • Stephanie Zettl - November 24, 2009 - 5:48 pm

    I love the quiet moments you captured. What lovely wedding photography!

  • Charlotte Geary in Colorado Springs - November 24, 2009 - 9:00 pm

    Really elegant and lovely coverage, Noah. I especially love that last one.

  • d'Soleil - November 30, 2009 - 10:51 am

    I love the shot of the bride and her mom outside the church. Perfect capture and beautiful wedding!

  • Photographick - December 8, 2009 - 11:54 am

    I love the lighting in the post, it is simply amazing, the bride looks beautiful and the bridal party picture is breathtaking. Your black and white images are beautiful, I am sure your couple is extremely happy!

  • Jerry - December 25, 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Great shot of the bride and bridesmaids! It will surely be remembered! Great set!

  • Andy La - July 16, 2010 - 4:24 am

    How I love the 8th photo the angle and the light from the sun really emphasized the moment

  • PAIGE - July 5, 2011 - 1:26 pm

    BEAUTIFUL WORK!!!!

Alison and Will’s wedding at the Durham Ranch outside of St. Helena was a beautiful event after their  rehearsal dinner at the Mumm Vineyard in Napa Wine Country. The Durham Ranch is a beautiful private estate near Lake Berryessa with ample space, golden California hillsides, and huge oak trees throughout the property.

The central barn was beautifully decorated for the reception with hanging globes from the ceiling and tea candles on the floral arrangements. Simply beautiful. The design team from Hartmann Studios did a wonderful job for this wedding.

Below are a few of my favorites – hardly enough to do this wedding justice. Also a huge thank you to Nancy Tsai for her help as my second shooter on this wedding.

Durham ranch wedding portrait with Alison and Will

Will getting ready for the wedding

Durham Ranch wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremony under the oak trees of Durham Ranch, St. Helena

Nancy’s photo

A few details:

Durham ranch wedding details

Father of the bride speech

First Dance Durham ranch wedding

Alison and Will also arranged for a fantastic band called the Pop Rocks to come and play. With full stage lighting, the wedding turned into a full fledged 80’s rock concert. Crowd surfing, crazy dancing, and all sorts of fun ensued. It was an absolute blast, and a wonderful infusion of energy for a truly unique reception feel.

Here are the parents enjoying themselves in a cake cutting picture with a different focus. Reactions and relationships aside from just the couple can be really fun to include in the photos.

Durham Ranch wedding and wedding reception at night

Location: The Durham Ranch

Catering: Real Events Group

Wedding lighting and design: Hartmann Studios

Live Band: The Pop Rocks

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  • Sandi - November 19, 2009 - 10:49 pm

    Wow! What a great wedding to photograph! Loved the Picture of the “Paparazzi” around the cake. Your pictures have a wonderful sense of style and whimsy. Great job!

  • Bob D - November 23, 2009 - 6:16 am

    What a beutiful event. Your images make me feel like I was there. Lovely work.

  • Keith - November 23, 2009 - 11:56 am

    Great use of light & I love all the color and emotion in your photography. Great stuff!!

  • Adam Cavanagh - December 7, 2009 - 8:13 pm

    Fantastic images. I’m loving your reception shots!

  • mark - December 27, 2009 - 7:34 pm

    Noah, this looks like it was a great wedding to shoot, lots of fun stuff happening. Great coverage! the older couple dancing, such a riot.

  • Patti Wallington - December 29, 2009 - 1:11 pm

    Your photographs of this wedding are spectacular; I love the shots of the reception and the colors – especially the one of grandma dancing!!

This is the first first of two posts dedicated to Alison and Will’s beautiful wedding in Napa wine country. We started on Friday evening with a rehearsal dinner at the Mumm Winery in Napa. I’ve been enjoying the Mumm champagne for years, but this was my first visit to the winery estate, a beautiful building nestled between the grape vines in the heart of Napa Wine Country. The event was beautifully decorated and catered by Kellie Magna of Real Events Group. The families had a heavy Maine contingent, prompting a fantastic lobster dinner complimented by some great wine, candlelight, and a beautiful California summer evening.

Mumm wedding table settings

Mumm vineyard wedding reception table setting

Napa wedding reception

mumm winery napa lobster dinner

Lobster bib

mumm wedding rehearsal dinner parents

A nice and honest toast from Alison’s little brother. Isn’t family wonderful?

Mumm winery wedding reception

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  • Keith - November 23, 2009 - 12:00 pm

    I love all the details and that tent shot with the stars is great.

  • Allen - November 29, 2009 - 6:22 pm

    Gorgeous color in the rehearsal dinner location Noah, I love the night time photo with the tent – beautiful :)

  • Jake - December 2, 2009 - 1:45 pm

    Noah, what an awesome rehearsal dinner! The whole set is a keeper, but there are some real gems in there. I particularly like the elderly gentleman looking a little afraid of the lobster!

  • […] the way, the lovely photo is courtesy of Hawthorne Photography. Such a beautiful rehearsal dinner at Mumm […]

While I mainly do wedding photography, I have occasion once in a while to branch out and explore some other genres. I met with Irene and her husband Yoon to do a combination pregnancy and portrait shoot at their home. I took it upon myself to invent a bit of my own style with this one, trying to capture a bit of the relationship, love, and fun that the two have together- while at the same time taking the opportunity to document the wonderful phase of life that they are going through. Pregnancy can be about the relationship of the couple and the new baby, it is also about shapes and a unique and beautiful change to the body. I tried to do a bit of everything- and had a lot of fun. Pregnancy photography? Maternity photography? Here are a few of my favorites.

pregnancy photo shoot with Irene and Yoon

pregnancy photo shoot

pregnancy portrait

pregnancy portrait

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It’s a real privilege to have a place like Golden Gate Park making up my backyard. I really do have just about the best (and largest) photo studio imaginable right outside my front door.

Tina and Thomas have been bridging the country for the past several years, going between California and Massachusetts when possible. Thomas sent Bernie and Bo – two adorable stuffed teddy bears to keep Tina company when he was away, and the whole family of four re-united for some photos in the park. We walked between the California Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum, found a great tunnel, columns, etc. Tina, Thomas, Bernie and Bo- it was an absolute pleasure!

Thomas has a patented “sad face.” Somehow he still manages to look happy. That has to be a good thing.

Every time I pass by I am put in awe of the amazing De Young Museum. It really is an architectural masterpiece.

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  • Photographick - December 8, 2009 - 11:57 am

    such a cute and touching engagement session, I especially love how they brought their own teddy bears, very nice. I am addicted to your site by the way, the photography is beautiful.

As some of you may know, I have worked in various public health projects over the past several years and will continue to put my MPH to use where possible in the future. This coming year I will be involved in a program in Nicaragua that builds healthcare capacity in the rural region of San Ramon. UCSF medical students and University of Hawaii Students will be joining with the local public health clinic UCA San Ramon and the local municipal government to provide equipment and training for ambulance workers serving 32,000 people in 89 coffee farming communities. Additionally, the team will work with our local NGO contacts to develop a sustainable education program that trains community health workers in areas such as infectious disease prevention, sanitation, first aid, family planning and chronic disease management.

The project needs an additional $8,000 of funding to get off the ground- prompting me to integrate my dual interests of photography and public health for a bit of fundraising! So here’s the pitch…

For any new clients who book my services for weddings, portrait shoots, or who just want to make a donation to a wonderful cause between now and December 15th, all profits will be donated to this worthy project.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about the project, to make a donation, or to book a date between now and December 15th!

Project overview

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Alex and Giselle were married last weekend at the Santa Clara Mission Church, followed by the wedding reception at The Ranch Golf Club in San Jose. I have been to the Santa Clara campus several times, but this was my first time visiting the campus church- with its impressive 18th century Spanish architecture. We braved an unseasonably hot day, getting ready at home- taking a few portraits at the nearby Ranch Golf Club, and then heading off to the ceremony as the cooler evening started to settle in.

Alex getting ready

Giselle and Alex seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day.

Giselle brought her Grandmother’s rosary to the ceremony, wrapped around her beautiful bouquet.

We stopped for a few moments before the ceremony to take some bridal portraits on the Santa Clara campus, just outside of the church. There were some thick imposing adobe brick walls that made for an excellent backdrop (not that Giselle needed much of a backdrop to look fantastic).

The Santa Clara Mission Church was absolutely beautiful, especially for a sunset wedding with the summer heat fading gently away.

Santa Clara Mission Church wedding

The Ranch Golf Club has a great view over San Jose and the Silicon Valley, especially at night.

The family Rojas Band also played during the wedding.

Rojas Band

Congratulations to Giselle and Alex! Thanks for making my job so easy. More photos are still to come!

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  • LibbyJames - October 8, 2009 - 4:41 am

    wow, what a fantastic wedding. the bride looked stunning!

  • Adam Cavanagh - December 7, 2009 - 8:15 pm

    Some really stunning work there. Well done.