Rolling Stock Tire Fire

Rolling Stock Tire Fire 

Photo-shoot with the band 7 year Bitch in the Mission District in San Francisco

Elizabeth Simpson and I surf together in Pacifica, Ca and had approached me to do a photoshoot with her band, "7 year bitch". To photograph three beautiful women, (Elizabeth, Valerie and Selene)  is always fun and I was excited to do it. The shoot was planned at 8:30 am on Sunday the 8th of November, at Valerie Agnew's house.  Always early, I pulled into Shotwell street from 16th street driving by a clutter of homeless guys sleeping next to a big roll-up door on the right. Thinking I better park a little further away from them, a parking space offered itself to me magically. I didn't hesitate and pulled in, because my destination was just another block away and I considered myself lucky to have even found a parking space in the Mission District. 

I usually spend my time relaxing in my beloved, sandy and hairy KIA Sportagebefore a photoshoot and hate nothing more than to rush. 

After a few glances at my social media apps on my iphone, I checked my surroundings in the rearview mirror. 

This area is packed with homeless people and drug addicts.  I lived only a few blocks from here 15 years ago for 6 month, I couldn't stand the constant atmosphere of delirium tremens and jonesing of the hollow eyed, hobbling walking dead especially early in the morning. 

Then I saw smoke coming from the corner of 16th and Shotwell, a lot of smoke that was reaching the other side of the street. 

At this point at around 7:45, I thought it might be a good idea to call the fire department, figuring none of the bums in the neighborhood might have phones and it was still pretty desolate this early on a Sunday morning. While on the phone with 911 the first cop-car came flying down Shotwell street, so I told the operator that there were already cops on the scene and I could already hear the fire engines already. 

So I watched the fire, but I needed to see this and got out of my car, covered my camera gear with my mexican blanket.  Very paranoid, as my camera gear is very expensive, but I couldn't resist watching. 

It was not until I realized, this was a tire and auto-body shop with lots of oil, chemicals and tires, that I slowly started to retreat back towards my car, thinking 

"Shit the whole block could just explode!"

I saw the police trying to get people out of the houses next to the fire and than I heard the noises of explosions.

By now the fire had erupted into a black toxic mushroom cloud and I thought I'dbetter give up that nice parking space and move my car up at least a block or two. 

....and good thing that I did move my car, amazingly there was a spot just a block up the road, because the entire block was needed in order for the 110 fire fighter to get this shit in control. 

The toxic cloud was brought down with the rain within the next two hours that I spend indoors!





Loews Regency, San Francisco-Wedding location

Like I said in one of my previous blogs about the excitement of this job, it gets you around to so many different locations. There are weddings in winerys, vineyards, churches, golf courses, backyards, private residencys, hotels and more. Last Saturday I spend an evening shooting a wedding at the Loews Regency in San Francisco.  The ceremony was held on the 40th floor. I have lived 26 years in San Francisco, but this was the first time I had set foot in this hotel. I had had been in the Riz Carlton as well as Mark Hopkins. It wasn't the first time I was that high up in a high Rise, I have been to to top floor of the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building, but being on a balcony for a  wedding ceremony facing the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica building, Coittower in the distance and the Embarcadero Buildings on one side of the building and when you stepped in the hall way you could immediately walk to the other sides balcony facing down market street towards the ferry building. It was breathtaking to have such a surround view. The balcony was big enough for a ceremony. but it was tight to shoot and I had to stand on a chair to get high enough to catch the view. The lead photographer on the shoot was Barak Shrama, who shot the angle straight done the aisle. Later he had to orchestrate a groughshot with the entire wedding party and he had to stand on the ladder to capture both people and view. I was able to get a view shots standing on the chair holding up my camera up over my head.  Photos will be available to view in the next 6 weeks here


Wedding rings

One of my favorite things to photograph at weddings are weddings rings. So I decided I will add new category on my website just for that! I love catching the sun in the reflection of the diamond. having grown up in Germany, I didn't grow up with the whole ritual of the engagement ring. I remember being on Thanksgiving with the family of my boyfriend in Hawthorne, Nevada and all the women were comparing the size of their diamonds. Back then I was a different person and very shocked how much those rings cost and the status symbol they have. It seem the women were measuring their worth by how much carat would decorate their finger. Having photographed a lot of different weddings and really looking at the rings and the beauty of each of them, has changed my mind. I think a woman deserves a nice piece of jewlery from the man at her side. In some countries where women don't have many rights, its important to collect expensive jewlery, so if they somehow loose theeir men and the financial security attached to that will be gone they still have their gold and diamonds. So watch out for my new series of rings soon.


Wedding venue : The Golf Course

I just finished shooting a couple of weddings back to back. Living in San Francisco I don't venture much across the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge other then, if I happen to go on a road trip. Having been a tattoo artist for 20 year had me sitting down in a chair and  stationed in a shop. Though I got to meet a lot of people and got insights in their life, with wedding Photography I really get to go places. Little towns and  districts I never would have gone before. Sure I have been to Carmel  before,  but had I really looked at it as thorough  as I do now for its photogenic beauty? 

Both weddings I photographed were at different Golf Courses in the San Francisco vicinity, one in Napa and the other in Burlingame. The Napa Golf Course and the Crystal Springs Golf Club  both were catered and run by Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center, and I really liked both venues.

I was supposed to meet the groom and his grooms men at the Napa Golf Course  at noon to take pictures. Always coming early to be ready I observed the come and go of golf players, most of them men, but there were a few older ladies here and there. It looked  very relaxing. As noon approached I got nervous,  there was no sight of the groom and his party.  I decided to call and check in. The groom informed me surprised,  he hadn't really been informed by his bride about the schedule, " we are only on the second hole" . So I told him I would go and meet them. Hearing the second hole was quite far away, I asked permission to use one of the Golf Carts. Driving the Golf Cart really was a blast!! I had to ask my way to the second hole and had to maneuver passed blocked road, venturing into the grass areas. I wished the carts  would go a little faster. When I finally got there, I took some fun pictures of all the guys posing with their Golf Clubs. It was not a long shot as the guys really didn't wanted to be interrupted in their game. The ride back took almost longer, but since I had plenty of time I made the best out of it. I came to the conclusion that I really would like to try playing a game of golf one day. I can understand the fun and bonding guys get out of this and the hand to eye coordination, like playing pool, but outdoors. I don't understad why there are not many women doing this with their girlfriends.


Palace of Fine Arts

I have never spend much time in City Hall in San Francisco or anywhere, up until now. I always associated it with business license registration, taxes and other uncomfortable business. I did not tend to look up or around at the beautifull architecture, too focused on the papers I had to deal with. This wedding coming up I had the opportunity to photography at threeo architectual gems: The Palace Hotel on Montgomery Street, the Palace of fine arts and City Hall. 

Napa Golf Course

This Friday I am looking forward to shoot a wedding at the Napa Golf Course at Kenedy Park.   This profession bring me all over the map in Northern California and I get to see different venues. This time the bride wants to do some portraits photos at the vinyard. So be patient the photos will be released in about 6 weeks and meanwhile I am working on releasing a wedding I shot in August in good old San Francisco at City Hall, the Palace Hotel and the Palace of Fine Arts. Stand by ....

Arden Hill Spa Wedding


I was excited to shoot this wedding after I met the bride and the groom in San Francisco for their engagement shoot at Sutro bath near Ocean Beach. They had been together a long time, I think about 10 years and had a beautiful 6 year old son. He came along for the wedding shoot. Though it is a long drive to Sacramento and the wedding was in the sweltering month of August, even San Francisco had temperatures in the mid 80's. I was excited shooting this wedding, because the couple was beautiful, photogenic and most of all super nice! Then I googled the venue and The was just the icing of the cake. Let me share the result of my passion and excitement with you.