"San Francisco has one drawback, 'tis hard to leave.". - Rudyard Kipling

As I'm writing this, my wife and I are actually on our way to Napa Valley for Nikki and Paolo's wedding. Not to cover their wedding but to attend as their guests. And it's been awhile. So we're pretty excited. Since my wife and I can dress up without having to haul 100 lbs. of camera gear. Plus, we can drink, relax and actually enjoy ourselves at this wedding. No timeline to follow or  to contend with. No fighting for time with the bride and groom. We can just drink and be merry. I mean, we are in Napa Valley, where the wine is begging to be consumed.  

Prior to this enagement shoot, the only time I had contact with Nikki was through back-and-forth messages in Facebook regarding their wedding. She saw Rubie and Jun's engagement session in Yosemite Valley, loved the photos and wanted us to cover their wedding. Although things didn't materialize as planned, Nikki still wanted us to do their engagement shoot. So I was still happy and was more than willing. And after months of being friends and "connected through Messenger" we finally met in person during Rubie and Jun's wedding.  I spoke to them for a bit since there was some downtime during the cocktail hour. Pretty down-to-earth couple. So the day after the wedding, we headed off to their shoot at Point Reyes and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

I think every photographer can relate to this. There's a moment when you first meet your clients for a shoot, where everyone is still uneasy and cautious. The uncertainty of whether they're going to like you as a photographer. Or whether the clients will  enjoy themselves during the shoot. Or being able to pull off the shots that you have visulaized in your head. Well there was none of that on that day. Paolo, Nikki, my wife and I all got along the minute we sat in the car that it felt like we've all met before in the past. To be honest it didn't even feel like a shoot. More like friends hanging out. Except that Paolo and Nikki are dressed up and I'm bossing them around: telling them what to do, how to pose, where to look, while I point a big camera in their faces. 

But in all seriousness, for my wife and I to have such great connection with a couple that we just met is awesome. And for them to even consider us as more than vendors, but as close friends, that they invited us to be guests at their wedding, well, that's just the icing on the cake on top of a faboulous engagement shoot in San Francisco. A city we love and we keep coming back to. And two months later, here we are again. Back in Northern California. I guess home is where the heart is.