Mount Diablo Engagement Shoot. Green!

Recently, I hopped in the car with Cameron & Holley and headed up the steep winding roads of Mount Diablo here in the East Bay Area (the Danville side). The torrential, drought-relieving rains had subsided for a few days so we figured it was the best time to get their engagement photos done while we had a few hours of sunshine.

Man, was it a nice day to head up the hill! The sheer amount of the color green was almost overwhelming. I mean look at this! The grass looks like it would be straight out of Breath of the Wild (that new Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo Switch, if you hadn’t heard of it):

Just a quick landscape shot on Mount Diablo while doing an engagement shoot. Look at that green!

We had a fun couple of hours just snaking the hills and finding some good spots to snap some images, eventually coming down the other side of the mountain into Walnut Creek. I keep forgetting all this awesome open space is right in my own backyard. I hadn’t been up there in years.

Cameron & Holley.
lancasterphoto.net
Cameron & Holley.
lancasterphoto.net
Cameron & Holley.
lancasterphoto.net
Cameron & Holley. lancasterphoto.net

Europe Vacation and Photography Trip: Venice, Prague, Edinburgh, London

Once the 2016 wedding season was wrapped up, I focused my time and energy on family and the holidays. Once New Year’s Eve was done, I hopped a plane in San Francisco and headed off to Venice, Italy. The first stop on our Venice – Prague – Edinburgh – London trip.

Naturally I had some photo work to do while I was out there, and came back with some pretty great images. Have a look!

Venice evening.
St. Mark’s Square flooded during high tide.
Snowy St. Mark’s Square in Venice. January 2017.
This wedding shoot was happening in the melting snow, so naturally I jumped in for a few shots.
This father and son with a seaside rollercoaster to themselves, overlooking the islands near Venice.
Late afternoon.
The flooded crypt below San Zaccaria church.

After a few days, we grabbed a water taxi back to the airport (as my wedding assistant George is demonstrating in this photo):

…and we jetted off to Prague, in the Czech Republic. It was quite chilly there, and I spent most of my photography time with a scarf wrapped over my face so I could keep the feeling in it.

Old Town Square, Prague.
Prague Sunset.
The view from our Apartment balcony.
Prague’s Astronomical Clock. 600 years old and still ticking. With 80% of its original parts.
Basilica of St. Peter in Vyšehrad
Old Jewish Cemetery. Pretty sobering place.
St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle.

A handful of cold days here and next stop was up to Edinburgh in Scotland. Castles galore! And fog. Lots of fog.

Edinburgh, Scotland at night.
Edinburgh night traffic.
Blackness Castle in Linlithgow. Our GPS said we had arrived at our destination, but our eyes said otherwise.
Blackness Castle on the sea. Linlithgow, Scotland.
My cinematographer brother, enjoying the beautiful view from Stirling Castle. No, I didn’t photoshop anything out. That was the view.
Craigmillar Castle was our favorite. Easy to get lost in, and reminded us of Legend of Zelda. Lots of floors, lots of rooms, and lots of bombable-looking walls and doors.
Craigmillar Castle
…and lots of tight windy staircases to make you claustrophobic.

That evening, after much castle-ing, we headed to Glasgow to catch my buddy Kevin singing with his band Candlebox. You might know them best from their 1993 hit “Far Behind”. Great show… snapped some photos there and met up for a drink afterword:

Candlebox performing at G2 (The Garage) in Glasgow, Scotland.

On our last day we hit Edinburgh Castle, and I think it was the right choice. The fog lifted a bit and we got some great sunset opportunities while up on the hill.

Edinburgh Castle

One more quick EasyJet flight and we were in London. I think this was my 4th time there, but I always love coming back. I didn’t bother with as many photos this time.

Marching. Buckingham Palace, London.
Tower of London at night.
Tower Bridge at night
London Financial Skyline
Westminster
This bird. I think this was before I slipped and fell through the ice in Hyde Park.

That was a long post! If you made it this far, congratulations. Just a glimpse of what I like to do when I’m not seeing you wonderful people at weddings. Looking forward to meeting you guys (or seeing some of you again) very soon! Shoot me a message.

 

It’s 2017! And the Rain has Taken a Break! Photography time.

Hi guys! Don’t get me wrong… I personally love the rain, and here in California (especially the Bay Area) we needed it. Badly. But it does make taking photos more difficult. Not impossible, though! As I shall demonstrate:

Just before Christmas, we got to shoot a holiday-themed wedding at Dublin Heritage Park out in, well, Dublin. It was pouring rain, and everyone was huddled inside this small wooden chapel or in the reception room with the fireplace and Christmas tree.

Everyone stayed in good spirits (and relatively dry), and it turned into a cozy festive event with close friends and family. Here are a couple of shots we took out in the rain after the ceremony:

So there you have it! Don’t worry about rain on your wedding day. It can make it even more fun!

Before this, in the opposite sort of weather, my assistant and I had gone out to Sequoyah Country Club in the Oakland hills. Extremely bright and sunny, but we made it work. Everyone in the crowd was fantastic and we had a blast here too.



Summer Weddings, Fall Weddings, Bookings Starting!

It’s been an interesting year, weather-wise. Now on the downhill slope toward October, it’s been hotter than it was all summer. I think brides and grooms have noticed that here in California, which would make sense why more and more of my couples book me for weddings in the Fall months. It’s still warm!

What have you guys been up to? We’ve been having a ton of fun this year, snapping away and making a bunch of fun stuff happen. Here are a few of our favorite photos since we last talked:

Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
The Gardens at Heather Farms. Walnut Creek, CA.
The Gardens at Heather Farms. Walnut Creek, CA.
img_95Private Residence. Walnut Creek, CA.04
Private Residence. Walnut Creek, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.

On a non-wedding note, I got to spend some time shooting photos with the band We Are Scientists while they were hot on the heels of a Jimmy Kimmel performance. Then I headed down to Mountain View to get some shots of Heart at Shoreline. Nancy and Ann Wilson were nothing short of amazing. As always:

Catching Up! Weddings and the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa

Hey guys! It’s been a busy summer wedding season, and I’m trying hard to keep up with the blog. But between shooting, editing, and other forms of social media, it just gets a bit difficult sometimes.

This week begins the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa, featuring artists like Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AWOLNATION, and more. I wish I could be there (flights are expensive). But One of my photos of Billy Idol was commissioned for this year’s poster!

Billy Idol - Grand Sierra Resort. Reno, NV.
Billy Idol. Photo by Clay Lancaster (www.claylancaster.com)
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RBC Bluesfest 2016 Promo Poster by Dave O’Malley

I also worked with a very talented songwriter/composer based out of Oakland, CA. His name is Hamilton Ulmer, and he fronts a group called Makeunder.

HamiltonUlmer-Oakland-052516-23
Hamilton Ulmer / Makeunder. Photo by Clay Lancaster.

As for weddings, we’ve had some great ones! Very fortunate (again) to have such awesome clients year after year. Here are juts a few of my favorites so far:

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Super cute kids makin’ faces as me. Wedding at Heather Farms Gardens in Walnut Creek, CA.

 

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Daddy/Daughter Dance Time. Wedding at Firehouse 8 in San Francisco.

 

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Probably my favorite photo of the year. From a wedding at Firehouse 8 in San Francisco.

 

Clay Lancaster & George Woods
Lancaster Photography Team at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, CA. Clay Lancaster and George Woods.

 

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Wedding at The Gardens at Heather Farms. Walnut Creek, CA.

 

Engagement Shoots, Music Videos, and Metallica: 2016 Has Begun!

My job is cyclical, as you might have assumed. Life of a photographer… and since wedding season doesn’t kick in quite yet, I’ve been working on some other non-wedding photo/video projects. The last couple of weeks have been especially active.

I got to spend the day with a lovely, funny couple in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco for an engagement shoot. The weather turned out perfect (minus some hefty wind), and the session was more of a “hey, let’s hang out with a camera” kind of thing… which I love.  Here’s one of my favorite photos:

Engagement shoot in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco. Clay Lancaster photography.
Engagement shoot in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco. Clay Lancaster photography.

I was then commissioned to work on a music video for a band called Rare Futures, which is headed by Matt Fazzi (formerly of Facing New York, Taking Back Sunday, Atlas Genius). With an older lineup, the band used to go by Happy Body Slow Brain (wiki), with whom I’ve done many photo and video sessions over the years.

I can’t say much about the video yet, but you should be seeing it some time in March. It will follow their debut record (that was not made by me) for “The Pressure”, which will have it’s premier on The Nerdist on February 17th. Here are a couple of production shots:

Two days after the video shoot, I trucked into San Francisco to AT&T park to shoot photos at CBS Radio’s “The Night Before” featuring Metallica and Cage the Elephant. I’ve shot many different live acts, from Eric Clapton to Peter Gabriel to Megadeth, but this was my first time getting Metallica on camera. And being the night before Super Bowl 50… what a first time it was!

Metallica at AT&T park, San Francisco. CBS Radio's "The Night Before". Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Metallica at AT&T park, San Francisco. CBS Radio’s “The Night Before”. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Metallica at AT&T park, San Francisco. CBS Radio's "The Night Before". Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Metallica at AT&T park, San Francisco. CBS Radio’s “The Night Before”. Photo by Clay Lancaster.

Rain, Rain, Go Away… Never Mind, Come Back. Weddings in the Rain.

The rain has eased off for the week. Personally, I miss it. I love stormy weather. Until it ruins my scheduled shoots like last weekend.

I’ve only done one wedding in the rain, surprisingly. It was a blast, and everyone banded together and rolled with the punches. It poured for like 14 or 16 hours straight or something like that! But all it took was family, food, and a fireplace to get people cozied up and laughing.

 That super windy road up to Stinson Beach was a little dicey in the dark on the way home though.
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Rainy day wedding photography in Stinson Beach, CA

Lancaster Photography on Social Media!

Happy New Year everyone! We at Lancaster Photography are excited to get rolling, and we’re very much looking forward to photographing all your weddings, engagement shoots, family sessions, and various events in 2016.

It’s rainy here in Walnut Creek (which I love), so I figured I’d use the indoor time to call some attention to our two main social media outlets.

You can find our wedding photography work and updates on Facebook and our new wedding-only Instagram account.

And, of course, our regular website home page: Lancaster Photography | San Francisco Bay Area | Walnut Creek

…oh and we have a couple of January discounts going on! Book soon and save some money.

LP Engagement Ad1 LP Wedding Ad1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing everyone a happy 2016, and we can’t wait to see you guys in the coming year!

-Clay

 

Ok! I’ll bring the blog back!

Howdy all!

I stepped away from updating the blog this past year because I figured potential (and current) clients could see what we’ve been up to by browsing the Facebook feed, which we keep up to date. I guess people liked the blog as well, so here I am! It’s easy to forget that being a wedding and event photographer doesn’t just mean snapping photos. It’s important that you guys get a chance to know me and my work on a more personal level.

So, if you’re even entertaining the idea of booking a session (whether it be an engagement shoot, wedding, family, promotional, event, whatever) then please get a hold of me! Let’s chat, have a drink, have some coffee, go bowling, etc.

2015 was a super fun year for us. I was able to work with some incredible couples at some really fun events, got to take photos of some legendary musicians, and had the pleasure of working with some new second shooters.

We hope you all had a blast this year as well, and we’re excited to see everyone in the coming year! In the meantime, have a very happy holiday season and browse through some of my favorite moments of 2015 below.

Geyserville Inn Wedding
Geyserville Inn Wedding
Engagement shoot in Aptos, CA
Engagement shoot in Aptos, CA
Van Halen in Concord, CA
Van Halen in Concord, CA
Some of the best bridal procession reactions ever. Diablo Ranch. Walnut Creek, CA
Some of the best bridal procession reactions ever. Diablo Ranch. Walnut Creek, CA
First Look in Geyserville, CA. Anthony swears he wasn't crying...
First Look in Geyserville, CA. Anthony swears he wasn’t crying…
Billy Idol in Reno, NV. The Grand Sierra.
Billy Idol in Reno, NV. The Grand Sierra.
First dance at the Purple Orchid in Livermore, CA
First dance at the Purple Orchid in Livermore, CA
Pre-ceremony meeting between bride and flower girl. Cupertino, CA.
Pre-ceremony meeting between bride and flower girl. Cupertino, CA.
Evening bride and groom at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens
Evening bride and groom at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens
Paul Meany of Mutemath risking bodily injury for our entertainment. Brick & Mortar, San Francisco.
Paul Meany of Mutemath risking bodily injury for our entertainment. Brick & Mortar, San Francisco.
Even a photo of me! Photographer photographing a photographer. Photo: Galen Ducey
Even a photo of me! Photographer photographing a photographer. Photo: Galen Ducey
Friends celebrating at The Ridge in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Friends celebrating at The Ridge in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Stephen Tyler with Aerosmith ay Harvey's, Lake Tahoe.
Stephen Tyler with Aerosmith ay Harvey’s, Lake Tahoe.
How do people sleep at night, knowing that they cut into such a pristine wedding cake?
How do people sleep at night, knowing that they cut into such a pristine wedding cake?
Slash. A personal guitar hero of mine. The Fillmore, San Francisco.
Slash. A personal guitar hero of mine. The Fillmore, San Francisco.
Sunset wedding stroll. Palmdale Estates in Fremont, CA.
Sunset wedding stroll. Palmdale Estates in Fremont, CA.
Noel Gallagher of Oasis, serenading us at The Warfield in San Francisco.
Noel Gallagher of Oasis, serenading us at The Warfield in San Francisco.

Wedding Season 2014 Has Begun! Well, a while ago. But still.

Wow, I neglected this blog for a bit! Have you been waiting here long?

How is everyone’s 2014 so far?

This year has been a funky one as far as schedules. I’m more booked than I ever have been, but all my bookings are crammed into a 6-month period this time. Usually it’s bit more evenly distributed throughout the year.

So for me, wedding season is about 3 weeks into full swing… and it’s gonna be a fun one. George is with me once again this year, and if you see these two photographer clowns at your event, you made a smart hiring decision:

George Woods and Clay Lancaster. Photo courtesy of the groom.
George Woods and Clay Lancaster. Photo courtesy of the groom.

Much of early spring was spent on personal projects, taxes, and a trip to Las Vegas before all the weddings were scheduled to kick in. Now it’s all started, and George and I are super excited to see all the wonderful faces that have us scheduled for 2014!

-Clay

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite shots so far:

San Francisco Zoo Wedding
San Francisco Zoo Wedding

 

San Francisco Zoo Wedding
San Francisco Zoo Wedding

 

Flower Girls. San Ramon Wedding.
Flower Girls. San Ramon Wedding.

 

Callippe Preserve Wedding. Pleasanton, CA.
Callippe Preserve Wedding. Pleasanton, CA.

 

Indoor ceremony at Murietta's Well. Livermore, CA.
Indoor ceremony at Murietta’s Well. Livermore, CA.