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)
billy1
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.

 

Happy New Year! A Great 2013.

Making friends.
Making friends.
Very thankful for the year we’ve had here at Lancaster Photography. We met a lot of fantastic people, were welcomed into a lot of family circles, spent time in many photo pits, and traveled around the US and the world… all because of the lens and being decent at using it.
Personal thanks to all my clients from this year for choosing my work (which even included Sony Music Entertainment and Ben Folds), huge thanks to my 2nd shooters and assistants, and to the staff at theFIVE10 Radio.

 

A very Happy New Year to all of you!
-Clay
www.claylancaster.com
www.lancasterphoto.net

2013 Recap: Weddings, Concerts, Album Covers, Travel and Films

2013

I was organizing and preparing for the end of the year, when I realized how awesome 2013 was for my photographic adventures. I make my living as a wedding photographer here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but there’s a lot more that I’ve done (and will continue to do) besides weddings.

Don’t get me wrong… I love my couples, and I love my job. But if you’re a chef and your job is to make pizzas at a restaurant, you don’t just stick to making pizzas at home!

To start, this year has been very travel-heavy. Normally I do a bunch of concerts throughout the year, but this time I swapped much of the concert shooting for traveling (and the projects that come with that). Tallying up, my journeys took me to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe (twice), Colorado, Florida, Istanbul, and Paris (twice)… plus all the local outings to wedding venues here in Northern California.

Some of the main highlights:

Paris, France: Worked on an independent film with my brother and a wonderful cast & crew. Crazy experience, and required two trips out there to get it filmed (once in April and once in October). See all my previous posts documenting the trip, if you want more details.

Me (looking thrilled), Barbara Probst, and Kevin Clark as seen through my brother's RED camera
Me (looking thrilled), Barbara Probst, and Kevin Clark as seen through my brother’s RED camera

Istanbul, Turkey: After our first round of filming in Paris, I headed to Istanbul by myself. I had never been to that part of the world before, and it was my first trip to another country alone… where I ended up shooting a hip-hop video for a Tunisian rapper/DJ in a dingy basement, with real blood donated by our video’s “director” (we couldn’t find fake blood)…

 

Las Vegas, Nevada: Brodie (of the Brodie Stewart Band) few me out to Las Vegas with him to meet up with Adam Shoenfeld, who plays on Brodie’s upcoming record. Adam was on tour playing for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. We shot some great interview footage, then had a couple of nights hangin’ out with those guys (and some of the stage crew for the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill show at the Venetian). All of it topped off with free tickets to the Tim & Faith show, and my own entire row of seats on the plane coming home for me to stretch out on.

Getting ready to shoot Adam Shoenfeld's interviews at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
Getting ready to shoot Adam Shoenfeld’s interviews at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

Ben Folds Five: The most rewarding moment of 2013 for me was getting my photo on the front cover of Ben Folds Five: Live, which is the first-ever live album for the band. I’ve been a huge fan of Ben Folds Five since high school, and once I heard their 12-year hiatus was over I pushed to get photo access for their show at the Warfield in San Francisco on their reunion tour. I was just thrilled to even go to the show, let alone shoot photos. But a couple of months later, I get a call from their people and BOOM!… there’s my photo on the record cover (released by Sony) and can be found in stores all over the world. Pretty cool to see “Clay Lancaster” on the CD insert, and on the back of the vinyls.

My photo on the cover of Ben Folds Five: Live at Rasputin Records.
My photo on the cover of Ben Folds Five: Live at Rasputin Records.

The rest of the year was filled with wonderful weddings, trips to visit family and friends, some great shoots and celebrity guests for theFIVE10.com, AND I bought a condo… so I am now a first-time homeowner.

On January 1st of this year I didn’t see any of those previous events on the horizon, so I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring. It’s gonna be pretty hard to top what happened this year… but, of course, I said the same thing last year.

Happy Holidays!

Paris: Finally Finished (fingers crossed)

Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro. Photo by Clay Lancaster

Hello hello.

We’ve had a fairly busy last 10 days, and after this evening I should comfortably be able to say that the Paris portion of the film is in the can (which is like 90% of it).

The ending was re-written and a B-story was added. Our first few days were spent re-shooting the ending with our lead actress, as she had another project to get to. I flew from San Francisco to New Jersey, then New Jersey to Paris… hopped on the RER train into Gentilly, met up with everyone here at the studio, had about 30 minutes to get settled, then we started rolling.

 

Straight off the airplane, filming a scene in Paris before the rain hit.
Straight off the airplane, filming a scene in Paris before the rain hit.
The remainder of the week we worked with our lead actor/writer (as well as a new actress) on the new side story. It was challenging.

A big problem with not having much of a budget is that we have to shoot where we can shoot. That means spending hours on crowded riverbanks – take after take – trying to avoid loud boats, loud people, rain, onlookers, lighting issues, potential security issues, etc.

One of our scenes took about 8 hours to wrap. The scene is only about 5 minutes long.

This scene is about 4 seconds long. Yet we needed 5 takes. I labeled the slate accordingly.
This scene is about 4 seconds long. Yet we needed 5 takes. I labeled the slate accordingly.

The majority of our people are now gone, leaving Keith and me here in this art studio on our own. We spent the last day and a half doing some much-needed sleeping in, some pub-drinking, some bicycle riding through the city, some wine drinking, some photography, and some Formula 1 race-watching. After our mini pizzas come out of the oven, we’re gonna jump on the Metro with the RED camera and go film some establishing b-roll. Then tonight we pack up, and jet back to San Francisco tomorrow morning.

Band photo. Actually it's our lead actor (left), cinematographer (my brother, center), and audio (me, right).
Band photo. Actually it’s our lead actor (left), cinematographer (my brother, center), and audio (me, right).

It’s been a blast. At the start of 2013, I surely didn’t see myself going to Paris this year… and definitely didn’t see myself going twice. Now it has become a running joke that we’ll all just be right back here in a another few months to film something else.

To my clients who have been patiently waiting on their wedding photos, thank you! I’ll have them to you soon.

Enjoy some of these photos, and I’ll see you guys back in the States in a couple of days.

-Clay

Out and about in Paris at night, during Nuit Blanche. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Out and about in Paris at night, during Nuit Blanche. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Night Filming near Notre Dame. Paris, France.
Night Filming near Notre Dame. Paris, France.
Keith and Kevin discuss... something.
Keith and Kevin discuss… something.
This time Kevin brought a remote-controlled quad-copter for arial shots. We crashed it a lot.
This time Kevin brought a remote-controlled quad-copter for arial shots. We crashed it a lot.

…like this:

Sunrise shot from the Trocadero
Sunrise shot from the Trocadero
My skeletal roommate. He watched me while I sleep across the room. Good guy.
My skeletal roommate. He watched me while I sleep across the room. Good guy.
Awkward filming moment. Barbara, Kevin, and... me (technically) in the back.
Awkward filming moment. Barbara, Kevin, and… me (technically) in the back.