Bay Area Wedding Photography: 2017 Done!

Our wedding photography season for 2017 has come to an end, and we’re now gearing up for 2018.

For many people, this year brought some challenges but it didn’t stop us or our wonderful brides and grooms from having a blast and celebrating their new lives together. Here are just a few examples:


Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Shannon & David found me through his daughter – for whom I shot wedding photos in 2014, in San Francisco at the General’s Residence of Fort Mason.

This time around, we found ourselves at the Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville. Not only do they have beautiful landscaping and a great facility for weddings and events, but the bride and groom happened to be avid golfers as well. So much, in fact, that we got some fun tee-off photos in the wedding dress and tuxedo just after the ceremony.

Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Lots of dancing followed into the night, while the golf section of the crowd gathered on the upper balcony for a late night putting contest (off the balcony, one bounce off the pavement below, onto the putting green and into the hole, which was lit with glow sticks).

Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography



Stonetree Golf Club, Novato - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Following a fun engagement photo session earlier in the year, it was time for Mariel & Jesus’ wedding. The ceremony was at a church in Walnut Creek, with reception following at Stonetree Golf Club in Novato.

I was at the bride’s house bright and early to document the getting-ready process. Her family and bridesmaids were awesome and welcoming; happy to be on camera, and happy to keep offering me coffee and breakfast. Meanwhile, my 2nd shooter George was already onsite at the church, hanging out and getting photos of the groom and groomsmen.

After a lovely ceremony at the church, we braved the warm Saturday traffic past Sonoma/Napa and into Novato, where Stonetree was ready and waiting. The crowd was all smiles, tons of laughter, and very engaged in the couple’s happiness. It was really something special to watch the family and friends interact. Such a tight knit group of people.

Stonetree Golf Club, Novato - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Stonetree Golf Club, Novato - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Stonetree Golf Club, Novato - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography



Station 1 Sacramento - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

On the opposite end of the wedding spectrum, Lauren & Zac sure showed us a rockin’ good time up in Sacramento at Station 1.

These two met on the front rail (front row) at a concert years back, and made a habit of continuing that tradition throughout their relationship. Not wanting anything resembling a traditional wedding, this event was held in an upstairs jazz club, decorated with rock n’ roll memorabilia, electric guitar wedding cake, drum heads for guests to sign, a rockin’ playlist, and even custom guitar picks for the guests to take home with them (I snagged a few, being a guitar player).

The happy couple got married on the stage while their guests held their drinks up high in cheers, and the rest of the day was full of food, drinks, hugs, conversation, and rock. George and I showed up in suits as usual (especially because I had another wedding to attend as a guest after we were finished here), and we were immediately encouraged by the bride and groom to strip down to just T shirts and get comfortable along with everyone else. It was a blast, and such a welcoming crowd.

Station 1 Sacramento - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Station 1 Sacramento - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Station 1 Sacramento - Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography



Indigeny Reserve- Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

This time with Tyler as my second shooter, we met early in the morning and headed out to Sonora (about a 2.5 hour drive each way for us – plenty of time to catch up with each other in the car) to Indigeny Reserve, known for their awesome hard cider. Today’s wedding was that of Matt & Joy.

Once again, we were lucky to have such a laid back and friendly couple to work with. After the long drive, we arrived to find that last minute preparations were still under way. The groom wasn’t dressed up yet, helping lift boxes out of cars and set up decorations.

But with the snap of a finger, everything fell into place and everyone was ready to go for a pleasantly warm (but shaded) outdoor ceremony and reception in the foothills, near a creek.

Similar to the Sacramento wedding, very little of this one was traditional either… minus the clothing and the beautiful ceremony. The rest of the day was spent eating and drinking, mingling and laughing. At the groom’s request, we had some of Indigeny’s organic cider. Man, was that tasty on a warm day! Highly recommended.

Indigeny Reserve- Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography

Watching this small group of family and 30-year friends have so much fun with each other was completely worth the trek out to Sonora, and Tyler and I talked about how much fun we had with them the whole way back.

Indigeny Reserve- Clay Lancaster Wedding Photography


I could write paragraphs about every event we had in 2017, but you get the gist. We had a blast with so many people this year, and we can’t wait to do it again in 2018. If you’re thinking about meeting with me or having us handle your wedding photography (or event/engagement/etc.), please get a hold of me soon!

We wish you all a Happy New Year!

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.
Cameron & Holley.
Cameron & Holley.
Cameron & Holley.

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 (
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.

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:

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


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


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.


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



Still Alive! Just plowin’ through…

Hey folks.

It’s wedding season. It has been, and it will continue to be for a bit. Which means it’s Editing City here in my office, on top of admin stuff, bookings for next year, and traveling.

Going back in my calendar, I realized I’ve traveled a lot in 2013. Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Paris, Istanbul, Lake Tahoe (again), Denver…

Lancaster Bros. during our first filming outing in Paris last April

…and guess what? My brother Keith and I just coordinated flights and are headed back to Paris in about 3 weeks to finish up the movie we are working on. Time was crunched last trip (3 weeks is pretty ambitious for even the most indie of films) so we missed some shots that we needed. As I understand it, our writer/director has revamped the storyline and added some new stuff, so all of us are headed back to finish up.

There’s a couple more weddings to shoot before the trip, more weddings after the trip, then I’ll be headed to Florida for Thanksgiving (which is also my birthday this year) to see my parents’ new house.

To top it off, one of my good friends (an exchange student from Berlin that I met in 1996) is in town visiting. I had not seen this guy in 16 YEARS, and after a few minutes it felt like nothing had changed:

Martin & Me last week

Oh, and for the first time in my life I actually beat a Zelda game:

Here are some of my other favorite moments since I last updated:

Shot promos for Tracing Figures… a band that contains two of my former band mates from years ago.
Seeing my family at our reunion in Vail, CO. That’s me with my cousin & uncle.
Dusk on Lake Tahoe
Got to shoot Gillian’s wedding at Diablo Ranch in Walnut Creek. She is an old friend from our high school choir days
Vail, CO mountains as the lightning storm started coming in
Aimee & Paul’s wedding at the Rengstorff House in Mountain View
Taryn & Brian’s wedding reception
the moon in Tahoe

It’s been a blast so far! Gonna be hard to top the events of this year when 2014 rolls around. Then again, I said the same thing last year.