Monday, June 22, 2015

AWC-SB'S "Women Of Achievement" Annual Awards Luncheon 2015

Enjoy the slideshow at the bottom of this post. Feel free to "like" this page above, share this link on FB, and leave your comments about this super fun day of celebrating Santa Barbara women achievers!

The Association For Women In Communication's Santa Barbara Chapter
Annual "Women Of Achievement" Luncheon
2015 Location: The Santa Barbara Women's Club
Wednesday June 3rd, 2015

AWC-SB's Annual "Women Of Achievement" luncheon has always been an inspiring event for me to both attend and to photograph every year. It has been an honor being a part of this incredible organization and it's no surprise--with our incredible population of heavy hitting women in Santa Barbara--that we have the fastest growing chapter in this nation! 

This year's luncheon honored two very deserving women who have both had quite an influence both nationally and internationally:  local environmental activist and community leader Sigrid Wright of the Community Environmental Council and author and public speaker Marilyn Tam of The Happiness Choice. Also honored was AWC-SB Poet and "Member Of The Year" Perie Longo who wrote some pretty fabulous and witty poetic tributes for both of our honorees. 

Preceding two inspiring talks by Wright and Tam, SB Mayor Helene Schneider and Jan Ingram (long-time friend of Tam) gave some wonderful introductions to the honorees that were both humorous and thoughtful. And Sloane Reali, public speaker, vocalist, and vocal teacher, rocked the house with her always fun emcee skills. 

I always come out from this annual luncheon feeling inspired, proud to a woman in this incredible community, and motivated to think bigger with all of my dreams!

Congratulations to the three of you and thank you for all that you have done for our community!

Enjoy the slideshow below and feel free to "like" this page and share it on FB as well. 

Enjoy the slideshow below. Click on the "play" arrow button in the middle of the box. If the sound doesn't come on at first, then refresh your browser window and click on "play" button again. Enjoy! Feel free to share this link with others. 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Alpha's "Circle Of Life" Luncheon 2015

One of the highlights of my photographic year is having the opportunity to capture the magic and beautiful moments of Alpha Resource Center's "Circle of Life" Fundraising Luncheon hosted by long-time Alpha Fan and comedian Dennis Miller.

Committed to empowering individuals, supporting families, and building a community that values the contribution of all people, Alpha is an incredibly invaluable, SB-based nonprofit. Featuring music performances by Alpha participants, stories by family members whose lives have been touched by Alpha, and testimonials from local business owners who are employing Alpha participants, there's usually not a dry eye in the house by the end of the lunch. 

It's truly a joy to have been a photographer for Alpha over the past 5+ years! 

Please make sure to check out the slideshow I've put together below. If you enjoy this post and the slideshow, please "like" it and share it on Facebook as well! Thanks so much!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

 Enjoy the slideshow! ;-) 

To view the slideshow below, click on the arrow "play" button. 
If the music doesn't come on at first, please refresh your browser and try again.
To view in full screen mode, click on the rectangle in lower right of gallery screen and voila! ;-)

If you'd like to view all of the photos in the whole gallery or purchase any prints from the day, visit here:

Monday, March 02, 2015

Erika Lilley & Jeff Walker's Gorgeous Sunset Wedding

This could just as easily have been named "The Many Expressions of Erika Lilley Walker!" as I've never seen a more boisterous bride with a wider range of expressions than Erika. However, the moment when Erika won my complete and bemused respect was when she got down in the middle of the dance floor during the reception and started doing push-ups in her wedding gown. You gotta love it! As best friends in love and life (she's a fitness trainer and he's a coach) Erika and Jeff have boundless energy and enthusiasm for sports and all things athletic...which always makes for a fun celebration!  

I have to give thanks to friend and longtime client, Kathleen Barry, for having connected me with Erika and Jeff (who were planning their Santa Barbara winter holiday wedding at The Rincon Beach Club, a gorgeous and intimate venue in the seaside community of Carpinteria). It was only because of her that I know them both and was there to photograph their wedding. Big thanks to you, Kathleen!  

As you'll see from the photos and slideshows, Erika and Jeff are surrounded by a beautiful group of friends and family who delighted in watching this very much in love couple celebrate their nuptials.

I'm very much looking forward to helping them celebrate the next many years of co-creating your lives together! It was truly a pleasure photographing you both on a very special day! 

To look at the full gallery of all of the photos or to purchase prints from their wedding just click here:

Hoping you and your loved ones enjoy these super fun slideshows!
*If the music doesn't come on when you click on the "play" (arrow button in the middle of the window below) then refresh your browser and click on "play" again.
**To make the slideshow full frame (recommended) just click on the rectangular icon in lower right hand corner of the slideshow window below. Voila! 

Erika & Jeff's Bride & Groom and Ceremony Slideshow

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Montecito Piano Bar With Gil Rosas by The Profant Foundation For The Arts

Hosted by The Profant Foundation For The Arts
Featuring Gil Rosas on Piano & Vocals....and a few other surprise guests! ;-)  ♪♪♪

Lively music, piano playing, upbeat Broadway musical singalongs, lots of smiles and laughter served up along with beautiful ambience in gorgeous home in Montecito? Ummm, YES, PLEASE! ;-) 

This event was such a treat to photograph thanks to Mignonne Profant who brought me on board and whom I met many years ago while photographing the SB Women's FestivalThe aim of the Profant Foundation (run by Mignonne, her three lovely sisters and their Mother)  is to raise funds towards scholarships for local artists as well as to resurrect some local cultural traditions around the arts, hence this latest musical event.

What a delight to capture laughter and camaraderie among guests as they sang along with Gil who has spent the last 60+ years entertaining local Santa Barbarans. He's also well known for his many years performing at the much beloved "Olive Mill Bistro" (where "The Montecito Cafe" is now located) back in the day. 

I thought a slideshow would be a fun tribute to the evening's celebrations! 

*To view the slideshow in full screen mode, just click on the "rectangle icon" in the lower right portion of the screen. 
*If music doesn't come on at first, just refresh your browser and click on the "triangle" play button again. 
***If you would like to purchase any prints from the gallery below, click here to be taken to the gallery.  

Enjoy the slideshow! ❤ 
*Song Credit: "King Of Swing" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (who originally hail from Santa Barbara! ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

 Judy's Mesa Family Photo Shoot  

        Such a fun photo shoot with a dear friend of mine, her two beautiful kids, and their sweet puppy Oakley (who unexpectedly passed away a few months after the shoot). I'm so happy we were able to get Oakley in several of these was a magical evening with that dreamy, creamy sunset peach light! 

        She ended up choosing several of the same favorites I had from our shoot together and ordering some gorgeous large prints from me and Zenfolio (Awesome Professional Photographer's Lab) for her living room. So fun to see them being appreciated and enjoyed on a daily basis!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra's "Tango And Tapas" Gala Season Kick-Off

SBCO Executive Director: Kevin A. Marvin
Music Director & Conductor: Heiichiro Ohyama
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra at The Lobero Theatre on Saturday November 1st, 2014

What do plunging necklines, deliciously sexy acrobatics, sangria, and Vivaldi all have to do with another?

Pues, todo! That's where the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra "Tango & Tapas" Gala Season Kick-Off on stepped in…seamlessly stitching all these artistic and musical elements together into one fantastic celebration at the Lobero Theatre earlier this month….

It has been a very exciting time to step on board as a photographer with the SBCO as their new executive director Kevin A. Marvin (with the help of his staff and the board) has been putting together an unprecedented event this fall mixing the delights of the SBCO's classical music at the Lobero along with a VIP event featuring tapas, sangria, and the incredibly sexy dancing of "Dancing With The Stars" choreographer/performers and husband-wife team "Sandor And Parissa," considered by some to be two of the best Argentine Tango Dancers in the world. (Am I the only one who thought Parissa was a dead ringer for a Latina version of Ashley Judd?)

Following the VIP event was a very moving concert by the SBCO featuring Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and Astor Piazzolla's "Four Seasons Of Buenos Aires" (Aha! The Argentinean connection once again, folks!) featuring violinist Martin Beaver and SBCO Conductor 
Heiichiro Ohyama.

It was such a pleasure photographing this event, meeting several of the board members, and being a part of a one-of-a-kind SBCO Event. I look forward to hopefully working with them all again in the near future~ ;-)

Kudos to Kevin A. Marvin, his hard-working staff, the SBCO Board Members, SBCO Sponsors, Conductor Heiichiro Ohyama, Violinist Martin Beaver, the SBCO Musicians, the Lobero Staff, and all of you who were involved in creating a truly extraordinary evening of music and dance!

I want to give a special shout-out to my friend, client, and classical violinist in the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Sally Barr for having connected me with them and sponsored the photography for the night! Without you, none of these photos would exist~ I am very grateful to you, Sally!

As a special thank you to Sally, Director Kevin A. Marvin, his staff and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, I've put together a slideshow celebrating a few of my favorite moments from the evening. Enjoy and please share the link to this blog with your friends and SBCO lovers! You can check out this 2014-2015 season's schedules here: 


Rachel Sarah Thurston

Enjoy the slideshow! 
~Click on the arrow in the middle of screen to play the slideshow.
~Recommended: Click on the rectangular icon in the lower right corner to make the slideshow full screen.
~If the music doesn't come on at first, please refresh your browser and click on the play arrow button again. 
*Music is "Postales" by Federico Aubele

Friday, September 05, 2014

Lisa & John's Tahoe Wedding Celebration

*Feel free to leave your comments and congratulations for Lisa and John on the thread below the slideshow. Thanks!

One of the sweetest highlights of my summer (and probably my year!) was traveling to Squaw Valley, Tahoe this summer to photograph an incredible multi-day celebration of Lisa and John's wedding. I met Lisa's family several years ago when I photographed them on a celebratory family trip to Santa Barbara. Many years later it's been an equal pleasure to meet the rest of her and John's extraordinary families.

In short, this is a love letter to Lisa and John and both of their gracious, kind-hearted, down to earth, and big-hearted families who came in from all parts of the country to celebrate their union. It's a special privilege to feel so included in a celebration the way that Lisa and John made me and my honey feel. It's an inspiration to me to know two such lovely people and to be made to feel like "family" during a very intimate occasion.

I was deeply touched by the way that Lisa and John included their five beloved kids and "blended family" in their nuptials and in a very well thought out slideshow and ode to their family. The love between a couple like Lisa and John  and the love they share with their families is exactly what the world needs more of. 

I look forward to watching their love and their families continue to grow over the years and hope to continue having the opportunity to photograph them all over the years…no matter the location! ITALY, ICELAND, MALAYSIA?! Where will your next celebration be? I'm so there! ;-)

As a special thank you to Lisa and John and their beautiful friends and family, and because they live spread out around the country, I have put together not one but FOUR SLIDESHOWS of their celebration in Tahoe earlier this year. I'm hoping you all have as much fun watching this as I have had putting these together for you all!

Much Love & Many Thanks,

*To watch the slideshows in full screen mode, just click on the rectangle icon in the lower right hand corner of the slideshow window. Voila!

**If the music doesn't play with the slideshow, just refresh your browser window and click "play" (arrow icon in middle of the screen) again. 

Cummins-Dulchinos Family & Bride & Groom Photo Slideshow: 

Cummins-Dulchinos Wedding Ceremony & Cocktail Hour

Cummins-Dulchinos Wedding Dinner & Reception

BONUS: Cummins-Dulchinos Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

*IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VIEW THE WHOLE GALLERY OF PHOTOS (many of which are not in these slideshows) PLEASE CLICK HERE: