My Love of Photos taken in Redwood Forest Continues!

My FAVORITE place to take Family Photos continues to be within our Gorgeous Redwood Forests! Love the golden light, the shade, the many great locations and just the ease of family interaction — resulting in really fun, lovely, relaxed family images.

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These beautiful images were all created using natural light plus a reflector. Camera was Canon EOS 5D Mark III, lens Canon EF L series 2.8 24-70mm. 

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Unlike shooting later in the day which is the best time for beach or other open sky shoots, mid day is the best time to shoot in the redwoods.

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The sunlight streaming through the trees from high above creates lots of overhead light which you can utilize to best effect; re-channeling for fill light and/or using for golden hair light.

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Beautiful Location – Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, Felton CA

Couples – too Cute Awards

I’ve been so blessed to work with such awesome couples over the years. Here is a collection of some of my most recent, and special couples, all bringing such unique energy to their engagement shoots, to their weddings and to eachother. It was a pleasure to work with each and every one.

Engagement Photos Wilder Ranch
Engagement Photos Wilder Ranch

Under the Redwoods Redwood Croft Bed and Breakfast

Under the Redwoods Redwood Croft Bed and Breakfast

Monastery Beach, Carmel Love these Beach Shots
Monastery Beach, Carmel Love these Beach Shots
Presidio Golf Club SF Awesome Venue
Presidio Golf Club SF Awesome Venue
Chaminade Resort Wedding
Chaminade Resort Wedding
Monterey Hyatt Hotel Wedding
Monterey Hyatt Hotel Wedding
Pajaro Dunes Wedding
Pajaro Dunes Wedding

If you were a New View Photography client and one image from your wedding is not posted here, rest assured that I hope to get at least one from your wedding posted soon. My goal is to one from each. Because, truly your day was a memorable and beautiful to me also. Cheers!

Wedding in the Santa Cruz Redwoods

WOW! The light on October 31 in Henry Cowell Redwoods was amazing; golden, warm and luscious. Courtney and Mike were delighted by their weather luck and were grinning from ear to ear as they said ‘I do’.

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In the Redwoods Wedding
In the Redwoods Wedding

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Their small intimate ceremony  took place at 2:00 pm off the main redwood loop  in a large clearing.  The full sun overhead created beams of light popping through the trees which made fora magical glow when they fell on Courtney’s wedding gown.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

In the Redwoods Wedding
In the Redwoods Wedding


Under the Mighy Redwoods
Under the Mighy Redwoods

Have a Fabulous in-the-Redwoods Wedding in Santa Cruz

Don’t forget about our beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains when planning your awesome wedding.
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Lots of brides and grooms want a natural setting for their wedding ceremony and what is more natural and earthy than our beautiful Santa Cruz Mountain oaks and redwood trees? Having a wedding ceremony surrounded by our towering forces of nature will inspire a feeling of being connected to the ancient vibrations; while touching sacred ground, your souls will join and all will be right with the universe! Ok well, there is a lot wrong in the universe these days but for YOUR wedding day, let’s hold onto the romance, right?

So how can you get married in the redwoods?

Santa Cruz has many options to choose from to create the wedding of your dreams while being surrounded by trees and nature. Options include having your informal ceremony directly in the trees and then go elsewhere for your reception OR choose one of our delightful County parks to host your wedding and reception OR have your ceremony and celebration at one of several lush private estates nestled in our beautiful Santa Cruz mountains.


 CnM 21)      Small intimate wedding celebrations can easily be created without too much hassle. Simply get your permit, go to your favorite redwood State Park, have your ceremony and then go elsewhere for your reception. Larger groups of course require more planning and a larger budget.

2)      The light in and near the woods is quite different than the light in an open space or at the beach. It can often be far warmer (color temperature of the light) and your best time for flattering photos may actually be in early afternoon rather than later in the afternoon. For example, within the redwoods, the early to midafternoon light is best! That’s because the bright light on the overhead redwood tree canopy will cast a warm, flattering, soft glow over your ceremony; later in the afternoon, the overhead light will be more angled and not as bright.. Of course the further you move out from under the trees, the more the midday light will be brighter (and less flattering).

3)      Rustic, barn and country style weddings are in vogue right now. There are lots of tips for this type of wedding to be found on Pinterest and Etsy as well as in your favorite bridal magazine.

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4)      Don’t forget to seek out the expertise of our local Party Rental companies. They can be valuable assets when planning your earthy, mountain ceremony – Alexis Party Rental and A Festive Affair are available to help with your chairs, wedding alter or arch, decorations and ideas.

5)      When planning your colors, your wedding flowers (along with your bridesmaid dresses) can provide the accents of vivid color that are a MUST for contrasting with all the surrounding greenery.  To help create these color accents, Boulder Creek Flowers is a great choice. Their highly experienced wedding coordinators and floral designers will help select unique arrangements that reflect your style and theme for your special day. Also, consider the amazing The Flower Ladies, they grow many of their own flowers and are a great choice for local wedding color.

6)      And of course, your photographers and other vendors can offer valuable tips and info to make all your wedding day planning easier. These working, local professionals know who to recommend to help make your dream day perfect.

Small Intimate, do it Yourself –

Reserve one (1) hour time in one of our 2 local redwood State parks, pay for your $125 permit, then on your special day – drive to the State park, bring in your flowers, acoustic music, photographer and guests, have your ceremony, take your photos, gather everything and everyone up, drive away and go to a local restaurant for your reception. Henry Cowell has a lovely area off of the main Redwood Loop which provides an intimate open space under the trees for your group of 30 or less. Big Basin has a similar space at their Campfire Center. Contact Judy at or call 831 335-3455; ask her about a ‘Small Wedding Expedite’ permit at either Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park or Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

County Parks –

Ben Lomond

 Ben Lomond has two wonderful County Parks which are available to host your wedding day events.


Quail Hollow Ranch is the more rustic of the two and features a charming ranch house, amazing oak trees and wooded hillsides surrounding.

For larger groups, consider Highlands Park House. This beautiful park setting features a private bridal lawn, a charming arbor, brick walkway and gorgeous Northern California foliage.


Aptos also has two County Parks which are available to host your ceremony and celebration.

A favorite wedding venue,  Aptos Village Park is 10.3 acres of beautiful lush scenery including a spacious lawn surrounded by redwoods along the creek.


Another historic site which has been meticulously restored to resonate with old-fashioned California warmth and country charm is Valencia Hall. This rural Aptos site features an orchard and towering redwoods border the facility, providing a sense of privacy and seclusion on this special day.

 Private Estates

Nestled in the trees just past the town of Boulder Creek is The Rivers Duck, a private rustic estate featuring 2 koi ponds and a delightful gazebo for your ceremony.  Surrounded by redwoods, this amazing park like setting can be dressed up or down to create just the ambiance you envision.

Or, get married at a family estate in Ben Lomond! Bell Hallow is a historic family estate that is perfect for your elegant celebration. The private property includes a two-bedroom cottage, pool, dining court, bandstand, bar, majestic redwood groves, and woodland gardens.

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Happy Wedding Planning!

Have a Fabulous on-the-Beach Wedding in Santa Cruz

Lots of brides and grooms want to get married on the beach; totally romantic, right? In fact, some Santa Cruz wedding coordinators report, this is the most asked question brides have when they first call for services. How can I get married on the beach?

Sounds great…sand between your toes, sound of waves gently crashing in the background, warm sun on your faces, big blue sky above…ummm.


The reality of course can be quite a bit different than the conjured vision of seaside bliss. Obstacles to such imagined bliss include – logistics, permits, wind, bugs, fog, parking, grandma navigating the sand…to name a few.
But for those of you who REALLY want the romance and memory of an on-the-beach wedding, here are some helpful tips and suggested beach/reception variations.

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1)      Have your ceremony on the beach and have the reception elsewhere. The reason for this is obvious; it’s just too much work to do both! Plus glass and/or alcohol are not allowed on most beaches so best to do the celebrating elsewhere close by.

2)      Avoid parking hassles! If possible, select a reception site within walking distance of your ceremony site. Everyone will be grateful for that. You and your guests can park at reception venue, walk to ceremony and then all walk back to reception and maybe even overnight accommodations. And consider providing a mini shuttle for those that aren’t up to walking.

3)      Don’t forget to seek out the expertise of our local Party Rental companies. They can be valuable assets when planning your beach ceremony – Alexis Party Rental and A Festive Affair are available to help with your chairs, wedding alter or arch, decorations and ideas.

4)      And of course, your wedding photographer or other vendors are also great resources to help find other wedding professionals. Your favorite vendors also have their favorites; other vendors whom they have worked with and trust to deliver extraordinary service for their clients.

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Do It Your Self –

 Beaches in Santa Cruz County where you can (legally) set up a ceremony and get married directly on the sand


 Most of the beaches in Aptos are part of California State Park System and as such, you need a permit from the California Department of Parks and Recreation to have a wedding, regardless of size, directly on the beach. Seacliff State Beach, one of the nicer and most accessible is no exception.  For more information about obtaining a permit for Seacliff Beach contact: or call (650)726-8815. For general info and info about other beaches go to  Getting Married on CA State Beach

After your Aptos Beach Wedding Ceremony – consider a reception at a nearby Inn or Restaurant. Best Western Plus SeaCliff Inn is fabulous and is quite suitable for larger wedding groups. Another option is Michael’s on Main, a cozy choice for your medium to smaller group.


Capitola Beach – no permit required to marry anywhere on the beach but you cannot reserve any part of the beach to do so. You and your party are able to just walk out on the sand and have your ceremony. Obviously this option is best suited to a smaller, more intimate size wedding group. Including any type of amplified sound however mandates that you obtain a permit from the Capitola Police Department.

After your Capitola Beach Wedding CeremonyStockton Bridge Grille, on the Capitola Esplanade, just steps away from the sand and a perfect venue to host your reception after your intimate ceremony.

 Santa Cruz

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You can have your beach ceremony in a couple of places including Santa Cruz’ Cowell’s Beach and Santa Cruz’ Main Beach. Cowell’s Beach is located directly in front of the Dream Inn, Main Beach is across from Beach St. The more private of the two is Cowell’s and is most couple’s choice.  Contact City of Santa Cruz for information and permits.

 Santa Cruz’ Lighthouse Point next to the Surfing Museum on West Cliff Drive is another option. While not directly on the beach, the bluff setting provides a spectacular 180 degree ocean backdrop for your ceremony.  Contact Santa Cruz Parks for information about renting the lawn area for your wedding.

After your Santa Cruz Beach Wedding Ceremony consider Santa Cruz Dream Inn Resort Hotel . Ultimate in convenience and elegance, the Dream Inn is a perfect reception destination for your large wedding group.

Or, consider Darling House Bed and Breakfast  . An ideal venue for your medium size group, Darling House is within walking distance from both Lighthouse Point or Cowell’s Beach. Added bonus, owner Daryl Darling is a licensed wedding officiate!

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All Inclusive

Of course when budget allows, and you want both ceremony and reception on the beach, consider an all-inclusive resort such as the Seascape Beach Resort

The ultimate in comfort and convenience, they do the all work while you sit back and enjoy! Contact their wedding office for details.

 AubPie 183Happy Wedding Planning!