Debra A. Zeller

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Gary & Jenny : June 28, 2008

Gary & Jenny were married on June 28, 2008 at the Crystal Springs Golf Course in Burlingame and had their reception at Zen Peninsula. Ever since our super fun engagement session back in May I've been excited about their wedding and seeing these two tie the knot. They are such a wonderful couple.

Originally Rob Snavely was hired to shoot their big day, but Rob unfortunately came down with a serious case of encephalitis. He was in the hospital for 3 months and is still suffering from memory loss and won't be able to get back to work for at least another year. He had 15 weddings on his calendar, so the local wedding photography community came together and helped cover his weddings with all the fees going to Rob to help cover his hospital bills. Gary & Jenny had a list of talented photographers to choose from, so I was honored when they chose me.

One of my favorite photographers, Anna Kuperberg, who is also covering one of Rob's weddings, visited Rob the day he was released from the hospital, you can view her gorgeous photos of Rob, his dog Utah and his girlfriend Julie on her blog.
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oxoxo,
Debra No comments

Somayeh & Mohammad : Engagement Session

I'm truly in love with this couple! Somayeh and Mohammad are so much fun to be around, I feel like I've known them forever. They will be getting married this Sunday the 27th on Treasure Island. It'll be my first aghd ceremony, which I'm really looking forward to. I wanted to post this image first because I love it, but I can't take 100% credit for it. It's clear Mohammad has a great eye for photography, as this was his idea. somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad somayeh & mohammad oxoxo, Debra No comments

Antigua, Guatemala : Part 5

Okay, so this will be the last post about our trip to Antigua. I took so many photos, this could probably go on for another 5 posts! I hope to go back to Guatemala one day and discover more of this amazing and beautiful country. One of the coolest things I'd like to point out about Antigua, and maybe this goes for the rest of the country, but since this is only place we stayed, it's the only place I can honestly comment about - anyhow, everyone we passed looked us in the eye and greeted us with a heartfelt "buenos dias, buenos tardes, buenos noches", whichever applied.

Greg has a photo of me taking this photo, of course. But I think I had the better view! Heh. I love this old structure with the wild vegetation growing inside.
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Tuk Tuk's were our main source of transportation. I seriously want one of these, but I could safely bet that after I park it in my neighborhood that it'd be stolen within 12 hours. Thing is, it shouldn't be that hard to find since I've never seen one in SF, right? Still, I don't want to test my luck.
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Color color color. This town is a photographer's dream come true! So, if I told you one of the below buildings was a McDonald's, would you believe me? No? I probably wouldn't either, but it's safe to say I have a McDonald's in one of these shots. One of the most amazing things about this place, other than the people, is that there's no major billboards or advertisements on the buildings so your everyday fast food stop is not apparent. We saw a Domino's Pizza, Subway, McDonald's, and each time had to take a second look and think... "is that a...", and come to find out, it was indeed what we thought we saw.
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Okay, I said I'd show some 'chicken bus' photos, and here they are! They are called chicken busses because on most days you can expect to find Guatemalan ladies bringing their chickens to sell at the farmer's market. We didn't have such luck, which I was slightly bummed about. But the busses themselves are all different and very much their own art pieces.
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Of course I was thrilled to find this bus come buzzin by. I'm making this my last photo from the trip, because I'd like to think it's my bus home (though it doesn't go anywhere near California!).
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oxoxo,
Debra 1 comment

Antigua, Guatemala : Part 4

On our way to town one day we came across these cute cows. Just after I took this picture this cow came over to me and licked me! Yes, right after licking it's own nose, I get a nice big slobber kiss. Nice!
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During our stay in Antigua we stayed at this beautiful house that belonged to a woman that helps the Aware folks out. She was out of town while we were there so we had the place to ourselves. The red home to the left is where we stayed. In the distance is one of four volcanos that surrounds the town. On the day we arrived we could see the top of it, and I should of taken a photo then because thereafter it was always hidden under clouds.
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Here's a view of the courtyard. To the right is the main residence; we stayed in the quaint little place to the left.
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And to top off the perfect landscaping she also has a butterfly garden!
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I found this guy in the butterfly garden. Looks like he's been there a while.
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We found this quaint restaurant where we enjoyed several meals. I just love the warmth of the place.
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I love visiting local farmer's market.
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oxoxo,
Debra No comments

Antigua, Guatemala : Part 3

Puppies!!!! Who doesn't love puppies? I don't think I need to gush about how cute these pups are, it'd be like preaching to the choir.

So we brought the puppies back to the house we were staying at in Antigua and we were hoping to get a nice portrait of all of them together - how silly were we? They were running all over the place and all over Greg!
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It was hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose one it would of been this cutie below with Greg.
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Time for dinner!
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You missed one!
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After picking up the puppies and having crazy fun with them that evening, we had to get a good night sleep since we were being picked up at 4am in the morning to head to the airport.

We got the pups all checked in with no problems; four were checked in with baggage and one went on board with us. I was worried that he'd be hyper on the plane, but it was the opposite. The plane seems to have the same affect on dogs as it does me, it puts us to sleep! Yes, being on a plane puts me to sleep instantly, I feel lucky about that. He was so great, he didn't complain or budge once.

Unfortunately we had a bit of a problem once we arrived at LAX; the fella who re-checks in your luggage after you've cleared customs wouldn't take the pups and made us go crazy out of our way to check them in someplace else. This is not how it's typically done, they are suppose to take them at that point, and since he didn't, we barely made our flight by just a few minutes, and unfortunately the pups didn't have the same luck. Our hearts were broken when we arrived at SFO and found they didn't make the flight. The pups eventually made it 3 flights later that evening. So while we waited all night for the others to arrive, we took the one we had on board with us to take to the SPCA. This is our guy...
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So now we're at the SPCA and I'm nearly in tears at this point, it's amazing how attached I get in such a small amount of time. It was soooo hard to say goodbye.
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The good news is, all the pups have been adopted and are now living in loving homes. Don't you just love a happy ending?

oxoxo,
Debra 1 comment

Antigua, Guatemala : Part 2

Okay, so about our trip to Guatemala... Greg has a friend who works closely with an organization that rescues dogs, cats and even bunnies, called Aware based just outside of Antiqua, Guatemala. She called him up and said she needed someone to go down there and bring back 5 puppies. Well, it doesn't take much arm twisting to get Greg and I on a plane and since we had a week we could spare, we volunteered.

Our journey out to Aware was quite an adventure. We took several "chicken buses" to get there (photos coming later). We got dropped off on the side of the freeway and headed up a dirt road. We walked for about 10 minutes before we could hear the dogs barking in the distance, I was so happy to hear them as I wasn't sure we were on the right path. It took us about 20 minutes to reach the front gate of Aware and other 10 minutes to walk down their driveway, and it was only about 90 degrees!
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We were so happy to reach the gate, now only if we had brought water.
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No one was there when we got there so we jumped the fence and went and said hello to some of the dogs. I wish I could show you pictures of all of them, but they had around 200 (!). It was quite loud with all the barking, they all wanted us to come give them some love and play with them. This guy is so stunning, I really wish I could of brought him home with me, but alas, my cat wouldn't have any of it.
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Seriously, I was holding back the tears and still have a hard time looking at some of these photos. These dogs were so sweet and deserve a good home. I will say that Aware does take really good care of their dogs and has wonderful volunteers and vets on site helping take care of them.
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We did see a lot of stray dogs on our trip, it seems to be a bit of a problem in Guatemala.

A post about the puppies is next, so stay tuned.

oxoxo,
Debra No comments

Karie & Eric : June 21, 2008

Karie and Eric's wedding was certainly a party! These two are surrounded by amazing friends and family. It was such an honor to be a part of their big day. And despite the 100 degree weather, everyone seem to thoroughly enjoy themselves and had a good time.

The hairdresser didn't think he'd be able to make Karie's hair curl. It's amazing what a can of hairspray can do. Her hair stayed in place all day and night, I was impressed.
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Karie's son Kyle is such a cutie!
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Karie & Eric were married in the backyard of Eric's childhood home. His mom did an amazing job with the flowers.
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Karie was such a beautiful bride!
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The fella in the middle looks awfully familiar... wait, that's my little brother!
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Drew couldn't wait to call her boyfriend once she got the bouquet! Haha.
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What's a dance party without a conga line?
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This was the first wedding reception Stumptown Brewery hosted. It was such an ideal location, right on the Russian River.
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oxoxo,
Debra 4 comments

Antigua, Guatemala : Part 1

Recently my good friend Greg and I took a trip to Antigua, Guatemala. I'll be posting about our trip in 3 parts, so more on why we went will be coming later. First up, I wanted to share some images of roof overhang tiles (not sure what to call them). I love this sort of small detail that you wouldn't even know they were there unless you looked up, they're so beautiful. Sometimes beauty can be found in odd places.  Most of the buildings had tiles, but I never saw two buildings that had the same tiles.   Here's a few examples.
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oxoxo,
Debra No comments

Matt & Melody : June 20, 2008

Matt and Melody were married at San Francisco's City Hall on June 20th. I was excited about this wedding for a couple reasons, one being I've always wanted to shoot a wedding at City Hall and the other is that Matt is an old co-worker of mine from the days I was doing photography p/t. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from him and honored that he asked me to shoot his wedding. City Hall was bustling on this day with weddings happening all around us. These two totally lucked out and were able to get married on the grand staircase. The ceremony itself lasted what seemed like 2 minutes, it was short and sweet. After the ceremony we explored City Hall and took some portraits, then the happy couple met up with friends at a lovely restaurant nearby called Jardiniere. Congratulations Matt & Melody!! matt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melodymatt & melody oxoxo, Debra 5 comments