San Ysidro Ranch Weddings in Montecito
Rob Greer Photography
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San Ysidro Ranch Weddings in Montecito

This photograph that I captured at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito is one of my favorite wedding photographs. I don't necessarily love it because it is particularly amazing from a technical perspective. Certainly the bridegroom are positioned a lovely location and it's a "nice" wedding photograph, but more importantly it represents symbolically some of the things that I like to do when I'm photographing couples. First of all, I had met the groom only 15 minutes before this photograph was taken. In most cases, I will meet with both the bride and the groom prior to them booking me. And in many cases, I will also photograph their engagement session. That was not the situation for this event as the bride hired me over the phone. You see, she had met me a few years earlier when I had photographed her portraits. She actually didn't meet her groom via that online dating service so I can't taken the credit there. In fact, the groom had approached her after seeing her at the grocery store — a bold move that obviously achieved a successful result. Anyway, when I saw this area of San Ysidro Ranch, I could have simply positioned the couple near each other and taking a photograph but that is what would have been typically expected. Instead, I noticed that there was a dilapidated bench nearby sitting outside next to a guard shack. It was indoor furniture that for whatever reason had been left outside and it was much the worse for wear. I walked over and grabbed the bench and carried it over to the center of the path. I then removed my handkerchief and laid it on the seat so that when the bride sat down, she would not get her dress dirty. I asked them both to sit and turned slightly toward each other. I spend a few moments trying to get the groom's right hand in a comfortable natural position, but I don't really think that I wholly succeeded in that effort. The thing about wedding photography is that I must move quickly. I'm also not working with models and so there are some things in terms of posing that I choose to compromise on as I only have limited time to photograph couples. Anyway, I asked the bride and groom to look at each other and then I told the groom to tell the bride why he fell in love with her. As the groom began to speak I started taking photographs, but when the bride look down, I took the most important photograph which is the one that you see before you. By providing instructions that were wholly natural I was able to achieve the feel of the candid moment, there was really a candid moment, but one that was lightly directed. San Ysidro Ranch is located in Montecito, California. Phone: (805) 565-1702. Website: Contact Person: Usha Atterbury,

Location: 900 San Ysidro Lane, Montecito, CA 93108.

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