travel

San Diego Polo Club – Opening Day

San Diego Polo Club opening day June 2012 provided lots of eye candy for my camera to feast on. Party dresses in a rainbow of colors persuaded me to shoot more color rather than black & white film.
riviera magazine and polo club rancha santa feThe Rancho Santa Fe Cup was in part sponsored by the glamourous San Diego lifestyle mag Riviera Magazine, with a half time fashion show featuring clothing from Poppy Boutique. Contrasting shades of blues and oranges dominated the summer time soiree. I love the bold and elegant Diane Von Furstenburg dress (top left available at  www.pinkicing.com) paired with turquoise earrings by Nomadic Fashion. Although the beautiful trio (pictured below) knows that white is still an all-time classic at polo matches.
polo san diego opening day event photographerOf course in a sea of white pants and seersucker suits my camera was drawn to the black lace and decked out do of the leather and chain clad poodle. He seems to be enjoying the game.
The day drew in a record number of visitors showing support to save the San Diego Polo Club (sign petition here).
Even though I am essentially a portrait photographer, and there were plenty of characters to photograph, the excitement of the game challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and try some action sports photography.
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polo field san diego action shots polo player goal horse action shot san diego event photographer
I didn’t quite bring the right lenses and equipment and I knew nothing about the game of polo but I managed to get a few shots that I was happy with. The shot, directly above was taken with my magic camera. Sometimes images end up on my camera that I didn’t know I captured. I put my credit on the photo but really the credit goes to the photo gods for giving me little gifts like that.
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There was a lot going on in the social scene part but taking pictures forced me to engage in the action-filled sport more than the champagne. Jetsuite/Monteverde and Stormmeadow/Adeptus played a close game throughout all the chukkers, but Jetsuite ended up winning the game with Marino Gutirrez scoring final shot.
san diego polo club riviera magazineParty goers lingered after the match with tunes spun by DJ so I did get a chance to mingle and document some fashions. Amongst my findings was a striking six foot two female model with a flamboyant hat, a hip older woman with a wide rimmed feather hat and rad glasses, a celebrity stylist that looks like my son Paultje, and real men that wear pink and pastels!
san diego event photographer polo eventBack lit cigar smoke and a red carnation in his hat, ads instant sex appeal.
san diego polo roberto estudillo esquivel and diego cossioPictured above left, polo player Roberto Estudillo Esquival, sports classic polo swag. Above right, polo superstar and self-professed metal head Diego Cossio adds a rocker edge to the polo world.
Would also like to thank Chris from Star Limos Southern for driving us there in his luxurious limosine!! xo sweetie.

Wine country portrait of wine maker David Vergari

Photographing the brilliant wine maker for Thornton Winery, David Vergari was awesome. We photographed him during bud break this spring to emphasize the importance of quality grapes in order to produce award winning wines. “You can get bad wine from good grapes, but you can’t get good wine from bad grapes”, says Vergari who is passionate about the farming side of wine making as well. The blue sky after the rain, and the extraordinary fluffy clouds made it a fab day to shoot portraits in the vineyards. The sun was teetering in and out, and although I had to change my exposures frequently to compensate, it gave me a nice range of looks from soft and overcast to crispy and bright.

Upon arriving at Thornton Winery, it was gently overcast and David was already at work tending to the vineyards. I was stoked because it allowed me to get some candid shots of him in action.
Left, Arsenio, busy at work, takes time out for a quick shot. Love his smile here.
Its been a relatively dry season up until now, but it started sprinkling a wee bit during our session.
David is serious and fun all wrapped up into one. I could have photographed him all day but I only had 10 minutes with the busy wine maker..

Our session ended with the encounter of a country mouse.. or is that David’s heel click. haha jk .. Either way, the shoot was most enjoyable.

Thank you to Linda from Kissam Consulting for making all the arrangements.

Temecula Chef Volker Lutz

The beautiful and sexy wine blog Must featured one of my portraits of Chef Volker Lutz. The blog by friends Michael & Karon Cartwright celebrates art, wine and cuisine in Temecula & Southern California. Check it out to stay updated on who’s who in wine country.

chef portrait by wine photographer Heather Van Gaale
Temecula chef, Volker Lutz, tosses the pasta during a food and wine pairing at the beautiful Weins Winery