Sonoma County has a huge number of wineries. The gentle hills are covered with vineyards, the valleys are lined with them. More and more meadows and pastures are turned into vineyards - it's not a monoculture yet since fortunately we still have a lot of agriculture here as well.
The wineries are a huge magnet for people from all over the country with several events taking place almost every weekend, especially in the summer and fall. However, you can still find a neat little oasis if you look around.
One of them is the lavender garden at Matanzas Creek Winery. It's quite a big garden with just lavender and few other tall grasses and some sunflowers. On a sunny day the bees are going berserk here, there's constant humming when you walk through the garden. I think it might be a great backdrop for a wedding.
Kaefer and I thought it might be a great place for taking her senior pictures. She will be a senior next school year, and beside the "formal" senior pictures, each graduate can have a "casual" student picture in the yearbook. Since I am not willing to pay $ 200.00 or more for a professional photographer, I am determined to take these "casual" pictures.
I am NOT a very accomplished portrait photographer, so this is quite a challenge for me. I bought this book from which I already learned so much. And at the moment I am practicing, practicing and more practicing.
Kaefer and I were brainstorming good locations for a shooting, and one idea was the lavender garden.
Thankfully Kaefer is used to get her picture taken (our friends have always teased us that she is the most photographed child...) and behaves quite naturally in front of the camera. We had a lot of fun during this shooting. We limited our time to 45 minutes.
In those 45 minutes I took about 360 photos of her of which I really like about a handful. Now I get why these photo sessions are so expensive...
None of these pictures will end up in the yearbook. These are all practice shots - I learned so much! We have until the end of the year to get the "perfect" shot.
This one is my favorite from yesterday's shooting. It shows a lot of Kaefer's personality.