Bay Area Wedding Photographer Gabriel Harber » Fun, Artistic, Joyful Photography that is Real and Full of Stories

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I have known Michael Mellon for a good number of years now.  We met at a dog park, our dogs loved each other, and as chance would have it he needed a wedding photographer.  His dog, Monk, is one of my favorite dogs – sensitive, silky, and full of energy.  While I was photographing Michael’s wedding in Chico, my house in West Oakland was burning.  That was a while ago.

I have bumped into Michael here and there over the years.  He is a woodworker (cabinets and furniture), and I keep meaning to go over to his shop and take some pictures.  Finally, last week, I got over there for a last minute drop in.  This is part one of what I hope will be a project that shows local craftspeople, their work spaces, and their creative process.  I plan to return to his shop and do some portraits and shots of his finished work.  You can check out some of his work through his FB Page.

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I got a call from Jen at Saint Vincent de Paul on Friday. She wanted to know if I could come to a women’s shelter that they work with and photograph some of the kids there.  Monday evening Jen picked me up at BART and took me to the shelter (at a confidential location). Part of the challenge of photographing there would be that the images had to be taken in such a way as to obscure the identity of the young subjects.

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My buddy, Hector, offered to reproduce Victorian corner blocks for my house after it caught fire.

The other day I called in the favor.  We started out with a trip to the fancy wood store, where we sorted through lumber and picked pieces that were the approximate thickness and width that we needed. From there we returned to his little shop in the garage of his house. A little planing and cutting transformed the boards into squares to be turned on a wood lathe from the 1800’s. Then Hector sharpened his tools, made a template, and began his magic.

From boards of wood to detailed corner blocks took a surprisingly short amount of time. It was so nice to smell the wood shavings and saw dust.  The smells reminded me of the winter I took a wood working class on a little farm in Massachusetts when I was a kid.

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