Coming Full Circle

  • Published June 29th, 2014 by Michele Celentano
  • 1 Comment

Full Circle….. 


Way back in the day…… (or) Once upon a time…. I was a wedding photographer and LOVED photographing weddings.  Over the years and a few personal ups and downs I lost a little of my enthusiasm for the world of weddings.  As weddings started to take a back seat in my business - infants, children and family portraits became more of a passion for me.  

I put all of my energy into my portrait business and only photographed weddings upon special request.  


There was one wedding a couple of years ago the re-ignited the wedding photography flame for me.  It was a last minute wedding (I was asked the afternoon before since the original photographer was sick).  Nate is the son of at the time an acquaintance (now one of my greatest friends) Anyway….  I did not know Kelsey, the bride at all and showed up to begin photographing her wedding by introducing myself and asking her what style of photography she had in mind for her wedding.  


I remember feeling inspired during the ceremony and thinking to myself “I forgot how much I love weddings”



There were a few more weddings that helped to remind me of where my career in photography started….  Christina and Ashley….  Christina’s mother and my mother have been friends for almost 60 years.  Patty (Christina’s mom) babysat for me and I babysat for Christina so it was a great honor to document her and Ashley’s day.




It all comes full circle as we celebrated the marriage of our oldest daughter Allison and her new husband Austin.  Having so many talented photographers in the industry as good friends the choice in wedding photographers could be endless.  Alli and Austin decided to have their wedding in southern California and the first call I made was to Roberto Valenzuela.  He is in LA and truly one of the great modern day wedding photographers.  


I can not begin to explain the excitement I felt when he said he would be there to photograph the wedding.  You can see Roberto’s work here….  (but wait until you finish reading this)

I was lucky enough to spend some time watching Roberto work when he photographed Alli getting ready and my husband seeing her for the first time.  He INSPIRED me so much!  I’ll be spending a few days with him at his LA workshop in September.  


Austin and Alli's wedding



Again I was inspired by Bob Davis, Christine Bentley, Kenny Kim and the rest of the team as we photographed the LARGEST wedding I have ever seen.  It was truly an amazing experience watching Bob work.  His lighting is phenomenal and I knew I wanted to learn more.  I also realized how out of the loop I am when if comes to modern day wedding photography.  I have been so immersed in portrait photography I paid little attention to the changing trends in wedding photography.  


The switch has been turned back on…..   I am feeling incredibly excited to learn again and practice what I have been learning.  A limited amount of weddings are surely in my future. I know I don’t want to go back to shooting 50 weddings a year (I value my weekend family time) but I know I want to dive back into and photograph weddings again….. Coming full circle from my professional wedding photography roots. 



Next month I have the honor of photographing Nate’s sister Bethany and her fiancé Ryan’s wedding.  The Hay family has become part of my family and I really can’t wait to photograph Ryan and Bethany.  I actually photographed the proposal and that was so fun too. 





You never know where the journey will take you.  You may think you are past or done with a part of your life but then some pretty special people inspire you to learn something new....


After more than 25 years in this amazing industry I am so blessed to continuously find new mentors who continue to raise the bar and inspire me to be better than yesterday. 

I would like to take a minute to recognize some of my greatest teachers and mentors.


Monte Zucker

Hanson Fong

Clay Blackmore

Susan Cameron

Rudy Pollak

Joe Buissink 

Ellen Michaelson

Denis Reggie

Gary Fong

Bob Davis

Roberto Valenzuela 

Steve Bergano

Al Friendman

Bambi Cantrell

Kevin Kubota

Chris Lalonde

Frank Cava

Anthony Cava

Tony Corbell

Jennifer George 

Skip Cohen

Rick Ferro

Anglea Carson

Andy Marcus

Robin Hill.....


there are many more...... 







camille  commented on  June 30th, 2014

I have seen a lot of your work and I think anyone you photograph will be so in love with your gift and talent.Photographs ,that time will only make them more cherished !!.I hope one day to be a client !!

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