Somerston Winery Tundra Swan

Returning home I reached for the book Birds of Napa County and found this lovely Tundra Swan.  Described as a rare visitor from the far north and a bird that is not observed each year in this county.  These special birds search for fresh water reservoirs, lakes or even flooded fields from big storms.  Generally in groups of two or three this one was alone and quietly just resting on the water.  Quite a sight early this morning. Tundra Swan at Somerston Winery Vineyards.

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Napa Valley Spring Mountain Vineyards

Early Tuesday morning, well before sunrise, I headed Upvalley towards Spring Mountain Vineyards.  Arriving just around sunrise I met my guide, Ron, who is the vineyard manager.  He ever so kindly drove me around the vineyards and showed me the rows and block sourced by the client I am shooting for.

Yes, of course, I wanted to see from the highest point and an overview of their property.  All I can say is it was stunningly beautiful.  I jumped out camera in hand and took a few photos, after the first frame, I had turned to Ron and said, “Okay, I’m done!”  Only half joking as I knew the first image was over the top and nearly perfect.  What a scene and what a stunning vineyard.  As you can see below.












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Spring in Napa Valley

It’s an amazing feeling to be standing on the edge of a vineyard in the chill of morning.  A soft breeze blowing as out comes the tripod, camera and cable release.  All while simply being present with this scene.  It’s like a gift to just be present.  Listening to a few birds, the breeze through the vines or budding vines as it was this morning.

Here at Chimney Rock Winery’s vineyard it was all magical as I heard the click click of my camera.  This is truly one of my favorite times of the year in the vineyards as this is when the vines, so narrow in their rows and along their vines, appear to be bright green ribbons twisting through vineyards.


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Frost Protection in the Napa Valley

It’s spring in the Napa Valley and with spring comes the beginning of another vintage and bud break and the leafing out of vines.  In this photo you can see the sprinklers on as they spray and protect the young leaves and buds from the early morning chill.

This photo taken at the Chimney Rock Winery and of the famed Tomahawk Cabernet Vineyard.

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Best of times – Weddings

Truly the best of times are at weddings.  Family gathers around, friends fly in for your day and memories are created to last a lifetime.  Cheers to all the wonderful and loving weddings we have photographed.














Two years of planning, numerous residency locations for these premed students, now doctors, who chose to be married at the beautiful chapel at St. Mary’s University in Maryland.  Their day arrived loaded with rain, not just a sprits of rain but total downpours throughout the day.  Here they enjoyed a brief break from the celebration with a walk through the autumn trees of the East.













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Wedding Memories & Favorites

Did you know just how much I love the Napa Valley and California, how I love and miss the state of Wyoming and in our beautiful state of California I love the stunning beauty of Yosemite National Park?  Happy are those how choose to be married in these amazing places and how great that they choose to share with me and my team.  Cheers to great and beautiful weddings in our wonderful world.

Yosemite National Park wedding

Mariah and Brian's wedding Yosemite National Park May 31, 2009









Mariah and Brian's wedding Yosemite National Park May 31, 2009









Bride and groom at Inspiration Point in Yosemite National Park









Mariah and Brian's wedding Yosemite National Park May 31, 2009












Before the ceremony in the trees of a Bed and Breakfast.










Philadelphia Arboretum wedding










Katherine and Chris happily married above the wide open spaces of Wyoming.

Mary Steinbacher Photography Napa California; this photo Saratoga WY












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Wedding Photography Favorites & Memories

With the grouping below you will find a few of my favorite wedding images.  There are quite literally hundreds of favorites but for this Blog post I’ve chosen a few that truly made me smile as I thought back to their Napa Valley, Yosemite, redwood trees, Pacific Ocean and the fun filled days, the celebrations and the loved shared by family and friends.

Best of friends & bridal party.


Party time in Wyoming.











Pebble Beach Pacific Coast




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Napa Valley Autumn

Friday morning when I woke I looked outside and saw the deepest fog I’ve maybe ever seen in Napa Valley.  Amazing to see such dense fog, could not see across the street let alone the mountains in the distance.  Instantly I rushed for cameras and zipped out the door, knowing exactly where I wanted to shoot.

Within half a mile the fog was gone.  Oh well, it was still a most interesting morning with moving clouds and fog so I continued on to the driveway of Far Niente in Oakville.  There I knew I would find the gingo tree lined driveway to the winery.   As you can see below it did not disappoint, yes all leaves were on the ground, which I did expect due to the few freezing morning we have had.  But seeing the line of nearly bare trees, the leaves shed on the ground lining the road was a beautiful site early Friday morning.

Quickly I grabbed cameras, a tripod and jumped to the middle of the road.  After a few frames (12 actually) I felt a rain drop.  One more frame and then, down came the pouring rain.  Camera quickly stashed in my car, tripod tossed in I quickly started to laugh and smile at the beauty in front of me at that moment.  As you can see the very wet roadway made the brightness of the leaves into a stunning photo of autumn in Napa Valley.

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Napa Valley is green and growing

This brightly colored cluster of leaves were found on the vine on the Vernal Equinox  a few weeks ago.  Often with the change of seasons I enjoy being out with camera in hand to mark this special turn of seasons and capture nature in all her beauty.  In this photo it’s not just the green but also the twine tie.  No plastic but twine like used for bales of hay or straw.  To me just something authentic about the texture and color.  Later this week I will be out shooting again and will share the vines in all their current glory.  It’s a marvel to watch as the vines fill out so quickly.  Mary_Steinbacher_Photo_Napa_Valley_Budbreak_030115_550x (124 of 336)

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Hall Winery’s Bunny Foo Foo, Napa Valley

This week, yesterday, I was up and out quickly to photograph the beautiful Bunny Foo Foo that is leaping in the vineyards of Hall Winery just south of St. Helena.  This 35′ stainless steel sculpture weighs in a 3.3 metric tons of metal and was created by artist Laurence Argent.  Waking yesterday, thinking of sunrise and the beautiful light of this time of year it was an easy Easter type decision to photography this great rabbit.


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