Sonoma Farmers

Spent some time recently with a few farmers in Sonoma County for a piece going in the next issue of Sonoma Magazine. I love the natural light where I live.

Longhorn_08 Eggs_03



A perfect match: photojournalism + weddings

As a photojournalist I spend most of my time with new acquaintances in both joyful and stressful moments in their lives, all while trying to photograph each person with as little intrusion as possible. So shooting wedding has always been a natural fit for me and something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I keep it simple. I stay in the moment, stay out of the way and create images that you will want to look at for years to follow. MattLinh_5373Weddings are unpredictable. So I go after fleeting moments like this one with Linh & Matt who decided to elope but wanted a fly-on-the-wall view to share their romantic day with family and friends.

RobJustin_0353-BWFor Rob & Justin, their day was all about intimacy. I found them to appreciate having a photographer who allowed them to be themselves without ever feeling camera shy.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.26.59 PMCapturing the mood of a wedding is always at the forefront of my mind and for many attending this Santa Rosa wedding there was much quiet introspection happening while waiting for the bride and groom to arrive that caught my eye.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.27.56 PM copyI never tire of capturing the efforts and coordination it takes to pull off a wedding like this moment with the bride and flower girl at Caroline and Christian’s wedding in Healdsburg.

Ruth & Leah just wanted something simple; to hang out on the beach while the sun dropped into the water and then spend a couple of hours having dinner with a small group of very close friends. I only spent two hours with this sweet couple…and sometimes that’s all that’s needed.

Lammers_4234Laura & Devin had a windy hilltop wedding and a long night of dinner, dancing and lots and lots and lots of toasting… they even toasted to their photographer…how thoughtful is that? And again, they loved the fact that I was capturing it all without them even noticing I was around.

If you want to see more pictures, please see this link: Erik Castro Wedding Gallery

And if you’re interested in having me take pictures of your wedding or wedding-like day, or would like a pricing list please contact me anytime.

Unforgettable Journey

I was eating carnitas with writer Jon Bonné at Nopalito in San Francisco to discuss working with him on a new book about California winemakers which was just published today. Jon’s pitch was simple. He wanted to shine the light on winemakers, young and old, that he believed to be the future of great California winemaking.

I soon found myself scouring the California landscapes, pushing my GPS to the limits, while photographing some of the most entertaining, intriguing and often most hospitipal winemakers I’d ever met; all during the midst of the 2012 harvest.

Every moment working on this book was a rush: my pre-dawn ride with winemaker Stephy Terrizzi who drove like Mario Andretti through nauseating winding roads in Paso Robles and had me wondering if her car had working airbags, or avoiding spindly-hairy tarantulas scurrying near bins of recently picked grapes with winemaker Gavin Chanin in Santa Barbara, or seeing the jaw-dropping beauty of first light at a Hirsch Vineyards pick and laughing at the arrogance of believing I could capture that on JPGs.

The book, a finished work of collaboration by writer Jon Bonné, Ten Speed Press designer Katy Brown and my two worn Nikons, is now a part of history. But the love of that journey and these remarkable personalities who create an essential part of enjoying a great meal is something that will linger in my head for quite some time.

I want to publicly thank Jon Bonné for being my Virgil on this adventure and to thank every harvest picker, every winemaker, every vineyard manager and every person I met along the way who allowed me into their lives during the chaos of harvest 2012 to produce The New California Wine.

ERIK CASTRONCW_12York Mountain, Paso Robles with winemaker Anthony Yount.Hirsch_0646Hirsch vineyard moments after harvest.NCW_18The engaging Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards. Santa Cruz Mountains.NCW_28In the “Blue Velvet” with winemaker Angela Osbourne somewhere in Cuyama Valley.
Bonne_1279Writer Jon Bonné. Mead Ranch, Napa.
photoEnd of a journey. This shot by Angela Osborne, Ventucopa, California.