the girl and the fig Summer Staff Party #1, Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen

I rambled a bit about this recently on one of my Instagram posts, and now I’m gonna do it again: I love the girl and the fig (a wonderful, renowned restaurant in downtown Sonoma).  They are the best: their food, friendliness, lovely restaurant space, catering, organizational skills, etc. are all top notch.  I first photographed Sondra, the restauranteur (restaurauntresse?  restaurantrix?), for Wine Spectator Magazine while I was pregnant (and, yes, I housed me a colossal, delicious burger and fries that day!  I think I ate some my assistant’s lunch, too).  Since then, I have worked with their rad team at lots of weddings, doing promotional/ event shoots in the restaurant, and at styled shoots and random industry events.  (In fact, many of the photos are their website are mine.)  And I’ve eaten there on a romantic date with my husband, and taken my parents and young daughter there as well.  Devon and I are overdue for another date there!  Their food is a mix of French/ Californian cuisine, familiar comfort dishes, unique flavor combinations, and DUDE, their salads are amazing.

(I’m glad I ate a big dinner earlier tonight, or I’d be drooling as I type.)

Anyway!  After all of that, I’m actually not going to showcase their food here.  These images are from their 2013 summer staff party, (which I have had in my “to be blogged” file ever since), and, of course, they wouldn’t want to cater their own picnic, so they booked some tasty BBQ instead.  The party was at Jack London State Park in the Sonoma Valley, and the staff and their families all got a private showing of the Transcendence Theater Company’s performance.  Every summer now, they put on a series of musical theater shows and concerts – “Broadway Under the Stars” – in the winery ruins in Jack London park, and it is a super popular, super fun event.  And these guys from the girl and the fig get their own preview (dress rehearsal) performance!  And that means I do, too! 🙂

(Side note – because this post is already so wordy, and I’m just going with it – I photographed the wedding of two of the founders of the Transcendence Company a few years back.  Which means that whenever I get to see their performances, I recognize many of the singers/ dancers/ musicians as wedding guests – and, of course, as performers at Randi and Jared’s wedding, because they had a fantastic group dance number in the wine cave – because, of COURSE they did!! – including tap shoes all around!)

I also shot their 2015 staff picnic last year, and although this one was fun, the latest one was basically the best staff party conceivable.  But I like starting with these, because I can recognize some of the staff and their families in both.  So many cute cute kids!

So here are some favorites from the earlier staff party – to be followed up by shots from last summer.  Including a belly dancer, sword swallower, and more Broadway performers.