Meet Amber

Livermore Photographer specializing in weddings and portraits.

I'm a Livermore photographer specializing in portraits and weddings. I desire to showcase God's designs and use the creative skills that I've been given to bless others. When I have good pictures of myself with those that I love, I can look back and remember what we looked like and where we were, but also the emotions that we felt. The memories that come back with a good photo are irreplaceable, and I love being able to preserve them.
More about me here.

Amber Rivas Photography blog - this is where I feature all of your sessions, write about my personal life so you can get to know me a little better, and answer questions you may have about photography, your wedding day, or your photo session!

On the Blog

Lake Merritt Engagement Photos – With Lightsabers!

October 20, 2020

Lake Merritt this time of year is all beautiful and fall-y! While summer is my FAVORITE, I do like the changing of seasons. Something about just a difference in clothing, scents, colors. Anyway, I was really excited to take Jazze and Ken’s Lake Merritt engagement photos at the start of fall in Oakland. Their wedding […]

Hailey’s Livermore Newborn Session

September 30, 2020

Another photo session for Rachel and Danny! This time including their newest addition, Hailey. 🙂 I won’t share too many details of what I know from her birth story – that’s for Rachel and Danny to do – but I will say it was a surprise to everyone when Hailey decided to make her debut […]

Holdener Park Sunset Photos – Family Session

September 22, 2020

On Saturday evening I got to explore a new place for a family photo session: Holdener Park! This is not a completely new place to me…I ride my bike through here all the time. But I have never used it for photos before. I think I like it! Beautiful sunset overlooking the vineyards in the […]

Create Your Wedding Invitation Online

August 29, 2020

I recently learned about a stationary company called Basic Invite. I’m not sure if they were around when I was creating my wedding invitations six years ago, but if they were, I’m so sad that I missed out! I’ve spent some time poking around their website in the last month and really enjoyed it. So […]

Downtown Niles Engagement Photo Session

August 17, 2020

When Caroline contacted me about her and Kyle’s engagement session, she mentioned that they preferred an “industrial look mixed with nature.” I thought of a few different options for their location. We landed on a downtown Niles engagement photo session! It really ended up being the perfect spot. The day we set for their session […]

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Sunset at Park Winters – Anniversary Session

July 18, 2020

Ever since I started photographing weddings, I have wanted to take sunset photos at Park Winters. Leave it to Katie and Peter to fulfill my photography dreams! I always tell Alex that Katie is my most loyal client. She gets mad at me when I forget to tell her there’s a new blog post up! […]

Summer Backyard Wedding in Livermore

June 25, 2020

Last weekend Chad and Farah got married in their backyard! (You might remember their golden hour engagement session from just last week!) It was the perfect day for a summer backyard wedding in Livermore…even if it wasn’t what they originally had in mind for their big day thanks to COVID-19, they were able to celebrate […]

Livermore Golden Hour Engagement Photos

June 18, 2020

Meet Chad and Farah – soon to be husband and wife (as in a few days from now!) but for now, the latest engaged couple on the blog. We took these Livermore golden hour engagement photos less than a week before the wedding due to special circumstances…namely COVID-19. When I first started talking with Farah […]

Sunset Maternity Photos in Livermore

June 9, 2020

You might remember Rachel’s first photo session when I did her graduation photos last March (before the pandemic was ever a thought in our minds!). Fast forward to this year…when Rachel told me she was pregnant and she wanted to have maternity photos done, I was so excited for her and Danny! Unfortunately we had […]

Senior Photos at UC Davis

May 19, 2020

Last Saturday I finally got to shoot an outdoor session for the first time since the coronavirus shutdown happened! It has been a long three months of cancellations and staying home, but since things are slowly starting to open back up again I headed up to Davis on Saturday evening to take some photos for […]

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Guest Post: Planning Your Wedding Day with a Planner – by Jenna

May 18, 2020

Today I want to feature another vendor who has some great thoughts on planning your wedding day. (Of course she does, she’s a wedding planner!) The goal is to give you some answers to questions you might have about the role of a wedding planner. I’ve teamed up today with Jenna from Heart and Arrow […]

Arizona Cactus Garden Styled Shoot at Stanford

May 4, 2020

I have been dreaming about doing a shoot at the Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford University ever since I learned it existed! Also I would just like to put out a disclaimer: I’ve loved cactuses and yuccas and agaves since before they were cool and I can’t decide if I love the fact that everyone […]

Top Bridal Hairstyle Tips by Kirstin at Orion's Grace

Guest Post: Top Bridal Hairstyle Tips by Kirstin

April 27, 2020

Part of the purpose of this blog is not only to showcase your photography sessions, but also to include planning resources for your wedding day or photo shoot. The goal of this post is to give you some of the top bridal hairstyle tips. I’ve teamed up today with my favorite hair stylist in the […]

50mm lens from Canon's RF line

Can I have the RAW files?

April 22, 2020

Something that potential clients ask me about a lot is delivery of RAW files. I don’t provide RAW files, nor do I sell them for a premium price. Let’s go through some of the basics about RAW files and why I handle this question the way I do. What are RAW files? Simply put, a […]

Husband and wife against blue wall wearing cloth masks

My Life of Social Distancing

April 20, 2020

Around the House On the first official day of shelter in place, it hailed. It looked like snow and I took tons of photos because if you’re going to be stuck inside at least it’s hailing outside. Then these super fragrant flowers popped up in our wine barrels and we had NO idea what they […]

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Bride and groom share a first dance in front of purple uplighting and a giant LOVE sign

Double Tree Hotel Wedding in Fremont, CA

April 7, 2020

Last November I got to experience shooting a wedding at the Double Tree Hotel in Fremont, CA. I take lots of getting ready photos in hotel rooms and group photos in lobbies, but this was the first ceremony at a hotel event center! (Fun fact: my high school senior prom night was at a Double […]

Bride and groom hugging at Lake Merritt

The Terrace Room Wedding Reception in Oakland, CA

March 30, 2020

I recently had the opportunity to second shoot a ceremony at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden and then head over to Oakland for a Terrace Room wedding reception just a few minutes down the road. As I mentioned in the Botanical Garden blog post, I was shooting with Victoria from Victoria Noelle Photography, based in […]

Berkeley Botanical Garden Wedding Ceremony

March 24, 2020

Last summer I had the opportunity to second shoot for Victoria of Victoria Noelle Photography at a UC Berkeley Botanical Garden wedding ceremony. She is such a kind person and I had a wonderful time working alongside her. If you’re looking for a photographer in the Mendocino area, do yourself a favor and check out […]

What’s in my camera bag?

March 19, 2020

For those that are curious, here’s a breakdown of my favorite lenses and cameras! This is not an exhaustive list of all the equipment that is used during Amber Rivas Photography sessions, but it gives you an idea of the kind of gear I like to use. Please remember that by no means does “the […]

Eagle Ridge Golf Course Wedding

February 27, 2020

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to second shoot an Eagle Ridge Golf Course Wedgewood wedding. Luis and Kenna married at the golf course in early February, but it was a surprisingly warm day out. It was slightly overcast, except for a bit of sun during the ceremony, which is why you see […]

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Bride and groom at the Ravenswood Historic Site gazebo on their wedding day.

Peach and Coral Winter Ravenswood Wedding

February 8, 2020

Winter Ravenswood Wedding Another wedding in Livermore – this time a beautiful peach and coral winter Ravenswood wedding. Ravenswood is a pretty simple venue – house for the reception, couple of places on the property for a ceremony. But it has a lot of hidden gems of pathways and walls and shrubbery for portrait sessions. […]

Livermore Library Couples Session

January 15, 2020

This Livermore library couples session is probably one of my favorites to date. Couple of reasons: 1. I LOVE the library! 2. Did you know the library has some really pretty wisteria blooms behind it, and a bunch of landscaped pathways? Kevin and Rachel had their second date at the library where they played Azul […]

Del Valle Engagement Photos in Livermore, CA

January 7, 2020

When Jonathan and Amber contacted me a little over a week ago about shooting their wedding in May and said they wanted winter morning engagement photos done as soon as possible (as in THAT weekend!), I suggested Del Valle in Livermore as the perfect spot to meet up for their session. Del Valle engagement photos […]

On Christmas Trees and Traditions

December 20, 2019

I love Christmas trees and traditions at Christmas time. I’m all for creating new family traditions, doing them year after year, and I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving every November. On Black Friday we opted outside (like an REI ad!) and went to Four Winds Christmas Tree Farm in Los Gatos to get […]

Newborn Hospital Session

December 11, 2019

Let me start off by saying that this isn’t my normal kind of photography session…I don’t usually do newborn hospital shoots! But Katie is one of my favorite people in the world, and I was not going to miss the opportunity to meet my new favorite baby (as of last August) when he was a […]

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Mt. Diablo Engagement Photos at Sunset

December 3, 2019

I love ALL of the photos from this beautiful Mt Diablo engagement photo shoot. We had such a fun time during this engagement session, and it really shows in these photos. Brian and Cheryl love the Mt Diablo area and chose it as the location for their engagement session…I had never been, so it was […]

Arroyo Mocho Couples Photos in Livermore, CA

November 18, 2019

Another session on the Arroyo Mocho! I love it there! Eric and Veronica are two of our favorite people to hang out with here in Livermore. Our friendship started at a 9pm post-worship-practice round of video games. Eric invited Alex over by saying, “Hey, you want to come over and play a game?” Alex said […]

Fall Wedding at The Orchard in Watsonville

October 11, 2019

Let me be the first to admit that I may have overdone it (just a little!) with the photos in this post. I just couldn’t choose…there are so many good ones! Especially the second set of portraits in the apple orchard – beautiful sunset lighting, beautiful apples, beautiful people. This fall wedding at The Orchard […]

Laid-Back Church Wedding in the Central Valley

October 2, 2019

Jesse and Nicole had a simple laid-back church wedding celebration, and it actually felt a lot like my own wedding day. For example: lawn ceremony, simple reception, and even a Hispanic buffet for dinner! I loved being able to reminisce because of all the similarities. They had their ceremony in the back courtyard of the […]

Indian bride and groom embrace during golden hour

Indian Wedding in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort

September 23, 2019

I had the opportunity on September 7 to photograph an Indian wedding at the Napa Silverado Resort in Napa Valley, CA. This was my first experience with an Indian wedding, shooting with Claire Barrett of Claire Barrett Photo. Her photography is amazing, and she puts a lot of thought and detail into her photos. It […]

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East Bay Parks #3: Brushy Peak

September 9, 2019

Finally putting the parks pass to use again! This time I went to Brushy Peak in Livermore with Rachel. We left a little after dinner so that we’d have plenty of time for hiking around, but we got a little lost on the drive there, ended up in some rush hour traffic on a divided […]

Summer Wedding at Palm Event Center

June 29, 2019

Back at the Palm Event Center in Pleasanton! I have to say, aside from its beautiful location and the fact that it’s five minutes away from home, I love shooting here because the staff is SO helpful. I walked into the “vendor area” to find it stocked with water bottles, Cliff bars, printed timelines of […]

Ravenswood Historic Site Wedding in Livermore, CA

May 22, 2019

Monica and Kevin’s wedding day reminded me a lot of my own. It was a laid back, relaxed park setting, and just a fun time of being with your favorite people. My favorite part of weddings like this is that the celebration doesn’t have to be super fancy to be meaningful. But that’s not to […]

Rummikub to Rivas, Part Three | Amber Rivas Photography

May 11, 2019

In case you missed it:Rummikub to Rivas Part OneRummikub to Rivas Part Two Finally at Part Three! After our first date, Alex didn’t waste any time. Probably partially because we didn’t HAVE much time. As I mentioned at the end of Part Two, we had approximately eight weeks until graduation, at which point neither of […]

Arroyo Mocho Trail Family Photos

April 30, 2019

As a Livermore photographer, I love doing sessions that are right here in town. I love finding new beautiful places even just 10 minutes away from home. The Arroyo Mocho Trail has become one of my favorite spots to take photos. Alex and I used to walk this trail when we were dating, and we […]

Niles Canyon Couples Session at Sunset

April 23, 2019

All week long leading up to this session I was hoping for some wildflowers down at Niles Canyon. If you have never heard of Niles, it’s a little historic suburb near Fremont, CA. I highly recommend taking the Niles Canyon Railway train through! Anyway, back to the photo session – we started off the evening […]

Rummikub to Rivas, Part Two | Amber Rivas Photography

April 19, 2019

Last we left off (Part One here!), Alex and I had just hung out for the first time together with just the two of us. We played three rounds of Rummikub. I won twice and let him win once. He maintains that he won without me letting him. Between April 4th and April 19th, we […]

Creative Collaboration at Elliston Vineyards

April 12, 2019

As a creative small business owner, there are a lot of ways to connect with other local entrepreneurs in your town and get to know some other creative people. Rising Tide is a nationally known organization that promotes community over competition, because “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Meaning we are better off learning together […]

Rummikub to Rivas, Part One | Amber Rivas Photography

April 4, 2019

The very first time I met Alex…I don’t remember it. Apparently I was wearing yellow flip flops, talking about how I couldn’t decide what to major in, and declaring that I would not be an engineer because I didn’t want to have to take chemistry. Our mutual friend was telling me I shouldn’t base my […]

Ruby Hill Graduation Photos

March 18, 2019

Last week I met up with Rachel and we drove out to Ruby Hill in Pleasanton, CA to take some photos in her graduation gown! We drove around the loop of the neighborhood as we waited for the skies to clear (let’s be real, they never really did…) and scoped out some spots to get […]

East Bay Parks #2: Tilden | Livermore Photographer

March 11, 2019

Installment #2 of our East Bay Parks adventures! This one was less of a hike, more of a stroll…there aren’t really any hills at the section of Tilden that we visited. Alex’s love for the Berkeley Botanical Gardens is no secret, so we stopped over there first. We have annual passes for the year, and […]

Winter Wedding at the Palm Event Center

March 2, 2019

On February 24, Stephanie and Romeo were married after years of dating long distance. Their beautiful winter ceremony was held at St. Augustine in Pleasanton, CA. I have had the pleasure of photographing many Catholic weddings, and I love the significance of each element of the service. This wedding was no different, from the verses […]

Baker Beach Engagement Photos

February 22, 2019

When Monica and Kevin said that they wanted a beach engagement shoot, I suggested that we meet up in San Francisco. More specifically Baker Beach near the presidio. I was hoping for some fun views of the bridge and photos with the waves. Baker Beach is one of my favorite places to view the Golden […]

Poppy Ridge Golf Course Wedding

February 13, 2019

My last photographed wedding of 2018… Sarah and Eric chose a winter wedding in December at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. As a Livermore wedding photographer, I especially love shooting wedding days in town close to home. Sarah and Eric married on the patio of the reception plaza overlooking the golf course during sunset. […]

East Bay Parks #1: Little Sunol | Livermore Photographer

February 8, 2019

In January, we bought an East Bay park pass in hopes of getting outside more this year. Alex and I are fairly active people. I run sometimes, we bike together other times, and we enjoy a good walk around what we’ve affectionately titled “The Livermore Arboretum” (hint: it’s the Arroyo Mocho trail). Hiking is a […]

Why photography? My reason for the business

January 1, 2019

Why do I spend my weekends taking pictures of strangers and hours of my limited time during weeknights editing those photos?

AirBnB Wedding in the Los Gatos Hills

September 30, 2018

I thought I’d get this blog going with a throw-back post on the anniversary of Joseph and Nicole’s beautiful wedding in the hills of Los Gatos!

Bride and Groom kiss in a rose garden outside the Lodi Women's Club

Navy and Pink Lodi Woman’s Club Wedding

May 13, 2018

Carlos and Krystal chose the Woman’s Club in Lodi for their wedding ceremony and reception. The coolest thing about this place is that the setup is the same for both! The guests sit at round tables as they come in, and the ceremony takes place on the stage at the front of the room. I […]

Husband and wife walking on the foggy beach in formal clothes

Baker Beach Anniversary Photos

May 29, 2017

I’ve known Faith since we were in elementary school, but we didn’t become friends until we were sophomores in high school. We grew up going to the same church, and finally became fast friends when we had to plan out a lesson for the children’s program. I highly recommend having a friend like Faith…accidental sleepovers, […]


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