One of the hardest parts about my job is writing these posts. Not because I have nothing to say, but rather, because I love my couples so much and I love with working with them so completely, that I fear all of my posts will come out the same. I really do feel incredibly lucky that I get to work with the smart, funny, utterly beautiful couples that I do. Ivy and Tristan are such a special couple to me. Ivy likes to say that "they did everything backwards." They actually got married years ago and they have two whip smart, adorable sons. But they didn't get the chance to do a big wedding and so, a year ago, Tristan got down on one knee and asked Ivy to marry him...again. Naturally she said yes. We did their engagement shoot at the gorgeous San Juan Capistrano Mission and a little later at the beach, where they brought their sons to join us. They are such a fun couple to work with, they clearly love each other and their family so much and they just seem to love to laugh. I just loved every moment of this shoot and by far the hardest part of the whole thing was choosing which photos, out of so many gorgeous options, were the best.
James and Caroline had two ceremonies for their wedding. They had a Vietnamese Tea Ceremony in the morning and later that day had a church wedding. Caroline has a really amazing eye for details, so she set up all sorts of lovely little decorations and details. I totally loved the kimonos that she gifted her bridesmaids with and check out the adorable snowboard that they used in lieu their sign in book! We shot their portraits at the beautiful Christ Cathedral (formerly the Crystal Cathedral) which was super stunning. It was such an amazing day and James and Caroline are just the sweetest couple! True love, guys. For real.
You guys, I know I say this every time...but I just love the couples that I work with so much! Holly and Ryan are so sweet and laid back, and they have the most amazing families ever. They chose the gorgeous Rancho Beuna Vista Adobe, and this wedding was all DIY. Holly's family put together the beautiful wildflower decorations and set up the table settings and her bridesmaids made their chalkboard signs while they were getting ready. Don't even get me started on Holly and Ryan. They are so completely in love and take so much joy in each other. Ryan had the sweetest reaction to Holly's dress (spoiler: he really, really liked it :P) and Holly couldn't stop smiling during the ceremony. It was such a beautiful day and I was just so honored to be a part of it. Congratulations you two! So much love...really.
You guys, I am so far behind on updating this blog! I've been crazy busy, and I have about five weddings to post and more coming in every day. Anyhow, I shot Kellie and Tim's wedding a few months ago with the very talented Mike Purdy. It was a super lovely wedding and Kellie and Tim are a super cute couple. This is the first wedding I've ever shot where they walked up the aisle together to the intro from Game of Thrones. Basically, Tim is a big nerd, they have an adorable little dog named Q-Tip, and they have the sweetest, most loving families ever. Congratulations you two! It was such an honor to be there for your wedding!
What is it that's so fun about Photo Booths? Maybe it's the crazy props, or maybe it's just the fun of taking a bunch of crazy photos with your friends. I don't know, but I always love when there's a Photo Booth at events and I love shooting them even more. Our setup is a little atypical. We have the snazzy backgrounds and the hilarious props, but we use studio lighting and shoot everything personally, so the photos end up looking really good.
This past Saturday Phi and I got the chance to set up our Photo Booth at the DOMHS Senior Prom, which was downtown at the the Omni Hotel. It was so nice! The decorations were super pretty, the music was great, and of course the seniors looked so grown up and gorgeous. We had so much fun and just totally loved the whole experience.
This was one of the most unforgettable weddings I've ever shot. It was in the Dominican Republic, so, naturally, the location was stunning, the styling was beautiful, and Melody and Enrico are just so completaly in love. The wedding was small and intimate, and everyone who was there was just so thrilled to be there to celebrate with Melody and Enrico. They had the ceremony in two languages, since Enrico and his friends and family are German, and I have to say it was one of the most touching and simultaneously hilarious ceremonies I've ever had the pleasure to see. Melody and Enrico have some pretty awesome, and eloquent, friends and family. Congrats you two! True love.
Dress by Maggie Sottero
Makeup and Hair by Anna Nuet
With thanks to Mayte and the Jellyfish Restaurant
We shot Enrico and Melody's engagement sessions fall of last year and it was definitely one of my favorite shoots of the year, so we were crazy excited when they hired us to shoot their wedding in the Dominican Republic. The wedding was this past Monday, and wow, it was so beautiful! Enrico and Melody are two of the most amazing people I've met and they're just perfect together. It was such a huge honor to be there and catch their whole, beautiful ceremony with my camera. We only returned to LA this past Wednesday, and I've been going through the photos since then. I am so excited about this wedding! Here's a quick preview of a few of the beautiful moments from Enrico and Melody's Dominican wedding.
Shooting a wedding is such a special occasion and so full of moments that are so precious to the people in them, that I wanted a way in which to present the photographs from that day in a way that feels special as well. The thing about shooting digitally is, that it's very easy to just turn over a dvd of images and that's that. To me, simply presenting a dvd doesn't acknowledge how special the photographs contained within it are. So, with the help of Phi, I designed a package that I deliver to couples with their wedding photos. We include the photos on an engraved USB, as well as some other special, Thousand Crane, touches. :)
2013 was a big year for me, both personally and professionally. I got to opportunity to shoot some amazing, beautiful weddings, including that of my brother, Jake. I love shooting weddings. I didn't get into this business because I want to be rich or famous. I got into it because I love photography and I love the people I get to work with. I love how unique every couple is, they all have their own special ways of interacting. They joke around and laugh when they're getting dressed, but as soon as they see each other, you can always see exactly why they're getting married. So shooting Jake and Emily's wedding was extra special for me. Plus, I loved the photos!
In truth, I was lucky enough to shoot so many beautiful weddings this year; I can't exactly choose a favorite. Each had their special, precious moments, and their own beautiful, happy couples.
I also got the chance to work with some really amazing people. Scott Clark, from Scott Clark Photo, whose work I used to look at as reference and inspiration, asked me to second shoot some events and weddings with him. I always learn so much working with other photographers and I love getting the chance to see how talented people's minds work.
On a more personal note, my boyfriend and I added another cat to our family. We now have three cats, which is one more cat than I planned, but he's so cute we just couldn't give him up! He was a stray we found running in the streets, so we brought him home, bathed him, and immediately fell in love with him. Our other kitties were suspicious at first, but now they love him as much as we do. I mean, he has a kink at the end of his tail- how could you not love him?
We also did a lot of camping this year, which was amazing. We took a three day trip out to the Channel Islands, up north of LA. You have to take a ferry out to the islands, and then make a short hike to your campsite. The ferry ride was exciting for me, as I got to see wild dolphins for the first time in my life. I've loved marine mammals for as long as I can remember but I've never liked seeing them in captivity, so seeing them in the wild was spectacular. The island itself was really beautiful as well. It's very dry, hilly, and windy. It was so picturesque. I'd just love to do an engagement or trash the dress shoot there.
And, of course, Phi's sister and her husband had a huge change in their life this year. They welcomed their first baby, Joshua, to the world in 2013.
We also made some lovely trips out to see my family in Minnesota and Colorado. I love Colorado, but I have to say, Minneapolis is one of my favorite cities on the planet.
Overall, I have to say, it was an amazing year. I did a lot of cool things, hung out with some seriously cool people, and am now entering 2014 with all the excitement of a kid on the first day of school (well, excitement if you were a nerd like me).