'm sitting in front of my computer and I can't believe it's been four years since I blogged my first post about a bride and groom opting to see each other before the wedding ceremony. Back in 2008, I explained the benefits of a First Look both as a photographer, but also as a bride who chose break tradition and see my husband in advance of the aisle. In retrospect, I tried to showcase the benefits...and then in 2009, my grooms spoke for themselves and articulated their experiences.
Still to this day, it's one of my favorite posts because this amazing group of men stood behind their decision and endorsed the experience.
I'm extraordinary proud of working in advance to walk my clients through choosing the best fit for them. Sure, not every couple sees each other before the ceremony, but most of them do and it creates such a wonderful dynamic for photos and a wonderful layout to fully enjoying the wedding day. I could, of course, go on and on about these experiences, but sometimes it's best to let photos do the talking...
When a bride and groom get a moment to themselves on their wedding day, it frees them to express their truest emotions and this was no more evident at Laura and Adam's Cancun wedding...
I particularly like this photo of Mikaela and Shane's Canada wedding at Hycroft Manor because it appears he knows he's the luckiest man in the world...
Even the strongest manly man sheds a tear or two when he sees his bride for the first time...Eric and Sonya's wedding at Terranea Resort was so sweet...
And the tears aren't limited to the men...here Jody and Shannon were overcome with emotion and excitement at their Parker Palm Springs wedding...
When Rachele and Will opted to see each other before their El Cortez wedding in San Diego, he was more than ready to get his beautiful wife in his sights...
I adored Joel and Jami's First Look at The Montage...Jami--literally--took his breath away and their first moments together were sweeter than sweet...
This isn't new wedding work, but, taken together, offers insight into why I'm so passionate about talking with my clients and letting them know their options. A wedding day offers just a few precious hours, so maximizing time together, with guests, and at their party seems to make sense...all the while offering photographers like myself the ability to document love. Uninhibited.
The Face of an Olympic Competitor
e spent every chance we could this weekend watching the Olympics and anxiously awaiting a country medal count. Who knew I was way into archery or skeet shooting? When it comes to winning a medal plated in six ounces of pure gold, apparently I am. Because I started feeling left out of the competition, I thought of what events I might medal in and I came up with the following:
*The US Eating Team <-- America's the heavy favorite (I worked hard for that pun).
*The US Eye-Rolling Team
*The US Hairspray Team (the team who achieves maximum volume with least aerosol emission takes the gold)
*The US High Heel Sprinting Team
*The US Talking Team (JD suggested he'd be on the US Listening Team)
The aforementioned list makes me sad because I have, like, no athletic ability. Once during gym class in high school, I had to jump over a box but missed the peak and tripped flat on my face. It was then when my Olympic dreams were dashed.
However (and you knew this However was coming), I will say that if there was a competition for organizing people to pose for a photo, I'd be on the top podium. I mean, just look at the determination in my face at Saturday's wedding...
he breeze off the Pacific ocean rolled softly through the air and streamed into the open windows. Soft tendrils shook in the wake of the breeze as Claire and her bridesmaids gently paraded on the shiny wood floors of the bridal suite. The girls buzzed around the room pulling, zipping, combing, and pinning Claire into the bride she was ready to become.
Steve patiently waited for Claire to descend the steps of the Estate--alternately named Amore Immortale Estate for their love--the property was a perfect Italian landscape nestled in Laguna Beach. From a distance he saw her radiant smile and took a deep breath. He smiled back at her as they stood under the chuppah and promised to love each other for all time. Their closest friends and family collectively promised to vigilantly support their promises and shouted Mazeltov! when their vows were complete.
Together they roamed the estate in wedded bliss and waved to guests from across the villa. They toasted, clapped, and kissed, but--most importantly--they reveled in the moment of being one.
Claire and Steve...from the moment we met, I knew I was in for a great day, but I had no idea. None. No idea just how lovely your friends, family, and day would be and I'm thankful to have documented your sweet love. Hope you're enjoying every last minute of your month in France and eat extra cheese for me! Much Love and Appreciation... j*
The wedding day preparation began at the St. Regis Monarch Beach, complete with champagne, laughter, and a perfect ocean view...
We quickly made our way to the Estate in Laguna Beach and were warmly welcomed to what felt like a piece of Italy. The Cahill family opened their home and we were treated to a tour by Karen, who showed us the most beautiful aspects of her home and garden.
Claire had a spectacular bridal party...her bridesmaids were so much fun and fabulous I wanted to make them my own friends by the end of the night!
JD captured this photo of their families standing under the chuppah, wrapped in a prayer shawl...Claire and her mom share a special bond and it was evident to everyone watching...
And let's not forget the handsome groom...Steve looked extra dapper and nothing says class like a bow tie! :)
I absolutely loved the gardens at the Estate and I wish I could photograph a wedding there every.single.weekend...
Oh, Claire....just stop already!!! Rawr.
The day was masterfully constructed, designed, and executed by the uber fab Amanda Auer of In The Now...she and her team worked tirelessly to ensure the wedding was a true reflection of Claire and Steve and they couldn't have produced anything more perfect for them...truly.
make no joke about my love for all things Facebook. It's creepy actually. Mark Zuckerberg should be scared of me because if I saw his Audi, I might leave a thank you note tucked in the windshield. Why, yes, I know he drives an Audi. Like I said, creeeeepy.
In all seriousness, the reason I like Facebook is because it allows me to connect with photographers and makes the photo industry--which sometimes feels polarizing and isolating--a bit smaller. A place where we say y'all and smile at strangers. When people write on my wall, I try to personally respond or others step in and help along the way. Because at the end of the day, we all want to follow our dreams and helping each other is the best way to get there.
Last week, I was asked How To Photograph Wedding Rings:
I thought it made for a series of great questions, so I decided to answer them and shoot a demonstration for this installment of Shooting Star. In this video, I'll answer:
*How I get inspiration for wedding ring photos
*What background works best when photographing wedding rings
*Whether I plan the wedding ring photos in advance
*How long I spend photographing wedding rings
*How I set up wedding rings
*Demonstration: How I photograph wedding rings
I hope this helps just one person...and then this person pays it forward...and, together, we create a ripple effect to make the industry stronger. Together.
esterday I had a doctor's appointment and when the nurse took my blood pressure she asked if I was nervous. Normally I get excited when my blood pressure is taken because I've been told it's excellent and, apparently, I think there's a special place in the world for Blood Pressure Valedictorians. If there was a blood pressure team, I'd be captain. But yesterday? The nurse told me to take a few deep breaths to calm myself.
That's been a reoccurring theme in my life lately: taking a deep breath.
As I left the doctor's office, he reminded me to take things easy. I promised him I was different, I wasn't the girl he took care of in the emergency room a few weeks ago. He asked me what changes I made and as I listed them, he nodded his head with approval. The biggest change, however, was bringing an assistant with me to weddings.
In light of keeping my health a top priority, I invited Kendra to join JD and I at a few recent weddings and I'm incredibly thankful to have her at my side. I used to babysit Kendra and her two sisters (and raid their pantry for fruit snacks and popcorn), but she's now a college student studying photography.
I invited Kendra to join me and hold my camera gear, but she's since morphed into my right hand. She's kind, considerate, and one of the hardest working girls and I'm honored to have her at my side.
When I told the doctor about Kendra, he patted my back and said he was happy for me. As captain of the Blood Pressure Valedictorian team, I was too.