April 29th, 2013:
Tara is a wedding photographer from Canada who emailed me about 3 months ago to set up a session for her and partner, Ryan, during their vacation to California (seems like our Northern neighbors like vacationing in SoCal!). We set up their shoot at Balboa Park in San Diego and La Jolla Cove about 20 minutes away, enjoying the beautiful Southern Californian springtime weather. It was a great afternoon, and a wonderful chance for Felicia and I to hang out with a fellow photographer – we are always especially honored when other photographers decide to have us capture their memories!
April 24th, 2013:
Blog post by Felicia:
Last week we headed out to Claremont to photograph Matt & Amber’s baby girl Maddi for her first birthday. We first met Maddi Jo when she was barely a week old, and then saw her again at Katie & Clay’s wedding in October.
Time certainly flies when you watch a baby grow!
Maddi Jo was a super chill baby, and even sat through the post-shoot dinner as we grown-ups enjoyed tapas & sangria, and I placated her as necessary with (non-alcoholic) bits of fruit that came with the sangria.
Happy birthday, Maddi! May you grow up to be every bit as fabulous as your parents!
We were hoping she would start walking independently, but Maddi-Jo was very tentative and cautious.
This baby made “duck face” on demand. For real. It was endlessly entertaining (for Rob and I, at least).
This pint-sized rocking chair is a bit of a family heirloom: it was first used by Maddi’s great-grandmother and passed onto each generation. How amazing is that?!
Amber’s Mom baked this beautiful cake for her grand-daughter to smash and enjoy. However…..
…. They have one health-conscious baby there that said NO to sugary sweets, ha!
April 22, 2013:
Blog post by Felicia:
During Sarah & Jeff’s engagement session, Jeff seemed really interested in Raul & Zelena’s engagement session under the stars in Joshua Tree, and had an extended discussion with Rob about astro photography.
It so happened that, on their wedding day, we mentioned that we were headed out to Death Valley for Chris & Christina’s engagement shoot, and Sarah & Jeff had the option to make the long trek out to the hottest place on earth as well.
A few days later, I received an email in the affirmative, or, as Sarah puts it, “… more excited than a T-Rex with grabby arms“.
And so it was: at the end of a work day, Jeff & Sarah drove to Death Valley, and met us in the middle of the night dressed in their wedding day finery. We had an AMAZING time with these two, shooting under the star-filled sky until the sun came up and the dunes were besieged by a busload of Asian tourists who decided that Jeff & Sarah made good additions to their vacation snapshots.
Making the long, hot, dusty drive to/from Death Valley was completely worth it when we had an epic weekend of shooting with clients that completely represent why we love what we do.
Thank you, Sarah & Jeff, for being such troopers!
April 18th, 2013:
Blog post by Felicia:
Sarah & Jeff are some of the loveliest, kindest people we’ve ever met. From the very first email we received from them, to our initial consultation, those were just the beginning of all the “awwwww….” moments we would experience with these two. Their engagement session at Balboa Park in San Diego helped us truly appreciate how freakin’ adorable they are. Seriously.
Needless to say, we were very much looking forward to their wedding on the Queen Mary, and guess what? They were AWESOME! Or…. if you’re familiar with the T-Rex meme, Jeff & Sarah were UNSTOPPABLE!!! (Sorry, inside joke)
Congratulations, Sarah & Jeff. We are so happy for you, and are so glad that you found us!
Ringbearer did what he was told: walk to the end of the aisle. But… he also flung the shell containing the rings. Thank goodness for decoy rings….
It was windy.
Jeff & Sarah are both chemists, and when getting ready, she told me that there was a surprise for me. We had talked about chemistry-related wedding ideas during their engagement shoot, and here it was: Elements of the periodic table for table numbers, and test tubes for escort cards!
April 16th, 2013:
(Yes, that IS the Milky Way!)
Blog post by Felicia:
Chris & Christina contacted us right before we left for our trip to the Philippines, so our interactions with them had been solely through phone and email. Chris & Christina had initially planned for a beach shoot, but then, several weeks ago, we got an email from them asking for the “omakase of photography” instead.
Now, if you’ve been to omakase sushi, it means that you allow the chef to decide what to serve you. Or, as Wikipedia explains, “… a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it to you” (from Japanese makasu (任す, “to entrust”)
I don’t really know how to put into the words the elation, honor, and excitement that Rob and I felt when that email appeared in our inbox. Trust is the best gift anyone can give to us, and Chris & Christina essentially gave us free reign and full artistic liberty. They even showed up in Death Valley with what looked like the wardrobe department of a small movie production, so that we could pick what we wanted them to wear. How much more awesome can these people get?!
[Brides- and grooms-to-be out there: once you've done your research, completed consultations and selected your photographer (or any other wedding vendor, for that matter), trust them to do what they do best: it takes the stress off of you, and off of them!]
So anyway, despite the additional time and cost investment to take us up on an astro photography shoot, Chris & Christina gave us a hearty YES. Bear in mind, they’ve never met us before, but they made the long drive out to Death Valley and headed out into the vast nothingness of the desert in the middle of the night with us.
Thank you, Chris & Christina, for representing why we love what we do.
As the sun rose and the stars faded from sight, we headed to the ghost town of Rhyolite in Nevada. I don’t know how these two remain looking so fabulous despite barely getting any sleep the night before.
Chris demonstrates his version of Le Tigre.
April 11th, 2013:
Close to 20 years ago I started high school as a plump little freshman and within a few months I had joined the drama club and auditioned to be in the spring musical Annie…. and no, to your (and my own) dismay I wasn’t given the title role. I was cast as a street urchin (and about 5 other parts) and during that time, I first met Michelle. We became friends over the next few years, ran amok as you should in High School, went to prom together, and even spent our first year at college in the same general ed classes. Eventually I went into the university theater program full time to get my B.A. and Michelle made her way up to Chico, CA for the next few years.
We fell out of touch for a number of years until the advent of Facebook, when we started “liking” each other’s posts. A few months ago Michelle hit me up and to check which dates we still had available for her summer wedding, then went venue hunting to find a location on one of the dates we still were available. Felicia and I are thrilled and humbled when clients put photography first, then hunt for a venue: a huge reversal in the wedding industry.
Anyhow, everything worked out, and all is set for their wedding in July. For their engagement session, Los Angeles traffic on a Friday afternoon necessitated a change of plans, so we ended up at Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks after Felicia did some lightning fast research on her iPhone. But the impromptu change was just fine: we had way too much fun saying wildly inappropriate things that cannot be retold even on this blog, laughed a lot, and had a wonderful time photographing there. Wildwood Regional Park turned out to be a really cool venue to shoot at, minus the fact that Michelle was eaten alive by mosquitoes as soon as the sun set.
Thanks guys for a super fun shoot!
April 9th, 2013:
Blog post by Felicia:
Children grow up incredibly quickly, so Rob and I make it a point to spend time with our nieces for their birthdays, sharing an experience instead of giving a physical gift. This year was no exception when we celebrated Madalyn’s 11th birthday.
Madalyn is quite the little gymnast, competing even in the Nationals for the past few years, so we’ve taken her to a couple of Cirque du Soleil shows, which she enjoyed immensely. This year, we decided to give her the REAL Cirque experience, and signed her up for a private Aerial Silks / Trapeze class at Cirque School Los Angeles, where Cirque du Soleil alumni and other professionals teach classes.
We had the entire space to ourselves, and Uncle Robbie joined Madalyn as the wonderful instructor Lauren put them through their paces. When she looked at Rob, who was unglamorously contorting himself like a trapped manatee, then at Madalyn who lithely twirled and spun, she said matter-of-factly, “You’re gonna hurt tomorrow. Her? Not so much,”
I laughed and was not-so-secretly glad that I volunteered to photograph this endeavor instead.
(And Lauren was right. Rob was hurting everywhere the next day. He said even his groin was tired.)
To be fair, I think Rob did pretty good. But he should keep his day job and not run away to join the circus.
Thankfully, despite the physical exertions, Madalyn was completely stoked and declared the experience to be “even better than watching Cirque du Soleil!!”. She’s now been asking repeatedly if she can take weekly classes here. Wow….
Happy birthday, Madalyn! We love you so much!
April 8th, 2013:
It’s not often that we get photography assignments at short notice and that start at 11:30pm, but last month Felicia and I made the long drive from Burbank to Camp Pendleton on a particularly foggy night for a really special event: Aaron, a close friend of mine, was finally coming home from Afghanistan. We were certainly thrilled at the news and were glad to share in yet another milestone of their family. I’ve taken an extended roadtrip with Aaron in 2006, his and Yvonne’s wedding was the very first one that Felicia and I photographed together, we’ve watched his kids grow from little munchkins to slightly-bigger munchkins, and even photographed his brother- and sister-in-law’s wedding in San Francisco (Hi Tracey & Chris!).
Welcome home, Aaron.
April 5th, 2013:
Last week we met with Justin & Diane at LACMA for their engagement shoot, enjoying a leisurely afternoon where, when we encountered some bamboo groves, Felicia declared herself “a panda with skillz”. My wife’s pretty strange.
Diane & Justin are both civil engineers, so Diane requested photos with these concrete blocks – an installation art piece, actually – very apt!
Diane was particularly excited about pictures with Levitated Mass, so with some patience, we finally managed to get a clean shot of just them and the big rock.
Thanks Diane & Justin for a fun Friday. We had a great time with you both, and can’t wait for your wedding!
April 3, 2013:
Blog post by Felicia:
Spring is surely in the air, as the cherry blossom trees around Balboa Park here in Los Angeles burst into life with their powder pink clusters of delicate flowers.
The brief beauty of cherry blossoms represent the transient nature of Life, and are a great reminder to seize the day, and live with no regrets. Cherry blossom viewing festivals - known as hanami - are immensely popular in Japan and I can certainly see why! They are such a gorgeous sight, and I’m glad that we had been closely watching the blooms in order to schedule N+S’s engagement shoot a couple of weeks ago. We had a wonderful time with the lovely couple, but sorry, due to their request for privacy, we can only share a few pictures.