July 17th, 2014:
Last week I headed to Cal Tech and Pasadena City Hall for Jennifer and Daniel’s engagement shoot. Since they live in the neighborhood, they are well-acquainted with these architectural landmarks, which are also excellent location for photos.
As the sun began to set and we were wrapping up our shoot, Daniel asked what I thought about a unplugged wedding. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of your guests putting away their cameras to be truly present during your ceremony. It lets them celebrate with you instead of being distracted by a device, and it lets me do my job best: capturing the emotions of your closest friends and families, instead of a sea of iPads (those look like cookies sheets in front of people’s faces), smartphones, and cameras. Better pictures, better experience – It’s really a win-win for everyone.
Anyhow, if the fact that these two are just fun to be around wasn’t enough, I am now completely won over as these two start to think about their guests’ wedding experience 9 months before the big day.
Congrats you both and I’ll see you soon at your wedding!
July 15th, 2014:
Blog post by Felicia
Foreword: This will be our most picture-packed blog post yet for a wedding!
It’s evident by now that Rob and I enjoy immersive travel experiences, the kind where we get to experience the culture, food, and nuances of the country or city we visit.
Liyi & Sebastien’s wedding was an incredible experience for us, one where we got to be part of the pre-wedding proceedings, and got well-acquainted with the couple’s families & friends. We arrived to a ‘farm-to-table’ welcome dinner prepared by the groom’s amazing mother, complete with requisite cheeses aged by his Dad. We were plied with course after course of delicious food, then when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, were stuffed with dessert, and of course, enjoyed French wine throughout the evening.
The wedding took place at Chateau Beauvoir, a 12th Century castle of significance during the Hundred Years War. I guess this takes the title of “Most Epic Wedding Venue”! We had the luxury of staying in the castle itself, waking up for breakfast every morning in the grand dining room, under soaring chandeliers, and flanked by towering candelabras. It really felt like this: French hospitality at its finest.
A happy bride is the most beautiful one, and Liyi was all smiles throughout the weekend, glowing with exuberance and lots of laughs; while Sebastien proved to be a one-man wedding machine, taking care of matters big & small like an impeccably-dressed French whirlwind. But to be fair, it truly took a village, as everyone chipped in to help make Liyi & Sebastien’s wedding day a reality: from grandma picking the cherries that became wedding favor jams, to local bakers, florists, and friends & family from far & wide.
This wedding will be a very memorable one for us in so many ways, for many years to come, and we are so honored to have been part of their celebrations.
Liyi & Seb, felicitations, and thank you for having us. We hope to see you again soon, sometime, somewhere. Here’s to a beautiful lifetime together!
The day before the wedding, we gathered to watch France trounce Switzerland 5-2. There, my new friend Manon (the groom’s niece) waved the French flag yelling “Allez! Allez!” to cheer her team.
Sebastien carried his late grandfather’s Laguiole folding knife all day as a way to remember him.
Because when your mother says your tie needs ironed, it needs ironed. Even if you’re wearing it.
Sebastien’s brother Fred spared no effort to make the groom’s ride a very special one indeed!
France practices strict separation of church and state (laïcité), so all marriages MUST begin with civil paperwork at the Mayor’s office.
One awesome French child playing on his own. What is it about French children that make them so incredibly adorable?!
My new assistant Manon.
At about 1am, everyone headed outside for a tradition where the groom’s parents hat and culottes were burned in a frying pan. I believe it was supposed to symbolize the parents being relieved from their duties when their last child gets married.
Groups of people then took turns jumping over the flaming pan. It was crazy awesome.
July 12 2014:
Blog post by Felicia
Several months ago, Samantha & Mike came from Singapore to California for their engagement photos.
In case you’re wondering: In Asia, these are commonly dubbed “pre-wedding photos”, where the bride actually puts on a white dress, since, on a hectic wedding day, there is usually little time for bride & groom portraits. It’s interesting to note that the white dresses worn during pre-wedding photos aren’t usually the ones the bride would wear on the actual wedding day. (In Singapore, the dresses are rented, so having 5-7 gowns from engagement photos through wedding day is the norm for a typical wedding.)
Sam & Mike requested a “best-of-California” type shoot with major landmarks, and we managed to fit in a diverse range of settings within a couple of days: from the ragged coastline of 17 Mile Drive in Monterey, to San Francisco’s opulent City Hall, iconic Golden Gate Bride and the Victorian Painted Ladies, to the desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park.
The lovely couple just got married in Singapore today, and we are so happy for them! Congratulations Sam & Mike!
July 9th, 2014:
Blog post by Felicia
When I think of Irvine, I think of spanking new developments and new buildings. It came as a surprise that Strawberry Farms Golf Club is nestled away from the ever-expanding townhome communities, and we found ourselves in a rustic setting, complete with a barn! This was a stark contrast to urban Los Angeles where we last saw Katelyn & Jeff for their engagement shoot, making for an awesome variety of pictures.
For the second time in as many months, we witnessed a parent officiate the ceremony, which is always endearing: in this case, Jeff’s father did the honors.
After the ceremony, everyone took respite from the warm June day as the reception moved indoors, and the guests really upped the tempo and partied the rest of the night away with the newlyweds.
Congrats Katelyn & Jeff. Thank you for having us!
May 7th, 2014:
Blog post by Felicia
Jake & Noelle live up in the Bay Area, so we first “met” them through a Skype call. It was one of those times when we just hit it off instantly. When we ended the call, Rob and I looked at each other and agreed, we sure hope they would book us, because they’re just such cool people and we really wanted to meet them.
Thankfully, Jake & Noelle liked us enough to want us hanging around on their wedding day too, so last week, after jetting from France to San Francisco to Burbank, we slept in our bed for one night, picked up our Prius, and headed back north to Paso Robles for their engagement shoot at two wineries.
We spent a good part of the day with these two, trading stories and LOTS of laughs. I wasn’t sure it was possible, but they’re even more awesome in real life than on Skype! After coming off so much travel, it was so refreshing and invigorating to be with excellent company. It also helped that they made our job ridiculously easy. What a perfect shoot to come home to!
Thank you Jake & Noelle for being INCREDIBLE. Can’t wait to see you again!
July 4th, 2014:
Blog post by Felicia
If you follow us on Facebook, you’d know that we were recently in France for a wedding in a castle. Since we’ve tried to have photoshoots each year for our anniversary (1st, 2nd, 3rd are here. We missed the 4th year), we figured we could sneak in a shoot for ourselves.
Bright and early, just 16 hours after our plane landed, we met up with Cecile Creiche and wandered Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) for some pictures in France’s second largest city.
Has it really been 5 years? Our wedding day/week was certainly not the ‘happiest day of my life’, as clichés go. But since then, every year has been better than the last, and I get to spend my days with my absolute favorite person to do everything and nothing with.
So a big thank you to Robert Paetz for being the more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined, for your patience, understanding, and encouragement. Here’s to many many more years of adventures, good food, Legos, and… more food.
June 13th, 2014:
Recently I had a free afternoon and got to something I have been meaning to do for a long time, update my websites travel gallery. (Woot Woot!)
Over the past 15 years I have travelled to about 40 countries (the stories of which are detailed in this very blog) and lately I have been planning trips in my head and thinking about doing a few photo centric adventures in the next couple of years. No specific plans just yet, but I am ready to start bringing my travel images to the next level. Anyhow, here are a few pictures that popped out and inspired me while I combed through 10 years of photography, be sure to check out my whole gallery here.
Laos 2008 (this image and the 1st image in the post)
New York 2011
June 12th, 2014:
Last weekend we headed out to Camarillo Ranch for Jen & Mike’s wedding, and when we got there, we found a very busy crew setting up lights, like there was a small production going on. We weren’t surprised, since Jen & Mike both work in the industry, so their friends powered up the lights and fog machines to make it a reception to remember.
Despite several little hiccups early in the day, Jen & Mike maintained an awesome attitude and partied the night away. At one point, Felicia said to me, “Wow it feels like a Tenacious D concert in here!”
And that’s a compliment indeed.
Congrats Jen & Mike!
June 6th, 2014:
Blog post by Felicia
Earlier this week we met up with Vince & Jen for their engagement shoot at the LA Arboretum. Unfortunately it was a sweltering hot day, but they were still good sports, traipsing all over the expansive grounds, and… Vince impressed us with his mimicry of peacock calls. If you’ve never heard a real peacock’s call, it sounds like a mix of cats in heat and a petulant screaming child. Borderline creepy.
Thankfully we weren’t harmed by the peafowl, and had a wonderful time despite the heat.
See you next month!
June 5th, 2014:
Blog post by Felicia:
Roseanne contacted us just a couple of months ago, finding us through Clare. We met with her and Michael, and were glad that they shared our philosophy towards weddings: that it is a big party where you should have fun, and not stress about the nitty-gritty things, don’t sweat the small stuff.
Indeed, they were one of our most laid-back couples, truly enjoying each other and each moment, without worrying about logistical details. Their ceremony at Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes was heartfelt & warm, and when it came time for the reception at Terranea Resort, they hung out with their closest friends & family, catching up, partying, and just having a great time in general.
And that’s all there is to it: the wedding is one big party, a celebration with those closest to you. Be present, and enjoy!
Congratulations, Roseanne & Michael! Thank you for having us!