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!
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.
2012 is over, we just made it back to Los Angeles and I just spent the last hour looking through last years blog posts. A few images started to really pop out at me so I compiled some of my 2012 favorites to share with you before we really get started into 2013. So in no particular order, here you go:
This is only a small selection, but we had an amazing year and met some awesome people, many of which have gone on to be our personal friends. We love what we do and can’t wait for 2013 to be even better and more exciting!
You would think that an “astro engagement” sets the bar pretty high, but their wedding at their beautiful home was no less amazing, starting with a very moving ceremony with only 14 of their closest friends & family, then they picked up the pace with a Pisco-infused reception for friends. There, Raul & Zelena showed off their tango moves, leaving everyone spellbound.
This easily counts as one of the most meaningful, fun and beautiful wedding days I’ve ever been witness to, and we are certainly thrilled for the lovely couple.
Congratulations, Zelena & Raul!
While waiting, Rob asked Raul what face he would make when Zelena comes down the aisle, and this was his answer.
Ok, the reality is much better.
I had no idea that when I snapped this picture, the next thing I would be doing would be…. a shot of Pisco!
Amidst the scorching temperatures last week, Felicia and I met up with Katie & Steven for their engagement shoot. Thankfully though, by the time we met up in downtown LA, we had evaded the peak temperatures of the day, so we managed to spend a couple of leisurely hours wandering around and trying not to sweat too much. Kudos to Steven for being prepared with water and a towel! I can’t say the same about myself as I sweated up a storm. Sorry guys!
Katie & Steven have got to be the most chill, most prepared couples we’ve ever met. When I asked them how was wedding planning, they said, “We’re all done!”. Completely awesome. Got to hand it to them for being successful not only in their careers (they both work in banking), but also in wedding preparations!
Sahar & Ali are some of the most fun & gregarious couples we’ve ever met, and their wedding was completely befitting their awesome personalities. Felicia and I had the most fabulous time, enthralled by the intricacies of the Persian Sofreh (wedding ceremony display), the bountiful fruit & pastry feast, and of course, the copious amounts of partying. Congratulations, Sahar & Ali, and thanks for not even flinching when Felicia broke out into singing that “Prince Ali” song from Aladdin (included here for your listening pleasure as you peruse this post). Thankfully, we were informed that they actually dressed up as Princess Jasmine and Aladdin for Halloween, thus saving me the embarrassment of my wife likening our client to a Disney character. Although, Felicia insists that Ali is very Prince-like and completely fabulous, therefore the reference is completely acceptable.
Mother-in-laws are awesome.
Prior to the cake-cutting, Ali had to buy the necessary implements in this “Knife Dance”, as the bridesmaids teased.
We met with Nimrita & Travis a couple of months ago to talk about their wedding day and learned that they were going to share our wedding anniversary: July 4th!
A few weeks ago we had a wonderful time with these two super fun & easy-going people, starting their shoot at Chapman University in Orange County, before heading down to Newport Beach where Nimrita & Travis fearlessly clambered over rocks and dodged the erratic waves.
Back in March when Felicia yoga-ed for charity, I took pictures and my 94-year-old grandfather ate cake, we also gave away a couple of portrait sessions as a charity auction item to raise funds for the National Lung Cancer Partnership.
Rose, a teacher at Yoga Blend where Felicia practices yoga, won one of the sessions, and recently got in touch for photos, as she was about to launch her new website, and she also had a bunch of workshops coming up.
And so it was, we spent a beautiful morning with Rose (and her wonderful Australian accent), glad that we could get her some nice pictures while raising funds for cancer research!
Felicia and I are fortunate to meet lots of wonderful, interesting people on a weekly basis, but John + Alisa truly stand out as one of the most adorable duos we’ve ever met. They have a unique, quirky, sense of humor and are just an absolutely blast to be around, and even more fun to photograph. (You’ll see why in the pictures that follow). John and Alisa, you truly are representative of why we love what we do, and you two personify AWESOMENESS. (No, I’m not just saying that because I received Storm Trooper cufflinks as a Thank You gift)
The lovely couple wed at Alisa’s childhood home, a sprawling property in Fallbrook with pine trees, orange groves, grassy fields and everything else in between. It was a beautiful, heartfelt wedding, full of cake, cake, and more cake: There were at least 12 cakes, 8 of which were singlehandedly made by Alisa’s sister. Felicia and I lost count somewhere between Cocoa Caramel and Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache. Alisa had also patiently collected vintage dishes, cups and silverware over the past year, and everything turned out “beautifully eclectic yet cohesive” (according to The Felicia Wong).
John was working hard on random things all day, digging trenches and moving stuff while Alisa got her hair & make-up done. So when it was time for him to get ready, instead of heading to the bathroom, he leapt into the pool, jeans and all.
John had lovingly restored this 1957 Chevy. After a tire blowout and other adventures, I’m certainly glad we got to take pictures with/on/around it.
American Gothic, of course.
More vintage details, including blue mason jars that belong to Alisa’s Mom.
John & Alisa also served home-brews that they had made themselves. The raspberry beers went really fast, and I can totally see why: John sent me home with the last remaining bottle, and after the first sip, I declared to Felicia that I would totally pay them for it.
Most number of cakes we’ve ever seen at a wedding. Awesome.
And the hungry mob launch their assault on the cakes. Earlier in the day, John and Alisa said that they would probably have to send us back with a cake each. They were terribly wrong: Their guests totally ravaged those cakes.
Are you now beginning to understand their awesomeness?
Congratulations, John and Alisa. We are so thrilled that you found us, and we wish you a glorious life together. If you ever decide to switch careers and be beer brewers (because being a doctor is so gross, right???), I will happily be ordering raspberry beer in bulk.