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Jen and Chelsea wanted their engagement photos surrounded by nature in a place they had a connection to, so they picked Will Rogers State Historic Park where they frequently bring their dog for hikes. The Pacific Palisades location was the perfect spot for some hiking trails among eucalyptus and pepper trees, catching beautiful views of the city and the ocean from a hilltop, watching some friendly horses, and snuggling on a picnic blanket as the sun set. I loved the way these two beautiful brides-to-be were so smitten, and they kept lovingly brushing hair off each other’s faces in the most tender way that happened to look completely adorable in the photos!

Jen and Chelsea, thanks for braving rattlesnake season with me, and I can’t wait for your wedding this fall! You can check out the rest of the photos or order prints here.

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Brittainy and Blaine’s Malibu elopement in Solstice Canyon was the stuff my photo dreams are made of – adorable and adorably in love couple, lots of nature, beautiful sunset light. Add in bonuses like Britt’s awesome two-piece lace boho dress, the DIY bouquet she made herself from LA Flower Market stems, a lovely ceremony by Elizabeth from Marriage to Go, and their funny and sweet friends who were excellent witnesses and also brought some bubbly to celebrate in the parking lot afterwards! Prior the wedding, Brittainy and Blaine were telling me they met in college in Seattle and have been dating for six years, but when they started the wedding-planning process they heard from a lot of friends how expensive and stressful it was, so they shifted gears to plan a destination elopement instead. “We decided that we wanted something more intimate. We want to make sure this is something we’ll smile when we think about it in the future. We want to remember the feelings, the smells, the smiles, everything. Eloping in a park sounded like the perfect way to make sure we get what we’re hoping for.” I think we accomplished all of that with this wonderful day!

Congrats Brittainy and Blaine! You can check out the full set and order prints here!

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Sophie and John came from England to elope in sunny Los Angeles, but the weather on their wedding day was a little more overcast than usual for Griffith Park this time of year. But the fog didn’t dampen any of our spirits, and Sophie’s mustard yellow bouquet and accessories brought more than enough cheerful color to brighten the day! Their friends came with them for the trip and were so sweet with being joint ring bearers, taking Fuji Instax photos, and then decorating their rental car with signs, cans, and balloons to make their drive out of the park as festive as possible. Everything about this morning was so sweet, and John and Sophie were amazing, it was a joy to celebrate with them!

Congrats to the happy couple and thanks to officiant Jacob Marries and Pavan Floral for making this such a special elopement! Check out the whole the whole set and order prints here.

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From our first contact, I loved how Steph and Beth described their plans for their elopement. These two met online and had their first date at the Rainbow Lighthouse in Long Beach. Steph told me “Beth brought sunflowers and suggested drinks and appetizers at Bubba Gump’s (the only place we could get into) even though she doesn’t eat seafood. We followed that up with a stroll around the harbor and a kiss at the lighthouse. After we said goodnight, we both went home and texted each other BEST DATE EVER!” They decided to have their elopement at the exact same spot on the three year anniversary of that amazing first date! Their closest friends gathered and were part of the celebration, from planning and officiating to making the dress and watching their adorable dressed up dog Juvie. There were also some family members Skyped in for the ceremony, and lots of well-wishes from many people we passed by at the park during the sunset portraits. Such a gorgeous setting for such a sweet couple and I was so happy to be part of this lovely day!

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I was delighted when Simon contacted me to take photos for his daughter’s 16th birthday and photos of the rest of the family in their lovely backyard. At home sessions are always fun for me because the families are usually more comfortable in their own environment, and that makes them more natural and relaxed. Plus you can have your pets there too, just like the adorable pup in these shots! What a great day with such a great family!

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I can’t remember how I first heard about Vasquez Rocks, but I’d wanted to go there for years before I finally made the trip when my sister was visiting. It’s a short day trip or half day trip from LA, and there’s a nice visitors center and lots of trails around all the rock formations. We didn’t get too crazy climbing the steepest rock faces, but you can see some tiny explorers at the top of the rocks in some of the photos! I took my late grandfather’s vintage Kodak Duaflex iii medium format camera, and my Fuji Klasse 35mm compact camera, both with Portra 400 film. (There are a few scratches you can see in the square film and hopefully I can get it serviced to fix those in the future, but it’s also a 70 year old camera so I’m cutting it some slack!) The weather was perfect for a leisurely hike, and I also had fun location scouting the area as a unique setting for a desert elopement or portrait photos that is a little closer than Joshua Tree. I’m glad I finally checked this off my “cool places to explore in Los Angeles” list and I definitely want to go back again!

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Last week, my husband Matthew convinced me to get up at 3 am and drive to the Griffith Observatory for the Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. I made coffee, packed up my camera gear and joined the surprisingly robust crowd of stargazers (moon gazers?) sprawled out all over the lawn of the observatory. Before we decided to go, the idea of leaving my warm bed to go out in the cold night was a hard sell, but once we got there I was so happy. The moon looked beautiful, but mostly the energy of the crowd was what made it such a uniquely Los Angeles experience. Everyone cheered when the eclipse totality was announced, people were howling and drumming and dancing in a conga line when the the blood moon shadow started waning and the eclipse was over. And it was a really fun chance for me to take photos of the Observatory at a different time and play around with some long exposures different views of LA at night. I’m not sure when the next opportunity of this lunar spectacular will come again, but I’d definitely go again without any hesitation now that I know how fun and magical it was to experience the eclipse this way!

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Looking back, last year was full of many great elopements, engagements, weddings, and family photography sessions, as well some personal trips I’d been wanting to check off my list for a long time – a birthday trip exploring the coast at Palos Verdes, an anniversary trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and a spontaneous fall trip to Yosemite National Park. Looking forward, here’s my wish list of lots of places I want to visit and photograph and some goals I have for my photography business this year! Are any of these on your list too? If so, let’s get together and plan an adventure!
 
First off – places in California I want to visit that I either haven’t been to before or haven’t been to in a long time. I would absolutely love to photograph elopements or engagement sessions at Big Sur along the coast, Vasquez Rocks about an hour north of LA, and Sequoia National Park a few hours east. All of these places have different scenery – oceanside cliffs, golden desert rock formations, and giant green trees – but all fill me with wonder whenever I see photos of them. I’m hoping I can find some adventurers in love to hire me for photos at any of these locations but they’re all close enough that I could also do weekend getaways and some travel photography! And I’ve been talking about doing a Big Sur elopement inspiration shoot with some other talented vendors as well.
Next up for my 2018 photography goals is to photograph a National Park elopement! I spent a lot of time putting my parks pass to good use last year and want to keep exploring more this year. Did you know that California has the most National Parks out of all the states, with nine to choose from? Joshua Tree National Park is one of my favorite places, and Yosemite was absolutely gorgeous. I’d love to go back to either of them, or any of the other parks, to capture a couple’s destination elopement adventure in these beautiful settings.
One of the cool things about Joshua Tree is that you can get married in the national park itself, but there are also a ton of nearby venues, hotels, and Air BnB houses if you are looking for a place to host a wedding weekend or a reception after your ceremony. Some of my favorite looking venues that would be perfect for a desert destination elopement or wedding are RimRock Ranch, The Inn at the Ruin, 29 Palms Inn, The Desert Lily, Sacred Sands, Cactus Moon Retreat, The Joshua Tree Inn, Mojave Sands, Pipes Canyon Lodge, Joshua Tree Cabins, Rock Reach House, Echo Ranch House, Casa Joshua Tree, and the Moorten Botanical Garden and ACE Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. So many amazing choices, and I’d love to be a part of any celebrations at any of them!
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2017 was quite a year, huh? A lot happened and a lot was challenging, but there was also a lot of hope and resistance and progress too. And when it came to my photography clients, it was an unconditionally wonderful year. My year started with the Love Wins Out event I organized with the help of 50 other LA Wedding Vendors & Creatives to offer complimentary elopements to five LGBTQ couples. Then I photographed an anniversary session to benefit the International Rescue Committee as part of collaboration called Art for Humanity. I shot multiple elopements and an engagement session in Griffith Park (and got to be a witness for the first time!), a family session for one of my early wedding couples from 2012, maternity photos for my brother and sister-in-law, and many more elopements and intimate weddings in Santa Barbara, Claremont, Sylmar, Pasadena, and Bel Air. In personal trips, which I plan to do a separate roundup for, I went to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Wayfarers Chapel and Sunken City in Palos Verdes, and Yosemite. I also got to attend three weddings as a guest this year, and they were all amazing!

While looking back fondly on all the people and places I photographed in 2017, I’m also dreaming big with lots of ideas for where I want to go and what I want to capture in 2018. So let’s connect if you are looking for outdoor destination or California elopement, wedding, engagement, family, or couple photos and we can go on an adventure together!

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“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” – John Muir

Last month, my husband Matthew and I took an impromptu trip to Yosemite National Park. I’ve lived in California for over a decade and somehow this was the first time I went up to Yosemite but I already want to go back. Considering that so many National Parks are under attack with proposals for defunding or protections of monuments being repealed, it feels so important to support these places and visit them now more than ever. We went during the week in the off-season, which was great for avoiding big crowds, though the first winter storms coming in closed off the road to Glacier Point and so we missed going up there for the views this time. The cabins at Half Dome Village were the perfect combination of rustic feeling with comfortable amenities and the whole area was covered in gorgeous golden leaves that felt so much like the fall I was craving and not getting enough of in southern California. I think Valley View might have been my favorite spot for the incredible vistas of El Capitan and the reflections on the water, but I really loved all of it and was pretty much in awe the whole time we were there and everywhere I looked. I even channeled a little bit of Ansel Adams with some black and white photos. In addition to Yosemite being an amazing vacation spot, I kept thinking how lovely it would be for an elopement or wedding surrounded by all the epic natural scenery so if anyone out there is looking for a Yosemite elopement photographer next year, please get in touch with me about it!

All these images are film – the square photos are on the Mamiya 6 medium format with Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-X 400, and the 35mm photos are on the Fuji Klasse with Kodak Gold 800.

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