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!
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.
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!
“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.
When I first met these two brides, I was immediately smitten with how adorable they were together as well as all the plans they described for an intimate backyard wedding at one of their parents’ homes with a sunset ceremony overlooking gorgeous views of the Hollywood Hills, surrounded by their closest friends and family. The day arrived and it was even more lovely and sentimental and perfect than any of us had envisioned. At their engagement session and their wedding, I got so many feels from how passionately and joyfully the brides look at each other and were just brimming with giddiness all day long. The warmth of their guests was matched by the warm glow of the lights for the outdoor reception and the sparkling lights of the city below. Both of their families nailed all of the speeches and had me and everyone laughing and crying, and this was one of the sweetest father daughter dances I’ve ever seen when the brides switched dads halfway through the song. It was such a beautiful and meaningful day from beginning to end and I’m so happy for the couple!
Kelly and Rick had a beautiful outdoor intimate wedding at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and I was so happy to be part of it. Kelly is a botanist and chose the venue for its variety of trees, plants, and flowers throughout the different gardens – the Joshua Trees are always my favorite spot! The bouquet and floral arrangements were really lovely and unique and full of succulents, including their awesome cake. Their daughter was an adorably sparkly flower girl and then turned into a unicorn after dark with her cool hoodie. So many sweet and lovely moments and such a perfect setting for this happy day!
Congrats again, Kelly and Rick! You can see the whole set and order prints here.
This is gonna be a long one, so sorry not sorry. This past May was my 10 year wedding anniversary (!) and to celebrate Matthew and I took a road trip out to Arizona and Utah to visit some National Parks and cool places that I’d never been to but always wanted to see. This country is big and beautiful and the scenery far exceeded my expectations. We started our trip at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, stopping at a few different viewpoints along the way. Then drove to Page, Arizona where we took a tour of upper Antelope Canyon and then went to Horseshoe Bend. Then drove up to Utah to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. All of these places were so incredible to look at and be surrounded by so much nature was really peaceful and inspiring. It’s hard to pick a favorite and I’d recommend all of these spots to anyone else looking for a southwest parks adventure!
Almost all of these images are 35mm film. Most were my Fuji Klasse with Kodak Ektar 100, which captured the colors so vividly. The film shots from Antelope Canyon were Fuji Natura 1600 and handled the dark caverns well. Some shots were a Superheadz Wide & Slim toy camera with Fuji Superia 800 film and some really cool flare from the plastic lens. And then a couple iPhone and DSLR shots thrown in for good measure!
Santa Barbara is such a gorgeous part of California so I was thrilled when Sandra and Rosa asked me to photograph their elopement. The courthouse was beautiful, Rosa’s pink floral gown was so summery and fun, their friends and family were there to witness and celebrate, and they had the most adorable and amiable dog in attendance. We also went over to the nearby Mesa Lane Steps and beach to take some portraits near the ocean, and the views were as breathtaking as the hike back up the steps. Such a wonderful day with such wonderful people!
See the whole set and order prints here! Most images below shot on film – Portra 400 with the Mamiya 645 AFD.
Will and Melanie are seriously some of my favorite people. They are funny and goofy and sweet and I’m so lucky to have them as friends! I’ve done several elopements and family sessions at Griffith Park before, but when we were picking a location for their engagement photos, we decided to go to a new-to-me spot in the park – Cedar Grove. It was perfect for a shady hike that felt like we were in the middle of a Pacific Northwest forest, and the golden hour light streaming through the trees at sunset was so gorgeous. I can’t wait for their wedding next month and celebrating with them!
See the whole set and order prints here! Square shots are film – expired Portra 400 on the Mamiya 6 camera
This was such a dream engagement session to photograph – two sweet ladies are adorably in love with each other, enjoying the views and sunset at a place with a meaningful connection to them. These two hang out in Elysian Park all the time, so their photo session was an extension of one of those afternoons where you grab a picnic blanket, go for a hike, and enjoy the scenery with your best friend. After spending some time walking through the park and basking in golden hour light, we went across the street to Kite Hill for some gorgeous views of the hills and the sunset over Echo Park. It was such an easygoing, gorgeous afternoon getting to know these two and I can’t wait for their wedding this fall!
And all of the square images are Portra 400 film, on my new (to me) Mamiya 6 camera that I’m really enjoying!
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.