Alex & Diana: Walt Disney Concert Hall Engagement Photography

It was a gloomy, rainy day in Los Angeles when Alex and Diana came to visit from their respective (also rainy) cities of Seattle and Vancouver, and none of us had expected to deal with unpleasant weather. Just a few days prior, the sun was shining and the temperatures were in the mid to high 70s! We were fortunate enough to stay dry long enough to get the following photos. :)

I’ve known this awesome couple for about 5 years. I like to sing in the car with Diana and plot elaborate surprises with Alex. :P My memories with them cover an impressive number of cities all over the west coast, and they have visited me at every single place I’ve lived in since we’ve met (I am still in that stage of life that involves a lot of moving, so that’s a lot of places to visit). When we first met I don’t think I would have called myself a foodie, but over the years that has definitely changed… and now we go on all kinds of foodie adventures together. They tease me about my silly quirks, listen to me when I’m having a bad day, and embody all the qualities I could ever want in a loyal friend. I am SO honored and excited to be a part of their wedding day not as a photographer, but as a bridesmaid!!! And I can’t wait to shower them with love. <3

Photographing friends always makes me nervous. I get self-conscious of the way I talk and work, and I stress myself out thinking about their high expectations of me (no matter how many times they tell me not to worry!). When we arrived at the concert hall those nerves started kicking in… but these two were so easygoing and goofy that by the end of the shoot, my stomach hurt from laughing!! Alex and Diana, I love you both. Thank you for your friendship over the years and I’m looking forward to many more years of adventures with you!

Stuart & Vanessa: Charleston Founders Hall Wedding Photography

Come away with me to this destination wedding in the quaint, historic town of Charleston, South Carolina. Stuart and Vanessa (or Stunessa, as they have been known to go by) were recommended to me by my awesome friends Esther and Jacob. The four of them hail from Atlanta, Georgia and shared an amazing experience on a mission trip in Haiti. I knew I’d get along with them instantly because of our mutual passion for travel – Stunessa chose to tie the knot in Charleston because they had been captured by its Southern charm and wanted to share that magic with their friends and family. :)

I adore gorgeous bridal details, like that belt on her dress. STUNNING!

Stuart had his suit custom embroidered for the occasion and couldn’t wait to show his bride at their first look. On the way to Chalmers Street for the first look, where Stuart is patiently waiting… 
After their first look at Chalmers Street, we made our way to the Legare Waring House at Charles Towne Landing. It was about 90 degrees outside, but these two braved the heat for some amazing photos!
The bridesmaids’ dresses were the most beautiful shade of navy blue – the perfect color to contrast those vibrant purple bouquets. 

Meet the entourage. 
The ceremony was filled with laughter and tears! But mostly laughter. :)

Stuart wowed the crowd by reading a portion of his vows in Haitian Creole!  How cute and creative are these wedding favors from a couple that loves to cook. Adorable tins of Stunessa seasoning. Add a dash of love! :) 
Could ALL first dances be as fun and heartwarming as this?? While Stuart and Vanessa danced to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Lauryn Hill, all of their guests surrounded them on the dance floor and SANG ALONG. <3

And then the epic dance party started, courtesy of DJ NattyHeavy. He was voted the Best Club DJ in Charleston for the Charleston City Paper Awards two years in a row and we could all see why!!
SO. MUCH. FUN. There was singing, there was dancing, and just all sorts of wonderful celebrating. They let me join in on the dance floor too!

My photo booth set up at this wedding was considerably different from the normal booth because I had to travel by plane to get there. The booth I have here in California functions automatically – just press the button and it does everything for you, including printing the photo within a minute. In Charleston we had to manually print photos with a memory card reader and Canon Selphy910 Printer. Huge thanks to my second shooter and photo booth operator Garrick for manning the station and creating amazing results!! Though the process was a little slower than usual, I’m really happy with how these came out. :)

Stunessa, we love you!!! Congratulations on starting this new chapter of your lives together, and thank you for having us – Garrick and I had a blast!

Venue: Founders Hall
Wedding coordination & design: A Charleston Bride

The Tu Family: San Francisco Baker Beach Family Portrait Photography

This year is just flying by and I still have so many shoots to share! This sweet, well-dressed family found me via Google. :) Our early morning shoot was timed perfectly – the weather was just right and the beach wasn’t crowded at all. We let the kids run and play in the waves, and they had such a blast!
It’s so fun to capture moments when my subjects are genuinely enjoying themselves – you can see FUN written all over their faces. :) 

Favorite shot! Everyone got wet!I couldn’t resist throwing in this outtake. So cheeky!

Thanks Tu family for the fun shoot!

Marilyn & Jason: University of Alberta Wedding Photography

Greetings from Calgary! It’s a cool and rainy morning here in Alberta, Canada – a refreshing change of pace from the highs of 100 degrees back in Los Angeles. On the agenda for today is a visit to Banff, a national park in the Rocky Mountains. I’ve got my hat, scarf, and gloves ready for a chilly but scenic day trip. :)

Since I’m back in Canada, I figured it’s about time to share some highlights from one of my favorite weddings to date. Marilyn and Jason are high school sweethearts from Edmonton, just three hours north of where I’m currently staying. Their love for cats rivals my own – they have two beautiful long-haired cats, Snowy and Lucy, whom I hope to meet someday. :) Aside from being fellow cat lovers, their wedding color scheme also featured my favorite color. I loved the modern look of the violet bridesmaid dresses and gray suits!

I have yet to see another purple bouquet like this beauty. The combination of bright colors and subtle shades of purple made for a unique and gorgeously balanced palette. 

The bridal party was a big group of friends, which made for a fun day. Everyone was in good spirits and at ease with each other, making my job that much easier. 

Fun fact: Marilyn and Jason journeyed to San Francisco for their honeymoon. Guess where they stayed during their visit? ;) #photographerorhostess #maybeimboth
I have been thinking of starting up a series of weekly travel posts here on the blog to document and share my adventures from around the world. Stay tuned for photos of Banff National Park!

Laylee & Reza: Four Seasons Palo Alto Wedding Photography

It has been an absolute joy throughout the years to witness wedding traditions from around the world. :) I’m blessed to have a diverse clientele that continually introduces me to different cultural traditions. Even though the language barrier adds an extra obstacle to my job, it helps challenge me in new ways – and I love it! If only I could speak Farsi… (and Japanese… and Russian… the list goes on.)

Laylee and Reza started their day with an intimate first look before arriving at the bride’s parents’ residence for a traditional Persian wedding ceremony. Their tranquil stroll through the park was a great way to save their energy for a full day of celebration!

Laylee looked beautiful in her mother’s wedding dress!
Mother and daughter exchanging kisses. :) The Persian wedding spread, also known as the Sofreh Aghd, is an elaborate floor spread featuring several foods and decorations. Decorated eggs and walnuts are symbols of fertility; the mirror and candelabras represent light and fire, respectively (symbolizing a bright future for the married couple).
According to tradition, a married female relative (or maid of honor) grinds two cones made of hardened sugar over the bride and groom’s heads to shower them in sweetness! (The shawl prevents the sugar from actually falling on their heads.) Signing the marriage contract and sealing it with a kiss! We headed to Elizabeth Gamble Garden in Palo Alto for some gorgeous portraits of the newlyweds. Another wedding party nearby started playing music – so of course there had to be some dancing! Before their grand entrance at the Four Seasons Palo Alto, we stopped by the fountain out front for a few final shots. The light was just perfect.
Lush orchid centerpieces stole the show at this luxurious gold and white reception. The night ended with lots and lots of dancing. :) Congratulations Laylee & Reza!!!