Tommy + Amanda -- HISTORIC LINDLEY-SCOTT HOUSE WEDDING

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I'm not sure I even know where to start with Tommy & Amanda's gorgeous wedding! Amanda contacted me early on in their planning process and I was so thrilled to hear from her. She had been a bridesmaid in a previous couple's wedding several years ago and I have worked with her parents (florists both for this event and several others I've photographed) many times. I knew that this was going to be an incredibly special day from the first conversation. 


I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the audience as they exchanged vows (aided by the fact that Tommy is a writer and so his vows were as profound as they were beautiful). The whole day was full of personal touches (like Tommy's favorite book pages incorporated into his boutonnière), stunning details, and the most romantic setting at the historic Lindley-Scott House. And their First Look, in the estate's library, was sweet and swoon-worthy. Scroll down for all the pretty details of their day! 

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Seth + Elisa -- BACK TO THE FUTURE + HARRY POTTER WEDDING

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It's not everyday that I get a script - an actual script - for a wedding. But that was so not surprising given that we were talking about Seth + Elisa. You may recognize them from their Back to the Future themed engagement shoot featured on Buzzfeed last year, so it's no surprise that these movie-philes took their wedding to the next level. Featuring themes from some of their favorite movies and shows (Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Star Trek & Star Wars, and of course, Back to the Future...), the entire event was custom-tailored to the two of them. It couldn't have been more perfect! Even the nearly 150 individually designed and hand-made wands (waiting on every chair for their guests) were created by the two of them (with a little help from their friends...). And why those guests needed them? Because there was a "spell" for snow during the ceremony of course! 

F'realsies, friends. SNOW. At their wedding ceremony. 

It's hard to explain just how amazing and unique this day was (pretty much my favorite combination for a wedding day), so I'll let the photos tell the story. Check down at the bottom for the list of their Top Notch vendors that made it all happen! 

Vendors that made this day happen: 

Event Planning & Florals: Torchwind Events https://yelp.to/qTKq/Tk0rBatJRH

Venue: Dove Canyon Courtyard http://dovecanyoncourtyard.com/

Dress: Bridal Elegance Salon http://bridalelegancesalon.com/

Alterations: Brides of Bellflower https://yelp.to/qTKq/lox8R44JRH

Cinema: Visioneer Media http://www.visioneermedia.com/iphone/

DeLorean: 1.21 Gigawatt Guys http://121gigawattguys.wixsite.com/deloreantimemachine1

Catering: The Corner Butcher Shop http://www.cornerbutchershop.com/

Beverages (mocktails): SugarCane Junkie https://yelp.to/qTKq/qCYMXtxKRH

Beauty (Hair & Makeup): Beauty By Betty http://instagram.com/beautybybettymua

Cake: Sweet Traders Bakery http://sweettraders.com/

Special Effects: Blue Haze Entertainment https://www.bluehazeent.com/

Rentals: Signature Party Rentals http://www.signatureparty.com/

Hair Piece: Mazdo’s Bridal https://yelp.to/qTKq/64xRcwaLRH

DJ: Pure Fun DJ http://www.purefundj.com/

April + Tyler + Leo -- BRAND PARK FAMILY PORTRAITS

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When April originally contacted me, our plan was to do underwater maternity images. Of course, that was before Leo had his own plans. Arriving about 6 weeks early, Leo decided to do start off life like the little lion he is, making himself known and showing off just how strong he is too. April and I regrouped, which meant that Leo's dad got to be a part of Plan B too -- family portraits! Leo was amazing and slept through the entire photo shoot like a champ. This amazing multicultural family (Philly-meets-Jamaica!) brought their A-game and absolutely rocked their session. It was such a true pleasure getting to meet them all, including their little lion, and make some memories! Congratulations to all 3 of you!

Ayannah -- MELROSE PLACE SENIOR PORTRAITS

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I first met Ayannah when she contacted me for a school project. As an aspiring photographer herself, she needed to shadow a photographer during a session. Ayannah joined me for a shoot with several models for eco-couture designer Deborah Lindquist's bridal line. She was not only on time and pleasant (not guaranteed things anymore), she was helpful, knowledgable, and brought an overall great vibe to the atmosphere of the photo shoot. I was more than impressed! Which meant that when Ayannah let me know she wanted me to shoot her senior portraits, I was extremely thrilled and excited. 

Everything you see below I would consider a collaboration between she and I. She chose the location and wardrobe, and many of the other elements of the shoot. Knowing that I had a lot of creative control, we used it as an opportunity to experiment a bit. I loved doing the shoot, and I have to say, it was incredibly fun to hand with her and her mom, Shaherah! No doubt at all that she has a .bright future ahead of her and, with her creativity, she'll go far! Can't wait to see what the coming years bring for you, Ayannah! 

Wade + Rachel -- CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER PROPOSAL

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If you know anything about my alter-ego, you know that I direct a giant christmas musical every year (no, the space shuttle isn't from THAT.... and if you've seen the scale of the show, you'll know why some people might actually wonder about that...). Working on that show the last few years is how I met two of my favorite people - Rachel and Wade. Rachel served as my Production Designer, Stage Manager, and Wonder Woman (no, literally. She played Wonder Woman...). She's a genius, incredibly creative, a wealth of comic book and general nerd-dom information, and experienced in all things stage, tv, and film. Wade is similarly gifted and served as the primary Set Builder for the shows, bringing Rachel's ideas to life, oh, and stepping in to play Dr. McCoy too. One of my favorite parts of seeing them work together is their yin-and-yang connection. Rachel is passion, fire, excitement, and let's-do-this-now (a grouping of personality traits that I love and share with her!), while Wade is peace, calm, surety & strength, a pillar of knowledge and efficiency wrapped up in gentleness. They are an incredible, and unstoppable, team. So when Wade pulled me aside to let me know that he was going to be popping the question before Christmas, I did a literal happy dance. No really, I did an actual dance right there in the hallway of the auditorium because they make that much sense together. And when he said "by the space shuttle", oh man, my inner-geek was SO FREAKING EXCITED.

And so it was that, after a two-day scavenger hunt, and with the help of many friends and family, Rachel found herself directed to the Space Shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center, where they shared their first date,  Wade waiting beneath Endeavor's wings, ring in hand. Check out the images from this sweet and very special surprise proposal below! 

Raelyn -- MONO LAKE

Sometimes you get an opportunity that is just too good to pass up. Like when you're driving back from Lake Tahoe with your assistant photographer and you're headed down your favorite highway (395 South) and there it is, one of the most amazing pieces of nature in the state. Mono Lake. You have to stop. You have to pull the gear out. And if you're lucky, your assistant doesn't hesitate to get into the briney lake. 

Mono (prounounced moh-noh) is a truly other-worldly spot. North of Bishop and Mammoth Lakes, near the June Lake loop, this lake is both natural and devoid of all life except for bizarre tiny brine shrimp. It changes color throughout the year and probably most famous for is tuffas (too-fuhs). These strange formations along the water's edge are extremely weird and extremely sharp (trust me, I cut open my foot on one during this shoot...). After confirming with the local park ranger (who showed us those wackadoo brine shrimp) that it's safe to get in the water for short periods of time, we made a little magic. 

Let this be a reminder to you (and really, to me) that sometimes, pulling over for 45 minutes and exploring is much more worth it, for body, soul, and your blog feed, than you may have thought. Happy adventuring!

Going Rogue (artistically, of course)

Like just about everyone else I know, I've spent a lot of time in the last few weeks reflecting back on the last year and, for me at least, the some of my most favorite photo shoots. I made the decision to split out my instagram feeds at the beginning of the year (professional, personal, and underwater) for the sake of organization and effectiveness. But don't be surprised if some of these types of sessions creep up in any of those feeds. This, right here, was one of my most favorite experiments to date. There was no real reason, per say, for this session, other than the synergistic blend of three amazing female artists. Rochelle's floral genius, Alex's incredible skills with makeup and modeling, me with my camera and lighting, and we were off to the races. Just, you know, in the middle of the night in Rochelle's floral studio. Using her tub. Like you do....

I do things like this for me. For my own stretching, growing, and need to get off the beaten path. There have been a lot of self-discoveries lately, but one of the realizations that has been most clear is that I really and truly have always had this almost instinctual need to do something different than everyone else. I'm not re-inventing the wheel or anything, but I am most definitely one of those people that, when told to "go right", almost can't stop myself from immediately going left. Trust me, just ask my mom. 

So these little moments to go rogue? I need them. And I'm so honored to have incredible women around me who get that, and who jump right on the bandwagon to head into some unknown space together. It's pretty awesome. 

Jessica + Warren -- Maternity Portraits

It's been my privilege to watch Jessica + Warren's family grow over the years. I first worked with them for their engagement session and then destination wedding several years ago (trust me, if you've been following me for any length of time, you've seen them in my feeds before!). It's been an honor to now photograph their maternity session and their baby boy Bennett's newborn session before they moved out of state. Jessica is the embodiment of grace, elegance, and expectant beauty, so it's no surprise that her maternity session is still one of my most favorite to date! Take a peek (and feel free to gush, I know I did!):