I love the chance to experience ceremonies from all sorts of cultures and religions when I photograph weddings. Tera is a Unitarian Universalist minister and Jonathan is a rabbi who met and fell in love while supporting social justice causes in their local community in Pasadena and Los Angeles. To be the wedding photographer at this interfaith marriage felt like coming full circle because Tera was the officiant at my wedding in 2014. Their wedding, which took place in the sanctuary and the permaculture garden at Throop Church, was full of personal touches, friends and family, and lots of clergy from both traditions.
Christine and Ara met through their robotics program in high school and have been together ever since. Christine is a civil engineer and Ara works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, so it makes perfect sense that these two had a Carl Sagan quote during their ceremony at Castaway in Burbank. It was a gorgeous day and I had so much fun hanging out with these two and capturing the moments of their wedding. Spending time with them, it amazed me that they’ve been in love for nearly half their lives and it was a great honor to be there on the day they made it official.
A year to the day after Alyssa and Scott had their first date at Abalone Cove, a stretch of rocky beach near Rancho Palos Verdes, we met up there to photograph their engagement session their with their daughter, Riley. I think it’s impossible to tire of the gorgeous California coast with its winding shores, palm trees and dramatic cliffs. Photographing a couple in love at the coast can’t be beat. Alyssa and Scott are planning their wedding for May in Palm Springs.
Jasmine and Jason have a love story that crosses oceans. She’s American, he’s English. They met in California and right away Jasmine told her friends that she had just met the man she was going to marry. But because Jason lived in England at the time they spent months flying back and forth to spend time together. Their January wedding in Malibu was a celebration not only of their wedding but also that they get to start out as husband and wife in the same country. It was a beautiful day on the beach and the views from The Sunset Restaurant of the sun coming down over the ocean was the perfect touch. These two are so sweet and I had the best time photographing their wedding and getting to spend a wonderful day with them.
Alena and Lou both attended Harvey Mudd College, but they didn’t meet there. It wasn’t until both graduated and ended up working at the same company that they met in the cafeteria, hit it off and fell in love. For their engagement session, we met up at their alma mater college campus. Most of the students had left for Thanksgiving break, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves and enjoyed a sunset stroll. I can’t wait for Alena and Lou’s Malibu wedding this summer!
We recently had the incredible opportunity to photograph a wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland. Held at the picturesque Glencorse House just outside the city, with its lovely lake and the beautifully restored 17th century kirk, it was full of Scottish charm. Friends and family lent their talents, with the mother of the bride baking the wedding cake and Holly’s friend, Hannah of the flower boutique With Love and Roses, arranging the gorgeous bouquets and thistle boutonnieres. While Holly is English and Ben is from Northern Ireland, their wedding day embraced the country they’ve come to call home.
Kris and Karin’s wedding took place at Happy Trails in Pasadena. Looking from the street you would see only an unassuming storefront, but pass through the wooden gates and you enter a verdant garden ceremony space with a majestic oak tree in the center. Kris and Karin have great style and a love of minimalism and architecture, the combination of which made for a unique and stylish wedding. The red brick, very definitive of Old Town Pasadena, blended nicely with the succulent center pieces to create a wedding that was both classic and modern, urban and natural. Kris and Karin have been a couple for seven years now and it was clear from our portrait session and the toasts from friends and family that these two complete and compliment one another.
When someone thinks about wedding photography as a profession, one might think of a job surrounded by beautiful flowers, flowing glasses of celebratory champagne, and romantic wedding venues. I’m not going to lie – those things are all pretty great. Often though, there are also challenges that a photographer has to navigate to make sure the clients get the best photographs possible.
When you’re a wedding photographer, couples are entrusting you with one of the most important days of their lives. That means being there for your couples, 100% present and working your butt off, no matter if you’re sick, tired, in a bad mood, whatever.
Sometimes there are even dangers on the job. At a recent wedding out in a nature area, I was posing the bride’s garter for a detail shot on a wood fence post when I heard a guest say, “I don’t want to freak you out but there’s a rattlesnake right next to you.” The snake had blended in to the brush and I had not seen it until it was too late.
Now, when I hear the words rattlesnake and next to you in a sentence, my heart is definitely going to start racing and my overactive fight-or-flight response kicks in. In a moment of sheer terror and perhaps great stupidity, I ended up ballet leaping over the rattlesnake, camera in hand. My shoes flew off, but luckily I landed far enough away to escape getting bitten. Also in my favor was the fact that the reptile had just eaten a rodent or something, was very sluggish and not particularly interested in striking me. The ranger shooed the snake away and five minutes later, still pumped up with adrenaline, I gathered my shoes and went on to photograph the wedding ceremony.
I imagine if I actually got bitten by a poisonous snake while on the job, that would be one of the very few occasions where it’s OK to leave a wedding early. The whole situation was a good reminder to pay extra attention to my surroundings when photographing in nature, but even after all that, I got to watch two people start their lives as a married couple. Those photographs will live on long after the memory of my snake escape fades.
It was a beautiful spring day at Bommer Canyon in Irvine, California when Rachel and Kevin tied the knot. Their celebration had many elements that I adore as a wedding photographer – their love of nature came through in many rustic aspects of their wedding, from the gorgeous wildflower bridal bouquet and the baby’s breath groomsmen’s boutonnieres to their adorable bear cake toppers. How cute are those bears?! Rachel told me that her ring is one-of-a-kind; handcrafted using sea glass that the couple collected on the beach together.
There was also a handkerchief stitched with the letter M, for their new joint last name Mattson. Kevin wore a bird pin on his lapel that was a gift from Rachel’s grandmother. It was exciting capturing their wonderful day as they were married surrounded by the golden hills, the California oak trees, and all of their friends and family.
Jenna and Connor’s wedding took place on Easter weekend, with the rose garden at Rancho Camulos Museum in bloom. From the palm trees jutting above the historic buildings to the orange groves to the magnificent oak tree under which the ceremony took place, the entire event was quintessentially Californian with perfect, rustic wedding details. The bride and groom are two of the sweetest, most genuine people and I had so much fun photographing their wedding day. Their love for their friends and family, and for each other, was a joy to witness. Right after the wedding, Jenna moved to Japan to be with Connor on the US naval base and to start their married life full of adventures.