We started their engagement session off with cocktails at The Rooftop Lounge in Laguna Beach, then we walked around the streets, and we ended at Victoria Beach. It was a blast and a half, and Halley and I had such a good time hanging out that we’re getting margaritas together on Monday. Brides turned BFFs are my favorite ever (I like you too, Jake)!!
If you were ever curious about what tenderness looks like, this is it. Emilee + Michael take care of each other (and not just when the camera’s pointed at them). They’re moving to a new place when they get married, starting fresh in a new city. That sounds really hard. It also sounds really exciting and fun.
We met up in downtown LA (the fashion district, if you’re curious). It was cloudy and overcast, and the sun was gonna set in about an hour. We took advantage of all the cool walls and murals before we made our way up to the top of a parking garage. Sure, the elevator ride was kind of sketchy. But, Matt’s a firefighter, so I felt okay about it. Firefighters can get out of stuck elevators…right?
They let me drag them from the superbloom flowers to the beach. Ally kicked off her heels, stuck her toes in the sand, and embraced the cold wind that blew in from the ocean. Nestor held her close and loved her like every fiancé should.
Your timeline is set, and you know where you have to be and when. But after you shower, wash your face, floss for the first time since your last dentist visit, brush your teeth, and do all the normal things, it’s time to head out. It’s time to….GET MARRIED. But, shit. What do you need to actually bring when you leave your hotel room?? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of the most important things to bring to your wedding:
I can’t even tell you how badass expecting moms are. SERIOUSLY. Every time I do a maternity session, I’m so impressed. In November, I took maternity photos of a gal named Liz who braved 30 degree mountain temps in a sundress. And, this time, Katelyn wore heels and just tromped through a field for a half mile like it was no big deal. I’m telling you, these women are the real freaking deal.
WHO’S READY FOR STORY TIME?? Emily, Noah, and I all grew up within 5 miles of each other. But, each of us went to different high schools. Towards the end of our senior year, we were all in that awkward spot of trying to figure out which college to attend. So, we each joined the different Facebook groups for our prospective schools, and eventually we figured out that the three of us lived close enough to get lunch. And you know how much high school students like lunch.
I had never met Hannah + Bea before this day. I wish I had though. And, I wish we lived closer together. Turns out though that Hannah used to work at a summer camp that I went to in high school. And, I was there when she was talking to my friend Mikaela about attending Seattle Pacific U. So, I guess we had sort of met before? Sorta kinda?
I got to shoot their engagement photos earlier this month. It was my first shoot of 2019. And, lemme tell ya, what a way to start off a new year!! The love, the chilly air, the quickly setting sun, the little field of cactuses we found on our way back to the cars. I mean, I could tell you all about it. About how Noah got Alyssa the most gorgeous ring I’ve seen to date. About how they immediately started playing tag when I said to them, “Alright, just play now”.
I still can’t get over the fact that they’re like professional swing dancers. They would laugh and shake their heads if I said that to their faces. But, I’m not joking. If you scroll to the very bottom, you’ll see the point when my jaw hit the floor. Hint: Collin literally swings her upside down and didn’t break her in the process. You gotta see it.
Rebecca + Collin are just dreams come true. We were connected through Facebook somehow, some way. The stars must have aligned or something. Or God must have been like, “Rebecca + Collin. Here’s a random wedding photographer you’ve never met before. Choose her”. No matter how it happened, I am SO happy that we were brought together. From their engagement session in…
She told me I couldn’t tell a soul (not even Justus, who is friends with her), and I was totally cool with that. But, once the date got closer and Justus started asking me about the plans for the month, week, day, it got a little bit tricky. I ain’t no liar, so I told him the truth- I was shooting an elopement. I thought that answer would suffice since, well, he never really asks me who I’m shooting with whenever I tell him about an engagement, family, or graduate session. But, this time he pried. “Whose?”, he asked.
Leading up to Liz + Jon’s maternity photos was not a walk in the park. Less than 72 hours before our session, the road to our original location was washed out by a mudslide. I sent over a few new locations, but they just weren’t quite right. So, Jon took to Google and searched “Best Spots for Maternity Photos” with a few other keyword variations including “mountains”, “not crowded”, “unconventional”. It led us to this beautiful spot in Running Springs, CA. It’s just a little further up the mountain…
I never understood the hype behind sunset sessions until I hung out with Miranda + Ryan one morning in Bakersfield. I literally showed up and said, “Look, I don’t understand the hype about sunrise sessions, but I hope this morning helps me to”. ‘Cause, I’ll be honest, I am a morning person. But, I’m not usually that kind of morning person. I’m more of a 7:15-7:45 morning person. Anyone feel the same way?
Dianna wore a glittery silver dress to her wedding. Steve wore a navy blue suit. And, I wore a tan and white gingham dress that I bought from Urban Outfitters. Oh, wait. You don’t care about what I as wearing? Me neither.
I REALLY LIKE THE WAY THESE TWO LOOK AT EACH OTHER. AHHHHHH. Two good hearted, smart, athletic humans together equals this power duo. Cole + Alyse. Man, you two. I like you individually, and I like you together.
Alli and I were college buddies our first semester of college (yep, for that one semester I lived/went to school in San Diego). We both were science majors. Laugh all you want at me being a science major ‘cause we all know I ditched my nursing, nutrition, and environmental science classes a long time ago (darn you, chemistry).
All three of us live in the kickass town of Long Beach, CA. It’s one of the most underrated (in my opinion) cities in LA county- secluded enough to not have to deal with the chaos that is LA but close enough that I could grab an ice cream cone from Salt & Straw if I wanted to.
Sometimes a shoot just fills a hole in your heart. This was one of those. Now, I’m not some mushy, gushy typa person, and I don’t want you to think I’m making this up just to sound sparkly or something. But, being honest, I’d been in a rut the week before this shoot, and I left this one feeling refreshed, renewed, revitalized, all the good re- words.
CALLING ALL LA CROIX LOVING LOVERS. Have I got a shoot for you (it’s this one; just in case you didn’t catch that). Depending on who you are, you may or may not know Maddy and Josh. Josh as in @joshturns24, the IG birthday party handle that turned into an actual massive party full of people Josh didn't really even know.
You wanna talk about a low-key, easygoing, in love couple? Alright, you've come to the right place. Courtney + Kevin, you guys. That's them. I've never seen two people so laid back and relaxed on their wedding day. A few minutes before Courtney walked out of her hotel room for her first look with Kevin, one of her bridesmaids goes, "Hey Courtney, didn't you want your garter?". And she goes, "Oh, that's right. Huh. Okay, yeah. I'll wear it".
What a wonderful, beautiful May Laguna Beach wedding. It was warm, the sun was out, and these two people were totally in love. They spent their mornings just a few hotel rooms away from each other, getting ready to marry the love of their life. Their ceremony took place in the late afternoon at Hotel Seven4One, surrounded by vibrant florals + all their favorite humans.
It seems like nothing phases them, and it is so refreshing to hang out around them. They're this perfect mixture of mellow and passionate. They're easy going and relaxed, but if you get Bryce talking about something like bass guitars, he will talk about full wounds versus half wounds, pedals versus amps, etc. for as long as there's time.
As is obvious by their photos, they are so much FUN! Being Seattleites (who brought the rain with 'em to SoCal; thanks friends!), they were more than down to run around the beach even in the cold rain. Honestly, now that I think about it, that was probably pretty normal for them. But...still.