2018 was our fullest photography year yet. We witnessed many beautiful love stories and photographed moments that are now memories. We met all kinds of people at all types of weddings. At the end of each celebration, our hope was two-fold: for photos they love, and for love that always lasts. At the end of every wedding and every love story every told, the latter is the hope: forever love. Plan the wedding of your dreams with the one you’ll love and who will love you through whatever each day brings. Make the day as true to yourself and to your love as possible, enjoying each other most of all. At the end of our 9th year of photographing weddings, this is our best advice.
A couple’s engagement shoot is oftentimes their first experience being photographed. Almost always when that’s the case, the couple apologetically says how awkward they are in front of the camera. Awkward may be how they feel, but thanks to the magic of natural chemistry, its certainly not how they look. Justin and Sophie are a prime example of a couple unsure of their photogenic-ness while we’re thinking ‘let’s get this beautiful pair in a magazine!’ Chemistry and loveliness out the roof.
Just when I’m tempted to pull the plug on Facebook, it connects me with someone I otherwise may not have connected with. I grew up in Nashville and attended school with the incredibly sweet McMeen family. Through Facebook they knew I was a wedding photographer in California. When they reached out to us about Rachael marrying a California boy and moving out West, we were thrilled to be available to shoot their San Clemente wedding.
Meeting lots of new people is one of the perks of our job. A good photographer can work with anyone, but its a huge bonus when the client-photographer chemistry is there. Right away we knew working with Miles and Christina would be a breeze. They are super friendly and laid back, and even in a non-business setting we’d want to be their friends. Our meetings tend to take 45 minutes to an hour, so when we had to cut this one off after an hour and a half, that was a good sign.
We were right to have high hopes for Ben and Brittany’s wedding. A couple as perfect together as they are simply saying “I do” would have sufficed. But from the time Brittany got ready with her favorite girls to the time she exited with her favorite boy, the day bursted at the seems with how love’s supposed to be. What a treasure to find it and to celebrate it.
As the classic movie Father of the Bride so perfectly displays, there’s no place more personal to get married in than one’s childhood home. Some of the best weddings we’ve photographed have taken place in such a venue, Leah and Andrew’s being no exception.
Last weekend we did our first styled engagement shoot and it was a blast. In addition to collaborating with the beauty produced by Petals and Greens Floral and Allison Escalante Makeup, a pristine 1972 Jaguar E Type Convertible was flaunting in the mix. What stole the show, as it rightfully does, was the chemistry of our model couple, Josiah and Allison, who are getting married next year. We struck gold when they won our Instagram contest; they made our shoot as natural and as lovely as could be.
I first met Mike and Rachel last December while shooting Rachel’s sister’s San Diego wedding. I saw on Instagram shortly after that Rachel and Mike got engaged, so I messaged them to say congrats. Half-jokingly, Mike responded that I should come to Florida to do their engagement photos. I told him I’d love to, and what started as a joke became reality.
We’re so stoked whenever a good friend gets engaged. Someone we’ve cared about for years finding the one they’ll spend the rest of their years with is some of the best news we could receive. Whenever there is a debate with said friends on whether they want us to attend (“enjoy”) their wedding versus photographing it, almost always our vote is the latter. Being the photographers at a friend’s wedding gives us front row seats to their best day ever. We couldn’t enjoy that privilege more!
Photography has proven to be a great profession for 1) meeting new people and 2) seeing new places. We’re grateful for all our clients, and especially grateful when they’re ready and able to venture beyond their daily surroundings to discover new terrain.
A few months ago, we applied and were selected by Tribe Photo Co. to sponsor our engagement photo session excursion with Caleb & Ashley! Tribe Photo Co. is a company that offers Lightroom presets that emulate the look of film. The sponsorship required we use their presets to edit the photos from our trip and submit an essay describing the expedition. See below for the essay and photos:
In San Diego, you can have a wedding 5 days after Christmas and the weather will pretend its a glorious summer day. The pleasant weather set a laid back tone perfectly suiting Daniel and Amanda’s wedding day attitude. They never got the mandatory “stressed out” memo. They instead stayed calm, flexible and enjoyed every single part. Which perfectly suits their love - fun, meant to be and easy.
Cory & Carli are a really special couple. They’re fun, adventurous, kind, compassionate. Their love for each other is evident and sweet. After four years of marriage, their chemistry in front of the camera looks just like it did when we shot their wedding day. Results of being truly in love, and truly photogenic.
It was just so beautiful. We’ve never taken so many photos of people wiping tears. We’ve also never taken better dance floor photos. Love that makes us cry and makes us dance is what makes it true. It’s what makes us say “I do” forever and ever and mean it.
Proposals may be the best, but trickiest, events to photograph. When Caleb first contacted me about proposing to his girlfriend Ashley on the beach in Laguna, we immediately went into scheming mode. Tide charts, sunset times, crowd management, exact proposal locations and how to remain hidden while photographing it all were subjects we covered over multiple phone calls. We even met once at the location a couple days prior in order to plan it out as best we could.
Our final wedding of the summer was Tommy and Kristen’s. What a perfect day to close out the sunniest season to celebrate love.
We’ve seen a lot of weddings, and we’ve learned there are a few components that make a wedding great: 2 people in love ready to be together forever, a celebration with who they love most, where they love most, details unique to them, whether simple or elaborate, a bonus.
Amanda and Daniel found us through one of our spring wedding clients. From our phone conversation alone we could tell they were an awesome couple and we were stoked to meet them. We’ve been wanting to do an LA shoot for a while now and they were totally down - even with the drive from San Diego and back. Anything for great photos they said. We love them already.
We love the love Brooke and Jesse have. It’s sweet and lively and true. With the beauty and freshness of Spring in full bloom, their wedding was the perfect way to welcome the new season. A day full of love and all life’s good things was in store. The richest of new beginnings had arrived.
We’ve been stoked for April 22 since the day we met up with Wade and Beatriz many months ago. Their love for each other is the real deal. And real deal love makes for the realest of celebrations.
Our latest engagement shoot tells the story of why California is rightfully dubbed the Golden State. Its luscious landscapes, fields of flowers and killer coastal sunsets are a few reasons why many say west coast best coast. And somehow the people, like the place, are gorgeous too.
Wade and Beatriz are great together. They’re adventurous, fun, smart, have tons in common, are crazy in love and can’t wait to marry each other. Chemistry as big as theirs deserved a dynamic photo spot. We found it in the mountains and the results are epic.
Daniel and Helai’s wedding celebration was intimate and sweet. It was held at the Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club with about fifty of their family members and closest friends. I didn’t find this out until I arrived, but technically Daniel and Helai were already married. A few days prior, they went to a mosque and received the blessing to get married, so the day I was there to photograph was more of a wedding reception to commemorate their marriage with those they hold dear.