My favorite holidays hands down are the ones centered around summer fun and barbecues, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do a fun wedding styled shoot to celebrate Labor Day! Hot dogs, baseball, apple pie, and and even a vintage cherry-red Mustang all made for such fun, beautiful accents…put those around a GORGEOUS couple that are unbelievably sweet on each other and it made for one. sexy. shoot. It just goes to show that no matter what your persuasion, a little creativity can really go a long way. Many, many, many thanks to all the amazing vendors who donated their time and talent to making this thing come to life.
Pie pops!!! I would love to always have some of these around. Part decor, part just plain YUM. Courtesy of Andrea at Cakewalk Desserts.
Vintage Mustang and a gorge couple. My trigger finger ached afterwards, I just couldn’t. stop. clicking.
ALL of the killer florals were by Kate of Floret Cadet. So perfect!
So I have a new love. A La Maison in Westlake Village does WEDDING DECOR RENTALS!!! Everything from the place settings and glassware to the furniture were from her shop.
Coordination/Invitations – Helen Hening, With Grace Productions, http://www.withgraceprods.com/
Bride and Grooms attire – Hope Stanley, Mary Me Bridal
Hair accessories – KellyMakesThings, http://kellymakesthings.com/
Flowers – Floret Cadet, http://www.floretcadet.com/
Pie Pops – Cakewalk Desserts , http://www.cakewalkdesserts.com/
Pies – Harri Chan’s, http://www.harrichans.com/
Hair – Lindsay Milstead ‘Wed Locks’ http://www.wedlocks.org/
Make Up – Shannon Jancula, http://www.shannonjancula.com/
Jewelry – Tiger Lily Collections http://tigerlilycollections.com/
Rentals – Al La Maison Weddings – http://www.alamaisonweddings.com/
It was the Saturday in May that, as I think everyone heard, was “supposed” to be the end of the world. In case you weren’t sure, it was not. In fact it was quite the opposite for Kelly and Lin. They started their life together as they exchanged vows at the gorgeous Saddle Rock Ranch in Malibu beneath a glowing setting sun and mythical-looking oaks. Bearing witness to their truly perfect day were their dearest family and friends, along with fields full of braying horses and other incredible creatures. Obviously documenting Kelly and Lin’s wedding was priority numero uno, so I didn’t get to photograph more than a FRACTION of how jaw-droppingly amazing Saddle Rock Ranch is, but let me just say this…if rolling vineyards and horse ranches don’t sound stunning enough, throw in some llamas, zebras and camels. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Zebras. In Malibu. !!!! The fantastic Miss Tammi Jones pulled out all the stops and helped Kelly create a gorgeous, intimate wedding in the middle of that lush space. The details were an absolute dream to photograph, and fabulous would just be a drastic understatement. Seriously, I’m running out of adjectives here.
To make the day even more of a photographer’s dream, I had the most incredible second shooter a girl could ask for. Candice Benjamin was a part of Jasmine Star’s Creative Live class earlier this year, and when I found out she is based in Orange County I had to check out her work. Thank God I did because she is a rockstar in every sense of the word. I don’t know if I ever want to shoot again without her. And of course a giant thank you goes to Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography for setting me up with this gorgeous wedding!
Kelly and Lin, thank you for inviting me to be such a special part of your beginning. I was truly honored that you chose me to be there with you, and I cannot wait to see all the fantastic ventures your life together takes you on!
Can’t go wrong beginning with a little bit of drool-worthiness courtesy of Christian Louboutin.
And who could leave out Vera Wang? My jaw about hit the floor when I saw the tulle on this dress. Stunning.
All Kelly’s hair and makeup perfection courtesy of the always fab Tara Dowburd-Luftman…
Lin’s got some pretty stellar style of his own. Love a groom with some fashion about him!
Kelly waiting for a First Look with her man. Girl, you are GORGE!
The look on Lin’s face. OH. This is why I love First Looks!!
Off to the ceremony…
Hello Welcoming Committee.
As if the wildlife and incredible details weren’t enough, Saddle Rock has a carousel. a. freaking. carousel. You’ll have to endure just a few too many photos of it because I can’t help myself.
When I arrived in Philadelphia, an ominous sky lurked in the background. I whispered a little prayer to myself that everyone’s nerves would stay calm in spite of those massive gray clouds, and breathed a grateful thank you to God that Jasmine was ring-leading for the day. I was nervous enough, those clouds didn’t help. Nervous that Marie and Charlie and I wouldn’t click, that Jasmine and JD would be regretting the decision to bring in a random third shooter, and that I would just plain suck.
All my nerves were immediately put to rest as soon as I met each of them. Marie and Charlie were even more amazing then I could’ve imagined, and Jasmine and JD both made me feel like I was not only not getting in the way, but that in some small way I helped the day. And that was my main goal for this entire experience. Sure, what I hoped to gain was a chance to watch Jasmine work, how she interacts with her brides and grooms…but priority number one was making Marie and Charlie’s day better.
I hope that I did. I believe that I did. I literally laughed out loud to myself when I read Jasmine’s blog about the day, when she mentioned wanting to put Marie and Charlie in her pocket. My initial blog draft said the same things. In those actual words. Welcome to the re-draft. :) This entire blog post was actually quite a difficult for me for one reason…I didn’t want to look like a Jasmine copy-cat, so I shot very differently from how I normally would. It gave me a chance to play around a lot more than I ever get to, but it also meant that I didn’t want to get in the way and if she got that shot already, we needed to move on. At one point, I thought I had a brilliant idea for a setup for Marie’s FABULOUS Jimmy Choo’s. When I turned around and saw Jasmine going for that very shot, I scrambled to come up with something different, something not obviously shadowed in her initiative. Same with the dress. So forgive me. It’s a bit daunting shooting along side someone who’s work you adore. :)
Thank you Marie and Charlie for having such giant hearts that you used your wedding for such a great cause. For being the kind of people that used half your honeymoon to serve others. For letting me be a part of your lives, even for one day. And Jasmine and JD, thank you thank you thank you again…for everything.
Just a warning…I’ve been DYING to do a shoot on some train tracks, like, for years. So indulge me while I share perhaps a few too many from this spot. Marie and Charlie are just too stinking cute too narrow it down any more.
I couldn’t resist. There was just personality oozing from every nook and cranny of the mill. I love me some East Coast sass!
Many people say it’s when you’re not looking that you find it. Well this is especially true for Lukas and Angele, because they surely weren’t looking for it when they met in the first grade. Pigtails may have been pulled, and games were definitely played. Yet there were no games to be had when, as fate would have it, Lukas and Angele ran into each other 20 years later far from the elementary school they shared in New Orleans. He was living at the sunny beach in California, she in Las Vegas. But this time, even distance couldn’t keep them apart. So Luke picked up and chased after his girl. Not on a playground, but for keeps.
Lukas and Angele, I’m so honored to call you friends. Your love is something so sweet, and I absolutely loved being there to document the beginning of this next phase of your lives. I can’t wait to see it unfold!!
We certainly didn’t need a fan to give Angele’s tresses that sexy Cindy Crawford va-voom…Vegas was blowing up a storm. Like the house began to twitch, oh no, a witch storm, complete with 300 foot dust clouds.
And just in case you didn’t believe me about how crazy the winds were… I told you so. :) Luke and Angele, you make gale force winds look GOOD.
I woke up Sunday morning at the crack of 11, jet-lagged, a teeny bit sore, and with a heart just plain FULL. I’ve been keeping quiet for weeks about how ecstatic I am over a little bit of fortune I’ve recently been dealt. Okay, that’s an understatement. I was giddy like a high school girl who just got asked out by the boy she’s had a crush on for two years. And not just out, but going steady out. Yet I somehow felt bad that I won this opportunity and so many others didn’t get to. This past Saturday, I was given the opportunity to shoot with my photographer “crush” Jasmine Star. I told my husband last week what a super-nerd I feel like even being giddy like that. But it’s not like that at all! I protested, even as I was trying to wipe the impossibly stupid grin off my face. Yes, I think she takes the most beautiful photographs…but that’s not even half what makes her so awesome. It’s the way that she is, the way she interacts with her brides and grooms, and the truth of herself that she just exudes. It’s the way she protects her privacy yet reveals gorgeous little peaks into her heart and what moves her, professionally and personally. And it’s the humility that makes it hard for her to hear things like that (let alone accept them) that makes me even more endeared to her.
When during her most recent Creative Live course Jasmine first announced an upcoming auction to shoot a wedding with her and JD, my interest was definitely piqued. I have a young photography business myself (I shot my first paid wedding in November of 2009), and so I’m in that phase where most of my earnings get poured right back into things like pretty new lenses and more flash cards and new web design. That being the case, I really didn’t imagine in my wildest dreams that I would even be able to bid on an auction to shoot with Jasmine. But of course I still had to torture myself and at least check it out when the announcement came. :) So the auction was announced. It was going to be just outside of Philadelphia, less than 90 miles from where I grew up and my parents still live. I have been dying to have some business-related excuse to travel back to that area more so I can see my momma more than once a year. Besides, we get spoiled with beachy/vineyard wedding goodness in California, I’ve been dying to switch it up a little bit anyway! Wait, there’s more. Soooo much more. The wedding was going to be Marie and Charlie’s. It was hands down one of my favorite couples I’ve ever seen Jasmine photograph for two reasons. First of all is obvious, the images are just plain to die for. Second, it was a couple that Jasmine said specifically did NOT act as though they’d been in front of a camera their whole lives. And yet they looked like it. There was an ease and a glamour and an insight into the deepest part of their love that Jasmine just simply draws out. That is simply stunning.
And then there came the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or should I say straws.
Marie and Charlie were doing the auction for Thon, a student-run charity for children’s cancer research at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. I literally choked. Not only did my parents meet at Penn State and breed the biggest little Nittany Lion fan you can imagine, I know that hospital way too well. While I definitely never had anything like cancer, as a child I had a very severe case of Lyme disease and spent MONTHS of physical therapy learning how to walk again…in that very hospital. My mom also not only worked there for years, but in 2001 she had surgery that was the scariest 5 hours of my life in that very hospital. I couldn’t help but call my mom to tell her about the conditions of the auction. I truly didn’t expect anything, but I did know that she and my dad give a good amount to charity every year, and I asked if they still gave to Penn State. Well, there was no convincing her not to bid at that point. We both hung up a bit emotional about the irony of the situation. I doubt it will happen, but if it did how powerful this would be. I tried to not think about it.
Obviously how it played out goes without saying much. Yet somehow when Marie and Charlie’s wedding day rolled around, I was even more overwhelmed with that feeling of a heart truly full than I could have ever imagined. Marie and Charlie are the kind of couple that I am grateful for having crossed paths with, and hope I get to again. Jasmine and JD gave me an experience I will cherish forever and surely never forget. I could never have hoped for a more wonderful experience with some truly gorgeous people, inside and out. So a million times over, thank you.
And yes, as soon as Jasmine has blogged her images from Marie and Charlie’s unbelievably breathtaking wedding, I will blog some of my own. But for now, here’s a teeny tiny sneak peak.
I am so unbelievably excited to photograph this wedding for the ever fabulous Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography. Because seriously, this couple is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. And I do not say that lightly! They spend three weeks out of every month traveling between Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and where they plan to set up camp in Boston. And they are still so head-over-heels that you just don’t even know what to do with yourself. But needless to say, it is very difficult to pin them down! Yet they find time to focus on their true North…each other. They are so full of that sweet, doting love that is sure to make anyone’s heart swoon. I absolutely cannot WAIT to document their wedding next month in Malibu. Theirs is a kind of love that doesn’t even needs words…just take a look for yourself.
Kelly and Lin, I can’t wait for your wedding next month! You two are definitely the ‘love’ part of ‘lovely’.