Looking back on photos I took of Jails and Justice for USC Arts in Action (@usc_artsinaction). This project brought together USC students, Black Lives Matter (@blmlosangeles), and the Institute of Theatre and Social Change (@uscsda) — all who are committed to reimagining policing, incarceration and public safety. The two new performances took place at California African American Museum (@caaminla) and were in support of Reform L.A. Jails (@reformlajails).
It makes total sense to me that you’d get married and celebrate in a place that feels like home. In this case, Alison & John married in the home of Alison’s contemporary dance mentor, and ate dinner with all their family and friends at tables that were planted amongst her backyard fruit trees. 🍋 It’s that kind of abundance that makes you feel full and thankful for a long time afterwards.
Above image: Sarah & Eric, in front of their home after seeing each other before the ceremony.
I’m excited to share Sarah & Eric’s wedding that I shot in New Orleans earlier this year. Sarah & Eric found me on A Practical Wedding and contacted me after searching tirelessly for a wedding photographer. We bonded over some unconventional music choices I had made for some wedding photo slideshows I created for clients, and that was that, they flew me out from Los Angeles to document for their celebration last April!
Sarah & Eric were married at a Grow Dat Youth Farm, an Urban Farm and Youth Development Organization that employs over 100 youth from across New Orleans, Louisiana. Their wedding brought a sudden and crazy hurricane-esque storm and had us all on our toes on the day-of (as New Orleans has been known to do), and wondering if the wedding would be postponed until the storm had safely passed. After some strategizing, Sarah & Eric decided to test their luck and go forward with their plan. These kinds of situations always highlights the life force of your family and friends coming together and tends to give you treasure in the dry-comfort of remembering. I weaved in and out of fierce rain, lightening, thrown flower petals, a tented dinner party jammed with everyone they hold dear, and crowds of family members and long time friends twirling parasols and handkerchiefs in the air on the dance floor. I captured it all and my face hurt the next day from smiling so much. Sarah texted me the morning-after and told me that a friend had described me as “everywhere and nowhere”, and just like that my job there was done.
Haylee & Sonia did it their way and eloped to Hawaii, just the two of them in paradise. After coming back home to Los Angeles, they planned a special candle-lighting ceremony for their immediate family and close friends as a formal act of unity. I met up with them in Downtown L.A. for some portraits at the perfectly-picturesque Walt Disney Concert Hall, before going to the William Mulholland Memorial Fountain in Los Feliz for some family portraits. Afterwards we relocated to their home in East Los Angeles for the drinks, the candle lighting ceremony, and dinner, all in the comfort of their backyard! I love shooting custom-designed days that are thoughtfully planned and meaningful for everyone involved. There are so many ways to celebrate and bring people together, so let’s party!
Patty Schemel was at the epicenter of the Seattle grunge scene in the 1990’s. She is best known as the drummer of the alternative rock band Hole. For this special Hear Sunday event, Schemel read from her new memoir Hit So Hard (Da Capo Press, 2017) and performed covers of favorite songs with Nina Gordon, Louise Post and Eva Gardner as the Ladies of the Canyon.