Allie & Naoki planned a small ceremony with only family in attendance at the Los Angeles County Arboretum (@laarboretum) in Arcadia. I remember keenly how they both wandered for a few minutes in the 🌿Prehistoric Forest🌿 before deciding on the spot that felt right for their ceremony. They rounded out the day by inviting a small group of friends to celebrate with them at the Side Bar at Covell (@barcovell). Follow your instincts, and all will be how it should. ✨🌑✨
The end of 2018 brought me a few last minute Beverly Hills courthouse weddings that I was happy to document. Looking through these photos after a couple months have past has me remembering Enjie’s energy and her contagious smile, amplified by the day’s events. Congratulations guys!
♥︎♥︎ This wedding is after my own heart ♥︎♥︎
Marissa is a Mexican-American who grew up in Tijuana, Mexico (and now lives in Los Angeles). Her mother, father, & extended family often make the commute north and cross the US-Mexican border, and this celebration was no exception. Marissa’s birthday is on the 15th of July, and Josh’s birthday is on the 17th of July, so why not get married on the 14th and combine all the celebrating to make one perfect party? (My birthday aligned with these dates, on the 16th, which has got to activate some kind of cosmic power-party mode, right?).
Instead of one cake, they had two, and blew out their candles at midnight while holding hands, as their family and friends wore party hats and sang Feliz Cumpleaños (heart explosion -here-). AND OF COURSE there was a piñata. This was the quintessential Los Angeles wedding, which meant getting married at the Heritage Square Museum (a living history museum that explores the settlement and development of Southern California) beside a Queen Anne style Victorian home from a Los Angeles of yesteryear, and having the reception at Marissa’s sister’s artist studio alongside the LA River. Marissa grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, but has a deep affinity for LA history, which only leaves me with one question… Marissa & Josh, will you marry me? 💍
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.
☽ ☼ ☽ ☼ ☽
WHO ARE WE?
☽ I AM…
… intense about my love of art, music, & Los Angeles history. When I’m not taking photographs for work or for play, you’ll find me watching a band play in a dark bar somewhere or strolling the streets of Los Angeles, thinking about the power of Place.
… a feminist, a small business owner, & the daughter of a Cuban-Chinese immigrant who came to the U.S. seeking a better tomorrow. To be a business owner, like my mother, brings me great pride.
… romantic, but not precious. I instinctively search for beauty, but desire meaning & functionality.
… earnest & focused, yet easily recognizes when to laugh at myself.
… mischievous & always in the mood for a good party (my favorite kinds are house parties and motel parties).
… someone who wants to link up with like-minded individuals who crave to make their wedding-day experience their own.
☼ YOU ARE…
… thoughtful, inclusive, empathetic, playful, & adventuresome.
… someone who likes to flip things on their head & do things your way.
… someone who appreciates beauty in wedding photography but ultimately craves the captured moment.
… someone who makes loving choices, whether it’s the choice to be rooted in family rituals or throw a wedding that’s re-invented by design, you believe weddings can be whatever you will them to be.
… moved by the creative world & values authentic photos that trigger feeling.
… likely exhausted from searching for a wedding photographer, only to find more of the same — until now.
☽ ☼ ☽ ☼ ☽
HEADER IMAGES— Left: Los Angeles Palms, by Gina Clyne / Middle: Me on my wedding day (2017), by Linda Abbott / Right: Joshua Tree Pool, by Gina Clyne
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!