Archive for January, 2010

{ Hana + Toshi, Part I | USC Engagement }

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Here goes one of my big lifetime confessions, right alongside having not seen all the Star Wars movies (I know, it’s blasphemy) & thinking breakfast sausages dipped in syrup are delicious: in all my time at UCLA & thereafter, I have never been to a single football game. And though I’ve never shouted my pride from the bleachers, I am a glowing Bruin at heart – I braved the flyer warzone that is Bruinwalk, I spent long nights at taiko rehearsals in Wooden, and have eaten enough Diddy Riese cookies to feed a small nation. So when Hana & Toshi suggested USC for the first half of their engagement session, I ran away. Just kidding. I love shooting on any and all college campuses and of course happily obliged! Campuses are awesome for weekend engagement sessions since all the students are tucked away in their dorm rooms/hanging out off-campus/doing laundry at home and there are tons of different backdrops & beautiful architecture to get creative with.

Of course I could have photographed Hana & Toshi anywhere and the photos would have magically made themselves – as you will see below, my camera fell madly in love with them. Stay tuned for Part II, where we ventured across town to the Griffith Observatory with balloons in hand!

{ Gina + Chris | Vow Renewal }

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

I first met Gina & Chris at Andrea and Taro’s rehearsal dinner. In between capturing shots of the festivities, we chomped on delectable Mexican food and engaged in conversation with our table mates. Gina and Chris sat next to us with their two beautiful children and as dinner progressed, shared a bit with us about their own wedding. “We got married along a windy cliff,” Gina explained. “There were 4 of us {Chris, Gina, her daughter, and the officiant}. It was really cold.. we might have been wearing windbreakers.” Gina laughed as she recalled their casual and intimate ceremony.

Fast forward a month and I opened my inbox to find a note from Gina. She shared with me their wish to renew their vows, this time in a ceremony in front of their closest family and friends. And so, on a very rainy day in December, Scott and I packed up our gear and headed to The Raymond, a lovely cottage-turned-restaurant in Pasadena. With it’s small warm rooms, dark wooden floors, and twinkle lights at every turn, it was THE absolute perfect place to be cozied up on a drizzly evening!

A wedding is a wonderful celebration of a new life together, but the experience that comes from years of marriage, of raising children together, of experiencing the ups & downs – brought a whole other level of emotion to the day. The gratitude and love that flowed through their words during the ceremony was palpable. After the dinner that followed, Chris surprised Gina with a slideshow of photos from her childhood, including those of her father who had passed away earlier this year. This was followed by a “father-daughter” dance that involved Chris lifting up and dancing with their daughter Jade. And just as they ended, Gina slipped off her shoes for her surprise to Chris, an amazing Hawaiian dance with beautiful flowing movements that spoke of her love.

Gina and Chris – thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your beautiful & intimate celebration!

The gorgeous arrangements & bouquets were all done by Gina’s sister. Love the blooms tucked into teapots and sugar bowls! Each table included a photo that spelled out “love” in a different language – simple, creative, and perfect.

The beautiful figurines were gifts given by Chris to Gina on their 1st and 2nd anniversaries: