Archive for February, 2010

{ Mai + John | Downtown LA Engagement }

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

I’m a wee bit envious of Mai & John who live in the heart of downtown LA. Everytime I pass through downtown there is a new amazing restaurant, collection of lofts for sale, wine bar, line of shops – it would be quite dreamy to live in an airy loft near Little Tokyo, being just a few steps away from ramen, or fancy schmancy hot dogs, & tons of perfect cafes. The next best thing though, of course, is to shoot there :)

I love the arts district and Mai & John worked it so well! We found lots of great spots before heading to Union Station to finish up. Such a fun afternoon – so excited for their wedding come July!

P.S. This has never happened before, but we randomly bumped into 3 (3!) photographers that we knew during this session – Serena, Dave, & my sister. We bumped into the last one first, and as I was chatting with Mai & John, explaining, “yeah, the arts district is really popular for photoshoots”, Scott goes “um, I think that’s your sister.” Crazy!

{ Dawn + Craig | Vintage Winter Wedding }

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

My very first meeting with Dawn over tea at Novel Cafe had me crossing all my fingers & toes that I would get to work with her & photograph her wedding. She excitedly described her vision for the day – a vintage-inspired December wedding that was wintery without being Christmas-y, with tons of details that were infused with Dawn & Craig’s backgrounds & personalities.

But during that initial meeting {which may or may not have lasted an excess of 2 hours}, Dawn also shared with me more about herself on a deeper level – about Craig, about their story, the 17 bicycles they had in their garage, their love of food & travel, their battle & triumph over cancer. I could feel her love for Craig resonate in her words, and I knew the day would be a true celebration & beautiful on every level. Dawn shared the below story on her blog, and I’m sharing a part of it here, as I feel it so sums up their inspiring relationship:

I remember the exact moment I knew that we would be together forever, the moment I realized we were already one. It was the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I called Craig to tell him the diagnosis his response was a simple “Oh my God, we have cancer”. It was that “we” that has been the foundation for every moment since then.

Though Dawn painted me a beautiful picture of her wedding plans during our first meeting & I watched her ideas unfold via her blog, I was still taken aback by the sheer amazingness of their wedding day. Every aspect was filled to the brim with Dawn & Craig’s personality – there were colorful shoes, tables named after bicycles, vintage books, birch details, and all sorts of wintery genius brought to life by the insanely talented Shawna Yamamoto. And of course there was laughter, there were sweet glances, lots of spontaneous clapping (Dawn’s trademark expression of excitement ;), and above all, an overabundance of love.

Dawn & Craig – Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to share in this exciting time in your lives & capture your most beautiful day. I feel so blessed to have met such kind & amazing people, and to walk away from this with new friends. So excited for you & your many more years of experiencing life as a “we” to come :)

I was pretty much madly in love with Dawn’s birdcage veil & stole, so elegant & stylish:

Love this one of them with their cameras! :)

And the reception. I think I literally forgot to breathe when I entered the room – it was a total & complete winter wonderland, shining bark-laden centerpieces, birch branches, sparkly “snow” – every inch was absolutely magical.

The escort card table alone was a wintery masterpiece:

With the help of a few friends, Dawn folded 1000 cranes, a Japanese tradition for good luck. Cranes are said to mate for life, so this tradition represents longevity & devotion in marriage. Every crane I have ever folded in my life has come out to be an amorphous non-crane catastrophe, so I have IMMENSE respect for Dawn who folded so many, especially out of such tiny paper. She found someone in Hawaii to assemble the cranes into a birch tree and the result was stunning.

Dawn wanted something unique for the guestbooks. She found a handful of vintage upcycled books on Etsy and filled them with lovely marriage quotes (suggested by her blog readers) & their engagement photos. Guests then filled the pages with photos from the photobooth accompanied by sweet messages.

A tradition of jade necklaces from Craig’s mother & aunts:

Venue: Our Lady Queen of Angels + SeaCliff Country Club in Orange County, CA
Florals & Event Design: Shawna Yamamoto Event Design
Lighting: Amber Event Design
Videography: Garner Films
Photobooth: Capital Photo Booth Co (these guys are awesome, they do custom color photobooths!)
DJ: Battleson Entertainment

{ Suzanne + Robert, Part II | Camping Engagement Photos }

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

When it comes time to chat about the engagement session, I always encourage couples to think of ways to incorporate a bit of who they are. Weddings with personalized touches are my favorite, but engagement sessions give additional free reign for meaningful locations, outfits that are perfectly “you”, and any fun props or themes – the possibilities are endless! :)

Suzanne & Robert took the idea of a personalized engagement session and ran with it! They both love the outdoors, & in her emails, Suzanne painted a picture of them camping, with hot chocolate, a tent, and lush natural surroundings. And so for the second half of Suzanne & Robert’s session, we ventured into the hills for a mini camping trip. I love all the details they gathered {Suzanne even brought along her trusty SLR} & their outfit choices as well – the perfect blend of rustic + outdoorsy + stylish, which fit the settings perfectly! We had so much fun setting up the scene & running around the area. And props to Robert & Scott for pitching the tent in what has to be the fastest time I’ve seen – and I’ve done some lightening-fast tent setups in my Girl Scouting days (okay, I lie, we were much better at selling cookies than pitching tents.)