Vegas Desert Elopement Styled Shoot

Las Vegas - we stepped out for an impromptu elopement styled shoot out in the desert near the city. There were no plans. Just us, the setting sun, and a trail on the side of the road. Yes that is a bush from the ground as her 'bouquet'. Much love to my soul sister Tessa and her boyfriend Brent for playing along on this one. Cannot wait to one day photograph their real elopement!

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My Three Words | Destination Wedding Photographer

When someone comes to me asking about a photo shoot, I usually ask them how they want to be photographed. Many times this is met with very confused faces. Typically, I get the blank stare and the answer: "I just want to look good." I think I've got that covered! So I've started narrowing things down by asking them to come up with three words that pertain to the look and feel of their shoot. Adjectives that you want to feel when you look at the photos.

For example, an engagement couple might say they want a photoshoot that is "fun", "light", and "romantic". This is an awesome way to describe a shoot. I can now manage their expectations by shooting more journalistic fun lifestyle photos mixed with some intimate moments. I'll know that they will probably want more daytime shots to provide an airy, light atmosphere.

But this doesn't just apply to a particular shoot. For my brand and life, I've developed three words that I try to implement into all of my photographic styles. And I wanted to share with you those words that keep me aligned with my style and brand. I always try to at least have one of these adjectives interjected in my pictures.

1. Adventurous

I am all about travel, new places, and destinations. So, in many of my photos, I'm looking at the adventure. Let's get out and see new things. How can we get outside of our comfort zones and into some unique places and experiences? I grew up dreaming of far off places and crazy escapades. If you have a new location you want to go to, hit me up and I'll be there!

2. Romantic

Romance just attracts me. Part of why I'm a photographer who specializes in weddings is because I am drawn to people in love. Relationships are so important in life and romance should never die. I think everyone deserves to have images that show them in a romantic and intimate nature. Something they can hold dear to themselves, even if they don't share it with others.

3. Fun

Fun might be a generic word, but man do I mean it! There is no reason we can't enjoy the time we spend together. I'm quirky and I know how to bring out the weird. Bring on the nerd, and I'll be right there with you. We can laugh and joke as much as you'd like!

 

What are your three words? How would you describe yourself?

DIY Fabric Flower Bouquet

My wedding was an amazing adventure in the woods! I got married on a campsite in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which is an amazing campground surrounded by sequoia trees. One of things I recommend to Brides with an outdoor wedding, is to check if there are any foliage restrictions. What do I mean by that? Well, Big Basin banned outside flowers from being brought into the park to use for ceremonies or receptions. 

Some parks do not want outside flowers or foliage brought into the premises because the risk of pollinating the park with non-indigenous species is increased. To preserve the original nature of the park, they forbid the use of outside foliage. Cool. I'm totally respectful of that (being a nature lover myself, I'd never want to encroach upon the already established plant species!). So what did I do for my bouquets and centerpieces? Enter in the coolest mom ever.

My mom helped me find designs and ideas for a fabric flower bouquet. Yes, you read that correctly. FABRIC. So after searching for the right designs and ideas, we pulled together some of my favorite fabrics in my wedding colors and got to work sewing together these little flowers. We then added touching elements such as broaches or pins to create my wedding bouquet.

If you're interested in making your own, you can find tutorials here and here.

The feathers added something really special and etherial to the feel.

The feathers added something really special and etherial to the feel.

Here's one of the pins we added to the bouquet. I love this tree detail!

Here's one of the pins we added to the bouquet. I love this tree detail!

One of my favorite childhood movies was Hook with Robin Williams. So when Mom found this pin of a ship, I thought it would be perfect to add to the bouquet! I really also like the idea of thinking that this marriage is setting sail on a new adventurous voyage! It makes it so much more personal to me. 

One of my favorite childhood movies was Hook with Robin Williams. So when Mom found this pin of a ship, I thought it would be perfect to add to the bouquet! I really also like the idea of thinking that this marriage is setting sail on a new adventurous voyage! It makes it so much more personal to me. 

Also, my spirit animal is the owl, full of wisdom and age.

Also, my spirit animal is the owl, full of wisdom and age.

Limoneira Ranch Wedding | Andrew & Lindsey

Driving out to the sleepy town of Santa Paula, CA, I pulled up to Limoneira Ranch. Nestled in the valley between some outstanding mountains, this lemon grove boasts a bace ball court. It was on the court that Andrew and Lindsey decided to make their vows of love and get married. It was a bright, hot and sunny day as the ladies prepared themselves in the small house on the grounds.

How adorable are these rings, seated stately upon their custom ring box.

How adorable are these rings, seated stately upon their custom ring box.

This grandma was the epitome of awesome. She carried around two disposable cameras, and when someone tried to take a photo of her with it, they couldn't figure out how to crank the thing! My favorite quote from her: "Honey, your short because you grew up with thorns. The most beautiful flowers grow with thorns and weeds that stunt the growth. But when you pull the weeds away there's the most beautiful creature ever."

This grandma was the epitome of awesome. She carried around two disposable cameras, and when someone tried to take a photo of her with it, they couldn't figure out how to crank the thing! My favorite quote from her: "Honey, your short because you grew up with thorns. The most beautiful flowers grow with thorns and weeds that stunt the growth. But when you pull the weeds away there's the most beautiful creature ever."

How stunning is this bride?!

How stunning is this bride?!

Hello handsome groom!

Hello handsome groom!

Look at these awesome groomsmen.

Look at these awesome groomsmen.

He waits for his bride patiently. 

He waits for his bride patiently. 

The setting for the ceremony was at the end of the court, right before a small field. The field had all of the reception area. But look at those mountains!

The setting for the ceremony was at the end of the court, right before a small field. The field had all of the reception area. But look at those mountains!

A great DIY: painted mason jars vases!

A great DIY: painted mason jars vases!

How cute is this cake surrounded by cupcakes?!

How cute is this cake surrounded by cupcakes?!

And then there was this cutie! 

And then there was this cutie! 

And to finish my night, I met a mutant ninja turtle! I don't think he was teenage yet. 

And to finish my night, I met a mutant ninja turtle! I don't think he was teenage yet. 

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Garden Grove Emo Wedding | Mick + Heather

What I loved about Mick and Heather was the comments made from their friends and family. They were a quiet couple, but the family certainly had some funny and amazing things to say about them. Mick is a talented musician in a rock band. His brother played a video during the reception of Mick creating his own single, and showed everyone how proud he was of the groom. Heather's family and friends repeatedly commented how amazing it was that Mick had come into her life. Apparently, she had been a "dark cloud but when you [Mick] came, she became only partly cloudy."

The bride got ready at her sister's home, where her sister could pamper her with all the makeup.

The bride got ready at her sister's home, where her sister could pamper her with all the makeup.

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My favorite moment of the wedding was when this flower girl said, "I'm allergic to cheap makeup." HAHAHA! I think we all are, dear. 

My favorite moment of the wedding was when this flower girl said, "I'm allergic to cheap makeup." HAHAHA! I think we all are, dear. 

Heather had a gorgeous dark purple engagement ring, black sparkly shoes, and wonderful dark jewelry. There were two flower girls and a junior bridesmaid who had adorable outfits of their own.

Heather had a gorgeous dark purple engagement ring, black sparkly shoes, and wonderful dark jewelry. There were two flower girls and a junior bridesmaid who had adorable outfits of their own.

This dress! White with black flowers, it was a non-traditional dress for sure. 

This dress! White with black flowers, it was a non-traditional dress for sure. 

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And how dapper does Mick look?! The groom wore a succulent boutonniere and rocked it.

And how dapper does Mick look?! The groom wore a succulent boutonniere and rocked it.

Did I mention his cuff links were dinosaurs?! I'm obsessed.

Did I mention his cuff links were dinosaurs?! I'm obsessed.

The bridal bouquet had succulents and dark purple flowers. They went perfectly with her black nails and dark theme.

The bridal bouquet had succulents and dark purple flowers. They went perfectly with her black nails and dark theme.

The ladies certainly had their own style. I've never met such a group of hard working girls. One was recovering from surgery after just getting her appendix removed. Another had pneumonia (don't worry, she wasn't infectious). Rock on ladies.

The ladies certainly had their own style. I've never met such a group of hard working girls. One was recovering from surgery after just getting her appendix removed. Another had pneumonia (don't worry, she wasn't infectious). Rock on ladies.

Rock on guys!

Rock on guys!

And two become one.

And two become one.

The couple couldn't find an officiant they liked. At the last moment, their close friend went out and got his minister license to marry them. He rose up to the challenge and provided his friends with the best wedding gift two people could ask for. He was such a great guy.

The couple couldn't find an officiant they liked. At the last moment, their close friend went out and got his minister license to marry them. He rose up to the challenge and provided his friends with the best wedding gift two people could ask for. He was such a great guy.

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bride and groom walk away as husband and wife
This groom was so smitten with his bride. The happiness on his face in this photo just pulls at my heartstrings. I've never seen a guy SO happy and emotive. 

This groom was so smitten with his bride. The happiness on his face in this photo just pulls at my heartstrings. I've never seen a guy SO happy and emotive. 

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Bride and groom rest after marriage
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These two were so perfect together. It's funny, everyone talked about how gloomy the bride usually behaves. But she was all smiles the day she got married.

These two were so perfect together. It's funny, everyone talked about how gloomy the bride usually behaves. But she was all smiles the day she got married.

play with light

Their fun rocker party kept things lively and entertaining. It was a beautiful, non-traditional wedding that celebrated two amazing souls that were bound for one another.