Sneak Peek: Kyle & Ryan

Just wanted to share a little peek of a wedding I've been working on took place in San Luis Opispo. I had never been there and it was so gorgeous! It felt so nice to get away from Los Angeles for a bit and soak up the wide open space and fresh air. Enjoy the long weekend everyone, it holds special meaning to me since I was married on the Sunday before Memorial Day. Spend time with loved ones and relax!


Napa Wedding ::: Under the Oak Tree

The weather has finally changed, at least temporarily here in LA and there's a much welcomed chill in the air. The leaves don't quite turn into rich fall colors, but the wind blows and I love how my face feels cold and my nose resembles a beloved reindeer we all know. Seth and Megan's wedding was gorgeous, up in northern California at Megan's parents house, where in fact, seasons do exist.

One of my favorite things about weddings is that no matter what kind of positive impression I have of the bride and groom before the wedding, more often than not, my admiration for the couple grows after being a part of their big day. This was especially true of Seth and Megan. They both share a spirit of quiet confidence and show genuine concern and care for those around them. It was beautiful to be a part of such a special day for them, their family, and friends. Happy upcoming Anniversary Seth & Megan, I hope it's one to remember!

Pineapple Fields Forever

A few of my favorite shots from a shoot we did months ago on the North Shore of Oahu. We didn't have time to do a day after session, so we opted for a "day after session" a few months later the next time I was in town. Don't these make you want to skip work and book the next plane to Honolulu? It sure does for me. It's true what they say, the older you become the more you appreciate where you came from. It's obvious my love for Hawaii grows each year, isn't it?

Thank you to Chris and Mel for traipsing through the red dirt with me, I had a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to being in Hawaii at the end of the month to shoot Chris' brother's wedding at the same location I was married at! I think it's safe to say it will be an emotional day for me :)

If you'd like to see more photos, this session was featured on Style Me Pretty a couple months ago, enjoy!

Little Islands

I was born with an unusual birthmark on my left arm. It begins on the top of my hand, travels its way up my arm in sporadic splotches, and if I crane my neck far enough I can just see the last little mark on the back of my shoulder. It's one of those things that never really bothered me though. As a kid I would tell people they were the Hawaiian Islands because there are eight little "islands" on my arm.

I have a memory from when I was seven or eight playing at a friends house. I could feel her eyes staring at my left arm and could tell she was trying to figure out what it was. I responded to her looks with, "no, I didn't get burned, it's just a birthmark." Caught off-guard, she mustered up some wit and courage and said "it looks really good on you."

Don't be ashamed of those little physical inconsistencies or "islands", allow them to take on a little role of what makes you, you. Don't hide those birth marks, freckles, beauty marks or whatever your "something different" is, because honestly, it looks really good on you.

Fell in love yesterday with Kate's freckles

On blogging, or the lack thereof...

So, it's true...

I'm not very good at blogging, especially weddings. And by "good" I mean, I don't update frequently and I take forever to blog a full wedding. I feel this pressure when posting photos of a wedding that the goal is story-telling. It almost becomes more of a slideshow, a chronological approach to documenting the day. If it were up to me (who is it up to, btw?) I'd just post my favorites, in any order. But instead of sharing the images that move me, the ones that give me that quiet excitement in my chest, I end up taking months to post because the pressure of "perfect story-telling" has become the finish line. If photographers really wanted to be great story-tellers, wouldn't video be a better medium anyway?

I read the artist statement of my photo professor at Biola and it resonated with me in my approach to blogging.

"Photography is not good at very many things- it is a poor storyteller if what you want is a didactic or linear narrative. You can read a book for that. Rather, photography is uniquely suited for addressing the 'ever-passing present moment' - which really means it's more akin to poetry. It is good at emphasizing certain notes, tones, elements, and emotions - and lingering on them in time and space long enough to feel awkward, compelled, agitated, soothed, or simply paused... even struck... urged to reconcile with the moment that you are viewing." - Kurt Simonson

I realize this isn't that best business tactic and it's probably on a no-no list for ways to get more followers, nor is it a good tip to share with other photographers, but at the end of the day I have to enjoy what I do and I want to share those things, even if the order is non-sensical and it takes a few more moments to understand what's going on.

As Sam says in Moonrise Kingdom, "Poems don't always have to rhyme, you know. They're just supposed to be creative." With that said, enjoy a few snippets, a poem with no rhymes.

Morten & Tanya. Los Angeles, CA. April 2012

Josham & Ali. Vero Beach, FL. March 2012

Ed & Jesse. Canyon Lake, CA. June 2012

John & Alex. Highland Springs Resort, CA. April 2012.

Featured ::: 100 Layer Cake, Our Wedding!

I'm so thrilled 100 Layer Cake featured our wedding earlier this week. I had so much fun planning our day, working on all the details and making sure everything was just right. I wish I could plan other weddings too, sorta ;) It's interesting how having my own wedding has changed the dynamic between my relationship with my clients. Sometimes it takes really being able to say "I know how you feel.." to help better connect with my brides. It's changing the way we communicate and also how I shoot at weddings.

There were so many helping hands during the entire process and on the big day. Our friend Angi gave us the gift of gorgeous photos and all of our vendors worked so hard to make sure our vision came together -- and it did!

I think my favorite part of being engaged was seeing and hearing how many people really cared about us and wanted to help in whatever way they could. So, so, so much love was showered on us during our 6 month engagement, it's one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.

I have a couple tips for you brides to be :::

1. It's all overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be crazy, mind-boggling overwhelming. Don't be afraid to delegate to others. If you're on a tight budget, stop looking at things you can't afford! There's always another way and it's usually better because it took a little more time, thought, and creativity to come up with. There are so many options, styles, and themes but do your best to narrow it down so everything is coherent. Pick a couple things that are your favorite and build around that. For us it was the color gold, a love for balloons, and simplicity. Also, do your homework and price check. I'm sure my bridesmaids might have thought I was going a little crazy, but hopefully I was manageable and seeing everything come together was well worth it.

2. The simplier, the better. Don't get caught up in complicated processes - - pick and choose your battles. I chose to be complicated with our invitations, but everything else was really simple, although specific. We did our own flowers, centerpieces, and other decor. Most things were DIY which gave me the freedom to decide on how much I wanted to spend. It's easy to get caught up in wedding trends when you're looking at blogs, but ask yourself, will this still be relevant in 20 years or will it just seem silly or frivilous. Beautiful doesn't mean extravagant or hip. 

3. Set priorities & stay organized.  Allow yourself to have a couple big non-negotiables, but for the rest, you have to be a little flexible knowing that not every detail will work out perfectly. For us it was our venue, Hawaiian breakfast meal, and our photographer. Also, we went on a more low-key honeymoon which gave us more room in our wedding day budget. Also, after your wedding day, you are SOOOO tired. Don't plan a trip to a destination that will keep you on the go. You don't want to feel pressured to go see everything, you will want some rest and relaxation. As for organization, keep a folder of all your expenses, receipts, and contact information for each vendor. Also print out photos of your inspiration boards, so when you reference things, such as "gold letters" your vendors will know exactly what you mean. Print off a couple copies to leave with each vendor. This will keep your mind at ease knowing everyone is on board.

4. If possible, get married outdoors or with a venue that allows for a bit of both. This is definitely a personal preference and I realize a lot of indoor venues are gorgeous, but if you want creamy, God-given well-lit photos, outdoors it is! Plus, your guests can feel free to roam, enjoy the scenery and get fresh air. There's just something magical about the outdoors that indoor venues have a difficult time trying to replicate.

5. Last and not least, at the end of the day, it's about marriage, not colors, flowers, or your dress. It's about a celebratory union between you and yours and the merging of families. Don't let the things take precedence over the relationships you are building. As long as you keep that in mind, your day will be filled with joy regardless of any unforeseen hiccups that may occur. It will be wonderful knowing your family and friends are surrounding you in full support as you take your biggest steps yet.

Hawaii Wedding at the Hale Koa ::: Chris + Mel

Wow, this wedding was back in September and is finally making it's way to the blog. My, my. Shooting this wedding meant a lot to me personally and professionally. Chris, the groom, has been a friend for many years. He's quite literally the nicest guy you'll meet. I'm sure he's tired of hearing it, but I think it really says a lot when kindess is the first thing people say about someone's character. I was so excited to hear that Chris was engaged but knew I probably wouldn't be able to attend the wedding since I'm in LA and it was taking place in Hawaii. Luckily for me Chris' fiancé Mel really loved my work! We were able to work out a trade since Chris and his brother shoot wedding videography and were available to capture our wedding day footage back in May. I had a great time shooting their lovely wedding with the help of my friend and assistant, Amber. Their day was really special to me, I know that sounds corny, but their story was a decade in the making and it was surreal to see them take the next step of marriage. Love to you both :)
P.S. Stay on the lookout for some "day-after" photos!

Sneek Peek ::: Mel & Chris

I went to Hawaii two weeks ago to shoot a wedding for some long time friends. Their wedding made me miss the beauty of the islands and the aloha spirit. There's no place quite like it.

Gina & Charlton ::: Engagement Session

Gina emailed me a few months ago all the way from Texas! She grew up in Orange County but she and her fiance, Charlton, now live in Houston and are getting married in Newport. We decided to shoot in Laguna and visited the church they'll be getting married at in a few short months :) Gina has a grace about her in person that's so beautiful that I think translated quite nicely in the camera --- needless to say, I really loved shooting this couple. I loved their gentle interactions with each other and how they connected with ease. Becky Trejo from Eighty Eighty-Four came and shot along with me, so a couple of the shots below are from her (and she is awesome)! I think it's a nice idea for couples to meet the second shooter prior to the big day if it's possible, the more comfortable, the better. Can't wait for y'alls wedding!

Featured ::: Green Wedding Shoes

Samantha from Primary Petals contacted me to help out with an inspiration shoot she had been conceptualizing for a while now --- Super Mario! I was excited to participate since I haven't seen too many video game inspiration shoots done + I completely trust Samantha's aesthetic so I knew it would be great. I think this is such a fun alternative from all the "vintage, rustic, etc etc" that we all love, but see far too often. It was really fun to work with all the different colors and shapes that Samantha's creations provided as well as all the tactile pieces that Jehoaddan from Tusssk and Samantha's husband, James, built.

Thank you to Jen from Green Wedding Shoes for featuring us the Friday of Comic Con :) I'll be showing more of the photos later this week!

Bethany & Tom ::: Wedding

It's Friday! It's been a busy week at work and I couldn't be more thrilled that it's Friday AND I'm headed to Comic Con in a few hours. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and geek out a little for Comic Con's sake ;)

I second shot a wedding for one of my closest friends, Jenna. We've been friends for years now and she actually coordinated my own wedding in May. Jenna recently started shooting weddings, this girl can do anything wedding-related. I HIGHLY recommend her for coordination help, not only will you have a well-planned event, but you will have a friend.

Here's a few of my favorite shots from Bethany and Tom's wedding, I hadn't met them prior to their wedding day, but boy was their love evident. Just by watching them you could tell that not only are they "gonna make it" but complimented and balanced each other in a beautiful way. I wish you two the best!

Michelle & Dan ::: Wedding

Hello Everyone! It's been a busy few weeks here. This will probably be my last post for the next few weeks. David and I leave for Hawaii in a week for our wedding! Today was busy filled with picking up David's wedding band, dress fitting, and moving things into our new apartment that I love love love.

Here's a few shots from Michelle and Dan's wedding last month. These two are too sweet and it was so refreshing to work with them. Their wedding felt easy. Not stuffy,  not overly planned, everything just felt natural. I loved their color scheme and venue of choice as well. Much thanks to my second shooters Angi Welsch and Amy Cano. Thank you Michelle and Dan for letting me be a part of one of your greatest days yet! 

See you all in three weeks! Keep us in your prayers, 

Soon to be, Mrs. Faulkner!

Featured ::: Green Wedding Shoes

Hi All!

My apologies for my absence - - although I don't think my presence will make it on here too much in the next few weeks. I've been extremely busy planning my own wedding that's happening in May! Lots of exciting projects I'm working on, I'll be sure to share the invitations I've made - - I love them! Hints: watercolor, everywhere! But for now, I was featured on Green Wedding Shoes last month - what an honor! Thank you Jen! And thank you all for all your support and kind emails I've received, ya'll are too sweet!