annie & greg – reception.

After my couple’s portrait session with Annie and Greg in Camarillo, I could not wait to photograph their reception at the Valencia Hills Clubhouse. The evening was so full of love and laughs, and I had an amazing time capturing it. It was a simple and beautiful event–flowers, candles, good food, good music, and good people.

I arrived a bit early to help set up and snap a few details.



How sweet are these baby photos of the bride and groom?

Just before the guests started to arrive, I pulled Annie and Greg aside for a few shots. They looked really incredible. What a gorgeous pair.






Cake time!



I really love these shots. Annie and Greg looked so happy dancing together, and the father-daughter dance was adorable.


As things began to wrap up, we went outside for a few more shots of just the two of them. They kept looking at each other and just smiling. What a great way to end the night.

Check out a few more images from the evening here.

annie & greg.

I’ve known Annie from theatre since I was 10 years old. During fall of last year, I got to take her headshots. Last month, I was lucky enough to get to take some gorgeous photos of her and her husband.

Annie and Greg tied the knot at a private ceremony in December, but they still wanted a few photos together for their reception. So, we arranged for a shoot near one of their favorite spots: a climbing rock in Camarillo. We arrived at the rock just as the sun was rising over the water. It was ridiculously cold and windy, so we only managed a few shots before we had to move on to another location. Before we left, we got to see a whale, a pod of dolphins, and a couple of sea lions. I wasn’t able to get any photos of them, but it was a pretty awesome sight.



After we left the rock, we wandered around Point Mugu State Park.


Finally, we went into town for a few whimsical urban shots. And hey, check out those rings. Gorgeous, no?


I’ll be uploading photos from their reception as well, but make sure to check out a few more of my favorite shots from this session on my facebook page.

alycia & jeff.

Jordan Ewert was a fellow employee at my job this summer. We started talking about my interest in photography and one day, he asked me if I wanted to assist him in shooting a wedding. Having an opportunity like that just fall in my lap is not something I’m used to, but I pounced on it. Next thing I knew, I had all of my equipment packed into the Prius and my parents and I were on our way to Wisconsin.

Like with Adrienne and Ian’s engagement photos, wedding photography was very new to me. I had been the flower girl for a good friend’s wedding, the ring bearer for my uncle’s, and a guest at another friend’s, but that was all the wedding experience I had. To be completely honest, the wedding was just as nerve-wracking as I thought it was going to be. However, it was also one of the most exciting days of my life.

There were two locations for the pre-ceremony photos, so we rounded everyone up and made our way for a shoot at each. At first, I simply observed, taking a few shots of Jordan and the other assistant. Then as we realized we were getting more pressed for time, I started taking back-up shots of all of the poses Jordan was setting up. The wedding party was so easy going with all of it and looked like they were having a blast, which made the whole thing even more fun. I started taking photos of the stuff going on behind the camera. At one point, one of the groomsmen was put in charge of holding all the bouquets while the girls posed, so of course I had to get a few photos of that. He didn’t seem to think it was as funny as the rest of us did. Jeff got hold of a water gun and I got a shot of him smiling mischievously at the camera while Alycia stood nearby.

From there, we took Alycia and Jeff to the second location for some quick photos of just the two of them. It was an amazing spot. There was this stunning willow tree in one spot and an old ivy-covered chicken coop. I would love to go back there with a model someday. Not only was it a beautiful area, but it is where I began shooting in RAW for the first time (thanks for the introduction, Jordan!). By the time we wrapped up there, we were totally running late to the ceremony. So, we hopped back in the car and started zipping back to Alycia’s parents’ house, where the reception was to be held. I was thrilled to find out that the bridesmaid driving was a police officer as we sped along ridiculously over the limit around tight corners. While we waited for transportation to get up the hill to the ceremony location, we took some detail shots of the reception area, along with the rings. They were by far the coolest pieces I’ve ever seen. The groom’s ring was handmade by a friend of his. The bride’s was her mom’s promise ring melded with her (former police officer) father’s first wedding band, which had gotten a hole worn into it from gripping the steering wheel too tightly.

To get to the ceremony spot, we sat on haystacks on a trailer hitched to a tractor. As bizarre as it was, I found it to be a very comfortable way to ride. We made our way up a steep, muddy hill to a small clearing at the top. It could not have been a more perfect spot for a wedding. The woods surrounding the clearing were so green and full of life. Just before the ceremony began, it rained just enough for everything to have that natural, fresh smell. The ceremony started just as the clouds began to part, which gave us the kind of lighting that most photographers only dream about.

Back at the reception area, Jordan and I went over the photos we had gotten before going out to join the party. While we were inside, it rained again and that time, it left behind an absolutely stunning rainbow. I got one photo of Alycia and Jeff together with the rainbow behind them, but it did not turn out nearly as well as I would’ve liked. It was still a magical moment and I’m happy to have any photo-evidence of it at all. After that, I wandered around getting more detail shots until my parents picked me up and we made the drive back to Minnesota.

I learned so much that day and I am so grateful to Jordan for his help. It meant so much to me to be a part of that experience. Congratulations, Alycia and Jeff!

Take a look at all of the photos here, then leave a comment and tell me what you think!

adrienne & ian.

Words cannot describe how happy I was when Adrienne first contacted me about taking her and Ian’s engagement photos. I was also a little nervous, considering I had never done anything like it before. I’ve taken a few shots of my parents together, but most of my knowledge of couple-photos consisted of browsing through them on flickr enviously. I had heard horror stories of wedding and engagement photography, yet I remained intrigued. So when the email came in, I was bouncing off the walls. I immediately wrote back and we started planning. We chose two locations and two days — Loring Park for day one and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for day two. I gave them some hints on how to prepare for the shoot and then we were off.

I have to say, I am a huge fan of Loring Park. I had never been there before, but Adrienne had worked at one of the restaurants in the area, so she knew it pretty well. The park itself is gorgeous, plus there is some really cool architecture nearby. Also, if you take a walk across a bridge, you can explore the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. We utilized all of this for our first day of shooting.
The weather was perfect. We had a nice layer of clouds, giving our play-space a wonderfully natural diffused light. My mom came along to act as my chauffeur and assistant. We brought a small step-ladder, a tripod, and a reflector, all of which proved to be quite useful during both sessions.

We started out behind Nick and Eddie at this adorable little table. I first asked the couple to just sit like they would if I wasn’t there. While they did that, I started adjusting my settings and trying out different lenses. I switched between my 50mm and my Tamron 18-270mm multiple times throughout the day. Once I had settled on some basic settings, I started asking for more specific poses. A Lunalux employee came out at one point to see what we were doing. Apparently, the table was owned by them. The woman seemed a little miffed (whoops!), but she gave us a card for the place and asked us to email them the photos.

As the day went on, we all began to relax a bit and just started to have fun with stuff. We got some great shots by the fountain and some in the sculpture garden, but one of my absolute favorites of the day was of the two of them in a dance pose next to a sign that says “dance here”. They went salsa dancing for their first date, so along with just being kind of hilarious, I thought it was a cute play on how their relationship has grown and how it has stayed the same. I would’ve gotten a few different ones there, but my camera died. Definitely a sad moment. However, I was confident in the photos I had gotten and we were able to pack up and call it a day.

My set up was basically the same for the session at the arboretum. The sun was a lot harsher, though, so that made things a bit of a challenge. Also, the arboretum is huge and unfortunately, we did not have nearly enough time to go through it. However, we still got quite a few shots that I’m proud of. There were lots of amazing colors to work with and, as the sun started to set, some great flares.

There was one spot in particular that I really wish I had managed to get some better shots of. When she was in school, Adrienne went to the arboretum on a field trip and there was one spot that she remembers thinking would be a perfect place for a wedding. Unfortunately, the lighting on the hill was too harsh and my mother’s valiant attempts to block the sun with our reflector were fruitless. Still, we left the arboretum with over 300 photos to go through.

My parents and I went to the reception, which was held in Adrienne’s dad’s backyard. It had been completely transformed into what my dad remarked looked somewhat like a roofless club you might find in LA. It was beautiful and the food was delicious. The newlyweds looked so happy. As they took to the dance floor, I got my camera ready and, with the help of my Lensbaby Composer, took one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken.

The whole experience was so rewarding and so much fun. Getting to know Adrienne and Ian better was great and I am so happy I got to work with them. They are now living in Singapore, as Ian works his post-doctorate job as an entomologist.
Congratulations, Adrienne and Ian!

Take a look at all of the photos here and tell me what you think!