May
21
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT OREGON’S COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE…

so every once in a while, a submission will come in sent from a bride-to-be herself and not from a wedding photographer.  those submissions hug my heart, because it means that it’s more than just wedding photographers taking a gander at this blog and i’m just hoping a tiny little bit that means brides and grooms are starting to realize the importance of wedding photography.

“Brandon & I really wanted to capture the true essence of “us” in our engagement photos. We met many moons ago through a mutual friend, but did not start dating until almost 3 years ago. Many of our first special moments of our relationship were established camping on the Columbia River, between Oregon & Washington. He is a native Washingtonian and I am a native Oregonian. The river that “divides” our homes was also where we created our home together. Thus, we decided that having the Columbia River Gorge in our backdrop would be not only gorgeous and scenic, but would truly define the beginning of our love story.

 During our first few months of being together, camping was what we did most. In our engagement session, we made a campfire to symbolize the start of our relationship. In our campfire photos, I chose to wear a Free People slip and cozied up with a knitted sweater to add varying textures. We cuddled up under a Pendleton blanket, as Pendleton Woolen Mills is native to our home of the Pacific Northwest. In one of the photos, I am wearing a bracelet with two adjoining hearts. This bracelet is special and significant because it was the very first gift my father gave to my mother when they first got engaged. To me, it’s always been a symbol of the beginning of their love story and I wanted to incorporate it into ours.

 The Columbia River Gorge has spectacular sunsets with the river and the mountains when it’s not raining! We were blessed to have one of those evenings where the weather was in our favor (which is usually not typical for the Pacific Northwest!). There was so much to take in, which made our engagement session so much fun. We trekked along this hill and came across beautiful grassy areas open to the view of the river, awesome rock walls with bright and lush green moss for amazing backdrops, and crazy cool rock cliffs that we were able to walk out to the edge of. The views of the landscape, mountains, river, and sun coming together from atop of this hill were breathtaking and so romantic!”

many thanks to Larizza for sending this in and congrats to her and Brandon on their engagement!

thanks must also go to

CATALINA JEAN

for these gorgeous images.  her work is absolutely breathtaking.  see for yourself on HER BLOG.

shoutout to Beauty by Nicole Peterson for Larizza’s look.

May
20
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT THE WHITE CLIFFS OF CONOY…

May
20
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT TORONTO’S UNIONVILLE…

“Andrew and Camille are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever worked with, and they are just WAY TOO CUTE together.

 For their engagement shoot we went to the place that holds many special memories in their relationship. It was where the first “I love you” was said, and it was where he proposed. It also happens to be where parts of Gilmore Girls was filmed.”

huge thanks to

SHELLY SPITHOFF

for sending this sweet engagement session over.

check out more of her work over on HER BLOG.  she’s got a lot more you need to see.

May
19
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT ELORA GORGE…

as always, totally stoked to have

DEREK HUI

on the blog.  i don’t know how he does it, but not only does he capture the beauty of the couple, but the beauty of everything going on in the background.

he’s got a killer fashion/editorial sense too so you’ll want to check it and all his wedding photography out for yourself on HIS BLOG.

May
17
2015

{EVER OURS AFTER HOURS} CHAZ CRUZ…

#everoursafterhours serves as a learn the “why” behind their work, to get to know photographers and videographers that are the game changers or ones that in their tiny little corner of the earth are just getting it done.  i have always, ALWAYS, prided myself on the that community that i have the fortunate experience of knowing and featuring.  for the past five years, i have surrounded myself with such a beautifully talented community of wedding photographers and videographers.  so i’m just going to build on that this year and give them the spotlight they deserve.  i’ll be highlighting photographers almost every week.  but obviously if i have the time, i’ll be featuring more but it’s all dependent on the photographers who have the time to answer too.  it’ll be up on Sundays and it’ll just be a chance for photographers to kick back after shooting a wedding, grab a coffee, and have a lazy Sunday read.

this brother from another mother came into my life about three years ago and he’s probably one of the most hard working, but best personalities out there in this wedding community. super thankful to call this guy my friend and sometimes he allows me to tag along and hold his cameras while he’s shooting weddings.  actually, this has only happened once and he probably hasn’t invited me again because i constantly broke out into spontaneous dance parties by myself.

anyways, one of my favorite guys in this industry,

CHAZ CRUZ

How did you get your start in wedding photography?

I got my start in 2006, I was engaged and still in college, searching for wedding photography at the sweet budget of $500. I remember finding some of the worst wedding photos in history via Craiglist, having no idea what was considered “good.” Finally I stumbled upon the Image is Found’s website and realized this is what wedding photography should be. I knew this is what I wanted to do so once I graduated college, I went right to photography school in Massachusetts with a focus on wedding photography.

What is unique about your style of shooting?

In terms of my style, editing, composition..nothing is unique about it. I feel that the uniqueness comes from the client themselves and what we can create together. The trust, laughter and sincerity is what makes the images stronger, so each couples personality makes the style unique.

Include one of your images that is your most recent favorite and explain why you love it.

This became one of my favorite shots mostly because of the Katelyn and Kris. We had met a few months before their wedding and we instantly hit it off. When it came time for the wedding, we did this shot in their kitchen with the darkest light. We did the standard “hold from behind” pose but we all started laughing at the thought of what was happening. We’re standing in a dimly lit kitchen, with a cat running around and I’m telling them to “feel the love.” You couldn’t help but laugh but I also couldn’t help but catch the moment and it became an instant memory for me.

What do you struggle with the most? Business wise or shooting wise.

I definitely struggle with trying to always create something new. Every year I try to add a new wrinkle to my photography, trying to perfect it by the end of the year so that it becomes a part of my repertoire. I am always afraid of being too content with how I create my work, so it becomes paramount to keep studying photography.

Where do you see wedding photography heading next? Where would like to see it go?

 I have no idea where wedding photography will be heading to, I just know where I want my work to go. I know that myself and the other photographers I admire who do weddings (whatup Brooklyn Collective!), we are creating work that is the antithesis of modern weddings today. We love the dark, we love shadows and we love the reality of what is around us.

If you could send one message to the wedding photography world, what would it be? (Basically, your life motto)

 Do you and do whiskey.

What drives you as a person and as a wedding photographer?

 Making people happy has always been a part of my life. I feel that I always try to put others before myself so its probably the most natural thing to be in the wedding industry.

What makes you confetti throw at the end of the day?

 Knowing that what I have created for people is exactly what they had envisioned. It wasn’t a preconceived notion of what they wanted their photos to look like. Theyy had envisioned photos that could be timeless just for them and didn’t have to be dated by a style, a look or an era. Knowing that you can showcase moments that will always have them look back and smile, that is worthy of a confetti throw.

thank you, Chaz, for not only taking the time to answer these and share your thoughts, but for being family.  Chaz was originally based in San Diego, but has transplanted to New York, so he’s bicoastal and pretty global too.  check out his work for yourself.  he’s so gaddamn good that a handful of my own friends have booked him too.  head on over to HIS SITE and HIS BLOG.

May
15
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN…

“this love. this couple. her handmade engagement ring made of wood from all the different places they’ve traveled together ranging from california to ireland to france. the way he looks at her. the way they fit together as if it was meant to be this way all along. it’s so right, so authentic.

we spent an afternoon in their eclectic detroit home, then hopped over to sean’s studio where they put some finishing touches on a bench they are restoring together, and then we got to belle isle just in time for a sunset that left us all feeling like something incredibly special had just went down…”

so stoked to introduce you to the work of

BAMphoto

the talent behind the lens is Britt Hueter and I’m thrilled to have the chance to follow her work especially after she sent me this engagement session.  truly appreciate how she captured this couple so brilliantly.

you simply must check out more of her work on HER BLOG.

May
15
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA…

my favorite engagement sessions are the types where it literally is just following the couple around doing their normal routine.  those sessions totally encapsulate truly how the couples are.  as genuine as it gets and that’s how wedding photography should be.

this talented photography team knows how to do just that and they do it spectacularly.  many thanks to

ENCARNACION PHOTOGRAPHY

for sending this one over to share.  seriously such a good one from them and love that they stopped at one of my favorite Oakland restaurants, Hopscotch.

head on over HERE for more of Encarnacion Photography’s work.  this team has a lot of heart and it always shows through their work.  i may be biased because they’re like family, so see for yourself on THEIR BLOG.