Nazi and Mark will be getting married later this year at Hummingbird Nest Ranch. Naturally, we wanted to choose a location for their Engagement Session that felt consistent with the Tuscan inspired details of their venue. From the textured walls to the gorgeous light, Mission San Juan Capistrano felt like the perfect fit for this elegant pair.
For Jon and Janae’s San Diego Engagement Session, I wanted to do something that felt quintessentially California. The two met in San Diego and now live near the beach in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The beach is a really big part of their lifestyle and I wanted to capture that for them. To me, nothing says California like driving with the wind in your hair along the beach…and Janae has perfect hair for that. The red Vespa we used was the ultimate blend of youthful fun and California vibrance while the shots we got on the sand at the beach were the sheer embodiment of California’s incomparable golden hour. We finished the session with some cozy shots on a boho blanket to create a story of relaxed romance.
Photography by Taylor Kinzie Photography
Janae’s Make Up by Doubletake Make Up Artistry
Janae’s Hair by Jacquelyn Healy
Janae’s Vespa outfit by 12th Tribe
Janae’s Beach dress by LuLus.com
Vespa rental from Moto Forza
What does it look like when a simple coffee date turns into a lifetime together? Taylor and Riley's love story is proof that you never know when your life will change forever. The two discovered each other through an online dating app and, after connecting over their mutual love of running, they met for a casual mid day coffee date. Sparks flew over a hot cup of caffeine and the rest is history.
Taylor and Riley's wedding day began on a cloudy St. Patrick's Day morning. I arrived at the Hyatt Regency in Valencia, CA to be greeted by a thick cloud of laughter floating in the air...with the scent of a lot of hairspray somewhere in there, too. I've always felt like the sound of bridesmaids getting ready is one of joy and excitement and this crew was no exception. All the girls wore vibrant coral dresses, each with individually unique styles, that seemed to correlate with the brightness of Taylor's warm spirit. Taylor chose a classic lace gown by Elizabeth Fillmore that seemed like it was made just for her. The elegant simplicity of her dress was beautifully enhanced by a delicate overlay that draped with feminine grace across her right arm. Riley dawned a dapper navy tuxedo while his groomsmen were in grey.
One of my favorite parts of the day was Taylor and Riley's first look. When Riley turned around he sort of gasped and whispered, "You look beautiful." The pair proceeded to giggle through out the series of intermittent kisses that followed. When these two are together you can almost see their auras glowing and joining together. It makes you feel good just to be around them. Love does that sometimes.
The ceremony took place at the The Oaks Club at Valencia in Valencia, CA under a blanket of fluffy rain clouds. The sky looked ominous most of the day but the clouds parted to reveal the bright sun just as the two recited their vows. Their ceremony was the kind that makes you cry and then makes you laugh. I don't know that I've ever seen a more overjoyed couple during their recessional walk.
The new Mr. and Mrs. began their reception with their first dance to an acoustic cover by Paul Canning of Queen's "You're My Best Friend." The moment was sweet and gentle and pure...much like their love story.
When Shannon and Michael started planning for their wedding, Shannon's vision was to merge rustic with romantic. She imagined a lush landscape surrounded by trees and greenery along with the whimsical feel of twinkling lights and vintage accents. When they discovered this backyard space in Santa Rosa, CA they knew they could make their dream wedding a reality.
The couple worked together along with their friends and family to create Shannon's vision for the decor. They blanketed the backyard in antique chandeliers and dish ware, distressed furniture and signs, and twinkling market lights. Michael made a beautiful tree swing for the backyard, at Shannon's request, along with the gorgeous arbor for the ceremony. They also included a chic sitting area with antique couches and chairs for guests to enjoy.
The color scheme of the wedding was mauve, blushes, blues and greys. Shannon incorporated these soft tones in her bouquet, her bridesmaids dresses, and the drapery on the ceremony arbor. She brought calm lavender touches to the wedding with a lavender toss at the ceremony, garnishes for the drinks, napkin accents, and wedding favors.
I think my favorite part of the wedding day was seeing Michael's face during the couple's first look. I have never seen a man smile so big and with such awe. Every girl deserves to be seen the way Michael looks at Shannon. Michael would move mountains for Shannon and it's that kind of love that makes me treasure what I do so much.
Venue: Private residence in Santa Rosa, CA | Bride's Gown: David's Bridal | Bride's hair by: Kimmie Ciccone | Bridesmaids hair by: Nicole Rogers and Kimmie Ciccone | Videography: Nick Patterson | Cake by: Kimmie Ciccone | Dessert bar: Gimme a Dozen | Band: The Snareheads | Bride's Make Up by: Herself | Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Men's Warehouse and J. David's | Rentals and Catering: DJ's California Catering | Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu | Florals by: Melanie Gibson and Leah Paul
Often times, some of the images I'm the most proud of after a wedding day are those that are completely candid moments. A beautiful moment is rare and happens in a split second. This is why capturing a natural interaction on a wedding day is truly an art form.
An awesome image should tell a story. It should conjure an emotion from deep in the viewer's heart and leave your audience feeling like they were there in person. Here are some of my favorite natural moments from previous wedding days and tips on how to capture them.
San Francisco has been my favorite city since I can remember. From the bright pink old buildings to the intoxicatingly salty scent of the bay, my heart fell in love with this place in all its golden gated glory.
For Ashlee and Henry's Engagement Session, I basically got to go to all my favorite places in the city and bask in the magical Northern California light. We weren't initially planning on it, but when I saw Ashlee and Henry's gorgeously lit apartment I knew we HAD to shoot some lifestyle stuff there. I love how intimate and sentimental those shots feel. I imagine they'll look back at the images and smile at the memory of when they shared their first apartment together.
Our next three locations were at Presidio Park, Baker Beach, and the Sutro Baths. I swear, the light is different in San Francisco. Everything looks like a painting right before the sun sets!
Ashlee and I have been friends since junior high school so it was a really special day getting to capture the love she shares with her amazing fiancé Henry. Not only does he ADORE my friend, but he's also an absolute gentleman. I couldn't have asked for a better person for her.
I'm so sad that I don't get to shoot Boudoir Sessions more because they're honestly one of my favorite things to shoot. I almost feel like shooting Boudoir is kind of theatrical...the subject is playing the part of someone she doesn't get to be everyday.
I wanted this shoot to be clean and simply sexy. By "simply sexy" I mean sexy in a way that isn't obvious...the kind of sexy that has a little bit of depth. My model Taylor's beautiful spirit absolutely popped out of her soulful brown eyes. I feel like her eyes tell the story... playful, desirous, and a little mysterious.
Model: Taylor Saxelby
Make Up: Madelin Adena
I've always felt like New York City has an energy unlike any other place I've been. The fast pace of the people passing by amidst the ubiquitous city soundtrack can make you feel electric.
When I arrived to the posh Tribeca Rooftop for Brenna and Ben's wedding day the first thing I saw was Brenna having her make up done by Stacie Ford Weddings like a Victoria's Secret Fashion model getting ready for her runway debut. Brenna and most of her bridesmaids played basketball together, so the room was filled with beautiful amazonian women in pink, silk robes. It was overwhelming to look out the window from the getting ready room to see the blanket of rooftops along the city skyline... Brenna's Kelly Faitanini wedding gown draped elegantly upon the grand window pane. This is what wedding dreams are made of.
The florals by McNino Design Floral & Events added an element of soft, femininity amidst the masculine urban landscape. The reception hall was bathed in statuesque, vibrant arrangements that gave the room an added splash of elegance and sophistication. Perhaps my favorite detail was Brenna's bridal bouquet, dripping with clean, white orchids.
For Wedding Party and Romantics, I wanted to capture the character of the city. I love how authentic the shots of the bridal party feel posing with the construction workers we passed on the street. The cobblestone streets added an extra element of romance to the bride and groom romantics that I absolutely fell in love with.
Throughout the day, we were all worried it was going to rain. During the ceremony, the sky was filled with ominous dark clouds and sprinkles started to fall just as the couple shared their first kiss. Once everyone made it inside the reception room, the sky opened and it started to pour, adding an element of intimacy as the guests mingled with each other and sipped on their chic cocktails. I love when the weather seems to know it needs to wait for something special. Love is pretty magical.
The night ended with boisterous dancing and hilarious speeches. You could feel the love in the room as two families became one. Watching Brenna and Ben together (two of the most genuine, warm, and fun people I've had the pleasure of meeting) was truly a reminder to me that there really is one perfect match for all of us. Congratulations to Brenna and Ben on your beautiful wedding day!
Venue: Tribeca Rooftop | Make Up: Stacie Ford Weddings | Hair: Styles On B | Florals: McNino Design Floral & Events | Catering: Apogee Events | Cake: Audrey's Fine Baked Goods | Bride's Gown: Kelly Faitanini | Bride's Shoes: Pelle Moda| Ring Designer: Leo Ingwer | Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Imparali NYC | Musical Entertainment: Hank Lane Music & Dane Wright Band | Second Photographer: Sarah Zimmer | Candy Buffet: Treat me Sweet
Whenever I second guess my belief in love at first sight, I meet couples like Amy and Brian who prove that it exists. The two crossed paths over six years ago and connected immediately. Amy called her mother the very next day and told her she had met the man she was going to marry. "I didn't know what it was," Amy recalls. "I just knew he was going to be part of my life in a big way."
I think one of the qualities I love most about Amy and Brian is the way they love the people that mean the most to them. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they are loved by those they are closest to. It was so abundantly clear throughout the day just how much they are adored by their friends and family...and I have no doubt this kind of loyalty is a direct result of the generosity with which they give their whole heart.
When asked what they wanted the "theme" of their wedding day to be, rather than describing a "rustic chic" wedding or "romantic glamour" wedding, Amy and Brian simply replied that they wanted the theme to be tangible love. They just wanted to be surrounded by love.
One of my favorite relationships to capture through out the day was that of the Bride and her sister, Sara. There were so many tender and sweet exchanges between them that reminded me that weddings aren't just about the couple, but also about family. One of my favorite parts of the day was Sara's speech to her sister and Brian during the reception. She captured them, and love in general, perfectly:
"When I think of Las Vegas, a few things come to mind but most of all is luck; It got me thinking about the relationship between love and luck. So often, when we talk about our loved ones, we say “I feel so lucky to have Brian - or So lucky to have Amy - whomever. And Im not really into that. Luck is flighty. Luck is a fluke. A chance, short-lived, a gamble. Luck is a flash in the pan. Is not measured and lacking in substance. Luck is the tasteless top layer that tries to distract you from a bountiful fortune. Fortune should be what we seek.
From this day forward, I am SURE when you speak of your spouse you are conscious about your language. That you choose to invest in each other by investing in how you talk about one another, 'I feel FORTUNATE to have my husband...to have my wife.' Because this love has seen and will see deep fortune. Fortune stands the test of time. Fortune is worked for, pined over, built upon and manifested. Fortune gives a damn, is deeply rooted, and if sought, reciprocates a wealth that shows longevity and legacy. Fortune doesn't fade.
Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. Tune into the words that surround your love. Tune into the decisions and greatness that lies ahead. You are so fortunate to have one another. I know you worked for this perfect love. You deserve this.
Amy, you deserve the goofy smile Brian puts upon your face. You deserve the couch snuggles and hair twirling. You deserve the Bieber loving, Chris Brown dancing partner in crime. He brings your sun to the surface. Brian you deserve this strong woman by your side. You deserve this ride or die, Hold you down chick. Someone who knows to put ice cubes in your milk and toss the egg yolks to the side. She keeps your feet stuck to the ground."
Fortune should be what we seek. And, Amy and Brian are so fortunate in love.
Venue: Casa Cody Country Inn |Make Up & Hair: Brianna Viera | Bridal Gown: Sarah Seven | Bridesmaids Gowns: Asos, Lulu's, Adriana Papel | Groom's Suit: Groom's Grotto | Groomsmen's Suits: Groom's Grotto | Florals & Invitations: Celebrate Florals | Catering: Fresh Start Catering | Second Photographer: Mike Villa | DJ Services: DJ Essence | Coordination: Taylor at Love & Laughter Events | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals
There's nothing more romantic than a beach breeze. For Elisa and Drew's Engagement Session, we headed out to Windansea Beach in La Jolla, CA. Southern California was experiencing pretty crazy rain storms on the days leading up to the shoot but the clouds seemed to part just for them when their session day finally arrived. Not only was the sky completely clear, but everything seemed happy and green from the rain. I felt like I was shooting in Maui or some other exotic location. Thinking back on their shoot, I can't help but love how much these two trusted my vision. Sometimes, as the photographer, it's hard to put into words exactly what you're aiming for. When I asked them to play in the ocean in their clothes, they smiled and jumped in with no hesitation. I just love how romantic those shots are! Connected, playful, and spontaneous...that's what love is all about.
I actually met Danielle and Anthony for the first time in person when they were guests at another wedding I was shooting. I knew the second I saw them together on the dance floor that night that they were going to be amazing to shoot with. Their chemistry is not only undeniable, but comfortable as well. Gentle and trusting body language is always something I strive for when posing my couples. For my Engagement Session with Danielle and Anthony, we ventured out to the gorgeous Santa Ynez, CA. We started the session at Bridlewood Winery. My absolute favorite part of the grounds was the stunning front driveway covered by rows of tress. There was something that felt very old world about the grounds there and I just love the character in the architecture. Also, wine.
We finished the session near Santa Barbara at one of my favorite locations to date. Watching Danielle walk along the edge of that wall in her heels nearly gave me a heart attack, but definitely made for some truly epic shots. Not a bad view huh? I just love that I get to finish everyday on the job with a gorgeous sunset.
Sometimes it's important to create for yourself. For this styled bridal portrait session, we made our way to the magical Cayucos shoreline near San Luis Obispo for some stunning images along the coast. I wanted the images to feel kind of moody...perhaps a bit lonely. A solitary angel waiting for her lost lover. I played with shadows and full sun a bit as well, hoping to add to the mood of the images. I love the way her eyes pierce through in the sunlight. Special thanks to the amazing team I collaborated with to make this shoot happen:
Johnny and Kassandra have a love story that is years in the making. They met long before they actually started dating and instantly struck up a close bond as friends. The timing at that point in their lives just wasn't right for a romance and it wouldn't be until years later that Johnny would reach out to Kassandra again. Sometimes, even with years apart, a person makes a mark on your heart that you just can't forget. Kassandra and Johnny chose to do their Engagement Session at a special beach in Carpinteria near Johnny's grandmother's house. A place he visited often as a kid and holds very dear to his heart. We wandered across the sandy beach in the hazy California winter and Johnny and Kassandra were nothing but smiles. The thing I love most about them is how playful they are together. It's obvious that these two have so much fun together, further proving my opinion that friendships make the best love affairs.
These two will be tying the knot in June of 2017 in a destination Cabo wedding. I cannot wait to be part of the festivities!
Rachael and Stephen are one of the funniest couples I've had the pleasure of working with. There were times during our shoot that I was laughing so hard I had to stop to regain my composure. They're the kind of couple you just want to hang out and have a beer with and their ability to be real in front of each other is so inspiring to watch. I love their love and can't wait for their wedding in January!
Kristen and Rigo are one of those couples I feel so lucky I get to work with! They are both total sweethearts and trusted me completely to capture the love they share. I can't wait for their wedding next year!
Julie and Kyle both love adventure and the outdoors and will be getting married in Yosemite this October. It seemed like the most obvious choice to shoot their Engagement Session in the gorgeous mountains near Mammoth, California. We planned for everything from wardrobe to various locations. When we saw rain in the forecast, we decided to plan to shoot as scheduled and hope for the best. When I met them at our first planned location at Convict Lake, it was literally pouring rain. I pulled up to their car, rolled down my window, and said, "Well, it's raining." The look on their faces was full of worry and disappointment. I knew I had to come up with a plan, fast.
Luckily, I had come from an area where it hadn't been raining so we decided to drive in that direction and chase the light. You can see that our first stop was still a bit drizzly. If you look closely you can see the raindrops falling on Julie and Kyle. They were so great and just went with the flow, laughing it off and continuing to smile.
As we continued to our next location, I could see the clouds start to part and the sun started shining. Off in the distance, I saw an open field with a beam of radiant light shining down on it. I have driven by this area probably 100's of times (I've been to Mammoth a lot in my lifetime) and I've never thought to explore there. So, in photographer's fashion, I pulled off onto a random road and started driving towards that light. What we discovered was so much better than any location we could have planned for. Roadways with epic trees arching over them, fields of irises, a rope swing...a rope swing for crying out loud! When I met with the couple at our consultation, Julie had mentioned to me that she and Kyle had been working on their "frolicing" skills in preparation for their Engagement Session. I'm so glad we found the perfect grassy field for you two to frolic in.
This experience was such a reflection of life for me. Sometimes you can plan for things, but, ultimately, you just have to let go and let the Universe deliver gifts that are so much better than you could have ever imagined.
Courtney and Mike are originally from Oregon and seemed to bring the green with them for our Engagement Session last week in Valencia, CA. There's something about the Spring that makes you want to fall in love so the lush green landscape our location offered made for the perfect backdrop against this gorgeous couple. I loved the way the light fell against Courtney's feminine and flowy, sheer white dress. The two have been together since high school! One of my favorite moments from our shoot was when I was posing them and Mike laughed and declared, "This is just like Prom!" From Proms to Weddings, Courtney and Mike have come a long way together.
Congratulations you two! I had so much fun frolicking through the fields and drinking champagne with you! I know your wedding will be a celebration to remember!
Jen and Ryan married at Olowalu Plantation House in Maui on April 8th, 2015. From the stunning ocean view to the lush landscaping, everything about this venue is a beautiful reflection of the magical feeling of "island life." The two were married in an intimate ceremony amidst close friends and family where they proclaimed their life long commitment to one another amidst the ocean breezes and soft, Hawaiian sun. It was truly such an honor to be asked to capture their special day! You can see more travel images and stories from my stay in Maui here.
Coordinated by Cherise Shulman of The Perfect Wedding