sydney + mike tie the knot

Well, there’s been another big gap between blog posts; seems to be always at the end of the list. But, this was worth waiting for. I loved these two from the minute we met. They’re fun AND sweet. What a great combo!

Mike and Sydney met in 2013 at a bar in Newport Beach through mutual friends, Jessica  and Josh. Neither of them wanted to go out that night, or particularly like partying in Newport! Luckily, they agreed to go. Mike says that Sydney made the first move, which included a conversation about Snapchat and adding each other on the app. They then messaged back and forth for a couple of weeks to follow. Mike eventually asked for Sydney’s number and they dated “long distance” for the first year, while Mike was attending Cal State San Marcos.

Mike proposed to Sydney at the Nadel’s annual 4th of July party in front of their families and friends; it was a magical night indeed! The rest is happy history.

See the end of the post for full vendor credits.

6M6A0712I love the creative, personalized gifts that brides can give to their ‘maids.

IMG_1555What would girls in pink play other than… Prosecco Pong!

IMG_1574They got ready at an Air BNB in Laguna Beach that had the perfectly colored bedroom for photos.

IMG_1540S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G. gown.

IMG_16076M6A0899Caught up with the guys, including both dads, at the bar at the venue.

6M6A1023Is Mike happy or what? Before the First Look.

6M6A1104First Look on the sand below the venue. Not a dry eye.

6M6A1157IMG_17316M6A1404Such a beautiful bouquet.

IMG_19406M6A1451Show off those shoes, girl! And her gown is stunning, isn’t it?

IMG_20046M6A1504I’ve shot at this location many, many times. (Did I say many?) I’m loving the burnt out sky and shadows.6M6A1589Cake with a view :-). Sydney’s rose gold details were gorg. Her dad painted each charger to be the perfect shade. What a guy!

IMG_2113Last few steps as a single lady.

IMG_2134IMG_2146I love it when couples laugh during their ceremony. Note Sydney’s dad in the background.6M6A1716IMG_2200IMG_2224Sealed with a kiss … and a few bubbles.IMG_22676M6A19386M6A21636M6A2314Please tell your photographer when you’re doing a dip to end the first dance. That way we can be sure to be on the correct side 🙂

IMG_2531Father/daughter and mother/son dances just seem to call out for black and white. It shows the story and emotion without distracting color.IMG_2532

Venue: Occasions at Laguna Village
Coordinator: Dayna Lewis, A Very Special Day
Gown: Mia Solano
Brides Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Ladies Hair: Heather Loebner
Ladies Makeup: Eric Blair
Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss
Florals: Fantasy Florals
Cake: Rockwell Bakery
DJ: AAV Entertainment

these two…

Another great evening photographing a couple whose wedding I’m shooting a little later this year. With the “May grey” weather we’ve been having along the coast, I was inspired to do a darker, moodier color treatment on their images. I couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out and word has it she cried when viewing them. Always a good sign 🙂

This was my “in and around Laguna” engagement session, which gives us lots of different backdrops and typically ends at the beach.

As brides-to-be often do, Hadhyja had her hair and make-up trial the day of our sesh.  And, let’s talk about her hair! Gorgeous, yes?

 

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caroline + chad’s sweet laguna beach wedding

I just love this couple — Caroline and Chad. They are the sweetest. Their wedding was small, with only one attendant on each side… but let me say, Ann, Caroline’s MOH and BFF rocked the socks off her “duties.” When you have multiple bridesmaids, they can divvy up the various things that need to be attended to…. such as: having the details ready for us when we arrive at the hotel (shoes, jewelry, garter, rings, vows, and the like), helping put the gown on, carrying incidentals the bride may need throughout the day, wrangling the family for posed formals, etc. etc.) Ladies, take note: the bride should not have to worry about a THING. She’s got enough on her mind, so you are making a very important contribution to her day.

And if you noticed Caroline has an amazing figure, she does! She works as a middle school PE teacher.

See full credits at the end of the post.

Gorgeous Badgley Mishka sparkly shoes look even more beautiful with an ocean background.IMG_4961

Some images call for black and white. To me, it can take you deeper into the “story.”

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I hadn’t seen the “Kiss the Miss” line before. Caroline’s BFFs  gave this to her pre-wedding. I think its adorable. As is her personalized bride wine glass.

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The aforementioned MOH, Ann 🙂 Caroline’s gown had button loops in addition to a zipper. Takes a little more time to fasten. Note to self: put crochet hook in camera bag.IMG_5071

First look. Very satisfying 🙂 They both got ready at Laguna Riviera. Caroline had plenty of space in the bungalow below the hotel.IMG_9019IMG_9038No, you’re not seeing double. Chad’s got a twin, Brent.IMG_9189Other than the sand, favorite spot near Occasions at Laguna Village. IMG_5211Same place, other direction. Like the perspective.IMG_5251

Brick looks so textural in black & white.IMG_5284Going down the stairs to the ceremony. Last shot as a single guy.

IMG_9246Same for Caroline. One last look before going down the stairs.IMG_9254Love this angle. And the joy radiating from the spectacular Caroline.IMG_9269With her Dad after walking down the aisle.IMG_5390IMG_9327

Best view in town. And the “something blue.”IMG_5413Love the lighthearted, spontaneous moments during the ceremony.IMG_5420IMG_5439IMG_5462The chandelier adds some bling to the ceremony space, and eliminates the need for fancy florals.
IMG_9359IMG_5493As Chad and Caroline said, their wedding was small, but everyone in attendance was very important to them.IMG_9399Just before the sun crossed the horizon, we got this shot by the ceremony space.IMG_5683But then, we went to the sand and captured a few more amazing images. Only possible with off camera flash, as the light was going. Fast.IMG_5697Shot o’the day, IMHO. Some fancy editing on this one to balance the colors and minimize shadows created by using flash. Very happy with the results!IMG_5705

 

mike + sydney rock their engagement sesh in laguna

My goodness! These two were so much fun to spend time with. Sydney had done something I always think is a good idea…she had her make-up trial the day of our shoot. They’re not getting married until Aug., but are going to use one of the pix as their save-the-date. No doubt in my mind that she will make a spectacular bride!

We shot at two of my favorite spots: downtown Laguna Beach, and on the sand at The Montage. I literally could NOT decide which images to pull for a preview. What a great “problem” to have, right? These are almost in reverse order from how we shot them.

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Headshots

December isn’t typically a big month for weddings — for me anyway. Unpredictable weather is one reason. But…  this year, headshots, venue interiors, and pre-mitzvah shoots were what kept me busy.

Whether corporate or for acting, I love shooting headshots! The secret is in the eyes. The connection with the camera makes viewers feel like they know you… or WANT to know you and do business with you. Here are just a few.IMG_4911

This man is the founder of a start-up tech company and wanted to look approachable yet professional. The sport coat, plus  “lean in” helps convey that. I usually take my backdrop to the client’s location and we can set it up anywhere. Being in their own environment also makes my client more comfortable.

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Going for a completely different feel here. This lovely lady is carrying on her family’s legacy of publishing a society “Blue Book.” She needed a sophisticated portrait in a luxe environment… in this case, her home.

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Love this girl. Just graduating from acting school in NYC, she needs headshots for auditions and showcases. She has such a lively personality; people that she meets need to remember that and this photo conveys it.

This accomplished former City Attorney needed a headshot to join others on the wall at City Hall. Note: She’s the only woman. While many woman prefer the overly retouched look, Robin wanted to look like herself today. How refreshing. You go girl!

robin zur schmiede edituntitled-6112Adding this one from the archives. An unexpected crop is fun — especially if you’re in a creative business. And I’m also a huge fan of B&W.

an orange county engagement session

Engagement sessions are the best! It’s such a great way for the couple to get comfortable under the scrutiny of a camera lens, and experience actually working with the photographer they’ve chosen to be with them on their wedding day.

This adorable couple, Caroline and Chad, are getting married in Feb. at Occasions at Laguna Village, a wonderful venue overlooking the blue Pacific. We did their engagement session over two days at two locations: an open space preserve in San Juan Capistrano, and the beach below The Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach.

I always tell clients that “magic” doesn’t typically happen in the first images shot. It takes a bit for them to get “in the groove”, trust me, and relax. And, as you know, I’m directing the poses to look anything but directed. The interaction between the couple is what turns ho hum into WOW. Enjoy!

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Sometimes I see a color image and know there will be more “story value” in black and white. This is one of them.

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I did a different color treatment on this one. I like it a lot.

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Okay, so it may have felt a little awkward, but Caroline and Chad trusted me to create this romantic shot.

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Again, they trusted me, and I’m thrilled with the genuine emotion that resulted.

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Typically, heads leaning in toward each other create more visual connection between the couple.

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Nothing like a real laugh between a couple. Gotta get it…fast.

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First Wedding EVER at La Ventura Event Center, San Clemente

So tardy in blogging this fantastic wedding day with Alec and Julian. I had a chance to shoot at two venues I’ve not been to before, which is always fun! The ceremony was held at a beautiful park in the gated community of Cypress Shores in San Clemente. Complete with palm trees, pond, and access to the beach! Who could ask for more? And the reception, the first ever, at the brand new La Ventura Event Center. Can hardly wait to go back. Be sure to see all credits at the end, and a special shout out to Mikii of Neon Carrot Events who made the day run smooth as silk.

Alec and her spectacularly beautiful bridesmaids got ready at her parent’s home in Cypress Shores. IMG_2378

She left it to the ladies to choose their own gown in a “muted shade of blue/grey”. It worked out perfectly! (And believe me, I’ve seen instances where that wasn’t the case.)

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Alec’s gown was Sottero Midgley. And I love her “something blue” shoes.

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I made her do it 🙂

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Sentimental touches on a wedding day are so sweet. This little red heart sewn into the lining  of Alec’s  gown was from a coat ofAlec’s grandmother. Keeping her in her heart.

Unbeknownst to groom Julian, Alec had kept every ticket, program, and other ephemera from each and every thing they’d done together. She had them delivered in a zippered pouch with a note to him at La Ventura, where he was getting ready.IMG_2316

Meanwhile, boys will be boys. They were at LaVentura in the beautiful bridal suite.DSC_2540DSC_2586Let’s talk about squad goals! Alec and the ladies at Cypress Shores, pre-ceremony.IMG_2449Alec doesn’t think she’s photogenic. I beg to differ. She’s a rock star!IMG_2473Watching for Alec to come down the aisle. Such an emotional moment for the groom.IMG_2601But first… their adorable baby boy is wheeled down the aisle by Alec’s junior bridesmaid and greeted by her daddy.IMG_2579Alec’s dad “giving her away.”DSC_3292-2Sweet ceremony moments. BTW, Alec is Catholic and Julian Jewish. So they met in the middle with the officiant being the father of one of Julian’s childhood friends.IMG_2767DSC_3470-2

DSC_3533-2Julian getting ready to stomp on the glass. There are so many reasons this is traditionally done in Jewish weddings … all beautiful and joyous.

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Mazel tov!

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Yeah! You may kiss the bride.

A private moment following the ceremony. This shot taken from afar.DSC_3597

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It seemed like a good idea!

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You kidding me? Alec is spectacular!

Between the park and beach is a tunnel. Hard to resist calling it “The Tunnel of Love.” These are among my faves of the day.

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Then to the sand. IMG_3198Short drive to LaVentura Event Center to christen it with their very first wedding reception. Gorgeous architecture as well as tile and wood elements to make it a beautiful backdrop for any weddings. Catering by the uber-delicious Iva Lee’s.

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The ladies doing some last minute touch-ups in the bridal suite.

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Such a cute display of escort cards. I love anything with clothespins 🙂

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Sweet and simple. Not fans of cake, the couple had only a topper to cut, and cupcakes for their guests. By Plumeria Cake Studio. I can tell you, the cupcakes were delish 🙂

Had a chance to do a few shots at LaVentura before the grand entrance. Like I said… so many beautiful details at the property.

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How cute is he???

Okay, so the first dance started traditionally. But then… Julian busted out some moves that left me with my jaw on the floor. It was truly incredible.IMG_3513IMG_3526DSC_3393What a great day!!!
Credits:

Photography: Click Chicks Photography
Second shooter: Carrie Zeller
Planner: Neon Carrot Events
Florals: The Tangled Vine
Ceremony Venue: Cypress Shores Park
Rentals: Signature Party Rentals and Sundrop Vintage
Reception Venue: LaVentura Event Center
Catering and Venue Manaement: Iva Lee’s
Sweets: Plumeria Cake Studio
MUA: Flawness Faces
Bridal Gown: Sottero and Midgley