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 ūüôā

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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Joyce + Mike’s First Look at The Center Club, Costa Mesa

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This couple’s love story culminated at their beautiful Center Club wedding. The property has so many fantastic spots for shooting. We staged their first look using these two ah-mazing chairs. They’re like beautifully padded cocoons, so once we got Mike in place with his eyes closed, Joyce tiptoed to¬†the second chair. Little by little they scooted forward until they saw each other. Sigh. This is just one snippet from the day. More to come!

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ringing in 2016 at the ranch at laguna beach

My first wedding of the year was at the glorious “The Ranch at Laguna Beach.” You’ve heard the saying¬†everything old is new again?¬†Well, The Ranch is a historic property (formerly Ben Brown’s and Aliso Creek Inn) nestled in a spectacular¬†wooded canyon just down from The Montage. Anyone who’s seen it knows it’s a very special place. With new owners for the first time in decades, they’re in the final phases of a remodel that is sure to make it one of California’s premiere hotel/golf course/spa properties and, of course,¬†wedding venue. The brand-new Sage Ballroom is slated to open in just a few months.

What better¬†way to kick off the New Year by photographing Lauren and Chris’ wedding? Can’t imagine anything better. What a day. What a team. What a couple! Complete credits at the end.

P.S., Yes I know this is a long blog entry. But… what can I say? I’m in love with these photos!

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Lauren’s adorable — and VERY happy — daughter.6M6A0091
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Our groom, Chris6M6A0329

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The team ::

Photographer: Click Chicks Photography
Co-Photographer: Maryanne McGuire
Venue: The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Venue Coordinator: Lindsey Kenworthy
Event design/Planning/Florals: Studio AD Events
Gown: Maggie Sottero
Bridal Makeup: Tamara Taylor Artistry
Bridal Hair: Summer Reed
Bridesmaids’ Gowns: Donna Morgan “Laura”

monique + steven get married at occasions at laguna village

I’ll admit … I went a little crazy with this post. I just couldn’t narrow the field¬†to fewer than these 25 images. What can I say? Monique was a stunning bride. I loved the piece she added to her gown around her shoulders, to make it extra special, rather than “just another beautiful strapless gown.” I think it absolutely made the dress.

And, as you know, I love shooting at Occasions at Laguna Village. The setting just can’t get any better. Their wedding was in the middle of¬†a sunny day, so lighting was tricky, but we made it work. There’s no other option, right!

Kudos, as always to Dayna and her daughter, who coordinate Occasions weddings flawlessly; Annie of La Tulipe Florals who always wows; and Rev. Michael Ahern, who performed a heartfelt and touching ceremony.

Starting the processional. The moment when reality hits and the groom and guests see her for the first time.

Starting the processional. The moment when reality hits and the groom and guests see her for the first time.

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A gorgeous puffy cloud day.

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I think they’re married!

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Brown’s Park, the little walkway just north of the property.

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Even a parking lot can provide an interesting backdrop!

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Just a white wall in the corner of the property. Gorgeous!!!

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First dance.

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Groom and Mom is always a shot that has so much emotion.

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Giving myself props for capturing the bouquet before it was caught ūüôā

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Priceless view from Occasions.

LOVE this.

I love this shot AND the little pocket park where this metal fence resides. Isn’t it beautiful?

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One of those serendipitous moments that turns into a beautiful capture.

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another engagement session in and around laguna

I’m shooting Monique and Steven’s wedding in three weeks, but did their¬†engagement session just last Sunday with one of my favorite concepts: “In & Around Laguna.” Strolling around, we stop where I see an opportunity for photography that expresses who they are as a couple. For example, the locations I chose¬†have some harmony with the clothing my subjects are¬†wearing. Some couples opt for shorts, sandals and t-shirts. That leads to a entirely different session than Monique and Steven, for example.

There are just so many nooks, crannies, and special spots that only locals know. And, after living in LB for so long, I’d like to think I’ve discovered them all!

Monique looked like a gorgeous porcelain doll, and her Chinese red and gold dress was stunning. Really looking forward to the wedding!

Looks like we traveled to Asia or Morocco, doesn't it?

Looks like we traveled to Asia or Morocco, doesn’t it?

Looks like we traveled to Asia, or Morocco, doesn't it?

 

Loving this luscious cocoa-colored treatment.

Loving this luscious cocoa-colored treatment. Much cooler than your typical sepia. More like a black and white… but brown.

Yeah!

Oh, yeah!

Tips on makeup and hair styling for your wedding day

You’re only going to be a bride once (at least we hope that’s the case) so you want to look picture perfect. Not just for your husband-to-be, ¬†but for the photos you’ll have for the rest of your life. Although some things will surely¬†look dated after a few decades pass, you don’t want to do a trendy look that will scream out “2014”. Think timeless.

Here’s some advice I can offer after years of photographing weddings.

1. Do a makeup trial. And if you don’t like the first one, do a second…or even third. You want to still look like YOU. Well, maybe a more made-up version of you, but if you’re a “less is more” kind of girl, you don’t want to end up with thick black eyeliner and red lipstick.

This is a look I LOVE. Natural eye, and a little more emphasis on the cheek and lip. Great for photography.

This is a look I LOVE. Natural eye, and a little more emphasis on the cheek and lip. Great for photography. And let’s talk about the pearl and rose gold hair ornament.

2. Bring photos of makeup and hair that are examples of what you’d like to look like on the big day. A picture says a thousand… Of course, your particular hair length, texture and thickness will mean you can or can’t do certain things, but you can still convey the vibe. Classic, sophisticated, hippie, boho, fresh, etc. And please don’t decide to change your hair color the week before the wedding!

3.¬†Speak up if you aren’t happy during your trial. That’s why you’re doing it. It’s possible that he/she won’t get it completely right, so this is the time to let the artist make changes.

4.¬†The personality of the makeup and/or hair stylist is also extremely important. You want someone calm, positive and happy. And, PLEASE make sure they can stick to a schedule. In my experience, if hair and makeup run behind, your whole day is messed up! It all starts with them. A call to a previous or client or two should help you learn that important bit of intell.¬†I’ve had brides keep 150 guests sitting in an un-airconditioned church for an hour because the hair and makeup folks had NO sense of urgency.

5.¬†Make sure your stylists bring enough staff for you, your relatives and your bridal party if you’re all getting “did.” Very important.

6. Let the makeup artist apply false eyelashes. They don’t have to be long and super thick, but your eyes will look much better in photos. And, again, the trial will help you get used to the feeling.¬†Having them put on for the first time on your wedding day isn’t such a good idea. And, your¬†makeup should be set with a loose translucent powder. Not only will it set your makeup and help it last longer, it gives a smoother, more flawless finish.

Simply beautiful. And beautifully simple.

Simply beautiful. And beautifully simple.

7.¬†Same goes for hair extensions. While you may not need that extra volume every day, they’ll add that extra “oomph.” AND, extensions hold the curl. So while your own hair is wilting from the humidity, the extensions will look freshly curled. Trust me on that.

8. The fancier your gown, the fewer accessories you need. You want to look “done”, but not over done. Curate your look and think about every detail you’re tempted to add. Do you really need earrings, a necklace,¬†bracelet,¬†hair ornament, jeweled sash, etc.

Jen rocks a pretty distinctive style in her personal life, so the red lip was perfection. But do  note lack of accessories. Anything else would've been too much.

Jen rocks a pretty distinctive style in her personal life, so the red lip was perfection. But do note lack of accessories. Anything else would’ve been too much.

9.¬†Don’t let your makeup artist apply too much shimmer on your face or body.¬†It can actually bring out imperfections and make you look sweaty or shiny in your pictures. No bueno.

10. Don’t do a crazy manicure for the big day, e.g. nails the color of your bridesmaids’ robin egg blue dresses. It will surely look outdated in no time. Don’t forget you’ll likely have close-ups of your hands to show off your ring and/or bouquet, so a¬†simple French manicure or a neutral pastel is much better.

I'm trusting you know which one is which :-)

I’m trusting you know which one is which ūüôā

Truly, if you keep these¬†simple guidelines in mind, you’ll have a flawless look that will look beautiful in person and in your photographs.

 

The gorgeousity that is Jen

I had to invent a new word for Jen. Gorgeousity with a capital G. This late summer wedding was at one of my favorite Laguna Beach venues … Occasions at Laguna Village. Thank you, Dayna for making it such a pleasure to work at the property.¬†The site is just unparalleled for ocean proximity and it’s ‘goes forever’ coastline view.¬†Jen got ready at the nearby Pacific Edge Hotel, which I also love.

So… you’ll see why I enjoyed shooting this wedding so much!!! Rich and Jen are so much fun. And the groomsmen were a kick! The couple met in L.A. where she lived and had a long distance relationship for two years as Rich lived in New York. She’s now happily relocated there as they start their new life together. And… she’s a block from my favorite NY deli — Katz’s!!!

Congratulations to Jen and Rich!!!

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The shot with the shoes, purse and garter was actually the headboard of the bed! Perfect little cubbies to make this super cute!

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LOVE the color of the chair at the hotel.

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Seashells, pink, pearls and lovebirds. That pretty much says says it all!!!

Erin + Pete get married at Three Arch Bay

A bluebird day in Laguna Beach manifested for Erin and Pete’s end-of-summer wedding. They now live in the Bay Area but grew up in the OC, so a beach wedding was perfect for them. Lots of cute beachy details, including baskets of flip-flops organized by size for trek down to the sand. It can get slippery on the steep path … believe me! I slipped on the sand and fell during one of our meetings ūüôā Loved the bicycle announcing the event at the entrance to the Three Arch Bay Clubhouse. Also, the place card treatment, with miniature beach chairs holding the names/table assignments in shallow boxes of sand. Ukelele music for the processional and recessional. Of course, the food was divine. What else would it be with 24 Carrots catering?

Have a look!

I do love succulents mixed with the flowers in bouquets.

The sign was a gift from one of Erin’s friends. You’ll see what’s on the reverse side in another photo. LOVE these personal touches.

A different angle. I really like it!

Why, I believe they’re married!!! Just after “I do”.

Here’s the sign…

What a handsome group of guys! Did I mention the groom’s name is “Pete Rose”… no NOT that one!

What a gorgeous couple!

Might’ve been the ‘danciest’ first dance ever! You guys rocked it!

And, finally, the ‘dream team’ that put it all together: Katie, Ashely and Carie from Once Upon a Wedding, and Lynn from 24 Carrots.

A love that’s already stood the test of time.

I found out during Christine’s father’s toast that his adorable couple has been together since 8th grade! Mr. Reedy read a letter that Ryan wrote to her when they were in middle school, professing his love . Ahhhhhhh.

Christine and Ryan got married at beautiful Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach. The wedding and reception were on the clubhouse lawn, but we had an opportunity to dash down to the sand with the bridal party. Christine had told me she wasn’t a ‘fussy’ bride. But what she WAS was a spectacular one. A simple dress that suited her perfectly, accented by a beautiful cameo brooch that belonged to her grandmother. And when the weather started cooling, she donned a vintage sweater, also belonging to her grandmother.

Christine got ready at the home of a family friend. These shelves in the bedroom lent themselves perfectly to a shoe/bouquet still life. And let’s talk about how cute those shoes are!

And here’s the vintage brooch that Christine put on her gown’s sash. The shell was carried by the ring bearer at the ceremony.

Our beautiful bride.

With bridesmaids before going to the ceremony location.

Of course, the perfect mode of transportation was a golf cart.

Cute beachy details. I’m a big fan of tables other than rounds. Everything looked great.

They look married to me!!!

Divine.

Christine told me this is one of her favorites shots o’ the day.

A different approach to color. I brought out the blue.

I do love monogrammed cakes. Iva Lee’s did the catering, and the food was delish. Can’t pass up a lemon square.

Good job Ryan! The man in the background with the video camera is the esteemed IMAX filmmaker, environmentalist, and fellow Lagunan Greg MacGillivray. How cool to have a wedding video created by him!

Time for cake! Red velvet, I see.