May 27, 2008

Steffanie and Ruben at Calafia Park

San Clemente, California

After having such a great time doing their engagement session, we couldn't wait to shoot their wedding at Calafia Park. Steffanie and Ruben are easy-going people so we knew it would a fun one. Although the rehearsal was rained out the day before, the skies cleared up and the sun came out for their wedding. It seems to always work out somehow.

Steffanie and her dad had a surprise dance for everyone so be sure to scroll down to the bottom to see it.

Steffanie's "Ruby" had given her the necklace as a present.

Calafia Park has an amazing backdrop with an ocean view.

I love to focus on the bride and groom's faces as they see each other for the first time.

The ring-bearer and flower girl were so adorable!

They are too cute around each other.

The reception site at the golf course.

This was the surprise father and bride dance. They started off dancing normally and then busted out a choreographed hip hop routine. I've seen the bride and groom do this, but this is a first for the bride and father! The dad pulled it off well I might add.

Another great idea was the colored hats that was passed out.

These women were going to slug it out for the bouquet.

The girls caught it at the same time but eventually one let go and gave it to the other.

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May 20, 2008

Sarah and Noah's Wedding in Pasadena

We had a great time shooting Sarah and Noah's engagement session so we knew the wedding was going to be awesome. They had a couple of requests that I was thrilled about: The first was that they wanted mostly photojournalism style shots, which I always look forward to doing. The second was that, because Sarah's parents had been married at the same church, she wanted some shots that looked just like the ones that her parents had taken. She sent me some scans so I can try to match them. This took some preparation but I am so glad that I was able to pull it off because it was important to her. These are some of the shots...

Sarah had such an adorable expression here.

Noah's sisters were celebrating with Sarah the fact that they were soon going to be sisters.

This is one of the shots that Sarah wanted me to replicate. Look below to see my version.

I think it's pretty close.

They had one of the shortest ceremonies I've ever witnessed. This is because they just wanted so badly to be married so they could start enjoying their marriage. That is, after all, what it's all about.

I loved how they had their guests greet them as they came out of the church straight onto a red carpet and into a Rolls Royce. It's so old-fashioned it's beautiful.

Again, a shot of Sarah's parents.

And here's Sarah and Noah. This was such a cute idea!

Another cool thing about the wedding was that they had family and friends perform jazz music throughout the night. They are some talented people!

And finally, Noah sang a beautiful song to his wife, and you can just see how much she loved it.

Sarah and Noah, thank you so much for having us capture your unique and lovely wedding. You are surrounded by great family and friends and we are so glad to have been part of your joyous celebration. Have fun in Portland!

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May 5, 2008

Laguna Beach Wedding: Kathy and Steve

It's always flattering when people who work in the creative industry hire me as their photographer. Steve is a senior art director for a prominent website (hint: initials are A I) and I'm so glad that he and Kathy invited me to capture their beautiful wedding in Laguna Beach. We had so much fun during their engagement session that we were totally looking forward to this. Their family and friends were all so warm and friendly and just a joy to photograph. There are just too many great moments to post them all here, so these are just a few preview shots that I picked out.

The bride's brother getting ready.

The wedding party on both sides were so great to work with. This is a total guy shot and it was mostly unposed as they were walking down the hill.

We photographed Kathy and the girls in a home high up in the hills of Laguna Beach with an amazing view.

The wind was blowing a little so Kathy decided to have a little fun with it. This is just how silly and fun she is. I should mention here that Kathy skydives, a lot, and this is what she would probably look like if she were to have a wedding while skydiving.

While shooting the guys and girls at separate locations, the dogs in the neighborhood wanted to say hi. The adorable one below brought a tennis ball up to me to play fetch while I was shooting.

The cute flower girl smiled like this all the way down the aisle.

The interior of St. Mary's Episcopal Church is amazing with gorgeous hardwood and just as important, good air-conditioning.

Not pictured: The hundreds of people watching them being photographed, honking in their cars and congratulating them.

After a wedding, a bride just wants to relax and receive a foot massage.

During their engagement session, I told them to run on the beach and being the athletic types, they ran by so fast I could barely catch up. I learned my lesson so this time, I told them to jog by slowly.

One of my favorites of the day, Kathy and her beautiful expressions.

This cake topper has been passed down a couple of generations.

The lighting was perfect for their first dance.

The speech from Steve was emotional. It was quite endearing when he delivered his speech, and I'm so glad I was able to grab the gorgeous blue glow from the sky as it was disappearing.

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Apr 30, 2008

Grace and Angel at Rancho Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano, California.

Grace and Angel were married at Rancho Capistrano in Orange County. The venue is set outdoors with beautiful greenery and a mountain backdrop ideal for photos. I wasn't surprised by this since I could tell that photography was important to Grace and Angel when I first met them. The wedding party was a fun group of people, the live band was fantastic, and the day was great. Here's a preview of the photos...

We were walking up this hill and it was difficult for Grace in her heels. I thought it was cute how Angel was helping her by holding the dress up this way.

My favorite shot of the evening, on the red bridge above the pond.

The plaza where the reception was held was adorned with red flowers and served as a gorgeous backdrop.

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Apr 3, 2008

Annalisa and Will at Dove Canyon Courtyard

Trabuco Canyon, California.

You have to enjoy shooting a wedding when the father of the bride inducts you into the family. That's precisely what Rick did while we shot Annalisa and William's wedding at the Dove Canyon Courtyard in Trabuco Canyon, next to the Coto De Caza Country Club.

I started off at Annalisa's parent's house and became acquainted with her family immediately. Her father, Rick, was comedy relief the entire time (sorry Annalisa, I know you told me not to encourage him, but he is funny). What I found out though, through a fun car ride with the family to the wedding, was that they had an open and genuine love for each other. It made for a lot of funny and touching moments througout the day, and to able to capture that is why I love doing what I do.

If you know me, you'll know that I always gravitate towards dogs. It was feeling left out of the festivities.

Waiting in the room.

Mom gets dad ready for the big moment.

Rick protected this door like a secret service agent, checking all visitors upon entrance. Most of the time, he was making the whole room laugh by providing funny commentary on the guests walking by outside the room. Here, he is quiet as he gazes at his daughter the bride.

My favorite shot, unposed.

"The perfect pear."

Click here to view Annalisa and Will's engagement session

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Apr 1, 2008

Christine and Roy at Hilton Waterfront

Huntington Beach, California

I had an amazing time documenting Christine and Roy's wedding that started at her parents' house in Aliso Viejo and ended at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. We shot their engagement session a long time ago so it was great to finally see them again. My favorite part of the day was the private moments between Christine and her father. This is usually something that only the photographer sees, that moment before daddy gives his little girl away. I don't listen to the words that they say, but I follow the eyes as they look at each other and then away to keep from crying too much. I've seen this moment time and time again and it's always special.

My favorite shot, part one.

My other favorite shot.

Click here to view Christine and Roy's engagement session

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Mar 4, 2008

Jackie and Roy's Wedding in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach, California

The day started out with a few sprinkles and fortunately it went away by the time we began shooting, since it was an outdoor wedding at Occasions in Laguna Beach. That paved the way for dramatic looking skies that serve as a great backdrop. Jackie and Roy were so great to work with, as were their parents and wedding party. Everyone was so pleasant that it was just a joy to capture the event. Here are just a few of the many shots from the wedding:

Introducing the groom, Roy.

And his groomsmen.

Having a little fun, snapping fingers.

The girls walking down a busy Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

I love the dark blue dresses the bridesmaids wore, so we wanted to shoot it against this artistic blue wall.

While shooting this one, I could hear the bridesmaids behind me saying that they loved this shot.

The girls were such a great group to work with.

Details of the wedding dress.

The entire wedding party.

I loved the colors of the cake.

The bride and her father had a classic dance while the groom and his mother performed an entertaining number that cracked everyone up.

Weddings by Melia

Anthony Barthel

Dayna Lewis of Occasions at Laguna Village

Click here to view Jackie and Roy's engagement session

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Feb 24, 2008

Glissel and Fernando in Santa Ana

Every couple that I photograph has a special chemistry between them, and it's always fun to try to capture it on camera. Spending the day with them, I found out that Fernando is a total gentleman with Glissel, and she is such a sweetheart to him. Glissel may seem quiet and shy, but you can see her open up with big smiles when she is with him. Before the ceremony, I got to spend a good amount of time with them for portraits. It was great to see how they compliment each other so well. I picked out just a few of my favorites from their wedding day.

You can tell how much he adores her just by the way he looks at her.

It's hard to tell here, but it was really windy and a challenge just to keep the veil from flying all over the place. The grass here is not photoshopped, it was really that green!

This is my favorite shot of the day. The rain was on and off the whole day, but it somehow always manages to stop just for my shoots.

The Santa Ana Train Depot was relatively empty so we sneaked in a few shots before the rain started again.

I love train tracks shots. Here, I love the dark yellow color and how she's holding up her dress.

The ring exchange. They were pretty nervous before the wedding, so I know that they released a lot of that energy at this moment.

Glissel's brother performed the song "You and Me" at this moment, so she became a little emotional and shed a few happy tears.

The guests blew bubbles as the bride and groom come out of the chapel.

At the reception site, we found this wall decor to place the rings on.

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Feb 18, 2008

Dusky and Bobby at 7 Degrees Laguna Beach

Let me start off by saying that 7 Degrees in Laguna Beach is an awesome venue with its modern architecture, trendy ambiance, and great mood lighting. I'm so glad Dusky and Bobby picked this place for their wedding reception because it's a photogenic location and I think it was fitting of their style.

The night was pretty much a huge party with family and friends and it was a blast covering it. Dusky and Bobby are such a funny couple, I found myself laughing along with them all night.

The location, 7 Degrees.

Champagne awaited guests as they arrived in the front gallery.

Between the front gallery and the terrace where guests enjoyed cocktails, this is the ambient lighting that decorated the walls. Dusky is looking out the window as she gets ready.

Two gorgeous dresses hang as Dusky prepares.

Last minute touches to the hair.

Dusky is almost ready for their grand entrance. She poses for family.

Dusky thanks the make-up artist.

Dusky in her first dress.

Bobby, before noticing the camera and making sexy faces to it.

They are such a cute couple, always making each other laugh.

The first dance. Notice the awesome lighting. The colors change throughout the dance, which could be a nightmare for photos. But if caught right, the photo could be amazing.

Yet another color for the room.

This was the moment of the night for me, when he put on this cap to let everyone know who he was: Dusky's Dad.

You can see how much fun they were having.

Dusky danced a lot, often entertaining a crowd around her.

Bobby gets a mouthful as he reaches for the garter.

At the end of the night, guests held sparklers as Dusky and Bobby walks through. It was an exciting finish to an amazing reception.

Tabitha Wilson at 7 Degrees

Joe Paxton
Atmosphere Entertainment

Make-up Artist:
Jessica Lopez

Rae LaPointe

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Feb 7, 2008

Michelle and Tom's Wedding in Laguna Beach

Michelle and Tom, whose engagement shoot I shot just a little while ago here, rented out a cute house in Laguna Beach called Pacific Edge for their wedding reception. It's a great idea for a smaller sized party not only because it's an adorable location, but also because it's situated practically on the beach giving you a view of the ocean from almost anywhere in the house.

There were again way too many photos to pick from, so here's what I've cut it down to:

Michelle comes into view for the first time as her maid of honor adjusts her train.

Michelle and father await the walk down the aisle.

The center of attention.

Michelle looks over with a smile during the ceremony.

They had a bagpipe performer lead them in the recessional. He was a big hit.

The adorable children in the wedding party.

We made our way out of the church and onto the beach. The flower girl wasn't having any of this "portrait" business, but she's still cute anyway.

The guys.

It was a bit sunny at this time of day, but look at the blue skies and water!

The beautiful bride with sunlight on her back. Those toned arms aren't by accident either, she works them out!

This reminds me of a bride and groom cake-topper.

This is a totally cute wedding cake.

This photo booth by Red Cheese was very popular at the reception. It's a great idea and keeps the guests busy. The prints come out really fast, too.

The coordinator made sure we got into the booth too, so this was us goofing off.

Close-up shot of the rings on the bouquet.

Michelle freshening up.

My favorite shot of the night. The bride looking out the balcony.

Tom and Michelle share a private moment before the grand entrance.

There are two elements that make for an awesome speech. The first is to make everyone laugh by reliving hilarious moments of the past, and the second is to bawl with the bride.

Michelle shares a giggle with a guest.

Here's our adorable flower girl again, this time playing to the camera.

Michelle had decorated these wine glasses with the first initials of each of the guys.

I'll end with this shot of Michelle, after changing out of her wedding dress, dancing to the great selection of music.

This was a great wedding to kick off my 2008 weddings. Michelle and Tom was an awesome couple to work with. The coordinator Lorraine is such a sweetheart, making sure we were taken care of. It was a blast.

Wedding Coordinator:
Lorraine McCullough
Classic Touch Event Planning

Ed McCullough
Classic Touch DJ Entertainment

Photo Booth:
Jay L. Tan
Red Cheese

I forgot to mention that Michelle, besides being a fabulous bride, is also a make-up artist here in Orange County. Her website is

Update: Jay from Red Cheese sent me a few shots from within the photo booth to post:

There's Jay and Lorraine with the bride and groom.

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Nov 27, 2007

Michelle and Hai at San Gabriel Hilton

We met Michelle and Hai through Michelle's twin sister, Marlene. It turned out that I knew Hai from high school, and a couple of his groomsmen are also my friends from Fountain Valley High. They also went to UCLA (as you'll see below) like I did. It's such a small world!

Michelle and Hai had their ceremony in Pasadena and then the reception at the San Gabriel Hilton. I liked the style and design of both the church and the hotel. The weather was perfect considering it was a November wedding here in Southern California.

The stained glass at the church was a beautiful backdrop for this ring shot.

The available natural light worked so well I had to get this shot from a few different angles.

Notice the UCLA Bruin colors on the bouquet.

The upstairs of the church was also a Sunday school for little children, so they had these cute little chairs sitting around. We grouped a few blue and yellow ones to get this UCLA-themed bouquet shot.

The father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle.

The bride and groom standing in this beautiful church.

This will take a while for Hai to live down, and I'm sure Michelle will always remember this. Hai dropped the ring as the pastor was handing it to him and drew a huge laugh from Michelle.

The girls in beautiful UCLA colors.

The guys had a great time throughout the whole thing. Between shots they were goofing around like old college buddies.

The Pasadena City Hall was empty so we got a chance to capture them sharing a little alone time.

It was getting late and there was just enough light to squeeze in a couple of shots that I love.

The building was tall and beautifully designed.

The groomsmen had a special treat for all the Bruins in attendance. They ran through the ballroom waving UCLA flags while the song "Sons of Westwood" played through the loudspeakers. They then dropped the flags and did the "eight-clap." To hear what this sounds like, click here.

There were a lot more great moments from the wedding but I can't fit it all in here, so I'll leave you with the bride and groom in their first dance.

Pure Elegance

Eliza Tsui of San Gabriel Hilton

Jan Clark of Pasadena Trinity Lutheran Church

Click here to view Michelle and Hai's engagement session

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Oct 29, 2007

Su and Hanson Weds at Tustin Ranch Golf Club

With all the fires going on around Orange County, it was nice to have a little rain. Unfortunately, it was also Su and Hanson's wedding day at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club. It drizzled on and off until the ceremony was to begin, then it suddenly stopped and a beautiful sunset arrived just in time for a beautiful ceremony. Su and Hanson are such a nice couple, I'm so glad everything worked out in the end.

A bridesmaid trying to copy a hairstyle from Mischa Barton.

Su's long beautifully decorated wedding dress.

The bride making sure everyone looks good.

The bridesmaids were busy getting Su's wedding dress bustled up. You can see the hands working furiously on it.

I love when the bridesmaids are perfectly spaced out with great posture.

Su sees Hanson for the first time on their wedding day.

The sky was simply gorgeous.

The bride gets ready to put the ring on the groom.

The recessional. The bride and groom share a genuine smile with each other.

The DJ tricked the guys into doing this two-step move where they pointed at their feet and then pointed up in the air, and then he proceeded to play the song "Staying Alive" which drew lots of laughs from the crowd.

The most emotional moment of the night was when the bride's father started to tear up, which made Su cry as she attempted to wipe the tears off her daddy's face.

Brady Amerson

Sandy Creager of Tustin Ranch Golf Club

Click here to view Su and Hanson's engagement session

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Oct 7, 2007

Dana and Kevin in Carmel

We were so excited when Dana and Kevin signed us to shoot her wedding at the Highlands Inn (Hyatt) in Carmel because we have never been up there even though I've driven past it several times on my way to San Francisco. We decided to go up a couple of days before the wedding so we can drive around Carmel and Monterey and check out the hotel grounds. We took the scenic route on Highway 1 and stopped so many times to take pictures. It's so beautiful and romantic!

The wedding itself was a blast because the wedding party did a good job joking around and having fun. It had rained the day before so there was some concern that it would have to be moved indoors, but as is the luck with me, the sun came out for the wedding day. It also rained on my wedding day but stopped in time for the ceremony in Maui.

Matching garter and shoes.

Dana's beautifully custom designed wedding dress.

The bouquet of roses.

The close-up of the rings.

The groom's nephew gets suited up for the big day.

Roses on the cake.

This was such a cute moment. From inside the hotel room, Dana waved to her brother at the wedding site while talking to him on the phone.

It was time for the father of the bride to walk his little girl down the aisle.

I love when the officiant is funny. Here he read aloud Dana and Kevin's vows, which were hilarious.

One of the reasons why Hyatt Highlands in Carmel is a great wedding site is their gorgeous view of the ocean.

Roses spread all over the aisle.

While the best man and maid of honor were signing the marriage license, Dana and Kevin sneaked in a little kiss.

Can you tell that the wedding party was a fun bunch?

Let's all take a walk together.

The girls all wore matching leopard-skin shoes.

The guys wore matching skull socks.

Some shots of the bride and groom.

Dana wanted to make her mom think that they were talking about something naughty.

A couple of my favorites from inside the hotel lobby.

Make-up Artist
Eva S. Nichols
Beauty & The Best

Cindy Fones

Ezzo Entertainment

Kristi Hogue of Highlands Inn

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Sep 13, 2007

Jeannette and Matt's Wedding

Jeannette and Matt were married at the Bell Tower in Rancho Santa Margarita on a relatively cool weekend in Orange County. This wedding was unique in several ways: The design was exquisitely done by Jeannette and Matt and everything matched so well. The catering was provided by In-N-Out Burger because that's where Jeannette's parents were engaged.

How appropriate that the front page of The Orange County Register that day had an article titled "Gems Rare."

I love how even the cake matched the theme.

Look at the awesome details and colors on the wedding cake.

Vahhzz...Floral Design by Dean Jones provided the high-end floral arrangements and they were amazing.

Jeannette looks beautiful in her confident pose.

Jeannette and Matt standing in front of the In-N-Out catering truck.

Jeannette surprised Matt with In-N-Out cuff links!

Serving what else but In-N-Out burgers.

Matt laughs at his brother's attempt to embarrass him during the best man's speech.

The walls were adorned with photos from their engagement session.

The guests proved to be a good group of dancers.

Heidelberg Bakery

Vahhzz... Floral Design by Dean Jones

Make-up Artist
Toni & Guy Irvine

Executive Entertainment

Click here to view Jeannette and Matt's engagement session

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Sep 11, 2007

Jennifer and Vic in Laguna Beach

Jennifer and Vic were married at the beautiful Occasions at Laguna Village in Laguna Beach. We shot their engagement shoot last December and found them to be a delightful couple. They were just as wonderful to work with during their wedding. Vic was one of the most relaxed grooms I've seen yet, and Jennifer was very giddy even right before the ceremony. Everyone was just so pleasant to work with that we had a wonderful time at the event. In addition, the sun's bright light provided a uplifting look and feel to the photos.

The beautiful bride, Jennifer, with the waters of Laguna Beach in the background.

The bridesmaids were kind enough to provide seating for the bride.

Vic was quite relaxed before the ceremony

The girls getting excited as the big moment approached.

The bride walks down the stairs during the processional.

Jennifer's two brothers walked her down the aisle.

You can see just how happy they were to be married!

Smiling children are a joy to photograph.

The grand entrance with a gorgeous blue-skied backdrop.

The best man gave a hilarious speech.

The maid of honor's speech usually gets emotional, and this was no exception as you can tell through Vic's eyes.

Make-up Artist
Shear Oasis Salon and Spa

Weddings by Melia

Anthony Barthel

Dayna Lewis of Occasions at Laguna Village

Click here to view Jennifer and Vic's engagement session

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Aug 19, 2007

Kristine and Rick's Wedding in Newport Beach

Kristine and Rick got married at the Marriott in Newport Beach on a gorgeous sunny day. First of all, I'd like to say what a nice and sweet couple they were to work with. Although they were quite stressed at first, they loosened up and was laughing all night with their guests. Kristine and Rick have been together since they were in high school and it was such a wonderful experience for me to be a part of their special day.

The make-up artist did a really good job with Kristine.

One of the bridesmaids getting her eyes done.

Some of the decorations.

The big moment, walking down the aisle with her father.

The maid of honor gives the bride a hand before the ring exchange.

The kiss when pronounced husband and wife.

The happy couple.

The beautiful cake.

Rick and Kristine had entertaining lion dancers perform during dinner.

Lin Breller
JOYCE LUCK STYLE premier hair & makeup

Leather Fern Florist
Garden Grove

Click here to view Kristine and Rick's engagement photos

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Jul 30, 2007

Leslie and Chris in Costa Mesa

We photographed Leslie and Chris's wedding at the Costa Mesa Country Club in Orange County on a beautiful day with clear blue skies. There were a lot of great little touches to make the evening fun, from a cute little girl holding up a sign to remind guests to turn off their cell phones to the groom performing live to cap off the night.

Leslie and Chris did an awesome job with red, black, and white theme.

Just a cute little reminder...

A deep breath before the big moment every girl dreams about since they were little.

Leslie and her sister.

Inspired by The Beatles.

Chris and his band mates were to play later in the evening.

Some guests preferred to observe from below.

Kick off your shoes and dance!

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Jul 10, 2007

Lauren and Mike's Wedding in Palos Verdes

Lauren and Mike got married on the special date of July 7th, 2007 at a church in Palos Verdes. It was such a fun wedding to document because the they were relaxed and truly enjoyed the day. As a photographer, I appreciate it when things aren't rushed. I love that it had a casual flow and everyone just seemed to be enjoying the event.

The garden at the church is a beautiful wedding venue.

There were little touches of the family everywhere, including these flowers that the bride's mother tends to.

They had gone through so many hugs and kisses on one side of the family, Lauren led Mike quickly to the other side.

Lauren's tears of joy started flowing after she gave her father and mother a hug.

Just like at the engagement shoot, Mike is constantly making Lauren laugh.

The sign behind her that reads "Westminster House" was made by Lauren when she was younger.

I love Polaroids. They had a great idea of shooting polaroids of guests.

More polaroids that were taken.

The groom and the bride's father share a smile.

Mike does his best Michael Jackson impersonation. He can be so silly around his family.

The bouquet toss at the Palos Verdes Art Center.

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Jun 25, 2007

Marlene and Solomon's Wedding

On Saturday I shot Marlene and Solomon's wedding that took us from a church to an arboretum to the Tournament House and then finally to the Universal Hilton. It was an ambitious itinerary that we managed to fulfill, and I have photos to prove it.

A gentle, soft look for the bride.

Marlene wore a beautifully detailed classic wedding dress.

The church provided some nice locations to shoot.

I like how the sun flares symmetrically across the photo.

When Solomon was standing behind me, he saw the angle that I had. He knew this shot would be a winner and he was yelling out to Marlene to let her know.

That's my focused look.

The younger boy will someday have a better chance at grabbing the garter.

Click here to view their engagement session

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Nov 1, 2006

Cheryl and Kevin's Wedding

Cheryl had contacted me on short notice and fortunately I was available on her wedding date. I met Cheryl and Kevin at the Universal Hilton where they were getting ready. Cheryl was so sweet and hospitable that I couldn't help but have a great time photographing their wedding.

The maid of honor and bridesmaid helping the bride with her dress.

The groom awaits the moment.

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Oct 10, 2006

Naomi and Shai's Wedding

Naomi and Shai had their wedding in Irvine and then went to a wonderful sunset reception at the Beach House in Laguna Beach. We took advantage of the sunset for a quick shoot before entering the restaurant.

And finally, at the end of the night I thought of this shot.

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Sep 15, 2006

Amber and Simpson's Wedding

Amber has a gracefulness about her.

The groom watching the guests mingle before the big moment from inside.

I timed the shot so I can get the bride at the end of her spin.

The bride and groom with their wedding cake.

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