Coping Like Champions

I can’t even believe that these two just had their one-year anniversary! I know you’ve seen a few shots from their amazing day, but I have not done a full story share… until now! This day was just full to the brim with emotions … all – the – feels. There was such tenderness, unabashed celebration, connection, inclusion,  laughter, passion, rolling with the punches … the day was a whirlwind of amazingness and I think it took me a full year to process and narrow down the myriad of amazing moments to share. Mark & Courtney, I still feel so ridiculously privileged to have had a front row seat to this extravagant love fest. The two of you take love from an abstract concept into a tangible energy that pervades everything about you. Thanks for letting the world see it. You make me believe in love. Here is just a peek at the fun, fun, fun shoots we did all over Pasadena and Glendale. Forever grateful to my day-of team/lifesavers Nicholas Arce & Lori-lynn Navarro. We are the Champions my friends.  xx

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Jason & Liz {REAL Country Wedding}

Typically I tend to keep the focus of the blog on the pretty people in front of my lens. This wedding blog, however, is tremendously personal. This was the second wedding I’ve shot at home (the first was Anthony & Jena’s, dearest of dear friends), the place I grew up under the fresh sunny skies, beneath the towering Sierras, in fields of billowing grass and wild flowers, and amongst cows… cows that don’t smell because they are wandering freely in all that grass…. it’s a thing, I promise. There are weird and difficult things about growing up in a small town, but so much beauty, so much knowledge about the way things really work, (like seasons, how meat gets on your plate, what the stars really look like…).

This place formed me, and there are relationships with people here that have helped make me who I am.On that backdrop, let me paint the story of this wedding.
First, allow me to introduce these two knuckle-heads.
2014-10-06_0007These are my brothers. Ok, so I don’t have any biological siblings. But these two have been my “brothers” for much of my life. They are ridiculous, hard working, mischievous, too smart for their own good, real-live actual mountain men who hunt and fish and know how to survive in the wilderness, brave servants of the land they love through law enforcement, oddly creative, loving toward children because they are big kids at heart, and in general just plain care about people. They are awesome. This is how they got ready for Jason’s wedding.

2014-10-06_0002Their friends were about to complain about the temperature of the water, until they saw I was already wading in, ready to get these shots.

2014-10-06_0003If this is not hilariously funny to you… I’m sorry. It is to me. :-)

2014-10-07_0004Jason, despite all his knuckle-headed mischief, met and fell in love with a beautiful, genuine cowgirl, Liz. She is sweet, sassy and fun and I liked her instantly. If his proposal on top of a mountain that required a back-country helicopter ride wasn’t telling of his “all-in” affection, I don’t know what is! I’ll stop here with the play-by-play and let these pictures tell their story. SO.MUCH.LOVE. They truly are ready to love, honor, and cherish each other forever.

2014-10-06_0004 2014-10-06_0005 2014-10-06_0006 2014-10-06_0008 2014-10-06_0009 2014-10-06_0012 2014-10-06_0013 Big brother John picked out this spot for their first sight. :-)2014-10-06_0014 2014-10-06_0018 2014-10-06_0015 2014-10-06_0016Don’t worry, in my ‘hood, kids start with gun safety classes when they are like 12. These are the only type of people you ever want to have guns – trust me!  2014-10-06_0017 2014-10-06_0020 A Yosemite fire sent smoke to cloak our mountains, but it was still beautiful.2014-10-06_0023 2014-10-06_0024 2014-10-06_0025That handsome officiant is my Dad. 2014-10-06_0026 2014-10-06_0027 2014-10-06_0029 2014-10-06_0030 2014-10-06_0033 2014-10-06_0031These are my “other parents”.  2014-10-06_0032 2014-10-06_0034 2014-10-06_0035 2014-10-06_0036 2014-10-06_0037Where I’m from a pretty cake tastes as good as it looks.  And… there are almost always glorious sunsets.2014-10-07_0001 2014-10-07_0002 2014-10-07_0003Happy happily ever after Jason & Liz. Do more than be the perfect match, even more than make each other ridiculously happy forever, challenge each other to grow and thrive. Be more together than you ever could be apart. Love you both!

Ariel + Chris {Wedding Part 1}

What a FABULOUS wedding. Ariel & Chris celebrated the uniting of their lives with a whole boat load of friends and family at the home of Ariel’s parents. What an amazing group of people. What love in the air, what a gorgeous house! There is something extra magical about a wedding day when you can almost tangibly feel the love and support of friends and family. I feel so honored and blessed to have spent the day with these two and their community. Here is the first post of their special day. I was thrilled again to have the lovely Lori-Lynn Navarro shoot this with me.

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Jenna + Justin {Part 1}

A gorgeous and glowing afternoon, radiant green and pastel gardens, friends and family joyful with anticipation…. this is what awaited Jenna & Justin as they prepared for their ceremony. In the clandestine charm of a quaint vintage home, they saw one another for the first time. A quiet, tender moment where they caught their breaths and let the beauty of the upcoming hours sink in. This is how their wedding began.

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2014-04-24_0004 2014-04-24_0002 2014-04-24_0005 2014-04-24_0006 2014-04-24_0007 2014-04-24_0008 2014-04-24_0009 2014-04-24_0010Don’t fret friends – more of this delicious day to come! (shout out to the incredible Lori-Lynn Navarro for the killer detail pics and the to-die-for shot of Jenna descending the stair case. Oh be still my wide-angle-loving heart!)

Danny + Stephanie {Part 1}

Oh my word. This wedding was so sweet and precious I cried…. professionally of course… through the whole thing. Stephanie has always been very endearing to me, with her vibrance and enthusiasm. Danny is the strong and silent type, but even he can’t help at least smirk, if not smile when Stephanie is gushing over him. :) They truly shared their hearts’ desires through the way they spent their day. They clearly value Jesus as their greatest treasure, and each other as precious gifts from Him. You can feel when you are with them how much they desire to serve each other as they embark on their journey together AND to serve others. Everyone in attendance felt loved and special just– like family. Thank you guys for letting me share this day with you. (and thanks to the ever wonderful Lori-Lynn Navarro for shooting with me!)

I love that we got to do their getting ready, first sight, and portraits in the YARD of their new, first home together! So special. I’m going to cry again…

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