This past weekend was quite a whirlwind for me. I hopped off a plane (yes, at LAX - see?! The song DOES get stuck in your head) and started exploring a city on the opposite coast. I tried really hard to take in every moment, but the entire experience really was a whirlwind. I've never shot a destination wedding, and the idea of packing and preparing your gear days in advance and calling a hotel your homebase for a few days is a new concept for me - but I loved it! I've only been to LA once and hardly had an opportunity to explore Santa Monica, so it was fun to have a few hours to walk around the pier and the beach. It is SO beautiful there!
As I mentioned on Monday, I traveled to Santa Monica to second shoot a wedding with my own wedding photographer, Katelyn James. To say it was an honor is an understatement - I adore Katelyn's work (obviously) and the opportunity to assist her and shoot with her was really special for me. I haven't second shoot a wedding in close to two years, so I had to approach the entire wedding day with a new perspective. I knew I wasn't going to get the BEST shots, I knew I'd miss most of portrait time and I knew there would be moments I'd put my camera down to carry bags and move light stands. And that's OK. In fact, it was a nice break for me. I'm used to walking up to a group of people and telling everyone what to do, where to stand, how to pose, but I just got to sit back and take a second set of pictures, supplemental material, as I call it. If there are moments I captured that she can use and give the bride and groom, great! If not, that's OK. At the end of the day, aside from sore feet and an aching back, my heart was full and happy because I had FUN. I got to see the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen in person and I got take lots of pictures. The entire experience was really humbling and challenging, but I am very thankful for all that I have learned and all that I will take away from the weekend.
If you haven't already, PLEASE go look at Katelyn's images from the wedding day!
I wasn't at all expecting to share my images, but Katelyn really wanted me to be able to blog them, so I'm going to share some of my own favorite moments from the day. Of course, this collection is super incomplete because I wasn't present for everything throughout the day. All that aside, I do have some favorites so I'm going to share them with you!
Katelyn, working her magic and setting up dress shots!
I loved her earrings - they were so elegant!
This book was the wedding album of her great grand-mother.
Awesome bridesmaid gifts!
Kristen had kept her dress hidden from her girls, and this was the first time they all saw her. It's moments like this that I LOVE being a photographer!
Such an amazing first look location - overlooking the San Fernando Valley.
As a second shooter, your position takes a back burner to the main photographer and the videographer... so when we were shooting in tight spaces, I had a lot of images like this :)
At this point I left portrait time to gather the bridal party. The girls were all ready waiting for the guys so we had fun and took a few group pictures!
Bridesmaids! I love it!
This is the view of the San Fernando Valley from the church - holy moly! It was amazing.
Their programs were so unique!
The ceremony was at Bel Air Presbyterian Church.
The reception was at the gorgeous Hotel Casa Del Mar - it was right on the beach in Santa Monica.
Kristen and Brian seeing some of Katelyn's images for the first time - their reaction was priceless!
Such a FUN reception - the dance floor was packed the entire night!
They passed out some late-night munchies around 11:30pm - such a great idea!
Brian and Kristen, thank you so much for welcoming me into your special day! I certainly hope I run into you two in DC! And Katelyn, thank you for trusting me enough to take me along on this journey with you. I am so grateful!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out Katelyn's images from the wedding day! They are stunning!