Isla Mujeres Destination Wedding

Isla Mujeres Destination Wedding | Cancun, Mexico | Brittany + Crystal

I should quit my job now because I’m sure I’m never going to be able to top the amount of love I have for these two ladies and their Isla Mujeres destination wedding.  I want to share all their photos but I have rules against that because I’m pretty sure no one really looks after 10 images anyways, so I tried to keep it together and not go overboard.  That being said,  it was a priority for Britt and Crys to really take advantage of their location so after getting ready and their first look at the hotel, we had hours to cruise around the island on our golf cart Joaquin and take loads of amazing portraits inspired by the ridiculously awesome place we were in.  There’s a few other of my favorites that I didn’t double up on over on their sneak peek from last week.

These two gorgeous gals hold a special place in my heart: they are former neighbors of my best mate Haley.  It was an unbelievable honor to be asked to be their photographer and I hope I did them justice and that they love their photos as much as I do.  Half of my job is already done when friends or acquaintances hire me.  So much of what I do involves creating a relationship and a quick connection in order to bring out genuine moments in folks and when I already know you, that hurdle is non-existent.

This was not my first time to Isla Mujeres, and although it’s changed quite a bit since I stopped in here on my way home from Cuba in 2008, it still has the heart and soul of the island I originally fell in love with.  Isla Mujeres is relaxed: the best sort of island time.  There is inexpensive delicious ceviche at every restaurant, cold cheap Mexican beer, smiling faces and warm hearts everywhere you go.  There are no massive hotels, no high rises, and no fancy private beaches for the most part.  You can get $2 fish tacos from a man in a plywood booth that presses his own tortillas.  You can rent a wonderful apartment on Airbnb for very little.  It’s off-the-beaten path travel at it’s best and it made the most wonderful backdrop for a wedding.

After we spent the whole day jaunting around the isle, Britt and Crys were wed in front of friends and family at the Zama Beach Club, which is officially in my top five favorite venues of all time now.  Instead of cake, they had a churro cart.  Instead of a special cocktail, they had fresh coconuts handed out to drink from as guests walked in.  Shoes were expected to be removed.  Toasts were made.  Sunsets were watched.  Crowd-surfing happened.

Britt and Crys, I can’t wait to come visit you and all of your amazing friends in Philly.  I know that your life is going to be filled with dancing, laughter and unicycles, and I wouldn’t wish anything less for the two of you.

Venue: Zama Beach Club | Wedding Planning and Day Of Coordination: Sunhorse Weddings | Invitation Design: Karith Gingrow | Bridal Gowns: BHLDN, Lace and Liberty, and The Wedding Dress Shoppe | Second Shooter: Julie Pizzo

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Isla Mujeres Destination Wedding

Isla Mujeres Destination Wedding | Brittany + Crystal | Sneak Peek

The island of Isla Mujeres is a magical place where you ride golf carts from place to place, eat fish tacos from a man in a plywood stand who presses his own homemade tortillas to order, swing through the rafters of the bar on the main street after one too many tequila shots, and, apparently, have one of the most amazing weddings I’ve ever had the opportunity to photograph.  Big thanks to Brittany and Crystal, who not only entrusted me to capture their Isla Mujeres destination wedding at the Zama Beach Club, but also gave me an entire afternoon to tromp around the island taking portraits before the ceremony.  It was basically my dream come true: beach, fish tacos, plenty of hilarious women, and a wedding.  Here’s a few images from their incredible day.  I can’t wait to share more, including the ones from a day after trash the dress session in the ocean!

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Trois Estate Wedding

Trois Estate Wedding | Aaron + Ellen | Sneak Peek

It is perfectly fitting that Aaron and Ellen wed at one of Aaron’s favorite places in the world: The Trois Estate at Enchanted Rock.  Aaron has spent the majority of his adult life with an all-consuming obsession with climbing.  I’m allowed to say this because he’s one of my best friends in the world.  In fact, there’s probably not many people that can tick off my own obsessions, faults, and quirks as well as Aaron can.  Aaron’s pursuit of climbing dominates his days off, his vacations and I’m certain he went climbing on his wedding day.  So basically, everything was as it should be.

Aaron and I have known each other for 17 years.  We’ve worked at 4 different companies together and followed each other across states.  Aaron is one of the most competant people I know and my favorite person to toss back a beer or two on a porch with.  He’s a homegrown Texan, which means that slow languid small talk comes easy to him which is exactly why he’s done so well in the retail world.  Ellen is adventurous, unbelievably smart, super laid back and one of the best people he’s ever brought into my life.  Not only am I unbelievably happy that two of my good friends were wed, but I’m incredibly honored to have photographed their intimate Texas destination Trois Estate wedding.

In short, this is an incredibly awesome pair of rad people who I feel incredibly lucky to consider friends.  I mean, really, who doesn’t want friends that can sabrage a champagne bottle?  That’s a skill y’all.

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Destination Wedding: San Antonio Wedding Photographer | Jimmy + Karlie Sneak Peek

This is so gorgeous I had to send it to Karlie the night of her wedding.

This amazing San Antonio wedding had all the best elements of awesome including, but not limited to, my photo booth, late night waffles, and my own mother tearing it up on the dance floor.  I can’t wait to share the rest.

Marin Wedding Photographer | Jeff + Eva Sneak Peek

This backyard wedding celebration involved a pig roast, a tres leches cake, the greatest vibe ever, and two of the raddest people I’ve ever met.  I want this couple, their friends and all of their family to be my best friends.  I’m so thrilled they choose me to be their Marin wedding photographer and I can’t wait to share more images with you!

Second Shooting | Las Vegas Destination Wedding with Ms. Wedding Image

This one time I flew to Vegas to 2nd Shoot for McKenzie Stewart of Ms. Wedding Image.  I put up a preview image at the end of September (yes!  September!) but then failed to get around to even looking at the rest of the photos.  That’s how busy I’ve been.  

I connected with McKenzie through Jasmine Star’s 2nd Shooting Facebook Group (appropriately titled J*’s 2nd Shooters).   Although McKenzie now lives in Orlando, FL, she grew up in Vegas and knew the bride from college there and needed a 2nd shooter for the wedding.  Vegas is a quick hop skip and a jump plane ride for me and one of my really awesome college friends whom I hadn’t seen in awhile and his fiancee live there so the trip was a no brainer.

Second shooting is an awesome way to hone your wedding photography skills while under less pressure as the primary.  For me, it’s also a super fun way to spend the day at an awesome wedding totally relaxed because thankfully I’m not the one editing the images.  While you may think that your photographer is awesome while he or she is running around snapping photos at your event, the bulk of our work comes in the post-processing: the culling, the editing, the exporting, the uploading.  When you 2nd shoot, while they may get your images as their own, depending on your agreement with the main photographer, you don’t actually have to go back and even peek at them if you won’t want to, or in my case, simply didn’t have time to.

What was most exciting for me was to work with someone else who was so drastically different in personality than me.  McKenzie is a bubbly effervescent positive lady with a knack for campiness and formal group photography.  In short, she is everything I am not.  I like dance floors: she likes posing couples.  I am snarky and cynical; she is optimistic and very polite.  I love wine; she never drinks.  I like candids and chasing children; she would rather I just go ahead and do that for her.  I dread grouping people in matching pastel dresses and neckties into lines and taking their photos; she loves it.

It was a match made in heaven.

What’s really fun is now that I’ve gone through and culled, edited and chosen my favorites, it’s super fun to go look at the actual wedding album.  McKenzie did a stellar job and while our aesthetic is fairly similar and my photos blend seamlessly into hers, it’s neat to notice the subtle differences and choices in the images I chose to highlight here.

I had such a great time working alongside her.  Please go check out her website or like her facebook page.  I had hoped to make it to Orlando to assist for a wedding the Friday before Christmas but the flights were too full for me to get there and back to celebrate Christmas here in Tahoe, which was super disappointing.  However, I’m planning on assisting her on a destination wedding in Ogden, UT over Labor Day weekend and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Thanks for the awesome time lady!  I can’t wait to do it again.

Napa Wedding Photographer

Best Wedding Photography of 2013 | A Year in Review

Thank you so much to all the amazing clients that hired me this year.  Every wedding I photographed was special and unique with its own outstanding energy and moments of both hilarity and love.  And my oh my, the dance parties!  You know that I love them!

I feel so honored that these couples chose me to capture their wedding day and I simply cannot wait for the year to come.  I have 8 weddings under contract for next summer already and I am so so so excited for each of them: they are on wineries, rustic mountain settings and one in San Antonio, TX for the best friend of my brother.  2014 has some big things in store for me and I am STOKED.

So, without further adieu, here are my favorite moments and images from this past year.   There are a few images in here from a beautiful Tahoe Beach Wedding that I haven’t shared yet on the blog, along with a few images from a wedding I second shot for Ms. Wedding Image.   Those posts will come shortly, I promise!

These images are the ones that best capture what I remember of each unique day: the intimate, the hilarious, the surprising, the shared, the exhausted, the misbehaving, the tender, the quiet, the embarrassed, the unexpected.  In short, the personality of each day as I remember it.

A Year in Review: Best Wedding Photography of 2013



Napa Wedding Photographer

Napa Destination Wedding Photography | Adam Plus Tracey

It is no secret that New Orleans is my favorite city in the world.

When I discovered that Adam and Tracey were from New Orleans, I basically did a second line through my house.

When I arrived on site and heard someone use the word “caddywhompus” I died and went to heaven.   “Do you know that I am the only person in California who has ever used that word until now!” I exclaimed.

Adam and Tracey had a small, intimate destination wedding surrounded by their friends and family members on a private estate in Napa and everything about it was exceedingly comfortable.   Adam’s brother officiated the ceremony.  Tracey and I share a love for Amazon Prime.  The cake was flown in from New Orleans: maple peanut caramel deliciousness from a baker that Adam once professed that he would marry he loved the cake so much.

Tracey and Adam were so at ease with each other.  We went gallivanting into the vines for photo opportunities and they laughed, giggled, and conversed as if I wasn’t even there.  It was the perfect venue for a perfect couple and an awesome family from Louisiana that made me feel right at home.

That is why I love New Orleans so much: because everything about her and her people instantly make me feel home.

Dear Adam and Tracey, thank you so much for choosing me to photograph your day!