Laura + Haoqi, Crystal Cove Engagements

The light was great, the couple was charming...but the real plus from this shoot was the fact we all came out alive. A real live bobcat walked within 5ft of us and we saw a decapitated head of a very large rodent AND a rattlesnake was nearby. It was us against wildlife. You can probably tell who won.

Their wedding is in San Diego this summer. Wildlife watch out!

(shot on 5D and Hasselblad)


I rarely shoot in BW. Usually I shoot in color and convert to BW...but I am kind of a sucker for black and white film. This roll was a happy mistake. Thought I had a color roll loaded..nope.

More from these engagements soon.

Also I know I told you I posting Nova's birth story yesterday, but I lied. My friend ended up coming in to town a few days early and I choose him over posting. Forgive me?

Underwater- Behind The Scenes

(all images shot by Mr. Grant)

It was not dressed right for this shoot. I should have been wearing a wetsuit. Do they make maternity wetsuits? Needless to say it wasn't my most flattering look for meeting new clients BUT turns out they weren't expecting me to be in a prom dress.

It was cold outside the water and in. It was overcast. No direct sunlight. All of these conditions did make me shuffle a bit and go to game plan B. I have shot underwater before but only once and so this was definitely an experimental shoot. This was known by all parties involved. I knew that once I was in the water and could meter and play around with the equipment I would have a better idea of what I could control and what I couldn't.

Knowing that I couldn't use any directional natural light really make me focus on getting a variety of different activities and varied positioning...from near the surface and some a bit deeper near the floor of the pool.


  • Aquatech housing
  • borrowed canon camera and 24mm lens (that fit the borrowed housing)
  • dry 5d for out of water shots and candids
  • plenty of  CF cards
  • ankle weights, waist belt w/weights and goggles
  • oxygen tank, provided by clients (to be used if they wanted/needed)
  • thrift store suit and wedding dress. NOT what they are wearing on their wedding day
  • towels
  • tea (provided by our hosts. bless them)

That's all there was too it. We jumped in, played around with a few ideas I had and then crawled out an hour and 20mins later.

The colder I was the harder it was to hold my breath for long periods of time...but the adrenaline of shooting made it much easier than I had anticipated.  And the weights were magic! As first I was nervous that I was going to feel like a trapped pregnant lady, stuck at the bottom of the pool....but it wasn't the case at all. They helped me stay down just enough that I didn't have to fight to stay down while trying to get the shot.

After we were out and the camera was taken out of the case...not a drop! It was dry dry dry and I feel a little bit in love with Aquatech. Santa?......

I did edit these image more than I usually do. More cropping and cleaning and color adjusting...but it was fun. I loved the more fine art feel to this shoot and enjoyed my computer time with them afterwards.

The color balance was tricky. While I was shooting I could feel most of these turning into BW images. I knew it would help with the color issue and add to the moodiness that already existed.

I have to thank David again for letting me borrow his gear. He pretty much outfitted me with the housing, camera, lens, weights and googles. Amazing and so kind.

Now...who else wants to go for a swim?

Failop + Mike's Engagements

Sometimes holding your breath and jumping is the only way to get in.

As I see it, all of our options for the most happiness come with great risk.

Although, risk never seems quite so scary when you are doing it in tandem. When we were young we needed hand holding to the restroom. As teenagers we doubled dated. Now we are adults. Some decisions are ours alone... BUT isn't it nice that some of the big ones we try and do in teams? Marriage and hopefully parenthood. I look at single moms and dads with great awe and respect. I want to drive around and tuck every single pregnant mother into her pillow nest before she sleeps. I know how blessed I am. Pillow tucking is no small task.

During this engagement shoot I looked at Failop and Mike with that same awe and respect for holding their breath and jumping (especially since it was their idea!). What a fun adventurous couple. Were we freezing? Yes. By the end of the shoot had all our minds numbed to the point that Grant our trusty assistant was a bit nervous? Yes. Was it super awesome and a welcome challenge? YES YES YES.

Thanks to Faliop and Mike for being up for some mild torture. Thanks to brother and sister in law for handing over their gorgeous home and pool...and for the hot tea after we had lost our minds. Thanks to Dave for lending me your Aquatech case and equipment and for trusting me to submerge it all under water. And thanks to my assistant, production manager, lifeguard, chauffeur, father to my unborn daughter and husband. Strapping weights onto your pregnant wife's body and sending her into a watery abyss isn't the easiest thing for even a fish like himself. I would have probably died 8 or 9 times by now if it wasn't for Grant.

Their September wedding in Malibu is a party I look forward to.

Behind the scene shots and tech talk coming up.

C + J

One of our best friends is getting married tomorrow and yours truly is shooting the festivities.

Still trying to figure out how Grant is going to be a groomsmen AND attend to my every need while I shoot?

Congratulations to Candice and Purr. You are two very cool cats.

(Above image from their 11pm engagement shoot at LACMA)

Chelsea + Spencer, Culver City Engagements

This is my international couple. After their marriage in Dallas this September, Chelsea moves to Sydney where Spencer has been living. I think that would be such a fun get married and jet far far away.

They were naturals. I had a fantastic time with them. We just ran around chasing the sun as it went down.

I can't wait to see the sassy shoes Chelsea decides to wear on her wedding day. xo.

Brittany + Paul, Baldwin Hills Engagements

There are times when you thank a city for when it gives your photo shoot a nice orange haze.

Brittany and Paul, thanks for putting up with the torture and for spending some time with us in the tub...errr..I mean....YOU know what I mean.

I had such a great time shooting these. You are a styling couple and my envy has been boiling up over your upcoming move to Denmark. I want to go to there!

Thanks for choosing me to be a part of this amazing occasion.

(Check out Brittany's blog, She has major skills.)

Nicole & Tony-Engagements

Yesterday while I was editing these, I started watching "Biggest Loser" on Hulu. I'm not sure if it was the show, or the fact that these photos are of my favorite place or how adorable and in love these two are....OR that I'm female and sometimes get hormonal..but I cried on and off the whole time. Serious. I would see someone on Biggest Loser climb a mountain and then simultaneously open up an image of Tony kissing Nicole's forehead in a taro field, and it was really too much. I was overcome with positive endorphins.

I wish I could just post every image I took at this photo shoot, so you could see how fun and awesome and beautiful the day and this couple were.

I am leaving my calendar indefinitely open for Hanalei engagement shoots or wedding shoots, or any type of shoot! Just watch out for tears while I edit.

Hanalei Valley

Back from Kauai. Pretty much the best week ever. Oh, and did I mention I had a couple fly over from Oahu for a photo shoot? Icing on the haupia pie. We shot their engagements in Hanalei, which is probably my favorite place in the world. You heard me. World.

I am kind of out of sorts from the fake night of airplane sleep, but once refreshed I plan on tackling all sorts of things to edit so I can share some great images from these past few weeks.


kate + jacob

I would just like to take the time and apologize to the world for having the most beautiful sisters. I am truly sorry, they really are the most beautiful creatures.

Kate's hair just "goes" like that. I know! and that smile of hers...totally genuine. Her eyes are like blue aqua marine pools of light (or something like that, but dad's the best at describing her eyes).

And now just to get a little more big sister on you...I remember the day she was born. I remember holding her in her first few hours on earth. I remember feeling like I had won to lottery because she was a GIRL! I remember what it felt like to finally have my own sister.

Now she's getting married. Imagine that. And I really think she found an amazing match. Jacob is super rad. He loves her. I can tell. Everyone can tell. And she loves him back.

So congratulations you little love birds. I loved taking these photos and preserving your twitterpation for all to see and appreciate.

Love you both more than guava juice, ilford 3200 iso film, treehouses and sunshine.

(leave a comment if you agree she is a most beautiful specimen)

ps. Took these the day before autumn turned to winter in Utah. Lucky! Next day was a huge snow storm. Can anyone guess the location?

UCLA engagements


these two science love birds have decided to tie the knot. since they both attended UCLA is was an ideal location for their engagements. I was embarrassed to admit I hadn't spent much time on campus. I live SO close..but I think I got a good feel for the place even if it was a summer ghost town.

we had a great time getting to know you both and are so excited for a traditional chinese
buffet!!!....oh and we're also excited to shoot your wedding day. small, intimate weddings are the best.