Heather + Gabriel | Married | Brick + Laurel


Heather + Gabriel | Married | Brick + Laurel

GUYS. Guys. These two.  I just can't with these two. Domino-dueling, comic-con going, shark tank binging, high school sweethearts, Heather and Gabriel, celebrated their 15 year anniversary by getting married surrounded by their closest family and friends. 15 YEARS!! WHAT?? 

These two truly embody what it means to make your wedding about your own love story. When they first booked me, they had talked about having a large-ish wedding and rapidly they found how overwhelming and impersonal it felt to them. I remember Heather asking me if it was "okay" that they have an intimate brunch, instead. I'm pretty sure I said, "Um, that's amazing! Who doesn't love brunch?!"

 That's the beauty of weddings, you can do WHATEVER you want!!

These two have a knack for making you immediately feel like family and I'm still in awe of just how personal they made their day. From Gabriel's Spiderman boutonniere, all the way to their wedding goodie bags with all their favorite things including a hand written note from the couple!! Everything about their day gave me the warm and fuzzies. 

Heather and Gabriel - you two are the perfect example why I think I'm in the best "business" because not only did I get to photograph your incredible love story, but now I have two AMAZING friends!



Venue |  Brick + Laurel 

Florals |  Catalina Neal

Food |  Chef Katherine Humphus

Cake |  Azucar

Dress |  BHLDN 

HMUA |  Jaime Lake Weddings

DJ |  DJ Mindful OF

Groom Suit |  Macys



Julie Paisley Desert Shootout | WPPI 2018


Julie Paisley Desert Shootout | WPPI 2018

So this is Part III of my WPPI 2018 series. You can read more about my adventures in Part I and Part II, where I talk about how to survive and the different kinds of classes and events that go on for any photogs that are new or anyone thinking they want to take the dive and go! 

Last year, I heard talk of events going on, outside of what WPPI offers, called "shootouts." These are basically styled shoots that are flawlessly designed and executed by a host, in this case Julie Paisley, who is an AMAZING film photographer and I want to be her when I grow up. So shootouts are styled events hosted by a photographer, FOR photographers to add gorgeous images to their websites and portfolios. There are typically around 25 photographers sharing time between various models, table designs, invitation suites, florals and other details. The idea here is to shoot quality, not quantity. You don't NEED 1,000 photos of the same thing. 

This was my first shootout and a brand new experience for me. It's a completely different world working with professional models, who require minimal direction. A lot of what I do during a shoot is geared toward helping my clients feel comfortable in front of my camera, so it was amazing how little time I needed to get STUNNING images!

All these images were taken at the Julie Paisley Shoot out, with creative direction, styling and florals by Janna Brown Design, and hair/makeup and assist by Natalia Issa.


Since this was my first shootout I made sure to introduce myself, and ask about how it all works. Basically, each photographer gets between 3-5 minutes to direct the model, and the rest are welcome to shoot from the side. We broke off into smaller groups, and had ample time to work with each model setup. I'm not going to lie, it's incredibly anxiety-inducing to be watched by a large number of other photographers all vying for the models attention, and there were a handful of people with dominant personalities that left me a bit irked. Overall, I'm pleased with the gorgeous images that I do have, and I met some truly lovely people in the process. I'm definitely looking forward to next year, and perhaps keeping my sights on smaller workshops in the future.



Taken at the @JuliePaisleyPhotography Shootout

Creative direction, styling & florals |     @jannabrowndesign

Hair + Makeup and assist |      @nataliaissa

Nemoria Editorial (Purple Gown) & Table Scape

Gown | Carol Hannah      @carolhannahbridal

Purple Paper Goods | Bohemian Ink      @bohoink

Silk Ribbon | Silk and Willow      @silkandwillow

Table Linens | La Tavola Linen      @latavolalinen

Chairs | RSVP Party Rentals      @rsvppartyrentals

Ring | Susie Saltzman      @susiesaltzman

Ring Box | The Mrs Box      @the_mrs_box

Suit | Zara      @zara

Modeling Agency | TNG Models      @tngmodels

Models | Purple Gown @mckennazhang  Male @manybta_


Domenica Editorial

Gown | Domenica Domenica      @domenica_domenica

Suit | The Black Tux      @theblacktux

Paper Goods (White & Black) | Bijou Creative      @bijoucreative

Silk Ribbon | Silk and Willow      @Silkandwillow

Ring | Susie Saltzman      @susiesaltzman

Modeling Agency | tng models      @tngmodels

Models | @michelle_senecal  @jword_

Shoes | Bella belle Shoes      @bellabelleshoes


Sundance Editorial

Gown | Elizabeth Dye      @elizabethdye

Paper goods (Cream color on cream silk) | Esther Clark co      @estherclarkco

Silk Ribbon | Silk and Willow      @silkandwillow

Ring | Susie Saltzman      @susiesaltzman

Model | @conwaterman


WPPI 2018 | Plus Class Experience

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WPPI 2018 | Plus Class Experience

This is Part II of my WPPI 2018 series, as it's always too much to cram into one monster post. WPPI stands for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, and it takes place in Las Vegas every year.

Photographers from all over the globe come to speak, educate and motivate the crap out of us peasants trying to make it in this crazy, competitive and creative industry. I always arrive thinking I've got this photography thing down and leave incredibly humbled and hungry for the next creative challenge. You can read more about how to survive and thrive at WPPI in my first post. 

My absolute favorite experience from WPPI this year was a Plus Class led by Scott Johnson of The Edge Photography, called The Art of Bride and Groom Portraiture. This being my first Plus Class, I did a little ol' fashioned internet stalking (see tip #2 in my survival guide) before choosing a class. I was a bit anxious about how a 6 hour long class would go, as I definitely find myself nodding off in classes that are all talk. And sure enough, internet stalking for the win! I found that Scott Johnson is an award winning photographer and that I LOVED his use of light, symmetry, and architecture, but most of all his message: to create truly unique and breathtaking imagery for not only his clients, but himself. 

 Scott Johnson Plus Class: The Art of Bride and Groom Portraiture.  Showing us how to find the right light, and use leading lines and symmetry to create visual interest. 

Scott Johnson Plus Class: The Art of Bride and Groom Portraiture.  Showing us how to find the right light, and use leading lines and symmetry to create visual interest. 

He introduced himself by saying that when he comes to WPPI and sees the winning contest images, he immediately thinks, "Wow, I suck."  Being an award winner himself, his comment surprised me. He voiced a comment I have said countless times to myself when I see these incredible award winning photographs or even when I scroll through Instagram. It put me at ease, making me realize that even the top photographers in the world still get insecure about their own work, and are constantly learning just like me. 

I've rapidly found that I am more of a visual and hands on learner, and Scott's plus class did not disappoint. We only spent a fraction of the class time listening to his presentation, but I could listen to his delightful English (Not British, because apparently there is a difference) accent allllll day.


Most of his class was spent shooting outside, which was perfect, even in the rain! He explained how he would approach finding the right light, and places of visual interest as if it were a real wedding day. He explained simple ways to turn stagnant bridal poses into the soft, stunning and feminine poses that make brides say, "Is that really me?"

 I promise this wasn't a black and white class, but everything just looked more amazing in B&W. These the few images I kept in color, haha!

I promise this wasn't a black and white class, but everything just looked more amazing in B&W. These the few images I kept in color, haha!

He explained the idea of  balancing the posed and "proper" images that Mom and Grandma want to frame, with the creative and life-giving images that make us excited to keep doing this crazy photography thing. He said, "You have to eat your vegetables before you get the chocolate pudding." He's so right. We have to get the plain and bland shots that get us paid, then we can do the creative shots that get us excited to continue pushing forward. 



If you are looking to submit photos to contests or judging, he explained what judges look for to award points and what they will dock points for. Literally the most minute details can make or break an image being judged. He truly wants us all to succeed, and taught us real tools we can use to improve our craft.


He explained simple ways to pose men, which is something I struggle with. Being a female, I tend to (wrongly) assume men don't have the same insecurities that we have on the daily, but they totally do! I find it particularly interesting to learn photographic techniques from men, as it's a completely different mindset, and point of view that I am exposed to. (pun intended, haha!) Learning simple ways to help a groom look and feel his best on his wedding day is just as important as making the bride look and feel her best. He's not just an accessory people! 


Not all educators have the same approachable, and straightforward attitude that Scott has. I appreciated his honesty, bluntness, and humor most of all. He's just a silly guy that's loving his career, for the most part, and passing on what he knows to us peons. He has a refreshing community over competition mindset, that greatly speaks to me on a personal level and I hope he decides to teach more in the future. Overall, I had a blast in Scott's plus class, and he even offered to grab a beer with us all afterwards! Whaaat?? Beer? My kind of human.

I cannot recommend his class on bride and groom portraiture enough! If you're finding yourself in a creative rut, just remember to eat your vegetables so you can get to the pudding!!! 



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