Posted in: Blog, Wedding Photography
Linda and Tyrone are engaged and are together at the Santa Monica Pier for their engagement shoot aka for me! just kidding. Linda flew down from NorCal just for this shoot and it was my pleasure to photograph this photogenic couple. Doesn’t he remind you of someone famous?
I asked her if there was 1 photo that she could leave with after the shoot, what would that photo be? Her answer was to capture a series of photos. She wanted to capture and re-enact the way they met. They were at a restaurant and he was checkin’ her out from a distance. It was love at first site and he approached her, asking if he could have a seat. They sparked it from there and exchanged business cards. Don’t take my words for it, see for yourself.
I love how nature photos turn out! Renee and Arturo are engaged and wanted to have their engagement photos take at Millard Canyon in Pasadena, which is a hidden gem just minutes away from Old Town Pasadena. Here are some of my favorite photos from the shoot.
Posted in: Blog, Philanthropy
15th Annual Los Angeles County Race for the Cure
I was approached by a friend to cover the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure event in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. I haven’t done a philanthropy for a while so it was a go for me as this opportunity came up. For those of you that don’t know about Susan G. Komen
- Over the last 14 years, the Komen Los Angeles County Affiliate has distributed $8.3 million for community-based grants to local organizations providing breast cancer screening, education, and treatment services, as well as to help fund national breast cancer research programs.
- A primary focus of the Komen Los Angeles County Affiliate is to aid uninsured and underinsured women and men who have symptoms of breast cancer and are facing barriers to accessing health care, particularly women under 40 and men of all ages.
- Susan G. Komen is the only organization where 75% of the net proceeds stay in the communities where they are raised. The remaining 25% of the net funds raised supports Komen’s National Grant Program, which is regarded as the most innovative and responsive grant program in breast cancer research. Much of that 25% is directly funded back to research facilities in our county.
I started my day at 7:30am with the Pink Carpet, where there were a hand full of celebs that were supporting the event. After a few photos there, Erika (Co-Chair Operations for the Susan G. Komen Los Angeles County Affiliate) met me up at the starting line and took me up 20-30 feet on a scissor lift to capture the start of the race. What an amazing experience as this was the first time I was exclusively able to take a unique aerial shot that no one else would have. Lucky me! Afterward, I was able to capture the emotions of those finishing the race, also amazing!! Then it was time for me to head over to the baseball field for some shots of the kids fun run. These kids were running 10 times harder than the adults, it’s evident in both the official race as well as the kids fun run. See for yourself! What a day!!!
See all of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 2011 Los Angeles event photos by clicking “Read More” below.
A Traditional Armenian American Cultural Wedding
This was my first time covering a traditional Armenian wedding. I’d say 70% of the day was dedicated to dancing, 10% dedicated to getting married and 20% dedicated to premium alcohol consumption along with their closest 300 family members, relatives and friends.
The day started at Armens’ home where 3 musicians played the clarinet, drum and accordion and welcomed his immediate family. Armen’s immediate family (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts) then went over to Adriana’s house with beautiful floral gift baskets containing the veil, her shoes, chocolates, Hennessy, perfume and more flowers.
At Adriana’s house, the outside was welcoming with fabric decor. There were two tables inside, one with food and desserts and the other table with the gifts. As Armen’s family begin entering Adriana’s home, they were dancing and celebrating the arrival of Armen’s family. Once they entered the house, Adriana made her appearance into the living room in a silver dress. The room was now filled with immediate family members from both sides. After another dance, Adriana went to go change into her wedding dress with her bridesmaids. Her brother put money in her shoe for good luck and placed Adriana’s shoes on her feet. Before Adriana makes her debut in her gorgeous wedding dress, Armen was in the living room.
Armen was being blessed by his parents with a dance. Each parent put a ribbon on him, one was red and one was green. They placed it on him in a way where the ribbons crossed his chest. Then it was time to see his to-be wife in her dress for the first time. After seeing each other, it was time to hop into the limo and head to the ceremony location: Japanese Tea house at Brand Park in Glendale, California. However, there was one more obstacle. In Armenian weddings, it is traditional for the brother of the Bride to stop Armen from taking his sister away. Armen at this point has to offer money to him until he allows him to take his sister away.
Their ceremony was also a bit different from what I’ve seen before. The priest had them bump heads for 80% of the time, then drink 1/3 cup of wine each from a fresh bottle with the best man. Before I knew it, the ceremony was done. Following the ceremony, they went to a historical house in Pasadena called the Maxwell House for a few more vintage looking photos.
Afterward, they made their first public appearance as husband and wife at the Royal Palace in Glendale, which is right across the street from the Americana shopping mall. The banquet hall at the Royal Palace was absolutely gorgeous.
The high ceilings, pictures on the wall, huge chandeliers, detailed Victorian style molding molding, it all added to the look of the venue. Not to mention the elaborate centerpieces and the variety of appetizers on the 30 tables. They made their entrance with the same 3 musicians and went straight into a family dance again! Interesting… Afterward, they ate their dinner and performed their first dance over a cloud of smoke. But that wasn’t it, they went on to perform a grease type dance for their guests.
Armenian weddings are longgggg!!!! 15 hours went by so quickly. Oh yea, coffee is a big thing in the Armenian culture. It was served at each of their parents’ homes and at the reception. I’m not talking about just cups of coffee, but straight shots of expresso. I had a great time photographing Adriana and Armen’s big wedding day.
Japanese Tea House @ Brand Park – 1601 West Mountain Street, Glendale, California 91201
Maxwell House (Photo Shoot Location) – 55 South Grand Avenue, Pasadena, California 91105
Royal Palace (Reception Location) – 210 South Brand Blvd, Glendale, California 91204
A Simple American Wedding Reception
Two days before their reception, they had gotten married at the Beverly Hills City Hall, keeping everything simple and sweet. They celebrated their marriage with family and friends in Southern California and held their wedding reception at Bistro 45 in Pasadena, California. It was an intimate event with only their closest 60 family members, relatives and friends.
Bistro 45 – http://www.yelp.com/biz/bistro-45-pasadena
45 S Mentor Ave
Pasadena, CA 91106
Eat. Drink. Be Married.
I happen to be at the right moment of time to capture this shot of Grace’s siblings kissing her on each cheek while someone is taking a snapshot of her.
I love how the grooms are always adjusting through rings throughout without even realizing they’re doing that.
Posted in: Blog, Engagement Photography
Stefany and Harold met on Facebook and are getting married in two weeks. Social networking works! Stefany is from the Phili and permanently relocated to unite with her soul mate in Los Angeles. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. We used the following engagement photos to create a guest book that will be displayed at the entrance of their reception on their wedding day.
I’m so excited to be at your wedding on August 14th, 2010. Date SAVED!!!
Amie’s Quinceanera (15th birthday) party was nothing less than a fairy tale. Following her offering to the Virgin Mary and her commitment to God, she hopped into her stretch Hummer and headed to the Los Angeles Design Center. Hands down, this is the perfect venue, truly a hidden gem. I’m going to be honest, I did not feel safe driving around in this area, but once I was through the gates and had a chance to look at the venue, I was blown away with how elaborate the place looked. The brick walls and high ceilings created a modern feel while the decor gave it a classy look. There was a candy table set up for the kids, fancy floral center pieces made with Manzanita trees, silk chair covers, an exotic/tropical cake, open bar, a live Mexican band, an amazing DJ and of course our very own photo booth, just for kicks. To top it off, we took over the upstairs area overlooking the entire venue for the photo booth.
After an incredible tri-tip, salmon and chicken dinner, Amie and her friends put on performance along with a traditional Quinceanera waltz with her father that reminded me of a Disneyland Cinderella show. It was a beautifully choreographed performance starring Princess Amie. Her 15th birthday was just amazing!
For more Quinceanera photos, see Helena’s Quinceanera.
Saint Anthony Catholic Church
215 Lomita Street, El Segundo, CA 90245
Los Angeles Design Center
5955 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90047
Posted in: Birthday Photography, Blog, Quinceanera Photography
A Quinceanera or Quince is Spanish for “fifteen years” and is a coming of age ceremony held on a girl’s fifteenth birthday, which is the equivalent of the American’s Sweet Sixteen birthday celebration. A Quinceanera ceremony begins in a church as she transitions from being a girl into a young lady. I have noticed that Quinceaneras are often more grand than a wedding. Their dresses can be just as expensive as a wedding dress.
Helena’s Quinceanera held in Baldwin Park and Covina was no exception as over one hundred family members, relatives and friends came to join Helena for her fifteenth birthday party. One of the most important Quinceanera traditions is the father/daughter dance. Following a traditional Catholic ceremony at a church, there was a reception with a waltz performance with her father. Moreover, the guest of honor will wear flat shoes and present the birthday girl elegant, heeled shoes to symbolize a girl becoming a woman. Helena made her presentation of a porcelain doll to her younger sister, symbolizing her last toy, which represents her next phase towards womanhood. Later in the night, Helena surprised her guests with a choreographed dance routine with her friends. The night was full of energy and joy, especially with a DJ to set the atmosphere and an open bar to set the mood.
Saint John Baptist Catholic Church (Helena’s Quinceanera Ceremony)
3843 Baldwin Park Boulevard
Baldwin Park, CA 91706-4108
Covina Women’s Club (Helena’s Quinceanera Reception)
128 South San Jose Avenue
Covina, CA 91723-2618