Coronavirus Pandemic

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Smitha and Arjun got married at the Malibu Hindu Temple in Los Angeles. It was a beautiful venue. Despite coronavirus, these two got together a group of their closest local friends and tied the knot. My husband and I lived in India for several years after we first got married, so Indian tradition and Indian wedding photography in LA is something I’ve really enjoyed. 

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Jenna is such an amazing planner. Which meant we met over a year before the wedding. She’s one of those beautiful people with a good mix of compassion and strength. Right from the start I knew I would enjoy being her Boise wedding photographer. Although I am primarily a Los Angeles wedding photographer, Jenna booked both Matt and I before we moved. And even with all the crazy Covid-19 stuff, Jenna and Cody had such a gorgeous, meaningful wedding day. (P.S. I also got to do their engagement photos at Table Rock, which were absolutely some of my favorite of the summer!).

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I was in a sleepy haze as I drove down the deserted highway. It was the pre-dawn quiet of a city that doesn’t wake up until it’s time to go to work. I gathered together my backpack of gear. For intimate sunrise elopement at El Matador Beach, I typically carry a prime 35mm, some OCF, a trigger, a stand, and a long lens, along with my trusty, beautiful Canon 5D Mark III.

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Elizabeth and Robb’s plan had to change slightly when Covid shut everything down. I’m so happy they still decided to prioritize photos, though. I was still able to be their Santa Monica wedding photographer. They cut down their guest list significantly, changed their venue, and ended up getting married at Tongva Park in Santa Monica. The park is a well-kept secret, something you pass often without realizing it’s even a park. It’s just steps away from the Santa Monica Pier. But it wasn’t crowded and we had one of those amazing, golden sunsets.

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I am the fastest Los Angeles wedding photographer I know, when it comes to giving photos back to clients. I always edit full weddings within the week. Most of the time, and especially for smaller weddings, I have the photos ready within 24-48 hours. Many of my photographer friends shake their heads and wonder how I do it, and even more, why. Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about my approach. So, here’s how I edit wedding photos within 24 hours, and lastly, why.

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This year has been crazy. It’s 2020. When Covid-19 first hit, it severely limited or cancelled dozens of planned weddings. Most couples decided to wait and see what would happen. After a few months, more and more couples were faced with a choice: cut the guest list severely, elope, or put your wedding on hold indefinitely. Indoor weddings were almost impossible altogether. As a wedding and Yosemite elopement photographer, I started seeing couples look around for alternatives.

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C contacted me on FaceBook a little while ago asking if I’d be up for a short-notice mini, backyard wedding in Santa Clarita. I have a huge soft spot for backyard weddings, I had one myself. And C’s sweet conversation convinced me this would be a wedding of dreams. C and E loved each other so much. It was obvious from the first moment. I peeked into C’s getting ready room and found E had slipped a note under her door, saying that he loved her to infinity. These little moments are reasons I love photographing backyard weddings. When the production is stripped away, you get to the bare-bones love of the day. The entire family pitched in, decorated the whole house, and invited me to sit down for delicious food. It was amazing perfection.

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I love marriage. I think marriage is valuable, regardless of how the wedding has to happen. Simple or complex, the wedding doesn’t matter as much as the two people entering into the marriage together. Which is one reason I was so excited when Quique and Sahana asked me to photograph their Covid-19 elopement at the Honda Center. Because this will be a day and a time we will tell our kids about. And when there are photos, it’s so much more of a story.

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As with almost all the weddings this summer, Masha and Nate’s was put on hold due to Coronavirus. However, they couldn’t wait, and decided to hold a tiny backyard celebration anyway. They picked up the pieces of their original wedding, did a lot of DIY, made masks, and invited the people closest to them who weren’t as vulnerable. I love photographing backyard weddings. They are near and dear to my heart, since I had one, too.

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Quite awhile ago, Liba and Sasha contacted me about doing photography for their grand Los Angeles wedding. Then, 2020 hit, and nobody was sure what to do. These two decided to get married anyway, and needless to say, it was a good choice. I loved photographing for their backyard microwedding. I’m so proud they decided to get married anyway. Maybe that’s a weird response, but I’m a huge fan of love, and finding your spouse, and marrying them, regardless of how much money you have. That’s one reason I love offering affordable wedding packages and alternatives.

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