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I love doing set photography in Los Angeles.  The comraderie of working with a few dozen other creative who (in the best sets) are absolute crazy nerds who love what they do is so fun. This was a passion project by a young man who was in the corporate world. When covid hit, he said it made him realize that he didn’t just want to play the game for the rest of his life. So he’s taking the leap and filmed a scene for his movie! I was so proud to be able to assist on this set, photograph, and also be a boom operator. Despite almost freezing temperatures and almost hitting people with the pole because of the tight space, the entire set was a great group of talented people.

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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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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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I think I’ll start a new thing. Adventure engagement sessions. Because this was a blast, despite the unexpected high tide. It helped that S and D were troopers, despite getting almost instantly soaked. S’s gorgeous hair held up, she was fine with her dress getting waterlogged, and we came out with some gorgeous sunset engagement photos from Victoria Beach. All credit goes to these two troopers, who were happy, smiling, and unruffled despite getting hit with wave after wave.

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These two are gold. When Elizabeth threw her heart into planning this engagement shoot, her excitement was contagious. I typically do a lot more romantic/natural style engagement photography, even in LA. But I always love playing with engagement pictures. We get the time and flexibility to play, versus on a wedding day, when we’re a lot more pressed for time. So, as you can probably tell, we had an absolute blast. Even with the smoke-clogged air, we came out with some of my favorite photos of my career.

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“OMG WE LOVE THEM!!! Dan keeps saying, ‘we definitely chose the right photographer!'” Stephanie sent me this right after they saw their first Victoria Beach engagement photos. Parking at Victoria Beach for engagement photos is always tough, so when Stephanie and Daniel got stuck without parking, I got a little worried. However, we had planned ahead and had enough light to get THE MOST PERFECT engagement photos I’ve ever gotten at Victoria Beach and the Pirate Tower. They really speak for themselves. Stephanie wore a gorgeous deep red chiffon dress and Daniel was perfectly matched in a simple, crisp shirt and slacks.

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I got so excited when I found out these two wanted to do an Airstream engagement session! They found an amazing location in the hills above Malibu. The sunset was epic, the love was obvious, and it was the perfect Airstream engagement session.

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