black and white

Joelle Pacifica | Newborn Session

I will never forget the nervous anxiety I felt in the hours leading up to my very first wedding. Josh and Audrie, dear friends from college, had asked me to photograph their big day. I was petrified. What if something went wrong? What if my camera malfunctioned? What if I missed an important moment? As if I wasn't stressed enough, I got in my car only to discover that it wouldn't start. Thank God for amazing roommates who let you borrow their car at the last minute!

Anxious and flustered, I arrived at the condo in Imperial Beach where Audrie and her bridesmaids were getting ready. Audrie and her mother greeted me with big smiles and outstretched arms, and as I hugged them, my nerves melted away. It was an instantaneous and monumental shift in my very core. I was overcome with peace and I began to enjoy the day. I witnessed beautiful moments between parents and children and watched two families come together. In those moments, I became abundantly aware that I was a part of something so very special.

Several years, one new car, and many weddings later, I still think of that day when my life changed so drastically. It truly was the beginning of a new and beautiful career and I am forever thankful to Josh and Audrie for giving me the opportunity. So it was the joy of joys when my very first wedding couple invited me to their home to photograph their newborn baby girl.

I had the privilege of snuggling and hanging out with precious Joelle earlier this week and my heart was bursting. Joelle is as perfect as they come. As I photographed this beautiful 6-day-old girl and her sweet parents, I was astounded at how happy and calm she was. She didn't fuss or cry once. It turns out that little Joelle already lives up to her middle name, Pacifica, which means peaceful. While spending time with this beautiful family of three, I thought back to that day when my nerves melted away and I, like sweet Joelle, felt happy and calm and peaceful. And, once again, I was abundantly aware that I was a part of something so very special.

Before our session ended, we made a quick trip to Imperial Beach just a few blocks from Josh and Audrie's home. And as we pulled into a parking spot, they pointed out the very condo where where my nerves melted away and my career as a wedding photographer began. How's that for full-circle?

Jené & Nick | The Avalon Hollywood

I'm a huge fan of black and white photography. For me, black and white images immortalize the intimacy of a moment in a way that colored images cannot. It's as if all of the distractions are removed, and all that remains is raw emotion. Perhaps it's because, as my imagination fills in the colors, it also fills in the story. Questions like "What color lipstick was she wearing?" turn into "How must she have felt as she prepared to see her husband for the first time?". And as I study each image, I become captivated by the story that created it.

I've always wanted to photograph a wedding entirely in black and white. When Jené and Nick told me that their wedding would have a 1920s theme, I knew this was the one! In keeping with the theme of the wedding, I'm sharing the story of their day in classic, timeless black and white! For all of my lovers of color (and those of you who really want to know what color lipstick she was wearing), I'll be blogging the colored images soon, I promise!

Jené and Nick planned the most elegantly-themed wedding I have ever seen. The Old Hollywood style was present in every detail of the day. From Jené's vintage makeup by Besame Cosmetics and Daniela Beckstrom, to her juliet cap veil, she was a black and white movie star come to life. Nick and his dapper groomsmen wore classic black tuxes and bowties. And the venue?!?! A historic nightclub right on the Hollywood walk of fame. So much yes!

I'll be back to share more from Jené and Nick's wedding, including more of their love story. For now, take a trip to the 1920s and enjoy some of my favorite black and white images of their special day.