musical

Hamilton Cast Dance Portraits

If you've ever had a conversation with me for more than 5 seconds, you know that speechlessness is something I experience approximately never. But trying to put words to one of the most rewarding experiences of my photography career is not easy. Everything I write feels inhibited or overly professional, so I'll just say it like this; photographing dancers from the cast of Hamilton was REALLY, REALLY FREAKING AWESOME!

I have been a musical theatre nerd my entire life. I unabashedly belt show tunes in the shower (you're welcome to everyone who has ever lived with me) and have been performing since I was a young child. So when I got to see the national tour of Hamilton during its stop in San Diego, I was ecstatic! Unless you've been living under a rock for several years, you'll know that Hamilton is the talk of the town. The musical won 11 Tony Awards in 2016 and has been sold out for virtually every performance in its existence. I'll admit, I was nervous to see if the musical would live up to the hype, but after seeing the show, I can honestly say that you just can't hype it up enough. It's truly spectacular in every way.

However, the excitement of seeing the show pales in comparison to the excitement of actually collaborating with these incredibly talented performers in the photography studio. Besides being insanely talented and stunningly beautiful (seriously, is this a requirement for Hamilton casting?), these dancers were kind, gracious, and a dang good time to hang out with! While I'm not a gifted dancer myself, I have long believed dance to be the most beautiful and expressive of art forms. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I believe that dance is altogether beyond words. And so, creating together with these beautiful people was truly an experience that left me speechless.

Jessica & Eric

Jessica and Eric met when he, a speech therapist, started working with her students in her special-education classroom. As the only young people working at the school, they quickly hit it off. And while Jessica knew very early on that Eric was interested in her, she wasn't quite ready to date. As far as she knew, he would be moving to another city soon enough anyway. But, as seems to be a common trend among the wonderful couples I get to photograph, Eric's persistence paid off. With his sights set on Jessica, Eric decided to stay in Monterey and even had his friends help him find a new job in the area, allowing them to start dating. And just as it didn't take long for these two to become close friends, dating quickly taught them that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

Their wedding in Monterey, CA was a joy to photograph. I loved the way they were able to tie in Eric's Chinese heritage with beautiful red florals and lanterns. And the backdrop for their first look at York School was stunning! Plus, Jessica all of the tables at the reception had musical theatre-themed table marker. Right up my alley, folks! I was humming show tunes all night long! But more than any of that, Jessica and Eric have the sweetest hearts, and that's what made sharing in their day so special. Their love for one another and everyone who shares in their story is palpable.

Jessica and Eric, my deepest congratulations and best wishes for your marriage. I love the way you love others. It's inspirational. Keep doing that and you're sure to have a very happy life together!