Studio engagement portrait sessions

studio portrait wedding

I’ve bounced back and forth with the idea of studio portraiture and wedding photography. It is an integral part of my photography background, as I often mention during consultation, but not something couples typically (important word here) give thought to. A part of the reason for this is the market and social media. How do you know what you want for your engagement session when you don’t know it exists? If you can’t find it, you might settle for is currently available (remember a time before oat milk?)

When you meet a bride who wants to swim against the current, knows what she wants, and follows her intuition to hire me, it is humanly rewarding. It feeds one’s soul. Let’s work together because you have a vision and we have something to prove against tired trends.

Below are a couple of final selects from a recent shoots. I looked for subtlety through body language, rather than hitting the viewer over the head with the oft seen themes when people search for engagement photos (bright colors, matching colors, props).

los angeles studio portrait wedding
los angeles studio portrait wedding

Yali + Larry: Quail Ranch Wedding

Quail Ranch wedding first look

This wedding took place at Quail Ranch, out in Simi Valley, which is in that part of SoCal with enough elevation to give you great weather and views for outdoor events.

When I met with Yali, she expressed to me that she had taken some photography courses in college and had a fondness for black and white photos. My third camera for their wedding was my Nikon FE2 loaded with Ilford HP5. To me, the real surprise was using this film at night outdoors, which comes with all sorts of uncertainties. It loved my off-camera lighting setup and continued to produce pleasing micro contrast.

One thing I noticed about Quail Ranch was the way the sunlight fell toward the end of the day. The property told me it may have just been a coincidence that the buildings were laid out in a way to maximize on sunset. Whether you’re dealt good design or not, photojournalism’s duty is to take what you’re given, with lighting and otherwise, and making the best of it!

Quail Ranch wedding bridal prep
Quail Ranch bride portrait
Quail Ranch bride portrait Ilford HP5 Nikon FE2
Quail Ranch wedding first lookQuail Ranch wedding party portrait
Quail Ranch wedding ceremonyQuail Ranch wedding ceremony
Quail Ranch wedding ceremony
Quail Ranch wedding ceremonyQuail Ranch wedding ceremony
Quail Ranch wedding receptionQuail Ranch black and white wedding portrait
Quail Ranch black and white first dance Ilford HP5 Nikon FE2
Quail Ranch black and white first dance Ilford HP5 Nikon FE2
Quail Ranch wedding reception
Quail Ranch black and white wedding reception Ilford HP5 Nikon FE2

Kathy + Joe: Diamond Mills Hotel Wedding

Diamond Mills Hotel wedding first look

Of the vast pool of talented photographers to choose from in New York City, Kathy and Joe wanted me to photograph their wedding in Upstate. I’ve known them from before I ever did photography in any serious manner, so I feel like they are two siblings who watched and supported my creative endeavors. Their wedding also felt like a big reunion to me because throughout our parallel journeys, I’ve met many of their family and friends on jobs and occasions, and there they were all in one place on that day. Our long friendship led to finding myself at the Diamond Mills Hotel over Labor Day weekend this year.

Late into the celebration, Rick Moranis (of Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, and other 80’s Hollywood hits) shows up to say hi and to dance for a bit. Leave it to Kathy and Joe’s circle of friends to spot him in their neighborhood doing his thing and nudging him into crashing a wedding. The longer you shoot (weddings), the more celebrities you encounter.

Tossed into the photos is also one of me in a grey suit with the Vitamin Enriched team, with whom I’ve worked a number of gigs over the years.Diamond Mills Hotel
Diamond Mills Hotel sign
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding prep
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding prep
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding bridal prep
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding bridal prep
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding bridal prep
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding first look
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding portrait
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding candid
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding ceremony
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding ceremony
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding ceremony
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding ceremony
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding cakeDiamond Mills Hotel wedding portrait
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Wedding rings macro
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Diamond Mills Hotel wedding reception
Rick Moranis at a wedding
Rick Moranis at a wedding