Sarah + Dylan: Wedding at Hartley Botanica

Hartley Botanica wedding portrait

Sarah and Dylan reached out to me last Fall for their wedding at Hartley Botanica. Being from the East Coast like me, they wanted a venue lush with greenery, a more common sight from the other side of the country. It’s one those things we miss out here in LA like good pizza and bagels from mom and pop shops. Hartley Botanica is as green as it gets. There’s grass, bamboo, and trees abound. We’re not talking about palm trees either, but real branchy trees towering above, full with green leaves.

Also, working in Hollywood, I was flattered that they picked me for my eye and my coloring. The film industry and I had a history back in the day. Though it is in the past, cinematography and photography are intertwined disciplines and there’s no doubt my work continues to be influenced by motion picture.

Though they must see countless vendors every weekend of wedding season, when Bel and Karen of Hartley Botanica saw my arrival, it was as if we had just seen each other last week, rather than last year, and they ran the whole day as smoothly as any previous wedding I’ve photographed at this venue. That’s when you know your coordinators will be looking out for you, the couple, as well as vendors like me. A well-fed photographer is a happy photographer, and a happy photographer is one who finds inspiration (wonder if Anthony Bourdain would agree?).

Wedding dress hanging by the window
Bride getting hair and makeup done
Groom's boutonniere
Groom looking out the window black and white
Hartley Botanica wedding school bus
Hartley Botanica wedding sign
Hartley Botanica Jewish wedding outdoors chuppah
Hartley Botanica wedding guestbook signing
Hartley Botanica wedding first look
Hartley Botanica wedding first look
Hartley Botanica wedding first look
Hartley Botanica wedding first look
Hartley Botanica wedding family candids
Hartley Botanica wedding family candids
Hartley Botanica wedding portrait
Hartley Botanica wedding portrait
Hartley Botanica wedding portrait
Hartley Botanica wedding portrait
Hartley Botanica wedding reception outdoors centerpiece
Hartley Botanica wedding reception outdoors
Hartley Botanica wedding cake outdoors
Hartley Botanica wedding ceremony
Hartley Botanica wedding ceremony flower girl grandmother
Hartley Botanica wedding ceremony
Hartley Botanica wedding ceremony
Hartley Botanica Jewish wedding ceremony tallit
Hartley Botanica wedding ceremony black and white
Hartley Botanica wedding portrait
Hartley Botanica wedding reception outdoors sweetheart tableHartley Botanica wedding reception candidsHartley Botanica wedding reception candidsHartley Botanica wedding reception candidsHartley Botanica wedding reception candidsHartley Botanica wedding cake cuttingHartley Botanica wedding reception outdoors first danceHartley Botanica Jewish wedding horah

Alexa + TJ: Secret Garden Event Center Wedding

Secret Garden Event Center wedding ceremony

Wedding season kicked off in February for me this year, not in SoCal, but in Arizona. This one wedding brought me out to Phoenix at the Secret Garden Event Center. In the middle of winter, daytime skies were tinted green with patchy clouds stretching in every direction. It was Arizona’s version of overcast and it lended itself to me on this day.

The elegant personal expressions like the vintage cape Alexa’s grandmother wore for her wedding, her white opera gloves for the first dance, TJ’s custom cufflinks nodding to the Southwest are things I live for in my photography. If I shot the entire day in black and white film, I feel like the story would still maintain its flow and mood. I’d accept the challenge. Would you?

Secret Garden Event Center wedding ceremony site
Secret Garden Event Center wedding ceremony site
Secret Garden Event Center wedding decoration
Secret Garden Event Center wedding dress hanging black and whiteSecret Garden Event Center wedding bridal prep black and white
Secret Garden Event Center wedding bridal prep
Secret Garden Event Center wedding bridal prep
Bride wedding portrait portra 800 nikon fe2 Secret Garden Event Center wedding groom prep
Custom silver wedding cufflinks
Secret Garden Event Center wedding groom prep
Secret Garden Event Center wedding groom prep
Secret Garden Event Center wedding bride portrait
Secret Garden Event Center wedding portrait
Secret Garden Event Center wedding portrait
Secret Garden Event Center wedding ceremony
Secret Garden Event Center wedding ceremony
Secret Garden Event Center marriage license signing
Secret Garden Event Center wedding portrait
Secret Garden Event Center black wedding cake
Secret Garden Event Center wedding first dance
Secret Garden Event Center wedding first dance
Secret Garden Event Center wedding reception candid
Secret Garden Event Center wedding reception black and white
Secret Garden Event Center wedding exit sparklers black and white

Jennifer + Jordan: Wedding at the Cicada Club

Cicada Club wedding portrait

This Cicada Club wedding was one I looked forward to for the longest time! Perhaps due to my New York roots, I am a huge fan of old, historic venues to balance out all of the sunny, outdoor weddings. Tucked away in Downtown Los Angeles, the Cicada Club opened its doors in 1928 and is adorned with wood tones, gold accents, and art deco styling. Due to the moody and dim interior,  lighting is a challenge and reminds me of a clean slate to work with. The challenge is almost like setting up in a photo studio.

To remain faithful to the styling of Jennifer and Jordan’s wedding, I approached this wedding no different than any other, adding some of my own lighting without overriding the ambience the couple and lighting designers created. I want couples to look back and see what they remember, not an entirely new scene I created with flash.

While I’m sure next year holds many amazing weddings at sunset or overlooking the ocean, I also look forward to photographing many more historic interiors like the Cicada Club!


Cicada Club wedding invitationJolibee wedding ringsCicada Club window signCicada Club decorCicada Club entrance signCicada Club wedding first lookCicada Club wedding first lookCicada Club wedding party portraitCicada Club wedding party portraitCicada Club wedding party portraitCicada Club wedding processionalCicada Club wedding processionalCicada Club wedding processionalCicada Club wedding ceremonyCicada Club wedding ceremonyCicada Club wedding ceremonyCicada Club wedding candid momentsGrapefruit Fizz cocktail bar Cicada Club wedding first dance Cicada Club wedding guestsCicada Club wedding sweetheart tableCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding toastCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding cakeCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding candid momentsCicada Club wedding portraitCicada Club wedding portrait