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

Advice on Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Over the years, I’ve attended many weddings, met a lot of people, visited many locations. I figure I’m in a good position to offer advice on hiring a wedding photographer but I won’t try to come off too critical!

Are you and your photographer a good personality match?

You’re going to spend 6-10 hours with this person on the day of your wedding. Just like any working relationship, you need to get along. If you have similar interests, humor, and visual sense, this goes a long way. Wedding photography is a difference service from coordinating or catering in that you will have to continue working with your photographer after the big day as we work on editing the photos and designing albums.

A lot of my clients include personal touches in their decor or dresses. Does your photographer favor a more traditional approach or does he or she catch onto the subtle personal stories?

Wedding photography is a creative service, but it is also a relationship where we both have to make an effort. Without being too whiny, I’ll present to you two potential situations that can sour the mood of a wedding day.

If a couple or their coordinator wants to manage a photographer the entire wedding day, they risk curbing the photographer’s freedom and desire to be creative. While you can talk about what types of photos you enjoy during your hiring phase, if you can’t find yourself trusting them to do what they specialize in, you’re bound to hit more bumps on the road.

Do they get you?

I let my clients know I have a no pressure approach. We’re all different and so are our needs. What may be great for one couple is not for another. A great example is an engagement session. You might want one to get over any camera shyness or to get to know your photographer better (while also doing a hair and makeup trial).

Even though I offer this service, I find that a lot of my clients pass on this, however, or they go for something different. Getting to know you and your style will help me keep on delivering the best service and photos.

Some companies specialize in volume sales and delivering similar locations/photos/looks to the majority. If this appeals to you, I strongly recommend you contact them instead.

Is their work consistent?

Photography is a craft that isn’t immune to trends (Instagram, anyone?). As artists, we go through growing phases and try new things. However, an important day without do-overs isn’t a lab for blatant experimentation.

I personally try to strike a balance between risk and reward. Ability to take a few risks comes from the experience of dozens of weddings a year. We get the rhythm down of what to expect, where the emotions are, when we have more free time to try things out. Sometimes you sense the right opportunity and you try something daring and you reap the rewards! Because it ties in with the rest of my experience, it usually matches the rest of my work and feels like an extension of my creative self.

Speak or meet with more vendors!

You’ll get a better understanding of what options are available out there in terms of style and approach. Two photographers with similar aesthetics could turn out to do things very differently. Also, you’re less likely to deal with the “grass is greener on the other side” feeling if you know you’ve done your duty in shopping around.

Jenn & Rich: West Hollywood wedding at the Sunset Marquis

Sunset Marquis Hotel wedding portrait West Hollywood

Jenn and Rich wanted to celebrate their wedding in West Hollywood, the city they live in and love. We approached the day in strong photojournalism fashion, passing on “getting ready” photos in favor of documentary and first look at the ceremony site. They got married at Saint Victor Catholic Church, one of the friendliest churches I can remember in a long time, with the priests understanding that they and I are all in service of the couple on such a day. Also, one of the ladies tidying the premises referred to me as such a good-looking photographer and I’m a sucker for compliments!

The reception was held just around the corner within walking distance at the iconic Sunset Marquis. There were three beautiful cakes, one dedicated to the parents of the groom’s 50th anniversary, and one to their Dr. Who fandom, and one to cutting. The gathering was with their closest friends and family throughout the afternoon, allowing me to be a fly on the wall and capture many moments, big and small.

Their corgi Archie could not join them at the venue, but he participated in cookie form!

Saint Victor Catholic Church wedding West Hollywood
Saint Victor Catholic Church wedding candid
Saint Victor Catholic Church bride and father
Saint Victor Catholic Church bride and father
Saint Victor Catholic Church wedding altar
Saint Victor Catholic Church bride candid
Saint Victor Catholic Church wedding
Saint Victor Catholic Church wedding first kiss
Saint Victor Catholic Church wedding exit
Saint Victor Catholic Church bride and groom candid
Saint Victor Catholic Church bride candid
Sunset Marquis wedding portrait West Hollywood
Sunset Marquis wedding portrait West Hollywood
Sunset Marquis wedding cake
Sunset Marquis wedding cake
Dr. Who cake
Sunset Marquis wedding reception West Hollywood
Sunset Marquis bride candid moment
Sunset Marquis wedding candid moment
Sunset Marquis wedding guests West Hollywood
Sunset Marquis wedding cake cutting
Sunset Marquis wedding cake cutting
Wedding favor cookies
Sunset Marquis wedding guests
Sunset Marquis wedding candid
Sunset Marquis wedding candid
Sunset Marquis wedding candid Portra 800 Olympus mju-ii
Sunset Marquis wedding portrait West Hollywood
Sunset Marquis wedding portrait West Hollywood