Monthly Archives: August 2010

Brandon & Serra’s One-of-a-Kind Los Angeles Wedding with Pretty Vintage Touches

08 | 03 | 2010


I love the sweetness of Brandon & Serra’s wedding.  Everything, everything was fashioned to be personal, to be romantic, to be sweet and meaningful.  And the results were just about perfect.  Plus, this was one of the thriftiest and most resourceful wedding planning crews I’ve encountered.  Brandon and his twin brother, Brian, are the photographers behind Twin Lens Life.  And Serra is a maven of vintage fashion, and all-things-vintage, come to think of it.  Everything from fashion to decor was handmade or scored from vintage stores and thrift shops around Los Angeles.

Below: a few photographs of Serra & Brandon getting ready. I took just a moment right before the ceremony to get a couple photographs on my 4×5 camera.

{click any image for a closer look}


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Below: some of the ceremony details. Click any image to enlarge. Brandon & Brian made the wooden signs (that fancy W and the plumage!).  I love the lace draped tree. And the just-gathered feelings of the bouquets and arrangements.   Florals by Amanda Claverie, Rosebud Floral Design.

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Above: one of the zillion polaroids from Brandon & Serra’s wedding. Below: This ceremony was just about perfect (and complete with a rooster strolling through, if you look closely!).

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After the ceremony, while we took group photos and photos of Brandon & Serra, the guests entertained themselves with games and tea. This is handy tip to steal: have something fun for your guests to do while you do your formal photographs.  This is especially important if you plan not to see each other (and therefore not do any of the group photos before your ceremony).

It was hard to get Brandon’s twin brother, Brian, to hold still for a photo during cocktail hour. Since the boys are also wedding photographers, Brian made the rounds during cocktail hour getting a Polaroid—er, Fuji instant print—of each and every guest for the escort cards / guest book. They blogged {here} and {here} over on their blog, Twin Lens Life, about this project, which I think would be fantastic at any small wedding. Not exactly diy if you’re not a pro, but definitely handmade and one of a kind.  I’m looking forward to seeing—and doing!—more of these unique one of a kind projects at weddings, which seem to be gaining in popularity.

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Everything about this wedding was so romantically-styled, down to the tiniest detail. There were piles of old books, and gatherings of baby’s breath, an old typewriter, candles, vases of a few blooms, tiny ceramic birds. The table was like a tableau. But my favorite little details, besides the “tree” with the Polaroids that Serra and Brandon had taken together over the course of their relationship (pictured below), were their love birds, Frankie and Allie.


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A few more quiet moments before the end of the day:

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We had so much fun rotating through our (and Brandon & Brian’s!) collection of vintage film cameras, toy cameras, instant film cameras, et cetera.  I loved getting to share in the absolute joy of shooting along side other lovers-of-photography (their crafty guests were snapping as many photos as I was, it seemed!).  Congratulations, Brandon & Serra! Thanks for sharing! May your years ahead be happy and filled with lots of Polaroids! This wedding is also being featured {here} over on Snippet & Ink today!

the end!

photographs: Gia Canali, venue: Heritage Square Museum, LA; florals: Amanda Claverie, Rosebud Floral Design; super 8mm wedding film: Tim Neilsen, Flicker Films, shown {here}; hair, Louis Santelices; pretty much everything else: handmade, thrift store or vintage shop finds.


Notes Toward Slow (Wedding) Photography

08 | 02 | 2010

This year, perhaps even more than in years past, and despite practically daily notices of film-discontinuations, I am being commissioned to do my slowest work: photo sessions driven largely or entirely by my dear and clunky 4×5 cameras.  Behind the scenes, I am working on printing techniques that make the platinum printing I do feel like instant gratification.  And I have been thinking: the slower the wedding, the slower the photography I am able to do.  Slow photography requires breathing, reloading, time to think behind the lens, time to tinker, and, usually, a mess of polaroids—in other words, the freedom to be deliberate.  (I also love that first reaction to a moment, and also seek that out in my work, just as anxiously, but I am getting at something different here).

I was rummaging through photo books this morning (my second favorite method of procrastination*), and pulled out a copy of Paul Outerbridge’s Command Performance.  The prints reproduced in this book are platinum prints and carbro prints. Carbro prints, if you are unfamiliar, are made by a painstaking, triple-glass-negative technique.  Printing is ridiculously labor intensive and unequivocally rewarding.  Dazzling.  Unfortunately these prints are a see-it-to-believe-it kind of experience.

But I’ve seen them, and the book was a gift to my husband after we went to the exhibition.  The inscription I wrote, in part, says, “Cheers to doing things the hard way when it’s also the best way, an innovative or extraordinary way, and especially if it’s (at all) exquisite.”  This apparently has been on my mind for quite awhile and I’d like to extend the toast to all of us photographers and commissioners-of-photography.  So: as we all, myself included, race forward into photography’s future, clicking away at all manner of cameras, high-fi and low-tech, antique and newly-minted, let us not forget to breathe between shots.  Let us hold dearly as a value thinking behind the lens.  I think, my friends, that we are.  But let’s make a point of it.

photo: Gia Canali

*my first favorite method of procrastination, at the moment, is browsing etsy.