Category Archives: Finds

Tiny Pine Press Announces a New Line of Invites

08 | 12 | 2009

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We ♥ Tiny Pine Press ever so much.  So we are thrilled that Tiny Pine just launched a new line of wedding invitations, Variations.  The full collection is available directly through Tiny Pine or at Urbanic Paper in Venice.  If you live in LA, it’s definitely worth a stop in at Urbanic, to see the collection for yourself.  Urbanic is a papery treasure trove in and of itself and they carry tons of stuff from some of my favorite etsy sellers, too!  Anyway, I digress.  The Variations invites are printed on recycled or tree-free papers and are offered with digital (flat) printing, but letterpress is also available—of course!  This collection is perfect for brides everywhere, or brides elsewhere, I should say, who can’t meet with Jennifer to design custom stationery.  To celebrate, there was a sweet party at Urbanic, complete with arts ‘n crafts, a dj, festive treats, and Jennifer herself.  I forgot my camera (go figure!), so you’ll have to bear with my phone photos.  There are lovely photographs of the whole collection on Jennifer’s blog.

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R & A’s Los Angeles Wedding

06 | 23 | 2009

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R & A did a wonderful job conceiving their wedding. It involved lots of peculiarly-LA logistical challenges—a ceremony at the church the groom’s family attends in Downey, a reception on a chilly early-spring evening at a private home in Agoura Hills, getting guests to drive the hour-and-ten-minutes between locations—to name a few. But it came together beautifully under the direction of Heidi Mayne from Red25 (whose new site will launch very soon, so be sure to check back).

This wedding initiated me to {Krislyn} whose delicious designs have me swooning … Krislyn made the bride’s balsa wood and Swarovski bouquet (below and previously featured), the wishing tree, and the A + R vase (also below) that sat beside the tree at the reception. Lucky for me, Krislyn did florals at another wedding I photographed recently so I get to indulge (and share!) my newfound obsession.

{as always, click any image to enlarge}

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I have to confess, though, my aesthetic obsessions at Rosalinda and Aris’s wedding were varied. Many are indicative of current and coming trends:

  1. Krislyn (cannot be overemphasized). The design is extraordinary. And I am pro-keepsake. Aren’t we all? It’s not only “green” to double duty pieces from your wedding as home decor, it’s wonderful to have more to hang onto.
  2. The groom’s modern slim fit three piece suit from YSL. May all my grooms be so well-dressed. I love that a vest gives the groom not only a perfectly tailored look, but an “alternate” look. He won’t wear the jacket all night anyway.
  3. The bride’s all-over lace gown by Elizabeth Fillmore. It perfectly accented the bride’s lovely figure. The asymmetrical train was pretty fabulous, too.
  4. Bare wooden dining tables, dressed with manzanita or beechwood branches and orchids.
  5. Greek revival fashion, e.g., the bridesmaid dress.
  6. How the bridesmaid’s bouquet accented the color of her dress. This rarely happens so nicely, and was, apparently, an accident. Katie’s Flowers in Downey had set out to make a “neutral” bouquet because they didn’t know what color the bridesmaid would be wearing.
  7. All the nooks and crannies—and the Moroccan flavor—of their friend’s house, where the reception was held. I am always happy for architectural/environmental portrait opportunities. This house offered myriad.
  8. Little wooden wedding sign.
  9. Stone seating “cards” and table numbers.

A sweet little ceremony getaway in the groom’s brother-in-law’s Rolls Royce.

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Some of the sweet reception details … I loved the variety (as I always love variety) in the centerpieces.  Manzanita or beechwood branches strewn with orchids, or wooden boxes full of them decorated each table.  Presenting old family photographs as they did, in a frame, with strings and clothespins, was quite charming.

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The light changed quickly as day turned to night, so we snuck portraits here and there, as we could, amongst dancing and toasting.

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A little nighttime love … As I mentioned earlier, R & A spent most of the night close together. If you want wonderful photographs of you and your beloved late into the night, do this!

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This couple did an amazing job of designing a gorgeous wedding without it feeling like they were over-producing it. (I think that’s a weird diagnosis of some weddings, but probably true, now that I think about it.) They prioritized having a great party … and it paid off. They danced with each other and their guests into the wee hours of the night. For my own part, I was very happy that they made time, even as the sun set, for me to get out the clunky old 4×5 camera (see top image). I’m looking forward to seeing how these images become themselves, later on …

photo credit: Gia Canali floral centerpieces: Malibu Market & Design lighting: Images By Lighting


Some Lovely Finds From Etsy

06 | 18 | 2009

I spend untold hours scouring the internet for things I can ♥.  I say ♥ because I like to like them, even when I don’t need them myself.  Here are some delicious vintage items from 13 Bees’ shop via etsy.

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Well … I might need that black dress … In any case, there are zillions more finds on etsy, and lots more on 13 Bees.  Happy shopping …

photos via: 13bees


On Being Photographed & What To Do If You Are Camera Shy

06 | 11 | 2009


I can’t tell you how often I hear couples say to me before their weddings—or even at their weddings—that they are uncomfortable in front of the camera, or even that they are (supposedly) un-photogenic.   It’s difficult for me (as the photographer) because I have mixed feelings on this topic.  I simultaneously understand completely, as I generally do not welcome being photographed myself,¹ but also feel that the portrait process is collaborative one, and therefore not only the responsibility of the subject.   It’s important to note that I felt differently about being photographed at my wedding, though—I wanted great photographs of myself and my husband, and I was willing to stomach being in front of the camera in order to get them.

Fortunately, there are several really doable strategies for improving your wedding-day camera presence:

I.  The best place to start is with a good mindset. 

You already want amazing photographs of yourself at your wedding. (Or perhaps your spouse wants them, but you are at least willing to go along.  A groom once told me he thought getting photographed was a lot like going to the dentist, and was only doing it to please his bride).  Wedding photographs become family heirlooms.  And for most people, portraits are particularly important—those are the images that must be worked for.  Richard Avedon said, “A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he’s being photographed, and what he does with that knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks. He’s implicated in what’s happening, and he has a certain real power over the result.” And your photographer is there to collaborate with you, to coach you through the process.  Sometimes, I think it’s a bit strange how we photographers are there coaxing out of people convincing performances of their own real lives.  But that’s the job.  Or the art of it.  My point is that you have a lot of power over how you present yourself … and that you don’t have to go it alone.  Hire a photographer you trust.  And then trust her.  Work with her.

“A portrait must get beyond the almost universal self-consciousness that people have before the camera. If some moment of reality in the personality of the sitter did not happen, you had to provoke it in order to produce a portrait that had an identity with the person. The essential thing was to awaken a genius response.”      Edward Steichen, A Life In Photography

II. Relieve stress—relax.

This cannot be overstated.  People who are dwelling happily in the moment photograph marvelously.  If you are stressed about the wedding or the wedding photographs, it will quite likely show on camera.  Many of my clients have a glass of wine or champagne before we start.  I swear by herbal therapies, including Rescue Remedy, which I think is probably something most soon-to-be-wed couples could benefit from, whether or not they are shy in front of the camera.  Other folks do yoga, or get acupuncture, or go on a long walk the morning of the wedding.  Figure out something that works for you, and actively pursue relaxation.

III.  Be distracted.

God help me, if I could have an invisibility cloak and a pair of wings when I photograph weddings, all my photographs would be blissfully unaware.  But that’s really just not how it works.  If you don’t naturally ignore the camera, do so on purpose.²  Most of the time on your wedding day, there will be so much happening you’d be hard-pressed to pay too much attention to your photographer.  Really, you just need to focus on ignoring your photographer during portraits.  One easy way to do that is to look at your beloved—laugh, nuzzle, dance, gaze into each other’s eyes, go for a walk—and don’t look into the lens unless your photographer asks you to do so.


¹ Translation: If I can’t do a thumbs-up sign in the photo, I think the photo will probably be terrible.

² I think I just told you that “what you do with that knowledge” of being photographed is an essential part of the photograph.  Now, I am indeed telling you to ignore the camera.


Things I Like: A Balsa Wood & Swarovski Crystal Bouquet

06 | 01 | 2009

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{click images to enlarge}

Now that I am home, I have been working hard on preparing Rosalinda & Aris’s wedding.   I promise to share lots more images soon.  In the meantime, though, please enjoy Rosalinda’s balsa wood and Swarovski crystal bouquet by Krislyn, as it clearly takes the keepsake bouquet to a whole new level of lovely.  (And makes you want to forget about drying your roses upside down!)

photo credit: Gia Canali


The Well-Dressed Guest: Dresses from Thread Social

03 | 02 | 2009

Clearly, I have fashion on my mind today!  Also, it’s raining which makes me happy (I live in southern California), but slow to do anything.  And because of a family emergency, I haven’t posted in over a week. I think I’m easing myself back into work slowly here.  So, I was thinking about guests. I always have a secret award—at every single wedding—for the best-dressed guest.  Sometimes, it’s a girl; sometimes a guy.  Depending on the wedding, any of these dresses from Thread Social would have my nomination!  Thread Social is an off-shoot of Thread, which always offers fashion-forward bridesmaid dress designs.  I actually think that some of the below dresses might even work as bridesmaid dresses at a more modern, colorful spring affair.

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Jessie & Matt’s Wedding, ii.

02 | 02 | 2009

Here are some photographs you can enlarge and click through from Jessie and Matt’s wedding as featured in Bride’s Southern California magazine. Jessie found her dress at Paris 1900 in Santa Monica, and her beloved cardigan at a thrift store. Nearly everything else? She made herself.  What made Jessie’s wedding so wonderful to photograph—at least in part—was the simple beautiful color scheme, based on the sunsets in Santa Fe.  She carried it out across all design elements, including her fashion, stationery (inspired by her mother’s vintage fabric collection), floral arrangements and bouquet, and even the streamers used by the guests as everyone “paraded” to the reception. For those of you who’ve never seen a Santa Fe sunset, it’s a good time for a road trip. I swear: I’ve never seen purple like that.

click photos to enlarge

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photo credit: Gia Canali stationery and florals: Jessie Abrams