Twins and a Big Brother

(c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHYContinuing on with the theme of twins in my life, my best friend just had a set of them!  These are a couple of shots from a casual afternoon at their house.  I wanted to experiment with a new technique I read about to get a dreamy effect with digital photos that mimics light leaks and some of the effects you get with expired film.  I especially love how they turned out in black & white.

Our San Francisco City Hall Wedding

. . .  . .I just thought I’d share a few more photos from our wedding day and tell a little more of that story.  I absolutely love weddings, and through wedding photography, I’ve been lucky enough to get to go to all kinds of beautiful parties and events.  When it came time to get married myself, I always wanted to do something really intimate, and luckily Mark felt the same way.

We live in San Francisco and decided that City Hall was the perfect place to go.  Couples from all over the world come here to get married and it’s in our backyard.  I’ve also loved each and every City Hall wedding I’ve shot over the years.  Their process is simple – you sign up for your date online and you’re good to go.  The building itself is gorgeous and weatherproof (even on a rainy day, the interior is well lit and you can take beautiful photographs) and the civil ceremony there is actually quite romantic.  {Text below in case you’re curious – I couldn’t find it online ahead of time.}  It suited us perfectly. The ceremony was intimate and just about the two of us – we even did the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass after (we asked forgiveness not permission) in keeping with Mark’s background.  After City Hall we went to Quince for a long dinner.  I wore a pretty dress by Amy Kuschel and had my hair and makeup done.  Mark got a new suit.  In short, we made the day really special by doing the things we cared about.

We had one of Mark’s dear friends, Cheshire Issacs, who also happens to be a professional photographer takes photos for us, and our witnesses snapped a few shots too.  I’m so glad we didn’t “ban” them from doing so as I see suggested in so many places these days.  I love the professional shots, but I also love the “snapshot” feeling of the pictures they took and I’m so glad to have them too.  Anna at Loop Flowers did my bouquet and she made boutonnieres for our witnesses, and Shauna of Fox and Doll did my hair and makeup.

xx {L}

If you’re looking for it, here’s the text of the civil ceremony vows at San Francisco City Hall:

We gather in the presence of these witnesses for the purpose of uniting in marriage __ and ___.  The contract of marriage is most solemn and is not to be entered into lightly, but thoughtfully and seriously with a deep realization of its obligations and responsibilities.  Please remember that love, loyalty, and understanding are the foundations of a happy and enduring home.  No other human ties are more tender and no other vows more important than those you are about to pledge.  Please face each other and join hands.

Do you ___ take ___ to be your lawful wedded wife/husband (spouse/spouse)? Do you promise to love her/him and keep her/him in sickness and in heath, for richer and for poorer, for better or for worse and be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live? [REPEAT]

Place the ring on her/his left finger and repeat after me, “I give you this ring, in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love.  With this ring, I thee wed.” [REPEAT]

Now that you have joined yourselves in matrimony, may you strive all your lives to meet this commitment with the same love and devotion that you now possess.

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife [or Spouses for Life].

Shakespeare in Bloom

(c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHYI’m a little behind in sharing shoots here and I’ve  been saving up this family session with the gorgeous Anna of Loop Flowers and her family.  You may recall that Anna has been the florist for many of my brides and she did mine! Her creations are always stunning, and it seemed especially fitting to do a photo shoot with her in Shakespeare’s Garden when the cherry blossoms were blooming.  Here’s a few of my favorites.  xx {L}

Breaking the Rules . . .

(c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHS (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHS (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHS (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHSOne of the big decisions for pretty much all the couples I’ve taken photographs of has been whether or not to do a “first look” – where we take posed photos after everyone’s all dressed, but before the ceremony – or to do a portrait session after the ceremony so there’s a big moment of surprise when the bride appears.  Personally, I’m a fan of do what works for you as a couple and don’t worry about the photo schedule – it will all work out.

But, I’d like to let you all know that I think there’s a cool third option — getting ready together, which is what we did for my own wedding.  Since we were going to City Hall, there wasn’t going to be any “surprise” moment as we planned to go there together (had we taken separate cars, I think the “surprise” might have ended up “oh no, I’m stuck in traffic”) and we both wanted to get ready at our home.  I asked Shana to come over early to do my hair and makeup, and Mark went to the gym for a while while this was happening (lucky men and their “just need a shower” approach) but once he got back, we were able to hang out and just relax and talk while we got ready.  It made the day feel special longer – we spent quality time together and have some fun memories of that morning as well as the ceremony.  One of our witnesses, Eric, took a few photos of us at the tail end of getting ready so we could remember that time, and of course, I had to pick up the camera for a minute to capture a couple of things, like my bouquet, dress and Mark’s clothes.  So, if you’re looking to really break tradition further, I recommend getting ready together.

Some additional good advice – Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride recommended finding something pretty to get ready in, like a classic peignoir set, and I found one on Etsy that fit the bill.  As a photographer, I totally agree that wearing something pretty while you get ready makes for better photos and as a bride, I felt dressed up a little sooner.

Some pretty darn big news, if I do say so myself. . .

You might have noticed I haven’t posted for a little while and perhaps you wondered what was up.  Well, I have some big news – I got married to the love of my life (you’d hope so right?).  His name is Mark and we eloped at San Francisco City Hall at the end of April.  There will be more to come – I’ll share some amazing photos from our engagement shoot/license day shoot with the fabulous Christina McNeill.  We decided to get our marriage license before the actual wedding to minimize waiting in line time on the actual day (after shooting a lot of weddings at City Hall, this seemed like the way to go if you’re in town and have time).  I also have many more shots I love from our actual day taken by the wonderful Cheshire Issacs (who took this photo of course, which is one of my favorites – I love shots coming out of City Hall).  Anna of Loop Flowers made my perfect bouquet and Mark’s boutonniere, Shana Astrachan of Fox and Doll did my hair and makeup, and I found my dress at Amy Kuschel.  Planning an elopement was pretty darn easy (we kept track of things on a post-it), and even easier was choosing vendors.  I have worked with so many great people, but these guys are all local, San Francisco standouts.  Even though we kept our day private, we still wanted it to feel special, and I cannot thank all of these wonderful folks enough for making that happen. xxoo -L


(c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHYThe Castro Theater in San Francisco just showed a restored version of Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  I had forgotten how great this movie is and how much fun it is to see all the different neighborhoods in SF in the 1950s.  When I got home, I decided to look up the locations in the film, and luckily someone already did that for me – here’s a link to a map of all the movie spots.  I was delighted to discover that the opening chase scene took place on top of my first apartment building!  (It wasn’t that exciting when I lived there, though.)

Weekend Links!

(c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHYHappy weekend, everyone!  Hope you’re off to something wonderful.  Thought I’d resurrect the weekend links here – a few things have caught my attention lately.

*Pantone’s color of the year is marsala.
*Marsala makes me hungry, and this marsala pasta bake sounds delicious.
*For something lighter, chicken stock is a good idea (I made this last weekend and I may never be able to go back to boxed broths.
*Unrelated to food, I love this dramatic look.
* ICYMI – pretty instagrams from the Golden Globes (I only care what people are wearing).
* If you haven’t seen Bad Lip Reading’s Hunger Games snippets, you are in for a treat.  Here’s a bonus track.