Pasadena Charm

I am proud to share this summer fashion editorial cultivated in the hopes of bringing attention to local artists and businesses who are keen on giving back to the community. Market bags from Apolis promote jobs and income for underprivileged women in Bangladesh and other countries, while bicycles from Around the Cycle is a consignment bike shop dedicated to local and global sustainability through recycled bicycle parts.

Model: Pasadena Charm
Floral Design: Emblem Flowers
Stylist: Rough ’n Refined
Bicycle: Around the Cycle
Papergoods: Goldpress Paper
Nails: Olive & June
Featured outfits: Finn and Willow / Splendid LA / Anthropologie / Apolis

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Josh + Tammy // Artesia, CA Wedding

Josh and Tammy are two insanely amazing, giving individuals with hearts that care about the impact that their decisions today will have on this world tomorrow. Josh carries a calm cool air of reserved confidence, while Tammy has a beautiful determination and spontaneity of her own. Together their hearts are light, and living lives of meaning is what they long for.

Weddings can be so telling of a couple – often revealing what matters most to them. It just so amazes me everytime a couple decides to plan one of the biggest, most extravagant events of their lives so definitively around the things they value most  – faith, commitment, community, and impact, free from the dictations and pressures of the rest of the world.  It blew me away when Josh and Tammy went out of their way to make those values at their wedding day be seen. And in so doing they stayed integrous to who they truly are. Role models, peacemakers, givers, justice doers. Since faith is so central to their story and the reason why they met, it was important to them that they got married in a church, but it was also important that their wedding was a true extension of themselves and of their community.

During our first coffee date together, I was being challenged as a photographer to giving back to meaningful causes through each photo taken and was looking for opportunities to be a part of a justice-doing, mercy-loving movement greater than myself. At the time I didn’t know what that completely looked like, and in all honesty, I am still exploring what that means, but their unreserved kindness and support spurred me on. Before I knew it they were all in. That night I came to learn the depths of their passion for justice and seeing this world become a better place. Through their wedding photography 20% of the proceeds ended up going to Justice Speaks, a local Los Angeles-based non-profit committed to ending human trafficking locally and internationally here in Los Angeles and in Pattaya City, Thailand, a neighborhood known largely for the trafficking of children. After our initial chat, they were so inspired, that they decided to take it a step further by sacrificing additional funds that otherwise might have gone towards the wedding day to two other causes on their hearts – reaching prisoners for Jesus and ending inhumane puppy mills in the U.S., even going as far as to create a platform at their wedding to raise awareness for each of these three causes.

What an honor it was collaborating with these two in starting their new life together through a lifestyle of giving. I’ll never forget the support and generosity these two gave.

Josh and Tammy, thanks for the adventure.  Can’t wait for the next!

Also huge props to my friend Mina Gabalawy for coming along to shoot this with me. :)

Floral Design: Emblem Flowers // Ceremony Venue: New Life Christian Church // Makeup Artist: Primped by Sue // Hair: Jennie Kang // Reception Venue: Vintage Rose // Videographer: Andrew Jonathan Films // Officiant: John Lo // DJ: // Raymond Truong

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Godwin & Nicola // Orange Hills, CA Wedding

I think I just about died the minute I saw Nicola ready to walk down the aisle with the flower crown of her dreams. For that matter, I think just about everyone else in her family who had a glimpse of her in that very moment did too. Nicola lived a very special dream that day she chose to wear a crown of flowers as a tribute to her late Aunt Grace who she’d grown up with. In a very recent dream she’d had with her in it, her aunt had lovingly approved of her wearing the very same flower crown. From that moment on, she decided she was going to remember her through what she wore on wedding day. This was a different kind of fashion statement than I had ever seen before. One that honors family above individualism, especially those who have gone before to pave the way.

On her grandfather’s beautiful Orange Hills estate overlooking the Orange valley, Godwin and Nicola were gracefully wedded underneath age old trees with close family and friends looking on. Each moment of the day was precious. Each moment was highly esteemed. I couldn’t help but realize how much these two know how to honor and love others well. It’s this kind of love that changes the world.

And then there was that moment when Godwin and Nicola walked down the aisle for the very first time as Mr. and Mrs….It was in the middle of a series of unrestrained hoops and hollers, from Godwin’s lungs (in true Pacific Islander fashion) that I knew their marriage was going to be an amazing one filled with love, lifelong happiness, and iced with passion.

At the end…family and friends alike lined up. Sparklers were lit. The two walked down the sparkler-lined exit tunnel slowly but surely taking each face in…hugging several along the way. They were overwhelmed with joy and gleamed with electricity and gladness. Then it happened. That final kiss. And then they were off.

Cheers to my adventure-loving rough and tumble brides & grooms who dare to walk down sparkler exit tunnels into their next season selflessly, barefoot and in style.

Thank you to my dear friend Christina for coming along and supporting me with your snaps this day! This was the first wedding I shot in both digital and film together. I wanted to push myself further and I am grateful for having achieved just that.

Floral Design: Taylor and Co // Officiant: Steven Jetton

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Ben + Anna // Pasadena, CA Wedding

This blog post has taken me a bit longer to put together than usual. I’ve been thinking about the words that would go with these photos when the day came to share them. What words would do justice to any wedding celebrating two amazing, inspiring people whose story is so wrapped up in a selfless covenantal love that always hopes, always perseveres.  Though the photos are finished processing, the memories are still running fresh through my mind.

I get to witness a lot of weddings, but this one was different. Them. Their families.Their Expression. The Joy. The Love. That day true love was felt along with the tangible joy, and absolute contentment that come with it.  Ben and Anna’s value for people and community is so beyond anything I’d ever witnessed before. Each of their 350 guests were ones they had shared meaningful intersections with somewhere along the journey and 10 of the cutest flower girls you will ever see walked down the aisle hand picking petals off of the sweetest smelling roses. Deep down Ben and Anna are are committed revivalists, community driven lovers, includers, and selfless includers to the max. Throughout the day there ere moments when I just had to put my camera down and I looked over and there was something about them that just made me think. These people are going to change the world some day.

These people are one-in-a-million and I’m proud to call them friends. Thanks so much for letting me be a part of your story in such a deep and intimate way!

Last but not least, a huge thanks goes out to my good friend Christina for driving all the way up from Irvine to snap some photos along the way.

Venue: William Carey University // Wedding Coordination: Rachel Holden // Floral Design: Emblem Flowers // Dress: San Patrick // Bridal Veil: Shavato Veils // Event Design: Sarah Foster // Catering: Marion Hall // Wedding Design: Cake: Destiny Fonville // DJ: Ty Walker





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Godwin and Nicola // Los Angeles, CA Engagement

In just 2 days these two will be getting married. Their lives will become one, and they will be celebrating love and the relationships that have molded them along the way. Their lives will never be the same, and that’s for the better.

Just 6 weeks ago they got back from spending over 2 years in Perth, Australia, where they have been championing identity in marginalized youth. They are back in the states now where they’ll be championing love in their own marriage.

It was destiny that hit the day they met upon their first meeting in Perth. It was an instant connection…where they fit like lock and key. It was then they discovered that though they were 9,000 miles away from home, their hometowns were one and the same. Just 14 months later Godwin got down on one knee and laid out the question on a beautiful jetty overlooking the bay. Of course, Nicola said yes. And 4 months later they are getting hitched!

It is amazing what these two carry, and what they have in store in their futures. In just 2 days justice will be married to mercy. I adore their longing for restoration of significance in the lives of the underprivileged. And, it is a joy to capture their story. Thanks for your wonderful help Alison!


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