Archive for 'Event Photography'

Posted on Oct 04, 2017

Because I live in sunny California, I do not have seasons to mark my year, but rather, I have a couple of annual golf tournaments I shoot that do the trick. The Pasadena Police Activities League, or PAL, held this year’s golf fundraiser at the beautiful Brookside golf course. I started shooting early when the competitors check in for breakfast. After the coffee had been drank, the breakfast burritos eaten, the practice swings and speeches, I got to drive a golf cart around to get some action shots on the course.

You guys.

Why is driving a golf cart like the most fun activity ever? I mean really! There’s a meditative quality to it… soothing even. I freaking love it.

Okay, I’m getting off track here.

Back to my favorite charity! This year’s tournament had many of the same cast of bitchin’ characters I’ve come to love and adore… Supporters of the organization, the people on the ground running the day to day operations, members of the PPD and the incredible individuals on the board. One of those superstars is Laura Berns of The Berns Team who was this years’ top sponsor.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from this year’s event… The annual marker indicating to me that summer is over and fall is now upon us.

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Just look at that good lookin’ group!

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Some of the awesome PAL board.

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Look at these ladies!!! I love them so! They are really this fun, cool and gorgeous all the time. They do a chipping game with the buckets on one of the holes where one can win great prizes!  I heart them.

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Ha! This truly outstanding parking job was brought to you by yours truly. I said I love driving a golf cart… I didn’t say I was good at it.

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The Pasadena PAL is such a gem of an organization, it continues to shock me that more people don’t know about them. The Police Activities League is a national organization that came to Pasadena in 1997. It partners the youth of the community with the men and women of the Pasadena Police Department in a fun, safe, and nurturing environment while providing academic and cultural enrichment. PAL offers homework assistance, various sports, and a wide variety of special activities such as robotics and arts classes that give students an opportunity to build character and form a positive relationship with our community’s law enforcement. Currently, the PAL program serves an average of 120 children a day in grades 4 – 12 with over 200 more on the waiting list.

The more supporters of the organization, the more kids they are able to let in the program. At a time in our country full of fear, unrest and division; programs like this that truly nurture relationships between those in the community and those that serve them, creating a dialogue that goes both ways, is absolutely imperative.  To get more information on how you can support the Pasadena PAL, click here.

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Do you need a new headshot, but don’t have the time or the money for a full session?  I offer shortened, discount headshot sessions at my studio in DT LA on the Second Sunday of every month.  Click here for information.

Also, did you know I have a book out?  get your copy here!

Posted on Aug 25, 2017

Scott and Tony have been together for 16 years. They had a very intimate wedding ceremony last year that a friend and colleague of mine had the pleasure of shooting. The couple had a reception for friends and family a few months ago, an event my friend Cam was not available to shoot so he sent them my info. I am so happy that my friend was busy with another job!!! This event was so crazy awesome, I’ll never forget it.

Everything about this job was lovely from the start. They held it at the very beautiful Women’s Twentieth Century Club in Eagle Rock. The decorations where simple, pretty and emotional. The food catered by Romega Catering was delicious and stunning in it’s presentation. The guests all seemed to have a loving, sincere, kindness to them… I sensed a hint of wildness in all of them almost immediately, which is always exciting. I like those people that cross the line from relative normalcy to shenanigans without much urging. The stress-free lightness in the air and the unmistakable feeling of spring made me feel like I was in a movie, or commercial or something.

The main event was a program where the couple’s actor friends took turns reading letters that the newlyweds had written to each other over the course of their relationship. IT WAS THE BEST! It was deeply personal, funny and entertaining all at the same time. Brilliant boys.

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Seriously people. This is this couples card! They made business cards that say “Professional Fun-Havers”! Remember what I told you about the hint of wildness just under the surface? This is a perfect example.

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The sister giving a speech made her brother and his husband put on these glasses so that she wouldn’t cry when she was speaking.

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For real. They had to keep them on the whole time she was talking. I love this group so much.

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After the program and the speeches, the stage manager (yup, they had a stage manager) asked if anyone else had something to say. Scott surprised his husband with a production number. He lip-synced Crazy For You from Dreamgirls.   He killed it.

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He followed that up with actually singing a ballad to Tony. It was a song about sailing. At the song’s climax, 16 people in the crowd raised blue flags above their heads symbolizing waves on the ocean. There were 16 flags representing the 16 years that the couple has been together. I don’t need to tell you that there was very few dry eyes in the room. It was so special.

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Epic photo-bomb.

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These ladies cracked me up. There were a lot of thespians at the party. I think I gave them “The Witches of Eastwick” as motivation for this sequence.

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This shot makes me so happy.

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When I took this job I had no idea that such a quick event would be so much fun and so special. Congrats Scott and Tony! Thank you for choosing me to capture your love and your special day.

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Also, did you know I have a book out?  get your copy here!

Posted on Aug 04, 2017

Graduation days are so special! I still remember how it felt to be ceremoniously leaving my junior high for adulthood… High school. Yeah I called it adulthood! It was our first step out of our childlike existence into a world with more responsibility, choice and freedom. It was so exciting! I still get excited when I walk into what my high school called the “Grand Canyon”. It was kind of like a commons area that connected the classrooms to the big fancy gym. I mean a place to congregate with peers that didn’t involve having to sit on the floor or in the cafeteria?! (Okay, okay… Truth be told, we still mostly sat on the floor in front of our lockers, but we didn’t HAVE to. Choices people.) We were adults I tell ya!

I was hired to shoot the Beverly Vista Class of 2017 and it was so much fun. Many of the families were personal clients of mine so it was a little emotional watching kids I have spent a bunch of time documenting for their bar and bat mitzvahs over the last 2 years don their green gowns. The planning committee did not hold back any awesomeness. After the seriousness of the ceremony, the kids partied it up until late. It was the perfect mix of sentimentality and shenanigans.

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Posted on Jul 14, 2017

Okay, maybe the title of today’s blog post is a little misleading, as the young lady took her becoming a bat mitzvah very seriously. She is a working, professional actor and thus super charismatic, poised and completely comfortable holding her own in a room full of adults. Actually, I think maybe she does so well in her profession BECAUSE of her all around awesomeness. What came first, the chicken or the egg? That being said, when it came time for the party, the ENTIRE guest list cut loose. They partied it up pretty much from the grand entrance to the end of the night. Randy Lehrman and his team at Real Genius DJ’s definitely played a big part curating and nurturing the fun shenanigans. If someone sat down to rest for a bit, it did not last long. All the vendors killed it. Marcus Braswell, the videographer, and I darted and danced around the room documenting the delightful mayhem as if it had been choreographed. Stacy at Shindigs by Stacy absolutely hooked up the décor.

When the mechanics of a job run like a well oiled machine and the clients are as incredible as this family is, it almost feels like cheating.  For real… This family was just an absolute treat!! At every stage along the way from the planning process, to the portrait session and finally the event day itself, they were calm, thoughtful and emotionally present. They not only love each other, they genuinely all like each other. My inner sap just eats that stuff up.

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Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Also, did you know I have a book out?  get your copy here!

Posted on Jun 07, 2017

SCLARC. It stands for South Central Los Angeles Regional Center. My heart seriously swells when I think about them. They are a private, non-profit, community based organization for people with developmental disabilities. The organization has hired me to shoot several donor events at their beautiful campus in South Central the last few years. The SCLARC staff and community of supporters are incredible. They are fun, gracious, kind and quick to give you a hug and mean it. This year they had a super hero themed event for World Down Syndrome day. It was my first experience with the members of the community that benefit from all those donor events I have done for them.

Like many events, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I just knew I was going to spend a few hours with one of my favorite clients. That would have been enough, but I got way more than that. It was a pretty casual affair… It was basically one big play area, but almost everyone donned his or her favorite super hero attire. Captain America and Super Girl were in attendance leading the kids in games and teaching tricks of the super hero trade. It was amazing. Watching and documenting the interactions was so special (blast!! I’m tearing up as I type this!). There was so much love and support it was really something else to witness.

The thing that caught me off-guard, however, was the behavior of the siblings to the special needs kids. These young kids acted like adults, protecting and caring for their brothers and sisters in ways I didn’t see coming. You’d expect kids that young to be off running around playing on their own, but that was not the case. They were right there with their siblings the whole time laughing and playing with them. It was incredible.

As a full-on adult woman who can barely take care of herself, I could not imagine how hard it would be to take care of a child who was born completely healthy, let alone one who needed extra help. SCLARC provides a much needed service to a community that is better because they are there.

It’s really easy right now to look at our world and see countries and communities closing their borders and their doors to people in need from no fault of their own. It’s refreshing to know and associate with people that choose to navigate the world from a place of inclusion, compassion, grace and dignity.

SCLARC, I love you.

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Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on May 24, 2017

Remember last week’s blog post of the super fun, very photogenic family portrait session on the beach? Well today’s post is of the actual bat mitzvah ceremony and party. I’m pretty sure I expressed how much I adore this family already, but the team they put in place for the event was just a pleasure to work with as well. Rose at Two Tree Events is the bomb, as was D&G Entertainment who kept the dance floor packed the entire night.

A fun and lovely family + a rock star vendor team = me loving my job.

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Posted on Apr 09, 2017

The Pasadena Police Activities League, or PAL, held it’s 15th annual Golden Badge Awards Dinner last week. This year’s commemorative “Through the Years” event honored Steve Brockmeyer of Bolton & Company, retired Pasadena Police Chief Bernard K. Melekian, the Salvation Army and current Pasadena police chief Phillip Sanchez. Guests dressed up in their sporty best and partied it up for a good cause. Jill at MHP Events hooked up Pasadena Convention Center for a beautifully staged and executed event. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that DJ Severe, the official DJ of the Dodgers, kept the party going from the cocktail hour and beyond. That guy seriously rocks so hard.

The Pasadena PAL is such a gem of an organization, it continues to shock me that more people don’t know about them. The Police Activities League is a national organization that came to Pasadena in 1997. It partners the youth of the community with the men and women of the Pasadena Police Department in a fun, safe, and nurturing environment while providing academic and cultural enrichment. PAL offers homework assistance, various sports, and a wide variety of special activities such as robotics and arts classes that give students an opportunity to build character and form a positive relationship with our community’s law enforcement. Currently, the PAL program serves an average of 120 children a day in grades 4 – 12 with over 200 more on the waiting list.

The more supporters of the organization, the more kids they are able to let in the program. At a time in our country full of fear, unrest and division; programs like this that truly nurture relationships between those in the community and those that serve them, creating a dialogue that goes both ways, is absolutely imperative. We can yell and scream at what’s wrong, or we can put our energy into those things that work.

PAL works. I love them so much.

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I told you they wore their sporty best.

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The event committee co-chairs show their nice and mean faces.

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This is not a picture of a guy in 1930… He is real now.

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Two of my favorite people. I love them so much!!

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Sporty best dad engaged in an epic throw!

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To his cutie pie of a child who figures out that the best way to catch a ball is with closed eyes.

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He’s locked in folks!

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HOMERUN!!!! And the crowd goes wild!!!!!

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Just the usual second base homerun celebratory squats. As you do.

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This lovely lady is the Pasadena PAL director, Roxanne Haines.  She is so very loved.

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on Mar 26, 2017

Flintridge Prep hires me to shoot all sorts of awesomess. Just last month they brought be in to document what was virtually a whole day of science labs, one of which included dissecting a cow’s eye! At one point, I set down my gear, put on some rubber gloves, and got in there with the students. It rocked. You know what else rocked? Their incredible 70’s themed benefit that took place not too long after the bitchin’ cow eye encounter.

The committee absolutely killed it. They held their biggest fundraiser at the stunning Vibiana in downtown L.A. They put together a fantastic group of vendors that included Keith McLane at KLM Auctions, Dean Henderson at RSVP DJ’s, High Voltage Lighting and yours truly to document the 70’s insanity.

One gorgeous venue,

+ wild, fun people dressed in their 70’s best ready to get down

+ a super skilled committee and vendors ensuring a tightly run ship

= a gem of an event that was a treat to shoot.

Flintridge Prep, you just keep shaking your groove thang.

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Posted on Feb 12, 2017

A little over a year ago, I shot a baby shower for a client. I swear only a few months had gone by when the very beautiful mom-to-be called me about shooting her baby’s one-year birthday party! How did it happen? Where did the time go (said every parent ever)? They went all out for the party… Petting zoo, bouncy house, face painting and DELICIOUS food. It was the bomb to shoot. Some of my favorite jobs from the last year involved kid birthday parties with petting zoos. I think maybe it’s time to consider a pigmy goat as a pet…

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I have been emotionally wrecked since the outcome of the presidential election. I don’t think that any politician has the power to really change the world, so it’s not as if I looked to Hillary, Bernie or Obama as saviors. I believe that change comes slowly, most often quietly, from the ground up.

Even so, what occurred here has been upsetting to many of us. I have cried a lot. Like with any tragic, or shocking event, I’ve gone through the various stages of grief. Anger, denial, overwhelming sadness… All of it. I have been trying my best to process the whole thing, working toward that point where I climb out of the despair, put on my big girl panties and move toward the light. While I understand the need for battles in life, I personally am most effective when I am actively working toward progress no matter how subtle.

Hate and taking sides NEVER works. EVER. What is the saying? Love begets love. Hate begets hate. I totally believe that shit. So on inauguration day this 2017, I was presented with an opportunity to spend the day in love and light and I jumped in headfirst.

An event planner colleague of mine, Rose Forbes of Two Tree Events, married two couples at no charge at Pasadena City Hall and I documented it… Also free of charge. Both couples surrounded themselves with a small gathering of their closest friends and family. We all congregated on the most scenic part of the covered patio where we were protected by the POURING rain. The rain seemed to amplify the intense emotional aspect somehow in the most beautiful way.

(Shit. I totally started crying typing this…. Get it together Melissa!)

The whole thing was so special, and so beautiful; I am grateful to have been a part of it. Although the act itself was a sort of quiet protest, it was really more about making a stand and committing ourselves to the love we want to see in the world. While it was about the individual couples and their love for each other, it was bigger than that.

It was a collective, audible affirmation to hold our heads up and our hearts open to the goodness that abounds even in times of turmoil.

(Dammit. I just started crying again. Ugh. I talk tough, but I’m so sensitive!)

Here are pics from the day. Please share this post. This is not about being against anything or anyone. This is about choosing love and inclusion. We need to come together in order to push the needle forward.

I believe we have the power to do it.

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7 mkp emotional bride

Soooo, this is where I lost it the first time. As soon as her bride turned the corner, she gasped, “Oh my god, she’s so beautiful.” My poor little heart just exploded.

8 mkp emotional bride

9 mkp emotional bride

10 mkp emotional bride

11 mkp Rose Forbes

I panned over to Rose and she was clearly experiencing a similar emotion.

12 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

13 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

14 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

15 mkp i do in the park

16 mkp i do in the park

17 mkp i do in the park

18 mkp i do in the park

19 mkp i do in the park

 

20 mkp first kiss

21 mkp i do in the park

22 mkp emotional outburst

23 mkp emotional outburst

24 mkp cutie pie

25 mkp happy couple

26 mkp happy couple

27 mkp Rose Forbes

28 mkp i do in the park

Rain on your wedding day is lucky!!

29 mkp i do in the park

30 mkp text from mom

While at lunch in between weddings, our mom’s both texted at the same time with the same “I love you, I’m proud of you” type text. Mom intuition, check!

 

Wedding number 2! Rose prepares while the happy couple poses for their loved ones.

31 mkp i do in the park

32 mkp i do in the park

33 mkp i do in the park

34 mkp i do in the park

35 mkp i do in the park

36 mkp i do in the park

37 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

38 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

39 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

40 mkp i do in the park

41 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

42 mkp i do in the park

43 mkp i do in the park

44 mkp beautiful bride

45 mkp beautiful bride

46 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

47 mkp Rose Forbes

48 mkp i do in the park

49 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

50 mkp i do in the park

51 mkp beautiful bride

52 mkp beautiful brides

53 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

54 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

55 mkp i do in the park

56 mkp i do in the park

57 mkp beautiful bride

58 mkp beautiful brides

The last two days turned out to be an unforgettable weekend filled with so much love and hope… two emotions I didn’t see coming. Seeing all the peaceful marches across the country and being a part of “I Do In The Park” will forever be remembered as one of the most profound moments of my life.

 

Love will always win if we choose that option over the alternative.