Topanga Canyon Engagement | Brittany & Ryan

Topanga Canyon Engagement | Brittany & Ryan

We started 2021 with a bang and met with Brittany and Ryan to capture their Topanga Canyon engagement shoot. We tossed ideas around to find something that fit their style as well as the vibe they were for. They rented a cabin for the weekend that doubled as a romantic getaway for Brittany’s birthday and our shoot location.

While the two prepared their outfits and unloaded their pup, Bentley, and I methodically walked the property looking for beautiful light. Brittany stepped out of the cabin, rocking an open-back white satin dress paired with white open-toe heels. Meanwhile, Ryan donned a cuffed-sleeved white button-up, navy trousers, and a pair of deep brown leather chukka boots.

The trick to capturing the natural moments and expressions of my couples is to just let them be themselves. Rather than posing them, I’ve found greater success in giving direction to evoke a certain look or mood. An example of this would be directing a scene in a movie. Giving them certain things to think about or the act they’re performing results in the most organic images. This could be as simple as walking hand-in-hand, leading one another down a path, or pulling each other in tight and whispering something into the other person’s ear that will make them smile.

We found a beautiful Bohemian-styled hammock that was tied between two trees. This made for a great first location and for the two to get comfy in front of the camera. The two have such palpable chemistry that getting them used to my camera took no time at all. Soon after we headed to our next location and kept chasing that beautiful, golden light.

Ending the Evening In Style

Ryan brought a surprise Vespa for the shoot that I knew would make for some stunning shots. We brought it to a hilltop for the last few minutes of sunlight.

This combination of sophisticated, timeless styles just can’t be beaten.

Now that’s what we call a proper exit!

Finally, Bentley got Mom and Dad back from the day’s activities and had them all to himself.

Photography | Alex W Photography

Film Lab | Richard Photo Lab

Dress | Park and Fifth

Pelican Hill Wedding | Crystal + Ross

Pelican Hill Wedding

I had the pleasure of photographing Crystal and Ross’ beachside Pelican Hill wedding at the beginning of the Summer, and what a gorgeous day it was! You might recognize these two from their engagement session in Malibu at the end of last year. This Houston-based couple knew they wanted to host a destination wedding for all of their guests.

I was thrilled to return to photograph another Pelican Hill wedding, especially since I would be working with such a talented team of vendors to help bring the couple’s vision to life. From the oceanfront views and perfectly kept grounds, this property is truly a dream. Pelican Hill boasts classic stone architecture, tropical greenery, and an iconic rotunda where ceremonies are held.  Just from my initial meeting with Crystal and Ross during their engagement session, I knew they both had a phenomenal sense of style and they seriously brought their A-game on the wedding day!

Details/Getting Ready

Crystal absolutely stunned in a champagne Galia Lahav dress complimented by the most beautiful tiara and a bouquet filled with white and blush roses.  Ross donned a classic black tux and Ralph Lauren shoes alongside a white rose boutonniere. They even brought their Maltese, Matisse to join in with them on the day’s festivities. 

Once Crystal’s mom helped her into her dress we met Ross on the rooftop topiary for their first look. After a sweet embrace with one another, we invited their wedding party to join us for more photos. The ladies all wore blush dresses alongside the groomsmen who rocked classic black tuxes. After the bridal party photos on the roof, we headed over to the ceremony site on the main lawn to capture photos with family

Cocktail Hour

Everyone was escorted to the upper balcony which overlooked the sunset for cocktail hour. They were greeted with salmon and caviar-topped blinis, a cheese and fruit bar, and signature cocktails from the bride and groom. During that time, I headed back down to the ceremony site with Crystal and Ross to capture romantic portraits. While we walked the grounds capturing their photos, the pair got to enjoy their first sunset together as husband and wife.


Guests were soon invited inside for the reception. Gorgeous candle-lit escort mirrors calligraphed by White Lilac. led everyone to their seats. Waiting for everyone inside were shimmering blush and champagne tablecloths, gilded chairs, and tall-stem vase centerpieces. The cake was six-tiered and candlelit with cascading sugar florals. Additionally, the sweetheart table stood in the middle of the room, covered with beautiful floral arrangements. 

Once everyone was seated, Crystal and Ross entered the room for their grand entrance. Guests were smiling from ear to ear and cheering for the newly married couple. After they enjoyed their first dance together and everyone joined in for the horah, dinner was served. Guests had a wonderful energy and danced the night away to one of my favorite live bands- Liquid Blue. An assortment of mini desserts and cake was served along with a do-it-yourself s’ mores bar on the back patio for everyone to enjoy. Following the reception, guests were invited to join the after-party in another location on the property where they enjoyed a live DJ and finger foods. Enjoy the images below from this beachside Pelican Hill wedding!

Photography | Alex W Photography
Planning | Events By Katia
Florals | 800 Rose Big
Videography | Marmo Films
Rentals (Cherry Blossoms + Escort Mirrors) | White Lilac Inc.
Musician Quartet | Plaza String Quartet
Rentals (Draping, Chairs, Dance Floor) | Chiavari Chair Rentals
Cake | Cinderella Cake
Live Band | Liquid Blue
Photo Booth | Pixter Photo Booth
Venue | Pelican Hill Resort
Lab | Richard Photo Lab
Bride’s Gown | Galia Lahav
Bride’s Heels | Giuseppe Zanotti

Greystone Mansion Engagement | Joyce + Adam

Greystone Mansion Engagement

Joyce and Adam flew out from New York to capture their session at the historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Their Greystone Mansion engagement session has everything that makes my heart happy- a stylish couple madly in love, a stunning location, and beautiful light.

Joyce stunned in a gorgeous multicolored Gucci chiffon dress and Adam donned a classic navy suit. The pair complemented one another perfectly. We met down in the courtyard of the grounds and began our session photographing around the fountain. We slowly made our way around the property, making sure to stop by the koi pond and lastly arriving at the back terrace. From there, we enjoyed gorgeous views of downtown Los Angeles and these two had a chance to practice their first dance for the wedding.

After capturing our photos around the mansion, we headed upstairs to the top of the property to visit the iconic cypress walk. Normally, this location is covered with tourists but we had the entire place to ourselves. We walked among the fountains and in between the cypress trees. Joyce and Adam shared lots of laughs and kisses as they walked together hand in hand.

Our last stop on the property was the upper terrace that overlooked the entire grounds. It was there that we visited the stone staircase that ascended to the main lawn.

Look Two

We made time for a quick outfit change before we moved to our next location and then headed out. Joyce’s second look was a gorgeous patterned white dress and tan Louboutin heels. Adam decided to forgo the sports coat and instead wore a checkered button-up and jeans.


After leaving the estate, we drove down the hill to chase the remaining minutes of daylight and capture our remaining photos around downtown Beverly Hills. These two were the absolute sweetest and I can’t wait to see them next year when they tie the knot in upstate New York.

Dress | Gucci
Heels | Louboutin
Venue | Greystone Mansion
Film Lab | Richard Photo Lab with Fuji 400H

O’Donnell House Wedding Palm Springs | Chloe + Evan

O’Donnell House Wedding

I had anxiously been awaiting Chloe and Evan’s O’Donnell House wedding all year. I first met with this sweet couple at the beginning of last year. From initially sitting down with them I could feel how infectious their love is for one another. These two now live in North Carolina but met back when they were living in California. We had our first experience shooting together in Glamis for an epic sand dune engagement session. Together we braved 25mph winds, 100+ degree temperatures, and climbing sand dunes the size of buildings. I knew after that experience that this fun-loving couple’s wedding was going to be an absolute blast.

I arrived at Chloe’s Air BnB in the morning where all of the ladies were getting ready. While hair and makeup proceeded I was tucked away in the master bedroom photographing all of Chloe’s beautiful details for the day. Her rose gold color palette for the shoes and jewelry contrasted beautifully with her teal and peach invitation suite and pops of bougainvillea. She even bought Evan an adorable rose gold cactus pin for his suit. Little details on the day of like that are my absolute favorite!

First Look

After all of the finished with hair, makeup, and champagne toasts outside by the pool we all hopped in the van and headed up the hill to meet Evan and his groomsmen at the O’Donnell House. Chloe and Evan greeted each other with a sweet first look on the patio overlooking the hills and downtown Palm Springs. Many kisses, “wows”, and hugs were shared between the two. Afterward, we met up with the bridal party for portraits around the property, and then everyone headed upstairs to relax while guests arrive.

Design Details

While family and friends began to enter I walked the property photographing all of the gorgeous details. The day was planned to perfection by The Events Department and the desert-inspired florals from Hello Gem Events used the most beautiful pastel color palette. By incorporating pops of rose gold, desert florals, and geometric table pieces, this O’Donnell house wedding was like something out of a dream.

Ceremony & Reception

Guests soon began to take their seats at the ceremony site. Everyone’s heads turned as Chloe made her way down the staircase to meet her father. After exchanging rings and vows everyone cheered for Chloe and Evan as they had their first kiss as husband and wife. While everyone made their way to the main courtyard for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres family had their formal photos captured on the upper terrace. Dinner was soon served and guests sat down to dine under the stars. Everyone danced the night away and enjoyed some tasty treats created by Over The Rainbow Desserts.

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Pelican Hill Wedding Newport Beach | Melissa & Will

Pelican Hill Resort Wedding

My team and I headed down the coast during the Summer to photograph Melissa and Will’s black-tie Pelican Hill Resort wedding. You might recognize this familiar couple from a few months back when I photographed their

engagement at Pismo Beach. From the first time I met these two and heard how they got together, I knew it was meant to be that they would marry each other. From their first encounter at a club in Croatia to their second run-in at a bar in La Vegas, this fun-loving pair was destined to fall in love.

I met Melissa in the morning at her casita. While the ladies were being pampered and prepped for the day I headed upstairs to photograph some of her gorgeous wedding details. Everything from her Vera Wang dress and Valentino heels to the monogrammed Mrs. Box and invitation suite, everything perfectly fit the black-tie theme. Following Melissa’s hair and makeup, we headed outside to capture some candids with her and her bridesmaids.

First Look

After Melissa was zipped into her dress we headed to the rooftop topiary garden where she met Will for their first look. Following the sweetest embrace, the rest of the bridal party met us for formal portraits amidst the expansive lawns. Melissa’s bridesmaids donned floor-length black gowns paired with a single white calla lily. Following the bridal party portraits Melissa, Will, and I walked the lawn capturing midday portraits. This involved lots of tender moments and allowed us to explore the property together.

Before the ketubah signing we met up with family who was awaiting our arrival at the iconic rotunda for family portraits. The couple said their I do’s under a handmade chuppah on the main lawn encircled by family and friends. Following the ceremony, guests congregated on the terrace for cocktails and fresh sushi. Everyone found their seats via the hand-calligraphed and water-colored escort cards. Guests soon made their way into the main ballroom after cocktail hour for dinner and dancing.  Samantha Scott Events did a miraculous job transforming the space and the live band kept the party going late into the night. In addition to all of the sweet treats guests enjoyed, the night ended with a bang when In N Out showed up. Everyone had the most phenomenal time celebrating Melissa + Will’s Pelican Hill wedding and it’s a night I won’t soon forget.

Photography | Alex W Photography

Planning | Samantha Scott Events

Florals | The Little Branch

Venue | Pelican Hill Resort

Bride’s Dress | Vera Wang

Bride’s Heels | Valentino

Groom’s Suit | Tom Ford

Groom’s Shoes | Christian Louboutin

Ring Box | The Mrs. Box

Lab | Negative Lab