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

Malibu Engagement | Crystal + Ross

Crystal and Ross flew all the way out from Houston to head up PCH with me for a Malibu Engagement session. From the moment that I met these two I knew that our session together was going to be nothing short of amazing. Their style is timeless and they have such fun personalities. Crystal started the session off in a gorgeous sky blue gown from Rent the Runway and Ross kept it semi-casual with loafers and a plaid jacket. Crystal and Ross’s impeccable style inspired me to capture the most beautiful photos from their session.

As we walked around the park we had a blast talking about their wedding plans and how the two of them met. While we chased light I took the two of them to my favorite oak tree nestled in the middle of the park. We arrived at the perfect time of day when the tree was enveloped in warm sunlight and the grass was golden yellow. We captured the most beautiful photos of them climbing around the tree and romping through the tall grass.

The love between these two was palpable. Throughout their gallery, the affection that these two have for one another can be felt. Crystal later changed into a loose-fitting white collared dress and absolutely killed it in her photos sitting across the tree branch. As the sun began to dip behind the Malibu hills and the evening chill enveloped us Crystal and Ross got cozy and shared some sweet kisses in the tall grass. When day turned into night we made our way out of the empty park and back to our cars.

It’s so exciting that I get to see these two later this year when I have the honor of capturing their wedding at the Iconic Pelican Hill Resort.

As seen in Magnolia Rouge.

Photography | Alex W Photography
Film Lab | Richard Photo Lab

Fine Art Desert Bridal Editorial

The close of wedding season called for a styled-shoot. I teamed up with an insanely talented group of Los Angeles wedding professionals to embark on a journey to a far-away location for a desert bridal editorial featuring Floravere gowns. There’s nothing better than collaborating with a team of creatives. This is where magical happens.

Having dreamt about the desert for months leading up to planning, we knew this would make the perfect location. Surrounded by miles of beautiful sand dunes, multi-colored mountains, and open-skies truly makes a dreamy environment. While it took several hours to travel to destination, it didn’t take long to spot its beauty. The desert can be so surreal. It’s beauty, and immensity of landscape, alone – is worth the drive.

Seat-belts were unbuckling right as we pulled up, and in unison, we hopped out of the car to feel the warm sun and cool breeze flowing off the mountain. I can’t describe how truly beautiful the day was.

Considering the long drive, and limited daylight, hair and makeup needed to start immediately. Dana (Cheek to Cheek Artistry and Britt Rafuson got down to business as we scouted the perfect location – not that it was difficult to find. Upon returning, we shuffled through the four Floravere gowns to determine the first look.

The gowns were complimented with vintage and gold accessories, which was inspired by the hues of the butter-soft sand. The ring and bouquet were perfectly complimented with deep and rich reds – the perfect reflection of autumn. One of my favorite floral designers, Inessa Nichols, crafted a whimsical and unique gold floral crown made of lunarias; and a bouquet filled with wild grasses, nigella pods, and ranunculus.

As the sun started to set behind purple and green speckled mountains we set up our tablescape. We kept the look cohesive with a minimalist approach. There was no shortage of warm candlelight, antique jewelry boxes, and gorgeous desert florals. We followed Britt across the sand, illuminating the darkening landscape with candle in-hand. We enjoyed the last few moments of cotton candy skies, thankful for the gorgeous landscape we were provided and for the incredible talent that collaborated to create such a beautiful story.

As seen in Style Me Pretty.

Photography | Alex W Photography
Styling | Fifth Atelier
Hmua | Cheek to Cheek Artistry
Florals | Inessa Nichols Design
Video | Marmo Films
Gowns | Floravere
Model | Britt Rafuson
Jewelry | Trumpet & Horn // Claire Pettibone
Calligraphy | Arturo Fribourg
Accessories | BHLDN
Film Scanning | The FIND Lab

Destination Lake Wedding in Greece | Ellie + Charles

Destination Wedding in Greece

This lakeside wedding is particularly special because I personally know the bride and it was my first destination wedding in Greece. Needless to say, there was a lot of preparation that had to be done for a trip of this magnitude. Luckily I have an incredible girlfriend who helped throughout the process and even accompanied me to Greece. We flew into the Athens airport a few days prior to the wedding. This gave us ample time to adjust to the time difference and scout the area for the wedding day. 

The days leading up to the wedding were quite nerve-racking. Every day we experienced scattered showers, strong wind, and even severe nighttime thunderstorms. Needless to say, this was not the weather we were expecting. Thankfully, once the wedding day arrived the clouds rained themselves out and we had nothing but sunny skies. This was a huge relief considering the entire day was to take place outdoors. 

Bridal Details

I met with Ellie on the morning of in her suite. Her hair was styled to absolute perfection without a single strand out of place. The jewelry was simple and elegant, much like her custom-made dress.  Ellie’s friend and Swedish-based designer Lina Nordin, worked with Ellie to create her dream gown.

Ceremony & Reception

The wedding went off without a hitch. The couple kept things very traditional and saved their first look until the bride walked down the aisle. In Swedish tradition, Ellie and Charles were adorned with crowns during the ceremony. Following the ceremony, we hopped in a van with the bridal party and headed to the coast for portraits. We returned to the lakeside reception after bridal party photos and sunset portraits for family photos and the evening’s festivities. Heartfelt speeches were given throughout the night and a flash mob surprised Ellie on the dance floor. Everyone danced the night away with drinks, enjoyed homemade Greek ice cream, and a cigar bar.

Photography | Alex W Photography

Planning | Bright Blue Weddings

Venue | Vouliagmeni Lake