Pioneertown Wedding | Le Haut Desert Aerie

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Photographing the wedding of Artists and Creatives alike is quite an honor and something that makes me proud. It tells me I’m getting the right couples and that I’m appreciated by the right kinds of people! Photography is my Art, no matter what I’m photographing I’m striving to make Artful imagery and so having clients that are on the same page and wanting what I offer is vital. I’m not interested in milking the already saturated market in shooting the same “airy” “dreamy” images that are oh so common now. I love couples that trust in me to create my way, to produce images that are not straight from the wedding photographers text book, and images that are not what I just saw last weekend on some wedding blog. Im inspired by life, you and your wedding. With this couple I got so much inspiration, the location was a desert dream @lehautdesertaerie, the styling was unique and genuine and the bride was pretty much an anti bride kind of bride, in the best possible way of course.

This Pioneertown Wedding at Le Haut Desert Aerie was a gathering of creative folks, from across the globe. So much color and quirkiness gave me so much to photograph. This wedding was anything but normal. It had character and design that was non comparable, and since I work in the industry that is saying something. These folks needed no justification, no persuasion and no influences in the making of the day. It was all them and it was great!

I’m a Photographer that strives to make the best images possible. It’s a democracy of image taking as I’m not biased when creating them. I’m so thankful for this couple in allowing me to have total freedom to create images my way and for respecting my process.

Garden Wedding | Lindsey & Nate

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Lindsay & Nate were married in the most beautiful garden wedding I’ve seen. Here on the California coast, at a family members wonderful home. Lindsey’s cousin Alexis is the home owner, she also happens to be a designer, and she insisted some time ago that her home and garden would be the place that Nate and Lindsey would be married among family and friends.

I met Lindsey and Nate a few months before the wedding, at the home in which they would get married. I saw great and unique potential in the venue straight away, the Home and Garden was quite something. I remember the tour they gave me of the house, every room was a delight to view, every little detail was well placed and thought out. It was clear that this was the home of an Artist who can work wonders with space. Lindsey and Nate confirmed that Alexis was in fact an Artist (a designer by trade) who would also be the one designing the wedding, just perfect I thought to myself. Lindsey & Nate talked to me about the plans her cousin had for the day, and it all sounded perfect. I took it all in whilst thinking once again, oh man, I seem to hit the jackpot every single time with my couples”.

Lindsey and Nate were the perfect couple for me, an easy going and loving couple. When the wedding came the vibe was just that, easy going with plenty of love in the air from the couple and Family and Friends alike. It was Family and Friends that came to the house the day before the wedding to scrub the exterior walls in preparation for the wedding day. They came back the morning of the wedding to put the whole thing together, the flowers, the hauling of tables & chairs, even climbing trees to add the draping fabric that would cover the enter space. That just doesn’t happen for most people, Lindsey and Nate were loved by many and this showed that. The end result was nothing short of amazing.

The day itself was full of love and happiness throughout and it was a joy to photograph. The day was perfect in so many ways and I hope my images can show you just how amazing it was. FYI the main gallery for this Garden Wedding is over at my main site, click the link below to go there.

You can see more from this stunning Encinitas Garden Wedding here

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Rustic Barn Wedding | Red Barn Ranch

Red Barn Ranch is a charming rustic barn wedding venue. Located in North County San Diego. Near Palomar Mountain. Here you’re surrounded by Mountains, citrus, Pepper, Oaks and Pines Trees. Quite often perfect weather also, although the summer months might be on the hot side. To deal with that blistering sun the Ranch has many trees, including some lovely willow trees that offer shade as well as stunning beauty. Just take a look at the images below, you will be hard pressed to find another venue with the same kind of country green lush. In San Diego County at least, that compares to this Rustic Wedding Venue.

The Ranch House is located a short drive away from Harrahs, which makes for a perfect getting ready venue, and possible afterparty! I’ve photographed a couple of weddings here now and I enjoy it each time. It’s offers plenty in the way of photography options and since I’m primarily an outdoor, natural light photographer this ticks all the boxes for a Rustic Countryside Wedding in San Diego. The ceremony site under the willows is perhaps my favorite, followed very closely by the reception area which is also under willows (at least I think they’re willow trees). Nobody ever seems to be squinting there eyes at this venue because of the great shade the Ranch offers, usually San Diego Weddings and squinting eyes under the blistering sun go hand in hand and is expected, not here.

I highly recommend checking this place out if you want that country wedding in lush grounds. Simply Regal Events do a great job in coordinating everything and know the place very well. I would love to hear from you regardless of venue you are getting married at, if you feel a connection to my style of wedding photography then please write me an email.

Here are just a few Red Barn Ranch Wedding images from Kristen and Ryan’s wedding, Enjoy!

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Julian Wedding | Meredith & Johnny

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Meredith and Johnny had a fine gathering of close friends and family to celebrate, feast on some fine food and drink and have a good old party. All this whilst being surrounded by the misty mountains of Julian. Here is a film shot I took later in the day which I quite like. The Venue is very nice, lush and colorful and has a stunning backdrop as you can see.

Le Haut Desert Aerie | Desert Wedding

Le Haut Desert Aerie WeddingWhat an absolutely stunning location Le Haut Desert Aerie is, with it’s breathtaking views of the rugged desert landscape and not another property in site it’s the ideal wedding getaway for you, your friends and family. If you time it right and have your desert wedding in the early season like JJ & Alexis did, then you will be treated to what in my opinion is the most perfect desert wedding climate, mid to late 70’s with a nice breeze. The high desert wildflowers are all blooming in the spring also, come the summertime it’s just to hot for these, and most weddings also.

Le Haut Desert Aerie is a retreat located about a mile down a dusty road from Pappy and Harriets which is in Pioneertown (very close to Joshua Tree) I’m not sure how long it’s been a desert retreat but as a desert wedding venue it seems pretty new to the game. You come here for peace and relaxation, and you will notice the prayer flags upon arrival! The Ceremony area is the most picture perfect I’ve seen and would go well with the natural boho hippy wedding style. Le Haut Desert Aerie has a small collection of glamping tents, each with there own private setting which seem perfect for a newly wedded couple to spend the night. The main house is a gem and is so well style that it’s very hard for me to define it in words, but its stunning to say the least!

JJ & Alexis are a super cool couple (JJ & Alexis Sand Dunes Engagement) , blessed with super good looks and style they made our job so easy. Family and friends too, just great! A beautiful wedding ceremony, a stunning reception and a wild party all under the desert skies and away from city lights (and neon hotel exit sign). I love working as a wedding photographer because of couples like JJ & Alexis, but to be honest I’m very blessed with all my couples and feel blessed by them all, this wedding typifies that. Thanks JJ & Alexis for having us document your wedding day!

Please follow the Le Haut Desert Aerie Wedding link for the full gallery.

Sand Dunes Engagement Photography

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The Place | Glamis Sand Dunes

It’s been a long time coming, but finally I got a Glamis Sand Dunes Engagement Photography shoot. It didn’t disappoint me! It was jam packed full of off road vehicles so we had to take a pass on the larger sand dunes and hit up the milder yet still epic sand dunes on the opposite side of the road. This mean’t less tire tracks and less chance of being taken out by an off roader, seriously it was packed full of them everywhere. The noise was pretty intense too, here was me expecting peace and quite and perhaps a few bikes every now and again. Anyway off to the other side of the road we ventured and after a short walk we found a nice area of untouched sands.

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Full Gallery – Glamis Sand Dunes Engagement Photography

The Couple | Alexis & JJ

Alexis had a stella dress that she wore, it was really so cool and it just perfectly just popped out of the muted tones that I exposed for. You know I love light and airy imagery, so I was never going to expose for the orange sand and blue skies, it’s just not my style. I much prefer making it dreamy, warm and understated so the maroon red dress, with floral accents was amazing for me to work with. Alexis and JJ are pretty much a model couple so I was quick to put them at ease and let them be themselves knowing that they look great with very little effort. The trip to and from the dunes (about 5hrs total) was a great way to get to know Alexis and JJ. I can’t wait for there wedding which is going to be in Pioneertown!!!


The Technical | Fujifilm X-T1 35mm f/1.4 & 56mm f/1.2

The shoot was relaxed, we wandered about and set the “dreamy, in the middle of nowhere” kinda scene, putting footprints in the sand and using leading lines to draw the eye to the subject. Shooting with the sun behind the couple as much as the landscape would allow to give that great California glow. Timing is key with the sun, too early in the day and you can’t get the flare into a standard portrait lens, and too close to sunset and you lose the skin tones or the sunset color. You can of course use lights & strobes, but I’m a minimalist when it comes to gear and I certainly don’t make a production and shine lights on my couples. It’s a sure way to get them feeling un-easy, I’m strictly natural light, at weddings also! I push my cameras to the limit and use any natural (or market) lights that I can before bring a direct flash into the equation. So here I had the best light period from 1.5-0.5hrs till sun down, when the sun is roughly just above the heads of the couple.

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Presidio Park Engagement | Old Town San Diego

Presidio Park Engagement session with Aline and Roy | The Presidio is nestled above Old Town San Diego. It’s a small park thats extremely well kept, with lush landscaping and the beautiful Junipero Serra Museum being the central point. Whilst you can see and often hear the freeways very close by, this is a place that is somewhat out of place within the modern San Diego thats growing around it. It’s a great escape from the busy town, it’s much less visited by tourist compared to Old Town which is just down the hill. I love it, you can’t beat laying out on the grass on a warm summers day. I recommended the place to Aline and Roy who live and work up in LA. They wanted nature, beautiful light and lush surroundings and since they travelled from LA for the shoot this spot would be much less driving than my usual nature spots in the Countryside. The Presidio Park is a small slice of nature in the middle of the city and it’s just perfect for a engagement shoot.

The Presidio Park turned out to be just right for Aline and Roy, Aline dress in a stone cold fox, so full on nature might have looked slightly out of place for her. The Junipero Serra museum lets you know that you are not fully into the wild and worked well here for Aline and Roy’s style.

The timing of the shoot is always key for me as I just love working with the sun to capture soft light flare. The type of light that softens and warms an image rather than the overly contrasting feel of midday sun, much less sweating also. The sun was perfect on this day, beaming through the tree of my scouted areas, it worked out just as I’d hoped it would. I hope you enjoy looking at these Presidio Park Engagement Images, and I hope you contact me regarding yours!

Full Gallery of this Presidio Park Engagement shoot can be seen here


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The Martin Johnson House | Rustic Wedding Venue San Diego

The Martin Johnson House is a beautiful rustic wedding venue located in La Jolla, San Diego. This unique San Diego wedding venue is located up high on the cliffs of Torrey Pines. It offers sweeping views of La Jolla Cove, Scripps Pier and the Pacific Ocean. The Martin Johnson house is a historic building built in 1916. It is surrounded by tall Torrey Pines that offer shade from the hot summer sun. It has two multi layered decks which are perfect for intimate wedding receptions that encourage guests to mingle and get to know one and other.

The Martin Johnson House serves smaller weddings with a guest count of under 100 best. Although I’ve seen weddings with larger guest counts work to. Having a smaller wedding means more room for your guest to move around, whilst also giving you space to dance and have fun without having to move tables or squeeze into a smaller space. I’ve seen ceremonies on the grass lawn with the reception space on the decks, cocktail hour on the side of the house serving as a transition between the two points. This kind of layout always produces a nice intimate friendly vibe.

The Martin Johnson House offers some of the most spectacular views I’ve seen in all of San Diego County, all within walking distance of the Martin Johnson House itself. These views serve as great backdrops for the couples photographs and all of my couples are amazed at the spots I find for them. Whilst these photo locations are within walking distance from the house they do offer you quiet alone time that is often taken for granted on your wedding day.

For more details on having me photograph your Martin Johnson House Wedding please get in touch using the contact form.

For updated San Diego Wedding Photography work please visit my portfolio site

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Wedding Venues in La Jolla

Palm Springs Wedding | Parker Palm Springs

The Parker Palm Springs is my favorite venue in all of Palm Springs. It’s got everything I could want in a wedding venue. It’s clean contemporary design with a 60’s vibe, immaculate decor and color choices. Lush greens on clean white walls surrounds you whilst you walk the maze like grounds. A Parker Palm Springs Wedding would be the perfect fit for the couple who appreciate mid century design, all the rooms have been designed by Jonathan Adler who says he designed the resort to resemble your imaginary “great aunt’s estate.” “She’s an Auntie Mame type who traveled the world and had innate panache”. To be honest you could forget the year you’re in, if it wasn’t for the iphones in everyones hands.

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The Parker Palm Springs grounds are so lush with great little amenities around every corner, like I said before the place is kind of like a maze at first and you could easily get lost, I have done so myself and still do if it’s been a while since my last visit. With Palm Tree Hammocks, Firepits, Croquet, and outdoor lounge areas you can find you space easily here, I’ve taken a nice nap on those hammocks myself!

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A Wedding here gives ample opportunity for a photographer to get great portraits without leaving the grounds, but I must say if you do have time it’s well worth taking a short 10 min drive to the desert for some minimal and creative shots. I know the area that surrounds Palm Spring very well indeed and absolutely love taken my clients out and off the beaten track for some creative photo art. But if time restraints or excessive heat means it’s just not possible to get out of the grounds then there is no better place to be than the Parker Palm Springs.

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If you are shopping for a photographer for your palm springs wedding please get in touch and be sure to mention “Parker Palm Springs Wedding” for a discount on my packages. I’m located in San Diego but travel to Palm Spings for Weddings quite often, I waive all transportation and accommodation costs with weddings here.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Wedding La Jolla

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD) is a exclusive wedding venue for the modern couple. MCASD has two locations, one in downtown San Diego and one in La Jolla, a stones throw away from La Jolla cove. Let’s talk about the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. With it’s location so close to the beach and La Jolla cove it makes for a very exclusive venue to host a wedding. The views over the ocean are amazing and to be surrounded by such Contemporary Art really makes this place what it is, a fantastic modern wedding venue in one of the most sought beach wedding destinations. The venue’s Architecture itself is of course one that’s contemporary, distinctive, beautifully white and minimal with well place windows that serve as a great light source for highlighting the Art inside.

The patio at the MCASD seen below, used as a ceremony site and for cocktail hour. Time it right and you can have a sunset ceremony from a fine vantage point.

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Not only does the patio offer great views of the pacific, it also holds arguably the most known piece of Art in La Jolla. I don’t know anybody who isn’t wowed by Nancy Rubin boat sculpture “Pleasure Point” situated right above you as you stand on the patio and seen from down on the beach.

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Cocktail hour in the golden hour of a California Sunset. Museum of Contemporary Art Wedding La Jolla

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This venue is a contemporary design minded couples dream.

To see this Museum of Contemporary Art Wedding in Full please click here