It's all just love: Gay weddings

With the legality of gay marriage finally sweeping across America, the imagery we associate with "love" is playing catch-up.  Having captured dozens of same sex weddings, I'm proud to be a part of this movement.  I photographed my first (long before it was cool) back in 2007.  I believe in challenging the popular notion of romance.  The iconic "romantic" imagery flooding our visual world is usually between a man and a woman which, I feel, is a narrow and misleading benchmark.  With every intimate moment between two women in love, with every quiet look shared between two men, I feel I am slowly dislodging the narrow public narrative of what the public accepts as romance.  These weddings are as varied and distinctive as any, from traditional church weddings to simple civil ceremonies to even a private elopement in a vacant stadium.  No matter how my couples choose to celebrate their love, I am always honored to be chosen to capture it for them:  helping to illustrate the equality of love that we all know to be so true.

Nick & Wes

With the entire San Diego skyline as a backdrop, Nick and Wes exchanged theirs vows on the rooftop of the Marriott Hotel.  Many of their guests worked as flight attendants, so one of the evening highlights was a full-on flight prep speech with inflatable life jackets.  The seating chart was an airline boarding screen.  The night was full of laughs with punctuated by quiet romantic moments.


Amberlee & Matt

I have a special place in my heart for blended families.  I wish there was a better word to describe the family that is created when one parent re-marries bringing a child into the new family.  Having gone through a divorce with kiddos, and getting re-married, I understand the gravity and importance of this new union.  It's an instant foundation of love and support.  I'm always honored to get the chance to cover a wedding of this type as I often see the eyes of my children in these kiddos.  I get to witness the generosity of the new partner who not only accepts his new wife into his life, but also child who comes along with it's own world of joys and challenges.  It moves me so deeply.  I hope these images convey just a touch of that love and what a truly momentous day this is for everyone involved.

Ben & Matt

I have never witnessed such sweet romance so steeped in the rich community and ceremony of a church.  This was the first gay wedding that I photographed with the ceremony taking place inside a church.  It was such a joy to see the tradition and orthodoxy that only a religious institution can provide, mix so purely and un-inhibiting with the love of these two men.  They had met in the pews of this very church, both singing in the choir.  The beginnings of their courtship so closely intertwined with their faith.  Like all weddings, their love was so unique, yet like all weddings, rich with special moments and exciting to capture.  We began at a private home in La Jolla for all the getting ready (I love it when couples get ready together), then we headed to Del Mar Presbyterian Church for the ceremony and family photos.  We made a pit-stop at the glider port in Torrey Pines for some wedding party photos before heading to the reception were we danced on the patios of the Great Hall UCSD.

Teresa & Sam

"Since it's physically impossible for you to be the big spoon to my little spoon, you will always be my jetpack.  I know we are meant to be together, because for the first time in my life, I want to be a better man because of my partner, not just because of me.  You are constantly in my thoughts, what can I do today to help you catch your breath, or have it taken away.  What bad joke can I say to see your beautiful smile, or hear your contagious laugh.  Being with you, I have replaced my selfishness with selflessness for you..."    ~ Sam's vows for Teresa

"I have decided that you should keep me around on the off-chance that there is a zombie apocalypse.  I have many skill-sets and attributes, that will help keep both of us alive.... I'm in good shape, so I can outrun zombies, and almost keep up with you.  I'm small, so I don't eat much, and I can hide in small spaces.  I'm also hilarious... even if you are the last two humans on earth, we know there is a good chance the species will survive... and here we are, saying our vows before the zombies can make it to Tahoe.  ~Teresa's vows for Sam

These vows were punctuated by a mid-ceremony tattoo reveal!  Both Teresa and Sam selected temporary tattoos that the other HAD to wear.  Neither knew what tattoo the other had chosen for them.. until the ceremony for everyone to see.  Sam's groomsmen placed his, out of site, under his sleeve and Teresa's girls placed hers on the back of her leg, so she couldn't see...

These are only small examples of the fun and playful wedding that Sam and Teresa planned together.  It was an honor to capture it for them.



Lauren & Elias

I have always loved latin weddings.  The culture of the Dominican Republic is rich with incredible foods, smooth Bachata dancers and above all, passionate and loving people with huge hearts and even bigger families.  When Lauren and Elias invited me to the beaches of Puerto Plata to capture their wedding for them, I couldn't refuse.  We had the beach to ourselves and we danced late into the night.