Amanda and Morgan got married a few weeks ago at Lobo Castle, a private residence in Agoura Hills, California. The story follows the images below…
Amanda and Morgan wanted to get married at sunset, with a view of the mountains and sky as they said their vows to each other. Lobo Castle was an ideal location, not least because of its ceremony site: a small clearing, at the top of a path that wound through grape vines growing on the hillside. The reception would take place outside too, on the extensive patio area of the property. They had about 80 guests, which was the perfect size for this location.
The sunset ceremony required some tweaks to the traditional wedding time line however. Since it would be dark after the ceremony, family photos had to be done before hand. So the bride and groom decided on a ‘first look’ to be done in private, followed by family photos, cocktail hour, then the ceremony and reception. It all went very smoothly, even though the timing up the path was pretty critical (hence the image of the bride with the walkie talkie, above).
The bride got ready in a gorgeous suite, with a balcony that overlooked the reception area. Across the road from the house was a field, with a rope swing tied to a tree. It was there the groom saw the bride in her dress for the first time. It was a moving, joyous moment and I’m touched to have been a part of it!
After the cocktail hour, the guests moved up the path to the ceremony site. Since it was a narrow and long path, the couple decided not to have bridesmaids and groomsmen for their ceremony. Instead, the groom’s parents escorted the groom, followed by the bride’s mother. The bride and her father came up together, where they joined with the waiting groom and other parents to begin the ceremony. It was a simple and touching entrance to a beautiful location.
After dinner, the couple danced a tango for their first dance together, followed by the traditional Hora dance. It was a beautiful and warm California evening, and a perfect end to this awesome day!
As you can see, Amanda and Morgan have a sense of humor. Their ‘thank you’ sign did double duty, with the flip side delivering a very practical message to their guests.
Technical notes: I was honored to have Brandon Wright as my ‘second shooter’ for this wedding. He is an amazing photographer, and you can see his work here. A like-minded soul, he and his twin brother both shoot weddings exclusively on film. Brandon was responsible for many of the detail/food shots above, as well as the groom’s “getting ready” images (and others). Brandon shot with his Nikon FE2 and Canonet QL17 (35mm cameras), and Mamiya C330. The latter is a twin-lens reflex medium-format camera, and takes square pictures.
I shot with my Mamiya 645AF (medium format), and my Nikon F5 and Nikon N90s (35mm) cameras. Film was Kodak Portra 400 for color, and a mix of things for black and white: Delta 3200 and Tri-X for the most part. For the reception, I used a combination of on-camera TTL strobe, as well as triggering strobes set up on poles around the dance floor. Since it was dark AND outdoors, there was very little ambient light, and nothing to bounce a flash off. The strobes on poles add a nice edge/rim light, giving a 3D look to flash photography.
Hair and makeup: Charlene Evans @ Alejandro Salon (Ventura, California)
Flowers: Yamaguchi’s Flowers (Santa Paula, CA)
Live music and deejay services: Brian Stodart (Temecula, CA)