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Newport Beach Wedding :: Sarah + Phil

Newport beach wedding ceremony venue photos

I’m so glad to finally post my favorite images from Sarah+Phil‘s Newport Beach wedding. When I first met this couple at my home a few years ago, I knew from the way that they joked around and described each other that their wedding would be a fun one. At their engagement session, they smiled / cuddled / laughed / smooched / tickled / played around a lot (and Phil got nice and frisky), so I was really looking forward to seeing how their big day would play out — and it didn’t disappoint at all! The day went so smoothly, and Sarah was a picture of absolute beauty and grace; Phil couldn’t help but beam all day. Even their bridal party was fun to be around!

Sarah and Phil, you are near and dear to my heart, and I’m so glad to call you my friends. I’m looking forward to your next visit in San Diego. I’ll take you guys out for noodles!:)

(Oh, and before we get to the images, a quick shout out to my talented best friend Daniel for second shooting with me and Jason for being a trooper and hustling/assisting all day, even with a jellyfish-injured foot!)

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I absolutely adored Sarah’s dad and the way that he looks at his beautiful daughter and shows her affection.

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Family formal portraits are more fun when stuff like this happens.:)

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April 8, 2013 - 9:39 pm

katrina - Awesome set of images with sweet moments Dexter!! LOVE!!

Walnut Engagement Session :: Ciara + Richard

I knew that Ciara+Richard would be unique as a couple when Richard first contacted me and made it clear that he would be handling all the correspondence. It became so evident as we talked at their consultation and also before and after their engagement session how much Richi loves Ciara and makes extra effort to take care of her. It really is delightful to see when guys get involved in the wedding planning (maybe I just relate because I was pretty involved in the process of my own). But it’s extra special when you see all the little, unspoken things… like how Richard runs around the house getting stuff ready so Ciara doesn’t have to lift a finger. And how he asks every few minutes how she’s doing. I also love how down-to-earth both of them are, and how high of a priority their family and friends are to them — even when it comes to their wedding planning. I can already tell it’s going to be an awesome day, and I can’t wait for it to get here in a few short months.

Now on to the photos! One of my favorite things to suggest to clients when deciding on a location for engagement sessions is to think of a place that feels like home to them. Sometimes that means a favorite museum or a part of town where they love shopping… but in this case, Ciara and Richi wisely chose Walnut, CA — the neighborhood where they both grew up, where their families both live, and where they will be starting a family of their own. This made for some really unique portraits that will hold special meaning to them and their families for a long time.

Jones Victorian Estate Wedding :: Marysia + Matt

Orange County wedding photos at Jones Victorian Estate 01

Where do I even begin? I had already gotten a sneak peek into the wonderfully sweet chemistry between these two when I shot Marysia and Matt’s engagement session several months before. But even with all the phone conversations and emails back and forth and the handful of times we had met up and hung out, somehow I still wasn’t expecting to be this overwhelmed by the genuine delightfulness of these lovebirds. Silly me!

In my head, I had kind of thrown myself off my game the night before by stressing about schedules, charging a ridiculous amount of batteries, printing out backups of all sorts of spreadsheets and maps, overthinking my lighting plans and generally overnerding my nerdy nerdiness, etc. But as soon as I walked inside Marysia’s parents’ house, it was so comforting to be greeted by everyone with huge smiles. And I knew everything would be okay when, soon after, I found myself both laughing and tearing up during Marysia & Matt’s emotional first look.

I’ve already told Marysia & Matt this in person, but I have to say it again. The way that Matt held and looked at Marysia all day was truly something special to behold. Enamored, I think is the right word. I mean, this is how I want my daughters’ future husbands to be — THAT special.

Anyway, enough with the words. On to the photos. (Special thanks to my friends Vanessa and Jennifer for kicking ass all day.)

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September 13, 2012 - 6:46 pm

Marysia - So excited to see the photos again! You really are a one-of-a-kind photographer and I’m so happy we chose you to capture our big day! Thank you for your awesomeness and your nerdiness =)!

September 13, 2012 - 4:26 pm

Leslie Nowakowski - I was crying so much after the first photo I had to stop a moment before continuing! Thanks Dexter for capturing the joy of the day.

Leslie (Mother of the bride)

September 13, 2012 - 10:50 am

Buffy - I adore the “off-moment” family photo… and the last photo – so romantic! Awesome!

Balboa Island Newport Beach Engagement Session :: Sarah + Phil

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As if I haven’t hyped up Sarah & Phil’s Balboa Island / Newport Beach engagement session enough yet, I’m going to pause here for a bit and write a little bit about these two, because I want to get across why I’m so excited about their engagement photos and their upcoming wedding.

I know I often go on about how wonderful and perfect bla bla bla my brides and grooms are, but Sarah & Phil are truly special. They both have this unassuming, easy-going nature and rarefied kindness that rubs off on you and reminds you that life is beautiful and relationships are beautiful. When you’re around them, you automatically feel your guard drop, the pretenses fall away, your smile widening, and you just find yourself laughing along with them.

The cherry on top was that (even though they had warned me that they were quite nervous about being on camera) they were both extremely easy to photograph, because their connection was so real and their affection so unmistakable. For this post, I chose photos that I feel best showcase that…

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SPLASH! There’s a little story to this one, but I’ll let Sarah & Phil tell it sometime.:)Newport Beach engagement photo 0342Newport Beach engagement photo 0366Orange County engagement session 0776Balboa Island pier Newport Beach engagement session

And here’s a link to their slideshow:

Sarah+Phil, I can’t wait to photograph your wedding soon. But more than that, I can’t wait to laugh and play with you guys again.

August 11, 2012 - 1:24 pm

Shawna - These are so amazing Dexter! The light, the location, the love… It all came together so beautifully! Awesome work :-)

Snippets from an Engagement Session in Newport Beach

Balboa Island, Newport Beach engagement photos by Dexter Lo Photography

This is not something I do often (or ever, really). I’m really excited to share my favorite images and write-up from Sarah & Phil’s Balboa Island engagement session, but I’m going to hold off and do that later this week. First, I wanted to share a handful of images that show how much fun we had with light! It’s kind of amazing to think that we were fortunate enough to get this kind of variety all in a single session. Enough to make any light-geek giddy. If you know what I’m saying, can you put your lighters in the air and say “hey?”:)

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Check back later this week for Sarah & Phil’s *REAL* blog post.:)

July 24, 2012 - 5:08 pm

David Josué - You’re crazy my friend, crazy eye. love your work.

mexican hug!
DJ