I was so grateful for an indoor Summer wedding venue, and couldn’t be happier when this couple chose Ashton Gardens Atlanta to tie the knot. The interior of the chapel’s exposed beams and floor to ceiling windows are a photographer’s dream !
Woo ! Just took the van on a road trip up to New York to photograph two weddings on Long Island, near the Hamptons. Passing through my old home of Brooklyn was hard not to stop, but I still felt the same familiar nostalgia of my Yoga Teacher training days out on Montauk, learning to surf in the Rockaways, and escaping the summer heat in the Hamptons. This wedding between a Jewelry Designer + Marine Vet/Police captain had all the intentional details. They embraced the Americana theme with flag getting ready dresses, and old fashioned trolly ride, a vintage ice cream truck and plenty of delicious hand made pies. Sunset over the vineyards made for the perfect couple’s session and I was so stoked the couple was down to get a little dirty in the wheat fields !
I’m trying to get better about blogging and sharing so many of the incredible people and places my travels take me to. I’ve just landed in Atlanta after 6 weeks of international travel and am happy to be here with my pup, my fam, my man and some renewed creative juices.
Yasmeen & Nick’s Atlanta Ritz Carlton and Ambient+ Studio wedding blew everyone away. So many thoughtful details incorporated, sentimental touches and sincerity with planning. Every moment from gift exchanges to first look and their choreographed dance was fluid, natural and just so them. i’m grateful to have captured their story in such stunning locations.
Destination weddings simplify a lot of things. Guests arrive with a sense of wonder and relaxation. Everyone’s eyes are fresh to the surroundings. Stepping into Chattanooga and the Dwell Hotel was like entering another time, altogether. It was honestly the closest i’ve come to photographing in what felt like a Wes Anderson set. I could just run around and get lost with my camera all day.
Thankfully, the weather cooperated and cloudy skies parted for perfect hair light. Kisses on a swing, in a barn and afoot the mountains. Romance abound !
Some of us are lucky to find places and people that touch our souls. For me, a bi-annual journey to Baja has become just that. Todos Santos first whispered to me as an invitation to photograph an intimate, destination wedding of an old college friend. I think I booked my flights before she signed her contract, to be honest.
Needless to say, exploring the small town and surrounding beaches during that Summer trip was a dream. I remembered being struck by the simplicity of things, people, food, and the freedom I always feel when I have a camera in my hand in lieu of a cell phone. I surfed my brains out, indulged my taco obsession and happily stumbled upon live music and local art.
Fast forward a few months after that wedding, and I remember being haunted by the feeling that I had somehow left my heart in Baja and needed to go and find her. I began brainstorming a winter reprieve, and through the Yoga + Wellness retreat community I’m a part of, I was connected to a local angel who graciously helped my pieces of the puzzle come together.
The last-minute flight gods were kind, and plane fares were affordable. There just happened to be an opening at an ocean-view one bedroom apartment close to the best surf break in town, and my friend could even rent me his truck. It was meant to be. I just had to Go. Do. Be.
There’s a feeling I get, when I get out of my own way. My therapist referenced it yesterday as the still, small voice. It comes from outside of my self, but it is somehow a feeling of more myself. Some of you may call this Holy Spirit. That’s awesome ! I call it consciousness or, presence. That feeling was with me this February. That feeling is still somehow in me, as I sit in a gray, landlocked Atlanta basement. The feeling allows me to be open to new people, random conversations, sing alongs by campfires, making new penpals, and an overall connectedness to humankind. It breaks down the barriers to entry that screens somehow create. I often feel like even though technology is so incredible, it can make us feel even lonelier. Laughing after sunset yoga with a new friend or letting a stranger on the beach sing in French and play guitar to me, or talking to the same dude in the surf lineup every morning and never learning his name but remembering his dog’s… that’s the good stuff. That’s the small town, beach vibe, heart centered stuff. That’s my stuff.
Thank you, Baja. For holding me like you do. For teaching me the Hawaiian prayer Ho’oponopono. For bringing angels into my life. For bringing back that still, small voice that guides me.
On Saturday, we had the pleasure of capturing a rooftop engagement proposal at Ventana’s Downtown Helipad. Their whole family was in attendance, and champagne toasts sweetened the deal. Congrats to these lovebirds !
Elizabeth + Xavier brought their love to Atlanta, and friends and family met them there. Both trainers and wellness advisors in Brooklyn, New York, they decided on Atlanta for their Destination Wedding and I got to be here for all the joy.
Personal, intimate details punctuated by pops of color. The industrial chic venue was the perfect location to welcome their guests and get rad city scapes, as well.
These mountains ! How sweet it is to build a life together. I have had the blessing of knowing these babes for about a decade and have gotten to see them create a brave and beautiful life here in Colorado. Married for 4 years and 4 months (and having dated for 4 years and 4 months prior to wedding date), the 4 of us hiked over 4 miles to seal the deal again :)
The photos speak for themselves.
Sasha + Jedd Forever <3 and Theo !
I adore traveling back to California to capture couple's Engagement Sessions. Knowing that I'll be hiking, surfing, eating hella tacos + burritos and just aimlessly wandering the 1 all in the name of "location scouting" for photoshoots makes my heart skip a little beat.
Olivia + Scott were SO easy to work with, and their sweet pup even joined us for a bit of the photoshoot. I can't wait to capture these two's wedding this autumn !
If you're searching for the perfect destination Wedding or Elopement photographer, drop me a line and let's chat. Posting 2018 travel schedule soon! WWW.GIANNAKEIKO.COM