UNITED STATES NATIONAL ARBORETUM, ESQUIVEL FAMILY

There is nothing more fun to me than planning and stylizing shoots with my clients.  When it is an entire family who thinks outside of the box and lets creativity and fashion fly, it is even more fun for me, as a photographer.

I had  the great privilege of shooting the Esquivel Family at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.  Their edgy yet elegant vibe is to swoon over along with their family story that is told to me first hand by Danielle Esquivel, wife, momma and fearless boss babe!

Their Family Story by Danielle:

Our family came to be many years ago when Kai our daughter was just 5 years old, over 8 years ago! Time sure does fly!

Justin, my husband, had been a longtime friend of mine and by chance we became connected again after many years apart. What once was a one sided love became two (Justin wanted to date me way back when but I always refused. I never wanted to ruin our friendship!)

We instantly fell in love with each other and wanted to spend all our time together and Kai loved Justin from the start!  They share a special bond to this day.

Fast forward to June 2013 where we decided we were in it for the long haul! We got married in a beautiful summer wedding in Ithaca, NY with Kai by our side as our flower girl.

So how did a bunch of NYers end up in DC? Well, about 3 years ago I accepted a job in the Washington DC metro area and we packed up and moved down to Virginia - our new home! We couldn’t be happier! Justin loves the area as an avid film fan and one of the Epic Film Guys from Epic Film Guys Podcast, there is always something movie related to do and you can almost always find him at the Alamo DraftHouse Cinema.

For me living in DC, I love the close proximity to so much culture and art! You can find me hitting up the local museums and concerts as well as shopping! Cause what girl doesn’t love to shop!

Kai, walks to the beat of her own drum. She’s fiercely unique and not afraid to be herself. We absolutely love her for that! She’s been into hand lettering and calligraphy these days and loves tagging along with us to shows and concerts. She’s a punk girl at heart and her punk mama couldn’t be prouder!

A little love note from Lacey O:

Danielle, Justin and Kai,

It was so fun planning and stylizing your family shoot with you.  You all are a divergently fierce family for sure!  Don't ever change a thing! 

With Big Love,

Lacey O.

MY FEATURE IN, ULTIMATE WEDDING DIGITAL

 

This announcement is so big I thought about sending all of you a chilled bottle of Vevue just so you could pop your corks with me as I reveal that I and the great team I worked with has been published with the international wedding company Ultimate Wedding Digital!
  Big news, right? Totally makes you forget how I teased you with a free bottle of French bubbly just now, huh? 
 Check out this featured wedding shoot, here.

 

 

MY FEATURE IN, A PRINCESS INSPIRED

PROST! SALUD! CHEERS!

My team and I are celebrating in a big way today because our Dark Romance with jeweled tones wedding shoot has been published in, A Princess Inspired!

You can celebrate with us and read how they were swept away with this romantic wedding, here!

MY FEATURE IN, SAN DIEGO WEDDING

My newest blog post is pretty...dare I say, JUICY?!

Head to the link below to see my Dark Romance Wedding inspired shoot, so perfect for the outside of the box bride & just in time for the autumn season, that has been published in SanDiegoWedding.com and meet the amazing team I worked with! 

 http://www.sandiegowedding.com/blog/bold-red-wine-inspires-dark-romance-in-this-gorgeous-goth-y-wedding-styled-shoot-celebrates-autumn-perfectly/2017/8/24

 

MY JEWELED TONE ROMANCE STYLED SHOOT FEATURE ON BORROWED & BLUE

Since I specialize in photography for the divergently fierce & chic, of course I had to team up with a group of vendors out in California for a Dark Romance themed shoot.  

We traveled out to Ramona, California to visit the beautiful Milagro Winery to shoot this stylized wedding.  With vintage style and deep jeweled tones, its sure to inspire the outside of the box, bride.  Check out the amazing team I worked with and the rest of my images on borrowed and blue:

https://www.borrowedandblue.com/us/weddings/outdoor-jewel-toned-romance-styled-shoot

Escondido, CA Maternity Session + Erica

Recently, I had the great pleasure of shooting a maternity session, in Escondido, California for my childhood friend, Erica.  

Erica Brauer has been in the Los Angeles area since 2001, where she attended USC as an undergraduate, majoring in biology and minoring in theatre.  Shortly after graduating she founded a theatre company now known as Above the Curve Theatre, a black box non-profit theatre known for producing quality shows with a minimum participation of 50% females. In 2013, she became a full-time science teacher, and now teaches chemistry at Granada Hills Charter High School.  She continues to run her theatre company and perform around the city with other companies as well. In addition, she is involved with a non-profit called buildOn, in which she takes high school students to third world countries to build schools for those less fortunate.

Erica met Ian and his beautiful daughter Avery almost three years ago.  Erica and Ian seem quite perfect for each other, as they balance out each other's craziness.  Their relationship has already survived Ian's back surgery and other hurtles that many couples do not have to go through so early on, which has only made them stronger together.  She has inspired him to go back to school, and he has supported her in her journey to get a Master's in Science Education as well.  They love their time with Avery, and have watched her flourish into a sweet, energetic little girl.  When Erica found out she was pregnant with one of her own, she was ecstatic. Although not perhaps the way she imagined it would all happen, she very much believes in fate and God's will, and truly believes this miracle was meant to happen right now. 

Pregnancy for her has not been the smoothest of processes.  Erica was sick for the first 6 months or so, making it difficult to maintain her normally active and healthy lifestyle.  She has always been a very disciplined eater and exerciser, but those first few months made it tough.  Once that had passed, her pregnancy has been much smoother.  Of course there are certain discomforts here and there, but she will cherish the first time she heard his heartbeat, the first time she saw his little nose in an ultrasound, and the first time she felt him kick.  She feels lucky to have this experience, and is grateful every day for her little miracle.

** Erica and Ian welcomed Hudson Jameson Cochran into the world at 3:28 PM on January 31st.  Erica, Baby Hudson and family are over- joyed and doing fantastic!

BALBOA PARK PROPOSAL, SARAH + HAYDEN

Sarah + Hayden | met in High School, their Freshman year.  Having a few classes together, they became friends pretty quickly. After Sarah’s Freshman year of high school, she moved to another state and they only talked every once in a while. During that time, Hayden made it a point to check up on her though.

Fast forward several years and it wasn’t until Sarah’s Sophomore year of College when they started to talk to each other consistently.  

Hayden was stationed in Norfolk, VA with the U.S. Navy and Sarah was still in Knoxville, TN getting my degree so communication was mainly texting and FaceTime.  

One day, on the phone, Hayden asked Sarah if he had any right to dislike a guy paying her attention. She remember being so excited knowing that he might be feeling the way that she had been the past few weeks… into each other.


They decided then that they wanted to try dating, but wanted to wait until Hayden was home for the holidays to make it “official”.  Soon enough he was home for Christmas.  

Hayden had a crush on Sarah since Highschool and with those lingering feelings he pretty much drove straight from Norfolk to pick Sarah up for their first date (he even had flowers and a teddy bear waiting for her in the car).

They went to Steak n’ Shake since it was so late and stayed up even later that night watching Elf, talking and enjoying each other's company.

They spent most of his leave time at home together and have been together ever since! Due to Hayden serving in the military, Hayden had a 10 m0nth deployment.  Plus their relationship has been long distance for its entirety, which has made things hard, but they knew if they stuck it out long enough the distance would come to an end.

Since returning from deployment, Hayden is stationed out in San Diego and Sarah visits as much as she possibly can. Now they are newly engaged and found out that Hayden’s next set of orders with the Navy are in Rota, Spain! They decided they didn’t want to be apart that long so soon they embark on their new journey together to travel the world. They even already have a bucket list started.

JULIAN CALIFORNIA, CHARLOTTE + DONNY ENGAGEMENT

Charlotte and Donny first met in downtown San Diego, California, 6 years ago (this coming February) Donny was 27 and Charlotte had just turned 22.

Charlotte and her friends were standing in line at a club called Double Deuce and so was Donny standing in line with his friends. 

Charlotte shared with me, “I saw him in line with his friends, he was pretty easy on the eyes and I remember he was wearing a beanie.”

Donny and his friends were really excited that they got to go into the bar for only $5 per person which was less then the usual cover. Charlotte and her friends got in for free.  Later that night they bumped into each other on the dance floor (literally) as they were the only ones jumping up and down dancing to the club music that was on. He yelled to her "I love club music" and she said "me too" then she proceeded to jokingly rub it in his face that her and her friends got in for free.

 He offered to buy her a shot and suggested Vodka. She suggested said Tequila with a smile.  They took a shot, talked amongst their friends and she gave him her number. They parted ways for the night.

The next morning Charlotte got a text from Donny and she was so giddy!  For the next few weeks they text and talked on the phone for hours.

 Donny kept asking to go out with Charlotte but she was busy with work and school and she was really nervous as she had never been on a date before or had a boyfriend. 
 
Charlotte finally agreed to go on a date with Donny. She shared with me, “I was so nervous hoping that he'd think I was pretty.”

He suggested that they meet at the boardwalk and she asked him which one. He said the one in El Cajon...turns out the Boardwalk is a bowling alley and not the beach like she thought.

They met there and they got Icees, while Donny playfully teased Charlotte because she didn't want to mix the blue with the red.

As and Charlotte hung out, Donny told Charlotte stories about how he use to work there as a kid. They walked around and then played a couple games of pool.  Just chatting the night away.

Later, Donny wanted to grab something to eat so they walked out to the parking lot and started walking to his car. He motioned to his vehicle and said, “Mine is the truck” so she started walking to the huge truck but she walked to the wrong one. The 4Runner, that was his, was lifted and loud and she just loved it, being a Florida girl.

Charlotte couldn't decide where to eat so Donny took her to the mall food court. They got Subway and they talked and walked around the mall some more. They loved talking with one another.

They wanted to continue their date and decided to go drive around town. Having fun hanging out together, and Charlotte even started singing to songs on the radio!  She had never felt so comfortable around anyone!

It started raining later and Donny took them off-roading in the mud and they came across a rainbow.  They decided to follow it and drove to the end of the rainbow and saw the end of it!

Charlotte said, “I remember after our first date I thought to myself ‘he was fun, I don't see anything serious coming from it but he'd be a fun friend to hang out with.’ I had just moved back to San Diego from Florida so I hadn't made a ton of friends yet. The thing is the more time I spent with him the more fun I had!  I had fallen for him.”  

Everyone at Charlotte’s work and family had heard ALL about Donny because he was all she could talk about. They were inseparable.

Charlotte shared with me, “ I remember asking him one time, ‘why do you love me’ and he told me ‘because you're the only one who's ever believed in me’ and then asked me, ‘why do I loved him’ and I told him ‘because you're the only one I've felt like I could be 100% myself around and you still love me for it.”

This was just the beginning... their life together has been an amazing roller coaster of a ride and now that they are engaged and soon to be married. But they can always count on each other sitting in the seat next to each other holding each other’s hand. :)
 
They feel like they have a pretty great support system of friends and family. They are grateful for people that are cheering them on and they are so excited for their future together.

CHULA VISTA, VANESSA + JASON

Washington DC Photographer | Engagement Photography

Jason and Vanessa met in middle school and began dating in high school. 
The two were married in 2007 and moved to Nevada where Jason was stationed with the Navy.

Washington DC Photographer | Engagement Photography

Life, with all of it's complications, unfortunately, they lost their way and separated, both moving to San Diego in separate homes.

Now this sounds more of a tradgedy than a love story for a couple's shoot.  Reader's do not fret!  When connections are real, they simply never die.  They can be buried, ignored and walked away from, but NEVER broken.  When you deeply resonate with a person or place the connection remains despite any circumstance, distance, time or lack of presence.  Real connections live on forever and that is the epitome of Jason and Vanessa's bond they have to each other. They always kept in contact, no matter how far the distance or circumstance.

Washington DC Photographer | Engagement Photography

Over 7 years of deployments for Jason.  Law school and the bar exam for Vanessa, they found their way back to one another. They are now happily remarried, recently purchased their first home, and welcomed a new fur-baby into their house.

Washington DC Photographer | Engagement + Wedding Photography
Washington DC Photographer | Engagement + Wedding Photography

They have fantastic plans and hopes to continue to grow their beautiful family to add to Jason's son/ Vanessa's step-son, Maddox, and their two dogs, Nissa and Jackie. 

Washington DC Photographer | Engagement + Wedding Photography

You can say, these two are better together.  But I feel it is deeper than that.  Some people were destined to be together before they were spoken into exsistence, like it was almost written on the stars... that is Vanessa and Jason. 

PORTLAND OREGON WEDDING MIYOSHI + ANTAR

Washington DC Photographer |  Wedding Photography

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, God gives us a fairytale...

Washington DC Photographer |  Wedding Photography

Antar, was born to Tanya & Herman Brame in 1982.  Miyoshi was born to Junko & David Reed.

They both met at Beaumont Middle School in Portland, Oregon and then later became good friends while attending James Madison High.  Going their seperate ways as all young adults do after graduating High School, Antar went on to play College Football and Miyoshi joined the Airforce. 

Washington DC Photographer |  Wedding Photography

Years passed and they reconnected in Arizona in October of 2013, became good friends again and were inseparable.  Which led to the true fairlytale to offically begin.  On December 6th of 2013, Antar asked Miyoshi to go steady
( or something like that they said ; )

 On August 20th 2015, Antar got down on one knee, on the foundation that would later be their new castle, and asked Miyoshi "Will you?"  Of course Miyoshi said "Yes!" which  led to their gorgeous Cinderella inspired wedding on June 4th 2016... 

Washington DC Photographer |  Wedding Photography

Except Miyoshi was not losing her chic glass slippers.

Washington DC Photographer |  Wedding Photography

It was truly a beautiful day full of fun, family, friends, laughter and love.

Washington DC Photographer |  Wedding Photography

OCEANSIDE MATERNITY, CHRISTINA

I recently was in Oceanside, CA for a Maternity Session for Christina Schranz.

Meet Christina & Karl.  An amazing husband & wife duo with 4 amazing kids (two boys, Ages 17 & 2 And two girls age 14 & 11) with one more girl on the way!

Washington DC Photographer |  Lifestyle and Maternity Photography

They currently live in Colorado and while the mountains are gorgeous, Christina shared with me she is a total Southern Girl.  Born in South Georgia in a small farming town with the beaches of both Florida & Georgia just a short drive away.

Christina said, " I am a true mermaid at heart no matter what time of year it is.  The beaches are screaming for me."

Washington DC Photographer |  Lifestyle and Maternity Photography

Christina & her family moved to Colorado for her husband's career.  She said, " It has been great, but we are anxiously awaiting for the day when we can get closer to the ocean and back to my Southern way of life.  Bonfires, days spent boating, relaxing on beaches, getting muddy on 4 wheelers or just lounging under a hundred year old Oak tree.

Washington DC Photographer |  Lifestyle and Maternity Photography
Washington DC Photographer |  Lifestyle and Maternity Photography

When Christina can't get beachside she enjoys drawing & painting.  Usually it's mermaids or ocean life of some sort.  It is also a hobby she enjoys with her 2 older girls.  They paint & craft together.

Washington DC Photographer |  Lifestyle and Maternity Photography
Washington DC Photographer |  Lifestyle and Maternity Photography

Christina is currently a Domestic Goddess (aka Stay At Home Mom) with a medical background. (Super Woman!)

Christina shared with me, " These days I'm chasing a toddler that goes non stop while anticipating our sweet baby girl to arrive in October.  Life is blessed & good!"

CARLSBAD VILLAGE, CA + TASHIANNA & CYLUS, MOTHER/SON

Cylus Charlie Brown is Tashianna's son.  At their house they call him, "Cy Cy" and "Bubbi". As his momma, Tashianna likes to call him her "Angel Baby".

Tashianna battled a hemorrhage the entire 9 months of pregnancy and Cylus was born with a stroke on his brain while battling seizures. Tashianna shared: " I promised him when he was in the NICU and fighting to stay alive, that momma was never going to leave his side. I gave it all to God including my son's life and his purpose".

Three long months of going through every emotion possible, Cylus's head doctor walked into the room while Tashianna was breastfeeding and with tears in his eyes, says: "Its gone, the stroke is gone! Its like it disappeared out of nowhere." 

Tashianna was adopted as a newborn so her son is the first person she has ever me in her life that shares the same blood as her.  Tashianna said to me: " I knew from the beginning I was going to be a single mom but there was nothing that was going to stop me from doing what I had to for my baby". 

Tashianna has been a  model since before Cylus was born.   She modeled maternity while pregnant and continued to model after his birth. She would take him to all her shoots with her, where all the models would flock to him and she learned quickly how big of a flirt he was! (Too cute)  Tashianna shared with a chuckle: " Mommy is now regretting that decision. Did I mention, he hates pictures"!

Mornings are their favorite time of day.  Tashianna said:  "I have come to realize that I am "that mom" who is running late to drop their kid off at school because stopping to get donuts and go to the library is more fun.  I take life slower now that I have my kiddo.  Cylus likes to think he is 3 going on 30, not sure where he gets his independent attitude from".  ; )  

Cylus's world consists of lots of trains, naps and snacks!
I cannot say he is your typical three year old because the compassion that flows from him reminds you of an old soul.
 
As for Tashianna, she is finishing her Bachelors in International Business and then off to Law School.  She shared with me:  "I made Cylus a promise to acheive that goal and I will see it to the end".

VISTA AUDUBON, CA + ASHLEY & BELLA, MOTHER/DAUGHTER

Ashley, a wonderful single mother, learned what true love really was through having her baby, Bella (who is the epitome of the meaning of her name; Beautiful)

Ashley and the Father of Bella went there separate ways.  Ashley moved from Indiana to California and is a full time student who is successfully acheiving all of her goals she has for herself and Baby Bella. 
 
 Ashley shared with me: "It's challenging and sometimes can be stressful, but I take one day at a time and have a lot of patience.  She is learning new things every day and I am so glad that I can be there to comfort her during the times when she's hurt, sick, or wakes up through the night". 

Bella is a little bundle of happiness! She has changed Ashley's life in so many ways and Ashley is determined to put her happiness and well-being before her own.

Ashley said:  "Even though sometimes I feel like I am horribly failing at everything, Bella still looks at me with a huge smile that lets me know I'm doing a great job at raising her.  I will never stop giving my 100% to being the best mom I can ever be".

Talking to Ashley, her bravery, love, care, hard work and determination she has for her family is a beautiful thing.  She demonstrates what a real woman should be... shining and inspiring others

- Back to Blog Home -

ST. ELMO ILLINOIS WEDDING, CHRISTINA & CALEB

Christina, a stunning Tennessee beauty and entrepreneur, Caleb, a rugged USMC vet from Illinois met one day during their travels in North Carolina. OBVIOUSLY these stars were aligned and it was love.

The Wedding took place in Saint Elmo, Illinois at Caleb's Parent's Log Cabin on a beautiful lake.  The crip autumn air, the various shades of amber colored leaves made the ideal backdrop for a Country Chic Autumn Wedding.  Yes, it was nothing short of perfection. 

As you walked the enchanted property you see great attention to detail, in every corner, paying tribute to Christina & Caleb's love for one another.  Yet, there were signs everywhere of the new Autumn Season...  The collaboration of both love and autumn was like two melody's combining to currate a grand symphony.

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Meeting Christina & Caleb's family I truly felt honored to be in the company I was in.  They are a true Patriotic Family.  Various Family members and friends that have served our country.  They shined a beautiful light with the utmost love, support and respect for one another.

Christina's dress was stunning!  Elegant and softly flowed with the most delicate embroidered detail!

She paired her dress with Cowgirl Boots to show that Tennessee Sass!

he gents of the wedding were the fastest to get ready (what man isn't super quick ;)

Christina & Caleb's son, Jax, was waiting for his grand debut as the ring bear ; )

YES! Those are custom made Buckshot Boutonniere's for the Groom and Groomsmen! LOVE!

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It was time for the big moment.  As Christina and her cherished father walk down the isle to give her away to Caleb... I watched everyone tear up.  Honestly, So did I! (Get it together Lacey!)

The exchanging of vows, little Jax doing his little Jax thing...

THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE! YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE!

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 Family and Friends gathered to have an intimate dinner and celebrate further... in style ; )

A little Cake Smear... these two sure have fun together!  But that is what it is all about! Having fun with you best friend!

Oh hey there Christina!

Christina & Caleb, It was an honor documenting your beautiful wedding, along with meeting your wonderful family and friends.

I leave this blog post off with saying...