Los Angeles Portrait Photographer

Brittani Smith // Talent and a Half // Chicago Lifestyle Photographer

// My favorite thing is to plan a trip just for fun and as a result being able to squeeze in a shoot for a past client who not only values you, but believes in what you are about and what you are doing artistically.

The day I met her in my Hollywood neighborhood three years ago I knew that charismatic attitude and insane face was going to be so fun to shoot. Her husband is also A GEM so that was just a ridiculously fun day. Now here we are, in another city, still connected and creating another set of memories.

Walking around Wicker Park, catching up and creating some fresh new images for soon to be website was the cherry on top to my Chicago weekend.

Talitha Bullock // Seattle Editorial Photographer

So much of what I shoot is done outdoors.  I am highly inspired by the city, natural light, street fashion and human interaction.  However, something I've always loved doing is bringing someone into my home and photographing them without any distractions.  It's just us, light and my camera.  I'm not worried about the technicalities or mechanics of photography (I never really am).  I'm just focused on who they are and that's it.  Because when I see you, I see you. 

Talitha, thank you for coming into my space and being vulnerable with me.  You allowed me to capture you just the way I see you.  A gentle, beautiful ethereal soul.  Love you, girl.

The Beautiful Mundane // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

I’ve always been in love with love.  My friends and family find it to be my most endearing quality and probably my most annoying quality.  Haha, I’m ok with that.  It’s who I am and I’m proud to be such a lover.  Don’t get it twisted though.  I may be a romantic, but I’m realistic too.  I guess that’s what this post is all about.  Running towards love, but staying realistic and knowing the difference.

Life is weird.  You grow up thinking that when the time is right you will meet that special person with little to no effort. You think you’ll just be buying your morning coffee one day and you’ll drop a quarter on the ground and as you bend down to pick it up, there he (or she) is helping you pick up that quarter. You’ll look into each other’s eyes and feel “the spark” and suddenly all your plans for the day are cancelled.  You’ll end up sitting down to sip your coffees and get to know each other and at the end of the day he’ll walk you home and kiss you good night. Fast forward 5 years later, you’re blissfully married living the American dream.

You know what that is?  That's some bullshit.  

I mean, who made up this story???  Where does this come from???? It’s ridiculous and that’s saying a lot coming from a hopeless romantic. I was walking home one day and was thinking about this whole concept and how exhausting dating can be.  It dawned on me that maybe that’s why it’s so exhausting.  Maybe we are just so conditioned to think that everything needs to be exciting and adventurous and sexy and new for it to be good.  Again I ask, who decided this???  Where does this idea come from??  That isn’t real life and to be honest, I find that whole concept boring. 

// Yes, I want passion. 

// Yes, I want the kind of love that I can’t get enough of and yes I want adventure.

// But I want love to evolve too. 

I think that’s what society has forgotten to mention and I feel like it’s time we wake up and talk about it.  We need to stop thinking that it’s a negative thing the minute a relationship slows down a bit because you know what?  That’s when things get really good if we would just let it.

I was telling a friend the other day how grateful I am for these past four years of single hood.  I’ve learned a thing or two; things I would have never learned if I would have stayed in my last serious relationship.  I’ve met such beautiful, smart, creative, gentle, caring guys, but there is always something holding them back.  Women are no acceptation.  They are equally held back by moving forward with someone.  I know there are a lot of reasons why people stay guarded and stunted in fearI’ve had my share of putting up walls, but I want to break free of that. 

I want us to let go.  I want us to let someone into our hearts so deeply it hurts I want us to look forward to the adventure that happens after the honeymoon stage.  I want things like simply waking up next to someone every day, sitting in silence together, doing laundry together and knowing each other so well it’s almost annoying, to be good things. 

I want us to run towards the beautiful mundane in relationships and steer clear of the fear that prevents us from even getting there. Let’s give ourselves the chance to experience how beautiful that can be rather than thinking it will be a time to feel trapped, bored and time to move on.

Quite frankly, I find it exhausting holding back all the time.  I rather get my heart broken again and again than run away from possibilities.  A friend once asked me how I do it.  How do I keep going after one heartbreak after another.  I told her because it’s always worth it and that’s just the truth.  I preach a lot about being fearless, but what is fearlessness anyway?  It’s having the ability to fight through the fear.  It’s about being smarter than your fear and not staying stagnant because it’s just easier that way.  Getting what you want out of life isn’t just having a positive attitude.  It’s about doing something with that positivity. 

// What if things do work out? 

// What if you gave this relationship a chance instead of running away from it because you want to be “free.” 

// What if you accepted the fact that when you’re with the right person, you never feel trapped?  You only feel a new sense of freedom. So yeah, please believe I’m going to go on that first date.  

Pain is something we shy away from because who the hell wants to be in pain anyway?  I understand, but I challenge this notion because what the hell are we doing then?  Yes, we can just go in and out of casual flings/relationships never getting hurt, but again, I find this to be so boring.  You want exciting?  You want an adventure?  You want newness?  Let go.  Let someone in and dive into the unknown.  Yes, you run the risk of things being amazing one minute and the next you realize this person isn’t for you or worse yet, they realize that about you and you’re left destroyed for months (been there so many times).  But you know what?  It's always worth it because the alternative means never trying and what a waste that would be.

Let's look forward to the quiet, simple moments in life just as much as the loud and bold times.  Let’s be strong and brave together.   

Photography + Art Direction + Styling // That would be me.

Models // Michael Leach & Angelene Little.  They brought their Vogue faces and killed it.  I'm obsessed.  

Hair & Makeup // The wonderful and beautiful Alanda Kay - Thank you for being so awesome girl!  Loved everything you did :)

Los Angeles Women's March // The Future is Female

Honestly, there isn't anything I can say that hasn't been said before.  All I want to say is that being a part of this march was one of the most amazing things I've ever done.  I was surrounded by my best friends and their husbands and boyfriends supporting us the whole way.  I met strangers who loved our signs and chanted with us down Hill Street. I saw little girls holding up signs of of their future wishes.  There was such a sense of community, love and hope and I'll never forget it. 

OO La You // Sign Your Ass Up!

OO La You my ladies, my beautiful ladies.  This is for you.  

So often I am asked for a shoot like this.  So many times the woman who has had two kids and just wants to feel pretty and have a day off wants this.  So many times you want to give your man a gift that's original, sexy and different.  So many times you want to have an excuse to get your girlfriends together for a drink, but wish someone would work out all the logistics for you.  So many times your girlfriend is getting married and you just want to make her feel special.  You want your squad to have a private place to be wild and free and leave with gorgeous photos to remind you of that day.

// This is for you.  

Champagne // Music // A beautiful loft in downtown LA // Little black dresses // OO LA YOU!

** Interested?  50% deposit reserves your spot!  Email me for all the information.  liz@elizabethzuluaga.com  **

// Space is limited so SIGN YOUR ASS UP! \\

Cali to Paris // Solo Travel

When I was 14 years old I became obsessed with two things.  Frank Sinatra and Parisian culture.  I poured over books on Frank and how he got his start and of course bought every album he's ever made (that's a lie.  My dad bought me one every Christmas).  However, what I think had an even bigger impact on me was the way people lived in France, especially Paris. The pace of every day life // the language // the passion // the architecture // the sophistication and pride in how they carry themselves.  I fell in love with all of it.

I would sit in my teenage room and spend hours reading about what there is to do there, the history behind the Eiffel Tower and obsessed over the incredible fashion.  I just loved how looking like your Sunday best is a part of every day life.  Something I feel we lack in the states.  People wearing pajamas to the grocery store hurts my soul.  I'm sorry, please don't send me poison in the mail.

I vowed to myself that as soon as I could, I would go to Paris and walk the streets I had read about late in the night.  I would drink every cappuccino and eat every croissant and ride every bike and create every picnic imaginable and photograph every bridge I came across.  What can I say, the romantic in me can't be controlled.

So, the day has come.  I leave in a couple hours.  A COUPLE HOURS.  I will take a direct flight and step foot on that magical land.  I always thought I would go with the man in my life or a close friend, but as it turns out, I've decided to go alone.  There is something that happens to you when you take a trip solo.  There's nothing like it and i'll be experiencing it in a matter of hours.  Sleep deprivation here I come.  Give it to me.

And that my friends is my eat pray love chat for the day.  I'll see you on Instagram with updates on all things Paris!!  #frenchingwithliz

 

// A few photos from my trip to Italy four years ago.  A trip that time stamped so much growth for me, brought me closer to a friend and taught me to slow the f down.  I've been wearing lipstick, buying flowers every weekend and never get annoyed when the waiter takes longer than expected since then.  

Cali_to_Paris_001.jpg Cali_to_Paris_002.jpg Cali_to_Paris_003.jpg Cali_to_Paris_004.jpg Cali_to_Paris_005.jpg Cali_to_Paris_006.jpg

A Fairy Named Mollie

Once upon a time, I was hiking up a mountain in Griffith Park and to my surprise, came across a beautiful pregnant fairy. She stood there smiling at me so I approached her and introduced myself.  We got acquainted and had the loveliest chat as we walked through the trees together. I couldn’t help but ask her if I could photograph her and she asked if that was really necessary? I reminded her that she was only going to be pregnant once with this particular child and how wonderful it would be to look back on these days of anticipation.

 

Remember what she looked like.

Remember how she felt.

Remember how pregnancy changed her over the course of nine months.

 

It would all be documented in photographs that she could have forever. She smiled with agreement and so we continued walking through the forest stopping when I felt inspired.

Before we knew it, we were losing light as the sun quickly hid behind the mountains.  She offered to walk me back to my car and with delight, I accepted.  We spoke about our lives and how much has changed for the both of us in the last year.  We spoke about friendship and the different chapters we are both in at the moment.  In the midst of this fairy/girl talk we also realized that we are so much alike.  Though we are living very different lives, we are living very similar lives as well.  Both living one adventure to the next, both living very closely to our loved ones, both inspired by fashion and nature.  The list goes on.

 

The lesson I learned that magical afternoon is this:  Enjoy each chapter of your life no matter what it is because it will end one day and a new chapter will begin. Oh, and that fairies are the best and should be handled with the utmost respect. They also love peanut butter and popcorn.

The end.

Mollie_Garbutt_001.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_002.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_003.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_004.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_005.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_006.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_007.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_008.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_009.jpg Mollie_Garbutt_010.jpg

Travis

Travis Peery.  What a guy.  An amazing singer/musician with so much talent, but you would never know upon meeting him. He's humble and has this wonderful way of making you feel important and somehow you know that he truly believes that.  He's interested in who YOU are and what YOU have to say. travis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peery

One day we were sitting on the couch, drinking a beer and he asked me if I would work with him to create the artwork for his band's upcoming album. I didn't think twice about it.  He then proceeded to make me one of his famous Moscow mules (with candied ginger of course) and I proceeded to write ridiculous notes on his typewriter (it's a thing).travis_peerytravis_peery

Fast forward a few weeks, we were driving all around LA scouting locations and stopping for cocktails here and there.  We really focused on areas that meant something to Travis because ultimately, he wanted to pay homage to LA, which is where he spent the last two years writing his newest album.  After all the cocktails, all the laughs and all the long talks about what this album means to him, we finally decided on his Silverlake apartment (the best bachelor pad that ever lived), Echo Park and Downtown.  The shoot turned out to be one of the most meaningful projects I've worked on this year and it felt so good shooting in my hometown.travis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peery

If there's anything I've learned about friendship over the years it's this. Surround yourself with people who challenge you, make you laugh and teach you not only about yourself, but how to be better.  I think above all else, friends should lift you up. That's what Travis does for me. He lifts me up and that's something I can always count on.  I'm proud of him, proud to call him my friend and proud of the photos we made together.travis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peerytravis_peery

// P.S  You can check out the band's website HERE!  Word to the wise, go to one of his next shows.  You won't regret it.

Cheers to friendship :)

 

Casual Fridays | Leather and Lace

Thank God it's Friday.  Am I right?!  It's been a long week, but I'm really looking forward to relaxing this weekend, catching up on work and seeing friends.  Hmmm maybe I'll just have to wear this little lacy number while I'm out and about ordering a moscow mule...Holla!! *Wear this:  drinks with friends on a Saturday night

lace dress // forever 21 (similar)   leather jacket // zara   strappy heels // michael kohrs

_MG_8705_MG_8713_MG_8749_MG_8757

Why I Don't Want To Settle Down With Someone

I've  always tried to keep this blog as honest and organic as possible so in light of that, I wanted to share what I've learned/experienced in the last couple of years being single.  It's been a lot of fun to say the least, but it's also been frustrating and a little exhausting.  I hope what I have to say resonates with you in some way and maybe you can relate.why I don't want to settle down with someone_MG_8775 why I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someone

why I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someone

why I don't want to settle down with someone

I've always been a hopeless romantic.  I admit it proudly.  Maybe that's how I found myself photographing love for a living.  It's also why I've spent a lot of time figuring out how I feel about love and why I've decided I don't want to ever settle down with someone.  I've been a single lady for a while now and in that time have seen some unfortunate patterns that are really common in my generation.  The fear of commitment, the fear of finding something better, the grass is always greener, the idea that "settling down" is the end of your social life as you know it.  I see things differently and because of that it's been hard to find someone in a real way.

why I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someone

Seeing these patterns unfold before me has made me admire my friend Josh on how he went about his relationship with his wife, Lacy.  He saw her, let her in and went for it.  Was he nervous about what that meant?  Sure.  Was he giving up seeing his friends as often as he used to so he could spend time with her?  Yes.  Three months into their relationship he moved across the country to New Orleans to be with her.  What I think is the most amazing part is that he was smarter than his fear and didn't dwell on the what ifs that so often keep us stagnant.  He moved past the "but my Independence! But my freedom!  Is this the end?!  Is there someone better?  Should I keep looking?"  He let his true feelings for Lacy take precedence.  He chose happiness.   Thankfully, they are back in LA living a lovely little life and more importantly close to me because....let's face it, that's really what matters here.

why I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someone

The term "settling down" in general needs to stop.  I've always hated the negative connotation that goes with it.  Settling?  Why would we settle?  There is something so finite about it and to be honest, makes me want to run for the hills.  Would I like to find someone to spend my life with?  I sure would.  Do I want to settle for someone just because I want a someone?  Hell no.  I want someone who looks at being together the way I do and is excited about it, not just doing what they think they are supposed to do.  I don't want to be someone's experience.  I don't want to be someone's next step.  I want to be someone's adventure for life.  Unfortunately, I have found that the great guys I have met lately don't see things this way.  Things get a little serious and they run.  Of course, there have been those who have walked away for other reasons too, but for the sake of staying on topic we won't get into that (although...why would they walk away?  I have no idea.  I'm awesome.  Eh..anyway...). I'm aware this doesn't just happen with men, nor am I trying to bash men in any way.  I'm just speaking from my own experiences here

why I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someoneNeedless to say, I've learned a lot in the last two years and I'm so grateful.  I've learned I'm ok being single.  I spent so long in the wrong relationships that I think I forgot myself.  I forgot how much I love being alone and how much I yearned for it when I was committed to people who weren't right for me.  I've learned how resilient I am, how strong I am, how much I love being a kid and how much I need that from my significant other as well.  That being said, I have also come back to understanding what my parents taught me when I was growing up (and still do).  Needing someone doesn't mean you've lost yourself or are less independent.  It's a beautiful thing to reach that place with someone and it should be celebrated, not frowned upon.  I look forward to that happening to me again one day, but until then, I'm going to continue enjoying where I am in my life and that is kicking ass and having a damn good time while I'm at it.why I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someonewhy I don't want to settle down with someone