Los Angeles Wedding Photographer

Rustic Farm Wedding in Montana // Leigh & Jake

I had always wanted to go to Montana.  I imagined wild horses, colorful trees, open fields.  When Leigh and Jake happened to me I was like, oh.  I was waiting for them.  This is the time.

The warmest of people who treated me like family from day one.  Their sense of humor is my favorite and the way they never stop laughing together.  The way it should be.  

Leigh and Jake.

A very special thanks to my wonderful friend, Tiarra Sorte, for braving the cold with me and making me laugh the entire night.  What a gem. What a woman. xo

It's Been a Year // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Last week on Valentine's Day was my one year anniversary living in Seattle.  One year since I got on a plane with my carry on suitcase filled with camera gear, the one trench coat I owned and my sweet parents who insisted on helping me move to my new loft.  I stayed quiet about it because I wanted to feel it first.  I wanted to privately bask in all the memories 2017 brought me.  I thought about how I would blog about it and decided that instead of showcasing street photography of Seattle, I would share some of my favorite personal photos taken on my iphone last year.  Some are grainy and low quality, but I kind of love that.  It's real and imperfect, just like my life.

 

* The first two photos were taken days before the move.  My best friends came to help me pack and it will always be a time I look back on with a full heart.  

I'll never forget a few days before I left L.A I had a shoot in Santa Monica.  The sun was shining, it was 75 degrees and strangely more beautiful than usual.  It was the kind of day people were talking about.  Even my Uber driver had something to say about it. We drove in silence and enjoyed the breeze coming in from the windows.  I hoped she didn't see the tears rolling down my face as I thought about how these sunny, warm days were soon to be limited.  I teared up again on the way home, but tried to enjoy the ride nonetheless. I memorized how the wind made the palm trees sway and how the sun peeked through the leaves making me squint.

I came home, continued to pack and a few days later it was time.  I said goodbye to all my friends, my beloved apartment, sent a million texts to everyone I care about and just like that, touched down in Seattle. My mom hugged me as tears rolled down my face.  I felt nervous, anxious, worried and yet, excited, free and motivated.  It's surreal feeling so many things at once, but I knew it was where I needed to be. 

My parents and I spent the first week getting me settled and walking around downtown together.  We put up shelves, I made them dinner and I thought how very soon I would be making dinner for just myself.  I only knew a few people and had no idea if I would see them often or if I would meet new friends soon (I would and I did).  I started counting down the days until my friends in L.A would come visit me because I already missed them terribly.  I giggle looking back at those early days because almost all of them have now come up to visit.  

As I think about all the things I accomplished last year with my business, I feel such pride.  It's my baby and I protect it with everything I have.  I'm also happy to report that my time here has allowed me to come back to myself without distractions.  I was lost and searching for something and I finally figured some things out.  I've relished in the little things like seeing the leaves change for the first time in my life.  I moved into a workspace/livespace environment like I always wanted.  It's a place I hold shoots, study light, host friends and where I hide from the world when I need to recharge.  It's funny how an extrovert like me still needs a lot of alone time.

There have been really stressful days full of questions and uncertainty, but I pushed through all that and embraced everything that came my way.  I've worked harder than I ever have in my life, I've met some amazing friends and explored a new city that I'm still getting to know.  I've learned that I'm stronger and more resilient than ever before.  Most of all, I'm braver than I ever gave myself credit for and that's something I want to bestow upon everyone I love.

// Be brave, learn to trust yourself and go with your gut.  Things still scare me and I still worry about a lot of things, but the difference is now I do the things that scare me despite the fear.  I feel free and I'll always work hard to keep that sense of peace within myself. 

So, what's next?  I have some ideas, but I think I'll let them marinate for a little while.  For now, I'm going to enjoy where I am at this very moment and stop fighting the urge to eat the pint of ice cream that's in my freezer.

I also just want to say thank you.  There are so many of you that have been following along on this crazy journey.  So much has happened and I'm thankful to have had you with me.  To my people in Seattle, I don't even know what to say to you.  You are my lifeline here and there is NO way I could have had the year I had without you.  You made it fun, you made is safe, you made it special, you made it home.  I'll cherish you always.

Moorea Seal // Seattle Editorial Photographer

Sometimes when I take meetings with new clients, may it be couples or brands, they ask me how I got started in photography.  What was my first inspiration?  The answer is storytelling through fashion meets emotion.  I really think that's the best way to put it?

I always loved dressing up my friends and taking them somewhere in the city and bringing the images in my head onto my camera.  I think that's why I love working with brands so much.  It's an opportunity for me to bring that first love and first instincts to life over and over again.

// Moorea Seal thank you for creating such amazing pieces and consistently bringing together local artists into one place.  Seattle is so lucky to have you.

// THE TEAM \\

Photography >> Elizabeth Zuluaga

Jewelry >> Moorea Seal

HMUA >> Oliver Beauty

Styling >> Claudia Brady

Model >> Emilee West

Alex // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Once upon a time,

Two ladies met on Instagram.  They exchanged messages and comments about their love of music, dancing and photography.  They fancied the idea of hanging out in Seattle together and sharing stores over whiskey.  

One day, many days later, those messages and comments turned into in-person conversations.  They shared whiskey at the beach and giggled about how it seemed they had known each other for years.  They began to share playlists and help each other in business and well, in life.  They found themselves dancing on a hill that begins with the word Capital and to this day are known to work out of a bar until its well past happy hour.

They are a safe space for one another and work hard on protecting that space.  This so called space is filled with encouragement, inspiration and laughter.  

Oh, Alex.  I often tell her it's like she is a piece of my soul manifested into a human.  I mean, that sounds so dramatic, but it's also just so true.  She made the last year of my life so special and I'm so thankful I found her.  Find your people, don't let go.

Elizabeth Zuluaga and Andria Lindquist // A Love Story // 2017 Roundup

Well here we are, aren't we?  It's 2018 and already the middle of January.  How though?  I don't know about you, but I'm loving this year already and feeling really great about how things are shaping up.

BUT what I want to talk about today is 2017.  The year that changed my life, the year I grew as an artist more than ever and the year I became closer to my friend Andria Lindquist not only in business, but in life.  

// I realized in second shooting all these weddings with her, shooting weddings under her (aka Liz for Andria) and shooting my own weddings (Elizabeth Zuluaga), our work relationship might be a bit confusing so I wanted to take a moment to explain all that (plus share some of my favorite images I shot while by her side).

Three years ago, Andria was looking for an associate.  She wanted someone she could soley send weddings to that she couldn't do herself due to availability and preferably someone who had a similar style to hers.  More than that though she wanted to find someone she could trust and understood what it meant to handle clients she would be handing over.

It took me almost two weeks to reach out to her because I lived in L.A. and she wanted to find someone local to Seattle.  I got over myself though and decided i had nothing to lose.  I emailed her what we have now dubbed "the love letter," and she emailed me back within a couple days.  My favorite part of this story is discovering that when Andria opened my email she was sitting in the parking lot of Trader Joe's and knew I was the one.

I couldn't believe it and from that day forward, we chose to invest in each other while also running our own businesses.  Yes, that's right.  I am Andria's associate, but I also still have my own business and my own weddings The difference is that if it is a referral from Andria, I shoot it under the Andria Lindquist brand (aka Liz for Andria).  I manage the wedding from beginning to end, which means I take care of my couples, shoot and edit everything myself.  Also, yes, I did this for two years while still living in L.A., which meant I flew to Seattle on a monthly basis to shoot weddings while shooting my own Elizabeth Zuluaga weddings in Socal.  It was a wild time to say the least.  Like, how did I live?

Fast forward to the beginning of last year, I made the decision to move to Seattle.  I moved for many reasons, but one of them was so I could be more local and stop flying back and forth so much.  However, I still shoot weddings in L.A and always will :)  It was the best thing I ever did and it allowed me to foster my relationship with Andria.  I shot almost every one of her weddings with her in 2017 and it was the most fun.  We got to learn each other so much faster, better and laugh soooo much.  Now we laugh because we miss each other when we're shooting solo as we've gotten so used to shooting side by side.  I just text her the next day and we make plans to hang with her daughter and catch up.  It's a win, win if you ask me.

So now you know our story.  Our love story, ha.  I also hope you loved this little roundup of my favorite images and hopefully have a better understanding of how we work together.  It used to feel surreal to have her in my life in this capacity after admiring her work for so long, but now she's just Andria and that feels even better.  She took a chance on me and I'll forever be grateful.

P.S Andria, never forget how I drove your car around the city while you pumped in the back seat or how I held your breast milk while you got situated in the car.  #friendship

The end.

Rachel & Gregory Engaged // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Gregory.  What a gem.  He found me and told me his whole plan on proposing to Rachel.  From his very first email I knew we were going to have the best time together.

Fly in from Nashville >> Propose on the Ferris Wheel >> Surprise her with an engagement session >> Have the best weekend ever.

I saw them walking towards me with open arms, so excited for their shoot.  They were fully equipped with a bottle of bourbon to celebrate and calm their nerves.  My people.  We laughed our butts off, took bourbon breaks, had numerous dance parties and got to know each other.  It was seriously so freaking fun.  The best people find me.

** Shout out to Gregory who made it a point to tell me why he chose me.  Usually it's the ladies who do this so I was blown away by him and his kindness.  He not only loved my work, but also my about page.  He could tell who I was right away - goofy, funny and sarcastic.  All his favorite things. **

Gregory and Rachel, I'm so grateful the stars aligned and brought us together.  You guys are the absolute best.  

Loralie & Bryan // Married in the Desert // Joshua Tree

Loralie and Bryan.  Two people who found each other and from the beginning made the decision they would live adventurously together.  They made zero plans except to fall deeper in love and make memories only the two of them could ever understand.  They would do things their way.

 

This is it.  These are the couples that scream LIZ to me.  When people like them find me it makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

They were to be married in the backyard Loralie played in as a little girl.  A wedding done right in her childhood home.

 

// A father of the bride who also served as the officiant and asked for each person to bless the rings as they were passed around.

//  Nieces and nephews ran around and played like it was any other day.

// An overwhelming sense of community and love.  Small and intimate.  Special.

 

A day focused on letting go, worrying less about floral arrangements and more on enjoying each other's company.  I watched them take a moment at the end of the night to quietly dance to their song without any announcement  People smiled from afar and it was almost like being let in on a little secret.

Loralie and Bryan.  Married in the Desert.

LA a la Liz // My Hood Part Two

Hello, and welcome to the second and final (kind of) LA a la Liz post.  This column will now be called Seattle a la Liz.  Yes, my friends.  It is with the heaviest heart, but an excited one as well, that I tell you next week I will be leaving my beloved LA and Hollywood home for sweet Seattle.

It wasn't that long ago that I began shooting up there, meeting new people and becoming part of a very special little community. 

// I want to continue fostering those relationships as well as growing my business.  

I hope that you'll stick around and walk through this journey with me and for all you Seattle peeps, I can't wait to meet you :)  It's going to be an interesting year acclimating to a new city, but I know in my heart that it's time for me to do this.

I'll miss the weather, palm trees and LA culture in general. I'll miss my favorite brunch spots and the way the light hits my room at sunset. It  will all be challenging at first.  However, being away from my friends and family is going to be the hardest thing of all.  I'm so rooted and so connected to the people in my life here and I just can't imagine not having them at arms reach. 

 It's hard to explain, but for a long time now there has been something stirring inside of me, dying to break out of this cozy little life.  It's time to be brave, be risky and jump.  I'm going with my gut and following my heart.  I want to look back one day and be so glad that I took this leap and chose to believe in myself.  I've always said I want to do big things in my life and not just do what feels comfortable.  Well, I'm REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE and that's how I know this is going to be really good for me.  I'm looking forward to shooting weddings there and discovering new brands to work on lookbooks and content.  I'm ready.

Happiness isn't something that just happens to you or that you "find" per se.  It's a choice.  So, I choose to be happy. Even if that means leaving a life I love and starting a new one.  I have a feeling there are great things coming my way that I haven't even dreamt of for myself and I can't wait to share them with you.

I hope you liked all my favorite houses, nooks and crannies that make up my neighborhood.  When I reached my favorite spot to see the Hollywood Sign, the sky was perfect and it was almost like she was saying bye to me.  I'll miss seeing her every day, but I know we'll be together again in the future.

xo

Bryon & Mindy // Engaged at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

The metro pulled up to my stop downtown and as the doors opened I realized my hands were shaking. I walked to the spot Byron and I had talked about and waited - hands still shaking.

I saw them coming my way and gave the signal to their giddy friends in hiding.  It all happened so fast.  He was down on one knee and seconds later there were tears, hugs and disbelief.  

Before photography happened to me I sometimes wondered what it must be like to witness two people get engaged.  Now, I know.  I know it a lot.  How wonderfully weird it is that proposals have become a part of my job - my life.  I'm not mad about it. Not one bit.

Byron & Mindy // Engaged in lovely L.A.

* Shoot for Flytographer