Be Still My Heart // Alana & Matt

I can't express enough how much of a difference it makes when my couples trust me, let me do my thing and just let go.  When I know that they love my work and can't wait to see their photos.  When we can just play and I can let my mind run with idea after idea.  THAT'S when I produce work I can't wait to share with people the most.

So, with that said, there's more where this came from, but I just couldn't wait to share some of my favorites.  Part two of this beautiful day coming soon...

How I'm Doing // Seattle Life

Two months ago today (happy anniversary to me!) I packed up my entire LA life into two U-Packs (I encourage you to look these up.  I had never heard of them before, but it's crazy that my whole life fit in them), got on a plane and landed in Seattle.  I'm going to be honest with you.  The minute the plane landed I burst into tears and held onto my mom for comfort and reassurance that I made the right decision.

FYI - I did.

If you've ever moved to a new city/state before you know how daunting the task of moving is and how stressful it is to decide what to take, what to leave behind and what to expect when you get there.  You anticipate loneliness and an endless to do list in order to get settled and you lie awake at night wondering if this is a mistake.  You also know that every other day is the complete opposite and you're just bursting with excitement for your new life and looking forward to the change you know you desperately need.

Oh.  I know.  I felt alllll of that.  My family and friends were amazing and never got annoyed with my constant need for reassurance and hugs and late night packing sessions and bottles of wine to keep things light.  This all may sound ridiculous, but when you've never left the city you grew up in and suddenly leaving everything you know it's a lot and much harder than you imagine.

// I did it though. I'm here and I'm HAPPY.

The past couple of months have surprisingly gone by slowly, but in the best way.  The inconvenience of not knowing how to get around was hard at first, but I quickly learned how to use public transit and where the closest Target was to my loft (priorities).  It's so strange not having a car anymore, but I'm actually loving it.  In LA I sat in a car all day long to get from point A to point B and now I sit on a bus or take longer walks and feel more present.  I listen to music and take more photos and SEE more.  My eyes are wide open.

My friends here have been amazing and have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome.  I anticipated seeing them a lot less because, well, life, but they have not stopped checking in, making plans and scheduling work days together. I haven't felt alone a single day and that is a gift my friends.  I literally moved from one beautiful home to another.

However, I do spend a lot of time alone, but that's just part of being a freelancer, working for yourself and being a business of one. It's actually one of my favorite parts about what I do.  It's even more important to me now that I'm in a new city and constantly being forced to reflect on my surroundings or meeting someone new or planning shoots. I feel so inspired.  I was lacking so much of that back in LA and wasn't sure how to change things.  Well, I think I figured it out, guys.

I'm growing, I'm changing, I'm doing great.  I walk around my new neighborhood sometimes and can't believe I did it.  I finally got the balls to leave all my usual comforts and do something different with my life.  I went with my gut and it was the best decision I could have made.  

Can I get an amen?! If you've done something similar or have been sitting on an idea for a long time and not sure how to move forward, please tell me about it!  Cheers to grabbing life by the balls.

Friends in the City // Seattle

A friend of mine visited me just three weeks after I moved to Seattle (separation anxiety is real kids). One night I suggested we find a rooftop and enjoy a glass of champagne, because well, I'm always full of great ideas. As we walked to our destination I had this idea of shooting a group of friends doing exactly what we were doing.  A walk to a rooftop.

Two weeks later, the opportunity came my way.  

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

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. 

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

LA a la Liz // My Hood Part One

I often talk about my love for LA and being a rare local (I grew up 30 miles east of Hollywood), I thought it would be fun to start a new column showcasing all its special qualities.  From my favorite neighborhoods to favorite restaurants and even spots that hold personal memories for me. 

So, first up, my very own neighborhood!  I live in a little pocket of Hollywood called Beachwood Canyon.  Locals explain it as the "right under the Hollywood sign" area.  I've lived here for three years now and couldn't be happier.  I fall in love with it more and more every day.

On the weekends I take runs up into the hills and am constantly stopped by tourists who want directions to the infamous sign.  It makes me laugh because I have never actually hiked up to it myself. I know.  It's ridiculous.

I'm obsessed with the eclectic apartments and houses, the neighborly feel, the fact that there is so much history to my street.  I love that no matter what time of day it is, there are people walking their dogs.  It's the kind of neighborhood where everybody knows your name.  We say hello as we pass each other on the street and in the summer it's the best because we're all usually going to the same place.  Franklin Village. 

This special little strip holds local favorites such as Birds (Fridays are ladies nights - heeyoohh), La Poublle and Sushi StopMy personal favorite is Franklin & Co.  I love the vibe there, the food is amazing and the bartender has a heavy hand (never a bad thing).  I had my favorite first date there too so it's kind of the best place ever ;)  Also, Stop by Oaks Gourmet for their homemade tacos, boutique wines and specialty cheeses.  I can't be trusted here.  Like, ever.  I may have once (or twice?) had them deliver ice cream to my front door...

As the sun sets and you make your way back up to my place, you'll notice how the light changes and starts to disappear behind the trees and buildings.  It's my favorite time of day.  It usually smells like jasmine (it's everywhere) and you can see the Hollywood sign start to fade in the darkness. Feels like home.

// I'll be sharing more from my neighborhood soon including the nooks and crannies I often walk to and love (If you follow my snapchat or Insta Stories you know I love a good walk).  I hope you enjoy the new column!

Let's Take a Drive // Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree.  A place I've always loved and a place she had never been before.  We packed our gear, stopped for coffee and headed east.  

Nicole and I have been friends for about four years now, but it seems as though we've been friends our whole lives.  We laugh uncontrollably together, we can talk shop all day long and best of all, we just get each other.  The best part of friendship in general, right?

// Some favorites from our little adventure + a short and sweet video I made from our day.  You can head on over to Nicole's blog right now to see things through her eyes too!