Expecting // Erica in Stages

She's been with me since the beginning.  In my first year of business she hired me to take photos of her as a gift to herself.  She was single, turning 30 and she deserved it.  She wanted to document exactly where she was in life and I was more than happy to help her do that.

// Three years later, she still follows me, celebrates my work and again trusted me to document where she is in her life.  A happily married mother to be.  We spent some time in her home and per usual, made magic together.

Erica.  You inspire me and I'm so happy to know you :)

Recent Features // Racked LA & Lucire

It's August and as I look back on the last few months of summer I smile knowing that they were spent just the way I was hoping.  They were filled with a lot of work, travel and balanced with beach trips, friends and family. 

Speaking of work, I wanted to plop a couple features here!  A commercial shoot and a grand opening I shot in Beverly Hills.  Happy rest of summer, kids :)

 

INTERIOR SHOOT FEATURED ON RACKED LA // BLOSSOM ATELIER

Be sure to stop by this whimsical, beautiful new store in Santa Monica.  The two owners are absolutely wonderful and will take care of you for sure.  You can browse and purchase Gilena's artwork she creates herself, buy vintage kimonos and get your hair did by the fabulous Jamie Leonard.  You won't regret it.

PHOTOS OF GRAND OPENING FEATURED ON LUCIRE // ALCHEMY 43

A new beauty lab in Beverly Hills founded by Nicci Levy, was created for women looking for a natural and safe "tune up."  I had the pleasure of shooting the grand opening as Nicci hosted the press and the like showcasing her revolutionary process. 

Hollywood Engagement // Brittani & Ryan

Give me a an easy going, hilarious couple who will hike up the Hollywood hills with me, any day. I have no doubt their Chicago wedding in January will be off the chain fantastic (and cold - duh).  

Love Hollywood.  Love this couple.

Heather & Nick // Married in Italy // Part Two

Welcome to Italy, part two folks.  You've entered a place of happiness, bliss, a place of familiar faces and complex love.  This is a place where wedding dreams are made and live forever.

// A couple who found one another and didn't let go.  A couple who brought their closest people together to a magical universe with no one else in sight.  For three days, only they existed.   They celebrated not only their union as husband and wife, but the union they share with their loved ones.

Yes, this is a place of strangers, close friends, new friends and family.  A place where everyone forgets their troubles and focuses on what is really important.  A couple who surrendered to the day, did things their way and went with the flow.  I am so incredibly lucky to have been a professional observer right by their side. 

// The staff got to know us and we them and needless to say, we all fell in love.  They prepared our meals and taught us Italian and I've never laughed harder in my life.  Most of the wedding day was spent around a table while wine was poured, stories were told and songs were sung (Bryan Adams - [Everything I Do] I Do It For You in particular.  It's a thing).  Cigars were lit, dancing never stopped and sleep didn't arrive until 4am.   

Heather and Nick.  Thank you for bringing me along on this amazing adventure.  Every time I look at these photos I will remember every single moment I was able to share with you.  To the rest of the Italy gang, travels will never be the same without you :)

Vulnerability // Let's Grow a Pair

Ive been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately. How it can propel us forward, how it can show the person we love our true selves, the rawness of our hearts, the honesty we've been hiding out of fear.  It can bring us everything we've always wanted if we just let it.  Why are we so afraid to let go? 

When you're dating and meeting different kinds of people it's interesting what you learn.  What has stuck out to me the most is how AFRAID people are to let you in at the risk of getting hurt. They keep their distance, they show just enough affection to keep you close, but not too close.  They share their secrets with you, but don't include you in future plans (because, you know, just in case). They want to see you all the time, but don't express how they really feel about you.  I mean, the sky might cave in on us and then what would we do?

Subsequently, you begin to build walls brick by brick, covering up your excitement. That excitement quickly turns into anxiety and inevitably, you are in this constant state of panic. You're suddenly confused all the time, questioning if it's your fault. You begin to hesitate holding their hand for fear you might scare them away.  You look at them adoringly, but would NEVER tell them what you really think (because naturally, they will run for the hills).  Before you know it you're the one who's terrified of letting anyone in.  It's good times all around.

I used to be the kind of person who wore her heart on her sleeve. I used to be raw with emotion and trusted myself. I never used to hesitate telling someone I loved them or that I felt disrespected or that I needed more from them. I never feared putting myself out there.  

I've got to be honest. I liked myself better when I was a bleeding heart kind of person. I wasn't worried about getting hurt. I knew if that happened at least it was real. At least I tried something. At least I was true to myself. Somewhere along the way that changed.  I started building those walls.

I want to find the younger Liz again.  I want us all to be the kind of people who are honest about love and consequences be damned.  I want us to shed the "what ifs."  I want us to stop hesitating and just grow a pair.  What if we just gave in?  What if we just let ourselves fall?  What if we embraced what is right in front of us?  What if we were fearless in love?

WHAT IF WE WERE VULNERABLE?

What are YOUR thoughts?  Comment below? Email? Whatever. Let's give in and do the unthinkable.  Let's be real.

Models // Christiana Bueno &

Hair & Makeup // Valerie Garcia

Lynette

I knew I would feel inspired the second I met her. 

A creative herself, she had something specific in mind for our time together.  A quick trip from Canada to LA to visit friends, she wanted someone to document her new body, her new happiness and new truth.  I'm so glad she picked me.

-Shoot for Flytographer

Heather & Nick // Married in Italy // Part One

My little Tuscan babies. Heather and Nick...and their whole gang of loved ones.

Sometimes, it's impossible to defy fate.  Heather, one of my first clients when I started my business four years ago, coincidentally started dating one of my best friend's brother a year later.  We were meant to be, they were meant to be, it was all meant to be.  A year after, she was engaged to him and asked if I would photograph their wedding.  I fell off my chair.

// I've been on this photography journey for four years now and I have to say, it's opened my eyes to so many things.  Not just with myself, but with the kind of weddings I want to consistently document and relish in the goodness.  The kind of weddings that require me showing up days before the big day to enjoy learning more about them over a glass of wine (or several) and laughing until I feel like I'm going to pee my pants.

The opportunity to not only spend time with my couple, but also their people.  Warm, hilarious, genuine people that so clearly love them so much that they would fly across the world for them.  All 18 of us traveling around together then apart and then back together again.  We formed a little bond that no one can take away.  It changed me for the better and changed the way I document my couples.

At the end of our travels we had the best part waiting for us.  A beautiful three days in Tuscany where a gorgeous villa greeted us in the majestic town of Trequanda. Fresh food, Prosecco for days and green fields as far as the eye could see. Dancing, staying up until 3am every night, long walks and so much laughter.  An experience none of us will ever forget.  The best part is, we have these photos to prove it. 

// Heather and Nick.  I give you part one of your love in Italy. \\

Zain & Christie // Engaged in Venice Beach

I have to say, there are some really wonderful men out there.  They find me and ask me to document one of the most intimate and personal moments they will ever experience.  It's extra special when they come all the way from Chicago and choose you to share in this moment with them.  It's an honor to take on that responsibility and I do it with pleasure.

- Shoot for Flytographer

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! \\

Work that Empowers Me // Promo Shoot

// DAY ONE - THE DESERT \\

I had been itching to create work that left me feeling...different.  I wanted to walk away knowing I had grown artistically.  I wanted to to create work that empowers me.

That's always my goal when I'm sitting at home dreaming up shoots and planning where I'm going to go next in my work and well, in life.  There is something that happens when I'm free to take my time and watch my client or friend or couple or whomever it is, and capture what they may not see themselves.

I create my best work when I'm free.

// When I can sketch out those visions on paper, when I can hand pick my team, when I can pull together looks I love and want to showcase through strong women.  That's when I'm at my best.  I can be myself completely and let go.  Show everything that's been bottled up inside and just explode with all those thoughts and pictures in my head.

A month of planning and it was over in a second.  I brought six women together and drove us out to the desert.  Just us in the middle of nowhere, free to roam and play and make magic together.

// I want more of this.  I want to work with amazing teams like this.  I want it all.

All you brands out there, you fashion bloggers, you lifestyle contributors.  I want you too.

//DAY TWO - THE ROOF\\

I love working working with couples.   There's something that happens when they forget a camera is attached to me.  They let go.  They get lost in themselves and that's when I lose my mind and can't stop shooting.  I give direction and let them make adjustments, be still, laugh, walk away and check if I'm still there.  

We snuck up to the roof and watched the sun set as the wind tried to carry us away.  We got to know each other as we waited for the light to be just right.  We talked about faith and what church was like for us growing up.  They told me how they met and what they do for a living and I told them how much I love L.A. and how I want to see the world.  How I hope photography takes me to all those places.

// It was an afternoon of all my favorite things and what I strive for with each couple.  I walked away from that shoot feeling inspired and how glad I am to have started a business three years ago.  

Hiring a photographer isn't just about showing up and ending up with pretty pictures.  It's about a connection.  It's about the experience.  It's about the the process of how you got those pretty pictures.  That's what this whole shoot was about and what I wanted to convey to anyone I work with in the future.  

THIS is what it looks like and what I want to share with you.  I hope you'll join me.

 

// SO MANY THANK YOU'S \\

My ladies and CJ!  My little team.  I couldn't have done this without you and I'm so grateful.  I want to take over the world together.

// Vivian Silva - The best videographer that ever lived.  You understood what I wanted from the beginning and made it happen effortlessly.  I knew you were the one.  THANK YOU.

// Jessica Zimmerman - One of the sweetest, kindest, creative hair/makeup ARTISTS I've had the pleasure of working with.  You're never getting rid of me.

// Tata Tickaradze - I can't.  I just love the way we found each other.  It was meant to be and you absolutely killed it.

// Rebecca Mullins, Lindsay Hundley, Jessickah Hart, CJ Meston - My beautiful muses.  You are the faces of this shoot and I couldn't be happier.  You were so easy to work with and weren't afraid of getting dirty and freeze your asses off with me in the desert/rooftop.  I'll never forget it.  I heart you all so hard.