art institute of chicago engagement session (andrea + tanner are engaged!) – chicago engagement photographers

Even though we are totally not morning people, we’ve come to love it when our couples say they’re up for sunrise shoots.

No one is around, the light is perfect, and you can sneak back to bed for a nap without feeling guilty about it.  Win/win/win!

Andrea + Tanner found us on Style Me Pretty + first told us about their destination wedding that they were planning in the incredible Santa Barbara, California.  Turns out, they actually live in Chicago, which was kinda perfect for us, since we find ourselves in the Midwest just about every other day.  We got to rendezvous with them for their engagement sesh in Chicago, and then shoot their wedding just this past Saturday at Rancho Dos Pueblos, and it has all been darnright perfect.

These two met in Greece + have been together for over 10 years now, living all around the world/country together, and their love for each other absolutely shines through.  They are smitten, they are devoted, and they are totally in love.  Have we mentioned that they’re also totally gorgeous to photograph?  You’ll see in just a sec…

Andrea + Tanner are in Croatia for their honeymoon (totes jello) so they might not even see this for days to come, but even still, the rest of us can enjoy.  Check back for their wedding to be blogged in the coming, uh, 3 years?  (Just kidding.  We’re getting caught up on the queue now!)

Enjoy a few of our faves from this special morning… xx


montsalvat wedding (tee + jake are married!) – melbourne wedding photographers

Jake found Tee’s mobile phone during a baseball training session + that is how they first met.  Ya can’t get much more romantic than that, can you?!

You might remember these two smiling faces from their engagement sesh, which was that magical day we spent with them in a little land called Tasmania — but their wedding day was ten thousand times better.

Their wedding venue was the artist colony, Montsalvat, just outside of Melbourne, which basically means that their day was surrounded by incredible art + color and peacocks.

Tee made her wedding dress with her mum + mother-in-law-to-be.  Every. last. sequin. was sewn on with loving care.  And it was flawless.

Their tea ceremony filled with so much beautiful emotion + love.

Their wedding cake piñata.  And flash mob in the middle of their first dance.  Come on.

They honeymooned in South America, which included attended the World Cup.  I know.  It gets better + better.

These two + this day just couldn’t have been better!  But you don’t have to take our word for it.  Here are some memories + words from Tee + Jake:

“Our wedding day was personal, casual, funny and full of fun activities, tears and laughter!  [Some of our favourite memories from the day...] we played Heads up!, a game app by Ellen Degeneres when the bridal party was chilling out in the bridal retreat (that looked like a setting from the 1930s), we also experienced a beautiful after-rain sky and sun, we had a tea ceremony that went very well, and there was a lot of crying! Plus!! The surprise ‘mass dance’ sprung on Jake to ‘Hey Ya!’ by Outkast during our ‘first couple dance’ went to plan and took him by complete surprise.  Jake’s favourite memory: The easy answer, and the truest answer, is the moment Tee walked through the door and walked down the aisle. But, that is boring. I absolutely loved walking the grounds with the team from Woodnotes*, taking our most intimate shots, all the while trying to keep a straight face due to the endless number of our guests trying to take the selfie with us in the background that they required for their between-ceremony-and-reception scavenger hunt.  (*HA!  The Team from Woodnotes!  We like that!)

Any DIY projects you were especially proud of?  YES! The wedding dress, the wedding cake piñata, the wedding programs that were written in the form of a script, the video montage to ‘All my days’ of our travels that we walked down the aisle to, the wedding invitations that were passports to countries that we had travelled to together before our wedding, our DIY games, wooden coasters which had the guests’ names as seating plan arrangements, + one of the best things we did was ask Woodnote to pretty please be a part of our big day!  (Aw, shucks!  You guys!  xo!)

Any advice for future brides/grooms currently planning their wedding? Chillax!  (Haha!  You guys are just the best.)

And now, enjoy a few frames from T+J’s spectacular day.  xo!



Photographers – Caroline + Jayden of Woodnote Photography

Tee’s Dress – Tee and the 2 moms!

Tee’s shoes – Bionda Castana

Tee’s Jewellery – Jasmine Fraser

Jake’s Suit – Tailored

Hair + Makeup – Janice Wu

Flowers – Athena from Scent of a Flower

Ceremony + Reception Venue – Montsalvat

Ceremony Music – Alexi Murdoch (with whom Jake proposed to Tee)

Wedding favors – Tee + Jake’s handmade personalized wooden coasters and luggage tags

Cake – hidden inside the pinata made by Jake!

Processional Song – All My Days by Alexi Murdoch with a video montage of travels together

First Dance – VCR by the XX, Jake had always envisioned that song to be his first dance with Tee while they were dating.  Their first dance got interrupted by a flash mob dancing to Hey Ya! by Outkast, organized by Tee because she found out that it was the one dance song that Jake didn’t mind, since he dislikes all the dance songs she loves.  The look on his face was priceless!

tasmania: when woodnote and alyda + todd hunter mcgaw joined forces, and team mclee was born

There’s this place that exists between Australia and Antarctica; a place with the most famous map you’ve ever known or heard of.   Tasmania.

Back in early 2013, we had the pleasure of traveling to Tasmania with our very spesh spesh ninja friends, Todd and Lades of Todd Hunter McGaw.  We know these guys after we met them in Cabo, Mexico for the very first ‘What If …’ conference, and we can’t be more thrilled to be mates with such rad people!  So, when Caz (Caroline) and Lades (Alyda) conspired for us to get together for a road trip rendezvous in Australia, it was to be the road trip to end all trips filled with many odd and wonderful encounters and experiences – and Tasmania didn’t disappoint.  (We’ve actually been to Tasmania twice since this trip, but we thought it was time to share some personal stuff/work/adventures here, and this is a good place to start!)

Weird pink castle B’n'B’s, getting checked-out during check-in by potty-mouthed hotel managers who supplied awkward sexual innuendos through horribly maintained teeth (but HEARTS OF GOLD, I tell ya), the constant appearance of BEES(!!), ocean boat rides that were laden in albatross, seals, whales and almost the contents of Caroline’s stomach, visiting the Port Arthur Historic Prison with tour guides who’ve clearly lost their verve to guide (but we love you anyways, mate), the constant appearance of BEES(!!), when I asked Todd what his middle name is … … it’s Hunter … the search for the perfect vanilla slice bakery, becoming curious about the weird plants we saw from the road only to find out we had been ‘illegally’ curious about them (turns out they were poppy/opium fields – dammit Jim, we’re photographers not medicinal horticulturalists!), the surveying of many fine pub meals with fries the size of “Andre the Giant’s” fingers and bbq sauce just as sweet, the constant appearance of BEES(!!), singing the classics at the sound of our lungs for days with the windows down, the MoNA on Caz’s birthday and all of the fantastical and inspirational art we saw there (including, but not limited to, the artificial poo machine – yes, that is correct, there is a robotic machine in Tasmania that will digest food and then pass it, farts and all – we marveled at it’s incomprehensibility for hours, let me tell you!), to the breathtaking mountainous regions of Hobart, where the wind made out with us for hours on end, and of course, the constant appearance of BEES!! Exhale!!

On a more serious note, we were able to see first hand the devastation that the bushfires caused there not long before we had arrived.  Just horrific and humbling all at once, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims who are still in recovery.  We probably haven’t done justice to the severity of what the aftermath was like, but you can see some of the shots we captured of the damage.

Todd and Lades : we had a total blast with you guys, and will always cherish this trip we got to share with you, and can’t wait until the next one!;-)we love you both to the moon and back!  Todd, you have a beard that sheds jewels and other precious and unexplainable treasures. Lades, you have a soul that inspires the tides and many wars to be fought in your honour.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, you-awight!

Here are some snaps of our heart racing death defying excursion of limitlessness …   What you don’t see are the hours we all cuddled up together and watched Game of Thrones;-)some things are best unphotographed … like the poo machine. ;-D

‘Hardley’ the un-Harley…  haha!

point lonsdale, austalia – laurine + adam + abi’s family photos at sunrise

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again…

The hardest part about having our families on opposite sides of the world is that they’re both so wonderful.  It’d be much less complicated if one family was horrible + less miss-able;), but both sides are honestly made up of some of the most loving, supportive, talented + incredible humans on all the earth.  We freakin’ adore all of them.

You’ve seen many of their faces on this blog over + over again, but we just can’t stop.  (Last time you saw these 3 was way back when.)  And so, here comes another installment.  Laurine + Adam + Wee Abi.  At sunrise.  On the southernmost point of the Australian coast.  It’s basically pure magic to be there.  In fact, Jayden + I dream about retiring near here.  In 80ish years, or so.  Because, really, who wants to retire when you love your job?

And so, this is what it looks like to have a beautiful little family in the wintertime in Australia.  xx

a sunny afternoon lookbook with smitten studio – los angeles lifestyle photographers

We were thrilled to be asked to shoot the second Sunny Afternoon lookbook (remember this first one from last year?) for our friend, Sarah Sherman Samuel.

With the adorable factor brought to you by real-life sweethearts, Merrill + Tim Melideo, + the deletable styling by Sarah, and the stunning Los Angeles sun, it was an afternoon so full of fun that we hardly noticed it was work.

Be sure to check out the rest of Sarah’s gorgeous site + products here!

Happy Friday (and August!), Everyone!  xx