Wedding Tips

5 Tips to Help You Prepare For Your Engagement Session

Fun, urban Engagement Session with Monica and Jhanisus at Angel’s Flight in Downtown Los Angeles

Fun, urban Engagement Session with Monica and Jhanisus at Angel’s Flight in Downtown Los Angeles

Engagement sessions are so much fun and we love photographing them because our couples are relaxed, they’re looking good, we’re at a fun location and the time we have together allows them to just be themselves and enjoy each other. Did I mention we get to have fun?!!

Kimi and Daniel in Switzer Falls for their adventurous, romantic engagement session

Kimi and Daniel in Switzer Falls for their adventurous, romantic engagement session

Tip #1: Why should you book your Engagement Session?

Yes, it allows you to get comfortable with us, in front of our camera and as nerve-wracking as it sounds, at the end of each session our couples always tell us how much fun they had. It’s also a really good time to test out your hair and makeup artist that you’re thinking of using for your wedding.

I may be getting ahead of myself, but if you think about it, most of our engagement sessions are finished by evening on a weekend so since your hair and makeup are done, you’re dressed fashionably casual, it usually makes for a really nice date night!

As with everything we do, whenever we photograph we look at our sessions and weddings like game days. We plan and prepare beforehand and then we rock it out and play as much as we can. We want you to look your best, feel the most joy and be blown away when we show your photos to you!

Silhouette of Sabrina and Leo for their wilderness Carbon Canyon Engagement Session

Silhouette of Sabrina and Leo for their wilderness Carbon Canyon Engagement Session

Tip #2: How should you use your engagement photos?

Sometimes couples ask us if an engagement session is necessary and I always let them know that a lot of our couples use their engagement session photos for Save the Date Cards to let their friends and family know ahead of time to set aside their wedding date. This always gets everyone really excited!

You can also use your engagement session photos for your wedding guestbook so everyone can sign in and leave their best wishes for you. This is always a good idea as you can use it as a wedding keepsake to look back on.

We’ve also had our couples create a canvas to use at the reception table and it also doubles as beautiful wall art to display in their home. If anything at all, we encourage engagement sessions to balance out their gorgeous wedding photos with some casual and fun engagement session photos.

Melissa and Adam in Santa Barbara for their romantic beach engagement session

Melissa and Adam in Santa Barbara for their romantic beach engagement session

Tip #3: When should I book my engagement session?

The best timeframe to book your engagement session is about 6 months before your wedding date. You can definitely book it earlier or later but if you’re planning on using them for Save the Dates you want to book your session at least 2 weeks ahead of when you’re planning on sending them out.

Jandy in her red dress and Wilson in Downtown LA for their urban engagement session near Vibiana

Jandy in her red dress and Wilson in Downtown LA for their urban engagement session near Vibiana

Tip #4: Where should we go for our session?

Ultimately we suggest booking your engagement session in a different season than when you’re getting married as it adds a different look to your wedding. If you prefer to use the same or similar seasons, we encourage you to think about holding your engagement session in a different location to balance your wedding day location.

Speaking of locations, if you ask us one of our favorite locations is in urban settings such as Downtown LA Art District, Downtown Fullerton, or Downtown Santa Barbara. If you love taking adventures, we can always head to the mountains or a wilderness vibe. And you can never go wrong with holding your session at the beach. Wherever you decide to hold your session we always encourage you to think about where you enjoy to hang out with your Love. Some might see us as being indecisive but ultimately, these will be your photos and we want you to be as comfortable as possible. You won’t be your best if we were to push a city vibe when you love walking barefoot in the sand. We want you to be as carefree as possible and just enjoy each other to the fullest so we can highlight your relationship in the best way!

Melissa and Adam at Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara for their beach engagement session

Melissa and Adam at Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara for their beach engagement session

Before we give you Tip #5, check out more from Melissa and Adam’s romantic engagement session in Santa Barbara

 

Tip #5: What should I wear for our engagement session?

As far as fashion is concerned, we want you to look and feel your best. Think about what you would wear if you were going out to a nice dinner date. If a cute dress and heels are your thing while your love wears some slacks with a blazer then feel free to rock that out! If you like jeans and a cute top while your love is a collared shirt and jeans type, then show us what you’re working with! Haha! I think you know what we’re trying to say here. If you need some extra help, we always provide our Style Guide, so make sure to check it out once you book.

Lawrence just proposed to Melissa at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook in Los Angeles

Lawrence just proposed to Melissa at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook in Los Angeles

How do I book our engagement session?

If these tips helped you out and want to check our availability for your engagement session, I encourage you to fill out the info below today and we can get the ball rolling for you.

We’re looking forward to highlighting your relationship and we’re excited for what’s in store!

Romantic engagement session in Pasadena with Michelle and Daniel

Romantic engagement session in Pasadena with Michelle and Daniel

 

Feel free to fill this out and get in contact with us to get the ball rollin’!

Name *
Name
Fiance's Name
Fiance's Name
Where would you like to hold your engagement session? *

Dana Point Wedding at Chart House Restaurant in Orange County | Kim and Jim

Last Fall, we had the privilege of taking Kim and Jim out to Shaw's Cove for their engagement session since that's where Jim proposed to Kim; right on the steps leading out to the beach. We couldn't be happier for them as their theme for their engagement session and wedding revolved around the beach, ocean and that sweet ocean breeze!

They held their wedding at Chart House Restaurant in Dana Point and couldn't have chosen a more beautiful location to have their wedding. The Chart House was perfect for their intimate, outdoor wedding ceremony and their secluded reception area provided for the best dinner setting for their friends and families. 

We're so excited for these two and make sure you give them your blessings in the comments below!

 
 

Wedding Venue: Chart House Restaurant Dana Point

Wedding Preparation Hotel: Ayres Suites Mission Viejo

Wedding Florals: Lynne Lucente

Wedding Officiant: Jeff Tackett

Acoustic Guitarist: Chris Wooley

Wedding Gown: Stella York

Wedding Belt: Vera Wang

Wedding Shoes: Lauren Lorraine

For more info on Chris Holt Photography, please contact us via our Contact Page. We'd love to set up an appointment for you to meet us and see our albums. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Il Garage Wedding in Orange County | Ioanna and Dimitri

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We are so excited to start our wedding season for 2016 and we couldn't be happier to see Ioanna and Dimitri tie the knot this past weekend at Il Garage Ristorante in Orange County. Their wedding has been a long time coming and to see their friends and family celebrate with them made it that much special. 

There was so much love and happiness throughout the entire day, and Ioanna's smile was uncontainable. When we photographed their engagement session, we knew their wedding was going to be a beautiful and intimate celebration. 

Enjoy the highlights from their wedding and make sure to wish them many Congratulations!

 
 

I hope you enjoyed these as much as we did photographing them! If you, or you know a friend or two who is planning on getting married and you want us to meet them, feel free to share this post with them. Or simply fill out the form below and we'll be in contact with them. 

You absolutely rock!!

 
 

Best of 2015 - The Weddings Part I

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As 2016 starts to ramp up, I wanted to put a Wedding Year in Review as it was a pretty awesome year overall. We had so many couples that trusted us with photographing their wedding and we are extremely grateful to be able to do what we do. 

I've mentioned it in a few places on social media (in case you're not following be sure to follow our wedding and engagement updates @thechrisholt) and on our Best of Engagements for 2015, but we are so grateful to each and every one of our couples for their support for our Wedding Wire Couples' Choice Award for 2016! 

 
 

We're so happy to provide our creativity and talent to highlight our couples' weddings. Every time a couple chooses us to work with we are humbled with gratitude as each and every wedding is an absolute privilege. 

Enjoy Part I of our Best of Weddings for 2015 and stay tuned for Part II. 

Also, as you know, we only had a small hand in creating these beautiful images for our couples. If you know a friend or two that you would like us to meet, go ahead and share this post with them or you can easily let us know by putting their name and info in the form at the end. 

Enjoy and Thanks So Much!!

 
 

I hope you enjoyed these as much as we did photographing them! If you, or you know a friend or two who is planning on getting married and you want us to meet them, feel free to share this post with them. Or simply fill out the form below and we'll be in contact with them. 

You absolutely rock!!


 
 



Three Reasons to Hire a Professional Videographer

 
 

There are so many emotions and elements that go into a wedding. These emotions and elements happen while wedding planning as well as during your wedding day. The emotions, elements and events actually become necessary, inevitable and uncontrollable before and during your wedding as they become part of your unique story.  

Many couples may feel like a professional wedding film is unnecessary to invest in, but as photographers that have been a part of many wedding celebrations, I can't begin to tell you how many couples have told us they wish they had hired a professional videographer to document their wedding! 

As a photographer, I may be a bit biased, but the images and moments from your wedding are irreplaceable. Your wedding should be able to be relived the same way you remember it, if not better than you envisioned. One of the qualities that we believe is in making sure our work is timeless, genuine and filled with emotion. 

time·less: tīmləs/ adjective

not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion

With that, I've put together three reasons to hire a professional videographer. 

  1. Most people don't remember the majority of their wedding day as it unfolded. Your wedding film is one of the best ways to relive each moment in a cinematic and artistic form
  2. Your wedding is part of your unique story. Most newlyweds say they highly recommend a video of their wedding to experience the highlights of the beautiful and memorable moments that created your day
  3. You can include friends and family that weren't able to celebrate feel like they were a vital part of your wedding story with a tasteful and cinematic approach to your wedding

I also want to present you with a few wedding filmmakers that we have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know. These two featured professionals take a lot of pride in their craft and I couldn't be more privileged to introduce you to their awesome work. Check out the previews below and be sure to visit their website for more of their work!


 

Brian and Candice from Ace Wedding Videography are two awesome wedding filmmakers that are truly dedicated to their work. 

Can you say live stream weddings?! 

Ace Wedding Videography | www.aceweddingvideography.com

 

And if the three reasons I mentioned above are not enough, here are a few more benefits that set them apart: 

  1. Flexible and accommodating. We have packages for guidance, but we strive to make each video a unique experience tailored to our clients 
  2. We strive to be the least intrusive to our clients' special day. We want clients to remember their wedding day, not their videographers
  3. From our initial consultation to the final delivery. We will be there with clients every step of the way
 

 

Erica and Laura, from The Vision Field, are two of the most artistic and creative people we have ever met. Their positive attitude and openness to try new things are what makes them truly unique. 

The Vision Field | www.thevisionfield.com

 
We are intuitive and transformational people who are well rounded in many areas and have travelled to many countries and connect well with people.
— Erica and Laura
 
 

I hope this helps you in your wedding planning and especially on investing in how you will want to remember your wedding. 

If you're in the middle of planning your wedding and want to meet us for a quick chat about your wedding details please let us know by leaving your email address below. We'd love to serve you and create some awesome images with you!

Name *
Name
Expected Wedding Date *
Expected Wedding Date
Phone
Phone

Hurst Ranch Wedding | Tina and Brian

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Tina and Brian's wedding at Hurst Ranch in West Covina was such a blessing to be a part of and absolutely enjoyable to photograph. 

First off, I have to mention, every now and then we get asked to help out our colleagues and if our schedules sync up, we will definitely do so. This wedding we worked with our good buddy, Thomas at Thomas Pellicer. He's super awesome, talented and he absolutely loves what he does. Check him out and give him a follow on his Instagram account; you won't be disappointed. 

This wedding was so beautiful to be a part of as there were so many layers. They were a blended family as Brian was stepping into their lives as husband and father. It was so beautiful to see the energy they put into the details of their wedding, and there is no doubt they put a ton of energy and effort to join their family together with love. 

We couldn't be more grateful to be able to photograph the details and emotions throughout their whole wedding. Many Congratulations to you guys and your beautiful family!

 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Three Tips for Planning Your Wedding

Planning a wedding can be exciting as all of your ideas begin to develop. You may soon realize that there is a lot of energy that goes into every facet of your day and can become overwhelming for some. Creating a planning schedule leading up to your wedding day can help relieve the stress that comes along with balancing your day-to-day "life" schedule and wedding planning.  

So we've included a few tips below to help you plan your wedding.

 
 

Meaningful Dates:

One of the most important dates in your life will be your wedding anniversary. You can use your first date anniversary or use the month you and your fiance made it "official". You may also want to make a note of important dates you would not want to be married as well. For example, other weddings that are already planned, graduations and parent's anniversaries. One key tip to be are of, flowers and food may be a significant part of your wedding also, so be sure they are in season for your preferred date.

Budget:

There are many variables to consider when creating your budget. California weddings typically take place during spring and summer with Saturdays as the most preferred day of the week. In regards to your budget, Friday and Sunday weddings may be easier to plan if Saturday's are already booked for your preferred wedding date. Keep in mind, some venues and wedding professionals may provide an "off-season" price for winter weddings.

If you don’t have one already, click here for a budget worksheet to help you stay on track: Wedding Budget Worksheet

Wedding Planners:

One of the most invaluable wedding professionals you can have before and during your wedding is a wedding planner. A wedding planner is someone who can assist you during your planning. This isn’t what you may think. The key word here is, assist. You will still be in charge of making the decisions, but a good planner will help you plan your wedding. In our experience, wedding planners and coordinators make sure the wedding day timeline is adhered to, the other wedding professionals are where they need to be and everything is in place throughout your wedding.

Here are a few benefits from the wedding planners we have the pleasure to know and work with:

 

Kristeen LaBrot Events | www.kristeenlabrotevents.com

Email: kristeen@kristeenlabrotevents.com

Kristeen, owner and principal contact and 2014 Winner of California Wedding Day's Best Wedding Planner in Los Angeles, shares her advice on wedding details below.

She specializes in providing graphic design for monograms, save the dates, invitations and wedding programs for her clients. She has your best interest at heart and will respect your budget by looking for the best deals available to you.

 

 
 
Make sure you’re including a detail because it’s special, not because it’s the hot new thing on Pinterest
— Kristeen LaBrot
 
 

Charis Events & Design | www.charisevents.com

Email: info@charisevents.com

Grace, owner and principal contact, has over 10 years experience planning bridal showers and weddings. She provides a distinctive design with the color palette and current trends inspired by her couple's story. She believes in quality over quantity and only takes on a select number of events to provide the utmost service to her couples.

 
 

Bonus Download!

We hope these tips help you plan the memorable wedding you want to have. Our bonus tip is to create a schedule to meet with the wedding professionals you want to ensure they are available on your wedding date and are in your budget. Fill out your info below to get a pocket planner to make sure you have everything covered!

Wedding Albums are Modern Treasures

Wedding albums are the way I was able to see my grandmother and mother's wedding day. It was a way for me to see my aunts, uncles and cousins when they were "cool" and stylish. I remember laughing at my grandmother's style with her cat eye glasses, having a ball with my aunts and uncles. She was having the time of her life and so was everyone else! It made me wish I was there. And in a way I was, because this was my family. These were the people in my life celebrating a moment and although I couldn't hear the music or laugh with their jokes, I was able to relive those moments through their wedding album.

This is the reason why we photograph weddings the way we do. We capture your images to tell your wedding story in a way that will be put into a hand-crafted, leather bound book. We don't use cheap album companies where your album will fall apart in a few years. The albums we provide will last for generations to come.

The digital images are awesome to share with friends and family on facebook and social media. They allow you to relive your wedding soon after it happened. But they may not last forever. You may forget which computer you saved them to or where the link is to access your gallery. And this is why we believe albums are important. 

The album is definitely an investment. It's an investment that will realize it's value when your children see you laughing, celebrating and having the time of your life. Your wedding is an investment in your life and your wedding album is the treasure you have to show your family and friends how you celebrated. Take a look at our Album Info page and let us know when your wedding will be. 

We'd love to document your wedding and create a beautiful album for you and your loved ones!

 
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Valuable Tips On Being An Awesome Second Shooter

Rancho Las Lomas Wedding Photography - Reception in El Teatro

Rancho Las Lomas Wedding Photography - Reception in El Teatro

A few weeks ago my buddy Tommy, from Thomas Pellicer, texted me and without many details given he asked if I was available to help him out for an upcoming wedding at Rancho Las Lomas.  My schedule was open and I quickly told him, "I'm in!" I've known Tommy for a few years now and this was our first time working together. It was a pretty cool day as he asked me to hang out with the groom and groomsmen and cover their details and formal images prior to the wedding ceremony, while he was with the bride and bridesmaids.

Groomsmen

Groomsmen

Groomsmen Candids

Groomsmen Candids

WHY WE OCCASIONALLY SECOND SHOOT FOR OTHERS

As Gina and I primarily shoot weddings as lead photographers, we occasionally work with our colleagues to help them out when they need it. We do this for a few reasons:

  • As lead photographers, we all need help at one time or another and as our schedule permits we lend a hand to support each other
  • It challenges us to work on our photojournalistic techniques without the pressure to capture the main events during the wedding
  • The lead photographer is only one person, so having a second set of eyes allows the client to get some awesome images from different angles
Groomsmen at the tool shed

Groomsmen at the tool shed

Villa overlooking El Teatro

Villa overlooking El Teatro

Pre Wedding Bridal Prep With Her Watchful Ringbearer 

Pre Wedding Bridal Prep With Her Watchful Ringbearer 

SIX VALUABLE TIPS TO BE AN AWESOME SECOND SHOOTER

Without further ado, here are some valuable second shooter tips I gathered from my most recent experience:

  1. Make the primary photographer's job easier; don't be too proud to carry their bags/equipment
  2. Set your ego aside and shoot what the lead photographer needs you to cover
  3. When shooting in the same space, shoot with a different lens to give the client a different perspective
  4. Be ready to shoot as if you were the primary photographer
  5. Self-motivation is key; anticipate the emotions during each part of the day as the primary photographer will most likely be capturing the essential parts of the day
  6. It's common courtesy to ask if you intend to use them for your own portfolio
Pre Wedding Groom Prep

Pre Wedding Groom Prep

Pre Wedding Groom Prep

Pre Wedding Groom Prep

Custom Suit for the Groom

Custom Suit for the Groom

Pre Wedding Groom Details

Pre Wedding Groom Details

The Wedding Ceremony in El Teatro

The Wedding Ceremony in El Teatro

DETAILS AND THE "IN BETWEEN" MOMENTS

Primary photographers rely on second shooters to get the details the bride and groom have taken countless hours and effort to make sure everything is perfect for their day. 

By the way, how cool are those personalized glass flasks for the groomsmen?

Dessert Table

Dessert Table

Sweet and Saucy Shop Three Tiered Cake

Sweet and Saucy Shop Three Tiered Cake

Cocktail hour outside of the Grand Salon

Cocktail hour outside of the Grand Salon

The newlyweds introduced as husband and wife

The newlyweds introduced as husband and wife

Anticipate the raw emotions throughout the day to help tell the full story

Anticipate the raw emotions throughout the day to help tell the full story

Again, these are based on my experience and I hope these help you to become a better second shooter. I also want to say thanks again to Tommy for letting me hang out and rock this beautiful wedding!

Much love and Congrats again to Roxanne and Michael!