Vintage Paris in LA

Summer is here, LA is heating up and wedding season is in full swing. As a photographer, with one down and two to go, I’m eagerly anticipating the wedding of Jasmeen & Jasjit in July, whose backdrop is the beautiful St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, CA (it looks like a palace, I can’t wait!). Naturally, as we prep for the wedding, I took the couple out for engagement pictures. But this was not your typical engagement session, the bride had a very simple, yet specific request. She wanted a “vintage Paris” feel to her images, so not only did I have to create a weathered look on the final prints, I had to find the right backdrops to fit the scene. A true challenge to say the least, but being an LA native, it only presented me with the opportunity to explore my city some more. The couple were great fun, allowing me to cart them all over Southern Cali, from Sherman Oaks, to Malibu, to Santa Monica, to Downtown, Los Feliz and Hollywood. I sincerely appreciate their trust in me as a photographer and their willingness to do just about anything, within reason  Case in point, I wanted to capture that quintessential tunnel-kiss-shot and I nearly got clobbered by cars speeding through the tunnel near the Sepulveda pass to get it. That was only our 2nd shot of the afternoon, the 1st being outside some mansion’s garage in Encino that we drove up to, jumped out and snapped instantly. Over the years, I have mastered the art of capturing the moment quickly, which served us well when we visited the Viceroy in Santa Monica. After snapping my first shot of the couple in the lobby, we were approached by hotel management that said we needed approval to shoot (really, of 2 people on a couch?). Luckily, the money shot was that first frame I snapped, so all good, and I didn’t violate their policy by taking any more. It’s a shame how much the papparazi have ruined a photographer’s ability to shoot anywhere in LA. Step outside of this city and you won’t have people from random cafes, restaurants and hotels telling you you can’t shoot here without clearance. I got your clearance right here, its called 9fps (frames per sec) and its why you’ll never be able to stop me from getting the shot I want. I hope one day, the city recovers from its ego, especially since everyone these days has some sort of DSLR strapped to their shoulder, but until then, I’m fine with the guerrilla photography tactics. I’ll always get the shot I want despite the obstacles. Thank you for a fun day Jasmeen & Jasjit, these are some of my favorite engagement pics to date.

Yash Dhillon