Camarillo California. A place I had not heard of until Siobhan reached out to me in early 2022. A stunning coastal California city right off the pacific ocean. The perfect backdrop for a Southern California wedding. I arrived early to the beach house Siobhan had rented and was greeted by.... the groom? Kelly, what are you doing here? Kelly had just stopped by to pick up some of the decorations to drop off at the venue. Some couples are okay with breaking the "Don't see each other on the wedding day" rule. After chatting for a moment, I made my way upstairs to meet up with the bride, Siobhan. She was in the middle of her makeup process. The first thing I noticed was just how beautiful this space was for filming. Windows surrounded the room and offered the natural light us camera folks are constantly chasing. I got to work grabbing some candids before making my way upstairs to shoot details. The top floor was just as perfect as the second, and I got to work filming the dress and rings. Before too long the photographer Alex arrived and joined in the detail shooting. Its rare I work with someone as tall as me on a wedding day, so Alex's height was a nice surprise. We connected on the fact that we both prefer candid moments to posed, and both do a fair amount of traveling during the wedding season. With makeup complete, Siobhan made her way upstairs to get ready with her mom and sister. We had the rest of the bridal party staged below on the second floor for the grand reveal. Their reaction was a mix of smiles and tears capped off by a big group hug. It was time to head to the venue. Siobhan had described her vision to me as an east coast garden wedding in the conversations we had prior to the big day. When I arrived at McCormick Home Ranch I was in awe. The tall white colonial home was surrounded by perfectly manicured foliage with a grand lawn where our reception would take place. Jen with White Sage Weddings was busy setting up the details for the day so I went over to introduce myself. The couple had opted for a classic white reception look which I personally love. After grabbing some of the setup shots I made my way over to the ceremony site to meet up with Alex. The site was beautiful, placed perfectly into the property's garden. The only tricky part was going to be the lack of side isles. Side Isles are a photographer and videographers highway during a ceremony. It allows us to get close to the couple without standing out. We talked strategy for a bit before accepting the fact we would have to be up front for the important moments of the ceremony. It goes against my typical fly on the wall approach, but would be necessary for this one. The ceremony procession went on without a glitch and Kelly laid down some the best vows I've ever heard. Before I knew it the couple had kissed. We rushed into family and bridal portraits as the sun started to set, then hid the couple away for their grand entrance. I love a good outdoor reception and this venue may be my favorite of all time, after sharing their first dance and some toasts, we brought the couple to the front of the property to capture the last of the setting sun. With no clouds in the sky, and positioned right on the coast, this sunset was EPIC. Back on the dance floor the party started. Glow sticks were passed out which added a pop of color to dance floor. Before too long the bride and groom were airborne having been lifted by their bridal party in a modified hora style dance. As the night winded down sparklers were passed around and the couple made their way through the glow of the sparks to their awaiting party bus. While the after party was just getting started, my time in Southern California came to an end.
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Steven Martinez // Cinematographer