Liz + Edgar | Venice Canals + Santa Monica Beach Elopement Photographer
At the end of March, I met up with two new friends: meet Liz + Edgar! Liz found me online when searching for a photographer, and I’m so happy she did. She + Edgar recently eloped, but didn’t get a chance to get any photos from their day. They decided they were ready to invest in photos to remember this time in their lives together and we had the best time! Liz + Edgar let me know that they were pretty introverted, and a little nervous about the shoot, so I asked them if they wanted to grab a beer or a coffee together before we got started. We met for beers on the Venice Boardwalk + got to know each other for a few minutes before the shoot which totally helped them feel comfortable in front of the camera. They warned me: Edgar ALWAYS has his eyes closed in photos, and that they had NEVER done anything like this before. I laughed and told them a) I have a ton of practice with that (cue every photo of my mom closing her eyes ever) and b) 99% of the people I work with haven’t ever done this before either! We talked about dogs, living in Los Feliz (we share a neighborhood!), their craft-beer-running-group (@la.craft.runners), and what to expect during the photo shoot: I described the way I direct that results in authentic, candid, unposed images. Sure enough, by the time we got started we felt like old friends!
We started out at the Venice Canals - a spot incredibly special to them, as it’s where Edgar took Liz on one of their first dates. She had moved from Chicago and barely explored LA, so he planned an epic “LA’s best hits” day where they visited the Getty, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Canals, and ended the day with a movie at Downtown Disney. The only catch? The A/C in his car had broken - so he had to borrow his mom’s car, which had a broken window. The deal was he could borrow the car if he brought it back with a fixed window! He managed to work it out and introduced Liz to some amazing parts of LA. On our shoot, it was so fun recreating a piece of that - preserving that memory alongside the new ones! I loved these sweet + romantic shots of Liz + Edgar walking along the canals. They look so genuinely happy + excited to be spending the evening together!
Getting these candid, playful, fun photos on the beach was such a blast! They ran, splashed, gave piggy back rides -- it was such a sweet moment! During this part of the shoot, I just encouraged them to be playful with each other; when I saw a pause in energy, I would give them a brief direction to keep things moving along. I’ve found that as an empath, I really take on the energy of the couples I’m working with so they can reflect either quiet, intimate, introverted moments or the bouncy, over-the-top extroverted moments.
At the end of the session, Edgar told me that they were so pleasantly surprised at how much fun they had. They’d expected an experience where they felt posed and uncomfortable, so to have a GOOD TIME while getting their photos taken was unexpected! On the way home that night, Liz texted me thanking me for a wonderful evening, and that they were so glad they’d made the choice to invest in photography after all.
Okay but here’s the real good stuff - their story!
Liz + Edgar’s relationship started out with a little persistence, a little fate + a whole lot of iced coffee. For six months, at every chance he had, Edgar would make conversation with a regular at the coffee shop he worked at. He would make excuses to talk to her, saying “it’s Liz, right?” when he had no doubt that was her name. One month his store was running a promotion on iced coffee and Liz was there nearly every single day. Finally one day the timing worked out, and Edgar asked if he could next to her on his lunch break - and she said yes! He asked her on a date to a vegan pizza restaurant, because he knew she was vegan (talk about above + beyond!) and they’ve been together ever since! As a fellow coffee addict + someone who has seen WAY too many 90’s romantic comedies, this story makes my heart burst at the seams.
After I sent over their sneak peeks, Liz texted me to tell me Edgar said “he’d never seen such a good photo of himself before!” which is the ultimate compliment! Liz’s review of the experience (before even SEEING the results) was awesome too (I may or may not be printing this one out to tape on my fridge): “I was blown away by Morgan, she is simply the best! From the beginning, she was warm and approachable and stood out compared to the other photographers I was talking to. You could just tell she deeply cared about the work she does and connecting with people. On the day of the shoot, my husband and I were beyond nervous but she took the time to talk to us before we started and got to know us. The shoot itself was amazing! It felt like we had a old friend joining us on our date night. She gave really clear direction that never made us feel like we were forcing anything, she just allowed us to be ourselves. And the end product is stunning. We can’t believe that we have such nice photos celebrating our love. I can’t recommend Morgan enough!! “
I can’t freakin’ tell you enough how much I truly enjoyed creating these authentic, playful, and intimate sunset photos on the coast. This just goes to show that even if you’re already married, setting aside the time to take some professional photos can be pain-free and you’ll get to cherish this season of life through photos to look back on!