“Meant To Be” // Mony & Lionel’s Engagement Session

It was a perfect picnic for two on a gorgeous day in Los Angeles. Mony and Lionel looked simply amazing as they enjoyed their loving engagement session. These two weren’t afraid to have a great time and enjoyed their day of love. Just look at these phenomenal pictures of the two of them; don’t they look absolutely radiant?

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There are no words to describe how beautiful the relationship was between Mony and Lionel as I took pictures of them for their engagement session. Choosing a park in Los Angeles for their picnic themed shoot, the day couldn’t have been any more perfect. The sun was shining brilliantly all around us and the park offered a great hidden place for just the two of them to enjoy the day together.

Beginning our day by walking around the park, I immediately was aware of the powerful connection these two had. Meeting through EHarmony, they marked the fourth couple I have taken pictures of that had met through this site! Yes, the FOURTH! It must be a site that really works. Meeting for the first time at Yogurtland, they had immediately hit it off. It wasn’t long before their relationship grew into something more. Wanting to spend forever with Mony, Lionel had arranged a perfect set up to propose. Taking Mony out, they returned to her apartment which Lionel had transformed into the perfect stage for his proposal. Rose petals lined the stairs, tealight candles lined the room, and the balcony had a candlelit table for two with wine and chocolate covered strawberries. Needless to say, when Lionel knelt down on one knee, his romantic gestures took Mony’s breath away.

Their relationship had already been filled with happiness and a beautiful love story. Capturing these moments for them as they created new memories during their session made it a special day for me. The way their faces lit up with joyful smiles just made the day complete. Having fun as they roamed around this forested area around us, I felt like I had joined them in a dreamy paradise of love. With the warm sun on our backs, these two picked out a nice spot to share a romantic little picnic together. Spreading out a blanket on the ground and bringing out some glasses with a bottle of wine, it was the perfect equation for a wonderful romantic occasion. Posing together with love shining in their eyes, I couldn’t believe just how beautiful the two of them were. It was truly a session that made me believe in the miracle of love.

Los Angeles Picnic Theme Engagement Photography

Beverly Hills Wedding Photographer

Photo by Melvin

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A Perfect Circle

A relationship has a beginning, a middle, and an end. When you find that perfect someone though, you want it to always last forever. Working hard to forge a strong foundation and to keep that spark alive, it’s a journey that is continuous. Through this journey, many things can happen.

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A relationship has a beginning, a middle, and an end. When you find that perfect someone though, you want it to always last forever. Working hard to forge a strong foundation and to keep that spark alive, it’s a journey that is continuous. Through this journey, many things can happen. But as love grows between two people, it isn’t long before a person wants to show their dedication and undying love.

I’m sure there are many people out there who just follow suit and buy a ring for their significant other just because it’s something they have seen others do. But what is it really saying when you do? There are many types of rings such as a promise ring, an engagement ring, or a wedding ring. These could also signify the course of the relationship. The promise ring is the beginning, the engagement ring is the middle, and the wedding ring is the one that marks the end of a single life and a start of a married one. The wedding ring should be the end since the relationship has led you to the point where that person is the one that is forever.

But back to the question: what is it that you are really saying when you put a ring on someone? A ring is a symbolic gesture. If you look at a ring, it doesn’t have a beginning. It doesn’t have a middle. And it certainly doesn’t have an end. It goes on forever in a perfect circle. When you place this perfect circle over a person’s finger, the symbolism follows into your relationship. This means that you’re dedicating your life to them since the relationship should continue on forever – just like that circle. So when choosing that “perfect” ring, just keep in mind the meaning of it. It isn’t just a symbol of fleeting love, or something you do when you’ve been with someone for a certain number of years – it’s something that should last forever as your love grows together through the journey of life. With this ring, may your love and dedication always be remembered in the reflection of its shining perfect circle.

Los Angeles Engagement Photography

Los Angeles Wedding Photographer

Photo by Melvin

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“When You Believe in Love” – Carrie & Scott’s Engagement

It was a stunning day with Carrie and Scott as they enjoyed the scenic area of Los Angeles. Celebrating their engagement, they both looked wonderfully in love as they walked around and shared priceless smiles in places like Venice Canals, the Santa Monica Pier, and the LACMA. They were two of a kind and enjoyed every moment of that day together!

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It was a beautiful love story that I was lucky enough to stumble upon! Joining Carrie and Scott in Los Angeles for their engagement session, I couldn’t get over what a wonderful pair they made! Starting off just taking a stroll along the Venice Canals, they also went to the Santa Monica Pier and the LACMA that day. Every spot that we visited, these two looked amazing! Capturing each moment of their love, it was great to be around these two!

Meeting through a birthday party for their friends, it didn’t take long for these two to find a connection between them. Both having a love of music, the outdoors, hiking, bike rides, and other activities, these two were in love before they knew it! Eventually going on a trip together to the Mayan Riviera, it must have been a romantic sight as Scott proposed to Carrie beneath the starry sky! If that wasn’t a great way to propose, then I don’t know what is!

Throughout our session together, there were countless times where I could see the loving spark between them as it lit up their faces with smiles. Always having fun whether we were at the Venice Canals, in the sandy beaches of the Santa Monica Pier, or at the LACMA, these two were so amazing to work with! Just take a look at all their pictures and you can see a glimpse of the beautiful chemistry they share! They truly are a gorgeous couple – inside and out! Thanks for the wonderful day!

Flower by Una Yeh – www.kissingbees.com – (310) 592-3588

Venice Canals Engagement Photography

Santa Monica Pier Wedding Photographer

LACMA Engagement Photo

Photo by Melvin

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Advice to Bride’s on How to Choose the Right Photographer

Choosing the right professional for your photography needs can be a very daunting task. There are so many out there and you never know what your pictures will be like until they are already taken and given to you. This can be a scary ordeal to consider. Everyone wants their wedding pictures to be perfect. So how do you get the right photographer for you? Well there are no guarantees unfortunately, but here are some ways to help get you on the right track!

Advice to Bride’s on How to Choose the Right Photographer

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Choosing the right professional for your photography needs can be a very daunting task. There are so many out there and you never know what your pictures will be like until they are already taken and given to you. This can be a scary ordeal to consider. Everyone wants their wedding pictures to be perfect. So how do you get the right photographer for you? Well there are no guarantees unfortunately, but here are some ways to help get you on the right track!

1. What Do You Want From Your Photographer? This is a simple yet complex answer that you NEED to think of before you even start searching for a photographer. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. Knowing the style, price range, date and hours needed, required shots, package requirements, type of attire you’d like them to wear, personality (this is very important), and any other details that you can come up with, all will help you in the long run. With this information, you can narrow down the thousands of photographers out there and come up with a nice list that you know can deliver what you’re looking for.

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2. Meet, Greet, and Ask Questions. Setting up an appointment and meeting with your potential photographers is a very important step. Meeting them in person can give you a good indication on whether or not they are compatible with what you are looking for. Meeting them enables you to see what their personality is like, gives you a chance to ask questions, allows you to discuss more in detail about your requirements and options for your package, and also can give you a chance to get your hands on one of their portfolios to look at. You never know what a person is like until you meet them, so it is always a great chance to see what you’re up against. While you’re there, also make sure that you ask a lot of questions. The more the better!

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3. Portfolio and Experience Level. These two are probably the two key elements when choosing a photographer. When you meet with them, make SURE you take a look at their portfolios (click here to see mine). Looking online is one thing, but looking at more of their work in albums allows you to ensure quality. With the portfolio, it gives you an idea of their experience level, but you also want to ask them about it. Ask how many weddings they’ve done, how many years of experience they’ve had, what their training has been? Never be afraid to ask too many questions. You are hiring them and you need to make sure that they are a seasoned photographer that can deliver the pictures you are looking for.

Always keep these top three in mind when you are looking for a photographer – especially for your wedding! With these at the forefront of your thoughts, you can have much more success in finding the perfect photographer! All the best and happy hunting!

-Melvin

p.s. All the photos that you see on this blog post are submitted to WPPI 16″x20″ annual print competition. I posted here so you guys can add me on your prayer list! And also, I want you guys, my lovely faithful reader, to be part of my journey too! Wish me luck! 😉

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“A Wonderful Ever After” – Sarah & Kris’ Wedding

It was a day filled with romance as Sarah and Kris had their wonderful wedding ceremony at Calvary Chapel Church and their beautiful reception at the Yorba Linda Community Center. Wearing a gorgeous gown and suit, Sarah and Kris looked lovely as they spent time in the gorgeous area of Yorba Linda.

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There was magic in the air as Sarah and Kris came together for their romantic wedding day in Yorba Linda. Having their beautiful ceremony service in the Calvary Chapel Church, this stunning couple had their wedding party pictures before they headed to their reception at the Yorba Linda Community Center. Both places offered great details and a wonderful romantic atmosphere for this precious couple. They looked amazingly in love!

You might remember Sarah and Kris from their gorgeous engagement session at the Griffith Observatory and the LACMA. If not, you should check out their wonderful session HERE. Since then, their love for each other had only seemed to grow stronger since the couple I saw before me was simply gorgeous! Head over heels for each other and full of joy, these two really looked great together. Their ceremony was equally stunning with its stone wall as the main backdrop behind them during their vows. It added a lovely touch of romance as they stood together in the church. As they kissed their first kiss as husband and wife, it was truly a magical scene that left everyone in awe. The environment and setting around them created a beautiful stage for their moment of love.

Having a unique train at their disposal, we took advantage of this rustic charm. Having their wedding pictures taken alongside it, everyone looked great and everyone was smiling. It was truly awesome to see such a happy couple! And did I mention that they looked perfect for each other? After the pictures were done though, we all headed into their fantastic reception hall. The entire decor was amazing and it was set up wonderfully for this festive evening. Having their special first dance that was filled with smiles and laughter, these two made you believe in love! With a gorgeous cake that had a unique wedding topper of Thor – yes the one from that awesome movie we all know – you couldn’t wait to see these two cut it! Everything about them spoke of love and togetherness. They were truly a match made in heaven.

Yorba Linda Community Center Wedding Photographer

Calvary Chapel Church Wedding Photography

Photo by Melvin

Coordinator : Events By Candice – www.eventsbycandice.com
DJ : Unforgettable Entertainment – www.uedjs.com
Florist : Garden Gate – gardengateyorbalinda@yahoo.com
Video : Loveshot Productions- www.loveshotproductions.com
Caterer : Tom Smith – partyprochef@aol.com
Chair Rentals/Linen Rentals : Signature Party Rentals – www.signatureparty.com
Ceremony Venue : Yorba Linda Calvary Chapel – http://church.calvarychapelyorbalinda.com – jodi.cc.yl@gmail.com
Reception Venue : Yorba Linda Community Center – Visit Website
Guitarist (he plays AWESOMELY) – Jesse (310) 890-3662 – jessemacleod84@gmail.com
Hair/Makeup : John Colby Salon – www.joncolbys.com
Transportation : Plyo Limo – www.plyocitylimo.com
Cake : Barbara – Barstan50@hotmail.com

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SpoilerAlert! Kadria & Derek’s

Kadria and Derek were a special couple – one that always wore those contagious smiles and shared an incredible bond of love! Enjoying their engagement session as they visited the Arizona Science Center and Heritage Square in Arizona, I couldn’t get enough of their wonderful attitudes and beautiful relationship! Thanks for the wonderful day you two and congratulations on your very wonderful engagement!

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This next sneak peek is of an adorable couple named Kadria and Derek. Spending a wonderful engagement session at the Arizona Science Center and Heritage Square in Arizona, this lovely couple was all smiles! It’s always great to work with a happy couple and they definitely made my day! Sitting and holding letters “K” and “D” at one point, they looked wonderful together in that moment. Standing for their names of course and not Kraft Dinner, they were definitely a couple that was filled with love for each other. I can’t wait to show you more!

Manhattan Brooklyn Engagement Photography

New York City Wedding Photographer

Photo by Melvin

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2013 – The Best Year In The Making!

I am so thankful to be able to have one of my wedding sessions published in the Ceremony Magazine 2013.  It makes me so thrilled and excited to finally see my work published! Jacinda and Jonathan’s wedding that took place at the stunning Doubletree Hotel in Monrovia, CA last July was as close to perfection as any wedding has ever been! Check out their full wedding photos HERE.

I have always had dreams of becoming a great photographer. Winning my first award in only my first year of photography and then another two awards in my second year, I had started this year off by wondering what new experiences would occur. Only two months into this year, I have already met one of my goals. I have been featured in a wedding magazine! I had always wanted this to happen and now it finally has. Check out the CEREMONY MAGAZINE – 2013 LOS ANGELES EDITION and you can see my publication!

Going into a new year of photography, I couldn’t be any more excited! Last year was pretty surprising and I had a lot of wonderful experiences. This year though, I am looking forward to what will happen and I can already tell that it will be the best year ever in my career!

This year in March we are going to be celebrating our 2nd anniversary as a wedding photographer. Starting in March 2011, we are actually really proud with ourselves because we were able to make it in the very competitive business of a wedding photographer, especially in Southern California where you can find hundreds of wedding photographers on Google Maps in only a radius 10 miles from where you live. It’s awesome that we could!

After 6 months of doing wedding photography, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Paris, France to capture the love of 9 couples as well as 1 couple that was in Milan, Italy. After those awesome experiences, we finished the end of our first year by winning our very first Fearless Photographers Award (image taken from Desiree & Seth’s wedding in San Diego, CA – Click here for complete wedding post). We were so honored and excited that we could accomplish this in just a year! It was awesome!

In the beginning of my second year, I was lucky enough to be able join the WPPI conference in Las Vegas. Why lucky? Because I had decided to stay in Vegas for a whole week while attending the conference and had decided this less than 24 hour before I left for my trip. It was fun! I am so honored because I was able to make new friends and see new wedding vendors. What I was really thankful about while I went to WPPI was being able to meet the photographers that helped me to get into what I am doing today. It was truly a great experience.

While still in the second year of my work, I was also honored to win another award. This time it was an award from Fearless Photographers as well as another from ISPWP. To be able to capture the perfect moments in someone’s life is one of the best feeling that a photographer could ever ask for, but to also be appreciated by other photographers, critics, and people all over the world is a magical feeling, especially when you are given an award for it too! Many people had tried to achieve these awards, but only a few succeeded. 2 years ago I hadn’t even thought that I would win one, but now having 3 of them so far, I couldn’t have felt more honored!

My other goal was to get published on an online wedding blog and wedding magazine. I thought that it would be a great way to have recognition for my business and also be a great experience for me on a personal level as well. Well this experience has finally happened since I just got published on CEREMONY MAGAZINE – 2013 LOS ANGELES EDITION! It’s only my 3rd year and it is starting off great!

So you should join in my excitement by going to the local bookstore, getting that magazine, tearing off the plastic cover, turning to page 256-257 and you will see it there! For all of the brides-to-be, past brides, or my faithful blog readers who actually did what I just said to do, please take a photo of yourself and that page on Instagram or Twitter, post it with an @melvingilbert tag, and I will choose 3 lucky winners to get a 1 hour free photo session (maternity, family, engagement or day-after session) and one 20”x30” Canvas Print with Frame as well! This is my gift to you for sharing in on this exciting moment of my career! Winner will be announce on twitter / instagram at February 28th, 2013, 9:00PM PST.

Melvin’s Twitter : https://www.twitter.com/melvingilbert

Melvin’s Instagram : www.instagram.com/melvingilbert

Check out the feature as well as the rest of the magazine goodness here!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to all your wonderful pictures! Stay tuned for more updates and posts!

Melvin.

Featured on Ceremony Magazing 2013 – Los Angeles Edition – Southern California Wedding Photography

Los Angeles Wedding Photographer

Photo by Melvin

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