I remember my life by milestones, and by before and after’s. Before I moved to California….before I was a photographer…after I discovered the 50 1.2. I am currently living in “before I knew about the incredible-ness that is the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills”.

I got an email from Jay that went something like this:

“Jessica, we need to set up our engagement session with you. We want to do a dawn shoot for our E session with you snapping at us on the roof deck pool area of the SLS hotel in LA… very renegade. Please let me know your thoughts, but this could be the coolest event since mr and mrs pacman back in 84.”

I find it impossible to express my joy at receiving an email like this for several reasons, which I will now list out:

1. I love shooting at new, amazing locations, and I love when someone else drops them into my lap.

2. I immediately wanted to go break out an Atari and play Pacman

3. My clients are awesome

4. I got to spend the night at a rad hotel. (**sidenote–I left my car in drive at the Valet when I got there and my car drove into another car without me in it. oops!)

So we went to LA and shot at dawn. The whole scene at the hotel was very cool, modern, offbeat, eclectic, and surreal, so I gave some of the photos processing to match. I used my trusty totally rad actions and dirty pictures textures, and shot the whole session RAW to be able to change the white balance to throw the color off more easily.

Enjoy and happy friday!

** I should warn you, that if you are going to shoot at dawn, you might want to have a makeup artist handy–it’s tough to look like perfection that early! Carrie’s makeup was done by Stacey Craven, who did an incredible job!

The patio of the hotel was so cool and softly lit at dawn that I wanted to shoot everything all at once! So I started with these silver chairs, which I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to include on the patio of my house:


A slightly different angle:


Aren’t the chairs (and Carrie’s dress) cool?


I had to incorporate this yellow chair. Luckily, Carrie brought outfits to match most of the furniture 🙂 :



I just adored the lines and oversized frames and mirrors behind them:



Carrie doesn’t like being photographed alone, but she’s so beautiful I couldn’t help myself. Also, yet another chair I would kill for:


Jay thinks Carrie is too beautiful to stay away from though, so the solo shoot was short lived 🙂


They’re hot. And cool. Life’s just not fair sometimes:


Something about this shot makes me happy:


I want this whole scene in my house NOW. I found the couch, bought it, then immediately cancelled my order because it’s so expensive I felt sick about it. Now I feel sick about not getting it. What should I do?!


Maybe just shoot at the SLS every day:


Yeah, yeah, they’re cute…


Went downstairs to shoot in the lobby. I almost liked it even better:


The colors and style here look and feel so retro in the coolest possible way:


A more serious portrait, but it works:


Look at that lucite buck in the background–GENIUS!


One of my faves:


My fave:


Jay and Carrie, you are superstars. Your wedding will be phenomenal and I can’t wait!!