Portrait of Malibu Bride in Black Wedding Dress
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Portrait of Malibu Bride in Black Wedding Dress

This Malibu wedding was one of my most anticipated for 2014. I knew early on that the bride was going to be wearing a black wedding dress. 

And I also knew that the wedding was at the Villa Del Leon mansion located in Pacific Palisades. After doing my homework, and searching for other weddings photograph there, I came to learn that I would be the first photographer to document weddings at this location. The incredible architecture of this fabulous venue combined with a beautiful day, a stunning bride, a handsome groom, and a wonderful gathering of friends and family, made this event an absolute pleasure to photograph. If you'd like to know more about this venue, you might want to check out my extensive article on this location.

This photograph was inspired by a photo created by my friend and mentor Jerry Ghions, one of the top wedding photographers in the world. Playing off his idea of photographing a bride laying back on her dress and photograph the above in a stairwell, her position here is central to the image. The use of the spiral staircase leads the eye in a circular pattern through the image down to the elegant woman resting in the middle of the photograph.

I had very high hopes when I entered this image in the 2015 WPPI Print, Album & Filmmaking Competition in Las Vegas, but due to the number of similar entries, even though this image was well executed, it did not have the impact on the judges that one might expect. However, the image did receive a Silver Award in the competition. And even with that minor award, I'm still incredibly happy with this image I would love to be able to create it for every client in the future if I am ever again presented with a cooperative spiral staircase.

Location: 17948 Porto Marina, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272.

1/80; f/3.5; ISO 2500; 24.0 mm.