“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people,
that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking
of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze
stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements
of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed
a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character,
but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.”

Gabriel García Márquez
(Love in the Time of Cholera)

a little more sweetness...

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a year ago over a lovely breakfast JOEL & JOSE
asked me to be their wedding photographer…

i was so touched that they would want me to document their nuptials…
to be honest, i was a bit nervous…i felt such a responsibility to capture
the beauty of another photographer’s & film-maker’s celebration…

soooo, i suggested that we do an engagement session….

although we knew one another & had great mutual respect for each other…i
felt it was important that the rapport between us, translated well in images…..

JOSE & JOEL were absolutely gracious every step of the way….

they let me, and even encouraged me to just shoot as i like…
never giving direction & always open to any suggestion i had….

we photographed both in their home & in the
beautiful countryside near where they reside….

it was an absolutely gorgeous day….

we laughed…we photographed…..

i was deeply moved by their genuine love & affection….

spending this time together was valuable to all of us…i
think it created an ease & comfort level between us, that truly
resonated into the photographs of their wedding day….

as much as i’d like to share JOEL & JOSE’s wedding images….
their wedding is slated to run in a national magazine in 2012….
(so they must remain private until publication)

it was such a pleasure & an honor to be part of their beautiful love story…

i was so touched by this lovely thank you note  i
received from JOSE & JOEL i simply had to share…


dearest elizabeth,

we haven’t had the opportunity to write you a proper email because it’s so hard to find the words to describe how grateful and fortunate we feel for having you create such beautiful memories for us. the truth is that we never imagined the emotions that would take over every time we see our beautiful photos, they are better than anything we could have ever imagined…we’ve tried writing this email before… tears and all but no words in the american dictionary could ever describe our internal feelings of gratitude and appreciation for what you have created and captured for us.

we’ve been together for almost 8 years and we had never been photographed before so we were nervous about facing our image on film. jose proposed first in mazatlan mexico,one of our first getaways together and joel proposed a year later, we enjoyed our engagement for 3 years. the duration of being engaged for so long was a beautiful part of our relationship and we enjoyed every bit of it, we experienced more and learned more about each other in that time than ever before. looking at all our photographs brings back so many happy emotions from 8 years of life together.

when we first got engaged there was no doubt you elizabeth messina would capture our memories, it sounds funny but we would even have dreams about the actual emotions we would feel after receiving the photos and i have to say that the dream was probably a prepping of many tears of joy after receiving the first batch of engagement photographs in our hands, prints, all on FILM. elizabeth when you hand delivered these to us at our rehearsal dinner, we didn’t even want to join everyone, we just wanted to sit and see all of our photos. how could someone see our love in this way? how could someone capture our emotions and love so perfect? elizabeth when you stepped out of the room we unwrapped more and more of our photos batch per bath and could not believe our eyes, we hugged and cried.

thank you elizabeth for making this experience for us simple, and about us. we will never be able to thank you enough. we can’t wait to start a family and have you capture us as a whole.

we love you,
jose & joel


to see more of their engagement check out
the always inspirational STYLE ME PRETTY

love is beautiful….xoxo

a little more sweetness...

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“It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one’s for you

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been quite kind while I wrote this song
It’s for people like you that keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen”


a little more sweetness...

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i am so thrilled to have shot the cover of

you can view the magazine ONLINE or
pick up a copy & thumb through the pages….
inside you’ll find a beautiful 12 page spread…

to photograph this spread on a vintage ferry in san francisco
i almost fell right out of my chair…a VINTAGE FERRY?? in SF??
it was a dream come true…i cannot fully express how thrilling it
was to be shooting blocks away from the
i earned my BFA from SFAI years ago…

dreams can come true…xoxo


& just when i thought it couldn’t get any better….
SF BRIDES also published the beautiful wedding of my friend
KATHRYN (& her husband RYAN) of SNIPPET & INK….their
wedding was simply gorgeous thanks to the efforts of
event planner LAURIE ARONS

a very special thanks to my assistant & 2nd shooter KRISTEN LOKEN….
who beautifully shot some of the decor at KATHRYN & RYAN’s reception…
(no matter how hard you work, it is still impossible to be in 2 places at once)


editorial credits

Bustle Events – Design and Styling
Floral Theory – Floral Design
Heritage & Craft – Vintage & Custom Rentals
Preston Nesbit, Acme Head & Body – Hair & Makeup
Hartmann Studios – Rentals
Haute Bride – Veils & Headpieces
Shreve – Jewelry
Rebecca Overmann – Jewelry
Batter – Crepe Cake
Astor & Black – menswear


wedding credits

Planning, coordination: Jenna Lam
for Laurie Arons Boutique Events

Photography: Elizabeth Messina

Videography: Sandbox Love

Getting ready, portraits: Cavallo Point in Sausalito, California
Ceremony: The Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco
Reception: Presidio Social Club in San Francisco

My attire
Dress: Angel Sanchez purchased at Jin Wang
Veil: purchased at Jin Wang
Hair clip: Jennifer Behr
White bridal shoes: Kate Spade
Sparkly flats: Steve Madden

Hair and makeup: Jim Avila

Wedding bands: Stephan-Hill

Ryan’s attire
Suit, shirt, tie: Ralph Lauren
Shoes: Bally purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue
Suspenders: Brooks Brothers

Other attire
Flower girl, Junior bridesmaid dresses: Lula Kate purchased at Bella Bridesmaid
Flower girl, Junior bridesmaid shoes: Payless
Maid of Honor dresses: Amsale purchased at Bella Bridesmaid
Ring bearer suit: Janie & Jack
Ring bearer bow tie: BuyYourTies.com

Invitation suite, save-the-dates: PS Paper
Letterpress: Alan Hillesheim
Envelope calligraphy: Betsy Dunlap
Vintage stamps: The Paper Nickel
Day-of details (menus, buttons, coasters, etc.): PS Paper
Day-of calligraphy: Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

Personal flowers: Michaele Thunen
Ceremony, reception flowers: Kathleen Deery Design
Tent, Chiavari chairs: Classic Party Rentals
Linens: LaTavola Linen
Lounge furniture: Kathleen Deery Design

Dinner: Presidio Social Club
Cake: Perfect Endings
Dessert buffet: Perfect Endings
Dessert buffet details: PS Paper
Gelato bike: Noci Gelato

String trio: Lawrence Strings
Boys’ choir: Golden Gate Boys’ Choir and Bell Ringers
Band: Jazz Mafia
Vocals: Crystal Monee Hall
Professional sound: Delicate Productions

Photo booth: Magnolia Photo Booth
Custom booth curtain, guest book: PS Paper

Valet: Soiree Valet
Shuttle: Bauer’s Transportation
Vintage cab: Marin Checker Taxi, 415-789-5356


to see more of this lovely wedding go to….




a little more sweetness...

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“I want a little sugar
in my bowl
I want a little sweetness
down in my soul
I could stand some lovin’
Oh so bad
I feel so funny and I feel so sad

I want a little steam
on my clothes
Maybe I can fix things up
so they’ll go
Whatsa matter Daddy
Come on, save my soul
I need some sugar in my bowl
I ain’t foolin’
I want some sugar in my bowl”



a little more sweetness...

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