documentary Wedding PHOTOGRAPHY


uncontrived photos

Eventually all of our memories are replaced by the photographs that remain. Let that sink in.


The real laughter, tears, and hugs with your loved ones on your wedding day are worth so much more than the cliché, contrived photos that dominate pinterest. So I glue my camera to my face to capture all the un-staged, unexpected and expected moments.


You'll get my honest, attentive perspective with photos that tell the real story about moments that matter. You won't be asked to fake laugh or force an unnatural pose. We will make beautiful and natural portraits, but I promise to not keep you too long from your party!

Let’s talk!

When I photograph a wedding, I show up wholeheartedly for YOU. Not for photo awards, not for instagram content or to get published. Yes, I have been fortunate to be published, to work with celebrity clients and to photograph hundreds of weddings-- but the best part of my work is delivering something meaningful that you will treasure always.


If you want your wedding reflected honestly and thoughtfully by a photographer who won't take over your day, then please reach out today.

explore my portfolio below using the arrow buttons!

What THE WEDDING INDUSTRY doesn't tell you

The wedding industry has trained people to want a predictable album with highly styled images depicting every decoration and accessory, accompanied by a batch of perfectly posed portraits and staged moments. Photographers easily spend a few hours styling and shooting these material details and endless portraits on a wedding day. Often, many of these photos are for the other vendors, or for hopes of being published.


Real and emotional moments are happening somewhere between loved ones while these detail shots and highly posed portraits are pored over. Time is ticking. The real moments go undocumented, and they will never happen again.

Why i'm not for everyone

If you want magazine style photos of all the decor, your shoes and accessories lined up, and your dress hanging from a tree, then we will probably not be a good fit. If you envision an album full of carefully posed portraits and stage moments, we will not be a good fit.


But, if you want unique, emotional photos that reflect an honest story of you and your loved ones, we might be a great fit.


My friend, I promise to prioritize photos of humans, to keep portraits simple and natural, and to never keep you too long from your party.

client love

"Melissa has been an absolute pleasure to work with on our wedding and engagement photos...I hate overly posed, artificial-looking wedding photos, and I could tell from Melissa's portfolio that she does not deal in cliches - instead, she has a knack for capturing real life and motion and emotion as it happens. In our engagement photos, she gave just enough direction to nudge us into feeling comfortable, and then she captured the true emotions of the moment. And dang, did she make us look good! The engagement session was perfect practice; on our wedding day, we already felt easy and comfortable with Melissa (which isn't hard, because she is kind and calm and lovely!). Melissa captured this day beautifully, and got the photos to us in record time. Looking at the photos, I feel just how I felt on my wedding day. Thank you!! We could not have asked for a better memory of our day."


-Kseniya, 2019 Client


Pricing for wedding and elopement photography begins in the 5-6K Range.


Want to know more? Send me a message today to receive my wedding collection guide and to see if I'm available on your date!

featured wedding blog posts:


Weddings / Santa Cruz Wedding Photography and Elopement Photography

As Seen In...

Santa Cruz Wedding Photographer / Big Sur Elopement Photographer / Big Sur Wedding Photographer / Carmel Wedding Photographer / California Intimate Wedding Photographer / Santa Cruz Wedding Photography