Photography Interview for Las Cruces Bulletin's Perfect Southwest Weddings


Avra Elliott asked me a few questions for her article on wedding photography in the 2018 Perfect Southwest Weddings magazine from the Las Cruces Bulletin. You can read the article on page 20 of the guide. I thought it might be helpful to post my full answers to her questions. I always like being asked about wedding photography. It's a topic I can talk on and on about. 

Have you noticed any new trends in how couples are choosing to record and preserve memories of their wedding day or the events leading up to it?

Showing off the proposal is super popular right now and more and more couples are choosing to photograph their proposals. There are even websites (like and Instagram accounts who exclusively feature proposal moments. This means whoever is popping the question has a little more planning to do to make sure the moment is “picture perfect”.

Another trend gaining popularity among brides is a “First Look” with their father. The “First Look” between bride and groom has been a popular option for several years but many brides still want the electrifying experience of their groom seeing them for the first time as they walk down the aisle. The daddy daughter spin-off of the First Look gives brides that special “Wow!” moment with the man who “loved her first”. As a photographer, I love this idea, because I can capture emotionally rich and even tear filled moments of the bride and her father.

More than ever, brides and grooms are looking for photo products that don’t make them feel bad about their production. The “Guilt Free” movement focuses on supporting fair labor practices in your purchasing decisions. Brides and grooms are looking for locally made items, like frames and albums made in the USA instead of countries with unknown labor standards.


Do you have any tips for couples on how to choose a photographer and the correct package for their wedding?

First, make sure you love their photos and second, make sure they know how to photograph a wedding. Creating a handful of beautiful photos at a wedding is easy when you take a 1000 photos, but it takes experience to create hundreds of beautiful photos on a wedding day. You can’t redo your wedding photos.


Look for packages that include plenty of coverage time on your wedding day. From getting ready photos to a sparkler send off from the reception, you will want your photographer there for all the important events.


What is your personal goal or favorite moments when photographing a wedding?

When I photograph a wedding my goal is to create artistic and authentic photos that will help the couple remember the biggest moments and the smallest details of their wedding.

Weddings are full of emotional moments and each wedding has its own personality and dynamic so it is hard to pick a favorite one size fits all moment. But if I had to, I would say my favorite moment is when the bride and groom walk down the aisle as husband and wife. The expressions and smiles on the bride and groom’s faces are so genuine and unguardedly joyful that this shot always makes my top 10 from any wedding.

2018 Southern New Mexico Wedding Expo


We are so excited for this weekend! Come join us for an afternoon full of wedding planning fun. We will have a booth full of our gorgeous canvases, frames, and albums featuring our signature style of wedding photography for you to browse and enjoy. The Southern New Mexico Wedding Expo is this Sunday, February 25th at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces from 12pm-4pm. This is the perfect event to meet the area's top wedding professionals and get plenty of wedding ideas. Stop by our booth and say hi!! 

Perfect Southwest Weddings

Guess what? Matt and Lorena are on the cover of the 2018 Perfect Southwest Weddings magazine from the Las Cruces Bulletin! 


Throughout the wedding guide our wedding photography is featured alongside articles full of wedding planning advice and ideas. I thought it would be fun to post the photos that are published in the magazine with some behind the scenes details.

Madeleine and Colt were married in scenic Ruidoso. They are both from Texas and planned a destination wedding that included their families and closest friends. Their wedding was simple and intimate with touches of elegance like the fur stole Madeleine wore for keep warm. After the church ceremony they held a wedding dinner and reception in a large vacation rental home. Family photos, white rose petals, and string lights were easy and stress free reception decor. 

Celina loves the fall season so we made sure to schedule her engagement portrait session when the pecan tree leaves were changing colors. She included a chalkboard sign with her and Jammal’s wedding date and then used her engagement photos in their Save the Date cards.

Celina’s wedding dress is from David’s Bridal. As a sweet gift to her father, Celina had a heart patch embroidered with a special message which she then attached to her dad’s tie. As a mom of two daughters, these daddy daughter moments at weddings always get me. 

Jammal and Celina were married in the courtyard patio of the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum by Pastor Conrad from Living Waters church. It was a perfect sunny afternoon with a gorgeous view of the Organ Mountains. 

I think Celina was ahead of this year’s Pantone color trend. She used shades of purple in her bouquet which was created by Fiesta Flowers. Wedding day coordination and planning was assisted by Elegant Events.

Benny and Melanie were married at Sonoma Ranch Golf Course on a warm summer day in August. I love summer skies. For me, nothing beats a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds. The covered patio at the clubhouse made the perfect dance floor for the rest of the evening. 

Lorena and Matt also used purple as one of their wedding colors. Since they were planning a wedding for October they used oranges and maroons as accent colors. Look at all those deep lovely colors in Lorena’s bouquet from Barb’s Flowerland. Stunning!

Nate and I always highly suggest sunset photos to our clients. If you plan ahead it’s easy to sneak away from the wedding reception for a few moments. The garden patio area of the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces looks incredible at night. If I didn’t know better I could be fooled into thinking we were miles away at an island resort. And look how well those sunset colors complement Lorena and Matt’s wedding colors?!

Garett and Gabrielle were married in one of the region’s most historic churches, the Basilica of San Albino on the Mesilla Plaza. Their getaway car was a vintage Porsche owned by Garett’s dad that was brought out of the garage for just this occasion. Jewel toned floral goodness and shotgun cased boutinerries was created by Calhoun Flower Farms. I have seen bridesmaids have matching hairstyles before but never groomsmen. The beards are a nice touch, well done gentlemen. 

Thankfully Garett and Gabrielle were up for more photos when sunset time rolled around. Big thanks to Garett’s brother and best man for holding my light and assisting me! Garett and Gabrielle held their reception at the Grapevine Plaza. Gabrielle and her bridesmaids had their hair and make up done by The Fixx Salon


Desiree had one of the most unique dresses I saw in 2017. Those flower details are so beautiful and she looked amazing on her wedding day! Before we wrapped up photography for the night, Nate convinced Desiree and Lucio to take one more photo. Nate loves photographing at night and he clearly had a vision in mind when he set up this photo. I think this photo of Desiree and Lucio, at the end of their wedding day, in the empty courtyard where they were married just a few hours prior will always carry a deep level of sentimentally with it. 

Dalina and Tony's summer wedding was very detail oriented. Which makes complete sense when you know Dalina. She's an auditor and is comfortable in the thick of details, details, details. And these details had a purpose and told a story. For instance, the pearls Dalina wore were from Tony's late mother. Tony's boutonniere was adorned with a small photo of his mother, which was a special way to have her close. 

Dalina's hair was done by Meghan Avilucea from Salon de Mesilla and her make up was done by Laura Juarez. After the church ceremony, their wedding reception was held at the picturesque Rio Grande Winery in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Everything at the reception was beautifully and romantically decorated by A Catered Affair. Dalina and Tony's cake was made by Deliciously Creative Cakes. A side note about the cake: During the cocktail hour of the reception Nate and I were photographing all the reception decor and details. Winds were starting to pick up and the sky was deepening to a grayish, thunder-storm-coming color. We hastened our step to get the detail photos we need as quickly as possible. As I was photographing the cake, the storm showed up in full force. You can actually see how the mountains are blocked out by the dust in the picture of the cake.  The winds were so powerful that the whole cake started to move. AH! I grabbed onto the base to stable it and Dalina's uncle ran over and we both hauled that beautiful cake inside. Moments later the freak storm everyone talked about for the rest of the summer (known as a haboob, you learn something new everyday!) rolled through the reception. Luckily, Dalina and Tony were able to stay in good spirits as the venue and catering crew got to work putting things back together. Weddings in New Mexico, man, you never know what is going to happen!


Luis and Sabrina live in Germany. Sabrina is originally from the area and when Luis proposed they both knew they wanted to plan a wedding in the desert. Determined to do things their way and with no stress involved, they planned a very small, intimate wedding with just a handful of friends present. They were married by a judge on a small tucked away corner of Cattleman's Ranch in Fabens, Texas. For the traditional wedding toast they brought champagne that was made right in their hometown in Germany. Their wedding was featured on, click on over to read more about it and see more photos, like Sabrina's cacti bouquet!


Jennett and Armando also dealt with a little bit of weather during their summer wedding. Not the freak storm kind, but just enough to make a moody dark sky. Which I don't mind at all! Jennett's hair and make up was done by Brenda Tarango. Gorgeous bouquets were created by Barb's Flowerland. Details and coordinating by Elegant Events

I am so pleased that a few images from the Los Portales styled shoot were featured in the magazine. This was such a fun shoot to collaborate on with a ton of the area's most creative wedding vendors! You can read all about the details, there are a ton, on this blog post. Or see the wedding blogs this shoot has been featured on: The Glittery Bride and The Coordinated Bride

You can find a copy of the Las Cruces Bulletin's 2018 Perfect Southwest Weddings around stores in Las Cruces.

Thanks to all the wonderful wedding vendors who make these special moments even more special and of course thank you to the editorial staff at the Bulletin for featuring our wedding photography!

2018 Las Cruces Bridal Showcase


Come join us at the Las Cruces Bridal Showcase at the Las Cruces Convention Center on January 28th. It starts at 11am and ends at 4pm. This is a great way for you and your fiancé, maid of honor, bridesmaids, Mom, future Mother-in-Law, or any other friend or relative, to meet us in person, then go around the corner and eat some cake. Everybody wins. Both Elise and I will be at our booth waiting to meet you and hear all the details about your love story, and the wonderful struggle everyone refers to as “wedding planning”.

Not that you haven’t already seen several of our wedding videos on our YouTube channel already, but we will be playing some on display with a few of our favorite photos from 2017. So you can see what our canvases and framed giclée cotton prints look like up close and personal. We will also have some of our albums for you to touch, feel, and fall in love with. All “guilt free” made in the USA (I even know the guy who makes the frames!).

So mark it in your calendar, and don’t forget to stop by and say “Hi”, because we love that. And please note, if your fiancé doesn’t want to come it does not mean he doesn’t love you! But you should make him go anyway. 

How to Give an Amazing Wedding Toast


We have all been there, embarrassingly looking around the room, or sheepishly at the floor as some poor soul gives a train wreck of a speech on the wedding day. If you have just been asked to be a Maid of Honor or Best Man one of the duties of this coveted role is to give a wedding toast during the reception. Here are a few simple tips to give a great, not cringe-worthy, wedding toast.

Prepare in advance

Just like the legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “Failure to prepare, is preparing to fail.” This toast is a big deal, which is why your friend has trusted you with it in the first place. Honor that by putting in some time and work. Do not wait until the night before to start thinking about what you are going to say.


Don’t drink too much before you get the mic

Hopefully this is pretty self-explanatory.

Remember the purpose

This is not the time to tell embarrassing stories about the bride or groom. It’s a toast, NOT a roast. Your purpose is to congratulate, celebrate, and extend well wishes. So keep the wild stories of that one night for another time.


Speak to both the bride and groom

Whether your closer to the bride or the groom, make sure you give attention to both. The whole wedding day is about the two of them coming together and becoming one so make sure you address each of them. They’re in it together from here on out.


Forget about yourself

This moment is not about you, or about a performance. Once you let that sink in, you can free yourself from the pressure of being perfect and just speak from the heart. What an incredible moment for the couple and for your friendship, take it in and be in the moment. Look at your friends as you address them. Don’t read from your phone, you can do better than that.

You can do this!