• Brian + Kristen

There are some days when I really can’t believe that this is my job. This past Saturday was one of those days. People say that when you love what you do, it never feels like work. Well, after a LONG day of shooting my feet would disagree with that statement. It’s hard work shooting a wedding but it’s so rewarding. I get the privilege of photographing amazing couples and gaining new friendships in the process.  Brian and Kristen are amazing to work with and their wedding left me incredibly thankful for my career.  As I scouted out locations for portraits on the beaches of Santa Monica, California, I was beyond excited… but also nervous. When I shoot destination weddings I want them to be EXTRA special. These portraits

needed to show off this amazing location and so my expectations were so high. I put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to shooting weddings but I’m happy to say that in most cases, that pressure always ends up being a good thing!! The pressure for this wedding was that I wanted it to look and feel like California! I mean, what’s the fun in shooting a destination wedding on the pacific coast if it looks the same as all of my other weddings? This one needed to be a little extra awesome!


Well I’m happy to announce that this wedding was BEYOND awesome. It was absolutely beautiful from beginning to end. I have been excited to work with Brian and Kristen ever since their engagement session in Washington DC last year! They are such a fun, genuine couple. They’re the type of people that everyone just enjoys being around…. and that couldn’t have been more obvious at their reception. The GORGEOUS ballroom at Hotel Casa Del Mar was overflowing with friends and family from all over the country. Brian and Kristen live in Washington DC but Kristen grew up in southern California and so friends came from every direction. The tables were covered in long stemmed lilies and floating candles.  The band was amazing and the shimmering sequenced tablecloths made everything extra magical.   As the night started to come to an end, Rebekah (my second shooter for the weekend and past bride!) looked at me and said “Californians sure do know how to party!”…. and I couldn’t agree more! Brian and Kristen’s guests danced the night away!! Young and old, they filled the dance floor the entire time! The whole day was an beautiful celebration and I’m so honored that I could be a part of it.


Brian and Kristen, THANK YOU for allowing me to celebrate alongside of you and capture your day! And thank you for bringing this southern Virginia gal to LA!!! Wow! I’m now a huge fan of California weddings!! You guys don’t mess around!! I hope Turks and Caico’s is amazing (how could it not be?!) and I’m so excited for you to relive your wedding day through my images when you return!! Congratulations to the Mr. & Mrs.!!!!


Bridesmaid’s first look at the bride! Love this.

Nice work guys! They were one of the most cooperative group of groomsmen I’ve ever worked with! So thankful… there were a lot of them!

First Look overlooking the valley! So beautiful!

Thanks Rebekah for this beautiful shot!! Love it!

I’d say he likes the dress:)


They’re such a photogenic couple… we took these in a matter of 10 minutes!

Fierce!! Girl you rock the model face!

 Then their beautiful get away car was just sitting in the parking lot… so of course we took advantage of it!

New favorite… like ALL time favorite. I love this.


Beautiful colors!!


Ohh California I love you!

I could get used to this….

Hotel Casa Del Mar! Beautiful venue!


How beautiful is this?!

Late night “snacks”!


Reception | Hotel Casa Del Mar, Santa Monica, California

Ceremony | Bel Air Presbyterian

Dress | Designer: Rosa Clara , Place of Purchase: White Dress Shop 

Floral and Event Design | Ed Libby Events 

Wedding Planner | Alicia Townsend, Details Details

Hair & Makeup | Lips and Locks

Entertainment | West Coast Music

Videographer | Julie Hill , Elysium Productions

Cake |  Vanilla Bakeshop

Catering | Shutters on the Beach

Bridesmaids | Amsale from Hitched Salon (Washington DC)

Groomsmen | Vera Wang Tuxes

Invitations | Rock Paper Scissors Design

Favors | Cookies: Charger Helmet, St. Louis Cardinals, Northwestern Wildcats

Honeymoon | Turks & Caicos

** A HUGE HUGE Thank you to Rebekah Hoyt for helping me and second shooting alongside of me! I couldn’t have done it without her!! **

xoxo, Katelyn
48 Comments Weddings
  1. Rebekah Hoyt reply

    Oh, Katelyn! These are just stunning. So so stunning. Matt and I are sitting here gasping at every other picture! You really out-did yourself and you should be so proud. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL work! I can’t wait to see one of these on a canvas in your office!!

  2. katie reply

    you did a fabulous fabulous job!!!!!! It looks like an incredibly good time and an amazing wedding.. so happy for Brian & Kristen!

  3. Meredith Sledge reply

    Oh my gosh, Katelyn!!! These are killer. Your photography always puts me in this state of awe!!! These are just incredible, though. WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW.

  4. Annetta reply

    You did a wonderful job, Katelyn.

  5. Annetta reply

    You did a wonderful job, Katelyn!

  6. molly reply

    I AM SPEECHLESS. holy moly katelyn these are gorgeous!!!!!!!

  7. Abby Grace reply

    Oh Katelyn, you’ve outdone yourself! These are STUNNING. I can’t wait to see them featured on the front page of some super awesome, high-end blog!!

  8. Mandy reply

    Ummm WOOOW these are fabulous, KK! I loved all of them, and I am so impressed with all of the money pics you got! What a beautiful couple and what a stunning array of flowers, sequins, and palm trees! This is a favorite for sure! :)

  9. Michael reply

    I am so sad I did not get to go to this wedding!!! This is AMAZING! Thanks Rebekah for keeping my wife safe and helping her out! Brian and Kristen thanks so much for being awesome and letting Katelyn be a part of your special day!!! *New Favorite Wedding*

  10. Tori reply

    holy SMOKES, katelyn! every single image is beyond STUNNING! what a beautiful wedding!! and way to capture it perfectly!

  11. Carrie Logan reply

    sitting here TRYING to think of words to define my reaction to these images… there are so many words, but so few do it justice and isn’t even coming through for me!! ;) BEYOND proud of you!! look at you go!

  12. Shauna reply

    Tori is right. Holy smokes. I think this is my most favorite wedding of yours yet. Beautiful!!

  13. Catie reply

    my FAVORITE wedding yet!!!! :D

  14. Ashley Link reply

    WOW! these are all so glamorous! this must have been so much fun!!! one of my favorite shots was of the bride at the beginning walking down the stairs. i love the faint shadows in the background. such a wonderful job! livin’ the dream! :)

  15. Janelle Chung reply

    This is definitely my favorite wedding of yours! Everything about it look so FLAWLESS!!!! Great job Katelyn!!!

  16. Ashley Link reply

    oh and i must say, they know how to party it up! i was drooling over the reception shots. everything looked gorgeous!

  17. mari reply

    Katelyn, this is simply AMAZING!!!! I love every single shot you took!!!!!!! Gorgeous! You are an amazing photographer and story teller!

  18. Emy reply

    LOVE IT ALL!!! What a gorgeous wedding! You did a wonderful job capturing their day… you’re awesome!

  19. Samantha reply

    Beautiful work, Katelyn! These are all stunning! xoxo

  20. Elizabeth reply

    Very nice!!! I love the one shot with them under the tree…money shot!! I can see this spread in a magazine honestly speaking….good job!!

  21. Girish reply

    One word – Awesome :)
    I love the new big vertical ones that you post, crazilly good. Super work.

  22. Regan reply

    Oh my word. This was insanely gorgeous!!! I can’t even choose a favorite – they’re all too amazing!! You are such an inspiration!! Wonderful work once again! :)

  23. Jamie reply

    Wow… she is SO beautiful. The light in this wedding is fantabulous!! Great wedding and wonderful photography!!

  24. Gail reply

    Seriously STUNNING. You outdid yourself with this one, girl!

  25. Kristyn Hogan reply

    Beautiful work!

  26. Emilia Jane reply

    Katelyn. This is quite possibly my favorite wedding you’ve ever done. Just wow.

  27. Megan reply

    Love them ALL but the overhead one of them walking down the aisle is defs a favourite!!

  28. Angie reply

    Wow!! What a fabulous wedding! Absolutely beautiful Images!!

  29. Alicia reply

    WOW!! These images are amazing!!

  30. Stephanie Stewart reply

    WOOOOOW! Absolutely stunning, Katelyn! I’d say you definitely captured the location and this couple and their amazing day! STUNNING!

  31. Elizabeth reply

    Wow. I absolutely LOVE this wedding!!! Pretty sure this is my all-time favorite wedding of yours!!!! Incredible!!!! Fabulous job, Katelyn!

  32. Laura McG reply

    Those palm trees? Cash money. I hung a hammock up there last summer. =)

  33. Tamara reply

    Another stunning wedding. Katelyn James… you are amazzzzing with that camera!!!

  34. Evie Perez reply

    Katelyn! There are just so dang Good!!! I love them and can tell you captured this wedding different than any other wedding!! Look good girl. I was wondering if you could go talk in detail about shooting in direct sunlight while on the beach.


  35. Brenda reply

    Katelyn, what an amazing wedding! and your work is absolutely beautiful! Can’t pick a favorite, but I do love all of the car shots.

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  38. lori reply

    ohmygosh!!!! you were at my old church!!! weird small little world. i taught sunday school up there for years. :) rotten view, wasn’t it?!

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  46. Charlie Films reply

    Amazing pictures especially the black and white!

  47. Charlie Films reply

    Lovely pictures I love it!

  48. Charlie Films reply

    Stunning pictures absolutely gorgeous!

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