For those who don’t know, I have been a high school Physics teacher for the past 5 years.  I LOVED working with underprivileged students in the inner city.  I have fond memories of these past 5 years – the good and the bad.  Not only have I worked with some of the most amazing colleagues (and now friends), but I have worked with some of the most amazing students as well.  I have seen at-risk kids change for the better.  I have seen many students through significant milestones – graduating high school, first in the family to go to college… some have even graduated from college!  …which makes them more like a peer now!  weird.  I’m so proud of them!  I have even seen several students have a baby (or 2), and I have even lived through the deaths of 2 of my former students (RIP Freddy & Chico).  My favorite part of teaching was the life lasting relationship and impact I get to make.

I feel extremely lucky that I was able to find 2 jobs that I absolutely love, so it was a difficult choice to give one up.  I decided to take the next few years off from teaching and focus on myself and my art.  Today is the graduation day of my last class.  It’s a bittersweet goodbye for me.  These kids really impact my life and I will miss my daily interaction with them & the other teachers.  However, I am also really excited to have more time to devote to my art and myself.  Many people have asked how have I been able to balance these 2 full time jobs, and to be honest, it has been at the sacrifice of myself.  I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my family, working out, cleaning the house, etc.  I love being a wedding photographer because I still get to build those lifelong relationships.  Perhaps in a few years, I can even start mentoring or something.

This year, I got to photograph the marriage of two of my students.  I feel like this was symbolic and the perfect marriage between my 2 jobs.  Because of the sentimental and personal ties, this was the most beautiful wedding to me; however, it was also the lowest budget wedding I have ever shot.  Anyone want to take a guess at how much this entire wedding cost?  I’ll reveal at the end.  🙂  Kevin & Gisel were both my Physics students.

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

Gerber from Florentynas did a beautiful job on the flowers!!  All 4 boys on the right came early to help Gerber set up the flowers.  It was so cute watching them arrange flowers!

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

They got married at Griffith Park.  A public park is such a great place to have a wedding when the budget is tight.  This facility rental was only $300!

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

I thought the pink & orange Gerber daisies were perfect for this spring time celebration.  Gerber did such a great job designing these flowers!  They were simple enough for my students to help arrange, but had such great presence.  Great design, Gerber!!  He not only did an amazing job designing the arrangements, but really kept the cost at a minimal.

los angeles wedding

The two groomsmen next to Kevin were also my students.

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

los angeles wedding

Congrats Kevin & Gisel.  I hope the rest of your life is filled with laughter like in that last photo.

So are you itching to know the cost of this entire production?   Keep in mind that Gerber donated his time, so Kevin & Gisel only paid for the cost of flowers (amazing what good design can do, right?), and I, of course, donated my time as they are my very first students to get married.  They had a reception for 100 guest too but I was unable to stay for that.  …so wedding for 100 guest costed them… just over $4k.  How awesome is that!

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