My dear friends James and Jess host incredible education opportunities for event photographers. Our relationship goes way back - Jess (before she met James) actually was the photographer for Taylor and my wedding! I had the honor of being James and Jess’ wedding planner, and throughout our years in the industry we have stayed close friends. It’s always so fun to collaborate with fellow artists and to celebrate our successes together.
The James and Jess Retreat was in February 2020 at the beautiful Hidden Oaks Ranch. This new venue on the Santa Barbara scene is so fun - the house has amazing accommodation options! It’s perfect for a wedding celebration or for your wedding party accommodations (rehearsal dinner, welcome drinks, etc.).
At the James and Jess retreat, I had the honor of speaking to the photographer attendees. The main focus of my session was to talk about being AUTHENTIC in what we do in our business. It was so fun to share my heart with so many passionate individuals - they had such amazing questions about collaborating with wedding planners, publication strategies, and business strategy. It was such a rewarding time - and I learned so much as well.
After I spoke, me and my team curated a styled shoot for the attendees to shoot. I created a woodland-inspired whimsical chuppah, table, and lounge (Thank you Tent Merchant for the rentals!). For the ceremony, we lined over 100 candles under the oak trees, surrounding a chuppah covered in greenery and white/green blooms. It was so beautiful, especially when the sunlight was streaming through the branches…pure magic!
We set a table with wood chairs, charcoal gray velvet linens, modern white china, and textured blooms and candles. The lounge area was a beautiful French-inspired collection from The Tent Merchant, which we surrounded with candles and flowers. Once the models were added into the space, it was all so beautiful! I love creating styled shoots in an educational setting - it’s so fun to be creative and have fun (without the intense pressure of a wedding day timeline, guest arrival, vendor management, etc.). I hope you enjoy some of the images from James and Jess from this memorable experience!
The Team that made it all happen...
Florals and Design: Tyler Speier Events
Floral Design Assistant: L + C Event Decor
Photographers: James and Jess
Videographer: B Studios
Venue: Hidden Oaks Ranch
Rentals: The Tent Merchant
Calligrapher: Jessica Yee Calligraphy
Linens: La Tavola Linen
Bridal Fashion: Lili Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Janice Ramos
Models: Casi McCarthy and Jimmy McCarthy