I exclusively use prime lenses for weddings. I shoot them all with a fairly low aperture, which lets in the most light and gives an artistic blur to the background. I also use two bodies throughout the day, with a different lens on each — usually 1 wide-angle and 1 telephoto. I switch the combinations throughout the day depending on the setting & lighting. This combination creates a beautiful range of shots and unique perspectives.
One of my biggest priorities is to be organized and relaxed on your big day. I want your wedding to be as awesome as possible, and I want to do everything I can to help. I chat with couples fairly extensively before the wedding to go over the schedule & all of the individual details. On your wedding day, I am photojournalistic during the “action” scenes. For the portraits, I always help pose everyone so they look their best. Throughout the day, I photograph all of the big moments AND all of the intimate ones. Candid shots are my favorite!
Generally, there are 2 main types of wedding photography: bright & airy and dark & moody. I don’t wholly identify with either, but my work definitely shares qualities with both. I describe it as punchy, polished, and true-to-life. It’s vibrant and timeless with clean skin tones. I love an earthy vibe with rich greens for nature sessions and a warm romantic tone for indoor & nighttime photos. I also absolutely love soft natural light, especially at sunset! Regardless of the lighting, my style is full of contrast and balanced composition.
There are nearly endless options here in Los Angeles & Southern California! In the city, spots in Hollywood and Downtown are particularly fun to photograph. I also LOVE the beach, and any venue with an ocean view is sure to be spectacular. Some of my favorite locations are in the rustic hills of Malibu, Moorpark, and Simi Valley. I photograph weddings at many outdoor venues, but I also love the ambiance & details of indoor spaces. Above all, I love color, candles, and flowers! Whimsical garden party, modern industrial glam, and classic soft romantic are my favorite themes.
Whether you’re planning an intimate elopement or grand soirée, I photograph all wedding types & sizes. From a courthouse civil ceremony to a backyard bbq to a fabulous restaurant to an enchanted outdoor venue, I equally love all of them! Perhaps you’re thinking of eloping and taking some epic photos in nature. That sounds like the exact type of adventure that I’d love to join you on!
I enthusiastically photograph all spiritual, religious, interfaith, non-denominational, and secular weddings. I am well-versed in many types of ceremonies… Over the years, I have photographed quite a variety! Some that I’m familiar with are: Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Islamic / Muslim, and Jewish (Orthodox & Reform).
I also enthusiastically photograph all cultural wedding traditions! Some that I’m familiar with are: Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Dutch, Filipino, Indian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latino, Lebanese, Mexican, Nigerian, Norwegian, Persian, Puerto Rican, Russian, Thai, and Vietnamese.
I’m a firm believer in planning well. When it comes to weddings, there are so many variables and so many moving parts! As a wedding photographer, I want to capture everything that is important to you. And for that, I like to discuss exactly what that is and how we can maximize all of our photos. A lot of it comes down to arranging each segment in the most efficient way possible. I’ve photographed MANY weddings, and I can definitely help you avoid some of the common pitfalls!
The details photos not only complement the rest of your photos but they also show off just how much work you put into everything. I love creating beautiful shots of your dress, jewelry, shoes, and accessories. I equally love photographing all of the flowers & your bouquet! And of course, there is the ceremony & reception space. I always make a point of taking photos of the decor, ambiance, and table settings.
Many couples question whether to do a First Look or not. There are many advantages to them, and it can be quite a stress reliever to do one! They let you take a huge chunk of portraits before the ceremony, which frees up cocktail hour for you. You can take extended family photos, sneak out for some romantic sunset bride & groom shots, or join all of your guests for some drinks & apps!
I highly suggest making a list of all of the family photos that you want to do. Those photos can get out of hand very quickly otherwise, as you’re going to be completely surrounded by loved ones throughout the day. When we have a list, we can organize the groups from largest to smallest and tell everyone when they will be needed beforehand. This all ties into what I mentioned about timelines above: with a concrete plan, we can make the most of the time!
Bride & Groom Photos
There are a few different times during the day to take your couples’ photos. The first is during the first look (if you decide to do one). Otherwise, it’s usually right after the ceremony. I like to look up the sunset time ahead of time so that we can plan the timeline accordingly — it’s nearly always worth it to sneak out for some golden hour photos! Another idea is to take some dramatic night photos during the reception. Those are some of my absolute favorites!
I always use natural light first, but sometimes there are difficult conditions to contend with. If it’s extremely bright outside, I will always seek out some nice even shade. That’s a common misconception about photography: super bright light is not always good! The general rule of thumb is that the closer to sunset = the better the light. Overcast days are fantastic because they are pretty soft & even throughout. Indoors and/or when it gets dark, I use a variety of on-camera and off-camera flash. I love to include as much of the atmosphere as possible!
By the time the reception starts, the timeline is generally run by the DJ. Everything usually flows pretty naturally: the grand entrance, the first dance, the toasts, and so forth. Many couples opt out of things like the bouquet / garter toss and other traditional components, but those are really fun to photograph! If it’s pretty dark, I’ll set up a few different flashes in the corners so that your photos are bright & vivid.
Throughout the day, I’ll help you pose in a natural & easygoing way. Towards the end of the evening, we can sneak out of the reception for one last set of photos of the newlyweds. For these, I always use dramatic lighting and a more editorial magazine style. These are some of my most favorite photos of the day: they’re super dreamy, artistic, and romantic!
Samantha Turchin is a creative Los Angeles wedding, portrait, and lifestyle photographer. Based in the San Fernando Valley, she specializes in elegant, classic, and artistic photography. With a vibrant, dreamy, and romantic aesthetic, she creates unique photos that are both modern and timeless. Engagement | Elopement | Maternity | Family