Why We Became Wedding Photographers

Today I’m getting personal. While the house is silent of daily chaos, I’m reminiscing on the story I share with our new couples, and my heart aches with each keyboard click. Most of you know me only as a wedding photographer, not the twenty-year old with a toddler almost two decades ago planning her own wedding. Back when I knew nothing about the wedding industry and didn’t even own a camera. I was the black sheep of the family. The first grandchild, the one everyone had dreamed would go to college, ended up graduating high school six months pregnant and working at a grocery store. I have to admit, life wasn’t easy. At times, it was really tough. But would I go back and change a thing? Not a chance. It formed me into the strong woman I am today (even though I’m typing this through tears). With that little one growing in my belly, this time in life would transform our lives and open up doors to a career we never even know existed.

I was the first of my friends to be getting married. I had never been a bridesmaid, I had actually never even been to a wedding. All I knew is I had the most amazing man in my life, who had put a ring on my finger, and asked to spend an eternity with me. That’s all that mattered. So where does a bride-to-be that knows nothing about wedding planning start? A bridal show of course! I was pinned with the “Bride” sticker and walked that show with a hop in my step and an act like I knew everything. Chaz and I walked the floor hand-in-hand sampling cakes, smelling flowers, and planning our dream honeymoon. Any wedding planning nerves were gone and we were confident we could book all our wedding vendors in one spot.

We came across a photographer who had these huge canvases hung all over his backdrop with special lights pointed in every which direction. In our mind at the time, he must be amazing, right? He’s at a bridal show, he has three great photos hung up, and a sample wedding album. Plus, if we hire him on the spot, we get a discount. We just have to hire him! And we did. Oh boy, I pause here for a moment shaking my head, just wondering what were we thinking. But we didn’t know any better.

We met him at his day job office during his break. He sounded professional and we had our engagement session. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. The wedding day had arrived and we were SO excited! He was the only one who knew after our vows of the grand exit we’d planned. We’re mountain bikers. Like a true die-heart mountain biking family, so our exit was us to ride away on a tandem bicycle. It was perfect. We had practiced, just without me in my dress. Image this… I’m in a huge puffy dress, sidesaddle, on grass, plus we have to make a turn. This was our big moment and it went PERFECT! Everyone stood and hooray’d as we rode away. That moment will be etched in my mind forever.

Why We Became Wedding Photographers

Months and months after the wedding we kept getting the run around about when we would receive our wedding photos. He wouldn’t respond to emails or phone calls. We actually went by his office that we had met with him at before, which was now empty. Our hearts sank. Where was this “professional” we though we had hired. This man who held all the photo memories of our wedding day was gone. Just like that. I think in our minds, we had wrapped around the thought we just weren’t getting any of wedding images. There was nothing else we could really do. Then one day about six months after the wedding, we receive a call from my mother-in-law that we had received a package. Her home was where I had gotten ready on our wedding day, so the photographer had been there before. We opened the box to find two small white albums filled with proof size prints. I just started crying. Our wedding images were in our hands. We shuffled quickly to our tandem bike getaway to find not one single image of in the book. I can’t tell you exactly what the note in the box said, but it ended with “I’m sorry the roll of film with your bike ride was lost.” That moment it was heartbreaking.Why We Became Wedding Photographers

After we shared this story with our best man and his wife, she mentioned she had taken a few photos while in the audience of our getaway and would give us the photos once developed. To our surprise, she captured THE image we to this day have HUGELY framed above our bed. This one single image, with my mother-in-law with three year old Rachel cheering us on in the corner, is what I want to be past down from generations to come. This is the one moment I want to be remembered. We had just pledged our love to each other in front of all our family and friends. From that day, we’ve traveled all over the country with our bikes in tow. We call it, our life cycles.

Now you know where I come from, and what our wedding photography experience was. We know what it’s like to be on the other end and that’s why we do what we do. Photography to us isn’t just about snapping pictures, anyone can do that. It’s about a friendship we have with each and every one of our couples, and our promise to serve them exactly as we would have wanted to be served. We go over and beyond for our couples, because we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why We Became Wedding Photographers


Dessert Bar vs. Wedding Cakes

Recently one of our most common asked question from our brides is “Do we really need a wedding cake?.” It’s becoming more of a trend not have the traditional multi-layer wedding cake which would feed everyone, to a more petite cake. One for the couple to cut (and pictures of course!), and a layer to save for their first anniversary. One reason for this change is the hidden cake cutting fees most people don’t know about until planning a wedding. And boy can they get expensive!

A great alternative is a dessert bar and much more cost efficient. Plus the guests are loving this new change! With different tastes, diets, allergies, and especially these days gluten free desserts needed, a dessert bar is a welcomed new twist on tradition. We’ve seen dessert bars with a spray of pies, cookies, macaroons, cake pops, an assortment of candies, and one of our favorites… monogrammed cookies. If you’re wanting to add this new twist to your wedding, or possibly offering both, Room for Dessert in Monterey is a FABULOUS place to start! Tammy offers hundreds of options and hands down has best most delicious desserts we’ve ever tasted!

We still love having a traditional wedding cake. I mean who doesn’t like cake, right? These are just some food for thought (pun intended!).

Do You Really Need A Wedding Cake? | Laura Hernandez PhotographyDo You Really Need A Wedding Cake? | Laura Hernandez PhotographyDo You Really Need A Wedding Cake? | Laura Hernandez Photography

Do You Really Need A Wedding Cake? | Laura Hernandez PhotographyDo You Really Need A Wedding Cake? | Laura Hernandez PhotographyDo You Really Need A Wedding Cake? | Laura Hernandez PhotographyDo You Really Need A Wedding Cake? | Laura Hernandez PhotographyDessert Bar vs. Wedding CakesDessert Bar vs. Wedding Cakes

Dessert Bar vs. Wedding CakesDessert Bar vs. Wedding Cakes

5 Reasons to Choose a First Look

I’m not sure when First Looks became acceptable, but it was unheard of when we were planning our wedding. Gosh, now that made me feel old! But in all seriousness, maybe it was superstition, or just tradition, but a bride just didn’t see the groom before the ceremony. Period. I think every girl’s dream is for her groom to be so surprised and overcome with joy when she walks down the aisle and sees her for the first time. It’s that reaction we’ve waited our entire life for, right? And if he cries… bonus!

Fast forward nearly 15 years and now we’re wedding photographers. I think we’ve seen just about everything that can happen! Emotions run high and everyone knows they can be a bit stressful. Girls running every which way for finishing touches as the groomsmen try to figure out what side to pin the boutonnieres. We are by their side every moment, through chaos, and the quiet. Sometimes we’re the ones just reminding them to breathe.

We have learned a first look is an amazing part of your wedding day! If you aren’t sure about this new tradition, we want to explain to you why it would be a romantic addition to your wedding day celebration that not only adds to the experience but also reduces stress. Imagine the groom standing in front of the church with hundreds of eyes all on him, waiting for his reaction when he sees his bride. That would make anyone nervous! Now imagine you’re in a private secluded place, with no people, no distractions, and you let his beautiful bride walk up to him and gently tap his shoulder. He slowly turns around and gets his first look at his gorgeous bride. Not only does he get to see her, he can embrace her, cry with her, kiss her, and pray with her. It’s magical!

First Look | Why to us it

They are alone. Without a first look this would never happen on a wedding day! We watch as couples just melt into each other with a slow natural transition right into romantic portraits. There’s no pressure, no timeline, just enjoyment. Look at some of our favorite heartfelt reactions…

First Look | Why to us it

This one grabs at my heart strings every time!

First Look | Why to us itFirst Look | Why to us it

Here are our top 5 reasons to do a first look on your wedding day:


A first look adds so much valuable time to your wedding day. Intimate time together alone, time with your bridal party best friends, and time to just relax and enjoy your wedding day.


To most of our brides, photography is at the top of their priority list. With a first look, you will receive up to 40% MORE portraits of the two of you. It’s the way to make the most out of your large investment.

Additional Hours

Normally on a wedding day after the ceremony you rush though family and bridal party photos, have a little time left for husband and wife portraits, before you’re hurried back to be announced into the reception, and you’ve completely missed mingling during cocktail hour. With a first look your wedding day is extended by nearly 3 hours!

Wedding Party

With a first look, this allows allows A LOT more time to be spent with your bridal party. With so much additional time, the bride is able to touch up makeup while we capture the guys. Then the bridal party portraits begin and are FUN!

Stress Reveler

The anxiety of a wedding day simply diminish when you lay eyes on your soon-to-be spouse. You have time to reflect and prepare. The nerves you have walking down the aisle turn to excitement and joy.

Now that we’ve explained our heart and why we believe first looks are so important, we understand they are not for everyone. This is just our opinion and what we believe would benefit our clients. Another fun twist if you want to wait to see each other for the first time while walking down the aisle, a daddy daughter first look. Look at this reaction of his baby as a bride! Priceless.

First Look | Why to us it