18 Weddings in 2018

Posted By Holly Castillo Photography on Monday 31st December 2018

As the year closes I'm reflecting on everything that's happened in 2018, especially in regards to my business. And two thoughts keep coming to mind:

1. I never in a million years expected to be on this path as of a few years ago.

2. This path is hard

I took my first photography class at 17. I loved it and never once considered it to be a career. I'm turning 27 next year (yikes) and I cannot believe how far I've come. From a Canon Rebel T3i to here, building a business and brand totally from scratch.  And it's been hard! I started this business and photographing weddings almost three years ago, and these past four months have been the roughest booking season I've had- even though I'm supposed to be growing! It's frustrating, it's overwhelming, and at times it feels like just the wrong path.

But looking back on these 18 weddings that I have shot (or edited) this past year, I feel pretty okay. Because at the end of it these images mean everything to me. To have been there for these couples on their wedding days, and captured these moments in time that mean everything.

On that note: This year has also been rough business wise because of my pregnancy! I went all through my entire wedding season being pregnant, and just getting bigger and grouchier. I have a GIANT thank you to give to my second shooters, and also to the amazing ladies who associate shot weddings for me that I couldn't physically attend. They are credited and loved below.

Last year I chose 27 images in 2017 to showcase, but I considered it a sign of having 18 weddings in 2018- so I present one of my favorite photos from each :) Thank you all for your support, for your encouragement, and for supporting a small business, a small family, and a dream.

Vicky and David literally had rain on their wedding day- like A LOT. Like, the biggest storm of the year. And it managed to clear just in time for this sweet ceremony and moment.

This Palm Springs wedding was hot. I'm talking upper 90's. But you'd never know from this sweet sunset kiss.

Hayley and Dylan's backyard wedding was held just down the street from me in Simi Valley! We were able to head to a golf course nearby for some golden hour portraits and then come back for this fun reception.

Talyssa and Ian were married in a traditional Catholic Mass. At one point they were asked to turn to face their guests and see all the people supporting them. That smile can't be beat.

Lauren and Amber were married at the RedBird Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. We stopped to take this photo right before they headed in to their intimate ceremony on the balcony!

Amanda and Anthony are self described introverts, but you'd never know from this photo at their wedding at Reptacular Ranch! Also, who knew wood logs would make such an incredible backdrop for wedding photos?

I traveled all the way to Denver, Colorado for Annie and Dustin's wedding at the Denver Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Although no photographs were taken of the ceremony, this joy in coming out of the temple for the first time as husband and wife more than captures the love of the day.

I attended the Bridal Show at Los Robles Greens in Thousand Oaks back in February, where I met these sweethearts Jennifer and Chris. I was able to photograph their summer wedding at one of my new favorite venues- and that summer sunset did NOT disappoint. 

Mackenzie is a lifelong friend of mine, and I was so honored she asked me to photograph her wedding this past August! Her and Caleb are truly a match made in heaven, and they were married at the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

One of my most fun wedding experiences this year was photographing Tayler and Mike's brunch wedding on a Hornblower Cruise in Marina Del Ray! It was a beautiful day, and although I got majorly sunburned (my bad for forgetting sunscreen), that view made it all worthwhile.

I honestly had a hard time choosing just one photo from Jenna and Ivan's summer wedding at Gerry Ranch in Camarillo. HOLY GOODNESS they were gorgeous, and everything was perfection- but this custom crucifix that the couple rented for this photo op really stood out to me as special for showcasing their taste and their faith.

First associate shooter shout out goes to my amazing friend Isabella Griffith at https://isabellagriffith.co/ who kicked butt at shooting this wedding for me at the Holding Co. in Los Angeles when I could not. She did such an incredible job and I loved this sassy photo the most. Shot by Isabella, edited by me.

There is more to weddings than formal portraits, although us wedding photographers sometimes hate to admit it since those are the most fun :) But honestly, this moment was pretty times freaking fun too. Melissa and Kevin were married at a Danish lodge, and celebrated a lively toast after their ceremony with friends and family. Sometimes candid moments honestly turn out the best.

Seonna and Paul's wedding at The Line Hotel in Koreatown was intimate, lively, and perfect. I think everything can be summed up from their day in just this one photo.

My second associate shooter shoutout goes to Natalie Alvarado of  https://www.n10studios.com/ She also stepped up the plate when I needed help this season and was amazing. Natalie (bride) and Andy were married at Madera Kitchen in Hollywood, and although I was so bummed I couldn't be there personally- I could live vicariously through these photos. Look at that incredible ceremony backdrop!

Brianna and Conrad's wedding really gave me a great appreciation for black and white photography, which is why I'm including this as my chosen photo. I don't know why, but sometimes I overlook the impact that black and white images have while I'm editing. I started experimenting more with it for this wedding because there were so many simple powerful moments that seemed to be so much better in black and white. I'm hoping to incorporate some more into my work next year!

It's an awesome feeling to be able to shoot your high school's friends wedding. Cassie and I were friends back in 2009 in high school, we ate lunch together everyday. And to be able to watch her and her love tie the knot, and then photograph them in this incredible garden at The Ranch House in Ojai? Couldn't be better.

My last wedding of 2018 was shot just about three weeks ago at The 1909 in Los Angeles. I'm still in the process of editing, but I have some gems already done, including this. The 1909 is incredible- with my favorite part honestly being this ceremony space. There are so many levels allowing these vantage points of the ceremony and it's just amazing.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: I wanted to give a special shout out to my friend Sica von Medicus of vonmedicusphotography.com who helped me out so much this season by being a rockstar second shooter as I got more and more pregnant. She took this incredible photo at Brianna and Conrad's wedding, and I really wanted to feature it here. I loved her vantage point so much, and it was another photo that I thought really was screaming to be put into black and white. 

I'm so grateful for the growth and couple's this year has brought to me. I'll be taking a bit of a step back in 2019 from everything as I plan on soaking up all the time I can with my son (coming in just a couple weeks!), but I'll be here still on this amazing, challenging, and totally unexpected path.

Bring on 2019!

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