Details matter. That's one of the reasons - besides the spectacular setting - I recently spoke at La Fleur's Weddings & Events Photography Workshop, organized by event fairy Jill La Fleur at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in sunny California.

Jill invited top industry professionals, including lensman and author Jose Villa, Abby Larson of the inspiration-filled wedding site Style Me Pretty, and Robyn I'aea, editor-in-chief of Pacific Weddings magazine, to talk to the photographers in attendance about our different specialties. When it was my turn, I spoke about how to build a successful brand and market oneself, a subject I know much about through the Ceci ID side of my business. But I also gave my two cents on event photography. I wanted the attendees to understand how important it is for them to capture all the aspects of a great party - everything from the invites to the escort cards to the table settings. Think about it: pictures of your friends and family are essential, but snapshots of the invitations and decor fill in the gaps and capture the day like nothing else.

At the tail end of the workshop, all of the photographers got to practice their skills on an imagined wedding set in the inn's herb garden. Naturally, I designed the invitations and paper details on the table, while Jill brought her unique brand of romantic-but-natural style using materials like crochet and burlap. You'll find the dreamy results, below. If you like what you see, you can get my version of the look, below, or read on for photography advice from the endlessly talented Jose Villa. As always, I want to make sure everything you need to make your dreams come true is within reach.


Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York - SUNNY DAYS: Ceci enjoys a happy moment on the lush grounds of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Venue shot by Jose Villa Photography.