Derek Chad Photography: Blog en-us Derek Chad Photography | 2013-2023 (Derek Chad Photography) Fri, 17 Mar 2023 18:34:00 GMT Fri, 17 Mar 2023 18:34:00 GMT Jay & Dustin - Sprague Lake, Colorado - Rocky Mountain National Park JAY & DUSTIN

Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

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Wedding and Portrait Photographers International 2nd Half Competition 2018 | Derek Chad WPPI 2nd HALF COMPETITION 2018

WPPI 1st Half Results Are Here! WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) is an international photography competition. I have been submitting images for the past few years. There are three competitions each year, two of which are online, and one that is held in Las Vegas, Nevada called the Annual. Here are two images that won awards from the 2018 2nd Half Competition. I'm so excite to share these images! 

Silver with Distinction Award! 

My highest award yet! This is a long-exposure single-capture image. Which, basically just means one picture, one click, from my camera as you see it. I didn't add the images of the subject to the background, this is essentially similar to what it looked like in my camera when I took the photo, but that was in color. 

WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018


Silver Award!
WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018


Silver Award!

WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018

Silver Award!

WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018

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Wedding and Portrait Photographers International 1st Half Competition 2018 | Derek Chad WPPI 1ST HALF COMPETITION 2018

WPPI 1st Half Results Are Here! WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) is an international photography competition. I have been submitting images for the past few years. There are three competitions each year, two of which are online, and one that is held in Las Vegas, Nevada called the Annual. Here are two images that won awards from the 2018 1st Half Competition. I'm so excite to share these images! 

2nd Place!

This is my first time winning a trophy at WPPI! I am so excited and proud of this image. It really showcases my work and passion. 

WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018

Silver Award!

I couldn't be more proud of this photos because it features the two most important people in my life... my kids! I wanted to show my kids hanging out with their best friend (their twin!). I can't wait to hang this image up in my home. These two are identical twins and are super close. I'm so proud of the little humans they are and SUPER proud to be their Dad! 
WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018WPPI Second Half Competition - 2018

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Spring and Sandra - Laguna Beach, CA Wedding Photography | Long Beach Wedding Photography Spring & Sandra

Ceremony: Laguna Beach, CA | Reception: Long Beach, CA 

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Laney & Jodi - A Wedding in Laguna Beach, CA | Lesbian LGBT Same-sex Gay Wedding Laguna Laney & Jodi

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Andrew's Sunset Cliffs Proposal Session | San Diego Proposal Session | Destination

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Kasey & Andria | Destination Wedding | San Francisco City Hall LGBTQ Wedding Photography KASEY & ANDRIA

Destination Wedding | San Francisco City Hall | August 2018

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Lexy & Tyler - A wedding in Twin Falls, Idaho | Idaho Wedding | Derek Chad Photography Lexy & Tyler

San Diego, California Pre-Wedding Session | Twin Falls, Idaho Wedding

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Anne & Jules - A wedding at Scripps Seaside Forum in La Jolla, CA - Lesbian Wedding Anne & Jules









Scripps Seaside Forum




Continental Catering

















Derek Chad Photography












Dancing DJ Productions









Bridal Artist Agency




Events Inspired




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Tim & Edo | San Diego County Administration Building Wedding | San Diego Photographer Tim & Edo

San Diego County Administration Building Wedding | San Diego Photographer

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Christopher and Michael - A Gay Wedding in Laguna Beach, CA | Laguna Beach Gay Weddings Christopher & Michael

Laguna Beach, CA

Vendors: Venue: St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Laguna Beach

Coordinator: Jessica Jones

Flowers: Rita Pazold

Video Presentation during ceremony: Emma Galvez

Catering and Bar: Catering by Mark's

Music: Organic String Quartet (4:00-9:00)

Equipment: Signature Party Rentals (coordinated through Mark's catering)

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Eric & Edward - Palm Springs Wedding Photography - LULU Palm Springs - Amin Casa Wedding Eric & Edward

Palm Springs Wedding | Amin Casa | LULU Palm Springs

Ceremony: Amin Casa, Palm Springs, CA

Reception: LULU Palm Springs

Music: Moses Toth

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USB Memory Direct | A Review USB Memory Direct Custom Flash Drives


USB Memory Direct recently reached out to me to review their product... and I'm SUPER happy with these flash drives! My clients are going to be so excited to see these little things show up in their mailbox. They are fully functional and a fun place to keep a copy of all their photos. I was given the choice, and there is A LOT, to choose from... to choose whatever drives I wanted with my custom logo. I chose this dark wood and I couldn't be happier. They are so sleek and match my brand perfectly. If you are a photographer, you need these. You can see their selection by visiting


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Lex & Tyler - An Engagement Session in San Diego, CA | San Diego Photographer Lex & Tyler

San Diego, CA

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Duran Degonzales | Fine Art Male Portraits | Doudoir | Headshots | Derek Chad Photography Duran Degonzales

Las Vegas, NV

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Taylor Bradley - Fine Art Male | Headshot Photography - Derek Chad Photography Taylor Bradley

Las Vegas, NV

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Kevin & Phil - A Wedding at the Oviatt Penthouse in Downtown Los Angeles KEVIN & PHIL

A Wedding at the Oviatt Penthouse in Downtown Los Angeles









Orange Blossom

Danielle Niemann




Oviatt Penthouse





Truly Yours





Derek Chad Photography

Derek Chad









Flowers by Dan





Ensemble Events





Ensemble Events




Georgetown Cupcakes

Sarah Ahn




Party Psychics

Lezlie Bernal




Joel Ward

Joel Ward



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Jay & Joe - Two Grooms on the Las Vegas Strip - Las Vegas Gay LGBT Photography Jay & Joe


Two Grooms on the Las Vegas Strip


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Stan & Dan - A Gay Wedding at The Thursday Club in San Diego, California Stan & Dan

Thursday Club | San Diego, CA


Venue: The Thursday Club

Coordinator: Breezy Day (Courtney)

Flowers: Breezy Day (Heather)

DJ: Ansom Productions (Arnie)

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Casper and Ulises - Circle Oak Ranch Fallbrook California Wedding Photography Casper & Ulises

Circle Oak Ranch - Fallbrook, CA


Venue: Circle Oak Ranch - Fallbrook, CA

Catering: MIHO

Planner: Project Perfection Events

Photo Booth: Union Booth

Photography: Derek Chad Photography



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Rickisha & Leilani - A Wedding at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay in San Diego Rickisha & Leilani


Venue: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, San Diego, California

Photography: Derek Chad Photography

Sweetheart Table and Arch: Seven Stems

DJ: Atmosphere DJ

Rentals: Concepts Rentals

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Shane & Israel - A Wedding at Rancho Las Lomas - Orange County Gay Wedding Photographer SHANE & ISRAEL

Rancho Las Lomas - Orange County California







(phone & email)


RAncho Las Lomas



Wedding Officiant

Priest Shukavak Dasa



Indian Food


Lisa Khosla


Catering Service & BAr

24 Carrots

Erandi Morales Foster



Not Just In Novels

Krista Menezes

(714) 932-1682


Cake & Pastries

Rooney Girl Bakery

Maria Nicoletti

(914) 536-5721

Bistro Lighting

Rancho Las Lomas



Rounds & Cocktail Chairs

Rancho Las Lomas



Amalfi Dining Tables

Teatro Draping

Signature Party Rentals

Heather Harden

(714) 545-6777

Specialty Linens

La Tavola



Sweetheart TAble & Chairs

Vintage Goblets


Aly John

(949) 545-9464

Vintage Furniture Vignette & Ceremony Backdrop Doors

Found Rentals

Marissa Henson



Derek Chad Photo

Derek Chad



Brand Videography

Richard Brand


Mariachi Band

Mariachi 3 Generaciones

Gerardo Sanchez




DJ & Audio

Legacy Events

Nick Datwani


Bus Transportation

American Limousine



Wedding Planner and Design

Queen Tut Events

Joanna Tutwiler



Specailty Services

Wayne Schmida



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Kevin & Phil - San Diego Engagement Photography - Normal Heights Engagement Session Kevin & Phil


San Diego Engagement Photography
Normal Heights Engagement Session 

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Kasey & Andria - A Surprise Proposal Session at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, CA Kasey & Andria

A Surprise Proposal - Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA

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Ian and Mitchell - A Wedding at the London West Hollywood Hotel at Beverly Hills Ian and Mitchell

A Wedding at the London West Hollywood Hotel at Beverly Hills


Officiant: Elysia Skye - LA WEDDING WOMAN

Location: The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills

Photographer: Derek Chad Photography




  • Ian and I meet at a mutual friends Christmas day Dinner in 2011.

  • Mitch proposed to Ian his birthday party. The proposal was very romantic and involved friends and family giving Ian red roses with notes attached to them with the final rose involving the proposal.

  • We choose the wedding venue as it was the first place that we stayed at on our first holiday together. We stay at the hotel every year when we visit Los Angeles.

  • It is a very special occasion as it is not legal in our own country and friends and family are coming a long way to share our special day with us.

  • Sharing our future lives together and formalising our relationship. Also having a lovely ceremony and celebrating a day which is about us.

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Casper & Ulises - San Diego Engagement Session - San Diego Wedding Photography Casper and Ulises

San Diego Engagement Session

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James & Randall - Vibiana Wedding Photography - Los Angeles Wedding Photography James & Randall

Vibiana Wedding Photography - Los Angeles, California


Venue: Vibiana 

Photography: Derek Chad Photography

Catering: Vibiana

Rentals: Vibiana

DJ: Dash DJ’s

Getting Ready Location: Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles

Linens: Vibiana Events

Photo Booth: Amuse Booth

Planning: Kate Piliero with Floret Cadet

Flowers: Little Branch

Furniture: Found Vintage

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Emma & Tanya - A wedding at Sleepy Ridge in Orem, Utah Emma and Tanya

Orem, Utah


Emma's Dress (Maggie Sottero), Veil, and Jewelry: Purchased from Fantasy Bridal 

Kilt: The British Shop, Ajax, Ontario

Sash: The Scotland Shop

Tanya's Shoes: Cole Haan

Emma's Shoes: custom made by HeilanShoo

Emma's Rings: Gemvera 

Tanya's Ring: Krikawa Jewelry Designs

Caterer and cakes- Magleby's 

Videographer- Hailey B Films

Flowers- Jill Sanderson - Floral Rhapsody 

Bagpiper: Vera Hamilton 

Dj: Craig-Utah Jive

Makeup: Kadence Pinder

Hair: Megan Jackson 

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Kevin & Stefan, San Diego Photographer - San Diego Museum of Art Balboa Park Wedding KEVIN & STEFAN




Venue: San Diego Museum of Art

Photographer: Derek Chad Photography

Videographer: ByDesign Films

Rentals: Hire Elegance and Hostess Haven

Linens/Napkins: La Tavola

Event Design and Coordination: Luxe Events

Florist: Isari

Catering: Vetted Table

Bar Service: Blind Lady Ale House

Musicians: Lucky Devils Band

Transportation: Gold Coast

Pianist: Jonathan Coyle

Officiate: Jolene

Coffee Service: Euro Bar

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Craig & Michelle - A Wedding at Humphreys in San Diego, CA - San Diego Wedding Photography Craig & Michelle


Humphreys Half Moon Inn / Humphreys by the Bay


Dress: Hayley Paige
Hair and Makeup: Alberto Carrillo
Flowers: Bridget's Blooms - La Jolla
Dessert: The Baked Bear 
Venue: Humphreys  Half Moon Inn/ Humphreys By The Bay
Band: The Lucky Devils 

Questions Answered by the Groom: 

  • We met at work, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices in La Jolla. I chased Michelle around via phone calls, emails and "dropping by her office" for 3-4 months before I got a hold of her. After that I held on to her and haven't let go.

  • I (Craig) proposed. It was a lot of planning on my part, trying to orchestrate it in a way that was meaningful and unique to her, and also minimized the possibilities of mishaps. The result, aside from her saying "Yes", was a semi-private proposal, on a bright, sunny day, on the cliffs above La Jolla's caves. All this of course, brilliantly captured by Derek Chad and his paparazzi like stealth.

  • It checked off all of our boxes. It's close to the airport and provides accommodation for all of my friends and family, flying in front the east coast. Humphrey's by the Bay also has really pretty grounds for both the ceremony and more importantly, the reception. There's lots of room to fit everyone we've invited and even has a stage, which inspired us to splurge for a live band during the reception. Lastly, the staff and services seem very friendly, accommodating and easy to work with.

  • Michelle. She is the most special thing to me. Why? Aside from being a total bombshell, she's the sweetest, most caring and compassionate person I've ever met. There is not an inauthentic bone in her body, so I get to experience everything that makes up Michelle, and there's never any pretense or barriers. In audition to Michelle, I'm excited to see so many different families come together. My family from the east coast, all of Michelle's family from California. The wedding will be a space filled with love and unimaginable possibilities for all of our futures. Also excited for the Baked Bear ice cream bar. :)

  • I think it's a tie between the moment we say "I Do" and celebrating with friends after the dinner.

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Ben Palacios - Male Model - Fine Art Photography - Long Exposure Single Capture Ben Palacios

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Alexander Gallo - - Male Model - Portrait Photography - San Diego Doudoir Boudoir Alexander Gallo

Long Exposure Single Capture

Profoto Lighting

Fine Art

San Diego Doudoir  Boudoir Photography

Leucadia Photoworks 

Fine Art Photography

Male Model Photo Shoot


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The White Family - Arizona Family Photographer - Orange Groves Photography Session The White Family

Mesa, AZ

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The McNeil Family Josh and Kevin McNeil

March, 2017


Leo Carrillo Ranch - Carlsbad, CA

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Platinum Circle Winner - Editors' Choice - Two Bright Lights 2017 Platinum Circle Winner - Editors' Choice - Two Bright Lights 2017

More at:

Super excited to announce... I am a PLATINUM CIRCLE winner for 2017!!! This means I am among the TOP TEN award winners because I was featured by so many publications in 2016! This is my third year in a row being an Editors' Choice award winner and I couldn't be more thankful!! I am so thankful to all of my couples! Huge thanks to all the magazines, blogs, and other sites that featured my work! And a big thanks to everyone over at Two Bright Lights! 

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Heading to WPPI 2017?? Tips and deals for first time visitors to WPPI 2017 in Las Vegas WPPI 2017 - Las Vegas, NV

Wedding and Portrait Photographers International 

Conference and Expo

Tips and Deals for First Time Visitors


Travel/Hotels:! is offering incredible deals on hotel and flight packages. 

WPPI also gives a great resource for finding great deals on Hotels and Transportation. They offer tips and deals at:



Things to do around Vegas: 

I have a ton of fun just walking around the strip, gambling a little here and there, and watching the live shows that sometimes go on at the different casinos. BUT, one of the best parts of going to Vegas is their shows! 

Thinking about a show and want a good deal?! offers an incredible resource and great deals on all the fun things to do in Las Vegas! Want to see a show? Check their page out for deals… it’s always fun to see a show in Vegas, it’s even better when you don’t have to pay so much for it with a great deal!  




Not to be missed! Take advantage of all of this! (more details at

Fun Run: Tuesday, February 7th 2017 at 6:30am. Meet at the Westgate Hotel Main Lobby - Free with Full Conference Pass. 

Morning Keynote with Jerry Ghionis: Right after the fun run, Tuesday, February 7th 2017 at 8:30am until 10:00am

WPPI After Hours: February 6th - 9th, 2017. 
Attendees receive complimentary access by showing their WPPI badge. Must have a valid 21-and-over ID and adhere to the dress code: no sneakers, work boots, athletic wear (women/men), sandals, shorts or hats (men only). Monday, Feb. 6: Jewel at Aria - Expedited entry line until 1 am; Tuesday, Feb. 7: OMNIA at Caesars - Comp drink ticket until 12am. Expedited entry line until 1 am; Wednesday, Feb. 8: 1OAK at Mirage - Expedited entry line until 1 am; Thursday, Feb. 9: Hakkasan at MGM - Comp drink ticket until 12am. Expedited entry line until 1 am.

Morning Keynote with Sue Bryce: Wednesday February 8th, 2017 at 8:30am. If you haven't seen her before, she is absolutely incredible. You will learn a lot and she is a great speaker with great advice. 

Honors of Excellence Award Ceremony: Thursday, Feb. 9, 8-11pm. Dress your best and watch the most prestigious award ceremony for photography out there. More information:



WPPI Annual Print Competition 2017

This is easily my favorite part of attending WPPI! I have learned SO much just by sitting in the judging rooms and listening to the critiques and opinions of the judges, not only when I submit to the print competition, but to listen to their feedback on all of the photos. It is extremely educational and I recommend everyone check it out. There is no additional fee to attend the judging, you just need a full conference pass. I wasn’t sure how to dress my first time visiting, but now I have attended the print competition judging wearing casual and business casual clothing. No need to get dressed up. Here are a few of my recent photos that won a SILVER AWARD! When the judges score a print with 80 or more points, the entire room does a mild golf clap and the print wins a silver award! It is SUPER exciting to see your print go up and even more exciting to win an award! Full details about the print competition can be found here: .



Attending Classes at WPPI 2017

I would strongly recommend everyone download the app if you have an iPhone or Google Play to view the schedule of classes available. I have learned an incredible amount from these classes. Whether you are a seasoned professional photographer, or just starting out, I recommend these to everyone. My first time visiting the classes, I wasn’t sure how to dress. I think business casual is fine for these classes. I’ve even attended in super casual clothes because I like to stay comfy. They can really take your photography to a new level. Please visit ( to learn more about these classes, but here are some quick tips about the different classes:

Download link for iPhone app:
Download link for Google Play app:

PLUS Classes:  A one-day intensive and comprehensive class limited to 25 participants per class. I recommend these classes if there is a speaker/photographer offering one that you would really like to learn from. I have attended these classes and always leave with a whole lot of information… they tend to be more hands-on and I LOVE the small class sizes. These PLUS classes are a little costly, but worth every penny. These classes also sell out rather quickly, so I would recommend getting into a class you are interested in as soon as possible before the slots are gone. 

Master Classes: 2-hours long and limited to 50 participants. They offer A TON of master classes. I recommend these for those of you who don’t want to commit an entire day to a plus class. They are similar to a plus class, but a little bit bigger and shorter. 

Photo Walks: Photo walks are great, especially if you want to see a photographer work hands on with a model or subject and ask questions about their creative process. 

Platform Classes: These are typically 1.5 hours and in a very large room with a lot of other people. You can learn a lot from these classes, they are just in large rooms with lots of photographers so it’s not very hands on. You can still learn A TON in these classes and I recommend them, especially because they are included with your full conference pass. 



The Expo

You are going to want to spend A LOT of time here! If you are a photography geek like me, this is the place to be! There are live demonstrations and all the gear you could possibly imagine. I spend hours in here just looking around at different cameras, lenses, studio equipment, etc… it is so much fun… and HUGE! Entry into the expo is included with your full conference pass. More information can be found at: Make sure you get on their site or on the app and check out the list of exhibitors if you don’t have time to walk through the entire thing. This is the first year the expo will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but I am super confident it will be just as awesome as it has always been, maybe even bigger!


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Craig and Michelle - An engagement/portriat session in Coronado Craig & Michelle

Craig & Michelle - Portrait Session

An engagement/portriat session in Coronado

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Tim & Jonah - A Portrait Session at Del Mar Beach - San Diego Photographer - Beach Photographer Tim & Jonah

Del Mar Beach, Del Mar, CA


San Diego Photographer, Del Mar Photographer, San Diego Portraits, San Diego Family Photographer

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Jon & Andrew - Beverly Hills, CA - Lawry's The Prime Rib Wedding - California Wedding Day Jon & Andrew

Lawry’s The Prime Rib - Beverly Hills, CA

Cake: Sheila Mae

Photography: Derek Chad Photography



From the couple: 

  • How did you two meet?  We met in the most conventional, millennial way, online. Andrew messaged me right as I was moving back to LA for the second time. At first, I didn't know what to think of this guy who was both highly into musical theater and sports. I am somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, and still can't fully relate to those passions. However, on our first date, we clicked instantly, learning many things that we did have in common, like a desire to travel and see the world. We ended up going on four dates that week, as Andrew was leaving to perform for a whole summer in Utah. We video chatted every single day that summer and when he returned, well... the rest is history! - Jon

  • Who proposed? What was your proposal like?  Andrew proposed to Jonathan on New Year's Eve, at 12am on January 1st, 2015. Andrew worked until 7pm, so we rushed to our dinner reservation. Afterwards, we went home to watch the ball drop on tv. When the clock struck midnight, Andrew gave Jonathan a cupcake from Sprinkles. When Jonathan opened the box, there was a sugar ring on top instead of the normal sugar button. Jonathan realized there was something different going on, at this same time, Andrew got down on one knee and pulled the real ring out. Andrew was so nervous and excited that after saying a bunch of sweet things that one says during a proposal, he stopped talking. Jonathan then asked, "Don't you have something to ask me?" haha! Andrew then laughed and said "Of course! Will you marry me???" :) Jonathan then of course said "Yes!" with a huge smile on his face! :) - Andrew's adorable 3rd person writing. 
  • Why did you choose your venue(s)? We wanted something easy but elegant and Lawry's fit the bill. The ability to use their "Oak Room" for the ceremony and have the reception in the adjacent main dinning room was highly appealing. The food is also super delicious and a really great value for L.A./Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills has also been a favorite spot of mine when he first moved to L.A. at 18 for school, so that sweetened the deal! - Jon
  • Are any of the details particularly special to you and why?  So many! I am a detail oriented person, so the prospect of planning my wedding was a little overwhelming since Andrew is less of the creative/planning type. In order to limit the details that I had to "perfect", we decided to keep the wedding small, and simple. A few of the superficial details that are special to me include: My Tom Ford bow tie, that is my one indulgence for my attire, since I have a love of fashion, but not enough money for one of his tuxes! I've mentioned before that I am a photographer so, of course, the photos will be very special to me, and I am definitely looking forward to prioritizing them during the day and capturing the atmosphere of Beverly Hills outside. Other details are present, but less special, and the most import to me is the moment when we say "I do"! - Jon ….. I am going to wear my Cleveland Sports Team's socks underneath the tux pants! :p My close friend is also singing at our wedding and one of the two songs that will be sung makes me get emotional and cry after like 10 seconds..every time! That will be a special moment for me because the words are so beautiful thinking of them being sung to Jon. - Andrew
  • What are you looking forward to the most about your wedding day? Celebrating the beginning of this amazing next chapter in our lives together with our close friends and family! My family lives in Ohio, so the fact that many of them are traveling here for the big day is very exciting. - Andrew (And cake!! - Jon
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Jared & Michelle - A Destination Wedding - Waitsfield Vermont Wedding Photography Jared & Michelle

Waitsfield, Vermont - The Inn at the Round Barn Farm 

Jared and Michelle are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. They are so genuine and kind… and absolutely adorable! While I was photographing Michelle, I just couldn’t stop telling her how amazingly beautiful she was. And come on… how handsome is Jared? These two are perfect for each other. Michelle and I met when I was asked by The Knot to photograph the San Diego Market Party! We hit it off immediately. She was so sweet and has been ever since. A year ago I was lucky enough to be their engagement session photographer and now I got to be their wedding photographer. When she asked me to photograph her wedding in Vermont I was immediately excited… I had never been there before but only hear great things. What I heard didn’t even compare to how beautiful that state really is! I’m so lucky to have met these two and I’m even luckier to have been chosen by them to document their perfect wedding day in such a romantic and beautiful place. 


Shoes: Rachel Simpson

Venue: The Inn At The Round Barn - Waitsfield, Vermont

Hairpiece: Sheeta 

Hair and Makeup: Fusion Beauty Lounge in Fall River, MA  - Liz Medeiros 

DJ: Peak Entertainment - Stowe, VT

Dress: Maggie Sottero

Rings: Bario Neal in Philadelphia, PA

Getting Ready and Bridge Location: Best Western Plus - Waterbury, Vermont

Officiant: The Grooms Dad - Michael Padula 

Flowers: Milestones Flowers -Liberal Miranda

Cake and Desert: Sweet Simones - Lisa

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Nick & Stephanie, A Wedding in La Jolla, CA at La Valencia - Wedding Photographer, San Diego Nick & Stephanie

La Valencia - La Jolla, CA 


Wedding Coordinator: Bliss Events

Venue: La Valencia, La Jolla, CA

Flowers: Thistle Dew

Dessert: Michele Coulon

Photography: Derek Chad Photography

DJ: JD Musik

Musician: Matt Heinecke

Hair: Jeanny barbata

Makeup: Elena T. Beauty

Linens: APR

Dress: Maggie Sottero

Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes


This beautiful La Jolla wedding is everything you would dream of for a perfect wedding day. La Valencia in La Jolla, California is known for its incredible location and venue... a perfect spot to tie the knot. Match that with the perfect vendors and BOOM! Perfect wedding day! I am so honored to have been chosen as their photographer and I am so excited to share these images with you!

(Derek Chad Photography) APR barbata Beauty Bliss CA Chad Coordinator: Coulon Derek Dessert: Dew DJ: Elena Events Flowers: Hair: Heinecke JD Jeanny Jolla La Linens: Makeup: Matt Michele Musician: Musik Photography Photography: T. Thistle Valencia Venue: Wedding Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:14:46 GMT
Brandon Ganske - Male Model - Studio Headshots Creative Photography Portrait Session Brandon Ganske



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Brad & Denny - Palm Springs Art Museum - Wedding Photography Brad & Denny


Brad & Denny

Palm Springs, CA




Venue: Palm Springs Art Museum

Photography - Derek Chad Photography

Venue - Palm Springs Art Museum

Catering / Bartending - Lulu's

Florist - Vaso Bello

DJ - Henry Martinez (Music Media Entertainment) Wedding Planning - Nanciellen Uniacke


From the Couple:

  • How did you two meet?  Denny and Brad were introduced by a mutual friend, Brian Weir (who will be officiating over the ceremony).  Although Denny lived in LA for seven years before returning to NY one year before they met, and although he was friends with Brian Weir during much of this time, Brad and Denny never met in LA.  When Brian and Brad were in NY for NY Licensing Show, they stuck around NY for the weekend after to see some shows and enjoy NY.  On the Sunday that they were departing back to LA, Brian casually asked Brad if he wanted to join him for brunch with his friend Denny.  "Who's Denny?" Brad asked.  "You know Denny," Brian replied, "He's one of my close friends."  Brad replied, "I'm your BEST friend.  Who is DENNY?"  Meanwhile, Denny was upstate and was reticent to cut short his trip once Brian mentioned that he might be bringing a friend to brunch.  He did not want to spend him limited time with Brian entertaining someone new.  But, he decided to bit the bullet and come back to NY the evening before anyways.  They met over brunch at Cafe Luxembourg and neither can recall if Brian was even there.  ;-)
  • Who proposed? What was your proposal like?  Brad and Denny aren't the proposal types.  It was more like Mr. Big and Carrie Bradshaw deciding that marriage would be a really good idea.  In fact, choosing the rings entailed visiting just two stores and spending a cumulative 10 minutes considering the options before selecting their forever bands.  They are both quite decisive and, luckily, on the same page 95% of the time.  Besides, each is aware of the imminent death threat that would come from the other should either decide to leave the relationship.
  • Why did you choose your venue(s)? Knowing that they wanted to retire to Palm Springs, Brad and Denny purchased a mid-century modern home in the Twin Palms neighborhood in February of 2014.  Knowing that their wedding would be in this location that was so special to them both, they started investigating venues.  The many hotels that they visited were either too formal for their casual tastes or were not special enough for their wedding day.  The Sculpture Gardens at the Palm Springs Art Museum were the perfect venue being both outdoors but within a Palm Springs landmark.
  • Are any of the details particularly special to you and why?  Neither of us, until recently, even considered a legally-binding marriage because it simply wasn't an option.  Once it became legal, friends began asking us if we would ever get married.  The more we discussed it, the more we wanted to bring our friends and families together to celebrate our love and our union.  We are touched that so many attendees are so excited for our special day (some can talk with us of nothing else).  In fact, our eldest attendee at 100 years old, Ruth Berger, has said, "I'm so excited that I get to attend my first gay wedding!"  So, the most special details to us are each and every individual who will make the effort to trek out to Palm Springs to share our special day with us.
  • What are you looking forward to the most about your wedding day? The love, friendship, laughter, and hugs that we will receive in addition to having people from all aspects of our lives get the chance to meet each other.
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Austin & Emily - Destination Wedding - Idaho Falls, ID Austin & Emily

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Design: One Fine Day - Dea Dille - (208) 948-0258

DJ: DJ Chris Davis - (818) 268-9175

Photography: Derek Chad Photography 


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Chris & Caitlin - Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer - Destination Wedding Photographer Chris & Caitlin

Lake Tahoe Golf Course - South Lake Tahoe, CA

DJ: JJ Entertainment

Venue: Lake Tahoe Golf Course - South Lake Tahoe, CA


Sparklers, Lake Tahoe, HANDSOME groom, BEAUTIFUL bride, perfect backgrounds… cute details… what more could I ask for as a wedding photographer :) 


I have known Chris since I began my photography business... I was quickly introduced to his girlfriend at the time, Caitlin, and started photographing them both. These two are incredible, both inside and out. They are so kind and caring and surround themselves with an incredible group of friends and family. They are also talented, Chris is an actor and Caitlin is a dancer who loves yoga. They are the best! I was so honored when they contacted me to photograph their big day. And, if I do say so myself, the wedding and photos turned out absolutely beautiful!


I hope you enjoy the photos! 




From the couple: 


  • It was the summer of 2012. I (Chris) had just moved to Los Angeles and been hired at a gymnastics school. Caitlin was already working there. Her first words to me were: "who are you?" A couple of months went by as coworker friends, and it wasn't until a Halloween party that I finally got her number. Those bunny ears were the final straw!
  • Chris and I made our second trip to one of our favorite places, Yosemite National Park. We were lucky enough to receive permits to hike to the top of Half Dome. Our number one bucket list item at the time. Because it was my birthday week, Chris had already given me a ring as a present. Later I found out that it was a decoy ring! After nine miles of hiking, plus one mile in elevation gain, we made it to the top. The sweeping views were breathtaking. We were awestruck. In order to get a photo together on the iconic ledge called "the visor" we had given our hiking buddy our GoPro to capture us. We were on the ledge and I was facing the valley, thousands of feet below, when I heard Chris say "turn around". I turned and saw him down on one knee, holding a ring. All I could say was "What are you doing?! What are you doing?!". He popped the question, I said "yes!" and burst into tears. Everyone else at the summit cheered when they saw what was happening. Luckily our friend with the camera video taped the whole thing!
  • Lake Tahoe has everything we value and love: pine trees, sandy beaches, epic views, water, outdoor adventures, and mountains.
  • Our photographer is a very special detail for us! We met Derek when we had only been dating for a couple of months. Over the years we kept in touch with him by way of fun photo shoots. When it came to choosing a wedding photographer, it was an obvious choice! Having Derek there will be full-circle. He's captured us in so many stages of our relationship. We're so happy he'll be there for our wedding day!
  • We are looking forward to having all of our family and friends in the same place at the same time.
(Derek Chad Photography) chad course derek destination golf lake mountains photographer photography south tahoe wedding Thu, 01 Sep 2016 17:30:09 GMT
Monika & Virpi, A Wedding in Calamigos Ranch - Malibu, CA - Lesbian Wedding in Malibu Monika & Virpi





Monika and Virpi were married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, CA. I didn’t have the chance to meet these two before the big day, but we did get to chat via FaceTime. I knew from the second we started chatting that this was going to be a great wedding. Not because of the incredible location or the amazing vendors, but because of the love I could see just oozing out of these two. They are beautiful both inside and out and I knew it was going to be great. And as you can see from the photos, this wedding was just perfect. Everyone had a blast! All of their friends and family that came were just awesome. Their friends and family came from all over… from San Diego to Finland! And their choice for a venue was just simply perfect… all of the details just matched them perfectly. I am SO HONORED to have been their photographer and I love the images I was able to get for them on this gorgeous day in Malibu. Congratulations to Monika and Virpi!






Jackie Hsu 


Coordinator     Jackie Hsu     626.862.4030 




Calamigos Ranch 


Venue     Birchwood Room
Ashia Taylor     818.889.6280 




TCS, Inc. 


Shuttles     Carissa Riley     714.637.4300 




Derek Chad Marsh 


Photography     Derek Chad     760.504.6851 




Vox DJs 


DJ     Kara Ford


Robert Fox     






Happy Flowers Florist     Lei-Ann Sauter     818.597.0272 




Crumb Fairy Bakery 


Cake          323.842.8881 




Julie Daniel Hair          762.323.8149 




Tammy Yi Make Up     206.849.0477




Wedding Dresses: Vera Wang & Maggie Sottero




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Mark & Randy - A Wedding in Rancho Santa Fe, CA - San Diego Gay Wedding Photographer Mark and Randy

Mark & Randy

Rancho Santa Fe, CA - 09.03.2016

From the Couple: 


  • We met in San Francisco over dinner at a Thai restaurant
  • We both wanted to marry,and ca't remember who proposed to who. For many years we could not marry because it was not legal, then it became legal and we got officially engaged in Australia but that very month before we could get married Prop 8 prevented us from marrying for a few years until the Supreme Court overturned prop 8.
  • We live in Rancho Santa Fe and wanted a venue that was in our community.
  • We both have family who live far away, so sharing our special day with our most loved family and closes friends is what we find most special. We have a blend of South African and Filipino themes. The flowers are South African Proteas. The Roasted Pig and Halo Halo Desert are Filipino. We are wearing traditional filipino Barong Shirts.
  • Seeing friends and family. Having good food and then dancing and enjoying the Party."



DJ: ILLEET Entertainment


Catering: Coast Catering


Venue: Cielo Estate Clubhouse, Rancho Santa Fe, CA


Photography: Derek Chad Photography


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Craig & Michelle - A Surprise Proposal in La Jolla, CA Craig and Michelle


Craig & Michelle - A Surprise Proposal

A Surprise Proposal Session in La Jolla, CA 

How absolutely adorable are these two?!?! I was so excited when I received Craig's phone call about photographing the moment he popped the big question to Michelle. Proposal sessions are my favorite! I get to play a little paparazzi and be creative still with my photography after :) When Craig explained to me all the details he had planned that day, I knew I had to be there photographer. I was so excited for Michelle and I hadn't even met her yet. The proposal session was on the adorable platform right on the cliffs of La Jolla. A perfect spot if you ask me. Craig also made plans for brunch at the Brockton Villa in la Jolla, CA... to make sure they weren't late to brunch and to get some more photos on the way, I just walked over there with them! I was glad we did because we found some really cool spots for photos on our way :) These two were so much fun to photograph, you could just feel and see their excitement about the engagement. As if you couldn't tell by the photos, Michelle SAID YES! Congratulations to Craig and Michelle! 

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Mark and Brittany, a surprise proposal in San Marcos, CA - Proposal Session Southern California Mark & Brittany

Mark & Brittany - A Surprise Proposal


Mark asked Brittany to marry him!!!! Okay, so a little back story. Brittany was one of my kids, the twins (Hudson and Logan’s) preschool teachers. She is such a beautiful person, both inside and out. And she is incredible at what she does and we are so happy to have found her as a person, teacher, and friend. I also photographed one of Brittany’s best friends weddings, so she is very familiar with my photography business. As soon as she started dating Mark, she started telling Mark about me and how I would be their photographer! I love it! Her wish came true! Mark contacted me and asked me to photograph the surprise proposal and I couldn’t be more excited about it! 


Mark and Brittany, but ESPECIALLY Brittany… LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas. So how sweet of Mark was it that he brought Christmas to her in August to surprise her for the proposal. Mark got down on one knee and asked Brittany to “Merry” him and she was just crying in excitement and, of course, said YES! I am so excited to have been there to document this special moment. These two are so in love it is just oozing out of them both. Not only did mark plan the perfect proposal… he even made sure their friends and family that could come were in attendance. Such a cute group of friends and family, the perfect support system for this newly engaged couple. CONGRATULATIONS to Brittany and Mark… thank you for choosing Derek Chad Photography to document such an incredible moment.

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Iyan and Kate, A rooftop wedding in Downtown Los Angeles- Oviatt Penthouse LGBT Lesbian Kate and Iyan


Iyan & Kate


A Rooftop Wedding in Downtown Los Angeles - The Oviatt Penthouse