If you’re a fan of the movie “La La Land,” you may recognize the location of today’s styled shoot. The Griffith Observatory is almost as iconic to Los Angeles as the Empire State Building is to New York City. In the movie, Mia & Sebastian explore inside the observatory, eventually ending up in the planetarium theatre where they float up and waltz among the stars.
I really, really love this building! The beautiful art-deco architecture and the stunning views of the California sunsets turned me into a believer. The observatory actually has a really interesting history. The land that it was built on was donated to the city by a man named Griffith J. Griffith. Seriously. In his will, he also donated funds to build the observatory and a few other structures that today make up Griffith Park. He wanted to make astronomy accessible to everyone instead of only restricted to scientists. La La Land was not the only movie filmed there. The Griffith Observatory is actually one of Hollywood’s favorite filming locations. It’s also a very popular photography spot because admission is always free!
Trying to photograph a couple at the observatory is not for the timid! They only keep it empty for star-waltzing if you are Emma Stone or Ryan Gosling. Otherwise, it is always jam packed full of people! We had to park about three miles away and hike all the way up the hill to even reach the entrance. If you decide to come visit yourself, I would recommend taking the bus.
Luckily for me, our models were up for the challenge of the crowds… and were easily as good looking as Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling! I love the timeless yet modern feel of the photos. We brought in some of the California vibe with our groom’s light suit and the big, tropical greenery and unique flowers of the bride’s bouquet. In the really busy areas, I made the artistic decision to use a slow shutter so my couple would be in focus but the rest of the people around them would be blurred. That way we would still have the feeling of intimacy and romance in the moment even though they were surrounded by strangers.