Elizabeth Messina Photography

Meet The Iconic Cover Photographer: Southern California Here Comes The Guide, 13th edition

Ruffled pink tulip bridal bouquet Elizabeth Messina Photography

All images on this page by Elizabeth Messina

We confess to having a collective geeked-out gushing fan moment when the amazing, award-winning Elizabeth Messina let us use one of her photos on the front of our Southern California Here Comes The Guide, 13th edition. We've always swooned over her lush images, which have graced the covers and lavish editorial spreads of just about every wedding publication out there. Now it's our turn!

Southern California 13th Edition Here Comes The Guide Elizabeth Messina Cover Photography

With all the admiration she receives, Elizabeth is surprisingly humble—no diva attitude here! Her personal story has no doubt shaped her down-to-earth temperament. Elizabeth's love affair with photography was sparked at age 12, with her mother's gift of a Nikon FE2. Raised in California, she attended the San Francisco Art Institute where she began to develop her photographic signature.

After graduating with honors, she took her camera on an eye-opening cross-country bicycle trek. She then worked as a photographer for an East Coast newspaper until an apartment fire destroyed everything she owned. The only possession she still had was her camera. That rock-bottom moment profoundly influenced Elizabeth's artistry and deepened her commitment to photography. It also crystallized her strength and tenacious spirit. "The secret is to never give up, no matter what comes your way."

Pistachio green smooth fondant wedding cake by Elizabeth Messina Photography

Today, she's at the top of her field. Elizabeth prefers to create images with film, because it has such latitude and gracefully captures light and tone variations. Her eye is instinctively drawn to the luminous quality inherent in shapes, textures and composition: Through her lens, the drape of a gown…the gentle play of sunshine through lace…the soft pastels of a bouquet…are like elements in an impressionist painting.

Bride with flowers black and white Elizabeth Messina Photography

Yet perhaps Elizabeth's most consistent inspiration is relationships. "As a woman and an artist, I'm intrigued by the nuances of love." Her own emotional receptivity has also been enhanced by her craft. "The language of photography opened my heart," she acknowledges. And while her heart is open, so is her mind—she has long been a supporter of marriage equality and ethnic and religious diversity: "Love is love is love is love is beautiful…"

Bride fastening shoe Elizabeth Messina Photography

A happily married mother of three, Elizabeth excels at capturing the unspoken interplay between lovers. Her intimate compositions evoke Romance with a capital "R"—not only as a sentiment but also as an appreciation of nature, authenticity, and individuality. "Every couple is unique and special, so at each and every wedding I'm able to witness touching and poignant moments."

Bride and groom under trees black and white Elizabeth Messina Photography

Often, those moments have a sweet playfulness about them, as in our cover image. The newlyweds' mirrored expressions and "we've got a secret" smiles can't help but charm the viewer. To us, their entwined bodies leaning into each other suggested a heart as the perfect emblem.

Rack of vintage bridal gowns Elizabeth Messina Photography

While there are no certainties on your wedding day, there's one thing we know for sure: Elizabeth Messina Photography = Guaranteed Gorgeous.

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