Hola! My name is Chaz Cruz and I am a photographer based out of San Diego, CA. My specialties include weddings, fashion and lifestyle portraits. This blog is named after my obsession with "The Office" and of a lovable character named Creed Bratton. He writes about his random musings under a blog titled "Creed Thoughts," so I thought I'd do the same and name it "Chaz Thoughts." So please, browse around and don't forget to leave me a comment or two!

"Love is stronger than death even though it can't stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can't separate people from love. It can't take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death."


Wedding days are kind of like fairy tales, they are full of happiness, sharing love with everyone, and cake, lots and lots of cake. So when the fairy tale has a little dose of reality, it sometimes makes you realize how big of a step a couple takes by getting married. 


I flew up to Louisiana last week to photograph the wedding of Stacie and Jake. Jake is the brother of one of my good friends Katy Marshall who for obvious reasons (sister, bridesmaid, you get the picture) couldn't photograph their wedding so she recommended me to them and we knew instantly it was a perfect fit. But upon my arrival it became a whirlwind of emotions. Sadly, as we were heading up to Baton Rouge, Stacie found out her father, Tim, had passed away unexpectedly. A tragic event like this can cast a cloud over something as beautiful as a wedding, but the resiliency that both families showed days before the wedding is something that I totally respected and was amazed by. The wedding became more than just a celebration of two people's love, but a reminder that while things may end, we can always celebrate new beginnings. 


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Stacie getting ready at the Paris Parker salon in Perkins Rowe.


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Stacie's mother, Bonnie, looking on.


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The ceremony and reception was held at the beautiful LSU Hilltop Arboretum.


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The wedding cake and the awesome groom's cake, the West coast really needs to pick up this tradition!

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Can you guess what Jake does for a living? Haha.

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My favorite set from the whole wedding, Stacie and Bonnie are just glowing. Jake met them both halfway to walk them to the altar.

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The officiant "Big Mike" saying a prayer.

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Jake's mother, Adele, watching on.

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Beautiful tree on the grounds, the right shot was taken by Katy, who just couldn't resist picking up a camera in her bridesmaid dress.

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The DJ announced them ten minutes too early, they had to run to get to their entrance!

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The wedding became more than just a celebration of love between two people- it was a reminder that life itself is fragile; a passing is a reminder that the cycle of life and love can be woven to celebrate a new beginning.

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katy marshall:

um, tears. I love everything you said about the wedding, it summed up everything so beautifully! Thank you so much for coming down to LA for this - you were AMAZING!! And I was so impressed with how you handled everything after we found out about stacie's dad - you are such a pro! I would recommend you to every person I know - except you would take all my business - ha! Love you chaz!

(04.22.09 @ 04:39 AM)
Karren P:

SO beautiful! The wedding party pic is my fav; so much green! And hanging the dress from a tree... awesome idea, I want to do that haha. Thanks for meeting with me yesterday. You are so pro-fish haha I can't wait :)

(04.22.09 @ 10:41 AM)
Cathy Durbin:

beautifully stated....beautifully captured...

(04.22.09 @ 03:21 PM)
kim hingada:

OMG... talk about tears in my eyes! everything you said was just beautiful and the pictures came out wonderful!

(04.23.09 @ 11:44 AM)
Adele Fletcher (mother of the groom):

Isn't Stacie beautiful!!!! And Jake is so handsome!!! Thank you so much for capturing some tender moments. Life is fragile yet unstoppable! Thanks for being part of our family and I hope that our paths will cross again. Besides, we have more crawfish!

(04.23.09 @ 02:24 PM)
Stacie Cook Marshall:

Chaz, you are such an amazing photographer and friend! Thank you for everything. The "story" of us that you wrote is beautiful and so touching.

(04.28.09 @ 03:35 PM)
jake marshall:

You are such a kick ass photographer!! You did such a fantastic job Chaz! Thank you for writing the story and capturing our wedding in such a beautiful way! If I would've known how GREAT the pictures and photo booth and all the other stuff turned out we would've paid you ten times more! Seriously, you did an awesome job with the wedding and all the stuff that went on before. It meant alot to me, but even more to Stacie that you came to her dad's funeral service and I just wanted to thank you. Thanks again for everything!!

(05.21.09 @ 09:43 PM)
Jake and Stacie's wedding is officially in the books. While the humidity battled against this San Diego boy, I think I prevailed with some awesome photographs. I also busted out the 'ole photobooth, with my good friend Katy Marshall, and her brothers Ben and Jake, who also moonlighted as the groom. Many photos to come as soon as I get back home!

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March 29, 2009 // weddings
Last week, I photographed an intimate wedding with Jenna and Zach at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. We couldn't have asked for a better day for the wedding, it has rained the day before and we were a bit afraid the sun wouldn't come out. But the sun broke way early in the day so we were lucky, but I was even luckier to have my friend Mary Frances in town to assist me for the shoot! So without further ado, here is Jenna and Zach!

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Jenna sparkled in every way that day, Zach wasn't too bad either, haha.

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I told Zach that I would put one of his model faces on the blog, haha.

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I love the color of Jenna's shoes and bouquet!

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I love this photo so much I made it my new intro image on my website.

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Lowell Leoncio:

Awesome Chaz.

(03.29.09 @ 10:47 PM)
angela rodriguez:

Chaz you do a great job...Awesome

(03.29.09 @ 11:00 PM)
Kristine:

I love these. I'm telling you, I'm flying your ass to New Zealand if I ever cross over. My favorite is the one on the bridge. ;) You're the greatest wedding photographer- really, I almost want to hate you. :P

(03.30.09 @ 12:03 AM)
Jenny Weinman:

Hi - I'm Zach's sister and Jenna's new one. Appreciate very much you documenting this event for the family!! Please let me know how I can get a copy of all the pics taken!!

(03.30.09 @ 02:33 AM)
Errol:

it's funny...everytime you put an update on facebook...i click it to see your photos. really amazing stuff!!!

(03.30.09 @ 10:38 AM)
joeybe:

dude! the one above the bouquet shots is amazing.

(04.02.09 @ 10:55 PM)
Marie Miller:

I loved your pic's of Jenna and Zach! You totally captured her total essence! I cried looking at the pictures as if I was actually there. Great Job!

(05.05.09 @ 02:53 PM)
Had amazing time with Jenna and Zach at Balboa Park, much more to come soon!

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jason McGrew:

Love it man!

(03.24.09 @ 09:52 AM)
JoEllen Smith:

my sister looks unbelievably gorgeous and this is an amazing picture :)

(03.24.09 @ 10:56 AM)
Gene Goon:

beautiful Picture!

(03.24.09 @ 10:59 AM)
Brett Hensley:

YAY!

(03.24.09 @ 06:40 PM)