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Art & Life with Marianne and Joseph Sanada

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marianne and Joseph Sanada.

Please kick things off for us.
Marianne was practically born with a camera in her hand. She went to an arts-based high school where she majored in photography. She went to college at the California Institute of the Arts where she also majored in photography. Just before she graduated, she was ‘tricked’ into being the lead photographer at a wedding via a craigslist listing for an assistant photographer. Thank goodness that craigslist did what it does best because Marianne absolutely fell in love with wedding photography and we started our business shortly thereafter!

Joe took an odd path to wedding photography. Joe went to law school and was a practicing attorney for several years. One day he stayed home sick, and Marianne asked him to learn photography so that he could be her second shooter at weddings. Joe begrudgingly agreed and began studying photography. Shortly after that conversation, Joe went to one engagement session with Marianne and was hooked for life. As it turns out, making meaningful art in beautiful places with people celebrating the best time of their lives is more fulfilling than helping people fight with one another. Who knew?

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
The best way to answer this question is with a story. Joe had a great grandmother who was everything you could hope for. She was a sweet little old lady who played the piano at Christmas and gave the best advice that an entire lifetime of experience could offer. She radiated love and always had the time and energy to talk to Joe and his brothers even though she was sick with one thing after another from the time Joe was born until she passed when Joe was in the fifth grade. Fast forward to when Joe was in his late twenties visiting his aunt. He was walking down the hall and saw a photo he had never seen before. It was a very, very old black and white photo of a young woman on her wedding day. Technically speaking, the photo was nothing special, but Joe immediately recognized that it was his great grandmother even though he had never seen any pictures of her except as a little old lady. There she stood. A young, beautiful woman with an entire life ahead of her. A life that would result in the creation of Joe and everyone Joe loved most. A life that included pain and difficulty, but ultimately was the foundation of so many wonderful things.

In that moment, Joe realized just how powerful photography can be. From one simple photo, he experienced an incredible range of emotions. He felt hope for the future. He felt sorrow for the loss of his great-grandmother. He felt joy because the photo made him remember and think about the things she taught him and the experiences they had together which made it feel like she was alive again. He felt regret that he didn’t get to spend more time with her. He felt appreciation for the time he had. He was curious about what she was like when she was young. He wished that there were more photos.

Those types of immense feelings are what we hope to create in the wedding photos we deliver. We want our couples to have a deep and diverse emotional response when they look at their photos and remember their wedding. We want their great grandkids to have a revelatory moment when they stumble across their beloved great-grandparents’ wedding album.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
We don’t think that the role of artists has changed. Good art always speaks to some kind of truth. Whether it is about politics, money, the human condition, relationships, the perception of beauty, morality, love, etc., behind all good art is a revelation of something true. Just because the truths that need to be told might change, the role of the artist remains the same.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can see our work at our website: or on our Instagram at and can support our work by hiring us (or recommending that friends and family hire us) to photograph their weddings (or hiring Marianne for some personal brand photography)!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Marianne + Joe Sanada – The Sanadas

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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