Ala Cortez is a boutique photographer with a passion for story telling. Real connections with real people. Based in Los Angeles and available for travel wherever your event takes me. This is my space to share my favorite photographs, words, styles and stories that inspire me. A lookbook of all my favorite things, if you will. Welcome.


    • Weddings
    • Engagements
    • Lifestyle
    • Boudoir

It all started with a bench. There wasn’t anything special or significant about the bench. Not yet, anyway. Just a normal green bench sitting in a normal Pasadena park. Walking through the streets of their favorite city one night, they sat for a second to soak in the night. And that’s where their new life together began. “We came and sat right here” Omar recollected, “and I held her hand and said how much I love her, how much I love this park. I told her how I can’t wait to tell our future kids this is where it all started.” And just as he had asked her a few years before to be his girlfriend, on the same bench, he asked Geovanna to be his wife.

I’ve known Omar for as long as I can remember, and I’ve never seem him in a happier, healthier state. I attribute his newfound aura to Geo. She is beautiful, she has a huge heart and she believes in his dreams. Plus, she laughs at my jokes and after only meeting once, she lets me call her Geo. Although I won’t be shooting their wedding, I was so excited they asked me to document a small little part of their love story. I wish you both much love and happiness. Lots of blessings on your big day and beyond. xoxo

Click here to see more of their session.

  • Jaz - What a sweet story! Beautiful captures!

  • s h e r r y - Super cute <3 I love ALL of Geovanna's shirts. Especially that purple one!

  • Gladys Jem - man oh man. what beautiful light and photos :)

  • Christine - These are beautiful!! I Love her pencil skirt. Think maybe I should be getting one too! Hahaha. Great job Ala :)

  • Marissa Rodriguez - Oh my gosh I love their little bench story! So cute! And the pictures by the windows with the green trim are awesome! By the way, I know I’ve already said this, but I’m LOVIN’ your new look! You go girl!

  • lauren - awww omar you look super handsome! i haven seen you in forver! you guys make an adorable couple!

  • Jessica - Their affection for each other is so warm and lovely. You captured it beautifully.

This morning, I woke up feeling free. Not the kind of free you feel when you get to sleep in, or the kind of free you feel when you knock out your to-do list. I felt the kind of free when you feel like you can finally breathe. The feeling you get when you hear song lyrics and you think “holy crap! this song was written for me!” The feeling of clarity. Like, I just get it now. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but it feels fabulous. I feel fabulous.

These past few days have been a crazy roller coaster, in a good way. I am overwhelmed by all of the support and emails and tweets and comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You know who you are. I am in love with the human spirit. I am in love with life today. And no matter what anyone says I should be doing or what direction I should be going, I plan on doing it my way. Because I feel free.

Oh, and if you wanted a visual of what I feel like today, I’d liken it to this photo I took of my dear friend Allison Richter recently. It’s so filled with life.

  • Lynsey T - I COMPLETELY know what feeling you’re talking about. And I adore your new site…it’s uber fab! Cant wait to see your website.

  • Jaz - I am so happy for you Ala!!

  • s h e r r y - LOVE that photo <3 <3 And I'm so happy for you!

  • natalie - i’m so in love with your new layout and the writing and the colors and just everything! I think it suits you perfectly.

  • Gladys Jem - I’m so happy for you. Feeling free is the best, and so is that photo.

  • kyle richter - Ala… i looovvvvvveee this post.. for obvious reasons.. such a cool photo of my wifey! And just wanted to tell you.. love your new blog!! super cool.. see you soon. kyle

A rebrand has been in the works for quite some time. After a lot of thought, sleepless nights, crying fits and inspirational conversations, I decided that my new brand should be more, well, ME. It took me a very long time to finally understand that what sets me apart in life and in business is me, as a person – Ala. What better way to kick off 2010 than with a whole new brand, look and feel. One that is absolutely close to my heart. It IS me. I’m so incredibly excited to finally share with all of you what I’ve been working on.

The past few months I’ve worked closely with Luxecetera to build the new brand. Simple quirk is what I wanted and I definitely think the goal was achieved. It’s a good feeling to love reading your own blog. Yes, I peep my own blog. Sue me. I also worked with Mary and Scott of Floataway Studios to share a little bit about me. It started out as just a clip so viewers can hear the correct way to pronounce my name. It ended up being a glimpse into my heart. It’s me. It’s my love. It’s my work. I’m thrilled with the outcome. Watch and see!

Ala Promo Video Final from Floataway Studios on Vimeo.

I have to thank someone special who helped in the process – my husband Steven. I know I blab about him all the time but he is my love. Without him, I would be bald, hungry and kiss-less. He is my rock. He makes me want to wake up and work harder each day. I can’t say enough how blessed I feel to have his unconditional love and support. Before I turn this into an Academy Awards speech, here’s a preview of my new business cards. I’m obsessed with the letterpress!

P.S. My website said to tell you that it wanted it’s very own debut day. So be on the lookout within the next week for that. Such a diva that website!

  • Roomie - I’d like to officially be the first comment on the coolest blog in all the land! YAY!! Congratulations Roomie!! This is SO very you…I love it! I’m so so very proud of you and how far you’ve come in such a short time. I see nothing but complete success in your future and I’m so thrilled to be able to see it all happen!

    Watch out world….my roomie’s about to take you by storm!!

    LOVE YOU! And LOVE <3Ala!

  • Marie - Ala,
    I LOVE it! Great job! Congrats! We are so vey proud of you. We wish you much success in your continued venture. You are so very awesome!

  • Gladys Jem - ALAAAAAA! OMG. Its fabulous and I LOVE IT!!! Seriously lovin your new look and that video is fab! :) Congrats girl!

  • Tira J - So proud of you Ala!!! Congrats on the next part of this fantastic and marvelous adventure! Love your new brand and your new promo video! Cheers to you!

  • megan welker - yaaaaay!!! Congrats girl! I LOVE it! & I love your video too! Mary and Scott did an amazing job :) oh….and confession time: I’ve been saying your name wrong this entire time :( lol!

  • Nicole Glenn - Ala you are just too cute for words! So excited for you and I can’t wait to see where you take your business! Best wishes! xoxo

  • Jessebel - Squeee!! I love…EVERYTHING! The new brand, your adorable logo, and finally, the new blog. Finally the proper format to see your beautiful images really shine. Congratulations! I wish you great happiness!

  • anda - congrats!!! soooo exciting. i love the new look. super fitting :)

  • s h e r r y - LOOOOVE your new branding! <3 The cards are super cute, and I love your video. (Thanks for the pronunciation of your name! :))

  • Anne - Very cool! The new style is gorgeous. Can’t wait to see the website :)

  • be11agirl - So gorgeesh Ala!! Nice work. Love the new branding! It’s so simple, elegant and modern. Very you! LOVE! :)

  • Jaz - Hi Ala!! I absolutely love the new look :-) You rocked it out in the video. Congratulations chiquita!

  • Abby - LOVE it!

  • Marlene - AWESOME Alicia!!! Your new Site is AMAZING!!! GREAT Job!!!!
    Your AMAZING at what you do!!!! Might I add, You Look STUNNING!!!! Love It!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    XoXoXo…. Marlene

  • Catie Ronquillo - LOVE LOVE LOVE. Congrats Ala! The promo video is awesome and your new cards, gorgeous! :)

  • Mary - ALA!!!!! Oh my goodness! I love everything about your new blog and branding! So excited for you..this is SO YOU! We had SOOO much fun working with you on your video..so happy you like it! Love everything..but you the most above all!!! Congratulations darling!

  • Evie - Ala, I love it! Very YOU! Yay….you wore the knitted headband in the pix…makes me love your blog even more! Your such an inspiration:)

  • Marissa Rodriguez - Absolutely GORGEOUS! Congratulations!!! Your new branding looks so, well, YOU! It’s perfect! So happy for you!

  • admin - Apparently lots of peeps mispronounced my name. So the promo video mission : ACCOMPLISHED! =)

  • Courtney Dellafiora - Ala!! OH.EM.GEE. I absolutely 100% love your new look and branding. It is SOOOO YOU. I am so happy for you girl! I heart you even more than I did before and I didn’t think that was even possible. I love love love the scripty wordsy stuff on the sides …. loooooove it. You are so perfect! I am jealous!! And the new logo, OH I just love that too. You are so awesome!! I can’t say enough good stuff to tell you how much I love it all. It’s just simply perfect. :) XOXOXOXOX You should be so proud!


  • Molly Marie Williams - Oh how I long for the day to do this. It looks awesome. I love it when people wait, take a second and think about it instead of doing it on a whim and then redoing it two seconds later. Kudos to you and a hearty congratulations!

  • Kayleen T. - I love the new look of your blog! The promo video is sooo cute! Yay Ala!

  • Chandra - Congrats on the new site…can’t wait to see what’s in store for you. PS…love the new branding!

  • Leora - Where did you get your cards made?! They are beautiful!!!

  • AmyPunky Photography - Love the new blog! Love the video! Love the business cards! Way to go, Ala!!! :)

  • Amber - LOVE%20LOVE%20LOVE%20your%20new%20blog!!!%20Congratulations!!%20Great%20Job!!!

  • Sandra - Hi! You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your blog for a while, and have to say how blown away I am! WOW! Your new blog is incredible, not to say your last blog wasn’t. :)
    LOVE LOVE! Congratulations! Wish you the best!

  • Ala - The business cards were printed by The Mandate Press. Excellent service!

  • Lindsay Mills - Your work is SO beautiful!!!!! You are such and amazing artist! :-)

  • AndreaK - Ala, I just looooove this!! You are so completely adorable and it all fits you perfectly! The video is so fun. Congrats girl!!!

  • Araceli - Absolutely beautiful! Everything looks amazing!
    Many congrats :)

  • Jordana - SOOOO Fabulous! I absolutely LOVE it!

  • Ashley - How embarrassed am I that I didn’t know it is pronounced Ayyy-la and not Ahhh-la! I’ve known ya long enough now! The new blog and cards and promo video look so awesome! I really love the words in the squiggles. Congrats Ala (pronounced correctly)!

  • Aileen - Congrats on the new look! LOVE it!

  • ellie m. - Where did you order the letterpress from, i really like it. The place I ordered mine wouldnt do round corners
    Great job

  • laure - yaaaaay! it is here! it looks great i love the pics at the top how they change! :) very fun! very clean very new very modern very you!

  • Megan Hayes - Just darling!! I love it!

  • Candice - I love, love it! So excited for you!

  • Barbara - The journey to be one’s self is the riskiest journey of all!!! I admire your courage & determination to surrender from a 9 to 5 job, and go out on a limb to take the risk to follow your dreams. Many of us ignore our talents and live in fear of failure and ridicule. Not my Alicia, you believed in yourself and trusted your instincts to utilize your “God given graces & talents” and seek out your own future. I have enjoyed riding the waves of this journey via your blog, the honesty in sharing your struggles, decisions & indecisions, doubts, challenges –along with your many joys, successes and all your new friendships & relationships. The beauty of who you are speaks for itself in your photos and in your words. I look forward to your endless pursuit of discovering who you really are as a photographer and being happy about making a difference in other people’s lives. You are truly loved and respected! Congratulations on the new blog and it’s launch!!!

  • Jasmine* - SOOOOOOOOOO PROUD OF YOU!!!! This looks awesome!! Gah!! I could just squeeeeeze you right now!! I just shed a tear of happiness! 😉

  • Sela - I’m not exactly sure why so many people compliment you on “your” creativity because it is simply the creativity of jasmine* and not of your own. I mean c’mon really?? The way you dress with the boots, the fake laughs in your video, etc….All I find in your work is a copycat of Jasmine* and thats not anything to be proud of.

  • Evie Perez - Ala, OMG…Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you and the blog looks fantastic. Love the video!!!

  • Ala - Thanks everyone for your continued support. I’m so excited for this year and to be a part of such an amazing industry.
    @Sela: I’ll take that as a compliment. While Jasmine Star did not, in fact, invent dragon slayers (as my husband calls the boots) and she did not invent laughing, she does laugh and wear boots…along with the rest of the world. Thanks for at least leaving your name and for stopping by my blog!

  • KimB - Hey Ala. I’ve been following your blog for the past couple months now. I’m not a photographer, just a curious girl who loves looking at pretty pictures (and dreaming of her own wedding some day hee hee). I’m glad you don’t let those who drink haterade get to you. I love how you moved from the “modern type” brand to more of a YOU brand. P.S. I love how you say you hug your husband a little bit tighter when you’re inspired by other couples. I do the same with my boyfriend after I see your beautiful pictures!

  • Elena - I think we are all on this earth to learn from and inspire eachother. So if Ala is inspired by Jasmine* can we really blame her? She is fabulous and so is Ala! All the best! Love, Love, Love the new look!

  • Michelle Hebert - Congrats! Love the new homepage and the look of it! Looking forward to watching your business grow and all your sucesses! Awesome!!

  • Oleidee - Marvelous blog! You are incredible! And only 1 hater out of 47 ain’t bad at all. Let’s see…LeBron wants to be like Jordan and Ala wants to be like Jasmine — hmmm…what’s wrong with a professional mentor — learn from the best and become like the best. To the distractors, what have you done for yourself lately? Maybe a lesson in manners might help, try it you might learn something, cuz it sure can’t hurt you.
    P.S…if it was me, I would have deleted the comment. You are such a professional.

  • Candice Noelle - I’ve been following your blog for a while now and finally thought I’d say hi! LOVE your work and the new branding. You’re adorable and I love YOUR style :)

  • Dandelion & Grey - Ala! You’re so cute! I LOVE your photos, your blog & your branding!

    I’m So bummed b/c my computer is acting up & won’t let me play your video! I ADORE mary & scott too, so I can’t wait to see it! I’ll have to steal my hubby’s computer later & try again! xo

  • Lacy Dagerath - You have GOT to be kidding me! THIS is PERFECTION! I LOVE IT! L.O.V.E it!!! Now we need to work on mine!!! haha I am so JEALOUS! in such a good way! I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT! Have I ever told you how fantastic you are? Welll YOU ARE FANTASTIC! I missed seeing your beautiful face in Vegas!!! Next time I am out that way we need to get together!

  • Lotus - I have checked out your blog for a long time and just wanted to comment that this blog is amazing- you can see your personality and passion shine through! Keep doing you and you will definitely achieve success and inspire others along the way:) Love the promo video- so cute!

  • Nicole - Absolute amazingness! I love it! Congratulations on all of the beautiful changes!

  • Anouschka - This looks awesome! LOVE the video!
    Congrats, can’t wait to see the new website :))

  • Sherina Gallagher - I’ve been following your blog for some time. All I have to say is WOW! Your new look is fabulous, and your such an inspiration to an aspiring photographer like myself. Congratulations on getting here, Ala!

  • Harmony Loves - I commented on your fb but I’m going to comment here as well… can never have too many compliments right? I love it! I don’t know you but I feel like I know you and you seem fun, sweet, and amazing. It’s hard not to let rude people get to you but just know that it has nothing to do with you… it’s all them and their insecurities. Rock on girl! :)

  • Catherine - Congrats on the new branding! Love it!

  • Lorraine - Yippee!!! As always, I’m so impressed and inspired by you Ala! Everything looks great and you should be super proud… keep being awesome… Congrats!!!

  • Christina - Alaaaaaaaa….. love the new look it’s absolutely goregous!

  • Leah Mullett - Ala! Amazing! I love your new blog and branding! I hope to be in the same spot in about a year! Your style is sooo different from Jasmine’s! But both are fabulous! Do you know what “kind” of printing is on your business cards?! When it is like “popping out” haha I don’t know much about printing types if you can tell! Have a great day! I’m a true follower now!

  • Sumycin - News. Today