Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FAQ: Engagement Sessions

Tis' the season... not just the holiday season, but the season for engagement sessions.

As a photographer specializing in weddings, my year is divided in two: winter engagement sessions and spring/summer/fall wedding season. During the winter, I get at least one email a week asking about what to wear to an engagement session.

My advice: wear what is comfortable - what makes you look good!

This is all subject to several caveats, of course.

First, I like when one or both of the couple wears complementary bold colors. This makes both of you really pop in pictures.

Second, most people bring a 'more formal' and 'less formal' outfit - but that doesn't mean that you have to do so! In one of my favorite recent engagement sessions, Eric and Genelle's, Eric was wearing shorts and a plain white tee... but looked great because he was comfortable in his clothes. You may not be comfortable in front of the camera - lord knows i'm not - but we can work on that if you are comfortable in your own skin.

Third, don't BOTH wear patterns. One can get away with it. Both of you can if you have an amazing sense of style and you coordinate well. But most of us? Bad idea. So think about it.

Fourth, accessorize! Shoes, hats, scarves, funky necklaces and bracelets - all awesome ways to show your personalities and make your pictures stand out.

Finally, going with more don't - you don't have to wear matching outfits. Seriously, you probably don't coordinate to wear matching outfits with your fiancee in daily life, right? It's cute when you are kids, or maybe when you are with the whole family and you don't want to worry about clashing, but not for engagement sessions.

So, there you have it. Bold clean colors, wear something comfortable, don't got overboard with the fun patterns. And white t-shirts and jeans be banned!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mira and Kelly: Wedding

A few months ago, I shot Mira and Kelly's very special wedding, alongside Emily.

Mira and Kelly's wedding was an amazing cultural event, consisting of both indian and american traditions, at the Paradise Point Resort.  They were married under vibrant marigolds, but the bright flowers couldn't compete with how each basked in the other's presence. 

I love the look they are giving each other, and how its a little soft.... I think that it lends to the feel of the image

Some ceremony details:

Wedding Coordinator: Ann's Plans
Wedding Location: Paradise Point Resort

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Moosey

I was sorting through some weddings from the summer that I second shot, but had never blogged... and I found this. The first photo I took with my lovely 50 1.2. Amazingly sharp and buttery, isn't it? (especially considering that it was super dark in my office)

A picture of my growing puppy.

Moose is no longer the adorable young puppy he once was. Now he is bigger... stronger... more faithful... and even more playful than as a puppy. Seriously, he will play fetch as long as you will throw something - anything. My Moosey teaches me valuable lessons every day: never forget to add some time for fun into your day; if you are patient and look longingly enough, you'll eventually get someone to play with you; and never forget to greet the one you love at the door.

Season of Giving

I have seen and heard so many that are struggling right now. I've realized this year that i'm so fortunate compared to others. While life may not always be perfect, my husband and I both have our health, steady income, and most importantly, each other. With that, i've been inspired to give back as much as possible. And, along with that, I have seen so many photographers with fabulous ideas to help others in these difficult economic times; efforts which I wish to join in. To that end, I have two blog contests that I am running:

I am giving away a free portrait, family, or couples session. You know someone. You know someone who's experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who can't afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of their family's spirit, love, and beauty.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography – $750 worth, to be exact, including a complimentary session and a $400 print credit. Whether it's a canvas, albums, prints for Grandma, or a wall's in your power to give them the artwork they deserve this holiday season.

Oh, and the best part? The person who nominates the winner receives a complementary session as well as a $200 print credit. What better reason to show some love could there possibly be, people?

The fine print:

You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services.

The nominee must reside in Southern California. Tell me who you know, what they're experiencing, and why they deserve my artwork. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.

Comment on this blog entry to let me know you've entered, and e-mail me the full story:

The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve...get nominating! I can't wait to read all of your entries!

Like many other photographers, I am participating in the 'Cans for Comments' drive. When people who read my blog leave comments, it totally makes my day! I'll take comments, questions, compliments, or anything you have to say about my work!

For the next 14 days (until Christmas Eve's eve), if you share the love, so will I! For everyone who posts a comment on any of my blog entries, i'll donate a canned good to the San Diego food bank. To faciliate this, I vow (VOW, I say!) to post at least 3 times each week, so everyone has lots of material for their blog love! It's easy to help out - just leave a comment! And while you are at it, jump over to Ohana Photography, where I heard about this, and Chris + Lynn, where this wonderful idea originated!

Open your heart to someone this holiday season – and thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Genelle and Eric: Engagement

After exchanging several emails back and forth, Genelle told me she didn't need a consultation: she was sure I was the photographer for her. After our first meeting, I couldn't help but agree. In addition to introducing Brandon and me to the amazing Dominic's in Oceanside harbor, we had so much to talk about at our 'getting to know you' dinner that I instantly felt like I had made a new friend.

So, when we made plans for their engagement session, and she mentioned how nervous Eric was, it only seemed natural to get together and chat, and maybe sneak a little drink onto the beach (in our defense, we did drink our champagne in plastic cups!) before the session. And, after a glass (or three) in his system and some time frolicking on the beach, Eric was a natural!

 Seriously, aren't they a gorgeous couple?

Genelle and Eric (well, mostly Eric I would speculate) wanted a more casual engagement session that a lot of my clients. No outfit changes, multiple locations, fancy things necessary. Just them, together, hanging out at the beach. 
I discovered during the shoot that Eric used to be a lifeguard - so cool!  The lifeguard stand seemed especially fitting after that :-)

Genelle, we had tons of fun and can't wait for your wedding this March!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tammy and E-ming: Teasers

A few, because I know how eagerly you are awaiting them!

Lots more engagement sessions to come, now that I have finally adapted to the mac and am finished with vacations!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Around the Corner...

I walked through the mall a few days ago, totally out of sort. Was that... Christmas music... already?! But it's only October! End of October, maybe, but its still hot outside.

But, yes, alas, it's that time of year again. For my 2008 brides and grooms, I will be re-releasing your events online this week so you can give your family the best gift available - pictures of you! Any purchases made before December 1 will receive a special holiday discount of 10%. Also, i'm moving over to a new and improved proofing system, so I will be sending you additional information on how to log in and view your photos.

For my 2009 brides... my 2009 prices take effect next week! So, if you have been dragging your feet on booking (or sending in that retainer), please note that your current quotes are only good through the end of the week. For those that want to take advantage of the last remaining week of 2008 prices, if you book before November 1st, I will still honor those prices.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jennifer and Jayson - Engagement Teasers

A couple of teasers until I get everything on the new mac up and running (and can process everything!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Monday

My poor blog is suffering! So a quick miscellaneous post:

(1) I got a mac, including a cinema display! It's beautiful. Practically like viewing the images life sized!

(2) This has seriously put me behind in editing. Had I realized it would be such a pain to switch everything (programs, images, etc) over, I would have done it in my "down-season." So to those waiting... coming, I swear! And then I will catch up with the blogging! (I think i'm 7 or 8 weddings and 3 e-sessions behind... eek!)

(3) I second shot a wedding this Saturday with a delightfully glowy Chenin Boutwell - half of the team behind TRA! It was awesome getting to work with someone who is so successful (and is an attorney to boot)!

(4) During Saturday's wedding, I quickly ran to my car to grab something. As I came back I noticed this large... something with a tail and perky ears - dog? fox? (then I realized that foxes probably aren't prevalent in Palos Verdes) - raccoon! It had to weigh at least 40-50 pounds. It was one of the biggest raccons that I have ever seen.

(5) Instead of wedding cake, Saturday's wedding had cupcakes...mmm... cupcakes. So I grab one for the road (meyer lemon, delish!), notice a trashcan on the way to my car, and toss the wrapper in the trashcan. I hear a noise, stop, puzzled... then the raccoon's little paws grab the top lip of the trashcan, and he pops his (big) head out. I stumbled back a few feet, frozen, heart racing. I stood there for a few minutes, basically afraid to move, then dug out my video light and made my way back to my car. The wedding is now even more memorable!

And, in honor of the dog-sized raccoon, I google image'd 'giant raccoon.' Courtesy of google:

(yeah, i'd never hold a raccoon either, yet alone one that large. 75 pounds!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sarah & Reve - Wedding

Back from the blogging dead! (and more importantly, from vacation, which I will tell you all about... sometime before I go on vacation again). I shot Sarah & Reve's wedding a few weeks ago with Melissa McClure at the Hilton in Mission Valley. After an exciting morning chasing down the wayward groom and groomsmen, we finally met up at the church in Chula Vista. While Melissa (and Brandon) shot the ceremony, I traveled over to the hotel with the awesome coordinator, Brenda Swan of Swan Soirees. To all brides who have even the slightest doubt about a coordinator - they are worth their weight in gold! Brenda ran everything on time, made sure that everything was set up correctly, moved things around, and just made the entire event it's most fabulous!

Aren't the pink flowers incredible?! Just my color ;-)

The bouquet and garter tosses were both TONS of fun!