5 Photographers Dead in Tragic Helicopter Crash

This past Sunday five photographers lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash.  The helicopter per current reports lost engine power before defending into the east river in New York. The pilot was able to escape from the craft and is the sole survivor. There is currently an investigation as to how this may have happened and what measures can be taken in the future to prevent this from happening again.  The five photographers were harnessed in the helicopter and went down with the helicopter.

Photoghing my first Quinceanera

Hey everyone and welcome back to the blog. Here is a behind the scenes video from a Quinceanera that I had the opportunity to photograph.  This is the first time Ive worked an event like this and with every first comes some nervousness. I think weddings have prepared me enough though because once I started capturing photos I quickly settled into my work flow. Thank you for watching and be sure to follow and subscribe. link to my Instagram here.

How many photos do you send to your clients?


 -How many photos do you send your clients?- The short answer for me is all of them.I thought I would take some time over the next few posts talking about some of the questions I get as a photographer. When it comes to the editing and delivery process I decided early on that I wanted it to be simple. No packages, no minimum quantities, and no back and forth nonsense picking prints.I edit and deliver every image I capture (except for test shots and out of focus images) in a web format and a print format. I can understand some wanting to only send what they feel is their best work. However more often than not I've found people will like different images for different reasons. I also don't want to hold on to clients photos. My thought is they are your photos you paid for them so you get em all, and I save room on my hard drive😃. The term "do good work" is much more important when I hand everything over.

Wedding Photography

Weddings are quickly becoming our favorite events!  Each one so far has been fun and we take away so many sweet moments whether it is the cutest little flower girls, or tiny little ring bearers each one has left an impression on us.  Sometimes it is the fun-loving bride and groom whose positive energy radiates throughout the entire day, or the deep love and happy tears that the both bride and groom shed as they get a quick peak at their future husband/wife during the first looks. 


We get to be there as the happy couples begin their big day getting ready, relaxing with snacks, enjoying mimosas ( or tequila to each his own)!  Once the hair and make up is done the day seems to fly by and here is one of our favorite parts of the day.  When the bride finally gets into her dream gown just might be a moment that stops time or at least slows it down.  There is a glow and twinkle in her eye that is mirrored on her bridesmaids faces as they help her get her jewelry, shoes or accessories on and of course when the veil goes on!

Some of our couples have decided to go the traditional way and they don't see each other until the bride makes her way down the aisle, while others have done the the most recently trendy first looks.  Whichever they have chosen both offer excitement and tender emotional moments that we have had the privilege to capture.  The first looks have definitely allowed for some great photo ops while everything is still mellow and low key.  Bride and groom get to have some quality time together.  Grooms get to take in the allure of their brides and some of the photos with the bridal party and immediate family can be taken all before the ceremony even starts.  Once the ceremony is under way the clock seems to going twice as fast so the first look is definitely beneficial in that regard.

No matter which way you opt for making a shot list and having either a wedding coordinator or a point person to gather the family ( family member or maid of honor in some cases) will help ensure you get as many of those must have pictures you want!!  When you're planning a wedding the big day arrives before you know it, while it will undoubtedly go quickly, your photographer and videographer will be there to capture all of the special moments. 

Engagement Session @ the Griffith Observatory

Early morning engagement session with Andrian and Shawntelle at the Griffith Observatory

 Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

 Photography has blessed me with the opportunity to meet and work with some pretty awesome people. Getting to know their story and have a fun time while out capturing the love these two share in a photo.

 Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

We met up early on a Saturday morning at the Griffith Observatory. This would be the first time I would be working at this location taking photos. Shawntelle and I had communicated via email about the types of poses she would like to have captured and even provided me with a link to her pinterest. All of this made my job a whole lot easier. However there was still the fact that I had never photographed at this location before. I'm not one for running and gunning when I have an opportunity to prepare. So on the day of our shoot I headed over a half hour early to take a look around the observatory myself and plan out some of the areas that might work best with the sample ideas I was provided.

 Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

 Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

The weather is something I always have on my mind as the day draws closer to a photo shoot. This photo session was scheduled for 9:30am, and after checking my iPhone for the weather it was going to be an overcast morning. If given the choice of photographing during a clear sunny day or an overcast one I'll take the fog every time. The light is easy to work with and doesn't cast any harsh shadows.

 Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

Once the happy couple was ready to begin I dialed in my cameras settings and set up my exposure for the couple.  This resulted in photos with a blown out background giving some of the images a feeling of solitariness in a busy city like Los Angeles. When I look at other inspiring engagement photos I feel like just the couple is captured. Some photos convey a feeling of togetherness, or strong emotions of being in love, and alone in a place that is just their own. It was a feeling I tried capturing with these images. I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I did capturing them and thank you for reading.

 Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

So what do you think? Has the weather ever been an obstacle in your photo sessions or have you found ways to use it creatively?  Let me know in the comment section below. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also follow me on Instagram as well links located above. Thank you and please remember to like this post if you liked it, and hit that share button.

Back To Back Photo Sessions

Here is a behind the scenes video of the photos taken with Kelsey, her husband, Rachel, and her two children!

We met up around 6:30pm and the sun light was just amazing.  It is a real pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic group.  They were all easy going and very comfortable in front of the camera.  Here are a few of the photos taken at Lake Balboa Park.

As a photographer have you ever booked back to back photo sessions?  Let me know in the comment section below. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. You can follow me on Instagram as well links located above and remember to like if you liked this, and share this post.

Fuddruckers Meal Review

Out with the family enjoying some burgers at Fuddruckers in Burbank CA

Sometimes a craving hits and you just need to fill it.  Today that craving was for a burger from Fuddruckers.  I had been there once before and ordered their bourbon burger.  The atmosphere of the place is really nice and it reminded me of "The Graduate" in San Luis Obispo.  The burger or chicken sandwich is served up on a bare bun.  It is over in the side bar where you add all the toppings and condiments yourself to dress your burger to your liking.  The toppings range from shredded lettuce, romain lettuce, tomato, red onion, white onion, tomato, salsa, pickles, and more.  While the condiments remain pretty standard with your mustards, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and mayonnaise.  The most important of all the condiments is their hot cheese sauce.  If you have not experienced the awesomeness that is a cheesy fry you need to add that to the list and then quickly check it off. It is really great for dipping your fries.

 I have to give the guys over there at Fuddruckers the thumbs up. They make one good burger and the place was clean. In the corner they have classic arcade games and they even have the new Coca-Cola machines where you use a touché screen to pick or create your own custom soda.


How about you. Have you ever been to a Fuddruckers? Also have you ever had fries with cheese dipping sauce? Let me know in the comment section below. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. You can follow me on Instagram as well links located above and remember to like if you liked this, and share this post.

A Central Coast Engagement Session

Early morning session with Manuel and Priscilla at the Monarch Butterfly grove in Pismo Beach CA,


I have know both Mo and Priscilla for years. Mo and I go back a ways.  He and I first met in middle school at the time when breakdancing was making its comeback.  Now Im not going to lie and say that there are no photos or videos out there of us breakdancing but I can tell you that they will not be included in this blog (sorry to disappoint).  Priscilla and I have known each other even longer.  Both her father and my dad were very good friends.  Always BBQing and laughing over a cold beer, some old stories, and good food.  So I was honored when they asked if I would capture their engagement photos.  It is awesome to see two people I have known for so long find such happiness in each other.

 We met up early on a Sunday to get some of the great sunrise lighting.  Being that this was my first time photographing at this location I arrived early to get a lay of the area and what spots might work best for the couple.

We started out with some close up photos before moving into the rest.  I like to break the ice with some tight shots that require little direction for a couple just begining their session. It is a nice way of easing into the shoot with a more laid back and relaxed vibe.

From there we moved to our first location.  Priscilla had also taken the initiative and brought out some signs and various other items for us to use during out shoot. In this photo I used my 85mm prime, and directed her son to stand in the foreground with the sign so that Mo and Priscilla would sink into the background blur. This lense has an amazing bokeh at the wider apertures. It is my go to lens for portraits and I use it whenever the room permits.

After we finished here we moved toward a bridge that connects the grove to a campground near the beach. Given the early start time we had very little distraction from the morning walkers.  For this shot the sun was just begining to shine thorough the tree in the background. So I swapped my lens out for my 50mm in order to drink in more of the surrounding area. With the morning fog begining to lift it offered a warm golden glow when the sun hit. We positioned their second sign in the center of the bridge. Setting my focus on the sign I set my aperture to f/4 to give a soft fall off to them in the distance. 

Wraping up at the Butterfly grove we packed up and moved to our second location in Nipomo. I always get pumped when people are as passionate about the vision for their photos as I am.   So when we discussed a second location and working with a classic car I was all for it. I believe the finished product and the process involved are equally important when it comes to creating great photos.

When we arrived Priscilla already confirmed the car we would be working with was in rout. The driver arrived minutes after we did, both mo and Priscilla were ready in their second outfit, and things could not be running any smoother.  


The sun was begining to really give off some harsh light so we positioned the Impala under a tree to give us some even shade to work with.   We ran through a few more poses with the vehicle and then called it a day. After all was said and done we managed to complete our shoot in an hour not including the drive time between locations.  

Both Mo and Priscilla were a pleasure to work with. The love they have for one another not only shows in their photos but in the way they laugh, and act with one another. It is my pleasure to share the photos in this blog with those who read it. I am blessed to know this happy couple and wish them all the best as they draw closer to their wedding day. 

As a couple or photographer have you ever taken photos in separate locations. Also what are your thoughts on early morning sessions with the sunrise vs. those taken later in the day with the sunset? Let me know in the comment section below. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. You can follow me on Instagram as well links located above and remember to like if you liked this, and share this post.

Engagement Session with Ili and Tavern

Early morning photo session at the Lake in Van Nuys CA,

I met up with these two early in the morning. We were scheduled for a 6:30am shoot however plans changed and we pushed things back to 8am.  Being a morning person this wasn't an inconvenience for me.  I would much rather have a couple be ready, and not feel rushed to get to a photo shoot with me.  I find things go a lot smoother when everyone is at ease.

Photographing these two was a lot of fun.  Both were very comfortable in front of the camera and made my job a whole lot easier.

For these photos I decided to use my 85mm for the entire shoot.  It required a lot of moving on my part to frame my shots but I am a huge fan of the images that this lens is able to capture.  The background just melts away and the couple is tack sharp at f/4.0

While on location this early there was very little background interference from the public.  This allowed us to move about the park in a way that allowed us to capture shots that would otherwise be filled with people.  Since I started photographing in southern California finding locations that give a private feel can be a challenge.  The most effective way I have found to photographing without a lot of people around is to schedule my photo shoots either early in the morning or late in the evening.

I also included another lets edit video where I take you through one of the black and white photos and show you my editing process from beginning to end.  Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Photo of the Day 007

"Fire in the Sky" Capturing a burning sunrise in Valencia CA

The mornings in southern California are lit with amazing sunrises that set the sky ablaze during the months leading up to the fall and winter.  On August 6, 2015 at 5:57am as I got closer to work I was welcomed with this.  A sunrise off in the horizon behind some of the towering power lines that can be found in the city of Valencia.  The suns light reached across the morning sky and cast a warm tone to the lingering clouds.

When shooting sunsets I usually set up my tripod and compose my shot well ahead of time.  Sunrises however are completely different.  Working early mornings has me arriving at work around the time the sun is rising.  This leaves little to no time to set up a tripod or even compose a shot.  For this photo I had left my camera attached to my tripod because of the previous mornings sunrises.  Once I pulled over and made my way to this location I dropped the legs and used my 18-55mm kit lens.  Composing the power lines off to the lower right I took a few bracketed images so that I could merge them into HDR photos later.  Once I felt confident that I captured the scene I took a couple more with my 35mm and 50mm prime lenses.

With the month of July rapidly coming to an end I am anticipating this years sunrises and look forward to capturing some more great mornings in Valencia.

How about you. Do you enjoy any sunrises or sunsets? Also if you are a local to the Valencia or Santa Clarita area what is your favorite place to watch a sunset or sunrise? Let me know in the comment section below If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Lets Edit 002

In this weeks video watch as I go through my workflow editing this American Classic

Below are a few of the edited images.


What photo editing software do you use in your photography? What type of workflow do you use when editing images of vehicles?  Let me know in the comment section below Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

A Santa Clarita Maternity Session

In this video see behind the scenes while I talk about my shoot with @megasourus_rex.

Included below are a few of the images we captured while out a the Wiliam S. Hart ranch and museum in Santa Clarita, CA.


Have you taken photos using a handful of locations for your clients? Do shoot at the same places or try to find new ones for each session? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Pictures in the Park w/the Langston Family

Summer photo session with Anthony, Christy and their yellow lab Jack


Driving towards Newbury Park on a warm Saturday afternoon we were met with the wonderful surprise of a ten degree difference in temperature.  Given the heat that we have been living with this summer it was a welcome change.  When scheduling photo sessions in the summer season Its good to check the weather ahead of time to be sure it isn't too hot out.  The heat can cause a lot of discomfort for a client and that discomfort will show through in the photos. On the 101 freeway as we drove toward our shoot we even caught a glimpse of a fire burning off in the distance.

We met on location at 6:30pm.  The sun was still far from ready to set but the light we had was great none the less.  Christy, her husband Anthony and their dog Jack are close friends of my fiancee.  Christy and Anthony were a pleasure to work with. Their dog Jack was full of energy like most labs but when it was time to take their photos he was very well behaved.  My fiancee and Christy have been friends for almost ten years.  When Christy asked to have her photos taken it was just about setting a date.  

The park Christy selected for her photoshoot was just a few steps away from their new home.  I try to do as much research as possible before shooting at a new location. This helps me plan the path we will take through our photoshoot and ensure we get the photos we want. In this instance I wasn't able to make it out to survey the area prior to the shoot.  I relied on Google maps and screen shots taken by others who have visited that park before.  I find it helpful to use Instagram when doing research on a new location.  More often than not I find a large amount of photos taken by others who are familiar with the best angles to photograph from.

Since the sun was still rather high in the sky we began our shoot posing under a tree.  The shade helps to prevent harsh light and shadows from being cast on a persons face. One thing I learned to watch out for is light spilling through the branches.  It can create a hard light spot or spots on a person that isn't easy to edit out in post.

From there we moved into the clearing while still remaining covered by the trees shade.  I tried a few different lenses to incorporate the grand landscape in the background.  Having started out taking landscape photos I like to incorporate the surrounding area whenever possible in my work with people.

Have you had your photos taken on a hot summer day? Also what do you do to manage harsh sunlight? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Photo of the Day 006

Capturing wildlife at Balboa Lake

Taking the camera, and baby out for a walk around the lake is a highlight to the end of the work day.  Having a baby definitely changed my routine after work as well as my views on places to live.  Before our son was born we lived in the Woodland Hills area with the Westfield mall and other local hangouts just a short walk from our place.  It was a great area to live as a couple however as parents I feel more drawn to quiet neighborhoods.  Having the lake close to us is great.  We take our son out for walks and as his attention grows so does his consumption of the beauty in the park.  I took this shot with my 85mm prime at ISO 400, f/4.0, and 1/5000 of a sec. Looking back it was a really bright day, and I could have shot it at ISO 100 with a slower shutter speed. I think I had forgot to check my settings after taking some photos indoors. In the end I got the shot I was going for and all in camera with no cropping in post.

Where do you spend your time unwinding after work? Also if you have a little one do you prefer the busy city life or a quieter neighborhood? Let me know in the comment section below Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

The Nintendo 64 (twenty years later)

The Nintendo 64 was the system that introduced my brother and I to the frontier of 3D gaming.

It was Christmas Eve in the Campoamor home. We had just come back from spending the holiday with family, and as was tradition in our house we were ready to open some gifts.  We had all but finished when our mom asked us if we were ready for our last gift.  She went into her closet and returned with one small box.  She said that this gift was to be shared between my brother and I.  We eat took one end of the box into our young hands holding it ever so gently so as not to damage the contents within.  We were like Charlie and Grandpa Joe in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory just before opening the Wonka bar.  After months of Nintendo commercials, and dozens of magazine articles, this was it.  This was the moment we had been eagerly awaiting, this was the last few steps before the summit.  My brother wiped the sweat from his brow and carefully began to tear back a corner of the wrapping. What happened next was a blur.  I've been told that my brother and I fell into a frenzy. Like two ravenous dogs feasting on a fresh kill.  When we fell back to reality we held in our hands Super Mario 64! At this moment we were pumped and filled with excitement that the next give would be the Nintendo 64.  If I told you that our parents went back and brought that box out for us to open I would be lying to you.  In fact it was the first time my brother and I learned about supply and demand. The rules of the world was at our door step that night and the flicker of childhood innocents in our eyes was replaced with a mile long stair of a spartan warrior.

Over the next few months we spent a lot of time reading the instruction manual included in the games box.  My brother would even take the cartridge outside and run around the yard with it as if he was in the Super Mario world jumping on goombas, and flying through the Mushroom Kingdom. Once the second shipment of consoles came in our parents took us to pick it up.  I am reminded of how we handled the situation though.  Given that we were pretty young and not getting a gift that you might really want can seem like the end of the world at that age. Our parents talked to us about what is valuable in life.  How they work hard to provide a life for us that they didn't have growing up.  That gifts are a kind gesture, that we should ever feel entitled to.

The christmas we got a game without a console became a story we would tell often in the years to follow.  Each year the tale would become even grander than the last.  It always brought happy memories, and filled our home with laughter.  Twenty years later the Nintendo 64.

What memories do you have of the Nintendo 64?  Let me know in the comment section below Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Lets Edit 001

In todays video watch while I run through my work flow in this Lets Edit Lightroom edition.

Not being one to miss out on a prime shot this photo was taken while on the road home from a trip to Bakersfield CA.  More often than not landscape photos are taken with a tripod and carefully set up.  However the cloudscape over the open flat land was an amazing site and we were dead set on getting home so I used what I had and took the shot.  As we came closer to the grade heading south the sun began to breakthrough and display some amazing rays of light.  There are many ways to add god rays to a landscape using photoshop.  However I was fortunate enough to capture them as it happened.  While going through my editing process I focused on bringing more definition to the light rays, and correct the photo to display the original colors of the scene.  Due to the car windows tint there was a slight cast of green in the original image. I shot this photo with my 50mm prime at ISO 100, f/4.0, and because the car was moving I had my shutter set to 1/2500sec to prevent any motion blur.

What photo editing software do you use in your photography? Since most landscape photos are taken using a tripod have you ever taken a landscape photo from a moving car?  Let me know in the comment section below Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Photo of the Day 005

Hitting the trails hard in the Chevy with the @mexican_cowboy


This weekend we too to the trails just behind some homes in the San Fernando Valley.  Though it was a hot weekend it was a surprise to see some water left over from the night before.  Not one to pass up on an opportunity to take his truck for a dip Tavern went full bore through this trail. I shot this with my 85mm prime at ISO 1000, f/4.0 and 1/1250sec.

Have you ever been off-roading or taken photos while out on the dirt track. Let me know in the comment section below Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.