baby

Joe, Breanda, and Their Maternity Session

With their babies arrival quickly approaching Joe and Breanda took a little time to have the story of their happy pregnancy captured with photos.

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When Breanda asked me to shoot her maternity photos I was super excited.  Capturing important moments in peoples lives is one of the greatest perks of being a photographer, and I am always humbled when asked.  We went over a few of the things she wanted for their maternity session and set a date to meet  The location however was something to be determined.  I have lived here in Southern California for going on two years, and I am still exploring my surroundings.  With little knowledge of the Santa Clarita area I turned to the Internet to research possible places for the couples maternity session. I narrowed my search down to three. The William S. Hart Ranch and Museum, Valencia Glen Park, and finally an area near Bridgeport Park.  Breanda liked the idea of having their photos taken at the William S. Hart Museum. She was more than familiar with the area having just had her baby shower there the previous weekend. After settling in on the location I headed over to the park to scope out the area and find some places to pose the happy couple.  The area we would be photographing at required some lite hiking but Joe and Breanda were up for the chalange.

On the day of the shoot we met up early at 8am. It was an overcast day and it remained that way throughout the shoot. I welcomed the natural soft box that the clouds provided because it eliminated any harsh light that would otherwise be cast onto the couple.  At the base of the hike I snapped a few test shots to get my settings and from there we headed to our first shoot location. Having checked out the area earlier in the week I broke the hike up into four rest/photo spots. This would ensure my couple didn't look as if they had run a marathon in their photos.

On a side note: photographing a couple who is willing to put in the leg work and hike is awesome for getting a great scene to pose at. I recommend packing some water for your clients. A little extra service can go a long way. 

 At our first spot I had the couple pose next to an old tree. I had them run through a few simple poses to get comfortable with the camera. I find having a couple start out sitting or leaning on something helps take their mind off of what their feet are doing and can allow them to focus more on engaging each other in a more relaxed way.

After this location I had the couple move ahead toward a landing on top of some stairs in the trail.  Having them standing at a higher vantage point than myself felt like it represented  the path they were on as parents, and that even with help from loved ones it is ultimately a path they will navigate together. Due to the overcast morning the sky was a flat gray. To compensate for the lacking background I framed this shot so that I would have a few for ground elements around the edges.  This provided texture and naturally brings you into the photo so that your focuse is on Joe and Breanda. The wood fence also provided a nice leading line toward the couple.

From there we moved up towards the third location. It was a clearing over looking Santa Clarita and the park down below. A single bench provided a comfortable view and served as the perfect spot for images to be shot at a wider focal length.  For these shots I used the 50mm prime to drink in a little more of the surroundings. 

Our final location on the trail was at a small building with wooden railing and some old bars covering the windows.  This building overlooked trail we had hiked and was a place I made sure to save for the end of our session.  Whenever Im out scouting locations I keep a mental note of my favorite spots and try to save those for the end of the shoots.  It has been my experience that near the end of a photo session everyone is a little more at ease than they were in the beginning.  Having a comfortable couple with a great location makes for some awesome pictures.  Breanda had also packed a few sentimental items to use as props. So it was here were we got creative.

I took most of these shots on the balcony with my 85mm prime.  I love the quality of the images I get with it.  We took a few photos with the props, and some solo shots of them on their own before calling it a wrap.  As we made our decent back down the path we came across a really cool looking log cabin.  Since it was on the way we all thought it would be great grab some last minute photos before we called it a day.  We went for a shot of them standing at opposite sides of the stairs landing, and then finished with a fun photo of them belly to baby belly.

I definitely had a blast working with these two.  They are a fun couple and are well on their way to being awesome parents.

Have you had maternity photos require a little exercise to get to the locations? 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.   

Our Engagement and Family Photos

With our wedding on the horizon, going over final details, and checking off the list of things we need to book. We took some time to meet with out wedding photographer DeeDee Stolz for our engagement photos.

We met at Shell Beach on a quiet stretch of sand located along the central coast of California. This was very windy weekend to shoot outdoors but fortunately for us the rocks provided a natural wall dampening the harsh winds. It was a short walk down a set of stairs to the beach.  DeeDee had come prepared with a blanket for us to sit on, and talked to us about the location we were shooting at.  She guided us through our poses very easily and was helpful in explaining the shots she was capturing. With the photos that included our son DeeDee was very much in her element getting him to laugh and smile for the pictures.

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I've known DeeDee for years, and her work with families, weddings, newborns, and engagements photos really caught my eye.  The colors of her pictures and the moments she is able to capture are amazing. She has a real eye for people and is a natural at bringing their emotions out with her camera. 

As a photographer I tend to be my own worst critic. I pay attention to every detail before I send a photo out into the world. However when I look to other artists for their services I want their creative vision. I didn't want a photographer who would take the photos I wanted.  Instead I wanted them to have full creative freedom when it came to capturing my fiancé and I. When we decided to working with DeeDee we had seen her previous work and trusted 100% in her artistic ability. The opportunity to have DeeDee take photos of us and our family was really great expierence.

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Photos included in this blog are by DeeDee Stolz. Check out here website for more of her amazing work (here) and be sure to follow her Facebook page (here) for deals on photo sessions with her.