couples

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.

Pictures in the Park w/the Langston Family

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

DSC_5947-Edit-8.jpg

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.

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.

_DSC6619-13.jpg

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.   

Street Photography

What is street photography anyways?

"I tie my hopes and dreams tied to the sea"

"I tie my hopes and dreams tied to the sea"

To a lot of people I talk to about my street photography it looks like i just go out and shoot random photos while in public. For me it is something a lot more.  

Whenever I go out with my camera I like to look for the "moments" as they happen. My favorite images are those of people looking off into the distance. I feel like a small pice of the emotion they were feeling is captured in that picture.

Time in a bottle

Time in a bottle

Other times I look for composition in my surroundings.  People in embrace, matching groups of three or more like a grandmother, mother, and grand daughter, or people in the same outfit/uniform.  I found it to be a good exercise for me to always look at the world with a photographic eye. It also helps break any nerves when it comes to photographing a stranger in public. I have yet to be approached or asked what I'm doing taking their photo. However if asked I would gladly delete a picture for someone if they asked.

Motherhood

Motherhood

What are your thoughts on street photography?  Do you set rules for images you avoid capturing? When you first started did you feel nervous taking photos of strangers, and have you ever been asked to delete a photo you've taken? 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.