photo of the day

A Central Coast Engagement Session

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

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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.  

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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.

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.

Photo of the Day 005

Hitting the trails hard in the Chevy with the @mexican_cowboy

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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.