van nuys

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.

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 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.

Photo Of The Day 004

Some of the steps I take when editing my sunset photos.

Ignited with the final light of the setting sun. The sky was set ablaze with color.  For the past week the sky has been alive with color.  While busy with work and errands I make time at the end of the day to stop whatever it is I am doing to watch the setting sun.  Each one is different from the last.

When I shoot a sunset I lean more toward editing with the foreground in shadow rather than going with the HDR look.  I feel It helps draw the attention toward the main focus of the image.  Also I will add a subtle vignette to the edges and finish with a graduated filter in Lightroom at the top to give the sky a cooler feeling as your view draws further from the setting sun.

I took this photo with my 85mm prime as ISO 400, f/4.0, and 1/250sec.

How do you edit your sunset photos? Do you prefer the HDR look or having the foreground in shadow?. 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.

Little Planet In the Park

"Sunsets in the Park" as apart of a little planet series I worked on a while back.

Shortly after moving to southern California from the central coast I received an email from an old co worker. He isn't the social networking type. To be honest he only recently upgraded his flip phone for a smart phone. He lived down in southern California for years before our paths crossed in the city of Santa Maria. I have asked him about places to go and things to photograph out this way. For me growing up on the central coast I could point my car in any direction to find beautiful landscapes, old towns, stunning beaches, and ocean life. I can't say I have found the same beauty here as of yet. Granted there are plenty of beaches, grand cityscapes, and tons of interesting places to exploring each day. In my friends email reply he encouraged me to "Take the common, and look at it differently." In the past whenever I lived somewhere new I kept to a routine until I felt comfortable enough to venture out and see my surrounding areas. I would go to the same market, gas station, and drive the same roads to work. After reading his email I decided to brake from my norm. I try to take a different route home (if traffic is within reason), go out to a different market each weekend, and explore new places. Looking at the common, differently.

How about you? What are some of your favorite things to photograph? Have you ever moved to a new area and explored new and interesting places? 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.

Family Photos with Johanna and Her Boys

Mother's Day is a celebration honoring our mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society

My fiancé has known Johanna for over twenty one years, and has watched her boys grow from tiny babies to young men.  We met up for out shoot on Saturday and went over to Balboa Lake in Van Nuys.  The lake is a great place for photos here in the city.  With plenty of trees, bridges, and water to work with. It was slightly overcast this day so we went to the lake two hours before sunset just to ensure we had good light to work with.  

Our first location was by a wood fence around the perimeter of the lake. I picked this spot for a few reasons. First it was farthest from where we met so as we made progress through our shoot we would also be making our way back to the car, and secondly I think people relax more when they can sit or lean on something.  Walking between locations helps with small talk and getting to know each other if your working together for the first time. This helps ease people I work with into getting comfortable in front of the camera. If the people I am working with are up for a little walk on our shoot I recommend comfortable shoes. Being able to move around to different locations provides a diverse collection of photos by the end of our session.

Johanna and her boys were great about walking to each place at the lake. It was during those walks between shooting that we got a chance to catch up with her boys to hear how they are doing with school and what plans they have for summer vacation.  

Before heading out on a shoot I take the time look up photos of where we will be on google and even Instagram.  This helps me decide where we can meet and unless the client has a specific place they want to shoot, I will have a few places picked out ahead of time. When searching a locations photos online the first to come up are usually the most popular spots. I like to save those for the end of our photo sessions because it takes time for people to get comfortable. Also the light tends to get better near the last half of the shoot if you time it right. 

Have you recently had your family portraits taken?  What was your experience like, and did you shoot at multiple 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.

Photographing A Classic Car

 Photoshoot with a SoCal classic

America Classic

Timeless

Down here in Van Nuys I've had the chance to meet a few people with a strong love for classic cars. The late hours they put into the restoration process , and thorough searches for original parts is what makes their cars passion projects.

I met the owner, TJ at his home in Van Nuys before he drove us over to the location for our shoot. The interior had a vintage smell to it like an antique pice of furniture.  Once we parked people started to take notice to what we were doing.  We were approached twice by strangers who wanted catch a closer look, know what the story behind that car was, did TJ travels to car shows, and if it was for sale. TJ told me this was all normal whenever he takes his car out, and that people really like older cars because you don't see them that often.

I began our shoot with my 85mm lens. I like this lens because it gives me the chance to study the cars lines from a distance. I took a few snap shots to dial in my settings and then we were off and running.  TJ parked his car at an angle with the sun off to the upper left (behind the car). It was a few hours before sunset and the light I had to work with was perfect.

Photographing this classic was a lot of fun. The people we met during the shoot seemed to be just as passionate as TJ. The challenging part of photographing someones car is capturing the vision that they have of their prized possession. 

Do you have a classic car?  Have you ever had photos or taken photos of your car? Do people stop to come up to you whenever your out with your ride? 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.