Engagement

My best friend came out to visit me in California and asked if I would take her engagement photos so of course I agreed. I love taking photos of people considering it is the area where I have the most room to grow and this was one of those opportunities. We chose to do the shoot at several location since it was spanned over two days. We started at the Huntington Library, from there we went to Huntington Beach, and the final day we ended at Corona Del Mar. I have hundreds of photos to go through still so expect to see many more to come. But this was my favorite of the bunch so I decided that I would post this one. I always love when it works out that both the people that I am shooting are attractive because it makes getting great shots easy. And these photo shoots were no exception. The best part about this day was that it was overcast and made great filtered light. I don’t have too much equipment in California anymore since I brought a lot of my stuff home, so all of my shots are done with natural light and that;s why I felt so fortunate for a nice, filtered, overcast sky. I tried to get a bit of the vines in the foreground to add to framing and keep things interesting. Hope you like the results. Please follow and like...

Happiness

The great thing about photography is that you are able to capture moments and hold them there forever. For instance in this photo I captured happiness. This couple had just gotten married that day and we were doing some post wedding pictures over at the Urban Lights at LACMA in Los Angeles. You can see on their faces just how happy they felt at that time. Photography is one of those things where you can look at a picture and immerse yourself back into that place and time of that picture and remember how you felt, that’s why I love it. The ability to capture it, no matter how fleeting the moment or time may be, is a reward in itself. I’m sure there are many pictures people have of past relationships, old friends that moved out of their lives, or people that have passed that show many different emotions in them. Regardless of what feelings may be carried by those memories now, a photo of that time is something that you can look at and remember back when you enjoyed that time in your life. When you were in a different place, and different circumstances, with no idea on how the rest of your life was going to turn out. I find that amazing. I was literally lying down on the ground in order to take this shot. I told them just to talk to each other and not to mind me for the time being, however hard that might have been. What ended happening when they started talking? They started smiling and laughing. Who knows if they thought it was funny that I was on the ground but either way it was great for photos and nice to see that they were...

Just Married

My good friend Richard got married last week and entrusted me with being his wedding photographer. The wedding itself took place in downtown Los Angeles at Albertson Wedding Chapel. It was a nice place and they didn’t want it to be too big so it all worked out. After the wedding, they had decided that they wanted to take some photos at the LACMA urban lights. I had been to this location several times before for other photo opportunities and I absolutely love it. Only problem is, is that it is often packed with people. This night was no different. Fortunately enough, I was able to get around that by moving around and being a little more creative with some of the angles I used in other photos that I took. This photo here is probably my favorite one out of the set. I feel like it really makes them stand out and has a movie feel to it. Funny enough, this was one of the first photos we took when we got there. I tried to keep the photos for the actual ceremony as natural as possible, whereas I really wanted to make these stand out and catch their attention. Still, I didn’t have to do too much post-processing to get these where I wanted them. Although this photo is in color, several of the other ones in the set are black and white and I found that a very handy plug-in for black and white wedding photos…or any in general, is Nik Silver Efex Pro. There was no bracketing on these. Just one photos and several adjustments in Lightroom and Photoshop. Perhaps the most difficult thing about shooting here was the higher ISO that I needed to use with my D7000. But...

Beach Ride

Everything was good; I had this idea for a picture that I had wanted to take in my mind and was finally ready to try and make it happen. The sun was out, the spot was chosen, we had a way to get to the spot. Everything seemed perfect. It wasn’t until we were leaving that the clouds started coming in and going in front of the sun. By the time we got to the spot at San Onofre beach, it was completely overcast with no sun in sight. The whole reason for this outing was because I had wanted to situate the setting sun glare somewhere off the side of the picture to give it a warm effect that made a nice natural glare over everything. I was so excited for this shot but was disappointed when I learned that it wouldn’t be happening that day. So what did I do? I made the best of the situation. I had ended up bringing along my SB 700 Nikon flash and a wireless trigger along with some gels just in case. I’m extremely glad I did because I had ended up using it for this shot. The natural light wasn’t too bad I thought it looked a little dull and I wanted it to seem like there was still sun in the picture so I could try to recreate the original idea as close as possible. I put a warming gel on the flash and positioned it off to camera right, where the sun would have been. I had wanted to be the model for this picture but since I had such a specific idea in mind, I couldn’t have someone else shoot this for me so I had my friend Steven model with...

Family Photos

This is from a shoot that I did for my friend and his family. They already knew they wanted the photos to be taken at San Onofre Beach near the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton in California. Now I knew of beaches as being notorious for harsh light and I checked the weather forecast and saw nothing except clear skies and sunshine to my dismay. One of my buddies had thankfully volunteered to be my assistant and help out which had made all the difference. Because the shoot was so close to my deployment, some of my equipment had already been packed away so I didn’t even have the one piece of gear I planned on relying on which had been my 5-in-1 reflector. Fortunately I still had my flash as well as a wireless control for it. I arrived on the spot about an hour before they came and scoped out some good places to shoot where I could include as much shade as possible, knowing this would work as a great source for soft light. The spot where this photo was taken was one of the main spots I used which was underneath a lifeguard tower. The shoot on a whole was a really good learning experience for me because of the difficulties the harsh light provided me with for one, and also because it was my first time working with kids. The kids both enjoyed the picture taking for the first few minutes which ended up all I needed for the shoot. I even got to experiement with my new favorite lens, the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4, which has an awesome depth of field. Overall the photo shoot was a success and my friend and his family were pleased with their photos. Thanks for having me as your photographer guys! This is a RAW image that was processed...

San Clemente Girl Apr27

San Clemente Girl

This isn’t actually a photo I took but I wanted to put it up because my buddy Steven had taken it and I helped with the editing. My buddy spotted this girl while we were at San Clemente Beach just hanging out for the day. I was teaching him how to use this new Rokinon 84mm f/1.4 lens that I bought and he couldn’t help but want to take a photo of this girl that was near us on the beach. He went over and asked for permission and she was kind enough to say yes. Thanks to a comment she had made on the photo, we have found out that her name is Claudia Pacheco. The clouds were covering the sun at the time so it made for a real nice filtered light which accentuated the natural beauty of the girl. He did a great job with the actually taking of the photo considering he has minimal experience with photography and he was using a manual focus lens that is notorious for easily getting out of focus pictures if not focused properly. I was surprised at how bright her eyes had shown in the off camera image considering this was all natural light and we had no reflectors so that was a big plus. I barely had to touch this photo when it came to post processing. The only work that was dont on it was a slight curves and levels adjustmen and a few unwanted blemishes taken out in Photoshop CS6. You can find my friend Steven Feusi, the one who took this photo on tumbler here. Hope you like our collaborative efforts at making a photo. And a big thank you to Claudia Pacheco for letting Steven take this awesome photo...

Couples Shoot

This is a portrait of my friend Teddy and his girlfriend at the time Maryam(unfortunately they broke up some time after this shoot). They wanted to do a couples shoot and it was my first payed shoot so I took the opportunity immediately. I’m fairly new to portrait photography so it was a definite learning experience but I think overall it worked out great. I brought a 5-in-1 reflector that is a must have piece of gear. I used it throughout this entire shoot considering how often some of the shots had to be in direct light because of the spots we were in. It helped to reflect some of the light back in their faces in order to fill in the shadows which  made for a softer look rather than having harsh light splayed throughout the photos. This shot in particular was one of those shots. I thought it would be a good idea to try this shot on top of the lifeguard tower but the sun was still a little harsh so I used the reflector. You can’t see it in this picture but my buddy’s girlfriend (at the time) was actually holding the reflector with me in order to keep it in the spot I had wanted it. I didn’t have someone else to help me out in this situation so I made do with what I had and she was more than happy to help out. We got a lot of good pictures and they all seemed pleased with the results. For portraits, I try and keep the processing as minimal as possible. In the case of this photo I simply applied a curves and levels layer and fixed the white balance along with some color adjustments which were all done in Photoshop CS6....