Archive for February, 2010

Jaci and DJ’s engagement session lasted five days…no joke.

I first met this incredibly fun couple from Seattle last year when they asked me to photograph their beach wedding this May on the island of Virgin Gorda, part of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, which I happily accepted. I know, I really hate my job :)

After talking with them about their wedding, I quickly found out that DJ went to Washington State University around the same time I was there! Can I get a “Go Cougs?!?!” Not only that, but Jaci went to the same high school as me! We were there at the same time, I was a senior and she was a sophomore. Crazy! It’s weird to think that she may have run into her future wedding photographer on campus back in high school…

They mentioned that they’d like to have some engagement photos taken while on vacation over Valentine’s Day weekend in Los Angeles. We had a great two hour photo session at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles on their first day in town. After the shoot we headed back to the Hotel Roosevelt where they were staying for the weekend to hang out a bit and maybe take a few more shots. I remember telling the valet guy, “I’ll be here about an hour.” Four days later I picked up my car. I was having way to much fun being a tour guide and showing Jaci and DJ some of the lesser known parts of SoCal, like an afternoon of wine tasting at the quaint Malibu Family Wines way up in the hills. Oh, and of course, rocking out to the greatest 80s cover band in the world, Steel Panther, at the House of Blues on Sunset!

Needless to say, I am REALLY looking forward to their amazing wedding in the Caribbean. It’s going to be rough waking up the morning of the wedding, look out my window at the colorful ocean, gather my gear, and walk barefoot in the sand to work…

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On February 11th I photographed six wedding ceremonies in one day…I’m that good. Okay, so maybe it was just the same mock wedding six times in a row, but it was still pretty intense :)

Once again I had the pleasure of leading a group at the SoCal Photog Shootout. How popular is this event? Well, this time around it sold out in two minutes. This month’s theme was “The Wedding.” Over 60 photographers were given the opportunity to photograph a full wedding day, with groups including engagement photos, details, getting ready, bridals, ceremony, and romantics. We even had a reception so photographers could practice their first dance photos.

I was in charge of leading the ceremony group, and along with the bride and groom, we had two bridesmaids, two groomsmen, a father of the bride, and even a flower girl. It was so much fun sharing my knowledge of how to approach the ceremony portion of the wedding day, especially coming from a photojournalism background. So many of our shootouts are very controlled situations, having the opportunity to pose the models and put them in perfect light. In other words, it’s almost too easy to come away with great shots. My goal for this group was to really challenge the photographers, most of which have never photographed a wedding ceremony before. I wanted them to realize that during a ceremony you have to make split second decisions to capture a moment in sometimes not-so-perfect light, and do all of this without the opportunity to pose the bride and groom. Oh, and you still have to make a beautiful photo with all these factors in play.

After all of the group rotations, I also had the opportunity to critique the photographers’ photos they captured throughout the day. Before the day began, I couldn’t stress it enough to everyone how important it is to have your work critiqued. I focused on giving each photographer (everyone I could get to in the short time I had) some constructive criticism after looking at their work for the day. In the wedding and portrait photography business, we often receive lots of nice comments about our work, either from friends in the business, clients, or family (I know mom, you love my photos, and I love hearing that every day, so please don’t ever stop telling me that I’m the best photographer in the world). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE compliments, they lead to referrals, and that’s what my business is based around. But I also strive to improve my craft every day, so I can stay ahead of the competition and continue to give clients the improved quality and beautiful work they hire me for. And let’s be honest, I don’t think my mom will ever tell me I need to work on stronger composition, be more aware of my background, or work on my lighting techniques. If she did, then we’d be business partners! I have so much more to say about critiques, actually, I’ll be starting a weekly critique on my blog
soon, so stay tuned…

Okay, onto the photos! I didn’t really snap too many photos throughout the day because I wanted to focus on teaching more than my own portfolio. But I did manage to get a few keepers. There are so many people to thank for putting this event together. It couldn’t have happened without Hanssie Trainor and Matthew Saville, they were the brains behind “The Wedding.” Also a shout out to the other group leaders for the day, including Wai Reyes (my partner in crime in LA), Gavin and Erin Wade, Brian Khang, Cean Orrett of Cean One, and Stephen Knuth.

Our amazing vendors for the day…
Coordinator: Amanda Auer of In the Now Weddings
Venue: Ron at the Romanesque Room
Florist: Honey and Poppies
DJ: Marcel Gonzalez FirstChoice Entertainment
Videographer: Nick of Crafthouse Productions
Rentals: Town & Country
Catering: Jay’s Catering
Venue Concierge: Mary Lallande
Bakery: Colette at Fancy That! Cupcakes – Unbelievable cupcakes! Even though I only got a bite before Hanssie stole mine…again.
Linens: Wildflower
Styling: Michelle Cunningham
Hair/Makeup: Kacee Geoffroy & Becca
Hair/Makeup: Alisha Baijournas
Specialty: Classic Party Rentals

Kacee Geoffroy and her husband Erik played our bride and groom for the day…

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Can you imagine having 10+ photographers photographing your wedding? Plenty of shots of the first kiss!
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Our cute flower girl, Mackenzie. She did not like being called flower girl :)
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She kept running away from me…
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You can’t hide from me all day!
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Lots of great photographers…
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Sometimes we even have photographers model as well! Here’s Kristin Vaughan peeking out the door…
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Moments. Wedding photography is all about capturing beautiful, emotional, and timeless moments throughout the most important day of two people’s lives. For those up and coming wedding photographers that were a part of my group at the last SoCal Photog Shootout will remember at what point in the ceremony you can capture one of these moments. Technically, it’s not even part of the ceremony. It’s that very special moment right after the ceremony when they walk back up the aisle and find themselves alone for the first time as husband and wife. They just stare each other in the eyes, say “I love you,” and nothing else in the world matters to them at that point. That’s true love, and I get to capture that amazing moment every weekend. For all of you striving to become the best wedding photographers out there, all you need to do is sit back and let the moments unfold right in front of your eyes…

Katie and Ross, true love captured February 20th of 2010…

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A few weeks ago it was time for my annual trip up to Cedar City, Utah to photograph my favorite family, the Kyhl’s. But this time it was a bit different…there was an extra one of them! They welcomed Tripp into the world only a few weeks before I arrived, so I was excited to get up there and see the newest member of the family. And of course, I couldn’t wait to see how big Jackson was getting too! Aaaahhh, they grow so fast :)

Are you kidding? How cute is Tripp…

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Let’s not forget about Jackson! When given permission to jump on the bed, you have to take advantage…
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Why so shy all of the sudden?
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