Friday, December 31, 2010

Encore! Sunny Day Chasing the Clouds Away

Since I specialize in photojournalism, I prefer to keep the formal portrait sessions short.

Roxana and Claudiu had a beautiful fall wedding. After taking lots of photos of the bride and groom, we were running low on sunlight and took these group photos in about ten minutes.

Top 3 Tips for Short & Sweet Portrait Sessions

1. Focus on the bigger picture. Instead of photos with each one of your aunts and uncles, a group photo with the bride and groom with each of their families takes less time and your families can spend more time partying.

2. A photo with the entire bridal party can be fun. Especially if your wedding is short on time or sunlight, I recommend focusing on the entire bridal party and taking a few great photos of everyone, skipping the bride and bridesmaids / groom and groomsmen shots.

3. Save time for yourself. Although all your guests are important, I want to make sure to have the best photos of you, the newlyweds. After all, it's your wedding!!!

Orange County, wedding, photographer


wedding, photography, Orange County


P.S. This is my new blog series called Encore!

When I blog about a wedding or portrait session, I try to arrange all the photos to tell a story. Sometimes great photos don't quite fit. Encore! will feature one (or two!) of those photos every Friday.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

City of Lights

Los Angeles, California
Here are some more images from our hike in Griffith Park. I switched to my Canon 24-70mm for these next photos.

A burned tree stands alone, a reminder, a warning.

photographer, Los Angeles

The lights go on all over Los Angeles. On the right side is the Griffith Observatory. The tall buildings on the left are downtown LA.

photography, Los Angeles

My last shot of the night, before hurrying back to the car.

photographer, Los Angeles

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Walk in the Clouds

Los Angeles, California
The day after Christmas, Michael and I went hiking in Griffith Park. I took along my trusty Canon 5D and my brand new Diana lens, known for hazy colors and a soft-focus feel, a present from my in-laws. Since it has been raining in LA for two weeks, the grass was electric green.

photography, Los Angeles

Thanks to the rains the views were also super clear. Los Angeles looks so much better without its 342-days-a-year smog layer.

photography, Los Angeles

Hollywood!

photography, Los Angeles

This is the spot where Michael proposed to me seven years ago. The area burned down in 2008 but a new Christmas tree has been planted in place of the one lost.

photography, Los Angeles

photography, Los Angeles

I love the view from here. Look at those mountains. I can see snow, and clouds!

photography, Los Angeles

This is the LA side of the park. On the lower right is Griffith Observatory, and the tall buildings on the left are downtown Los Angeles.

photography, Los Angeles

As the perfect end to our hike, we saw the sunset.

photography, Los Angeles

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Tail End of the Year

Chicago, Illinois
I love dogs. When I was a little girl, we lived in a place that didn't allow them, so I made friends with all of the neighborhood dogs. I would feed them on the way to school - one ham sandwich was to share with all the doggies, the other I saved for my lunch. I was too little to know about dietary restrictions for dogs, I was just sharing with my canine friends.

Here are my two new doggie friends:
Darby

pet photography, Los Angeles

and Ginger.

dog photography, Los Angeles

Not only are they adorable, but both of these dogs are very well-behaved. Although they don't quite understand what's going on. Look over here Ginger!

pet photographer, Los Angeles

They are so fuzzy and cute!

dog photographer, Los Angeles

Here's the whole family.

family photography, Los Angeles


family photographer, Los Angeles

Close-ups of the dogs.

pet photographer, Los Angeles

I love this shot with the two of them looking in the same direction. Squirrel!

dog photographer, Los Angeles

pet photography, Los Angeles

dog photography, Los Angeles

Thank you Elysia, Nathan, Darby and Ginger for a tail-waggin' fun photo session!!!

pet photographer, Los Angeles

One last close-up...

dog photographer, Los Angeles

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Drinking Tea Improves Focus

I scored this awesome present for Christmas. Thank you Michael!

christmas present for photographer, Los Angeles

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

The adorable Ginger and Darby wish everyone a Happy Holiday, too. There'll be more photos from their furry photo session on Monday.

dog, photographer, Los Angeles


Wesołych Świąt    Feliz Navidad  

    Buono Natale  Joyeux Noël


Merry Christmas Everyone!



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Changing Our Spots

I am so excited to unveil the re-designed Polka Photos website with all new photo galleries.

Going back through all the weddings I’ve photographed these past few years has been a sentimental journey for me. I remember every wedding like it was yesterday. Dear brides and grooms: I remember the excitement as you got ready, I remember the smiles each of you had right after the first kiss, I remember the tears you wiped away when emotion overwhelmed you. I thank each of you for allowing me to be a part of your day.

A new addition is the family portraits gallery. I love meeting all your little ones – whether you were a wedding client or I’m meeting you for the first time. Your children are not only adorable, but they’re wonderfully silly and sweet. I still have a pear sticker on my camera strap given to me by 4-year-old Logan who told me that it’s so I don’t forget him.

There are also some new features on the blog. It's now even easier to follow the blog through RSS feeds, facebook or blogspot. There's also a button below each post if anyone wants to post on fb, twitter, her own blog or email.

Huuuuuuuge thank you to Michael of SurfMonkey Designs for designing this new website. Thank you for believing in me as my husband and for putting up with me as your client. You are truly a man of many talents, as well as the patience to put up with me.

And a big thanks to Melanie Hooyenga for designing the awesome Polka Photos logo. I’ve been using it on my blog for months and now it’s part of the new header!

So go check out the site and let me know what you think!

Los Angeles wedding photographer

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Fantastic Four

Los Angeles, California
When Meghan emailed me about shooting a portrait session with her four little kids, I knew I'd have my work cut out for me. Kids are only human. They have good days and bad days. I had to make sure it was a good day for all four to get the best pictures. Turns out I shouldn't have worried at all. These kids were so sweet and very well-behaved.

Here are Logan, Riley, Connor, and Caitlin.

children's, photographer, Los Angeles

The hardest part was getting them all to sit still. They had so much energy! And it had been raining all day so this was their first time out.

children's, photographer, Los Angeles

Connor and Caitlin are twins. It was pretty neat to see them together. There's definitely a bond there that's different than the one between siblings.

children's, portraits, Los Angeles

I thought it would be fun to take some action shots of the three oldest kids.

children's, action, photographer, Los Angeles

kids in action, photographer, Los Angeles

children's, photographer, Los Angeles

Thank you Mom, Dad, Connor, Caitlin, Logan, and Riley for a fun portrait session!

family, portrait, photographer, Los Angeles

Friday, December 17, 2010

Encore! Front Nine

Golf courses are popular locations to hold weddings. Many couples, and their guests, love having one location for both the wedding ceremony and reception.

Nicole and Justin had their beautiful fall wedding at the Buenaventura Golf Course in Ventura. As I was taking photos during their ceremony, I noticed two golfers walking by in the background which I thought might make a funny photo.

wedding, photographer, Ventura


P.S. This is my new blog series called Encore!

When I blog about a wedding or portrait session, I try to arrange all the photos to tell a story. Sometimes great photos don't quite fit. Encore! will feature one (or two!) of those photos every Friday.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Chicago, Illinois
I met Sauda on one of the coldest fall days in Chicago -- and it was only October. Although I usually prefer outdoor portrait sessions, we started indoors so Sauda could show off her pretty pink dress.

She's a little shy at first...

children's, photographer, Los Angeles

daughter, photographer, Los Angeles

Doesn't quite know what to do....

family, mom, photographer, Los Angeles

And then she starts posing on her own.

Los Angeles portrait photographer

I love all her different expressions.

photographer, Los Angeles

Shy.

children's, photographer, Los Angeles

Cute.

daughter, photographer, Los Angeles

Happy.

family, mom, photographer, Los Angeles

We go to a park for more photos. Sauda doesn't like her new pink jacket but as long as she's active she forgets about it.

Los Angeles portrait photographer

photographer, Los Angeles

children's, photographer, Los Angeles

Where's Sauda?

daughter, photographer, Los Angeles

There she is with Mommy.

family, mom, photographer, Los Angeles

Here she is with Mommy and Auntie.

Los Angeles portrait photographer

Bye Sauda! See you soon!

photographer, Los Angeles