Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fueled by the Past

Santa Barbara, California
After our fun photo outing in SLO, we drove back to Los Angeles.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

I love road trips because there's so many unexpected oddities just off the beaten path. We exited the 101 looking for some coffee and passed a small building reminiscent of southern Spain's Moorish architecture. The sun was setting so we only had a few minutes to get some photos.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

This building used to be the  Barnsdall-Rio Grande gas station. It was built in 1929 and featured in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Michael lit this post with a flashlight as I took the photo. The light reminds me of the hatch from Lost.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

What are your favorite off-the-beaten-path discoveries?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tanks for the Memories

San Luis Obispo, California
The best way to explore a new place is to walk. It's so easy to miss things when you're driving and paying attention to the road in front of you. For example, on our walk from the motel to downtown SLO, we saw a tank.

This battle tank, the "Patton," was in service from 1960 to 1991 and now stands in front of the Veterans Memorial Museum.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

There was also an old cannon. I love the texture in the wood and the chipped paint.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

I couldn't resist a shot of Michael and me reflected in the tank's headlight.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

A Quick Trip to SLO

San Luis Obispo, California
One of the things I love about traveling is the opportunity to see something new. More than that, it gives me the chance to slow down. Michael and I spent all day Sunday walking around San Luis Obispo taking photos. About half of these were shot with my new Diana lens, the other half with my trusty 24-70mm.

I love old motel signs. If it wasn't for the van peeking out from above the hedge, it'd be hard to date this photo.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

The Diana gives this tree a soft dreamy look.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Utility boxes look much nicer when they're painted.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

There's something creepy about Mary's reflection in the window. Maybe because her face looks like it's gone?

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Store window with pretty bridal gowns and tuxes.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Meet Annie, the bloodhound. I never realized bloodhounds were so tall!

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

I borrowed Michael's iPod Touch for this hipstamatic shot.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Bubblegum Alley is one of the smelliest and grossest landmarks ever. Newer, bright-colored gum rests on top of layers of old, black, dried-out chicle.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Is it art? A health code violation? One thing's for sure, Monk wouldn't be caught dead in here.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Love this door handle.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Now this alley is more like it.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

The sketch artist looks lost in thought.

San Luis Obispo, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Friday, January 21, 2011

Encore! Say Cheese

I love this photo of Grandma taking pictures at Katie and Jon's wedding in Chicago.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography


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.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Encore! Something Blue

Lord Alfred Tennyson said "A happy bridesmaid makes a happy bride." That's just as true today as two centuries ago. The bride Bernadette was quite happy with these beautiful bridesmaids at her side. In this photo, they are looking from afar as the bride waits for her groom.

Bridesmaids - and groomsmen - are often the unsung heroes of the day. The best man at our wedding literally put out a fire when a napkin that was thrown next to a candle went up in flames. As a photographer, I don't want to bother the bride with too many questions. Bridesmaids are the best when it comes to helping me hang up the wedding gown for photos and finding the jewelry for detail shots.

Are you a bridesmaid? There's a blog written for you in mind, Twirl Talk - The Bridesmaid Blog, which is where I found this great quote

 “Behind every dazzling bride is an effective crew of bridesmaids – the ladies who help the wedding loveboat sail without snags.”

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography


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, January 11, 2011

Attention Polka Photos Fans!

Thank you for being loyal readers. Over the past year, I've mainly focused the blog on wedding photography and family portraits. I'd love to know what else you would like to see in the blog. Advice on looking your best in wedding photos? Or maybe wedding planning tips from other vendors? Are you interested in photography and looking for photo tips? Would you like more travel photo showcases? Leave a comment or email me. This is your virtual suggestion box!

Four's A Crowd

San Diego, California
You may recognize Joel, Elizabeth, Eddie and Jolie from previous family portrait sessions. We spent a chilly afternoon at Balboa Park being silly and taking photos.

Los Angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait photography

Los Angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait photography

Jolie is so much bigger now. She's talking...

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, mother and child

... and flying

mother and child, Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

... and trying to be independent.

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

She loves exploring on her own.

Los Angeles, mother and child, portrait photographer, portrait photography

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

Jolie's big brother keeps a close watch on her.

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography, brother and sister

Eddie is quite the model.

Los Angeles, children's portrait photographer, children's portrait photography

Hamming it up!

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

Eddie does his best impression of a jeans ad.

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

Not to be outdone by her brother, Jolie strikes a pose, too.

Los Angeles, children's portrait photographer, children's portrait photography

This is her Blue Steel look.

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

Ferrari, Le Tigre... Zoolander has some serious competition!

Los Angeles, children's portrait photographer, children's portrait photography

We take some more fun family portraits with Mom and Dad.

Los Angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait photography

Los Angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait photography

Los Angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait photography

Every portrait session should have some down time - upside-down that is!

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

We find a cool tree... or rather it finds us.

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

This is my favorite family portrait from the entire session.

Los Angeles, pfamily portrait photographer, family portrait photography

Thank you Joel, Elizabeth, Eddie and Jolie for lots of silliness!

Los Angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait photography

Friday, January 7, 2011

Encore! Wide Angle

My favorite part of every wedding is the ceremony. My goal when photographing a wedding is to tell the story of the day, which means I photograph each wedding a little differently. I took this panoramic photo at Melissa and Ryan's wedding from as low as I could go - flat on the grass.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography


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, January 4, 2011

Cool Kids Portrait Session Giveaway!

Not sure if you know this, but Polka Photos takes portraits of some pretty cool kids. So it should come as no surprise that Polka Photos is teaming up with the CoolKids blog to give away a free portrait session in the Los Angeles OR Chicagoland areas.

CoolKids is a fun blog written by Betsy, a working mom with two cool kids of her own. It features lots of cute and super chic outfits for all your budding fashionistas (and great for portrait sessions!), unique Etsy finds, photos of cool kids, and fantastic giveaways.

Check out CoolKids and remember to enter the giveaway for a free portrait session!

maternity, baby, photographer, Los Angeles