Friday, February 25, 2011

Encore! Luck Be A Lady

I just got back from Vegas so I thought this photo of the beautiful Sandy and Albert would be perfect for this week's Encore! post. Their chapel did not allow photography, so I took photos of them walking all around the Strip.

Two years ago, they had their beautiful daughter Ava and I feel honored that I was asked to create her photos, too.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Leaving for Las Vegas

Middle of Nowhere
I'm on my way to Las Vegas for the WPPI convention which brings together wedding and portrait photographers from around the globe. I'm looking forward to many classes as well as the tradeshow. Part of trying to be the best wedding and portrait photographer is to always be learning, discovering new trends and offering my clients the best products possible. So Vegas here I come!

Los Angeles wedding photographer

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Great News!

I was accepted into the WPJA and AG|WPJA!!!

WPJA is the Wedding Photojournalist Association and AG|WPJA is the Artistic Guild of the WPJA. Both have strict guidelines and photographers must apply for membership. I feel honored to be accepted into these organizations as well as a continued obligation to make the best photos possible. My goal at every wedding is to capture all the candid moments of the day. I love wedding photojournalism and feel very lucky to be pursuing my passion. I have been blessed with wonderful clients and look forward to meeting new wedding clients. Thank you for sharing in my joy!

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photojournalist

Friday, February 18, 2011

Encore! Flower Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I love kids at weddings. They always keep me on my toes as I never know what they're going to do next. This flower girl was no exception. She didn't quite understand that the first dance was for the bride and groom only, so she joined them on the dance floor.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.       ~ Confucius

In honor of Valentine's Day, Polka Photos is giving away 3 engagement portrait sessions anywhere in Southern California to the first 3 people to fill out the contact form on my website.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wedding Album Surprise

As a Los Angeles wedding photographer, sometimes I receive interesting requests. My favorites are the surprises. From the secret boudoir shoots brides arrange as a present for their grooms to the framed family photos for mother's day.

Over the summer I received a call from Tony. He wanted to surprise his wife with a wedding album for their anniversary... in a month. After calling my album company to make sure they could meet the deadline, we both got to work. Tony emailed me low-res versions of the photos. I did design mock-ups and emailed him the links.

It was so much fun to work on this top-secret surprise, but also challenging. Tony actually hid in the bathroom with his laptop so Claudia couldn't see what he was up to. When Claudia emailed me that they were away visiting her mom I pretended not to know. The album was finished right on time, and I rushed over from picking it up at my lab to meeting Tony in a parking lot after he finished work. I didn't take any photos of the finished album, but here is the design. What do you think?

Do you have a favorite photo surprise you'd like to share?


Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography



Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography


Friday, February 11, 2011

Encore! Daddy's Girl

Some of the best moments are right after the wedding ceremony. I love this shot of Jillian and her dad.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Monday, February 7, 2011

Finding a Wedding Photographer

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Book a Wedding Photographer

I confess I read bridal magazines. I started when I was planning my own wedding, but now I just like to check out the trends. I always love reading the how-to’s when it comes wedding photography. Many of these articles feature questions you should ask your photographer before booking him or her. Before you do that, you should ask yourself some questions first:

1. Style
Every photographer has a different approach to shooting a wedding. The two basic categories are traditional, focusing mainly on posed photos, and photojournalism, capturing candid moments as they happen. Few photographers are strictly one or the other, but each photographer has his strength. As a bride or groom, it’s important to know what types of photos you prefer. What kind of art do you have in your home? Are you drawn to certain images in magazines?

2. Hours
Are you looking for coverage of your entire wedding day? If you’d like a photojournalistic approach, you may want to start with getting ready photos and end when the reception is over. If you’re not planning a big exit, you may decide two hours of reception photography is a good amount. Maybe you’re planning a small wedding and decide you only need a photographer for the ceremony and a few posed photos. There is no right or wrong answer.

3. Budget
Most of us hate talking about money. If you’re in the middle of wedding planning, you already know the importance of a wedding budget. Most couples spend about 10-20% of their budget on a wedding photographer. I recommend coming up with a range that you’re comfortable spending on photography. Some couples choose to not have a wedding videographer so they can increase their photography budget. Others hire a photographer for only a couple hours so they can have a videographer for the whole day. How important is wedding photography to you?

4. Products
It may be difficult to imagine how many prints you’d like or what kind of album. Since different photographers have different pricing structures, it’s imperative for you to have at least an idea of what you’d like. Is it important for you to have a disc with all of your hi-res images? Are prints and an album more important? Would you like a piece of art in your home from your wedding day, like a gallery wrap?


Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Postcards from Playa: NCIS Silhouettes

Playa del Rey, California
I love watching NCIS: Los Angeles. I try to figure out where the different scenes were filmed. For example, a few episodes back a scene that was set in the Cayman Islands looked like it might've been shot in Marina del Rey. Last week NCIS: Los Angeles filmed a few blocks away from me on Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey. I didn't want to get in the way of shooting so I took a few photos from across the street.

Playa del Rey, California, photographer

Friday, February 4, 2011

Encore! Jump for Your Love

I have some very exciting news to share with you next week. And I thought this would be the perfect Encore! image to go with that news.

Wedding photojournalism is about capturing the moment, perfect with all of its imperfections. This week’s photo shows the usually shy ring bearer jumping off the stairs to the shock of one bridesmaid. It’s a rather busy image. If I had directed the photo shoot, I would have removed the items from the banister, moved the luggage and hid the cords. If I had more than a second to capture the moment I would have swung the camera a little to the left to get all of the bridesmaids in the frame. But the moment wouldn’t have been true if I moved everything out of the way and asked the ring bearer to jump again. I love that this photo captures life as it’s happening.

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.

Thursday, February 3, 2011