Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bid on a Photo Session - Help Brian Petty Beat Cancer

Polka Photos is giving away one portrait session in the Fight for Brian Online Auction. This auction has been set up to help create a hospital fund for Brian Petty, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer. Although I don't know Brian personally, he's a close friend of one of my bestest friends and I love to help whenever I can.

The give-away is for one full portrait session ($250 value) in the LA or Chicago* area which includes:
- 1-2 hr portrait session
- online photo gallery
- $25 print credit
- disc with images for web use

Disc with edited hi-res images available for an additional $50.

Right now the bidding is at $65 so you can help Brian and help yourself to a greatly discounted portrait session!!!

*I will be in Chicago from June 11 - 19 and still have some openings. I will also be back in the fall. If you've already scheduled a June session you can still bid.

Here is the link to the auction: www.fightforbrianauction.com/3/auction.htm

There's also some other cool items and services on there, mostly kettlebell & workout related.

Hurry & bid!!! There's only 2 days & 7 hours left!!!



If you don't bid you're going to make Jolie sad.

Los Angeles, portrait photographer, portrait photography

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shotgun Wedding

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
I'm photographing the beautiful Selina and her fiance Steve leaning against a palm tree on the beach in the Dominican Republic. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a hotel security guard approach us with a shotgun at his side. I snap a few more photos quickly in case we get asked to leave. As he gets closer he asks what we are doing. I talk to him in my best elementary school Spanish. 

"Hola. How are you?" I keep smiling and talking.  "This couple is getting married at the hotel in a few days. Aren't they beautiful?" The security guard smiles. He allows us to continue and even poses for a photo (although he hides the shotgun behind his back). I'm a big believer in smiling. A lot.

And muchas gracias to Sra. Daley and LaSalle Language Academy. Knowing the language of the country you're visiting is always helpful.


destination wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photographer destination wedding, Punta Cana wedding photographer, beach engagement photography, beach engagement photographer

It starts out as a typical beach engagement photo session but then we all see the security guard with a shotgun approaching us.


The serious-looking security guard poses with the couple.


I sneak a quick photo of him walking away. You can make out the shotgun in his right hand.


Selina and Steve are in a great mood and we joke around.

destination wedding photography, Los Angeles wedding photography destination wedding, Punta Cana wedding photography, beach wedding photography, beach wedding photographer

destination wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photographer destination wedding, Punta Cana wedding photographer

One of my favorite wide shots from the day with the couple leaning against the palm tree surrounded by dozens of others. I love destination weddings!!!

destination wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photographer destination wedding, Punta Cana wedding photographer,palm tree wedding, tropical wedding, beach wedding

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moonlight Serenade

Laguna Beach, California
After a beautiful ceremony, the newlyweds Billy and Karissa and their guests dine al fresco under the setting sun.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography


Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

The wedding colors are green and brown making this green fondant cake with two lovebirds sitting on top a perfect fit.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, wedding cake

Billy surprises his new bride by singing a song to her. Since Brian was taking lots of photos of Billy singing,....

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, groom

I position myself to get photos of Karissa's reaction.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, bride

I love these photos!!!

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, bride

I think Karissa enjoyed the song!

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, bride, groom, kiss

Here's to the Happy Couple!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Encore! Screen Beauty

Karissa has a classic natural beauty. She reminds me of femme fatales from the golden age of movies.

I captured this photo of the beautiful bride unaware of my camera by photographing through the screen door from inside the house. The screen also gives this photo a softer look acting as a filter. Slight color correction and sharpening in Photoshop was the only post-processing done to this image.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, Orange County bride, Orange County wedding

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Laguna Beach Wedding with A View

Laguna Beach, California
I love second shooting because it gives me more time for candid photos as the primary photographer is shooting portraits. I photographed this wedding a while back with Brian from Weed Photography.

Billy and his beautiful bride Karissa were married in a private home in Orange County.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, bride, groom

Brian was with the bride as she was getting ready so I explored the house. Here the groom and the maid of honor take in the view.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

Billy goes over his vows. I think he's a little nervous. His mom, on the other hand, is all smiles.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

Brian and I switch places before the ceremony. He goes to the ceremony location as I follow the bride down the aisle.

Los Angeles wedding photographe, Orange County wedding photography

Los Angeles wedding photographe, Orange County wedding photography

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

What a gorgeous spot for a ceremony!

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

Billy and Karissa added many unique touches to their wedding. One such touch was including the guests in the ceremony. Any guest that wanted to had time to stand up and offer their wish for the couple.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

The minister is the bride's sister which made the ceremony all that more special.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

The rings.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, wedding rings

The kiss.

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography, first kiss

The Happy Couple!

Orange County wedding photographer, Orange County wedding photography

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Encore! Better by the Dozen

Remember my tips for a short and sweet portrait session? These photos are from Natalie and Gerald's festive wedding in downtown Los Angeles. We only had about thirty minutes before the ceremony for some formal photos and I wanted to spend the majority of that time with the couple. Since Natalie and Gerald weren't looking for many posed photos, instead of the traditional bride + bridesmaids, groom + groomsmen, bride + flowergirl, groom + ringbearer, I focused on getting a few great photos of the entire bridal party.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography

Friday, March 11, 2011

Postcards from Playa: Tsunami

Playa del Rey, California
Shortly after moving to Playa del Rey, I noticed the tsunami evacuation signs dotting Culver Blvd.

Playa del Rey wedding photographer, Playa del Rey, California tsunami, California

Like many Angelenos, I first heard about today's tsunami from my mom, who texted me to pack up the car and leave my home. I turned on the news to find out what time the tsunami was expected. Meteorologists predicted that the wave to hit L.A. was going to be about 3 feet. Although that didn't sound like much, we're only a stone's throw away the ocean. I had an hour before the tsunami was scheduled to hit so I followed the Better-Safe-Than-Sorry-Although-Probably-Nothing-Will-Happen Disaster PlanTM:

1. Take a shower. If disaster is coming, I was going to smell nice. (To all of the moms that tout the importance of clean underwear, your teachings have not gone unheard.)

2. Brush your teeth.

3. Pack up back-up hard drives and laptop.

4. Get camera ready.

5. Hit the road.

6. Find a safe spot where you can take photos.

After parking the car up on a hill, I walked down to the beach. There were a few dozen tsunami watchers staring at the ocean.

California tsunami, Playa del Rey, California

The beach was fairly quiet save for a few lonely joggers and lifeguard vehicle patrols.

California tsunami, Playa del Rey, California

The ocean was calm. The waves looked the same as they did any other day. I experimented with a longer exposure to get the photo below.

California tsunami, Playa del Rey, California

Quite a few onlookers seemed disappointed that nothing happened. One person said it was "much ado about nothing." Nothing is a lot better than some of the alternatives. We're lucky that for now we are safe. 

The Japanese people were not so lucky. If you're inclined to help monetarily, here's an article listing various disaster relief charities with monies going to the Japanese earthquake relief. My thoughts and prayers are with them.



Encore! Shore Thing

I love beach weddings. Michelle and Rob had a gorgeous ceremony on the sand with their closest friends and relatives attending. Here's the beautiful bride being led by her dad down the aisle.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography

Friday, March 4, 2011

Encore! Toast

Weddings are full of emotions from nervousness to unbridled happiness. My favorite moments are these. The unscripted. The natural. The real. That is why I love this photo of Phuong and Joe, one of the most gracious couples I have known.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography