Monday, August 29, 2011

Love in Venice

Venice, California
I met Nicole and Glenn last week and we walked around Venice taking pictures.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Love this sign!

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

I love all the different looks we were able to create.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Found a few spots by the canals.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

The Ring!

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Nicole and Glenn are a super serious couple...

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Really they are..

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

OK Maybe they're a little silly.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Love, love, love this shot of the cute couple on the beach.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, engagement portraits, engagement portrait photography

Thank you Nicole and Glenn! We can't wait for your wedding in a few weeks!!!



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Finding a Wedding Photographer: Part 2

Last week I posted an article with questions to ask yourself before looking for a wedding photographer. After you have an idea of what you’re looking for in terms of style, hours, budget and products, you’re ready to meet some photographers in person and ask them more questions.


Questions NOT to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

1. Camera equipment
Question NOT to ask: What cameras and lenses do you use?
Better Question: Do you have a back-up for your camera and lenses?

Cameras and lenses are a tool. If you love the photographer’s work, then the tools are unimportant. Would you ask a chef what pots and pans he uses? Unless you know the difference between f/2.8 and f/5.0, a list of camera equipment won’t be helpful to you.

However, it is important that the photographer have back-up equipment. Although my camera bodies and lenses are regularly cleaned and inspected by Canon, I make sure to bring a back-up body, flash and lenses to every wedding.

2. Client reviews
Question NOT to ask: Do you have reviews or testimonials from previous clients?
Better Question: Do you have references?

Reviews and testimonials are great but they only provide a small part of the picture. The benefit of calling a reference is being able to ask questions that you feel are important.

Please only ask for references from photographers you’re seriously considering. Although I am happy to provide references, I hesitate to provide them to a potential client emailing me for the first time as I respect my previous client’s privacy and don’t like giving out their information to everyone who emails me. If you email me a few times, or we speak on the phone or have an in-person meeting, I will gladly provide you with references.

3. Portfolio
Question NOT to ask: Can I see a portfolio with your best wedding photos?
Better Question: Can I see a wedding album or your best photos from one wedding?

Looking at a photographer’s best work will give you a great idea of her style. However, that doesn’t tell you how well she captures the entire wedding day. Ask to look at a wedding album or slideshow with images from one wedding. Taking one great photo at a wedding is easy. Taking dozens of great photos and telling the story of the day is an art.

A few of my clients have asked to see all the edited images from a wedding. As I usually give my clients about 700 images, that’s a lot of photos to look at! Although I don’t think you have to see these to decide on a photographer, if you’re so inclined your photographer should not hesitate to show you an online gallery or proof book.


Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finding a Wedding Photographer: Part 1

I've been talking to many brides and grooms who I met at the Queen Mary Bridal Show. One of the brides I talked to seemed to echo what many of them told me: I don't really know anything about photography.

You don't need to know much about photography to hire a wedding photographer - but I do recommend asking lots of questions. The more you know, the better decision you will make.


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? What photos grab you?

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. Would you like a wedding album? Framed prints? Is it important for you to have a disc with your edited images to share on facebook? Would you like a piece of art in your home from your wedding day, like a gallery wrap? Are you looking for non-traditional art for your home like prints on metal or bamboo?

Hope these questions help you. Next week: Questions to Ask Your Photographer.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our First Bridal Fair!!!

Thank you to all the brides and grooms and future pin-up models who stopped by our booth at the Queen Mary Bridal Showplace. We met couples who plan on getting married everywhere from downtown L.A. to Big Bear to Cancun and Bermuda.

We're still running our show special until Sun. Aug. 21: Book a full day wedding and receive a complimentary engagement portrait session or $100 off. Call me to schedule a consultation!

We also launched our re-branded boudoir photography Polka Pin-Ups. I'm so happy so many of you asked about our pin-up photos and I'm looking forward to photographing you at your sexiest!

We have lots of people and vendors to thank especially Bridal Showplace and Sophia who helped me with all of my pre-show questions. I didn't catch the name of another organizer who helped us measure out our space. Gene was our guardian angel at the show and helped us immensely with both set-up and tear-down. Thank you Gene!!! Many thanks to Kim who helped man our booth (or should I say woman?) and answer questions about Polka Photos wedding photography.

Michael took this photo of me by the booth.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles, wedding

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles, wedding

My favorite linen vendor BBJ Linen (who we also used for our wedding linens) supplied the red polka dot tablecloth.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles, wedding

The gorgeous red roses are from our local florist who we highly recommend: Playa Flowers.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles, wedding

I added cute red and polka-dot bows on the pens so they wouldn't walk away from the booth.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles, wedding

Here's our boudoir photography display for Polka Pin-Ups.

Los Angeles boudoir photographer, Los Angeles, boudoir, pin-ups, sexy, wedding present

Everyone loved the bra!

Los Angeles boudoir photographer, Los Angeles, wedding, bride, wedding present, boudoir, pin-ups, sexy

What a day! Thank you to everyone who came by!




Sunday, August 14, 2011

Queen Mary Bridal Show - Come & Say Hi!

Come see Polka Photos at the Queen Mary Bridal Show today! We'll be in Booth 64.

Queen Mary, Long Beach

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Polka Photos in Action

We are super excited to share this video of an engagement session with you. If you ever wondered how we shoot portraits this'll give you the inside scoop!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Encore! Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

Some of my favorite wedding moments to photograph happen when the bride is getting ready. Roxana was a relaxed bride, but even she looks a little nervous, just like her mom seen next to her in the reflection.

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, getting ready

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dear, Deer

Glenview, Illinois
I saw a deer as I was driving toward the Redfield Estate in the Grove. I quickly pulled over, got out my telephoto lens and snapped this shot. This is where Michael and I were married and we love visiting when we're back in Chicago. If any of you are looking for a beautiful, historic venue for a small wedding we highly recommend Redfield House! Although there are several locations for an outdoor ceremony we chose to have ours in a local church. We served appetizers and dinner outdoors and then went inside for dancing in the ballroom. One of my favorite memories is of my two uncles dancing to this Romani-influenced song by Kayah and Bregovic.

Los Angeles wedding photographer

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The White Mountains

Chicago, Illinois
Mr. McCann, my eighth-grade teacher, held a reading contest every year and the student who read the most books won a prize. His reading list included the science fiction book "The White Mountains" which is about three-legged machines called Tripods that control the earth by controlling human thought. Each human is given a "cap" in a coming-of-age celebration similar to a quinceanera, bar mitzvah or sweet sixteen. These "caps" prevent free thinking, a lobotomy of sorts that ensures the humans will obey the machines.

Whenever I see tall transmission towers they remind me of the Tripods and this book. There's something haunting about them don't you think?


Los Angeles wedding photographer

Monday, August 8, 2011

Who's there?

Los Angeles, California
I shot this image on a scouting trip and wasn't paying particular attention to framing. When I was looking through the photos at home this one really grabbed me. I love Michael's relaxed posture, his hand in his pocket. You don't see much of him at all but the camera at his side identifies him as a photographer. It's fun to find photos you weren't expecting!

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dog Days of Summer: Wag the Dog

Hope you enjoyed the Dog Days of Summer! I had a wagging-good time sharing these photos with you!

Next week will feature some personal photos and Encore! will be back on Friday.

pet photographer, Los Angeles, Los Angeles dog photographer

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dog Days of Summer: Man's Best Friend

For those of us who are dog owners, our pets are part of our family. When you schedule your family portrait session with me please let me know if you'd like to include your furry friends!

Here's one of my favorite family photos with Sue, Nate, Beru and Charlie.

Los Angeles family portrait photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles pet photography

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dog Days of Summer: Every Dog Has Its Day

We love having dog houseguests. Mater spent the weekend with us a few months ago and we had a great time walking around Playa del Rey.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits, Playa del Rey pet photos

It was a little windy on our walk to Marina del Rey.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits, Playa del Rey pet photos

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits, Marina del Rey pet photos

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits

Bye Mater! We'll see you soon!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dog Days of Summer: Doggie Day Camp

It's been so much fun sharing dog photos with you that I've extended dog days of summer through this week.

Here are photos from Annabelle's summer vacation at our place.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits

Hi! I'm Annabelle.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photography, Los Angeles portrait photography, dog portrait photographer

I love hanging out with my buddies.

Los Angeles pet photography, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles portrait photography, dog portrait

I also like relaxing on the beach. How do you like my sand castle?

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles portrait photographer, dog portrait

I went for a walk on Venice Beach.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits

The skateboard park here is awesome!

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photography, Los Angeles portrait photography, dog portrait photographer

I met a bunch of cool dudes.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles portrait photographer, dog portrait

This is Muscle Beach.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles dog portrait photographer, dog portraits

But I don't see any muscle.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photography, Los Angeles portrait photography, dog portrait photographer

I went in for a tattoo but they told me I had to be 18 or older. Bummer.

Los Angeles pet photography, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles portrait photography, dog portrait

It was time to go back home.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles portrait photographer, dog portrait

Boy, was I hungry.

Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles portrait photographer, dog portrait


What a perfect day!


Los Angeles pet photographer, Los Angeles dog photographer, Los Angeles portrait photographer, dog portrait