Archive for February, 2010

Pasadena Huntington Library and Gardens Engagement Photography

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I was so excited when Mihaela called and told me she was engaged.  Mihaela and I attended the same church until we moved a few months ago, and I was genuinely happy that she found someone special for her.   I was even more excited when she said she loved my photography and wanted to know my wedding pricing.  I feel honored that she chose us to photograph her wedding.  I enjoyed getting to know Sterling as well during our engagement session.   She truly has found a special soul to compliment her.  I couldn’t be happier for them.

Sometimes couples ask whether they really need to do an engagement session.  Even if they already have engagement pictures, I always encourage them to do an engagement session with me.  It helps us get to know each other so they will feel comfortable on their wedding day.  I often reflect on how much time couples spend with us on their wedding day – more than anyone except their new spouse.  It’s important to know and like your photographer as a person since you are spending so much time together.  The engagement session also helps couples relax and feel comfortable in front of the camera – something that’s hard to do on your wedding day.

This first series are my favorite photos from the session, and they were almost the first ones we took!  Mihaela and Sterling are just so happy and in love and it shows.  I hardly had to give them any direction at all.  I just sat back and recorded their natural interactions.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

What a beautiful couple.  I love Mihaela’s beautiful smile and Sterling’s piercing blue eyes.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

We chose to do the engagement session at The Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena.  I’m glad we did.  The gardens are beautiful and the lighting was golden.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

I was going to say that this one makes me happy, but then I realized they ALL make me happy.  This couple just radiated their joy and warm spirits.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

After a quick outfit change, we headed back to The Huntington Library and Gardens just in time for sunset.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

Mihaela has the best laugh.  It is so contagious.  I’m laughing just looking at this picture.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

Ahhh – I love the warmth in this one.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

and the sparkle in this one.

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

pasadena los angeles huntington gardens engagement photography

I have nothing left to say, other than your pictures make me happy.  I know that is because you two are happy.  I can’t wait to share images from your wedding at the LDS Los Angeles Temple and Cal Tech in Pasadena.  It was the perfect day.

Old Town Pasadena Family Photography

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

I was honored and overjoyed to be asked to photograph Kami and her family for the second time.  Their first family session was when Jackson was 1 year old (check it out HERE), and now he is TWO!  I can’t believe how much Jackson has changed.  He is an adorable little toddler.  I can’t get enough of his bright red hair.  It makes me a little wishful my own boys had such cute red hair.  Theirs just has a hint of red, not fire red like Jackson’s.

Jackson just wanted to run around and explore.  It took some creative and patient energy to work with what Jackson wanted to do.  That’s why I love photographing toddlers.  Their expressions are so pure and it’s always something new with a toddler.  Never the same thing – It keeps you on your toes!

Here’s Jackson.  We started out at Pasadena City Hall.  It was a beautiful day.

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

Fun with daddy.

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

and mommy tickles.

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

Their family is so happy and loving.  It made me want to hang out with them all day.  Sometimes I’m sad when the photo shoot is over.  I want to ask when we’ll hang out again.  That’s why I’m so happy when families ask me to come back again.  It’s like old times.  :)

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

Love love love these next two of Kami and Lance.  I try to incorporate some couples pictures into family shoots.  They deserve to have some sweet photos of them together.  Look how gorgeous Kami is.

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

and what a handsome man Lance is.  I love the unruly hair.  ;)

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

I think all little boys must like trains.  This train playset is at a park near city hall.  We were walking around downtown Pasadena and as soon as Jackson saw the train, he wanted to play in it.  Here he is saying “CHOO CHOO!”

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

What a cutie!

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

I suggested that they bring some toys for Jackson to play with as props, especially things that look vintage.  I thought it was so cool they had this vintage plane for Jackson to play with.  As soon as I saw this cool orange wall, I knew it was perfect for their vintage plane.  We got it out and this series are the first three shots I took of Jackson.  I told him to fly the plane, and he instantly threw it in the air and held his hands up to “duck and cover.”  It was so cute.

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

Unfortunately, I think it broke their plane.  I felt bad for telling Jackson to fly it.  I told Kami and Lance it better not be a real vintage plane.  Good thing it wasn’t.

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

Toward the end of the shoot, I found these cool tall windows and thought it would make a nice shot.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that inside these cool windows was a women’s workout gym.  The lady inside came over to the window, pretty mad.  I can imagine.  A camera and people looking in at these women working out.  Oops.  I tried to reassure her, we couldn’t see the women in the shot.  But I don’t think she totally believed me.

pasadena city hall child portrait family photography

Thank you for asking me to photograph your family again, Lance and Kami.  I always enjoy hanging out with you guys.

San Marino Lacy Park Family Photography

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Julie was the planner.  I was very impressed.  Julie contacted me several weeks before their photo shoot to schedule it.  She knew that she wanted a big family photo with the grandparents and then both individual families on their own and then some with the cousins together.  She knew they wanted their session at Descanso Gardens.  In fact, that’s where she found my work, through a google search for photography and Descanso Gardens.  I mentioned that they have a fee for photography at Descanso unless they wanted to try to fly under the radar, but there is a chance we would get kicked out.  She surprised me, saying that she was already aware of the fee and had confirmed the amount with Descanso.

Fast forward the Saturday afternoon of our photo session.  Julie called me when I was just a few minutes away saying there was a problem.  Whoever she talked to on the phone was misinformed.  Not only was the amount she was quoted on the phone double, but they don’t allow photography at all on the weekends.  And now that they knew our intentions, they wouldn’t let us in at all.  So much for planning ahead and doing things the right way.

So in the middle of the parking lot, we had to scramble and find an alternate location, all the while the light was fading fast.  We decided to head to Lacy Park in San Marino.  And I’m so glad we did.  I love this park.  The lighting was spectacular and the surroundings were beautiful.  I don’t think they could have found a better location. This is Julie and her family.

San Marino lacy park family photography

You don’t have backdrops like this at Descanso.

San Marino lacy park family photography

Or lighting this fabulous.

San Marino lacy park family photography

I love their piercing green eyes.

San Marino lacy park family photography

And here’s Julie’s brother and sister-in-law (I hope I got that right) and their family.  They informed me that they were more traditional, not so much into running and skipping the little ones were doing.  I said that was just fine.  I think we found some pretty backdrops for them.

And here’s everyone all together.

San Marino lacy park family photography

The cousins had some fun running and playing together after our group shots.

San Marino lacy park family photography

Love love love their fierce expressions.

Monrovia Mini Christmas Shoots

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

A few weeks before Christmas, I was invited by a local Mom’s group to hold a group of mini photo sessions for holiday cards.  So we scheduled a couple of hours on Saturday morning, and their members signed up for short time slots.  I have somewhat resisted doing mini sessions in the past because it takes time for most people to open up in front of the camera and I like to have plenty of time to try creative and artistic shots.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was to quickly work with these families for some nice portraits.  It was a challenge to see what I couple accomplish in a short amount of time.  I still prefer full length sessions and feel that families get more of a complete package, with creativity and variety, but it was fun!

Here is the first session. I photographed the Scheidlers before when Sarah was pregnant (view that session HERE).  So it was nice to see their family again and capture some memories with their boys.

Next I was happy to photograph Sharon and her family.  I loved that Sharon and Stanley were so joyful and happy.  Their little girl, Katelyn, was a little more serious.  We tried for laughs and giggles, but she was much more content to sit and watch me work – probably wondering what the weird lady was doing with that big black box.

Here’s something embarrassing.  I didn’t know who was signed up ahead of time, and when I saw Nicole, she looked familiar so I asked her if we’ve met at one of the mom’s meetups or something.  She looked at me like I was crazy and said she knows me from Stroller Strides, which is an exercise class I go to every morning!!  Oops!  In my defense, she looks a lot different in workout gear.  And I was distracted with everything going on.  But there’s no excuse – I’m a dork.  Now you know.

Next, I had the opportunity to photograph Robyn and her beautiful baby girl.  It was so sweet to photograph this mom and daughter.  Robyn know how to bring out the biggest smiles and giggles from her girl.

Then I got to photograph Julia and her family.  Julia brought some wonderful colorful blankets and hats for little Zach.  What an adorable little boy!

For my next mini shoot, I was able to meet up with Katie and her family again.  I love their sweet family and it was so nice to photograph them again (see their first session HERE).  The last time I photographed them, little Lauren was a newborn and now she is a year old!  So I took a few pictures just of Lauren for her first birthday.

Finally, I met up with Dare to take a few pictures of her littlest boy, Bryce.  Bryce is 6 months old and Dare is ready to submit him to some acting and modeling agencies.  I have worked with Dare in the past for headshots for her oldest, Mason (check them out HERE and HERE).

Thanks everyone for having me photograph your families.  I hope we can do it again next year.  :)

San Diego LDS Temple Wedding Photography

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I’m still behind on blogging all my family sessions before Christmas.  I will try to go back and post those sometimes soon, but in the meantime, I couldn’t resist posting my first wedding of 2010.  Hayley and Andrew were married at the LDS Temple in San Diego on January 2, 2010.  What a wonderful start to a new year!

This wedding in a way mirrors how my 2010 has been going so far.  It started off a little rough.  There were many MANY weddings at the temple on this day so their sealing was running a bit late.  By the time they exited the temple, we had to fight with over 6 other wedding parties for a spot on the small grounds for portraits!  Once we finally got through with the group photos, we only had 15 minutes for individual portraits!!  Just so you know how crazy fast that is, we typically plan 60-90 minutes just for individual portraits!!  Well, we may have had some challenges on the day of their wedding, but in the end, we got beautiful portraits–some of my all time favorite!

That is about how I have felt the first few weeks of 2010 – lots of challenges, but they turn out to be huge blessings in our life.  Like our car being totalled!  Which enabled us to buy a newer, bigger car because of it.  Sometimes it’s hard to see the blessings through the trials, but I have faith that Heavenly Father blesses us – whether it is on our wedding day or just life in general.

Hayley and Andrew exiting the temple.  These shots are always some of my favorite because they are just so happy and filled with love and emotion.

So many people that love them, there to celebrate their wedding.

We took a few portraits in front of the gorgeous San Diego LDS Temple.  This temple is so beautiful that people travel there just to get married.  Hayley and Andrew live in Philadelphia, but they love this temple so much, they decided to go to San Diego to get married.

San Diego LDS Temple Wedding Sealing Photography mormon Photographer

San Diego LDS Temple Wedding Sealing Photography mormon Photographer

But the light directly in front of the temple is always harsh, especially at mid-day.  So we walked around the grounds and found a nice spot for some more portraits.

San Diego LDS Temple Wedding Sealing Photography mormon Photographer

They are so in love.  Even though we were pressed for time, their portraits just oozed love and laughter.  I had so many to choose from.

The light here was so lovely and golden – it just glowed!

Hayley, you are stunning.

When the car rental company heard they were getting married, they gave Hayley and Andrew a free upgraded to a convertible.

At their reception, Hayley and Andrew asked guests to sign “The Giving Tree”, which I thought was a sweet idea.  I had to feature their rings on it.

Hayley and Andrew had a small, simple luncheon with their family.  They did, however, have a first dance.  While I captured these two shots:

My second shooter and husband, Brian, captured this.  I love it!

Finally, their getaway car.  I love the motion!  Thank you for asking me to be a part of your special day, Hayley and Andrew.  I wish you all the best in your new married life.