Saturday, May 30, 2015

California Coastal Wedding: Brittany and Garrett

What better way to sound off the wedding season than with a beach wedding shot down by Pismo in Cayucos with the lovely Jean family? Things didn't exactly go as planned, but they never do. We had a closed pier with a crane on it, wind chill that sent women's hair everywhere, my flash didn't agree with the situation, and I'll leave out who was tardy (you know who you are), but as always, to people said "I do," and that's all that really mattered. 

Cayucos Pier wedding photos
Shot under the Cayucos Pier.
 I was so excited about this pier when I looked up the location on Google Maps. The pier in Cayucos would have been great to shoot on! It was closed. Not only was it closed but it had a big, ugly crane on it. You can see it starting to creep into the frame at the end, so you couldn't even shoot the entire pier from a distance. Really bummed but we got some great shots down below.

Details, they're the first things that slip from the memory and therefore the most important to capture.

Had to put a bridesmaid to work as a light stand to capture this. She did an excellent job.

Lace instead of heels for beach wedding
The girls all looked great in these as opposed to the traditional heels. 

As you can tell by our veil and dresses in this shot, it was a liiiitle breezy that day, but we made due. The nice thing about weddings is that you tend to look past things like the chill and the hair whipping about into people's faces because the emotion commands the scene.

I really need to start shooting these details with my cellphone so that you can see what the scene looks like before I light it and pick the perfect angle. 

wedding dances in a park during midday
Midday is not always the best time for dance photos, but with the right lighting shot from just the right angle, we can make it look a wee bit more dramatic.

And now for the big reveal, all of the reception photos were taken at a local park. You can see more on our Facebook page. It's all in how you shoot it.
The ceremony site. 

A kiss during the first dance. On our facebook page you can see some of these shots in color and see how amazing they look with the flash popping off in the background.
As always, thank you for stopping by. This was a long day far away from home but I'm so glad that I got to be there. It's always a gamble shooting at the beach. Wind, crazy hair, cold, harsh sun, no sun, cranes inexplicably parked at the ends of piers, but if you simply abandon all your preconceived notions of what you want to shoot and instead focus on the emotion, on the love, you'll come out with amazing photos.

Special Announcement: I've teamed up with Aaron Draper and some other photographers to do a series of critiques. The aim is to give photographers meaningful feedback on their work. Check it out and submit. New critiques every week.

Discounts: Everyone in the wedding party is entitled to a $200 discount for their wedding day.
You can see more from this wedding on our Facebook page here.
If you'd like to find out more about our photography, look us up at
Want to see some editing videos that show a bit of how David works his magic?
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And if you want to see cute pictures of our kids along with sneak peeks of what we're working on including all of David's little sketches, follow David on Instagram at:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Out of this world engagement: Linden California Wedding Photography

I've known Jamie since high school. She is one of the most laid back, easy going people I know and her betrothed, Jack, is just as easy going. Despite what the intro photo illustration might imply, we had a very relaxed engagement session out in Jamie's and my hometown of Linden, out among the cherry trees.

UFO engagement photo
I was actually trying to set something else up for this shot but Jack started hamming it up. 

Not much in the way of natural light on the day we shot this. Just a slate gray sky. The addition of some off camera light went a long way.

This is the before if you're interested in seeing where this photo started.
If you get a chance head over to and follow my channel. In the next day or two I'll post up a video on how the UFO shot came together. Also be sure to follow this blog and let me know you were here by leaving a comment. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Split session for Sarah: Turlock Senior Portraits

While I'm pretty much caught up on work, I'm way behind on sharing. This is a two part senior portrait session where the first part was done in fall and the latter in spring. The crazy thing about it is that the photos from fall look like they were done in spring and vice versa. That said, I had a great time with Sarah on both shoots.

Our lead photo this week I put a little extra attention into. It's not one of the ones that Sarah chose, but as I was going back through her catalog to get her order ready, I paused at it and thought back to when I shot it. I can distinctly remember commenting on how beautiful I thought it was. Then when I loaded them into a gallery for her I remember pausing again and thinking that I should edit it but I went with the color powder shot because of Sarah's work with Red Zone. This last time, as I readied her invitations for print I thought of what a shame it was that no one else would ever see this photo.

I looked at the clock. It was probably about 10 in the evening. The kids were in bed, it was quiet but for Pandora playing in the background. As always, I still had lots of work to do but the artist in me pleaded with me to let him play with this shot. About two and a half hours later I made myself stop experimenting with textured layers and inverted masks.

In the end I learned some new things about textures and layer masks, but most importantly I learned how refreshing it is to the soul to be allowed time to breathe every once in a while.

Turlock senior portrait CSU Stanislaus
Lovely wooded shot at CSU Stanislaus

Cinder block wall providing some depth to this portrait.

This stuff gets EVERYWHERE. I'll never shoot with it again, but at least I can say that I tried it once.

Senior portrait with color run powder

Senior throwing color run powder
It took FOREVER to get this shot, and it's still not how I wanted it, but it's still pretty cool none-the-less.

The benefit to splitting the shoot into two was that Sarah was able to see that she liked more spontaneous, natural light shots more than my more dramatic, lit shots.

Urban senior portraits in Modesto
"Okay, now no smile." Works every time.

Not how I typically take this shot, but I like it.

The amount of hair that was blowing in this shot was INSANE. It was like we were in a wind tunnel.With a little care and attention to detail, I was able to pull much of the scattered strands out of the shot and off of her face.