Category Archives: family photographs at the beach

My Photographic Roots (part 2)

As I was looking for a few photos to post  in the 2nd edition of My Photographic Roots I realized just how many great places there are in this beautiful country of ours. I think we are all tired at this point of our snarky politicians fighting on a daily basis so try this. Walk away from your TV and look outside. For those in the MidWest or East Coast it must be beautiful with all the snow falling and turning things into a winter wonderland. I know I know it will become messy but right now this moment it is beautiful, if you are lucky  you may even see a Cardinal sitting in the tree in your front yard. For those on the west coast we have high tides and warm weather as does Florida. Seagulls are flying over head and the sea lions are high on the rocks basking in the sunshine.   What does this have to do with my photographic roots you may ask? Well, plenty! When I decided Photography  was an avenue I wanted to pursue I borrowed a camera and learned how to use it. I learned how to choose exposures and while I always had a knack for composition I worked at improving it. I used that borrowed camera for my first field trip with an instructor to Canyon De Chelly which is in the northeast corner of Arizona. More about that in a future post.

Right now I want to talk about the beauty in our own back yards or neighborhood. I practiced in literally  my own backyard (Plumeria), in front of the library (Ca. Poppy), the local nursery (heart stake w/flowers) I went to the beach, the zoo and anywhere I could work on my skills.

Looking at family and pet photos I have taken you can probably see the influence from my nature photography days. I always tell my new clients that when I decided to shift my work to families and pets I knew I wanted to combine my love of nature with my love of families and pets. Any time and anywhere I aim my camera it always takes me back to my photographic roots!

If you have an interest in photography this is a great place to start. Just open your front door and start shooting!

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Photo of the Week and ads 2015

Also posted in Family Photography, Having Fun at a Photo Session, Kids, Learning Photography, News, Pet Photography, photographing your neighborhood Tagged , , , , |

How Did They Get That Photo? Kids

How Did They Get That Photo?  Last time I talked about getting thee shot of your pets. This time I want to discuss how to get great shots of your kids. It’s really simple. Almost the same way I capture the inner spirit of your pets. Trust is the first order of business. Again, before I arrive I have given a great deal of thought as to how I am going to get that photo of your  child. You may not realize that when you are working with me but I always try to be  prepared. I try to find what they are into and then we chat about it while I am working with the family. I will snap some posed pics while we are chatting but usually the shots I like the best are the ones taken when they are just being themselves. Like your pets, parents, when viewing their proofs, will smile and laugh when they see their child’s image just as they see them in life.

Teenagers are another matter. I can tell a mile away when someone arrives with a teen that thinks this is all just lame! That happens often. I don’t make an issue of it but I do quietly let the parents know I get it.  From there I work with the family on their posed shots chatting with everyone including the teen trying to ascertain what they are into and trying to get their vibe. Sometimes they want to take a quirky photo or pose themselves and I oblige and sometimes they come out awesome and  sometimes it is thee shot! The end result is a smiling child being themselves!  I love working with kids, big or little. They are inspiring and beautiful and full of life. I learn from them every time.

Light is of utmost importance as light is one of the primary elements of any picture whether it be a painting or photograph, Landscape or  portrait, human or animal. Light is what makes the image.  Having said that I cannot predict the light so I may use a flash or reflector to help out and sometimes the light is just plain flat. I am one of those photographers who is willing to reschedule if the light is awful. I want my clients to be happy.  When you are taking photos be aware of the light and how you want to use it to get that shot!

Below are some shots I have taken of children. Some are with their families and some are not. See if you can figure out what each one of these kids is about. Some will be easy to figure out some not so much. They all posed themselves or were caught being them.

Have fun out there taking pics and if you take one you would like me to see, send it to me. I’d love to see it!IMG_40291

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Also posted in Family Photograhs, family photographs Leo Carrrilo Ranch, Family Photography, Kids, kids of all ages, Let Kids be Kids, News

How Did They Get That Photo?

You ever look at photographs and wonder “How did they get that photo?” Well, I’ll tell you, sometimes, depending on what a photographer is shooting it can takes weeks of preparation.  For me, if the location is new I try to check it out, see how many different backdrops I can use. Trees, a pond, flowers, hillsides, cliffs etc. Then I have to figure out the lighting and what time of day is best to shoot there. Most often for me I know the different locations I like to use and my clients will defer to me on which one is best for them. All of my favorite locations continue to inspire me. I may think I know all the different backdrops and lighting situations and then I will discover a new one. If I am going to shoot at the beach, conditions and tides are of utmost importance. For instance I am to photograph 2 boxers playing in the surf tomorrow but I am watching the weather, beach conditions and tides. Will it be windy or cloudy (which I love) or will it be extremely bright and flat (doesn’t make for the best photos). These are to be action shots for a very large print. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I will set up the shots depending on the possible light situations. I have spoken to the owner about her dogs and do they follow direction or are they just “free spirits”. I need to get both dogs with good expressions coming at me together in perfect light to capture the perfect image. Sounds tough? You are right, it can be! I will shoot probably 300-500 images.This is an exciting shoot for me as I am all about capturing the inner spirit of your pets however that may be presented. Working with animals is not an exact science so you really never really know what they may surprise you with. I am prepared and also have a more controlled plan B, if the dogs don’t cooperate in the surf.  For now it is till up in the air  if we re doing it at all depending on the weather, we may have to reschedule. At this point, unless it is raining, I am ready to go and will leave it up to my client. Hopefully the final images will have folks saying “How did they get that photo?”

Other times you turn around and they just give you the gift of that perfect photo!

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THANK YOU TO ALL MY CLIENTS/FRIENDS

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As I sit here getting my desk and files organized for 2016, I find myself so very grateful for all my clients. Not only those from 2015 but all of you going back to the beginning.

I want you to know that I truly enjoyed working with you and I feel honored to be chosen as your family photographer!

I would appreciate it if you would please refer me to your friends whether it be for family photos, maternity, kids, kitties, or dogs, head shots, or company photos; it would be my pleasure to make beautiful and memorable photographs for them!

If you are ready for new photos of your loved ones, please give me a call. I would love to see you again as I have the best clients in the world!

760-473-0352

Let’s make beautiful memorable photographs together!

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Let Kids be Kids!

I work with children all the time with or without their parents in the photos.  I’ve found that parents, as they head out for their session tell their kids to be good and smile and  do what the photographer tells you to do. For many kids that puts too much pressure on them to “perform”. My theory is to make it fun, who wants to sit still and smile! With small children I am able to get the most amazing shots while they are just being themselves. No expectations other than fun fun fun.

Parents are encouraged to bring along some props. Maybe a favorite doll or book. Sometimes we play with bubbles. A favorite dump truck for a little guy at the beach makes for great pics.  I like to play with the kids and if they are really shy I encourage them to come over and check out my camera. It’s funny but sometimes that can be the ice breaker we need. When I’m photographing kids I make a total idiot of myself. I make funny noises, I sing songs (I’m really bad but they don’t care), I make fish faces, I play peek-a-boo behind the camera.  After all that playing and getting awesome shots of them they will usually cooperate and settle down allowing me to get beautiful photographs of the family.

The most important thing for parents to remember is to relax. It’s all going to turn out great. You just have to trust me. Because when it’s the parents turn to join in a tense irritated face is not going to work so just go with it and have fun fun fun. Kids are the ones that have life the right way around, it’s us adults that ruin it. Let them be kids, let them have fun. I will be ready to capture it when it happens.

Now teenagers is a another thing! Often they think this family portrait thing is “lame”! They too have probably been told to shape up and smile, darn it!

I like to find out what they are interested in and work from that angle. By talking to them and letting them know I am interested in them as people really helps a lot. I will play along take a shot of them dancing on the sand or jumping off the cliff (make that a short short cliff) whatever floats their boat and in that way I gain their trust. Trust is what it is all about with a tween or teen. Sometimes I have to ignore them and work with another family member until they do something that gets me to turn my camera on them and then they are mine as we have made that connection. Sometimes I will have a stubborn one help me out by holding a reflector for me.They usually get interested in what I am doing and then I have them! I never ever want to force someone to pose because it will fail every time. So let’s get out there, have fun and make some magic!

I know some of these photos look posed but I assure you that all of these children featured here were just doing their thing when I took the shot! Their parents were thrilled and so was I. 
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Also posted in Family Photograhs, family photographs Leo Carrrilo Ranch, Family Photography, Having Fun at a Photo Session, Kids, kids of all ages, Let Kids be Kids, News