Jun 30, 2008

Brandy and Jason in Murrieta

Murrieta, CA.

We met at the beautiful house of Brandy's mom's friend in Murrieta on a really, really hot day. Since we shot at sunset, the weather cooled down a little and the light softened just the right amount to create beautiful backlight and flare for our photos. The house was so cute in many ways, from the old-fashioned porch with a swing to the horses and dogs in the stable to all the greens throughout the property.

Brandy and Jason made a great choice in location. I always encourage couples to think of a unique concept or location for their engagement session.

We can't wait to photograph their wedding at the winery in September!

Here's a little trivia about the house: It belongs to the uncle of the lead singer of Avenged Sevenfold.

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Adam Surprises Su at Huntington Botanical Gardens

San Marino, CA.

Let me start off by saying that Adam is one of the nicest guys I know. So it's not shocking that he went through all this trouble to set up a surprise proposal for Su. He had been planning this for a while and was still a nervous wreck up to the very moment he got on his knees.

The set-up: Since Su is pregnant, Adam told her that we were going to the Huntington Libary (The Botanical Gardens) to do a maternity session. He had me go there earlier to hide a bouquet of roses in the Rose Garden where he was planning to propose. There's a special meaning to the roses, so even though it was a pain to get it through security, I wanted to make sure I could sneak them in.

Fortunately, everything went without a hitch. They showed up with Su's sister because they were going to have afternoon tea at the Rose Garden Tea Room after the shoot. We did a few warm-up shots and then I suggested that Adam pose with his face next to Su's belly. So Adam got on his knees and based on the look on her face, utterly surprised Su as he pulled a ring box out of his pocket. She started crying immediately and as witnesses to this special moment, Su's sister and I got misty-eyed too. It was just one of those genuinely happy moments that a couple will remember for the rest of their lives, and it'll be easier to tell their kids about with these photos below:

I had a little time to kill before they arrived, so I shot this sweet looking flower.

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Jun 24, 2008

Alison and Andy at Irvine Regional Park

I'm glad we were able to catch Alison and Andy for an engagement session since they were down here for only a couple of days. We'll be covering their wedding in Santa Barbara in August and it should be a fun one.

For this shoot, we traversed across Irvine Regional Park and found some cool spots. When I say cool, I mean it was like 100 degrees and I really wanted to find shade for them. Despite the weather, we still had fun and they even went out with a paddle boat to take in the scenery. I really enjoy getting to know the couples through the engagement shoots because when the big day comes, they are so comfortable in front of my camera.

Here's a sneak preview and see you guys in Santa Barbara!

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Jun 10, 2008

Kami and Nathan in Laguna Beach

When I first met Kami at the consultation I could already tell that she and her fiance would be really fun to shoot. She was pleasant and just had a really easy-going personality. My favorite part was that she mentioned she wanted to get in the water at the beach. I haven't had one of those in a while and the weather is perfect in June to do that.

We started at Bluebird Park and then headed over to Bluebird Beach in Laguna Beach.

They were more comfortable playing than posing, so the slides and swings were perfect for these two.

We can always find ways to adjust to the height disparity.

They have great chemistry with each other. Kami and Nathan laughed and smiled for pretty much the entire shoot, which is great on camera.

The sun starts to set.

Nathan spun Kami faster than I've ever seen anyone spun!

I love running-in-the-water shots.

Getting hit by the water with regular clothes on takes a little getting used to.

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Apr 14, 2008

Sarah and Noah in Encinitas

We didn't meet Sarah and Noah until the shoot, but we hit it off right away. I say this a lot, but they seriously are such a sweet and fun couple, not to mention adorable and photogenic! We met them at a beach near the Batiquitos Lagoon in Encinitas by their place. The day started off extremely hot, but we waited until sunset to capture them in gorgeous soft natural light. Their wedding is coming up really soon and I'm so looking forward to it!

Sarah decided to improvise a little by kicking some water up which, if you look carefully, ended up on the lens filter. I love this shot, and like I told Sarah, my equipment is fine. The high-end Nikon cameras I use are tightly sealed and the lenses all have filters on it that protect the lens.

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Feb 20, 2008

Steffanie and Ruben in Huntington Beach

We met Steffanie and Ruben over at Huntington Beach near the Hyatt Regency. I've been wanting to get some shots of a couple riding bikes, and as it turns out, they do that quite often there.

Ruben claims to be uncomfortable in front of the camera, but as you tell from these preview photos, he is very photogenic just like his gorgeous fiancee. He helped by making Steffanie laugh a lot, and you could tell they were having fun with the shoot. We really had a good time with them and we can't wait for their wedding in May.

At the popular tower in Huntington Beach. The blue sky serves as the perfect backdrop for the white tower.

We found this shaded area for them to get a little intimate.

They look so good together.

Love the smiles here.

The Hyatt Regency is such a pretty place for photos. These flowers are so cute and colorful.

We loved this wall as soon as we spotted it. Steffanie grew up just a couple of blocks away and said, "I never realized there were so many nice places for photos here!"

You can see their bikes in the background.

Even though they each had a bike, we thought it'd be cuter to have him give her a ride.

The sun was starting to set. You can see how soft the light was.

Another nice wall to shoot against.

Steffanie saw these boards and wanted to get a shot of themselves in front of their respective national flags. Sometimes, our clients come up with the great ideas!

Steffanie has the most gorgeous green eyes. Her shirt and the green grass complements them well.

Hard to beat the sunset on the Pacific coast.

Under the famous Huntington Beach pier.

I love how the photos turned out. Thanks for working through the freezing cold weather!

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Feb 12, 2008

Annalisa and Will in Yorba Linda

Luckily for us, the rain stopped just in time for our shoot with Annalisa and Will. I love the overcast look after it rains, so I'm glad they were ready to go with or without the rain. We started off at the Nixon Library, had the majority of our shoot at Tri-City park, and then ended at the Bradford House.

In front of the fountain at the Richard Nixon Library.

When I saw this tree and bench, I knew that this was gonna be a cool shot to put up on the wall.

A little aside... we saw this duck beating up on another duck while their friends watched. It was quite violent, but he stopped after a while and they just went about their business, so I guess all is good in the animal kingdom again.

I love when the sun provides lighting on the hair. The glow is beautiful.

On the bridge.

Will chasing Annalisa across the bridge.

A sweet moment at the Bradford House.

What a totally adorable couple! I can't wait for the wedding come March.

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Jan 22, 2008

Dusky and Bobby at Disneyland Hotel

Bobby is a friend of mine and doesn't like to have his photo taken. Unfortunately for him, Dusky loves my photos and wanted me to photograph their wedding. We had a great time shooting though, because they're truly a fun couple. Bobby has an uncanny ability to make people laugh and Dusky just has a way with the camera, so Disneyland Hotel was the perfect setting.

Click here for the gorgeous flash version, or continue reading below for the blog photos.

Dusky is a natural in front of the camera. She doesn't really take a bad shot.

Cute smiles in every shot.

A sweet, tender moment.

And the laughs begin again.

I waited for that moment when the sun fell on her hair to snap the shot. It's such a natural, beautiful glow.

In front of waterfalls.

I thought Dusky was joking when she said she could pick Robbie up, so imagine my surprise when she actually did!

A cute shot in the phone booth.

A snuggly moment.

By themselves, on a bench.

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Jan 21, 2008

San and Allan at St Regis and Laguna Beach

We met up with San and Allan in south Orange County on a beautiful Saturday evening before sunset. We started at the beautiful St. Regis Monarch Beach where they had a chance to get over their shyness in front of the camera. Then we headed up to Aliso Beach Park to enjoy an amazing Laguna Beach sunset.

Click here for the gorgeous flash version, or continue reading below for the smaller photos.

I love this exquisite wall at the St. Regis Rotunda.

They have great looking natural smiles.

Kicking the legs up. Cute.

Embracing at the pretty garden outside.

Our entire shoot at the beach was during sunset.

You can tell they're now loosened up and having fun.

A nice private moment together. Just them, their footsteps and the blue waters.

This might be the reason why I will never leave Southern California.

And we end the session with a sunset silhouette kiss.

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Jan 16, 2008

Kathryn and Steven in Laguna Beach

We met up with Kathryn and Steve at Bluebird Beach in Laguna Beach. He grew up around there so we knew exactly where to go to get the shots we wanted. Let me tell ya, this couple is really fun to photograph! They are so cute together, you can easily see how much in love they are through the photos. For example, we told them it'd be fun to get some running shots on the beach and they just sprinted off racing each other at full speed. Check out the photos to see what I mean.

Click here for the gorgeous flash version, or continue reading below for the smaller photos.

There is the famous Bluebird Beach backdrop.

Any closeup shot of Kathryn reveals a picture-perfect smile.

Focused on the ring.

I just love the emotion of this shot, with the hands held together and her graceful glance downwards.

There's the silliness coming out of those two.

Natural, genuine laughs are often so beautiful.

They kicked off their sandals so high in the air and watched as it fell to the sand.

We then hopped on over to the park nearby where Steve used to hang out as a little kid.

I can't stress enough how a real genuine laugh shows up great in photos.

I love how soft the light is, both on their faces and the trees behind them.

There was no way they were not going to get on the swings for the shoot.

Just another chance for them to snuggle.

This was a funny scene because there were two people to my left doing their taxes on the bench, and we're here doing an engagement shoot ten feet away.

I can't wait for the wedding!

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Jan 2, 2008

Michelle and Tom in Downtown San Juan Capistrano

We met up with Michelle and Tom in downtown San Juan Capistrano by the Train Depot for their engagement shoot. We're excited to shoot their wedding next month in Laguna Beach at Pacific Edge. Michelle and Tom were a fun couple to work with. They were very easy going and they had no problems being themselves and being silly with each other. There were many sweet moments. Here are a few that caught my eye.

This was an antique train on display by the main office at the Train Depot.

I love the red color of the train.

Luckily, the train was late so we sneaked in a few shots on the tracks.

Here's a sweet moment as we walked around the downtown area.

This is one of my favorites. The colorful leaves added a nice touch to the shot.

The weather was a little chilly but beautiful. I wanted to capture this shot with the sun glaring behind them.

Here's Michelle and Tom sitting in front of The Ramos House Cafe. This is their favorite spot to visit whenever they're in the area.

I love the way he holds her hand here, and the background is so smooth!

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Dec 31, 2007

Jackie and Roy in Irvine

Jackie and Roy were only in town for these couple of weeks so we wanted to get the engagement shoot in, even if it meant braving a freezing-for-Socal day. Roy grew up in the East coast so the cold was nothing to him. One thing I like about cloudy days is that it creates a romantic mood for a shoot like this. It has a winter feeling without the snow. Here are the results of a fun shoot in Irvine.

I wanted to give them a nature-themed look for the engagement shoot because their wedding is going to be beach-themed, so this way they get a variety of photos.

Shot in this tunnel always turn out great.

Note the heart-shaped leaf right above Jackie. How completely random and awesome is that?

I love how the leaves create a frame around them.

A cute closeup.

Jackie has such a bubbly personality and Roy seems to feed off that energy.

This is one of my favorite shots... they are genuinely laughing and having a good time.

We squeezed these photos in with the last bit of light left for the day.

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Oct 3, 2007

Michelle and Hai in Laguna Beach

Since I already shot the wedding for Michelle's twin sister, Marlene, I wanted to try something different with Michelle and Hai's engagement session. We walked around the streets of downtown Laguna Beach and captured some candid silliness from the couple.

Laguna Beach features many different colored backgrounds like this green one.

Michelle says something funny into Hai's ears. To the left is Michelle's brother-in-law videotaping the shoot in the background.

Quite happy together.

This isn't a camera/Photoshop trick. The wind blew at Michelle's dress to give it that swirly look.

Playing peek-a-boo through the telescope.

A sweet moment together during the beautiful sunset.

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Aug 27, 2007

Su and Hanson in Huntington Beach

We met Su and Hanson at the beautiful bridge and tower of the Huntington Beach Hyatt. Su was all smiles during the shoot, and she seemed to laugh more as the conservative Hanson became more shy. Hanson is a lot like me in that he's much more comfortable behind the camera than in front. As you can see though, he's quite photogenic so hopefully this will show him that he can be great in front of the camera.

Su's cute pink shoes.

The sky was awesome. It was half blue and bright and half cloudy and dark. There was also thunder and lightning. What's a little scary weather to stop us from a great shoot?

Su's laugh is so infectious, every time she laughed I was laughing behind the camera too.

The famous Huntington Beach pier in the background.

Under the pier.

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Jul 21, 2007

Kelley and Aaron in Laguna Beach

I caught up with Kelley and Aaron in Laguna Beach during the magic hour, a term we use in photography to refer to the half hour before the sun sets and the half hour after. Even though it was overcast, we managed to get some great pictures and have some fun by jumping into the water and rolling around in the sand. It's my wettest shoot yet.

Kelley and Aaron are actually friends of ours. Kelley's the one that introduced me to the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center, the organization whose events I love shooting. I had met Aaron before they got engaged, so when Kelley told us that he popped the question on their recent trip to North Carolina, I was so excited for her because Aaron is such a nice down-to-earth guy.

I was glad they brought Max along. He has a real gentle demeanor for such a big dog. You can just tell how calm he is.

My poor assistant/wife, Sen, had to hold on to Max's leash for the entire shoot. Well, Sen weighs about 100 pounds and Max is probably around the same. She literally had to use all her strength to hold Max back when he wanted to go play with Kelley and Aaron.

Both the sky and water have a soft look to it at this time of day.

They are such a photogenic couple. They are naturals in front of the camera, despite Kelley saying that she was a little nervous.

I wanted to get the reflection of the sun on the sand. I love how it came out with their fun pose.

They are the first couple to volunteer to get in the water for me. This was the most fun I've had at a shoot yet, despite almost getting my camera wet.

I knew that Aaron wanted to get this shot of the water splashing on Kelley. You can see the surprised look on Kelley's face, much to the amusement of Aaron.

I love how you can see the movement of the water as it's receding back into the ocean, yet the kiss stands still in time.

This was so much fun that we're planning to do another shoot before the wedding. I can't wait!

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Jun 18, 2007

Kendra and Kevin at Newport Beach Pier

Kendra and Kevin flew in from Utah to get their engagement shoot done here in Newport Beach because that's where he proposed to her. I always encourage my clients to choose a location that's meaningful to them, and there is no place more appropriate than at the pier for this cute young couple in love.

Just so that there is no question where Kevin proposed. They look so cute together.

Brick walls make for great backgrounds.

And so do colorful walls.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite from a set, but this one is probably it.

Kendra has a genuinely sweet smile.

I wanted to get the surfers and the pier in the background to give it that unmistakable Newport Beach feel.

Kevin wanted to make sure we get some palm trees and I really liked this clock.

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Jun 3, 2007

Christine and Roy in Laguna Beach

Despite June gloom, we were determined to make some happy pictures. It wasn't hard because Christine and Roy are such an easygoing couple. We met them at Bluebird Beach in Laguna Beach.

Christine and Roy were really good at relaxing and being themselves.

Sometimes, I don't even need to tell them what to do.

I love the smiles on this shot.

Christine and Roy wanted to bring their handsome dog to the shoot. I love dogs so I was looking forward to it. Hiro turned out to be as photogenic as his owners.

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May 13, 2007

Kristine and Rick in Laguna Beach

We went out to my favorite beach in Laguna Beach to do their shoot. Kristine and Rick are a cute and shy couple. I like to shoot based on a couple's personality, so we went with a classic sunset on the beach style, using the beautiful sky and soft lighting to complement the gentle bride-to-be.

I like to enhance the glow of the sunset with this effect.

This is my favorite shot of the set. I like the way she rests her head on him, the tones on her face, the color of the sky, and the ocean behind them.

The sky really was bluish pink. It's hard to beat southern california.

At certain times during the day, the sun reflects its light off the ocean waters just like this.

I had them walk towards the light so I can follow the shadow and footsteps and lead it up to their romantic walk.

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May 7, 2007

Lauren and Mike at The Queen Mary

We met Lauren and Mike at the Queen Mary in Long Beach right before sunset. This was where they got engaged, so we thought this would be a meaningful place for the shoot. They are a really relaxed, fun couple. Most of the time, Mike was making Lauren laugh with something he's saying or doing, which is exactly what I wanted.

This is the part of the ship where he popped the question.

The sun was falling on them just right.

They were looking for their home through the telescope.

Mike has the ability to make Lauren break out in laughter constantly.

There are so many things I like about this photo. The cute expressions on their faces, the color of the sky, the blue waters, the curve of the floor, and how the lines converge towards the right.

Even their shadows are in love.

After a hard day's work, what else is there to do besides sleeping it off?

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Apr 30, 2007

Jeannette and Matt's Enagement Session

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I went down to Balboa Park in San Diego for Jeannette and Matt and had a great time. They are a silly and fun couple and were fantastic at improvising.

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I loved these flowers so much I wanted to start the session here.

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I just absolutely had to get the mariachi in the background. This is easily my favorite photograph of the set.

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They were easy to shoot. Just leave them alone and they start doing their thing.

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There was so much color to capture.

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I thought it would be cute to have them "steal" the police car. Nobody was arrested.

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Apr 14, 2007

Marlene and Solomon's Engagement Session

To begin the engagement session season, we went to a favorite beach of mine in Laguna Beach to photograph Marlene and Solomon. It was interesting in that at the beginning of the shoot, the sun was out and by the end of the shoot it was cloudy. I liked that we had two types of lighting for this set.

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This photo draws my attention because of it's uniqueness. Many times during the shoot he picked her up and that made for some interesting and fun photos.

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This shot was too cute to pass up. I had them sit on the sand while I shot from far away. Then I noticed how the sunlight was falling nicely on their feet so I got up close and told Marlene to put her foot on his.

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I'm a sucker for footsteps on the sand.

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He really enjoyed picking her up. He is a relatively tall guy so it was easy for him to swing her around in circles.

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I gave this a sepia effect to match the soft innocent look on her face.

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Dec 20, 2006

Jennifer and Vic's Engagement Session

When Jennifer told me that she picked me to be her wedding photographer because of the description of my photojournalism style on the website, I was thrilled. I didn't think anyone paid attention to it, even though I really put my heart into it. In case you're wondering what that style is, check on the top of this page under "my philosophy on wedding photography."

I photographed Jennifer and Vic in Laguna Beach on the coast of South Orange County. The first thing I noticed about them was how nice they were. Her smile stood out to me as bright and beautiful. I can't wait for the wedding day.

I like to use black and white on shots like this.

They brought their Mighty Ducks jersey because they met at a Ducks game. Yep, that's cute.

She has a beautiful smile that stands out in the sunset.

My favorite shot of the set is this silhouette with the sunset in the background. I accentuated the glow to exaggerate the dreamy sunset.

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