A couple of weeks ago I met Kimberly Witort in Los Angeles for a Woodshop, a private, one day workshop. Kimberly is a great photographer from Washington and was in town with a couple of her friends for the week. We spent the afternoon going over business, workflow, processing and wedding day management and ended the afternoon with what was supposed to be a sunny shoot in Santa Monica. June gloom took the sun away but we still had a great time shooting at the pier.
Usually at the end of a Woodshop we'll shoot a couple or portrait session together but Kimberly decided she'd like me to shoot her and her 2 best friends instead. Here are a few of my favorites from the afternoon.
If you're interested in a private Woodshop shoot me an email. I'd love to hear from you!
Sometimes I get close to what I'm after, this time I got exactly what I wanted from a wedding party photo. I love *everything* about this photo.
Several months ago I was hired to shoot what I thought was going to be a pretty typical engagement session in New York. Time passed and as the date came closer I got in touch with the couple to firm up the details. They told me they had some ideas about the shoot and then said they wanted it to have a 1950's theme. They wanted to shoot outside a diner, they were having a '56 T-bird there for the shoot, they were dressing up in 50's attire... in fact, it wasn't going to be typical at all.
One of the things they told me is that they wanted to shoot with the car outside the diner and have the sunset behind them. Well if you know anything about photography you know that in order for that to happen you're going to have to use lighting. I guess I could have done some HDR stuff but its not 2006 anymore. :)
So I rented a Profoto set up and drove out to New Jersey to the diner. The diner was awesome but it was also surrounded by cars, not from the 50's, which to me kind of kills the whole thing. So we positioned the car in the middle of the parking lot and I shot from pretty much the only angle that blocked out the rest of the cars and still showed the diner. I felt pretty good about the images as we were shooting but I never get too excited because you really never know what you're getting until you open them up. I even turned the strobes off at a couple of points and shot natural light just in case things weren't turning out as good as I thought they were.
When I opened the images up to begin working on them I just fell in love. Its so different from what I normally do but man they're so freaking cool.
While I typically work with natural light, when I was first getting started I never wanted to be in a situation where I felt unprepared so I learned as much as I could about off camera lighting. I'm by no means an expert but knowing this stuff has helped me get good images out of bad situations.
So here are a few of my favorites. I put in some of the natural light stuff as well. I think the difference is really interesting. Let me know what you think.
I was going through a shoot from a couple of weeks ago tonight and thought I'd put a few images up. I had such a great time with Chu and Antonio. They're such a great couple and this is actually not the first time I've taken Chu's photo. I shot her sister's wedding a couple of years ago and she was a bridesmaid.
One of my favorite images ever came out of their "pre-wedding" "day after" session:
Enough about them though, back to Chu and Antonio... :)
Here are a few images from my time with them.
I love these ones on their beach cruisers!
Well its been WAY too long but I'm back. Lot's of travel, lots of weddings, lot's of shoots, a cross country move... all this has added up to blogging being put on the back burner. Well that's over. This will be the first post of many. So keep coming back... and tell your friends that the rumor that I disappeared isn't true. :)
This shoot is from last year and I ad always meant to blog it but for some reason or another I never did. This is my friend Edmund Prieto. He's one of the nicest and most talented guys I've ever met. He's good at literally everything he does. One of the things he does is skateboard. At one time in his life he was a sponsored, touring skater. He asked me to shoot him last year so he could finally have some good images of him doing what he loves.
I've got to give Amanda some props. It was about 16 degrees that day and she was such a trooper. Sooooo cold, and she never complained once! My kind of bride! :)
Since we're smack in the middle of winter... (well most of you are, we don't really get winter here in Orange County) ...I thought I'd pull out a wedding from last summer that was never blogged to warm you up a bit.
Here are a few of my favorite images from Kenny and Bri's engagement session last week in Santa Monica. They are so much fun to hang around and I CAN NOT WAIT for their wedding this summer at the Viceroy in Anguilla! It's going to be so awesome.
I've been away a while. I know. I know. It's been too long. Instead of groveling and trying to explain my absence I thought I'd make a list about what's gone on since I've last blogged... events, trips, gifts, purchases... whatever. If it's awesome and it's happened in the past couple of months its on the list.
(These are not in order of importance, just the order that they came to me.)
Cyndie and I went to New York... again. I don't think I need to explain to you again my love for New York City and more specifically Manhattan. Now I know I haven't seen the whole world, but, I've seen a lot of it and I can say with some degree of certainty that New York is my favorite place. I know it's not for everyone but for me and Cyndie there's nowhere better. The city, central park, the shopping, the restaurants... I love it all. This was actually the first time that Cyndie and I had gone to New York just for fun. Every other time I've had work there and while we always have a good time when I'm not working it was nice to not have anything but fun on the schedule for our trip.
Also it was our 10 year anniversary.
I can't believe we've been married that long! Here are a few pics I dug out from our proofs from our wedding photos. Don't judge, it was 1999! Sorry the scans are so bad.
And here we are now, this was in December in New York.
Which brings us to food. Our favorite thing to do, aside from going to New York, is go to really great restaurants. In the past two months we have eaten some incredible meals. I could go on and on about them but there's probably only a few of you out there that would care so I'll just list a few of them.
DBGB. Super Chef, Daniel Boulud's less formal restaurant near the site of the famous old CBGB club in the East Village. Incredible burgers, amazing house made sausages, great beer list.
Jean Georges. Wow. One of New York's five Michelin 3 Star Restaurants. Incredible
Gramercy Tavern. I've heard about Gramercy Tavern for years and in December while we were in New York we totally lucked out and scored what is one of Manhattan's toughest reservations. It did not disappoint.
Animal. A sweet restaurant in West Hollywood that is a vegan's worst nightmare. Luckily I'm no vegan. Pork Belly sliders, chicken liver toast, veal breast, rabbit legs... even the desert had bacon in it! Mmmmmmeat!
A16. San Francisco's famous restaurant that specializes in not just Italian food, but food from the Campania region of Italy. You have to respect a restaurant that is that focused on what they do. Its easy to try to be all things to all people and end up doing nothing well. A16 does and few things and is the best at them.
And finally the culinary version of Mecca... the place all foodies aspire to eat... perhaps the most famous restaurant in the world...
THE FRENCH LAUNDRY! This was Cyndie's Christmas gift to me. I had a wedding last weekend up in the Bay Area and Cyndie thought ahead two months ago and scored us a table. It was without a doubt the best dining experience of my life. Trying to come up with enough superlatives to describe this meal is futile. I'll probably devote an entire blog post to the meal so we'll save the details for later.
Christmas! As I said, we've been married for 10 years now and this was Makenzie's 6th Christmas and we've always been with our extended family. And while that's always been great we chose, this year, to spend it alone and create our own traditions. So this year it was just the three of us and it was awesome. We definitely missed our families but it was so much fun making things up as we went, creating traditions that will hopefully last for a long time.
I got a new camera. Not really that exciting but its always fun to get new toys.
I got a Sous Vide Supreme! This is way more exciting than a camera... at least to me. We've been getting into cooking amazing food at home and this machine has allowed us to take dinner to a whole 'nother level. We had some friends over last week for a dinner party and I made shortribs that had been cooked for 72 hours! Oh my gosh, they were amazing.
Weddings in San Diego, Hollywood and Dallas and San Francisco. Those blogs are coming up soon, I promise.
Finally, I got a book that is so incredibly inspiring. Its not a photography book, or a business book, it's about a chef named Ferran Adria who is, by many accounts, the best chef in the world. What's inspiring about this book is that it takes you through a typical day with him. He's someone that has dedicated his life to being creative. Not just making food, but creating something that's never been made before. His restaurant is only open 160 days a year because he needs the rest of the time to create. Every day the restaurant is open the first 9 hours of the day is dedicated to creating new dishes. His diners are served between 28 and 36 courses and every course a diner is served is put into a database so that if they come back to the restaurant in the future they will not be served the same dish. The have hundreds of notebooks filled with thousands of dishes they've created, not one of them something the diner will have ever seen or been served before. The 205 days a year the the restaurant is closed is spent developing new processes to make food. Inventing machines and tools if necessary to facilitate the making of whatever dish the have in their heads. That kind of commitment to creativity is just astounding to me and is really inspiring as well. I want to put that much effort into being creative for my clients.
So now you're caught up! I promise it won't be 2 months before I blog again! :)