January 11, 2016

Top Ten Portraits of 2015 | Ventura County Photographer

Last week I shared my top ten wedding photos of 2015. In years past my top ten list has been a combination of my wedding and portrait work but I had to split them and make two lists this year! The following photos are my favorite portraits from 2015. These portraits are from all the different kinds of shoots that I do including newborn/baby, child, senior, maternity and family. I love to photograph people and create portraits that become heirlooms. I hope you enjoy! Here is are my top ten in no particular order!

This shoot was mainly planned to get head shots for the most adorable little boy. We planned a couple family shots too, but my favorite turned out to be this candid moment as I was following them out to the sand. Their little guy was having so much fun and kicked his legs out while coasting along. I love how playful it makes the whole photo feel. Add that fun to the beautiful scenery and the composition with the wavy sidewalk and I've fallen in love with this family photo.

I wanted to pick at least 10 photos just from this one maternity shoot a lone. In this shoot there is gorgeous Ojai scenery, backlight trees, and a family of three that will melt your heart but the connection with the glowing mama's inner light in this portrait keeps pulling me back. 

I'm thrilled with this studio portrait! All their beautiful eyes sparkle, their clothing choices are perfect, and the smiles are sincere. Happy people are the most photogenic people. 

This is the best example of why I love out door family photos. After we get the traditional portraits I like to give families time to play so I can catch these beautiful interactions. Pair a mama and baby with the beautiful dreamy light just after sunset and my heart has melted.

Senior photo shoots are the most fun. We get portraits with connection and candids, but what I love the most is how clear the personalities of this age group show through their photos. I also love this girl's colorful style.

I think every little girl wants to be a mermaid. So why not make it happen! This sweetheart was so excited, but like most mermaids she was very shy in front of the camera. I think this posed shot with a candid feel suits her perfectly. This was my only themed shoot for the year but I just love how it turned out.

This family rocked their shoot! They hiked in their beautiful clothes to get this amazing spot. Their styling is spot on. I love that their clothing has textures, layers, with simple patterns and is coordinating but not completely matchy matchy. They all look so great together. A photo with great styling, a beautiful location, and genuinely happy people will be my favorite every time! 

These two beautiful souls. I was honored to photograph their engagement session and their wedding day in 2015. They are so sweet together and photogenic that I could have pulled a number of photos from their engagement session. Once again it's the connection in this photo that I love so much and the reason that it's one my favorite portraits from the year.  

I've had the pleasure to photograph this sweetheart as a newborn, at 3 months, and at 6 months as we are in the progress of creating her 1 year progression series. This is from her 6 month shoot. I love her expression, the colors, the light, and of course her adorable sideways crown.

I can't have a top ten with out this girl. She is my most photographed subject which is partly due to the fact that she is my niece, but also because we love to collaborate on photo and video projects together. Our shoots give me space to create without feeling restricted. Sometimes that means I try something new and I don't like how it turns out, but sometimes it becomes one of my favorite photos of the year. 

Thank you to all my awesome clients from 2015! You have all been a joy to work with!

January 4, 2016

Top Ten Wedding Photos of 2015 | Ventura County Wedding Photographer

At the start of every year I post my top ten most favorite photos from the year before. It gives me time to look back at each shoot and to see overall where I excelled and where I fell short. From that I create my technical, creative, and business goals for the year. It's an exciting time for me and I always end this process feeling extremely grateful. This year I'm grateful to have expanded my wedding photography business so much so that I had to create a separate top ten list just for weddings! These top ten photos might not be the majorities favorite but each one stood out to me for different reasons. So in no particular order, I present my top ten wedding photos of 2015!

At a beautiful park in Santa Barbara, this bride made her groom the happiest man on Earth! In addition to saying "I do," she surprised him by pulling her vows out of a surprise pocket from the lining of her dress with an embroidered Chelsea Football Club emblem. His face tells you what a serious fan he is and how happy she makes him. It was a moment during the ceremony that no one will forget. 
One of the largest bridal parties we've had the pleasure to photograph and one of the most fun too! These dresses were all hand made by the same amazing lady and I knew I needed a photo that showed off how beautifully they moved. So we paired up bridesmaids and groomsmen, sent them for a walk! It did just the trick for the dresses and it got everyone smiling and having fun!
The details at this backyard reception were so well done. It was unique and portrayed the couples personality just perfectly. Their table decor was full of color, whimsy, joy and thoughtfulness. I love the printed on wood polaroid style photos! 
There is so much I love about this photo, her expression, that tree, the beautiful light, the ivy crawling in the corner. This is taken at the Los Angeles Temple and I wanted to give them something unique. If you're familiar with any wedding photos from the LA Temple, we did the common shot with bride and groom on the big lawn with full temple in back, but I also wanted to give them something that no one else would have. This tree and angle was the answer.
The ring shot! One of my favorite things to photograph on a wedding day. I love the elegance and opulence of these rings on the worn wood surface. They are so different yet compliment each other so well. 
I could have pulled any photo of these two and included it on this list. Their personalities, humor, and love just naturally fit so well together. I wanted a photo of them to portray that feeling of a beautiful fitting couple. 
This outdoor ceremony at the McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo was a dream. Huge palms all around with a blooming arch made an incredible backdrop for these two. There was lots of laughter and joy in this ceremony but the love that exuded when they joined hands and bowed heads in unison was easily felt by all. 
A bride's wedding jewelry is a sacred thing, with everything hand picked to complete her wedding day look. The jewelry is something that, unlike the dress, can be worn again to bring back the memories and feelings of such a special day. Capturing every detail of the day, even down to one link of a necklace is so important to me because I know it's important to my brides.
This bouquet! I loved everything about this bouquet. It's unique torch-like shape with sprigs of lavender made me swoon. There were so many ways to hold it too, resting on her arm or swinging upside down as she walked, it all looked so beautiful. 
I can not say enough good things about these two people, as individuals and as a couple. They are two genuine and loving souls so perfectly matched. Their smiles say it all. I loved it when they looked at each other and you could tell everything else for them just faded away. Their wedding and reception at Rancho De Las Palmas was perfect from start to finish! 

I wasn't able to fit all of my 2015 weddings on the list but I want all my brides to know how much I loved working with each and every one of you! Thank you and let me know when you all need photos of your babies! 

September 30, 2015

What a family photo shoot with Emily looks like - Ventura County Family Photography

If you've ever wondered what happens during a family photo shoot, you're in the right place! I'm going to show photos from a family shoot I did this year while describing the flow and focus during this type of shoot. Every family is different so every family shoot has its own unique flow but generally I shoot the following in this order, 1. Individual portraits 2. Family/smaller groupings 3. Candids.  

This family wanted updated photos of the 3 younger children and an updated photo of the whole family that they could print, frame, and display in their home. Knowing what the client is hoping to get from the session is so important to me. I usually start with individual portraits so the children were up first. I also wanted to be sure to get a variety of shots for each child. A full body shot as well as a close up, and photos orintated portrait and landscape.
 This session took place at Arroyo Verde park in Ventura which has many beautiful and natural settings for a family photo shoot. Once the portraits of the younger children were done I wanted to make sure we did a couple family shots before the younger children lost all interest.
I take individual portraits first because during that one on one time with each person they quickly get used to how I work and pose, and I get used to how they move and react to me. When it's time to pose everyone for the family shot, everyone is comfortable with me and we're able to set it up with ease. 

I usually take the family portrait with at least two different settings and two different poses. I think it's important to give the client options for when they select their images.
After getting the family portraits, I like to give them space to play around with each other, talk, and laugh. 

 I step back and give the family space to interact and just be themselves. I don't pose or direct these shots. My goal is to capture real moments, emotions, and expressions.  This family just had a  lot of fun talking, laughing, being silly, and I love how it's so easy to see that in these photos.
 And sometimes families get a little crazy and start throwing each other around! I definitely didn't ask for this but since my camera was already up and ready I'm glad I caught it!
At the end of a family shoot we quickly talk through everything that was shot to make sure we didn't miss anything. It's a good way to end on the same page and set everyone up for what can be expected at the Photo Reveal. The Photo Reveal is where the clients get to pick what images they would like instead of just getting whatever the photographer picks. It's an exciting and unique aspect of my photo shoots that I really enjoy offering. More info on the Photo Reveal and how it works will be coming very soon! 

September 22, 2015

Kristen & Mario - Los Angeles Temple Wedding Photography - McCormick Home Ranch Reception

It was a beautiful June day at the Los Angeles Temple for the wedding of Kristen & Mario. The following photos highlight the two of them from the bright beginning of their day to the non-stop dance party at the end.
 They chose the stunning McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo for the location of their ring ceremony and reception. I could have photographed the Ranch for days with it's beautiful landscaping and the amazing light peeking through the tall trees.
 The green barn at the back of the property was such a fun backdrop for bridal party photos and family photos.
 Once again the light fell perfectly on the Bride and highlighted the enormous palms just right. The Ring Ceremony beautifully honored the couple's friendship, courtship, and marriage.
It's always such an honor to capture all these moments and more for a bride and groom on their big day.

September 4, 2015

Mermaid Photo Shoot - Ventura Beach Photography

I'm sharing some highlights from an adorable mermaid shoot I recently did with a sweet little girl who loves mermaids. She was so camera shy but I wouldn't expect anything different from a mermaid. It worked out great though because my favorite shots sometimes are not the ones where the subject is perfectly smiling at the camera. I love to capture the candid moment of a soft laugh or eyes drifting off day dreaming. To gets those shots during a photo shoot I often have to pretend like I'm not taking a picture, I'm just getting my camera "set up." I think it relieves some of the stress for the person in front of the camera. They get a chance to breathe, and relax for a minute while I time the shot to get a real candid portrait...it turns out, my little trick works for mermaids too.