Photog Friday: Follow Up to Flashing on the Beach

For those of you that caught the post a couple of weeks ago, I gave some tips on how I was going to attempt to take my own family’s Christmas picture – here’s the follow up! If you missed it, here’s the original post if you CLICK HERE.

Well, there was a fog advisory that morning but I was determined to get our pictures done so we went anyway! The plan seemed to work well and sparked a flame in me to learn more. I’ve been practicing and hope in the near future to be able to point out some shots I’ve taken with my new skills.

I think Reed did really well this year! Last year he not only wouldn’t look at the camera but kept running off!

Here’s what we ended up with …


Weddings: I Do! {OC & San Diego Wedding Photographer}

Weddings always make me nervous to shoot but after this wedding, I heard a little voice saying “you should do this more”. And since God speaks in whispers, this year I’ll be saying “I DO” more loudly to weddings! I’ll be marketing more & offering FREE sessions to anyone who refers a wedding. So, if YOU know a couple recently engaged – let them know!

I was so excited to be asked to do this particular wedding! I’ve spent a lot of time behind the camera for this family so to be included in their special day was just awesome! I think everyone in the city felt the love & excitement of the day! And I hope I captured lots of that for them!

Mommy Monday: Cousins at Balboa Park

The last session I posted about was at Balboa Park in San Diego. If you’ve never been there, you’re missing out – it’s beautiful! I knew it would be a great place for my upcoming Family Session but it had been a LONG time since I had been there. And since my sister can read my mind, or its quite possible we share one, she suggested we take the kids to Balboa Park for a “cousin outing” a few days before the shoot.

The boys did what they do, my sister & the new baby got some fresh air, and I got a chance to pick some spots for that weekends session. It was a great day!

I call this one "Love Hurts"


The Prince Family at Balboa Park {San Diego Photographer}

I’d like to thank the Prince family for calling me to do their family pictures. Getting everyone together for a photo was a great idea for a gift for the grandparents. That night at Balboa Park was crowded! But the whole family was so cooperative and made my job so easy that we had time for a few extra shots!

I’d be honored to work with this family again … thanks!

Mommy Monday: Batman vs. My New Camera

The only thing I love more than watching Reed play, is watching him play on the beach!  I just recently upgraded my camera, who better to practice the new controls on than “Batman!”.

Even though it was drizzling and cloudy out, we had a good time exploring some new spots and all 3 taking pictures … family time, watching Batman stunts, and exploring help make up for having to learn to use the new camera.


"Mommy, saaaay cheeese!"

Reed and Daddy finding new places

These are the shots I get when he's running straight at me

They start like this ... and end with me avoiding a tackle.

Here's a Batman stunt

... more stunts.

My handsome little man ♥


Photog Friday: Flashing on the Beach

First, I apologize for the lack of Photog Friday posts this month! … weddings, holidays, family – OH MY! I’ll get back on track after the 1st of the year and that means the end of month Photo Exercises will be starting back up as well! If you’re getting a new camera for Christmas you’ll want to tune in in January!

But for this week’s tip I wanted to share a little bit on what I’m learning about – taking pictures at the beach. So far, I’ve done all of the beach session in the late evening just before sunset. But I’m planning on doing my own Family pictures at the beach this week and the morning is the only time we can fit it in. So, that means I need to study up on some techniques for shooting on the beach in bright light instead of the softer evening light. By the time we get there and set up it will probably be about 10am, which means it will be pretty bright! So, let’s talk about what I plan on doing to adjust to the bright conditions.

The Plan:

Fill in with Flash. This is something I have to force myself to do. I tend to shoot only in natural light, mostly because I haven’t practiced much as fill light. And what do I mean by “fill”? Well, just as it implies, the flash fills in the dark shadows that bright sun creates. The flash will lighten your subjects faces so your subject and the background are evenly exposed.

Use Evalutive Metering. Normally my camera is set for spot metering. But in this case I’m exposing for the background so I’m going to use evaluative instead (looks like this, ).  This will use the camera’s 35 points and takes a best guess by averaging them to decide on how to expose the shot. This is the “default” setting on most cameras. This is the mode to use when you’re not sure which mode the scene will require – like in my case.

Shoot in M (manual). I don’t shoot in any other mode anymore, so that means every session is practice in M for me … you won’t figure it out if you don’t USE it! Anyway, since I’m using the external flash, that means setting my shutter speed at 1/200. Why? because any faster than 1/250 won’t catch the flash because the shutter will be faster than the light the flash puts out. I plan to expose for the sky &water in the background and let the rest get figured out by the ETTL (or the flash & camera’s communication, E-TTL = Evaluative through the lens). Since I know I’ll be at 1/200,  I’ll be adjusting my exposure with aperture. Not comfortable in M yet? That’s ok, use Tv and set your shutter to 1/200 and let the camera figure out the aperture for you.

Now, add a Wild Thing, an impatient daddy, a tripod, and a camera on a timer to my mix … hmm, wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes!

Autumn at & on Salt Creek Beach {OC Photographer}

I had to wait a long time for the opportunity to take pictures of this little cutie! And I’m not sure I ever had to remind her to smile, its so natural for her that you can’t help but smile back. There’s something sweet about ‘Daddy & his little girl’ pictures … shots of a daddy & his boy just don’t have the same sweet feel to them. These two have a special bond and I hope that I captured some of that in pictures for them. Enjoy!

Mommy Monday: The Starfish

For those of you who know Reed personally, or have been reading the blog for a while, you know that he avoids looking at my “momera” at all costs. I have hundreds of shots of the back of his head or the side of his face.

But I have good news – there’s been a breakthrough!

He actually asked me to take his picture with a “precious” item of mine. When I heard the request, I dropped what I was doing, put him in the car, and got to the nearest beach as soon as possible – didn’t even grab his shoes (good thing he had on a clean shirt!)… fixed his hair with saltwater when we got there. I couldn’t risk giving him enough time to change his mine. That starfish was quite possibly the best $2 I’ve ever spent. OH HAPPY DAY!

I didn’t get a lot of eye contact but he was willing to let me chasing him around trying. To shoot a Wild Thing on his terms is a beautiful thing. I think you may agree, putting a couple of shells off the bookcase at risk was WELL worth it!