USC Sets the Stage for Kellie & Craig’s Engagement Portraits

One of the traditions in Kellie & Craig’s relationship is attending USC football games with Craig’s family.  When they told us about this we thought the campus would be the perfect spot for their engagement session. We carefully checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t orientation or the beginning of the school, hoping we would find a pretty empty campus in the early evening hours.  I (Jody) was really excited to visit the campus again, since I had been a freshman there myself when I moved to California from New York.  We had done Crystal & Ryan’s engagement portraits there a couple of years ago, and I was more than ready for another visit.  There are some new buildings on the campus, and lots of cardinal and gold flowers everywhere, but, for the most part, things are the same.

Kellie & Craig had their own game day traditions and favorite spots on campus that they shared with us.  We recreated Craig’s game day “kick” of the California flag pole, picnicking in Doheny Park, and added a few of Kellie’s touches like the white frames she had bought to pose with.  Aside from the NCAA commercial they were filming at Tommy Trojan keeping us away from that popular spot, we got to do it all. And it was all lots of fun for us.  Kellie and Craig are fun loving and compliment each other perfectly.  Their wedding day will be an amazing one…we can’t wait.  Enjoy!

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Kandis & Matt Explore Mentryville for Romantic Engagement Portraits

We braved the heat, dirt and even a bee sting (Matt was a real trouper) last week with Kandis & Matt and Adriana as our very able wardrobe consultant, stylist, helper, and sister to Matt Farrell; the groom to be.  We had lots of fun and wanted to share these right away.  Enjoy this fantastic couple…we certainly did!

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Romantic Backyard Wedding in Santa Clarita of Maria & Lalo

We have known Maria & Lalo for quite a while.  They  first met us at their cousin’s wedding we photographed several years ago.  Their wedding was originally scheduled for last June, but Maria’s deployment to Iraq forced them to push the wedding ahead for a year.  Lalo is a Marina recruiter and Maria is in the U.S. Army.  Their adorable daughter Isabella is a student.  Maria’s cousins graciously offered their beautiful Santa Clarita hilltop home for the intimate ceremony and fun filled reception.  Isabella was a very important participant in the planning and execution of this perfect day.  And yes, Lalo’s tears were real when he saw his beautiful bride.  We were proud to share this amazing day with this special couple and their family.

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Alison & Tony’s Wedding at Valencia Country Club- A Magical Evening Under the Stars

We learned during one of the toasts at Alison & Tony’s reception that the first time Alison met Tony’s family was when she was invited to dinner at their house.  Being the Alison that we know and love, she had to bring a dessert- and it had to be special and homemade.  She chose lemon meringue pie- even though she had never made one before.  I guess what turned out had little resemblance to an actual lemon meringue pie.  Her pie baking skills might not have been evident, but her love for Tony and her dedication to everything she did certainly was. You need only see the look in Tony’s eyes as he admires his bride to know the feelings are reciprocal.  It was a long road to June 11, 2011 and a magical day topped off with a fantasy like reception under the starts at Valencia Country Club- a location close to Alison’s heart as she has worked there.

Hearing this story of the pie during the reception,  we dubbed  their wedding the “Lemon Meringue Wedding” because it really summed everything up- especially with the yellow, white and black theme.  From the hand made backdrop for the ceremony which later did double duty at the reception behind the head table, to the Lemonhead candy favors, there was not a detail that was overlooked in preparing for this day, and so many details were attended to by family and friends who had a vested interest in feeding the perfectionist that we all know as Alison. (check back to our blog from their engagement session)  It was what Alison would do for a friend or family member, so she had legions ready to help her.  I will follow up with another post to showcase the details and the fabulous venue that the new site at Valencia Country Club provides (previously featured in this blog for their recent bridal show).

We know that this evening was just the beginning, and the lesson we learned is that anything worthwhile is worth waiting for, working towards and believing in…because dreams really can come true.  Thank you Alison & Tony for sharing your dream day with us and we look forward to sharing many more wonderful times in your future.

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Jennifer & Phillip’s Wedding at the Airtel Plaza is a Family Affair

Jennifer & Phillip’s wedding at the Airtel Plaza in Van Nuys was all about family and romance.  When we first entered the bride’s hotel room to do our prep shots we were taken aback by Jennifer’s twin sister- after doing a double take and reassuring ourselves that we weren’t having double vision- the excitement began.  Jennifer & Phillip’s children was prominent participants in the day and we had a great time capturing them.  From the sheer joy of being allowed to wear lip gloss of their young daughter, to their son’s sense of responsibility for taking as many photos as he could with the cell phone given to him for such purpose (check out the one he was snapping in the middle of the ceremony) to all special shots of the kid’s during the day- we totally enjoyed them.

The Airtel’s Midway Garden looked beautiful underneath the puffy clouds, and although it got a little chilly and windy after the ceremony, we were glad the rain held off long enough for this gang to get married.  The lighting in the Gulfstream Ballroom was amazing and we must say- we have never seen this venue look better.  Jennifer & Phillip and family- all of your hard work and attention to detail really made your wedding very special and we felt privileged to share the day with you.  It was great to see your dad the photographer again after more than 20 years as well.

Enjoy your family- we certainly did!

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Bellisima Bride Bridal Show Marketing Photo Shoot at Tournament Player’s Club in Valencia

It truly takes a village… Sandra Lopez of J & M Entertainment and The Bellisama Bride Bridal Show called us to do some photos for the new marketing campaign for the August 7, 2011 upcoming bridal show at the Valencia Hyatt.  Adriana Cruz Farrell was on board to model a new dress from the Maggie Soltera collection and Sandra & Adriana Farrell came along to TPC- Tournaments Player’s Club- Valencia with us to help.  (Check out Dave & Sandra helping Adriana onto the fence) We wanted to catch the beautiful end of the day light so we started at 6pm and needed to be done by 7pm to accommodate everyone’s schedules.

Sandra & Adriana were amazing assistants and we never could have done it without their help.  We couldn’t leave without checking out the bridge that we had noticed on our way out to the site.  Sandra was on hand to bring the bouquet into the scene (Check out our model in waiting) Adriana’s professionalism and elegance made it easy for us to capture these images.  We still think they could increase golf cart sales with the pose of Adriana on the back of the cart!  Thank you to everyone  for making this a memorable evening for us.

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Danielle & Travis Engagement Sitting at Paradise Beach in Malibu captures the fun and romance of this couple.

The weather can either be a friend or foe when you are an event photographer.  We are always carefully tuned in to the weather channel whenever we have location sessions.  The weather in Valencia could be beautiful, and an hour away at the beach, it could be raining.  We had to reschedule Danielle & Travis’s engagement session once due to wind and rain, so we were really hoping for good weather last Sunday.  We had made it through our wedding on Saturday without any drops falling (there was a 20% chance), so we felt confident to try it again with the same prediction on Sunday.

We left Valencia with rain imminent, but as we drove further south and through the San Fernando Valley and across the 101, the skies were blue and with puffy white clouds.  It was overcast again by the time we reached PCH.  Danielle and Travis were right on time for our meeting, although a little nervous.  Danielle was anxious to make sure we captured the fun, romantic couple they were.  We were sure it would be easy- just look at these two-and the girl is a dancer-just look at those legs!  Now that is what we calling jumping for joy.  We knew they were going to make us look good.

Within minutes they were warmed up-although the beach got pretty cool later…and having fun.  It was easy to capture this fun loving couple and their slide show is even more evidence of their playful personalities.  They really bring out the best in one another.  Don’t miss the shot Dave snapped of Danielle clowning in the background as I was showing her where to sit.

Luck really was on our side, because as we got to our cars to brush off the sand and change shoes- the rain started!  Thank goodness for the hot clam chowder at the Paradise Beach Cafe.  Now that is what I call perfect timing for a perfect couple!

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Amanda & Ryan’s Santa Barbara Courthouse and Leadbetter Beach Ultimate Engagement Session

We were looking forward to a Monday afternoon getaway from the studio to Santa Barbara for an engagement session.  We had not shot at the Santa Barbara Courthouse in several years and remembered it fondly and  Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara is one of our favorite beaches. So, we knew we were in for an awesome day!  We had diligently been checking the weather forcast to make sure it wasn’t too cold or windy and everything looked perfect. There was a great surprise at the end of the day that we could not have even imagined.

We met Mandi and Ryan downtown near the courthouse and they were ready to go with lots of great clothing options and changes.  We kept teasing this dedicated nurse and hunky paramedic that they were like Barbie & Ken- adorable, beautiful, handsome and ready to play!  So play we did- exploring every nook and cranny of the courthouse, capturing the incredible warm light at the end of the day on the beach, and climbing up and down the rocks to get just the right shots.  They were game for anything, and not afraid to get just a little wet.  The only thing that stopped us after hours of shooting was the setting sun and wet clothing.  Wow!  We could not wait to work on these images and we hope you like the creative effects we used on them.  We are sure they will end up on the R & R Creative Photography website in the near future.

Ryan casually asked us at the car what our plans were next.  We said we would probably get a bite to eat and head back across the 126 towards home.  Ryan asked if we would like to join them for dinner at a steakhouse nearby that they had reservations at.  Of course we accepted, who wouldn’t want to spend more time with this couple?  The surprise was that they were taking us to dinner at  the renowned  restaurant- The Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch.  This nearby steakhouse is in fact (we later found out when we went home and googled this extraordinary delight) quite famous and has received the Diner’s Choice Award as one of the 50 best restaurants in the United States, as well as one of the most romantic restaurants by Travel & Leisure Magazine.  This was an amazingly generous surprise, from a very special couple that we will never forget.  Thank you again!

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