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Home on the Range | Rustic Engagement Portrait Session

Oak Glen, CA
If you’re getting married, I highly recommend scheduling an engagement portrait session before your wedding.

Five reasons why engagement sessions are important:
1. Most couples aren’t used to being photographed. It takes a while to relax and be yourself. Engagement portrait sessions are a great time to get accustomed to being photographed so your wedding day portrait session will be a piece of cake.
2. You get a chance to get to know how your photographer works before the hustle and bustle of the wedding day.
3. You’ll learn what kinds of photos you like, and don’t like.
4. Your photographer will learn how to pose you and your honey so you look your best.
5. They’re a lot of fun!!!

I also love engagement portrait sessions because it gives me the chance to get to know you. I think they’re so important that I include a complimentary session in my full day portrait package.

Jen and I talked before her session brainstorming some great locations. She and her fiance Darin love the great outdoors. We decided to take photos at an apple picking farm. (Bonus — after the session we bought some delicious apple turnovers from Rileys Store.)

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I found these rustic love letters in Chicago and I knew they’d be perfect for Jen and Darin’s session!

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, engagement portraits
Los Angeles engagement portrait photographer, Los Angeles engagement portrait, engagement portraits

I wanted to include Jen and Darin’s daughter Neveah in some of the photos. She is awesome!

Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, engagement portraits
Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, engagement portraits
Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, engagement portraits

Some family portraits…

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Los Angeles family portrait photographer, Los Angeles family portrait photography, engagement portraits
Los Angeles family portrait photographer, Los Angeles family portrait photography, engagement portraits

Neveah agreed to be art director whenever she wasn’t in the photos. “Mom stand up on your tippy toes. You’re too short!”

Los Angeles engagement portrait photographer, Los Angeles engagement portrait, engagement portraits
Los Angeles engagement portrait photographer, Los Angeles engagement portrait, engagement portraits
Los Angeles engagement portrait photographer, Los Angeles engagement portrait, engagement portraits
Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, engagement portraits
Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, engagement portraits

Neveah looked so cute in her boots I had to take some photos of her alone. She’s also super sweet and fun.

Los Angeles family portrait photographer, Los Angeles family portrait photography, children
Los Angeles children
Los Angeles wedding photographer, Los Angeles wedding photography, engagement portraits

Calf roping is not easy. Lasso’s away!

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Los Angeles engagement photographer, Los Angeles engagement photography, shoes, family portraits

My favorite photo from the session…. <3 Thank you Jen, Darin and Neveah for a super fun afternoon!!!

Los Angeles engagement portrait photographer, Los Angeles engagement portrait, engagement portraits
FL&R

How to Find the Best Wedding Photographer for Your Wedding: Part 2

Yesterday I posted an article with questions to ask yourself before looking for a wedding photographer. After you have an idea of what you’re looking for in terms of style, hours, budget and products, you’re ready to meet some photographers in person and ask them more questions.

Questions NOT to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

1. Camera equipment

Question NOT to ask: What cameras and lenses do you use?

Better Question: Do you have a back-up for your camera and lenses?

Cameras and lenses are a tool. If you love the photographer’s work, then the tools are unimportant. Would you ask a chef what pots and pans he uses? Unless you know the difference between f/2.8 and f/5.0, a list of camera equipment won’t be helpful to you.

However, it is important that the photographer have back-up equipment. Although my camera bodies and lenses are regularly cleaned and inspected by Canon, I make sure to bring a back-up body, flash and lenses to every wedding.

2. Client reviews

Question NOT to ask: Do you have reviews or testimonials from previous clients?

Better Question: Do you have references?

Reviews and testimonials are great but they only provide a small part of the picture. The benefit of calling a reference is being able to ask questions that you feel are important.

Please only ask for references from photographers you’re seriously considering. Although I am happy to provide references, I hesitate to provide them to a potential client emailing me for the first time as I respect my previous client’s privacy and don’t like giving out their information to everyone who emails me. If you email me a few times, or we speak on the phone or have an in-person meeting, I will gladly provide you with references.

3. Portfolio

Question NOT to ask: Can I see a portfolio with your best wedding photos?

Better Question: Can I see a wedding album or your best photos from one wedding?

Looking at a photographer’s best work will give you a great idea of her style. However, that doesn’t tell you how well she captures the entire wedding day. Ask to look at a wedding album or slideshow with images from one wedding. Taking one great photo at a wedding is easy. Taking dozens of great photos and telling the story of the day is an art.

A few of my clients have asked to see all the edited images from a wedding. I usually give my clients about 700 images, that’s a lot of photos to look through! Although I don’t think you have to see these to decide on a photographer, if you’re so inclined your photographer should not hesitate to show you an online gallery or proof book.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography
FL&R

How to Find the Best Wedding Photographer for Your Day: Part 1

Thank you to all the brides and grooms who stopped by our booth at the Premier Bridal Show at the Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club.

When I asked some of you what you were looking for in terms of wedding photography many of you told me that you don’t really know anything about photography.

You don’t need to know much about photography to hire a wedding photographer – but I do recommend asking lots of questions. The more you know, the better decision you will make.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Book a Wedding Photographer

I confess I read bridal magazines. I started when I was planning my own wedding, but now I just like to check out the trends. I always love reading the how-to’s when it comes wedding photography. Many of these articles feature questions you should ask your photographer before booking him or her. Before you do that, you should ask yourself some questions first:

1. Style
Every photographer has a different approach to shooting a wedding. The two basic categories are traditional, focusing mainly on posed photos, and photojournalism, capturing candid moments as they happen. Few photographers are strictly one or the other, but each photographer has his strength. As a bride or groom, it’s important to know what types of photos you prefer. What kind of art do you have in your home? Are you drawn to certain images in magazines? What photos grab you?

2. Hours
Are you looking for coverage of your entire wedding day? If you’d like a photojournalistic approach, you may want to start with getting ready photos and end when the reception is over. If you’re not planning a big exit, you may decide two hours of reception photography is a good amount. Maybe you’re planning a small wedding and decide you only need a photographer for the ceremony and a few posed photos. There is no right or wrong answer.

3. Budget
Most of us hate talking about money. If you’re in the middle of wedding planning, you already know the importance of a wedding budget. Most couples spend about 10-20% of their budget on a wedding photographer. I recommend coming up with a range that you’re comfortable spending on photography. Some couples choose to not have a wedding videographer so they can increase their photography budget. Others hire a photographer for only a couple hours so they can have a videographer for the whole day. How important is wedding photography to you?

4. Products
It may be difficult to imagine how many prints you’d like or what kind of album. Since different photographers have different pricing structures, it’s imperative for you to have at least an idea of what you’d like. Would you like a wedding album? Framed prints? Is it important for you to have a disc with your edited images to share on facebook? Would you like a piece of art in your home from your wedding day, like a gallery wrap? Are you looking for non-traditional art for your home like prints on metal or bamboo?

Hope these questions help you. Tomorrow: Questions to Ask Your Photographer.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography
FL&R