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Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You…

Many of us are celebrating Memorial Day weekend relaxing with family and friends, eating lots of good barbecue and enjoying the sunshine. Michael and I did the same. We decided to take a break from our never-ending to-do list and to spend time with some of our friends.

While enjoying this beautiful weekend, I’m mindful that we may not have been here had it not been for all the men and women who have served this country from the soldiers in the Revolutionary War to those in combat all over the world today.

I recently joined Yellow Ribbon Photographers which offers family portrait sessions at no cost to men and women in the service. If you or someone you know is in the Armed Forces, please spread the word about this wonderful organization. I am one of 2 LA-area photographers available to travel in Southern California and there are many other photographers across the United States who have also offered their services.

Hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day.

P.S. I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Nicole and Justin a few years ago. Justin is a veteran of the Iraq war. His wife changed from her wedding shoes to his desert combat boots as a surprise for him during the garter toss.

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Encore! Royal Wedding

I love weddings! It should come as no surprise then that I was up at 2 am on Friday watching the Royal Wedding. Kate and William’s ceremony was beautiful.

Instead of the usual weekly Encore!, here are 5 ideas to incorporate into your wedding:
5. Don’t rush through your formal portrait session. Yes, you may have a million guests waiting for you. They’ll still be there when you’re done. Even if the session takes an hour, the photos will last a lifetime.
4. Have kids at your wedding. Sure they’re unpredictable. They might not do exactly what they’re supposed to, but they always make everyone smile.
3. Be yourself. Wear your hair down if you prefer. If your wedding ceremony is formal consider changing into a more fun dress for the reception.
2. Kiss as often as you’d like. It may be called the first kiss, but if you want to add a second kiss, or a hug, or a dip, go ahead.
1. Slow down and take your whole day in. Walk calmly down the aisle even if it takes you three minutes. Pause as you exit the church. Look around you and remember. Allow your family and friends time to remember that moment as well.
Keep these tips in mind to make your wedding unforgettable!

P.S. If you didn’t watch the Royal Wedding, Tudor House in Santa Monica will be playing the ceremony all weekend and has a special lunch menu including Prince of Wales tea for the event. I went to the afternoon tea on Friday and it was absolutely lovely. You may want to call ahead for reservations.

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Ala - Love the tips! And maybe we can do tea in Santa Monica during my next visit…

Polka Photos - We shall definitely have a spot of tea when you come visit.

Congratulations to Kate and Prince William!

As a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I’m very excited to watch the royal wedding. LA is very trend-conscious, and no doubt California brides and wedding planners will be closely watching the details of today’s event. I wonder what new styles will emerge from this wedding.

It should come as no surprise when the British monarchy starts a trend. After all, the traditional white wedding dress wasn’t common until Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress for her nuptials in 1840.

As happy as I am for the newlyweds, I wonder if they feel overwhelmed by the attention. One of my favorite wedding traditions comes from the Jewish faith. I hope the Prince and the Princess have a chance after the ceremony to spend some time alone as common newlyweds before being thrust into the public eye for the rest of their lives.

Long live the Royal Couple!


The Kings of the Sea

Newport Beach, California
Here’s Part II of our dolphin adventure this time photographed with one of my favorite lenses: Canon’s 70-200 f/2.8. Which photos do you like better – the ones with Diana lens or these?

I loved the light and wanted a softer look so I overexposed this photo of the sailboats.

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We didn’t have to go too far and were surrounded by fins…

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Looks like he beat the other dolphin to the boat by a nose!

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The photo I really wanted to capture was the dolphin as he’s jumping out of the water. It was difficult to predict the exact moment and location of the next leap, but I finally got this photo of three dolphins swimming by the boat.

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Bye bye kings of the sea!

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We lost the dolphins as we turned around and came closer to the shore.

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That beach looks very relaxing.

Balboa Island photography

A seagull started to follow us.

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The sun was starting to set, coloring the sky pink.

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Seals or sea lions?

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Family squabble.

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Ah, sailing.

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And we’re back!

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Ala - What a fun trip! Personally I prefer the non-Diana lens shots. While the Diana lens does nice hazy effects, it’s reminiscent of Glamour Shots (remember those? I wanted to do it in HS, but am actually glad I never did. My modeling sessions for you were much more fun, and I think the pics came out better!)

Polka Photos - How can I forget Glamour Shots? Ahhh soft filter.

I see the Diana photos as similar to impressionist paintings. I like the lens for certain shots.