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Wear White After Labor Day

Los Angeles, California
Just because it’s Labor Day doesn’t mean it’s time to put your white clothes away. In fact, we dare you to take out your wedding gown and wear it again.

Polka Photos would like to offer 3 adventurous brides a complimentary portrait session.

Want to play in the ocean? Ride your Harley? Go hiking? Skydive? Not sure what you want? We can come up with some fun locations.

To qualify:
1. You must like having fun.
2. You must wear a wedding gown. If you don’t want to get your expensive gown dirty, we can recommend places to buy inexpensive gowns.
3. You must come to the LA area for the session. But if you insist on flying us out to Hawaii then we won’t refuse.

So go ahead, defy a cardinal fashion rule. And get the photos to prove it. We dare you!

Email us.


Playing Dress Up

San Francisco, California
We met some brides in San Francisco who wanted to wreck their dress. We started out underneath one of the city’s landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge.

Tonie is a super cool bride who was up for anything… and up she went on this pedestal.

Fort Point has some interesting alcoves and windows. I wonder if a bride has ever graced its hallways before?

I was trying out a different lens for many of these photos. It has an interesting focal effect. Although the bride isn’t sharp in the photo below – I still like it. It looks like it was taken through a fogged up window.

Our second stop was Baker Beach – one of my favorite places in San Francisco. The sun came out as we headed into the water.

While I was in the ocean with Tonie, Michael took this photo with the waves breaking behind her.

One of the perils of shooting on Baker Beach is that it is a nudist beach.

I was happy Tonie remembered a change of clothes. Of course I didn’t follow my own advice.

After saying our goodbyes to the intrepid Tonie, we headed out to meet our other dress wrecker. Tricia loves exploring all the neighborhoods of the city. And she looks stylish doing it on her pink Vespa!

When Tricia told us about her cute doggie Anjou we just had to take him with us! Look at that face – isn’t he adorable?

This is one of my favorite photos. I love how the fog is covering the Golden Gate while there’s a spotlight of sunshine on Tricia and Anjou.

The gorgeous bride strikes a pose.

Tricia is a modern day Venus emerging from the water.

Thank you to both Tonie and Tricia – the most adventurous brides in San Francisco! You were so much fun to photograph!

Stay tuned for photos from a cute couple in San Jose.


Michael - This comment has been removed by the author.

Ala - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the GGate pedestal, the Vespa & the striking pose one with the GGate background..And the doggy is adorable!

A Walk in the Park

Yosemite National Park, California
On our last day here we hiked around the Mariposa Grove which is the largest grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite. Many of these trees are more than a thousand years old. Some of these trees were here before the Greek Parthenon was built!

Here is the Bachelor and the Three Graces. These are not the oldest trees but they are tall – slender ballerinas dancing around their Raphael.

As we walked some more we saw something moving in the tall grass.

I have never been so still in my life. The deer looked me over and continued eating.

This is the view from inside the aptly named Telescope Tree.

I think this is lichen. It was dangling from some of the tree branches. Any experts out there want to chime in?

Here are my favorite two trees. Their bases have fused as one, thus their name – Faithful Couple.

Kilroy was here!

I couldn’t pass up this shot with the late afternoon sun shining on Half Dome. Next visit we’re hiking that! Kim told us she spoke to a minister who performs wedding ceremonies at the summit. Maybe that’ll be our next Yosemite wedding.


The Day After Portrait Session

Yosemite, California
Kim knew she wanted some photos in Yosemite National Park, but there was no time between the ceremony and reception. She thought about taking photos before hand, but was concerned about getting her dress dirty. The Day After portrait session was the perfect solution!

The pears were an accent throughout the wedding – so we brought them along.

Kim wanted some photos of their rings, so I thought we could try a few different angles.

This is my favorite ring shot – I especially love the left side of the veil that caught the wind just right. The rings represent their marriage and the pears symbolize the newlywed’s last name.

One of the reasons I love these sessions is that no one is rushed. This gives me the chance to try new things. I really loved the light in the park and used available light in a few different ways.

We made our way to the Chapel for more photos.

I wanted to this photo to look like an old daguerreotype so I used a new lens for this effect and then toned the image in sepia. Kim’s veil really gives the photo a vintage feel. That and their pose. If you look at the photo above this it almost doesn’t look like the same couple!

I love getting muddy if it means photos like these!

I couldn’t resist this shot – Anyone know where the inspiration came from?

Many thanks to Kim and Ryan! Michael and I had an awesome time at your wedding and we loved the photo time with you afterwards. Special thanks to Ryan for this shoot. Kim told me he doesn’t like posing for photos – but he sure is a natural isn’t he?

And they lived Happily Ever After!


S’More Yosemite Photos

Yosemite, California
You may have noticed a lot of pears in Kim and Ryan’s wedding. The couple does make a great pair, but the fruit is actually a reference to their last name. (I won’t divulge the name for privacy reasons, which is why I only use first names in the blog.)

Kim and Ryan started out with their romantic first dance.

I loved their reactions to the toasts.

Kim tears up at her dad’s toast…

… and later both of them burst out laughing.

The newlyweds incorporated the tradition of the German Wedding Cup. If neither spill a drop, they will have a marriage full of love, faithfulness and good luck.

There is a second part to this tradition. Whoever finishes the drink first is declared the ruler of the nest. Guess who won?

Now it was time for more dancing.

I don’t think Kim ever left the dance floor.

I love the chicken dance!

It’s time for some serious fun when the shoes come off!

It’s getting dark. The bride and groom have a special treat for their guests….


Kim and Ryan sneak away from the fire to enjoy a few more dances.