Tall Poppy Kids




Wow has it been a long time since we’ve shared any of our sessions!  Ash and I have been so busy the past six months and we have so many fun new ideas and locations.  Can’t wait to show you some of our latest.  This group includes our favorites from one of the 20-minute sessions out of the recent “Bubbles & Blooms” photo blitz!  Could Brooklyn and Braden be any more adorable?  And speaking of adorable…Brooklyn simply ADORES her big bro–it’s beyond sweet!

Sorry, “Bubbles & Blooms II” is sold out, but mark your calendars for “Sparkle ‘N’ Splash”!  Sign ups open May 15!

On The Run

I was asked to photograph the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Baker To Vegas teams in the 30th Annual race held at the end of March.  Baker To Vegas is a 20-leg relay covering 120 miles between Baker, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.  The teams are made up of law enforcement from all over the US, parts of Canada, and sometimes European Countries.  You can learn more about the event at their official website, http://www.BakerVegas.com.

This was the first time I attended the event and we knew we had a long day ahead of us.  We started out from our hotel in Vegas at about 1pm to catch our first team at leg 7.  Our second team wasn’t scheduled to start until 5pm.  It takes about 30 minutes to drive each leg with all the race traffic and safety considerations, so we were really limited to mostly covering just the one team.  We were able to double back and catch at the team captain of the second team shortly after sundown.  We were on the road until about 11:30 pm, returned to the hotel to catch a few hours of shut eye, and were back in action by 3:30am.  I shot in the dark until sunrise and headed back to the hotel about 7:30am for a nap and shower before brunch.

Overall I was really impressed, not only with the race itself, but the runners that were tackling some monster hills in the relentless desert sun.  I have to give a shout out to Commander Stewart for mastering the very difficult leg 7 with a smile on his face.

I’d love to shoot the event again now that I have a better idea of how everything works and speed and access available to me.  It was a great experience.  Another shout out to my driver for getting me where I needed to be–you know who you are!

Sweet Thirteen

Katie needed a quick head shot for an audition, so we hit one of my favorite locations for individual subjects for about a half an hour on a weekday afternoon.   I think we got a nice batch of images that showcase her sweet spirit and natural beauty.

Learning to Shoot: Part 3

All photos in this post were taken by Jack Masci.  Jack is 9 years old.

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3-4

Jack was ready to shoot beyond his house, so for this lesson we went on location to Silverstrand Beach.  It started to sprinkle just about the time we arrived.  Everyone was open to the unique opportunity of shooting in the rain.  We talked a lot about quality if light during the session, and Jack captured some truly magical moments. Can you spot the raindrops?

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3-3

Jack Silverstrand

Learning To Shoot: Part 2

All photography in this post is by Jack Masci.  Jack is 9 years old.

We were back at Jack’s house for our second lesson.  I really wanted Jack to work on depth of field and perspective for this one.  He took some great pictures of a little army man in their pond, changing the aperture to adjust the look he wanted.  I also challenged him to move around–forward and backward, up and down, to get different angles on his shots.  Then we worked on some more textural shots with nuts and bolts from the garage and the pebbles in the pond so he could get a feel for the smaller aperatures.

Jack Masci

Finally I gave him a homework assignment.  I call it “Fill the Frame”.  Which basically meant I was looking for him to exclude the background…to fill the frame entirely with only his subject.  You can see a couple of his favorites here and I think he did a great job.

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3-2

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3

Locations: Silverstrand

These are sample photos from just before sunset at Silverstrand Beach on an somewhat overcast day.  Note: No marine layer, just higher clouds.  From a portrait perspective the benefits of this location are the color and subtle edge of the murals and the beauty of the ocean all in the same place.   This allows a lot of versatility.  It’s a similar idea to changing clothes in the middle of a shoot.  I often will blur/blow out the background here, so really we are just considering the mood and color the background provides.  The challenges of this location are dealing with all the sand in general, the unpredictability of coastal skies, and possible wind.  Having said that, the water and murals give us some really creative possibilities.  Locations Distinctions:  Accessible jetty, murals, graffiti, barbed wire, sandy varying elevations, long sloping shoreline, off shore oil rigs.  Alternative location:  The Scary Dairy.

Sample Backgrounds:

Learning to Shoot #1

All photography in this post is by Jack Masci.

I have started something new this month.  Last month, a friend of mine approached me about doing photography lessons with her son, Jack, as part of his Christmas gift.  I’ve never really taught photography before, but I’ve worked with kids a lot and I figured I knew enough that I could help a 4th grade boy.  Besides that, I liked the ideas I saw in his sample work and it seems like an excellent opportunity to combine two of my favorite things:  teaching stuff to kids and photography.

Last weekend was our first lesson.  His dad came along and after a quick explanation of camera settings, Jack spent most of the time just shooting.  As Jack took pictures on his own I started to see what interested him about photography and after awhile I’d step in and ask him questions or give him tips to help him convey his vision.  Jack is really big on both color and details.  He sees the subtleties of color very well and seems to enjoy capturing the minute detail of everyday objects in a new way.  This is all really fascinating for me of course, to see through the eyes of another photographer is inspiring to me–especially a 9-year old boy that views the world in such a different light than I do.

Primarily we worked on moving around and getting closer to the subject.  I was impressed at how fast Jack made the adjustments to his shooting process.  Next time we will work on aperture and I look forward to challenging him on some of the photography biases he’s developed.  Here’s my favorite three shots that he took during our first session.

Learning To Fly

My brother was down for the holidays, so I got to shoot his family including my adorable little niece.  We headed over to a local park and what we grew up calling “the gulley”.  I think we got some keepers here, which is good because “Aunt Koala” took way too many pictures.

Love On The Beach

Headed up to Santa Barbara yesterday to shoot engagement pictures for some friends.  We were graced with some gorgeous light and a beautiful sunset.  These two are pretty special people.  What a treat it was for me to do this shoot for them.