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Featured on: Style Unveiled {Ally & Alex, Newport Beach Photographer}

You know those moments that make you want to squeal really loudly while jumping up and down???  Well, this is one of those moments.  One of our weddings was totally featured on Style Unveiled!!!!   Words cannot express how incredibly grateful we are to have Style Unveiled feature Ally & Alex’s Newport Beach Wedding.  They were such an amazing couple and their wedding was nothing short of spectacular.  You can totally check out their feature by clicking here.

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Gotta Get the Rootbeer {Robbie & Liz, Temecula Engagement Session}

Liz and Robbie met through mutual friends in college back in 2009.   After 2 1/2 years of dating- and one beautiful engagement ring- these two are planning the beginning of their lives together.  When I first met them, I could instantly tell that they were not only in love with each other but that they were best friends too.  They were so much fun to be around and we had a blast hanging out together in Old Town Temecula.  My favorite part of their session was when we popped into this cute little pottery shop off the main strip.  There were so many tiny details that made each of their portraits look and feel like one of those outdoor market places you would see in other countries.

After we left the pottery shop, we decided to walk around and explore a little.  Stopping by here and there, to shoot some portraits…

When we came across Old Town Rootbeer Company, we had to pop in.  They have the largest selection of sodas that I have ever seen!!  They even had one that was peanut butter flavored…no joke.  They ordered a classic rootbeer float (because you can’t visit a rootbeer company without getting rootbeer…that would be like going to Red Lobster and ordering a chesseburger) for two and it was so sweet watching them share it together.  Whenever they would look into each others eyes, they would totally giggle and as soon as they sat down Robbie grabbed Liz’s hand from under neath the table.

After we headed over to Murrieta to watch the sunset.  It got really cold, really fast…but they totally did not let that get in the way of our time together.  Robbie ran back to their car and grabbed a blanket to keep them warm which ended up being the perfect photo prop!

 

Liz and Robbie will be exchanging vows at the beautiful Humphreys Estate in Temecula, CA.  I cannot wait to be a part of their day and see what the future has in store for them.  Thank you guys so much for sharing your day with me!!!

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New Beginnings…because two are better than one {Temecula Wedding Photographers}

When I first started my business, I remember being overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” that had to get done on the day to day.  Emails, contracts, phone calls, tweets, blogging, accounting, marketing, editing, album design…the list can go on forever.  I remember feeling like I was working for my business instead of my business working for me.

And then…I met someone.  Marcella was just getting started on her photography business when we started working together.  She’d come second shoot for me…I’d go second shoot for her…it was great.  We started spending a lot of time together and realized that we were both feeling the same way.  Our passion is shooting and the other stuff…well, its not shooting.

So, long story short…we decided to take on this adventure together.  Because two are better than one…and for the first time in a long time, I feel more inspired and creative than ever.  I have someone to share in the triumphs and that daily grind.  She is my right hand and I am so grateful for our new partnership.

So, if you are running your business and are feeling the way that I was…I encourage you to surround yourself with people or technology that can make your life easier. Whether you hire an administrative assistant or a house cleaner…just find ways to simplify your life. Protect your time and treat it like any other valuable assest that you own.

Here are the top three things that helped me:
1.  Set concrete business hours…if you emailed Coca-Cola they wouldn’t send you a personal email at 1am.
2.  Automate your billing and lead management (I use ShootQ and it has changed my life)
3.  Find ways to simplify your workflow…for me it was outsourcing my editing and album design.

Here’s to an AMAZING 2013!!

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Knot New {Kalee & Derek, Villa De Amore}

Everything about Kalee & Derek’s wedding was absolutely stunning.  These two were so excited to be starting their lives together that you couldn’t help but be just as excited for them.  After their engagement session I just knew they were going to be one of my favorite couples.  Their wedding was actually shot by one of my principal photographers through The Studio.   This is what she had to say…

Kalee’s dress was probably one of the top 10 wedding dresses that I have ever seen. As soon as I walked into Villa De Amore, I knew it was going to be a fun day.  You can always tell the brides that have poured so much of themselves into their wedding details because it radiates from every corner.

Every detail down to Kalee’s coral Badgley Mischka bridal shoes were perfectly selected for their utter perfection.  The coral color of her shoes matched the coral flowers in her wedding decor and the coral socks that Derek was wearing!  I mean, does it get any cuter than that??!

The great thing about Villa De Amore is that there are so many great spots for your ceremony to be.  I love it when couples choose to use the iron gate that overlooks the vineyards.  It really encompasses everything about Temecula Wine Country.

Kalee and Derek had the best bridal party.  They were so much fun to work with and they were all so happy to see the two of them get married.

Succulents were one of the main plants used in all of their decor.  It added such a beautiful contrast to all of the white flowers that accented them.

Thank you guys so much for having me be a part of your wedding day!!  I was truly honored to be there with you guys as you began on your journey of “happily ever after”…

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What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’?? {Photoshop Recipes & Tutorial}

One of the questions that I get asked the most is, “What kind of Photoshop Actions do you use?”  To me, the better question is, “Which Photoshop Action sets don’t you use?”  Now, that’s a conversation starter.

To say I am a fan of Photoshop Actions would be an understatement.  To me, actions are like my medium that I use to create beautiful art on my photo canvases…cheesy, I know…but its totally true.

I literally have invested in hundreds of Photoshop Actions.  They have become a bit of an obsession for me.  I primarily use actions from about four sets but that’s not to say that they are the only sets that I use.  These are just my go-to ones that I have used to create some of my brands signature looks.  I feel like its important for photographers to find their signature look and stick to it.   To be consistent but yet evolving at the same time.  It sounds like an oxymoron but if we think about it…it totally makes sense.

Our brides have to be able to expect a certain style from us…I mean isn’t that part of the reason they booked with us in the first place? We can’t showcase all these vintage style portraits on our website and portfolio but then give them an end product full images that were edited in the complete opposite way.

But at the same time we have to be willing to always be moving our brand forward and staying relevant.  We can’t get so caught up in our own ways that we are unwilling to change in an industry that is full of trends and forever evolving.  I’ll be the first to admit that I totally rocked the black and white photos with little color pops in the bouquet or eyes or the couple in the middle of the dance floor…but you can bet your last dollar you won’t see that from me anymore.

With that being said, here’s what I am rockin’ these days:

Totally Rad Actions…Mr. Doug Boutwell is a genius if you ask me.  I am SO in love with his action sets.  I have every one and there are some pure gems in there.  I highly recommend these if you are looking for a great set of actions to start with that will help you really define your style.  Plus, they have a great online community where you can share your latest “recipes” and see what others are doing with the same sets to gain some inspiration.

Kubota Image Tools…Kevin Kubota’s actions were actually the very first ones that I bought.  I was using these before I had Lightroom and was editing all of my images in Photoshop.  These were perfect for me and are still some of my staples.  I mean, let’s talk “Daily Multi-Vitamin”.  My absolute favorite, favorite action of all time…hands down, no questions asked, favorite.

Pioneer Woman…Ree Drummond is seriously one of my favorite women.  This woman can do it all.  She’s like a country Martha Stewart who’s into photography. She came up with two sets (with a little help from Mr. Doug Boutwell) that she offers to her readers for free.  Yes, you read it correctly, free.  When I was starting out, that  was SO HUGE for me.

Lastly, there is my Florabella Collection.  This is my newest and latest obsession.  I came across these beauties and am still kind of playing with them to figure out how I want to work them into my brand.  This set is a perfect example of me evolving while remaining consistent…hehe! It sounds so funny but makes complete sense to me.  Hopefully, I’m not the only one.

Lightroom edit for exposure and white balance
Slight Lighten- 60% (Pioneer Woman)
Pro Retouch- 35% (TRA)
Sweetness- 50% (Florabella)
Slight Lighten- 10% (Pioneer Woman)

One of my favorite things about the TRA actions is the pro retouch tool.  To retouch skin is actually a very complicated process…if you want to do a good job and not make it completely obvious.  My biggest thing is that I NEVER want any of my clients to know that I did any sort of retouch on them.  I want them to see their portraits and remember feeling beautiful.  I want them to see the very best versions of themselves.  Not the version that they feel that felt I needed to be changed.  That’s why all of my retouches are subtle and rarely go over a 35% opacity.

Lightroom edit for exposure and white balance
Slight Lighten- 35% (Pioneer Woman)
Punch Out- 18% (TRA)
Pool Party- 55% (TRA)

Lightroom edit for exposure and white balance
BW GM 2 warm + snappy- 100% (Kubota)

Lightroom edit for exposure and white balance
Punch Out- 25% (TRA)
Sweet Tea- 23% (Florabella)

Lightroom edit for exposure & white balance
Punch Out- 40% (TRA)
Hazy Teal- 30% (Florabella)

My best advice for anyone that is still defining who they are or what their style is…just experiment, create and have fun!

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