Senior Photos for El Segundo’s Eagles have been fun to create.  Families are enjoying having a new choice for senior and family photography, and for that  am thankful. El Segundo High School has some excellent minds and athletes. So far I’ve photographed Football, Baseball and Lacrosse players. Senior sessions are all about featuring the personalities these young adults have developed. These kids have been a joy in the studio – they have character, kindness and are witty. I love that they all have that in common.

 

The first to come see me was Jess. We share a love for spaghetti in common. I think it’s fair that pasta in general is a common goal when rattling a snack out of the kitchen cabinets…

 

Next I saw Matt, who bonded with me on Baseball, for which I hold a soft spot. My brother played in school (he was a pitcher) and I’ve had a long love affair with the ‘Lastros that began in 2001. Matt also plays football with Jess.

Then I saw Marisa. She and I talked about photography and art and business. I love mentoring! I miss it! She hopes to become a stylist, art director and photographer one day.

 

 

Being able to photograph the faces of the future makes me pretty happy – I hear so many fun stories about what they are learning and the best things about their lives. It fills my studio with an energy hat is irreplaceable. Hopefully these images do the same for the families’ homes.

SENIOR PHOTOS | El Segundo

Jess came to me for senior photos and was a joy to work with. Jess is as nice as they come. His laugh filled the studio and we enjoyed talking about all kinds of things – we both love spaghetti. Jess is a varsity Football player and wants to major in the humanities when he gets to college.  He’s a versatile player: Offensive and Defensive lineman and Fullback. It will be exciting to see what he can do with his season.

Hopefully the family’s fall schedule can settle a little and we can get together to schedule the family’s new photos 🙂

Decoding Package Pricing & FAQ (MINI SESSIONS)

Personal Branding is no longer an option, family images are how we communicate and self esteem in teens is assisted through positive self-image. Photography plays a huge role in how our societies function. That’s why it’s important to keep your family’s photos updated and your personal branding fresh. As a result, you are likely looking at mini photo session options for updating your family photos, your personal branding or maybe you have a student who is graduating from high school or college in 2018. I’ve been there. I remember sitting in front of the brochures and thinking, “I wish I could compare studio options more simply!” Now you can. I’ve listed FAQ here that can unravel the mysteries of photo pricing.

It seems like there are often hidden fees and charges that are not part of the package you are considering – and those expenses add up. However, you don’t find out about all this until you’ve invested time in the photos. Consequently, you spend more than you budgeted, and you are less than thrilled. I’ve been there, too.

NOT COOL. Am I right?

Here are some examples of extra charges & fees you may not see coming:

  • Opposite to my policies, charges for retouching each image can be up to $35 elsewhere. As a result, you spend $840 when you buy 24 images.
  • You probably will love more than one pose. Therefore, some studios charge an extra fee as a result of your 4 8×10 prints being different.
  • Especially relevant for seniors and gradeschoolers is Wallet Prints. Some studios charge a premium for ordering different poses and fewer of each image. EEK!
  • Finally. You got your braces off. But it was the week after we did your shoot, and, now you DO CARE if they are in the photos. But there’s a fee to reshoot.

I don’t do these things.

Much Cooler. Agreed.

Let’s see if I can help you compare your options.  I’ve broken down the most common things
people have asked me about the mini-sessions I am offering this fall (FAQ):

  1. Do you charge for retouching?
    No. Never.
  2. What does a session cost?
    September bookings are $75. October is $100.
  3. What comes with that?
    Your shoot, styling and direction and a thank you gift.
  4. What are your photo packages like?
    I keep things rather easy, you can purchase 4, 12 or 24 images.
  5. How do the packages come to me?
    I print your images & include your files. Mini-sessions get 5×7 prints with a lovely desk stand included in the price. Other items are available, brochure is coming soon.
  6. What do packages cost?
    4 for $575 // 12 for $750 // 24 for $850
  7. What’s in the packages?
    4   = 4 8×10 (can be 4 different images)
    12 = 4 8×10 (can be 4 different images)  + 8 5×7 (can be 4 different images)
    24 = 4 8×10 (can be 4 different images) + 24 5×7 (one of each image)
  8. What kind of files do I get?
    You get Color as well as Black & White for your images. They are full-size files.
  9. What’s a full-size file? 
    That means, roughly, the file you have purchased has enough pixels to be printed as large as your kitchen floor, without getting blurry.
  10. At the session, what is the fee if I want several outfits?
    There is no fee for this. I encourage three tops/shirts, at minimum.
  11. I want to include some family photos, is that alright?
    You betcha. In fact, bring the dog.
  12. What is the fee for extra people?
    There is no such thing as extra people. No fee.
  13. Do we have to stay in the studio, what is the fee for locations?
    No, outdoors is fine, choose places in our starting zip code. And there is no fee.
  14. I have a series of family photos that are large. Do you do that?
    Yes. Wall portraits are available. Let’s talk!
  15. Can I send my images to the yearbook?
    It depends on your school. Check with the yearbook advisor.
  16. I heard you make a video of the images, can I have that too?
    Yes, you may. I sell the HD 1080p versions separately.
  17. What if I want to make a book like I did in previous years?
    We can do that. I offer 8×8 books, custom designed.
  18. Tell me about you…what makes you do this?
    As a veteran, service is at the heart of who I am. I want to do things for others. I’ve combined my gifts with my desire to serve – and – for 27 years have had a camera in my hands
    making wonderful things for others. 

 

The package most clients purchase is my 24 image package. I charge $850 for mini-sessions and this includes outfits, locations, a single subject or the whole family or both. Prints and the files are included. If you don’t like anything (this never happens) you do not have to purchase anything. Want to try again? Ok! That’s included, too. Rather, I don’t charge a fee to reshoot.

More than likely all these fees would make a package look like this:   $35+(24x$35) + print cost for 24 images 5×7 $480+ cost of 24 image files $25×24  

As a result, your grand total with fees and upcharges is: $1,955

Hopefully this has helped you to understand what options you have when choosing portrait packages. There’s one thing for sure, choose a certified professional who is insured and who supports your community and the local organizations. You will be able to see the difference.

The Hawkins-Allen Wedding

We all knew this was going to be a touching day.  It wasn’t the laughter between the groomsmen, the gleeful squeals of play from the flower girl, or the bonding in the ready-room for the bridal party. The whole day was born from the electricity between Erica and Scott.

These two love birds have a weirdness and silliness that makes them who they are together. They revel in the banter and fun they share. The entire wedding party have known each other for years and – their memories are long. The toasts regaled guests with tales of hilarity and friendship like none I’ve heard before.  These two are bonded with more than a relationship of love.

Erica and Scott married at Malibu West Beach Club while the dolphins frolicked in the waves and the breeze lifted the warm sun’s touch.  They promised each other to love completely and with a love of life that will help them enjoy even tough days. It was a lovely day and the whole family made it all the more special for them to remember.

The cake and dinner were prepared by Yours Truly Catering
Valet services were provided by Hollywood Hills Valet
Wedding Coordination/Planning by Sabrina Downing (the coolest, chicest gal this side of the 405) 
DJ for the evening was DJ Sweet P (eclectic EDM and Downtempo Chill)

 

Malibu West Beach Club Wedding

Malibu West Beach Club Wedding

 

The Kramers are celebrating a 1st birthday

A son blessed the Kramer household June of 2016. The family asked me to come over to the hospital to document the baby’s first days here in this beautiful world. Now Jeremy isn’t quite so outnumbered and Jessy can revel in the joys that are what the #momofboys hashtag are all about. His sweet little coos and tiny hands and feet remind me that we all begin somewhere – that becoming takes your whole life. Projects like newborn sessions are fun:  I get to bring champagne! Alexa – restock my bottles!

Moving someplace new means you are asked about your life and who you are a lot as you meet new people – and this is fun for me! I enjoy getting to know a new place very much. In the last few weeks I’ve been asked a lot of things – but here are the most common:

  1.  Would you like to meet for coffee? Yes! As long as where we go has iced tea 🙂
  2.  Where do you love going to dinner? Anyplace that has a pet-friendly patio and a great beer menu.
  3.  Do you have a family? I am the eldest of 2 children, and I do not yet have children myself.
  4.  Do you travel a lot? Work takes me a lot of places and my downtime is spent exploring California.
  5.  Why do you want to live in El Segundo? So far, this is the quietest of the beach cities to me. I like the people and the chill vibe here.
  6.  What made you become a photographer?  A long time ago I fell in love with the ability to communicate without using words.
  7.  What brought you here? Life changes and winter weather meant a move from Minnesota to California.
  8.  Who is the dog I see in your studio? That’s Eloise. She’s part Mascot and part Muse. Full-time nap-taker.
  9.  Can I call you Angie? Nope. Only my dad calls me that.
  10.  How do you see yourself in 5 years?  Hopefully with a margarita.

Hopefully by now people are getting used to my Texas accent, open studio door and huge laugh. It’s how I am – I can’t help it.

 

February crept out of here like a wind-whipped sparrow crawling back to her nest. But, that’s a story for another lifetime. March indeed came in like a lion. What better a way to send this month packing than to cap it with a night watching the Old 97s live. This time last year I was excited about the work happening in a certain corner of Texas. Hopefully recording was a great time for the guys. THEY WERE WORKING ON A NEW OLD 97’s ALBUM to listen to on a ROAD TRIP!? That’s a good thing because I have 2 road trips in the next few weeks, then the GRAND CANYON!

Go see the guys play their hearts out.

97’s ROADTRIP PLAYLIST – hear stuff here

  • Hands Off – because it ends in rounds, like all good car songs
  • Miss Molly – The kickoff to the trilogy of chick names and good Bethea Riffs
  • Victoria -The 2nd in the trilogy and you can holler the lyrics anywhere and someone will sing along with you
  • Doreen – The 3rd and it gets it all said
  • Streets (of Where I’m From) – because it is true
  • In The Satellite Rides A Star – I have my reasons
  • Crush On The Barrel Head – it’s a good sound and it is a road  song if ever I heard one
  • Good With God – this one hits close to home – if you know why, then you are in my inner circle (the video itself pays a bit of homage to 120 minutes

My thing with the 97’s started in 1999. I blame a friend. I thank that friend, too.  Turns out the engineer who worked with the band on Too Far To Care has worked with a bunch of other bands I love, too. Best Coast, Blondfire, Muse, Juliana Hatfield. I’m talking about Wally Gagel. The dude kinda rocks. Anyway – I’m sort of winding my way through his work with these folks, which would be easier to find if the digital age had liner notes like vinyl used to have, but whatever. I’m old. I get it. The producer on Graveyard, Vance Powell,  rocks because this newest album is super balanced and still edgy. He’s worked on stuff for this chick named Tammy Wynette, maybe you’ve heard of her. The Dead Weather and Melissa Etheridge have used his talents and it shows. 

Sidenote: My dog Pisces loved this band. She loved listening to them when we’d trek on I-35 between Dallas and Houston, sunroof open with her nose peeking out. That was her happy.

 

Here are the albums so you don’t have to look them up yourself…don’t say I never did anything for ya.

     

November’s election (was it one?) truly was a year-long event that gave us all a little bit of whiplash and screen-fatigue.
Honestly, for me, it was a little too much. My heart aches over the divide and the distrust, but mostly
I am personally pained by the seemingly bla·sé attitude people are taking on the issues surrounding racial acceptance,
racial tension and the undeniable irk people are in.  Caity Copely needed an outlet for her reaction to these same things – and more.

She put a call out on her Social Networks for people to come and share in making the video to her cover of “Move Along” by the All American Rejects.
People came to the studio and were filmed with their word of encouragement, of empowerment and of hope.  Each held up a sign with the word they chose.

The video she made from people’s contributions is moving and sweet. Vie wit below. What she’s done here is change the narrative: she’s taken the input from this
emotionally charged year and turned it into a creative and soulful piece of reflection. A reflection of people with true prayers
– what else could be so beautiful?

 

Hand-made cameras fascinate me. Richard Learoyd has made an obscura that is amazingly interesting. His camera makes prints of 50×70 inches of fleeting salience that have no source other than the moement in which they were captured. No negatives, no digital file, no copies.

Learoyd questions whether the invention of duplicative processing of imagery allows photographs to retain value (integrity) and I tend to agree: the individuality of an image is partially in it’s inability to be reproduced. Giving over to that acceptance of reality is something few people are brave enough to do.

For my work, even family or senior folios, I don’t take 6 frames of the same or a similar shot. I can’t bring myself to do something that isn’t going to feel unique. It’s bad enough, to me, that I have two cards in my camera recording the same thing and that I have 36 images of the same set. I need and crave the connection to each singular moment, in its unique form, but I don’t necessarily feel like I need to possess them. Holding my strong convictions loosely is a basic way of illustrating this – but I think Learoyd’s camera does a better real-time job of showing what it means to do so.

His work is hanging in the Getty Center 8/30 – 11/27 this year. I encourage you to view him speaking on his process below.

One of my friends recently said to me, “You know, that photo you printed of my wife sits on my desk. It’s the most I’ve seen of her in a while.” So I asked him, “Do you see her for dinner everyday with the kids?” – and it hit him. He wasn’t allowing the imperfect to be beautiful.

Connecting with your loved ones can be as simple as engaging for a second, telling each other one thing you love about the other, telling them one thing you are proud of them for that day.

See each other. Take a selfie with each other every morning with your coffee or each night as you brush your teeth. Your photos and snapshots don’t need to be taken when you are your best-dressed or when you don’t feel like you just ate pizza.

If I could have anything in the world it would be a Facebook feed filled with my friends and family – all 900 of you – in a selfie with your bestie, your spouse, you with your children, you with your cat, you with your whole family, your hairdresser – whoever it is that makes this life special for you. Photograph each other. Remember the good things. Celebrate little tiny moments.

Allow imperfection and become happy about how yours are accepted.
In this little snapshot from about 2009 I am wearing a clown head. I am also dressed in 4 layers of sweats and sweaters because it was winter. This photo reflects the mood I was in – that day was completely and without equivocation a farce. I had hoped this would never surface – I mean you can’t tell it’e me, but I know. I will always know. LOL! I’m glad the person I was with took this. Photos of things on my head became a tradition because of this photo.

What traditions will you start?