Headshots | Cindy’s Session

Cindy came to me for headshots and portraits to celebrate her life changes and new job. 2018 has brought new things to most of the people I know, and she’s no exception. She is celebrating returning to tennis, her single life, her new job and her happiness in her element. Beauty is about loving your life.  You can see this in Cindy, and it didn’t matter which dress she had on, where I put her in the scenes or how I styled her. Cindy overflows with joy and laughs about as loud as I do. Her company is peaceful and enriching.

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Annie & Liz Wedding Gallery – Winter Wedding With Warmth

As a fine art wedding photographer in El Segundo my job is to see the beauty in the moments between people. Immersed in a day full of them makes for a lot of kiss-filled and caress-rich images!

The venue Annie and Liz chose for their ceremony and reception was warm and filled with art, design, antiques, architectural elements and vintage furniture. Photographers love this place for all the crazy details there are. It was an eclectic space that held a little of everything. There was something for everyone to enjoy, something for everyone to celebrate. We started the day getting ready at home with friends, and we held the first look out on the deck,  in the snow. It was amazing to see Annie’s reaction to Liz’s gown, they were both in tears as they held each other.

To say that things got better from there is an understatement. We piled into frozen cars (it was -16 degrees) and drove downtown to find a fun backdrop for the couple’s photos. Liz found a wall of globes that changed from green to red in a pattern and so we shot there. After that we headed to the venue to snack, unwind and get ready for the guests and family to arrive. The flowers were beautiful. The decorations were sweetly adorned with what I affectionately call kid-art; a drawing from one of the youngest of the family.

Kudos to the whole family who managed to arrive in time for a huge group photo, something your photographer should love to make for their couples. I know it’s awkward, not everyone knows each other, after all. I do it anyway because it is the celebration of a new family and it is the reflection of that change, that instant when it all becomes real. Those images are inevitably everyone’s favorites, even if they hate the dress or shirt they have on. This was a fun group photo to make. Kids everywhere, people talking to each other and me: teetering between two crazy old pillars and one irreplaceable vase trying to get 20 people’s attention without breaking anything. It’s a good thing I wore flats. Three minutes later and the whole group shuffled back down the wooden and creaky steps to await the couple’s ceremony. But, that photo made it real already.

The hand-fasting was my favorite part of putting the couple’s traditions together. The reading of the right to marriage decision was of course my favorite part of the commitment, and the blessing was indeed an artwork of its own. The care everyone put into keeping these two inside a enveloped in love was unreal. I look forward to when Mark and I have our day – when we can commit ourselves to our loves who adore us so passionately, so completely, so richly with a desire to know and protect and revere the other. I am glad all people have that right. It is undeniably a human right and a protected liberty.

Congratulations Liz and Annie! Los Angeles Wedding Photographer

FAQ for Family-Headshots-Seniors Mini-Sessions

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 mini-sessions (FAQ):

  1. Do you charge for retouching?
    No. Never.
  2. What does a session cost?
    There is no session fee unless you would like to add styling to your Mini Session.
  3. What comes with that?
    Your shoot, styling and direction and a thank you gift.
  4. What are your photo packages like?
    They vary depending on the services you have requested 🙂
  5. How do the packages come to me?
    I print your images & include your files. 
  6. What do packages cost?
    Please see pricing on my site.
  7. What’s in the packages?
    8×10 matted images and a file for each photo you purchase.
  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. 
  19. How do you compare to others in the area?
    I don’t charge a session fee, some charge between $200 and $450 depending on the session type.
    My packages begin at $350. Others charge anywhere from $85 an image to $995 for an image package to start.
    My style is up to date with industry trends and innovations and resembles the aesthetic of most magazine styles.

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.

Malibu West Beach Club Wedding

Malibu Wedding Photography

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


Monthly Feature : Artist on Art – January 2016

Being the eclectic mess I am, I enjoy all kinds of art.

I love sculpture, oil and watercolor paintings and I love photography. I find that the quirkiest of minds create the things I like most. In my last feature I discussed what I like about Edward Hopper’s paintings. For instance, what I love most (sometimes) is his inclusion of things in ways that were not necessarily apparent to other people when the painted scene was compared to the real-life site. Today I am adding on to that idea with the artist I’ve chosen to share.


Meet, Nic Nicosia. This guy blew me away back in the day with his surreal concepts and the shots he’d design around an idea, a thought or a moment he’d only envisioned – possibly a fleeting second or two he saw. One of my favorite memories is watching him set up his shot for this.  The little girl looking back at the camera is the younger sister of a girlfriend of mine from TAG Magnet and Cary Middle School. Nicosia lived next door. His daughters and these girls knew each other well. I think it makes perfect sense that LC (I am not going to place her name on the Internet without her permission) is looking so sure she’s doing something wrong, but unsure what it might be.

Mr. Nicosia has long been a source of inspiration for me because I knew that he got his ideas from his own curiosities. I have no shortage of those. What I have yet to learn is how to single one out at a time to explore with depth and sure clarity.  Someday, when I can do that with any measure of success, I may actually make things I have to explain. Which will be nice. Portraiture is my first love, but like love, sometimes I like my portraits to be a little less surface-level. I like to show emotions that are behind the eyes, under the image of “self”.

Over the decades (and through many life changes for he and his family) he’s managed to really hit a stride with his projects. He explores his curiosities so completely. It’s a lot of fun to see.  An image that I have done a few derivative works because of is “Domestic Dramas“.  When I first saw that image I felt as though I could hear and feel the sense of “family” and that a soundbite of “domesticity” was actually being layered over the narrative in my own mind while I inventoried the details in the picture. Work that shares that much is interesting to me.

The three photos I’ve made (that have that sense to me) are of bikes and tricycles dumped at the edge of a playground, of a dining room turned kid’s playroom and a collection of creations made by a four year old boy. I’m still deciding on how I want to package these. I think they’ll end up here soon.  That I made them at all is a wonder as I am not a mother. Understanding fully what the noises and scenes were took time. In fact, I am still sitting with them as I have not fully explored my own experiences in making them.

At any rate, I’m looking forward to the next things from Nic Nicosia. If the world must be without David Bowie, Lou Reed, B.B. King, Yogi Berra,  Wes Craven and Natalie Cole then I hope to be able to enjoy art and artists that explore life as differently as they all did.

If any of you won the lottery you may celebrate my birthday by gifting me one of his works. And Nic, if  you are reading this, I hope you are well.

*note: images of the artist’s works were provided via e-mail on 1/14/2016. Re-use and redistribution permission should not be assumed. Images are credited to Mr. Nicosia. 

Twin Cities Wedding Photographer | Ward Wedding – Northfield,MN

August afternoon weddings are bound to be warm, but the Ward’s simple and elegant ceremony was also touching.

We all met up at Bridge Square in Northfield so that I could do some pre wedding photos of the family and the couple. Casually and in stages the family collected near the fountain. Everyone was relaxed and very much at home. We waited on the last of family to arrive while the final touches were put on the the bride’s outfit. After I photographed few groupings and took some couple photos we formed a caravan to the church. The select few of us were allowed to share in an extremely moving ceremony, during which I cried. These two loving people put the emphasis on each other for their wedding and I just love when that happens.

Now, I love weddings. I really love weddings. This one got my emotions all stirred though. Maybe it was the hot sun, maybe it was the way these two looked at each other. Or, maybe, it was that the whole of the day was about nothing  more than the promises of respect and loving care between two people and the family they were blending. If that won’t get you – nothing will.

The beautiful flowers were from Forget Me Not. So pretty!