How to choose a Photo drone for kids? 5 Tips!

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A few days ago I started getting into drones, both for my services as a photographer, but most of all, I’m interested to actually a toy drone for my kids.

In reality, getting a drone with camera for kids is more complicated than it actually looks.

Besides the huge amount of choice, all kinds of different prices, you get seriously stumped when you’re actually trying to decide what you’d like to buy.

As drones continue to grow in popularity, kids are the latest players scrambling to get in on the action. The most popular photo drones for kids aren’t quite built for the professional, recreational types that are popular with adults, but many of them still come packed with some pretty impressive features.

While the best quality photo drones are apparently ranked according to price, you may get lucky and find a few exceptions, and you can just get the best photo drone for your kid’s birthday without having to drain your wallet. But what are the things that one should consider when choosing a photo drone for his/her children? (more…)

Congratulations Casey!

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Casey Loza (Audrina Patridge‘s sister) gave birth to her second child last month – a baby boy named Draven!  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of him (yet!), but I can safely say he’s cute as hell.  Here are some of Casey’s maternity photos which we did right before she was getting ready to explode.  Seriously, she called me to set up the shoot and as I was suggesting dates she said, “Well, I’m kind of due in 10 days.”

Allllllrighty then.  Haha.  Glad we made it work.

These first 2 shots are my absolute favorite.  Make-up, hair, and styling by Leslie Alejandro.

 

 

Congratulations Loza family!  Thanks for letting me be a part of this special time, and for not wanting cheesy maternity photos. :)

Kevin Alejandro from True Blood, Outdoor Photo Shoot

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Hope everyone had a splendid Memorial Day weekend.  Weather in CA was bee-YOO-tiful.  What a way to kick off the summer!

And now, here is a little something to kick off your week.

Kevin is the actor that I photographed for the cover of MetroSource Magazine (you can see it here).

 

Kevin’s wife Leslie was his make-up and stylist for the day.  They  just celebrated their five year anniversary!

 

Kevin called this the Huck Finn look.  Huck Finn meets Zoolander?

Photography Tip: Wedding Album Design & Layout

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I love wedding albums.  It makes everything more real.  As in . . . It happened.  Finished.  Done. We got MARRIED!  That is why I include Leather Craftmen albums with my wedding packages.

Here are some tips when putting an album together.  This is mostly for photographers but could be helpful for brides & grooms too!

In my experience, a good album usually has no more than 40 photos.  Your goal is to tell the story of the wedding day in the most impactful (is that a word?) way.  Which photo best sums up the bride getting ready?  Which photo tells you everything about what the ceremony was like?  Quality over quantity!

When photos are printed and enlarged, they look MUCH BETTER vs. on a computer.  Less photos per spread will provide higher impact.  If you have too many photos on one page, it looks cluttered and you don’t get the same “oooh . . . ahhhh” feeling.

In my opinion, book/album design templates look generic.  It lacks heart and soul.  The differences are subtle but HUGE when you design from scratch.  I’ve tried using online templates and it just doesn’t feel the same.

A wedding album should be timeless.  How are you going to feel looking at it in 10, 20, 30 years?  I prefer to keep my designs clean and simple, and offer clients two colors for the album cover – Black or Ivory.

When I tell my friends how much the albums are their reactions go something like, “Omg, why don’t you look for a company that makes them for cheaper??.”

That’s the thing – you get what you pay for.  There are many album/book companies but I have seen few that have the same quality as Leather Craftsmen.  They are hand-made in NYC, have super thick pages that won’t warp, and you can tell there’s a lot of love put into making them

In summary, I strive to provide the very best.  As a photographer, you are part of the wedding day.  Part of you is in the pictures, in the editing, in the layout, in the story, in the album.  Don’t skimp on that. 🙂

Destination Wedding Photographer: Cabo, Mexico Part II

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Here it is  –  The emotion.  The laughter.  The tequila shots…

Esther & Daniel’s wedding at The Esperanza Resort in Cabo, Mexico.

 

“There’s no such thing as a perfect picture, only a perfect moment.”  -Joe Buissink

 

 

 

The moment right before the kiss is best part.  It’s like a drum roll.  Anyone watch ‘How I Met Your Mother?’  I love that episode.

 

 

Tears make for great photos.  Keep ‘em coming!

 

 

 

 

They dropped him….hard.  I should probably stop asking people to do that.

If you are on the beach, you have to pick the girl up.  It just feels right.

Esther & Daniel do this a lot when they are joking around with each other.  They put their hands up to their faces and go, “Hee hee hee…”.

Doing it for the first time with their rings on. :)

Esther can be categorized as the hot nerdy girl.  My favorite kind! :)

She had to adjust her shoe before heading up to cocktail hour which made me think of…Cinderella!   Or as I like to call her, “Cinderelli!”

Their reenactment cracks me up.  If I were Daniel I would keep the shoe and sell it on ebay.  It’s probably worth $400.

My favorite photo from the wedding.  Esther’s grandma raised her.

 

 

Esther is a chef, so she was VERY picky about the food.

 

I love Polaroid Guest Books.  This entry was so funny.  That’s Lydia with Sean, who loved the fact that he looks like the guy from Princess Bride.

 

They smashed the cake so quick.  For a moment I was afraid that I missed it!  Phew.

 

The rest of the night looked like this.

 

And this.

And this.

End of (my) night with the bride & groom. :)

I can’t express how much I love destination weddings.  Not only because of the traveling, but the bonding!  Destination weddings are usually a lot more intimate, laid back, and you get to spend a lot more time with your guests.  I wasn’t even a guest but I sure felt like one!  To be honest it was an experience that I was sad to leave behind.  Bitter sweet, actually.

Congratulations Esther & Daniel!  Good luck with the move to NY! :)

The Sowden House Wedding: Julie Benz & Rich Orosco

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I shared photos from Julie Benz & Rich Orosco’s rehearsal dinner recently, and now I am very excited to share pictures from their wedding at the Sowden House!

And once again, in case you missed it, you can see some of their wedding photos published in US Weekly here.

Heads up – there are a lot of pictures here so prepare to scroll for a while.:)

 

Lucky penny. :)

Kids always create the perfect moments.

I love capturing anticipation.  I always get so nervous and excited for the bride!

Rich always has the cutest smile, but I think nothing beats this smile.

Their faces sum it all up.

The gorgeous bridesmaids dresses are by Theia.

This has to be one of my favorite portraits.  Taking pictures isn’t that torturous, is it?

The food and drinks were beautifully photographed by my fab second shooter Carla Choy.

Guests left the evening with these cute little party favors.

 

Julie & Rich – once again,  I love you guys.  Thank you for letting me a part of your special day!  I continue to have a fat smile on my face EVERY SINGLE TIME I look through your photos. :)

Tips For Planning A Wedding From A Photographer

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Some people ask if I get ideas for my own future wedding (if I decide to have a future wedding) from seeing so many and the answer is YES. I see what tends to work well and not so well, and I learn a lot about what would be important to me on the day of.

This guide is completely my own opinion based on personal taste. It is primarily based off what I have observed through photographing weddings for the last 5 years.

1. Get an event planner.  This is one of the BEST investments you can make for your wedding! Planning and executing a large party is not easy and there are so many little things to remember.  You might be organized but it’s the last thing you want to be thinking of on your wedding day.  That day is supposed to be an enjoyable (right?) so let someone else handle the logistics so you and your friends can HAVE FUN!

One of my favorite planners based in LA, Amber Events.  Photo by Troadec Photography.

 

2. Plan your wedding with the guests in mind.  This rule applies when throwing even the smallest dinner party.  Guests should NEVER be uncomfortable and that includes waiting around for long periods of time, being hungry, thirsty, too hot, or too cold. To avoid this:

-Start to serve drinks and apps before the ceremony.  Too often, guests will rush to the bar as soon as the ceremony is over.  After they get their drink and some food, then they start to relax and enjoy themselves.  Why not have them feel that way from the start? :)

-Think about the weather.  If you have an outdoor wedding and it might get chilly at night, you can provide heat lamps and pashminas for the ladies.  If the weather could be very hot, providing parasols could make it a lot more comfortable during the day time.

 

3. Keep it small. People are different. Cultures are different. But what I hear 99% of brides say when asked if they could do anything differently about their wedding is have a smaller one.  They want to spend more than 2 minutes with each guest.  They want quality.  They would have whittled down the invite list.

Possible alternative: Have a smaller (destination?) wedding, and then have a casual, larger dinner reception back home afterward for everyone else who wasn’t able to partake in the intimate wedding ceremony.

 

4. Clump the formal activities together. Example: If you are planning to do formal dances, a cake cutting, slideshow, bouquet/garter toss, etc. at your reception, try to do it all at once, one after another. That way you:

-Have everyone’s attention
-It all gets done so that you can relax and get back to hanging out with your guests instead of constantly getting interrupted by someone saying, “It’s time to do this now….”
-You have efficient photography/videography coverage of everything

 

5. End it on a high note. If most of the guests have gone home when there is technically still 2-3 hours left to party, it brings the energy down.  An hour for dinner and a couple hours of dancing is a good amount of time.  I’d rather have guests say, “Aw man, the night has to come to an end!” than yawn and say, “Can we go home yet?.” It’s nice when people leave a party feeling good.  The hard core party animals can always go out to a bar after.

 

I’m sure there are some other little things but of the top of my head, these are the main things I would take into consideration.  I guess I’ll REALLY think about it when I need to. ;)