10 year anniversary celebration, part 1

It’s hard to believe 10 years have passed since we photographed Daisy and Matt’s wedding in Santa Barbara. Since that time, we have photographed each of their anniversaries without fail. Over the years we have traveled to Hawaii with them, did a session on horseback, documented them in their home with their beloved pets: Ghost and Fleur and most recently become completed besotted by their son, Jazz.
Larry and I cherish each and every session with this family and have loved being a part of their lives.

To mark this most special of anniversaries, Daisy and Matt threw a wonderful intimate party to renew their vows and celebrate with their closest friends and family. We started off the day at a fabulous hacienda in the Santa Ynez valley where we photographed some family portraits before all the festivities began.

While Mom and Dad were looking pretty spiffy, Jazz stole the show at every turn!

Daisy is such a joy to photograph. She puts so much thought and care into her wardrobe. Plus, she just instinctively knows what makes a good photo.

She is even more beautiful today than she was on her wedding day. And trust me, that is saying a lot!

Matt was looking so handsome in his blue suit. It complemented his eyes perfectly.

The fabulous home that they rented offered so many wonderful photo opps.

Plus lots of great places for little ones to run and play!

Matt gets a helping hand getting ready from his dad…or is it the other way around?

Here’s what I love most about Daisy…most wives would blow a gasket if they saw their husbands and children horsing around like this while dressed in their fancy suits. Not only, would she not mind, if she hadn’t been inside getting ready herself, she would have been rolling around with them.

Daisy looked simply stunning in her party dress.

What did I say about this couple’s attention to detail? A turquoise vintage car was the perfect transport to the ceremony and party site.

Please come back tomorrow for part 2 of this post. There will be lots of wonderfully sweet moments and charming decor!

Flowers by Renae’s Bouquet

Regi & Serge, Shutters on the Beach























We photographed a really fun wedding last week. Regi and Serge traveled all the way from Switzerland to have their intimate wedding at Shutters on the Beach.
Their closest friends and Serge’s son, were on hand to celebrate with them. While the guest list may have been small, the love and support surrounding the happy couple was great.

Photographing them was a blast! They were so receptive to all of our ideas and more than willing to leave their merry party at a moment’s notice to take advantage of the best light. Larry and I enjoyed not only taking photos of Regi and Serge but getting to know them as well.
Regi and Serge, we wish you all the very best in your new life together. Don’t be surprised if we take you up on your offer to meet up in Switzerland one of these days. 😉

Happy Birthday Herb…



Saturday marked the birthday of one of my favorite photographers, Herb Ritts. I was so incredibly sad when he died in 2002. His work was so dynamic. His portraits and fashion editorials leapt right out at the viewer, refusing to be ignored. To say I was influenced by him, is a major understatement. As I was looking through my archives, I came upon some of my early work which you see here. I know these photos are nowhere near the caliber of what he created but I hope there is a little of his brilliance somewhere around the edges.

Happy Birthday Herb! We miss you so very very much.










This post is especially dear to my heart…this little angel is the daughter of my cousin Mike and his beautiful wife Christine.
Because they live clear across the country, up until recently, all I knew of Isabella came from family reports and generous texts consisting of photos and videos from her parents.
While that alone was enough to make Larry and I completely smitten with her, it wasn’t until we got to spend time with her on a recent vacation, that we fell head over heels in love!

Yes, Isabella is beautiful but more importantly, she is so sweet natured and her sense of humor is already shining through. Her bright inquisitive eyes don’t miss a trick and she is extremely generous with her smiles and cuddles. She truly has all of our clan wrapped around her chubby little fingers.

Mike and Christine, we hope you like these photos. Thank you so much for bringing this sweet, adorable love bug into our lives!

The best of what might be…

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”
~ Charles Bowden

Just in time for Father’s Day…


Travel photography 101

With summer vacation being right around the corner, I thought I would share some basic but effective travel photo tips. If you follow these simple rules, I promise your vacation photos will reach a whole new level!

Let’s get started with the granddaddy of all photo tips…
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Compose your photos in thirds.
What the $#$%! does that mean? Basically, you never want the subject of your photo hanging out in the middle of things. If you are photographing a person, frame him so that he is off to one side a little (like around 1/3 from center). If shooting landscapes is your thing, position the horizon line so that it sits a little above or below the center of your frame. If you only remember one of these tips on your next trip, make it this one. I take it back…the next one is pretty important too but you won’t like it…

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Get up early. Really early!
Some of the most delicious photography happens in the wee hours of the morning. The light at sunrise is absolutely sublime and everyone knows that good light equals good photography. Not only will your photographs be bathed in the pinkish gorgeous glow of dawn but you’ll have the added bonus of not having to deal with a bus-load of tourists vying for the same shot of Old Faithful. And yes, I am speaking from experience here.

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Don’t be shy.
A common mistake people make when photographing family members on vacation, is not getting close enough. What do you want your photo to be about? If it’s a portrait, frame the subject so that he takes up most of the frame.

Show perspective.
If your goal is to show the scale and grandeur of a place, like the Grand Canyon, then it’s best to step back and incorporate more of the setting in your photo.

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Wait for it.
I realize it’s not practical for most people to travel like I do. I plan my day so that I am in the right place at the right time according to when the light is most favorable. My travel companion is my like-minded husband and since we don’t have children we need to keep happy and entertained, we can linger and wait for the perfect scenario to unfold in front of our lenses. With that begin said, I do most of my shooting in the early morning or late afternoon. For instance, from the hours of 10am to 5pm, I go to museums, shop or nap. Rarely am I shooting unless the light is beautiful.

God is in the details.
When I travel, I usually have an end result in mind. I might have a gallery show coming up that I want images for or I simply may want to put together an album or slideshow as a memento of a trip. With that being the case, I find that the little details I encounter on my travels round out my story and give my viewers a good sense of where I’ve been. Anything from a close up of fruit at an outdoor market to the charming cup your coffee was served in at your favorite cafe can add some fun and personality to your collection of images. Don’t overlook the little things.

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Where the heck are you?
Speaking of albums and slideshows, incorporate the signs and placards you encounter on your journey into your photographs. These images act as good narrative elements plus they will serve as reminders of where the photo was taken when you review your files back home.

Focus on the foreground.
Landscapes can be daunting to photograph even to experienced shooters. There is so much “stuff” in landscapes like, trees, flowers etc. The natural inclination is to want to put it all into the photo. The problem with that, is that you will be left with a cluttered composition that is less than stellar. One way to tackle this problem is to focus on something in your foreground. By doing so, you are defining the space and giving the viewer an invitation, so to speak, into the rest of the scene. Which is the perfect seque into the next tip…

Use frames to your advantage.
Look for existing elements to strengthen your composition. Here, I used the window of a dilapidated RV in the Salton Sea to frame my subject.

Think outside the box.
If you are faced with an iconic landmark, why not try to put a new spin on its depiction? In this case, realizing the Eiffel Tower had been photographed beautifully by so many photographers before me, I wanted to make an image of it that was a bit unexpected so I incorporated the protruding foot of a statue to lead the viewer’s eye.

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Get a bird’s eye view.
If you have an opportunity to see the city you are visiting from a new perspective, take it! Getting up high allows you to not only get a handle on the topography, it will yield wonderful photos as well. If possible, plan on climbing those cathedral steps first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon for the best light.

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What’s so special about this place?
Okay, you’ve embarked on that trip of a lifetime, so how do you convey the true essence of the place you are exploring? While the beautiful vistas are great to record, don’t overlook everyday life in the side streets and alleyways.

Eat a late dinner.
What does this have to do with photography? If you are eating dinner between the hours of 6 and 7:30pm, then you are missing out on what is known in the photo biz as the “golden hour”. Late afternoon light is absolutely gorgeous. It is warm and luscious and makes everything look 100% better.

Do something with your photos.
This may be the most important tip of all. I get it, you shoot a ton of photos and then the thought of organizing them when you get home is completely overwhelming… I know, I feel the same way but don’t let your images just sit on a thumb drive gathering digital dust. Print and frame your favorites. Better yet, make an album that tells the complete story of your vacation. Think of it as a historical investment. Down the road, those photos and albums will be more precious than gold.

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