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The Gayle-Lordan Wedding, Costa Mesa

“I got a jump photo and a dip photo… I’m happy John. I’m not worried about anything else now.” -Amanda, right after this photo on her wedding day. Ha!

Last weekend I had the privilege of shooting  the wedding of Tim and Amanda Lordan. I first met both Tim and Amanda nearly two years ago at another Lordan wedding – Amy and Michael Lordan, one of Tim’s older brothers. And then last winter I received an email from Amanda titled simply “Game for another Lordan wedding?”. Shortly after Tim proposed and she started her wedding planning she reached out to me to check on availability, details, etc on me as their potential photographer. Long story short, we worked out the details and I was scheduled to shoot for them this January.

Amanda was a bride that was certainly on top of planning everything, too. She quickly worked out all the details with me as she gathered them. As soon as something was added, changed, or whatever else I was pretty quickly updated with an email on the plans. I could definitely understand that part of the reason was that their wedding was right after New Years, which is also right after Christmas – times that everyone is busy with their families and other things.

As the wedding weekend approached I could tell by Amanda’s emails that her excitement was growing. I myself was looking forward to seeing the Lordan family again and getting to know the Gayle family a little bit as well. I attended the rehearsal, as I always try to do, to get an idea of the venue and some of the rules. It was a new church to me and their are always new rules. This one was definitely going to be a bit tricky. I’m used to a no-flash rule (just crank that ISO up to a thousand or two and you’re all set!). But their church had a “line” that I was not allowed to cross. For those of you that don’t do many weddings, it’s typical to not be allowed on the marble, or steps, etc. But in this situation I had to remain a minimum of 30 feet away from the front of the church. VERY different than I’m used to. My photojournalism background means I prefer to be closer to my subjects. I stay low and out of the way, but I like photos that are a bit more intimate you could say. So, this would definitely bit a challenge – but never let this be a hurdle for you photographers out there. This is why we have telephoto lenses and image stabilization at weddings, too. haha!

The morning of the wedding started VERY early for me. I was up at 4am to double check my gear and give myself plenty of time to get on the road to meet the bridal party at 6am. A typical hair-and-makeup morning hanging out with Amanda and her girls and they prepared for their morning wedding. It’s always fun hanging out with the bridal party before weddings because you get to hear stories about how they met, or the engagement, or random girl-talk stories. LOL!
I broke off briefly to go meet up with the guys at the hotel as they finished getting ready and then it was on to the church! There ceremony went off without any problems, and we even finished our portraits ahead of schedule.

We arrived to the reception early as well; we got there right in the middle of cocktail hour. I had the chance to meet several family friends of the Gayle family since I was seated at what we later joked was “the creative table” since the florist, cake maker, and me the photographer were all seated together.

I’ll leave much more details about the day in the captions of the photos after the break. But I will say I had a wonderful time shooting for Tim and Amanda. The Gayle family and friends were a riot to joke with and get to know. And, as always, the Lordans were so welcoming with me being part of everything throughout the day.

So Thank You to the Gayles and the Lordans! I hope you enjoy this brief preview of what I shot throughout the day. I had so much fun!

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Falken Tire 2012 Promo Model Poster Shoot

The 2012 Falken Tire Promo Model poster has been released! And that means I’m allowed to share additional photos from the shoot with everyone that I created for Falken Tire and their 2012 season!

For those who read my previous blog about the Behind the Scenes from this shoot, you’ll recall that I mentioned the goal of the entire day was the image above. Basically we arrived first thing in the morning – before sunrise – and shot all day until sundown. And then, after 12 hours of shooting we created the image we came for – the poster shot. Seriously. The image we spent so much time planning for was created in the last five minutes of shooting. And was also one of the last 10 photos or so I made with the girls.

But it was worth it. The long day. The lack of food (on my part. I forgot to eat most of the day since I was so busy running around that TJ had to make me stop and take five minutes to eat something at the catering table). I look at photos of me at the end of the day and laugh because I look exhausted.
I did at least 17 shoots that day working with each of the models multiple times and in several locations with many different lighting setups. Everything worked out incredibly well. Falken had a very  aggressive set of goals to complete that day and I’m very proud to say that we met all of them! During the time we weren’t working on group shots the models were in hair/makeup and whoever was ready with their next look would be sent over to shoot individuals.

The individual shots we created are mainly for use on the models profile pages since they’re in no way related to tires or the automotive industry, haha! But part of the reason this location was selected for was for wide variety of looks that could be created around the property.
I had the oh-so-difficult assignment of poolside bikini and exercise photos. Wow. Rough location. Haha!
Throughout the middle of the day and afternoon the girls would be switched out with me to shoot around the infinity pool with all the mountains in the background. Gorgeous. I could easily see why so many magazine shoots are done at this location with this pool.

A second concept for the poster was a composite idea I was asked about. There was some question to the feasibility of doing this shot with six girls and making the shot work at the venue. The one thing there wasn’t much of was large open space and walls. We selected the three-car garage doors as the best spot to create a six-photo composite extra-wide style poster. I think it came out pretty damn good, actually.

Each girls was shot with the same style lighting and power adjusted according to the background, skin tone, or wardrobe. But overall it worked great. I may print a large version of this just for the sake of seeing how it looks. But, the version I’m looking at right now on my 27in screen looks pretty awesome!

Ultimately the pool shot was used for the poster – which is perfect since that was the original idea and goal anyway.

Click the break for a ton of additional photos of the girls… since I know that’s what you’re really here to see.

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Falken Tire Girls 2012 – behind the scenes

The Falken Tire 2012 Promo Girls poster is near release and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share some of the Behind the Scenes photos from the project.
I had an incredible opportunity at the end of last year to work directly with Falken on this. I was contacted and asked about possibly tackling this large scale – and very important – photoshoot for the company. After everything was made official we started the planning phase for a quickly-approaching shoot date.

The ultimate goal for the project was to create their 2012 Promo Model Poster with all six girls. We took the girls away from the track/race scene for something different, stylish and sexy. After budget discussion, location selection, and dates solidified it was time to really crack down and get things moving. Our shoot was right after Thanksgiving and there was plenty to get working on.
I was required to bring two assistants – it would be better to have too much help than not enough for a project of this size. And I’m sure all of you are thinking “Yeah, cuz it would be terrible to hang out on set with a bunch of models all day”. But I needed two experienced people on hand that I knew would be great. I brought TJ down from San Francisco. He has 10 years experience with lighting and set work and who has also helped me on multiple shoots over the last few years and understands my style and how I shoot. David came up from Orange County as my other assistant. I met David working on weddings and he has an incredible knowledge of photography and wealth of experience to bring to this setting.

Our shoot day started early.. EARLY. A 430am call time is never fun, but it’s part of the job. Overall the entire day went great. There were a few hiccups along the way as could always be expected, but we still made sure to get everything taken care of that we hoped to complete. I was able to create a ton of amazing images with all the models. And both myself and my team had an awesome time working with Falken and their crew. The models, Julie Galindo, Mayra Tinajero, Olivia Korte, Melanie Tillbrook, Brittney Leigh, and Randyl Dawn were all awesome. And thank you all for putting up with me having trouble with your names all day… having six new models with a new hairstyle/outfit every time I saw them throughout the day definitely screwed with my head. Haha!

Ok, so… on to the photos! I’ll stop rambling and simply post captions…

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Last year of the world! Hellooo 2012!

Twenty twelveeeeeeeeee!!!!
The world is gonna end! Oh nooooooo!

I have a feeling that this will be the running joke throughout the year for me. However, in my annual end of the year open letter as I take some time to look back at 2011 I find myself at a bit of a loss for words.
This year seemed to go by much quicker than last. Sure, we all say that at the end of each year, don’t we?

But this year was such a mix of running around SoCal working on personal projects with various clients mixed in between that I’m finding it difficult to find key points to talk about as I reflect on my year.

Growth. Let’s just go with a cliche choice on this one, shall we?

I could support this two ways…
The first is that I watched many of my close friends, family, and even past client’s lives grow as people had children and added to their families. I became an Uncle this year when my little sister had a daughter mid-summer. Later in in the Fall my oldest and best friend had a son, too. So I’m an Uncle twice this year. Maternity photos I shot last year were now baby photos this year. I was booked by past families to do new rounds of family portraits as kids were older and new images were needed.

I took my work a new direction with a portrait series that I started work on in the Spring. I began creating images of people in and around my daily life. Some images were planned out in detail prior to the shoot, while others were created right there on the street with people I had met only moments before. This series proved extremely popular. I showcased the series during an art show in Hollywood – my first time every displaying my work publicly in a gallery setting.

I continued to travel all over the US for weddings. I kept my self-promise of always extending my trips to see local friends in the areas that work would take me.

I gained several new, major clients as my business grew and projects that I worked on became bigger and more important. My biggest of which are actually continuing into the new year and I will finally be able to share them in the upcoming weeks.

Twenty Eleven was a great year. And although I could go on and on about each detail and event that made it great I won’t.
My life grew with new members of families around me. My clients grew as I expanded my business. And my work grew as I developed my own style and took my photography to a level far beyond where I was just 12 months ago.

Let’s get going with 2012! I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.