Archive for the ‘Engagement’ Category

Crafting the Light….beyond natural light.

November 1st, 2014 Comments off

We perceive light in slants, rays, patches of brightness that illuminate textures and surfaces. When Dawn caresses the land with her golden fingertips, the earth awakens. By day, a world basked in natural sunlight is one where colors glow richer and truer. In a beam of sun slanting through window blinds at dusk, a hundred specks of dust come alive, swirling in a unique pattern of dance, a world that remained invisible in the absence of light. By night, the dull yellow of a street lamp can alter colors far from their original shade. Shadows elongate along dark pavement, and sometimes, even the familiar faces of friends can appear ghastly.

Photographers always stress the importance of light. We aim to use natural lighting when possible as it makes for richer, unaltered photos, but the wrong kind of weather or environment can cause light to be too dull or harsh, therefore making or breaking a shot in the hands of the inexperienced. When Mother Nature doesn’t feel like being generous with her infinite beauty, our team adds professional lighting to save the scene.

The photo below was taken at The Mountain Terrace in Woodside, home of giant, rich redwoods, creating a perfect opportunity to stage a fantastical forest scene. Some natural light does filter through the dense canopy. The picture was taken in the daytime when the most light could be captured for the area, but it is still too dark to highlight the facial expressions of the bride and groom.

Many details of the textured redwood trunks are also lost at the center focal point of the image. By applying a simple artificial light from the right, the natural sunlight from above becomes balanced. Skin tones glow healthy instead of appearing dull; the bride’s white dress, veil, and even hair ornament become prominent instead of receding into the background; and—more importantly—the joy on her face can be seen. Shooting the trees at an upward angle also shows off the filtration of sunlight through the forest and gives the bright green leaves a lacey effect—a balance of soft edges to the steadfastness and strength of the redwood trunks.

Natural light photo

professional light photo

Natural, elegant, artistic

August 17th, 2013 Comments off

Can’t say why but this is one of my favorite shot. Probably is the natural smile and laughter, the tender hand pushing against the door, tipsy and elated after a wonderful French dinner with glasses of Bordeaux, the grain and texture, the shiny metal door reflecting a variance of bokeh in the background, shapes and shadows in a black and white print. Ok, perhaps I do know why. I love this shot. 😉

Maryam & Mahbod, if you are out there reading this, you guys are so beautifully compatible. Congratulations on your new house!

Natural, elegant, artistic

The Roads Not Taken | Pre-wedding session customized

August 11th, 2013 Comments off

Jean and John are set up for the perfect life, fulfilling the American Dream. They bought their first home a few months ago, a charming pad with a lush garden for their two dogs to romp in.

Newly purchased home

Most pet-loving couples end up getting a dog (or two) as a symbol of commitment—beyond the engagement ring exchange, it’s a promise to start a new life together, to nurture and protect, to be looked up to.

Two cute dogs in the engagement session

Jean and John are already ahead of the game with their adorable pooches, one of which is a corgi, made popular in part by being the preferred breed of Queen Elizabeth II.

Corgi Queen Elizabeth II

Beyond the domestic, this outdoorsy couple took us to completely new places for their engagement shoot. John likes to drive his Porsche Boxster S on Page Mill Road, hugging the curves along Palo Alto and snaking through the Los Altos Hills, where we come to rustic, gravel-lined roads with yellowed grass indicative of a California summer.

Mountains at PageMill Palo Alto

Porshe Boxster S

The couple also suggested a favorite hiking trail in the Saratoga hills. The sun couldn’t stop shining on this happy, fun-loving pair. One of the challenges we faced was shooting photos in very harsh daylight. We wanted to avoid capturing glaring shine on skin; at the same time, we strove to get the most of their smiling eyes and facial expressions as they were having fun together, most of which would be masked by sunglasses.

Hiking Trail at Saratog Hills

We enjoyed the challenge, however, and appreciated the chance to explore these back roads, pacing alongside them on the trails that they have grown to love. In the end, we were able to use what nature had to offer and work around those unwanted extras.

Nothing but blue sky

Wild grass and Verdant tree

Author Henry James writes, “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” From the simplicity of a field of wild grass to a verdant tree against the backdrop of a strikingly blue sky, we see the beauty and wonder of a love forever etched in summertime as we observe Jean and John.

Fields of gold

Guitar and the white hate

After all the country-girl poses, Jean shows off her timeless elegance in the Michelin-starred Madera Restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel. This classy Menlo Park restaurant is headed by Executive Chef Peter Rudolph.

Madera at Rosewood Hotel Menlo Park

Madera at Rosewood Hotel Menlo Park

What a day filled with hiking and culinary adventures! At last, we came to a familiar site: “Soo Rock” with its white, foam-crested waters at sunset, backed by the Golden Gate Bridge. Jean and John, thanks for taking us along with you to places that are both intimate and dear, allowing us this glimpse into your world and the things that make you happy. May your perfect adventures continue through a marriage filled with joy, leisurely summer afternoons, and dreams coming true.

Soo Rock at Golden Gate Bridge

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May 25th, 2013 Comments off

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Our Inner Superheroes – Engagement Session

April 10th, 2013 Comments off

Jordan and Alex both graduated from San Jose State University, sharing a love for drama. Naturally, they wanted to reenact one of their happiest moments—when Alex proposed—in the SJSU theater where they had spent so much of their college lives.

San Jose State University Theater Engagement

But fun-loving Jordan and Alex have more than just a theatrical flair; they also have superhero alter-egos!

San Jose State University Theater Backstage

Many, actually, as in their engagement photo session, we played up Alex’s love for comic books by bringing to life some of DC’s and Marvel’s most beloved icons. Like the Gotham bat signal projected against a dreary sky and Green Lantern’s power ring, Jordan and Alex are each others’ light through dark times, their mutual symbols of hope and strength.

Batman and Green Lantern

Batman and Nightwing

The fun does not stop with a mere studio shoot, however. Since Alex grew up around the redwood trees and beaches of Santa Cruz, we also photographed them spending a day out in nature and enjoying each others’ company (this is what superheroes do on their days off).

Superheroes in mid flight

Threading waters in Santa Cruz

We all can relate to the appeal of superheroes, those larger-than-life legends who live in a fantasy world not too different from our own reality. At some point, we have felt like cast-out freaks, different from the rest, harboring a dark side no one else could possibly understand. Like Venom, this side of us threatens to take over, drown and incapacitate us.

Black Spiderman - Venom

It takes a pure and true force of nature to allow us to see the “freakish” as “unique,” to accept us for who we are, to help us conquer our dark sides. Believing in superheroes is a way for us to cope with the mundane and to bring out the best in ourselves through impossible and trying times. Not much different from the power of love.

Spiderman scaling a wall at sunset