01Feb

It’s all about having the “True” Eye

By, February 01, 2021

With over 17 years of photographing professionally, we’ve seen our share of beautiful locations, some of which have been designed to look perfect. But not all locations have what many would consider “a lot to work with.” For example, a photo shoot could take place in a nondescript backyard. Or the light condition may be really harsh. Or perhaps, due to rain, the shoot may be moved indoors at the last minute. No matter the environment, it’s our job to make the photos look their very best!

When we are presented with a challenging location, there are two techniques that we like to follow. One is to use the location as it is. We incorporate the existing conditions into the photo shoot, and show the background as it is. Ex: if we are in a supermarket parking lot, this will be apparent in the finished images. We take what we have to work with, and find ways of making it interesting and creative. 

The other technique we use is to re-purpose the environment. We basically work around the constraints of the location, looking for dramatic lines, angles, unique lighting and focal blurs. The result is nice stylized shots, even if you can’t tell exactly where they were photographed.

To demonstrate these techniques, and take you through our creative process, we selected a location in downtown San Diego. This spot is just down the street from our studio. 

This is a building just outside of our studio that is currently under construction.

When looking critically, from our perspective, here is how we see the location:

When we scout out a location, we are looking at it from a very different frame of mind than the everyday eye. We look for opportunities that may typically go unseen. We start to look for potential opportunities that may photograph well.

After stepping into the shot, we can better identify potential spots for our subject.

Having scouted the location, and determined our plan, here are a few examples of the results.

Example 1: Traffic median and building under construction

Here is a traffic median (left) and a building under construction (right).

Here is what the “True” eye sees :) The picture on the left was just the floor in the center median, which made for a nice graphical background. On the right, we used a long lens to shoot through the environment. This added visual interest, and tied in the colors.

Example 2: Normal street view

Here is what a normal street view looks like in this spot.

Above is what the “True” eye sees :) By using a long lens, and looking for interesting lines, we were able to take a standard city view (street crosswalk and rows of lined trees) to create two dynamic images.

Example 3: A small spot of greenery

Here is… not all that much to see. These are the bushes that you often find in a center median. Not the prettiest, but the only greenery nearby.

Here  is what the “True” eye sees :) We wanted to show color within the photograph, and this location was very narrow. To make the image look more lush, we photographed at a sharp angle.

Example 4: A crosswalk under construction

Here is a crosswalk under construction… We were drawn to the potential of the white, wooden construction boards.

Here is what the “True” eye sees :) We re-purposed the environment in the absolute simplest fashion, using the construction boards. This kept the backdrop high-contrast and clean.

Rather than trying to hide the environment, we made use of it, and looked for cool symmetry and lines.

For more creative uses of the city streets in our photography, check out our full gallery of urban downtown photos

07Jun

Say YES to everything!

By, June 07, 2017

The value in hiring a talented and experienced photographer is that you are able to let go, and know that you will be properly taken care of. We always bring a positive and happy energy to the photo shoots that we do, and it gets us super excited to create amazing photos and memories for you. When you can jump in and embrace the YES, you are best utilizing our expertise and vision. You also help us bring out your personality!

Sometimes we will have you do things that may feel a little funny. For example: Rubbing noses… Does it feel a bit cheesy? Yes. Will you want to throw the first 6 pictures of the series away? Yes. But that is ok, because we (as photographers) know that on the 7th shot, you will have this moment where you are laughing with each other. Because you embraced the moment without second-guessing, and had fun instead, you allowed us to get to that 7th shot and frame it perfectly. It is the partnership between you and your photographer that achieves that priceless photograph.

bride making a silly fish face on her wedding day
two wedding couples having fun on their wedding day
groom kisses bride on the forehead while laying in the grass on their wedding day
We definitely want you to get the most out of your photography experience, and the best results! In order to do so, it is important to do a photography version of a trust fall ;) When you are excited, we are also excited and it pushes our creativity even more. We all end up having more fun, and the better you feel, the better the photos tend to be.
beautiful and sexy maternity portraits in black and white
two couples kissing on their wedding day, in the rain at night and in front of a fire truck
Rain can make for an amazing photograph. You just have to be willing to venture out.
couple having fun while covered in seaweed during their engagement session
bridesmaids having fun at their hotel with mirrors for a creative portrait
groomsmen being silly for photo together
couple kissing under the pier during sunset at their maternity photo session
groomsmen pose for a fun jumping photo with downtown skyline in background
stylish wedding party posing with a vintage rolls royce car
groom juggles oranges for his bride on their wedding day
kids having fun while parents kiss at balboa park
silly bridesmaids eating spaghetti before the wedding starts
bride and groom embrace and kiss under umbrella in rain
wedding couple during sunset at the beach
creative portrait of a couple on the ground with flower crown and suitcase
bride and groom kissing in a tree with pretty sunset in background
50's style dressed wedding party playing tug of war
wedding party having fun in their trolley downtown
wedding party cheering and having fun on the stairs
fun wedding party jumping
We love these super fun wedding party groomsmen jumping over bridesmaids!

We want to capture the absolute BEST part of you. Our top 5 tips we suggest are:

  1. Say, “Yes!” to everything. Be willing to step outside of your own comfort zone.
  2. Be playful and have fun.
  3. Channel your confidence to feel your best.
  4. Leave all the other aspects of life and stress at home and step into each moment with us. You are creating alongside us as well.
  5. Pat yourself on the back for throwing yourself into it. Then, enjoy the heck out of your amazing photos when they arrive! You helped make them amazing :)