Fun with Strangers | Creative Environmental Photos

By, December 12, 2016

Whenever an opportunity presents itself, we love a little crowd participation! By making use of our environment, and getting strangers in on the action, the results can be very fun and spontaneous. Below, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite photos with passers-by who became part of the story, including surfers, Ugly Sweater Gangs, street performers, and Santa Claus himself. Enjoy!
Breakdancers perform as bride and groom kiss in downtown san diego
During photos with Jessica and Adrian (above) outside the Ultimate Skybox, we noticed two breakdancers in the distance, getting crafty with their photobombing skills. Rather than shoo them away, we insisted they join in and show off their moves!Bride and Groom pose with funny street performers
Street performers dance with scarves around Bride after wedding ceremony
While photographing at Balboa Park, our bride Ana Flavia’s smile was contagious, as this unplanned group of women danced around her (above). Engaged couple have fun playing with Star Wars characters in Downtown San Diego
By getting creative with a scene, a couple’s natural personalities are able shine through. For example, the force was strong with Yvette and Daniel (above) during their engagement session in Seaport Village! As Daniel protected the galaxy, Yvette’s candid smile was priceless.Bride and Groom sit on ledge as skateboards do tricks around themGroom and groomsmen snapping fingers in front of brick wall with Tipsy Elves in ugly christmas sweaters
Before Sharla and Jeremy’s wedding at the Andaz Hotel, Jeremy and his groomsmen bumped into the Tipsy Elves, sporting their infamous ugly sweaters. We felt a bit of West Side Story vibe, and were inspired to stage a classic snap-off between the crews. Our groom Jeremy stepped it up, and had fun with his new “rivals”.Bride and Groom make funny faces as they pose with local street performersEngaged couple kiss on beach between two surfers
During Kaitlyn and Maxwell’s engagement session at Scripps Pier, these two paddle-boarders caught our eye (above). We asked them to pause for a quick photo, and framed their boards around the couple. This added a pop of color, and created a classic San Diego beach vibe.Bride and Groom smile and walk through row of armed service military menBeachgoer in speedo watches wedding ceremony from shoreAs Jessica and Dan exchanged rings during their destination wedding in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, a couple of beachgoers positioned themselves perfectly in the background (above). By switching to a telephoto lens, and adjusting our focus, we documented these impromptu wedding participants. True love really does expose the best parts of us all ;)Bride and Groom sit on Santa's Lap for funny photo at Balboa ParkBride and Groom kiss in school bus with funny driver in front seatBride and Groom lay with beachgoers on Coronado BeachFunny photo of Groom getting handcuffed and arrested
Love is all about getting through the hard times (above). Groomsmen laugh behind colorful street performer
With Joshua and his groomsmen dressed sharp in their black and white suits (above), we wanted to add a ‘subtle’ dose of color into the mix ;) As this parade-goer passed by, we knew it was a perfect fit for a fun visual contrast.Engaged couple laugh and kiss while interacting with living statue street performersBride pretends to be mannequin as tourists watch in Las Vegas
For Amanda and Omar’s destination wedding at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, tourists stopped in their tracks to watch Amanda striking her best mannequin pose. Because the couple was outgoing, and willing to try goofy ideas, it allowed us to think outside the box with poses.Bride and Groom stand in door of ice cream truck after wedding ceremonyBride and Groom make funny faces at beach as photographer take photos of model in background
While photographing Kelli and Edward at Windansea Beach in La Jolla, we happened across a second photo shoot in the background. Posing the couple far enough away to avoid distraction, we had a good time reacting to the scene unfolding behind.Engaged couple stand by train with conductors at DisneylandWedding Couple Kiss as Dirtbiker performs trick

For more spontaneous moments from recent weddings, check out our full funny weddings gallery.


Engagement Photo Shoot Ideas and Tips

By, December 12, 2014

When it’s time for your engagement shoot, you’ll likely have questions. Well, we have you covered! By following just a few tips from our photography professionals, you’ll get the most out of your engagement session. We have broken it down into five key elements to consider when planning your engagement photo shoot.

  1. What to Wear

    The number one question we get is how to dress for the shoot. We encourage couples to be true to themselves. It’s unlikely that you walk around matching in real life, so coordinating blue jeans and a white shirt can tend to feel forced or contrived. Let your outfits balance each other out, and feel free to embrace color – it brings out a lively energy in your photos!

    Also, it’s a good idea to have a couple of outfits ready to swap out. For example, you can incorporate one casual outfit, and another dressier look, like you are going out on a nice date together. Be careful of clothes being too baggy. We love a nice flowy top, but no matter your shape, keeping it on the form-fitting side tends to look more flattering in the photographs. If you plan on incorporating outfit changes, you’ll want to ensure you have booked sufficient photo shoot time. For example, typically 1 hour=1 outfit, 1.5 hours=up to 2 outfits, etc.

    examples of how to dress for engagement shoot

  2. Location, Location

    When choosing the perfect location for your engagement shoot, we suggest identifying a place with a lot of diverse environments. This will ensure that you get a nice variety of backgrounds in your photos. Having different backdrops within 200 yards of each other helps to keep the photo shoot fun and exciting, as one area flows into the next. When destinations are spaced far apart, this can actually add unnecessary time to your shoot, and it’s much easier to smile for an hour versus three hours. If you don’t have a place in mind that has multiple background options, we have our own favorite locations, and are happy to provide suggestions.

    photos of unique engagement shoot locations

  3. To Prop or Not

    As photographers and artists, we look at everything as a prop. Instead of toting around objects, and working them into the shoot, we prefer to bring the environment into play. For example, a park bench can be turned into a prop – you can stand on it, sit on top of it, or jump off of it. Using the environment ensures that the picture will be more interesting and spontaneous. If you do choose to include a prop, we recommend that it have personal meaning to your relationship. Otherwise, it may become gimmicky or dated over time.

    02 Props

  4. Hair & Makeup

    If someone else is doing your hair and makeup, just remember that it is important that you look like “you.” By staying true to your look, you are much more likely to love your photos in twenty years. If you do choose to do professional hair and makeup for your shoot, see if you can arrange your pre-wedding makeup trial for earlier in the day. It’s a great way to get a little extra bang for your buck! Also, we suggest telling the makeup artist that your shoot is 30-45 minutes earlier than the actual time. That way, if things run late, we are still able to capture the perfect light for your shoot.

    It’s also common to want to spray tan before getting in front of the camera, especially in the winter months. We totally understand! The secret to a spray tan is to make it look like a natural glow. Our recommendation is that if you do tan, to go for the lowest level.

    natural looking hair and makeup for engagement shoot

  5. Relax!

    Ultimately, what will make the best pictures are the interactions between the two of you. If you can embrace the fun, stay open minded to ideas and enjoy the moment with your future spouse, you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. For example, certain pictures that you may have thought would turn out silly may end up being your favorites.

    A key part of the creative process is trying certain shots, and getting to know you as a couple throughout the session. It will often take photographing ten pictures to get that one really special image. The more willing you are to relax and put your trust in us, the better it will come across on camera.

    example of relaxed couple on engagement shoot

Now that you know our engagement shoot tips, be sure to check back each day as we highlight some of the best locations to take engagement photos, right here on our blog. We’ll be sharing the inside scoop from a photographer’s perspective, including a fresh take on well-known spots, and a few hidden gems. See you tomorrow!


Props to Props!

By, May 12, 2014

These days, event designers and wedding couples are getting creative with props and décor highlights. As you’ll see, a well-placed design accent can enhance the wedding theme, and help create the environment of the day. Whether the venue is rustic and outdoors, or luxurious and indoors, handmade details stand out and can help make guests feel welcome. Examples of design highlights include custom-made signage, handcrafted party favors, and interactive alternatives to the traditional guestbook.

In addition to the big moments, we make sure to photograph all the intricate details of the day so they can be preserved and remembered. Enjoy our selection of wonderful props!

props-1 props-2-3 props-4 props-5-6 props-7 props-8 props-9-10 props-11 props-12 props-13 props-14 props-15

Looking for more inspiration? Check out more creative props and accessories from recent weddings!