So Cal Portrait Photographer – Teresa Raef

Recently had a really fun morning hanging out and shooting Teresa Raef . This singer/songwriter just launched her new website and it was my pleasure to shoot some portraits of her for it. Enjoy! 🙂



Proper rocker chick. 🙂


She has plenty of her own but here’s some flare for ya.


Those eyes!


“No Barking” best sign modification ever. 😀



Got to hear some cool music while shooting.



Be sure to check out some good soulful music on Teresa’s site!

So Cal Wedding Photographer – Hideaway Wedding

I recently had the opportunity to second shoot for the awesome Dennis Kwan Weddings. And I am so glad I took it! 🙂 This wedding at the The Hideaway Golf Corse was one of the prettiest I have had the privilege to attend. Everyone was just so happy for the couple. You could just feel it.

The girls got ready at La Quinta Resort. Their matching robes were so cute! I want one.


Hair and makeup was so beautiful.


Final touches at The Hideaway.


The first look look. So adorable!


Nothing beats a walk with dad. ♥


That’s one happy groom.


Her grandfather officiated the wedding. He was so witty. Everyone was cracking up.


Party time! 🙂


Happy family.


The Best Camera is the One You Have With You

This post is for the moms out there. Sometimes it’s hard to take pictures of your kids. You want to, but something always gets in the way. It’s the same for me, even as a photographer. Sometimes I just don’t want/can’t carry my professional equipment around. Especially when I am supposed to be enjoying some quality time with my kids. At the same time I want to have some memories of the day and I want them to look good. So what to do?

In my case I just have to get over it and use the camera I have with me. This can be a little compact Canon PowerShot SD1400s (in hot pink, of course) or what else? My iPhone camera! Here I have a few photos of the Girl Scouts Colorful Dash 5k run I did with my daughter last month. Since I was “running” ← notice the quotes here, with her I decided to travel light in the camera department. Plus there was the color dust to consider. I covered my iPhone 4s and Canon PowerShot in plastic wrap and these are the resulting photographs. For informational purposes I have identified the photos by camera and thrown in a little tip here and there to get the most out of the camera you have with you. 🙂


This is my girl K. Ready to get super colorful with her white gear on.

It was bright and sunny but K was in the shade. So I decided to use the Canon for it’s flash. (Sorry iPhone your flash is bad). This is one of the last features a small compact camera has over cell phone cameras. The flash evens out the lighting a bit and takes the harsh shadows out of your little ones face. The sun serves as a nice hair light and draws K out of the busy background.

If your a fan of the blog you know I LOVE some lens flare. For this photo I made sure to focus on K by touching her image on the iPhone. This not only guides the focusing but also the exposure. This way K is exposed correctly even if the background is not. K pops out of the background and the flare adds some pizazz.


Color bandit K getting a little blue. Canon no flash. Why? Using flash when there is something like the color dust in the air is a bad idea. The light from the flash ends up catching in all the floaty particles and not on your subject. The same is true if your subject is far away. Skip the flash, use the available light and get a better exposure.


Love this pic of K. iPhone cam focus on face. She was sitting for a break so I just had her look up at me. The downward vertical angle fills the frame with her body and is more visually interesting then a straight on shot as if I had squatted down and taken it in front of her.


Canon no flash. Even though K is in the shade I do not need a flash here because the shade is even on her. The camera exposes her correctly and the shaded area around her. The sky is a bit blown out (white not blue) but I’m okay with that.


Pink cloud of heaven. 🙂 iPhone. Because of the nice bright sun and the reflectiveness of the pink color dust no flash is necessary.


iPhone. Flash is great to freeze action but here the sun is bright enough to do it for me. Also don’t be afraid to have your child do something specific when taking their picture. I wanted some color in the air so I asked her to throw some straight up.


Canon with flash. Again K is backlit (sun behind her) without flash she would be too dark in the exposure. Sun is again a hair light. Pretty.

Also, I can’t help thinking “Where is John Connor?” Hahaha.

iPhone, even shade, no flash.

K was too far ahead of me on this one so I asked her to run back to me. Action shot. Check. On Canon.

Canon no flash. Was completely green-ified by this one. Focused on her before she released her attack. Otherwise the dust would be more in focus than her. Compact and even iPhone cameras don’t think too quick so you need to make up the difference.

iPhone and good timing. 🙂 This is one of my favorites from the day.

Canon no flash. A nice shot to record the end of the day colors and her running number.

iPhone with focus on her face. The background id blown out a bit but its worth it to get the brightness in the color dust. Shaded her with my body as we were in an empty field.

The end of a great day. had a nice passerby snap one of me and my K. Canon no flash. our white shirts were enough to lighten the shadows.

Some final thoughts on camera quality. I was actually quite surprised by the quality of photos I got from my iPhone camera. Originally I thought my little Canon Powershot would render better images and wanted to make sure I  at least got one good picture of the day. But, after seeing them side-by-side I have to say even though the Canon has more megapixels on its side the iPhone gave me equal or better image quality. The camera you have people, the camera you have. 🙂

If you enjoyed it like it! And leave a comment!

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