Anatomy of a “simple” family beach session

Me:  “Click Chicks Photography, this is Leslie.”

Them:  “Hi, I’d like to book a family photo session at the beach.”

Me:  “Sure. Great. Are you available on Weds. eve.?”

Them:  “Yes! Please book us.”

No brainer, right? Well, it’s typically a little more complicated than that. At least I’ve learned to ask how many family members there will be, because the answer often isn’t four, or even eight. It’s often 10 or more. Families like to come together from different states, or even parts of the world, in beautiful Southern CA. Which looks like this…

Numero uno. Find a place (depending upon tide) to arrange the family. No bueno just having in a line standing up. So, get the 14 family members posed on a rock. All is well and even the 3-year old is looking at the camera. But wait… there are now people climbing on the rocks in back of them. Well, I’ll take them out in post production. Can’t re-position my peeps now. Overcast day. Add highlights and some color to the sky in post also.IMG_8695

Next shot: grandma and grandpa with their grandchildren. Little Hampton is still cooperative, with some cajoling. Same issue with climbers and sky.IMG_8731

Then, mom and dad with their bio children.

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Just noticed that Hampton is being cute. Have to be on the lookout for those photo ops because crying can happen any moment. Once that happens, it’s hard to get a toddler back. And they get red and splotchy 😦

IMG_8757Little Hamp and his parents. Note: He’s starting to lose interest. Another 😦

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Another family unit.

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Another another family unit. Can’t do much about the fake smile. Have to go with it.

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Parents chance to have a romantic shot.IMG_8884

Just the grandkids.

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Another candid moment of cuteness. Have to stay on your toes to catch these.

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Everyone’s got their shades out. Snap.

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The couple responsible for all this family goodness … 45 years together.IMG_8935

At least a couple different poses. Better add some blue to the sky.IMG_8961

There goes Hampton, running away with someone’s cell phone.IMG_8962

Just the menfolk in a manly pose on the lifeguard tower. But wait, the sky is blown out. Note to self: add blue in post. And that house in the background looks crummy. Better get rid of it, and also the pole on the hill.

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Best Hampton cuteness so far. Crop out the other people in the shot in post.

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More blue sky needed.

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My favorite of the day. I’d suggested the ladies get their feet wet. Worked out really well for the shot… not so good for them.IMG_9047

One more exceedingly attractive couple to shoot.

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Parting shot. Still had my camera out when I was walking to my car. Caught this little lady out the window of their SUV. IMG_9071

So… that was a “simple” family session. Only about 90 minutes shooting, but hours spent in post production. I take each session seriously and want to deliver as many good shots as I can to give my clients options. NOTE: they were very happy, which makes ME very happy.

Elise + Craig’s Wedding at Laguna’s La Casa del Camino

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Laguna locals, as well as visitors, often refer to this location as simply “The Rooftop.” But The Rooftop is atop the historic boutique hotel, La Casa del Camino, that oozes charm. (And of course, also offers many little corners for photos.) The Spanish inspired guest rooms are beautiful, or you can choose from a number of “Surf Rooms” designed by So Cal surfwear companies.

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The headboard was the perfect backdrop for the gown. And, Craig gave Elise the single rose earlier in the day.

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Love the personalized shoes. See the soles on a separate photo.

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Girls, especially sisters, just want to have fun!

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The natural light coming from the window, combined with beautiful carved headboard and iron sconces, made this a beautiful setting for some portraits.

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Love the serious look here. The lad is groom Craig’s son, and ring bearer.

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How sweet was this message Craig wrote to his bride?

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Something blue…

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That would be a wrap. Married!

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Down to the beach. Literally just steps away.

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Love this little courtyard. And when a couple can “dip”, I take advantage of it! So romantic.

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Oh yeah!

Joyce + Mike’s First Look at The Center Club

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This couple’s love story culminated at their beautiful Center Club wedding. The property has so many fantastic spots for shooting. We staged their first look using these two ah-mazing chairs. They’re like beautifully padded cocoons, so once we got Mike in place with his eyes closed, Joyce tiptoed to the second chair. Little by little they scooted forward until they saw each other. Sigh. This is just one snippet from the day. More to come!

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corporate done right at terranea

I just finished editing several thousand images that I, and my two co-photographers, shot at the Molnlycke National Sales Meeting at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. I didn’t think it was possible, but this actually topped the NSM I shot for them in 2014.

What an incredible four days! This group of 300+ was wined, dined, entertained, inspired, and rewarded for stellar service. Although most of us have never heard of the company, they are making a huge impact with their breakthrough products for hospitals, and specifically the OR.

Terranea was a perfect location choice. It’s a beautiful resort located on Palos Verdes Peninsula. The rooms, meeting spaces and common areas are gorgeous and the service top notch. We were with the folks documenting every moment, from 6:00 a.m. fitness sessions to closing down after-parties at 1:00 a.m. Whew!

And I can’t say enough about the production company, The Defining Point, from Atlanta. You likely can’t imagine the amount of work it takes to put on a multi-day event like this. From lighting and sound to AV, staging, room and event coordination, decor, and on and on. Big kudos to TDP.

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Here’s the Palos Verdes Ballroom set up for the opening session.

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And the “Hollywood Sign” at the entry to the Awards Dinner. Great photo op!6M6A0526How pretty is this set-up?6M6A0820-26M6A0742-2

One of the other nights included a costume party. Come as a TV or movie character. Here are just a few of my favorites. Unbeliveably creative. So hard to choose!

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The highlight for me was definitely the closing session. The final keynote speaker was J.R. Martinez. Some of you may know him as a winner on “Dancing With the Stars”, but what’s more significant is his inspirational story.  He’ll be indelibly imprinted in my memory as someone who overcame bigger obstacles than most people will ever have to face. A great speaker. What a man! Sweet and funny, too.

IMG_1390IMG_1442IMG_1450Oh, yes, there was the helicopter ride, too 🙂 First time for me.