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wedding photography ventura

Shane + Karissa Wedding

We absolutely love Shane & Karissa ! What an amazing couple! Their wedding was formal/casual with a vintage , shabby chic theme! Believe it or not this entire wedding took place in a backyard which is why it has my vote for backyard wedding of the year! Congrats to both Shane & Karissa. Oh and for the record… no one inhaled…(in reference to cigars/props) hahaha.
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how to be a creative photographer

Be a different photographer in 2013

how to be a creative photographer

Be Different in 2013

5 Ways to Get Started!

Really? … Another blog about how to be a better photographer! I’ve seen about five this week, which inspired me to write this. Photographers are so infatuated with the idea of being better that they forget to be different. I’ll admit, I’m super inspired by other photographers work and will take practical advice from them, but the last thing I want to do is ride their road to success or even worse, become something I’m not. So here’s to being different in 2013.

#1 Do More Personal Work
Why start the New Year doing something you hate or are obligated by? Do what you need to pay the bills, and then do what you love. Take on a personal project that you are excited about. This will renew your love for photography and your passion will show in your work. If it’s possible find someone who shares a similar passion for your ideas and partner up. This will improve the likelihood that the project actually gets completed.

#2 Break the Rules
Rules are important, yet sometimes they have to be broken, tweaked, altered. I can’t stress this Sh%@* enough. I’m not saying turn your camera to P mode and disregard everything the great Zack Arias has taught you, I’m just simply saying experiment. Most the time when you break the rules, you’ll know why there was a rule in the first place. Of course once in a great while you will stumble upon something awesome that you can add to your arsenal. I would suggest that when breaking the rules and trying new techniques that it’s on your time, your budget.

#3 Learn More
I’m a huge advocate of learning. It’s the foundation of what you love. If you aren’t taking the time to properly learn photography you are actually ripping yourself off. Just think, once you understand the basics, how much more creative you can be as a photographer. There are great resources and blogs out there! Creative Live is amazing, Zack Arias has a gnarly blog in which he answers questions about photography and of course you can pick up Jeremy Cowarts Life Finder DVD. So there are no excuses. I would also suggest venturing out of photography and learn about design, painting, whatever else that might spark creativity. Learn something this year.

#4 Don’t Waste Your Time
Time is valuable. Don’t waste it. Stay away from energy vampires! What is an energy vampire you ask? It’s anything and everyone that sucks the life and energy away from you. Do not take projects that aren’t worth your time! Think of all the creative things you could be doing. I would also suggest that you rid yourself of people who are negative and throw dog shit on all your ideas. I think it’s important to work with others and getting creative input from someone other than a loved one. There’s a huge difference between creative input and someone that’s just plain negative. Ditch the negativity and save your time for those who inspire you to work harder and get better and what you do.

#5 Don’t Be Threatened.
Do not be threatened by someone else’s work. There’s always going to be someone that produces good work, but the good news is that you can do the same. That’s why it’s so important to be DIFFERENT. It’s easy to get in the mind frame that if you only had this camera, or those lights, or whatever that you could duplicate something you saw in a blog or magazine. That’s not the point. Instead of getting worked up, get inspired to create something different. It’s also good to share what you know with others who are just starting. It helps shake the idea that anyone can do what you do. If Avedon himself taught you everything he knew, you wouldn’t be Avedon. Be different by being you.

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Justin & Liz Ventura Engagement

Ventura Engagement Session

Congrats to Justin and Liz! We had a great time with you guys! Amazing couple! We cannot wait for the wedding! This engagement shoot was inspired by their love of thrift stores and all things vintage! The shoot was taken at Mondos in Ventura , Ca and in a movie theater in beautiful Ventura , Ca .

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Matt & Jessica’s Santa Barbara Engagement

We had so much fun at Matt & Jessica’s engagement session . What an amazing couple in an amazing place. Their engagement session took place at the Mission in Santa Barbara . It’s also a great place for wedding photography. A huge congrats to  both of them !!! We are so excited for the wedding.

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5 Survival Tips to Wedding Photography

how to prepare for wedding photography

What they don’t tell you about wedding photography.
5 Survival Tips..

1. Good Night’s Rest

This may sound pretty obvious, but sleep may be one of your best friends come wedding day. I know most people think that the job of a wedding photographer is licking lollipops and galloping around with a camera taking pictures of pretty things… but it’s hard work. More than likely you’ll wake early due to the anticipation and morning prep, and be on your feet from anywhere between 4-10 hours or more depending on the agreement. There are not a lot of breaks so it’s important that you stay hydrated and that extra sleep from the night before will ensure you’ll be a champ by the time you hear the last Black Eye Peas song at the reception.

2. Be Organized

Nothing will bring out “bridezilla” faster than your lack of organization and shoot from the hip mentality. Sure, be relaxed but prepared as well. Your bride has spent her entire life dreaming of this day, as a paid photographer you should do anything possible to make it as fairytale as possible. Make sure you have met with the bride two weeks before the wedding to schedule times, places and coordinate overall photography. This will give a bride peace of mind and she will put you on a pedestal if you pull it off.

3. Have the right Equipment

Whether you have been shooting for years or are just starting out make sure you have the right gear come wedding day. You don’t have to own it, just make sure you have it. Places like Borrow Lenses are great for renting professional gear. If you are a paid wedding photographer you should have at least two working camera bodies, wide-angle lens, telephoto lens, and something that stops down to F/1.8 or less. A flash is not necessary but highly suggested. The night before test all your gear and make a checklist so nothing is left at home or at the wedding venue. For good measure clean your gear and make sure batteries are charged so you have no surprises come wedding day.

4. Be Nice To Everyone!

Easier said than done. I can’t stress this enough. At the end of the day your photography will be judged not just by how awesome your photographs are but by how polite and courteous you were through the entire process. I know some amazing photographers who are just plain a-holes and they wonder why no one will work with them. There’s going to be times were the bride may snap at you or an uncle has had too much to drink. Just keep your cool and it will pay off. Your photos may be par, but if they loved you and the overall experience… THAT MATTERS!

5. Comfortably, Look your best.

Yes, there’s an unspoken dress code at weddings. As a professional it’s important to look your best and be comfortable at the same time. Nothing will hurt your reputation faster than showing up looking like a slob to a wedding. If you’re not sure it’s okay to ask the bride. It’s also important that you don’t stand out. Leave your bright green polo at home unless requested by a bride. Most photographers wear black… but I say dress to your brand without drawing attention and looking cheap.

Mike + Brooke Engagement – Moorpark , Ca

I’m pleased to announce that Open Iris will have the pleasure of photographing Mike & Brooke on their wedding day ! We had a great time with them in downtown Moorpark. They look awesome! Congrats to them both!

Photos from Open Iris Photography in Ventura, Ca.

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Why you must get married in Santa Barbara ! Santa Barbara Weddings!

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One of the most beautiful settings considered to be a mecca for all things luxurious and historical is the spectacular Santa Barbara Coast.  Amazing promenades, boutiques, renowned restaurants, scenic views and Spanish tiles are trademarks in the historical city.  Famous people looking for an escape, local residents, surf extraordinaire and weekend vacationers soak in the beauty and fresh coastal air of Santa Barbara.  Among all of the amazing amenities that the city has to offer it is also among one of the most highly desired places to wed.

Santa Barbara Weddings are popular because they can vary greatly from couple to couple.  While one bride may have in mind an ocean view from an opulent hotel as her venue, another may dream of a relaxed beach wedding with a sunset backdrop.  There are many park and garden settings that are available to book for weddings, as well.  With the cool coastal air and the clear skies Santa Barbara provides the ideal wedding atmosphere.

The best wedding photographer can find beauty in almost any scene.  However, your wedding will be inundated with endless photographic beauty if you chose to host your wedding near the stunning beaches of this California coast.  Guests will enjoy the hillside views, local eateries, extensive shopping venues as well as taking bike rides along the beach paths as you plan every detail for your impending wedding.

Once you find your venue and have arranged your wedding date, seek out your Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer.  Research photographers, explore their websites, online portfolios and arrange a meeting to discuss your particular event.  A professional wedding photographer will be able to answer all of your questions and to ease any of your wedding photography concerns.

Regardless of if your wedding will be witnessed by a few close relatives or a few hundred honored guests, Santa Barbara will be the city to consider hosting your event in.  Seek out your venue, and a professional photographer to ensure that your wedding will be gorgeous and beautifully documented.  Then you can enjoy all the city has to offer as you enjoy pre-wedding schedules with guests…who knows, you may be captivated by the city’s charm and choose to stay for your Honeymoon?

Why Engagement Photography Matters! A Bride’s Perspective…

Engagement photo

Photography has progressed remarkably in the recent decade.  Cookie cutter poses, matching sweaters and faux backgrounds are all a thing of the past.  The perfectly angled chins, crossed knees and modeled hands appear, just as they are, to be staged and plagued with a lack of natural sentiment.  Today, photographs taken at the hands of professionals can truly depict a story.  Photography transports portrait observers to the setting, we imagine the climate, feelings, and love shared between the subjects in the framed photos.

Engagement photography is one of the most extraordinary photographic occasions in a couple’s life.  Candid Polaroid pics, cell phone snap shots, and photo booth images are common place when it comes to recording a pair in love’s relationship.  For engaged couples about to embark on a married existence, professional engagement photographers offer sessions that are a highly desired commodity.

Imagine professional pictures of you and your fiancé hanging on your wall or mantle.  They tell a story of romance, affection and the comfort of a love shared.  These are often the last portraits of a twosome before their wedding; before the well-rehearsed vows, pressure of a perfect kiss, perfect dance, uniting of incomes, furniture and family.

Wedding photographers are an essential part of a bride and groom’s big day.  They provide the married couple, their family and friends with the opportunity to remember this highly celebrated and honored day for years to come.  An expert photographer with an impressive portfolio will likely be a sizable expense when it comes to a wedding budget; however they are providing an essential service and skill.  If you are concerned that engagement photography may not play into your wedding budget, don’t lose hope.  Often times quality photographers will offer clients packaged deals when they book multiple options: engagement photos and wedding coverage or wedding and videography.