Chris and Kris: Santa Monica Pier Portraits

Chris contacted me about a week and a half ago telling me about his plans to surprise his girlfriend of 4 years, with a fun-filled weekend boating, dining, and shopping.  This afternoon, the two came up from San Diego to hang out at Santa Monica pier, Venice beach, 3rd street Promenade.

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Kristina wore a huge sparkly Hello Kitty Ring…  She shared the extent of her collection includes a Hello Kitty Beach cruiser.  I wish she brought it!

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Ah yes, the popular photo spot of the month: the great blue wall!  I’m not sure what she whispered in Chris’ ear, but it sure made him smile!

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You two are gorgeous!

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There’s many many hidden photo spots near the pier, like this grassy square area…  the sky was overcast again, which gave beautiful lighting around 5pm.  Nice and soft.  Is it just me or does Kristina look like Kourtney Kardashian?

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Thanks for sharing your special weekend with me!

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Swanny + Joey: Santa Monica Retro Engagement

Swanny and Joey celebrate their recent engagement at Santa Monica pier.   The met while Joey was on vacation visiting his family in Miami and did the long distance dating thing for a while, but their love grew strong and gravitated their hearts together.  Swanny shared with me, that Joey was so nervous when he proposed to her.  They went to dinner at a Tiki Bar and he shyly passed the ring towards her.  No speach, no bended knee…  Just a smile, a question, in hopes that she would say yes!  Swanny recently moved to Los Angeles from Miami to be with Joey and they’re excited to plan their October wedding in Miami.Santa Monica Engagement2

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Swanny has lots of tattoos, I especially love the ones on her feet!  I can’t believe she found these cute pumps at a thrift store.  Way to accessorize. Santa Monica Engagement3

Joey has a great smile, and Swanny has a great complexion!  I bet they’ll have gorgeous babies.  =)

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Alex’s Bar Mitzvah: The House of Blues

What: Alex’s Bar Mitzvah
Where: The House of Blues, Sunset Blvd Hollywood.
Photography: Paul Esposito/Tasty Pie Photography + Sherri Johnson Photography
Entertainment: Groovy David Entertainment

It’s not everyday I get to photograph a Bar Mitzvah, and even fewer times a Bar Mitzvah at the House of Blues! Alex celebrated his special day with close friends and family.
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The decoration was absolutely beautiful and fit for a teenage boy.  The place cards had guitar picks, a very cute idea!
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Welcome to “Club Alex”
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Tracey (Alex’s mom) with some friends during cocktail hour at the upstairs bar.
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The videographers interviewed the kids from a cat’s perspective.   It made the kids curious and giggle.  There was also a photobooth set up for the kids to take home some pictures instantly!
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After cocktail hour, the balcony opened up to reveal the dance floor and main party area.   You can kinda see the layout of the party in this picture, with the party photobooth area at the top left, main floor in the center, a bit of the stage on the bottom right corner, and surrounding all of that was seating for guests to enjoy the amazing dinner.  Some cool things they had for the kids was a smoothie bar, and donut station!
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Groovy David Entertainment kept the energy up and the party going on the dancefloor!   On the right, 2 dancers strike an athletic pose.  Wow, they are fit!
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During the hora, Alex does a quick pose for the camera.
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The kids played lots of games.  The one pictured below shows the kids in teams formed into 2 lines.  Each team has to pass a ball over their heads to the person behind them, and the last person in the line runs the ball back to the front.  Everyone does this until they return to the original line position.  The first team to do that, wins!
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And the last shot of the night, Alex with all his friends.   His party was so fun and I’m sure it will be a night to remember for the rest of his life.  Mazel tov Alex!
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Anna & Xav: Matador Beach Malibu

Anna & Xav are a gorgeous young couple who love the beach, surfing, and mostly hanging out with each other. We sent yesterday evening at Malibu beach getting some casual shots of them together capturing what they love!
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Smile Anna!

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Xavier shared some of his musical skills by playing slide-guitar.  Anna looks into his eyes as he plays.

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I often get a lot of questions about the following image and how it was created.

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Well, it really was simple to take and a lot of the special effects were done in post-editing.  Honestly, this was one of those happy mistakes.  I just took one shot of this image and edited it 3 different ways, pulling out the details in the shadows for one step, bring back the details in the sky, and then details in the ground which I could then merge together in a HDR image.    “High-Dymanic-Range (HDR) is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminances between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods.” -Wiki   This method is used a lot in commercial photography with architecture getting shots through windows.

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