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Well in this case it does not actually stay in Vegas. It’s been a few days since I’ve been back in the real world and I learned SO MUCH at this years WPPI.  It was my first trip there and my only regret is that I wasn’t was able to stay longer.  I went and saw some great speakers, which included, Jasmine Star, Sarah Petty and Jerry Ghionis.  All of them had different topics they were speaking on, and I feel I was able to get a very broad wealth of information in a short period of time.  The first two photographers I had heard of prior to Vegas, Jerry Ghionis on the other hand I had only heard of by name before. I could not be any happier that on a whim I decided to go see him.  As I was sitting in this large arena watching him he managed to make me laugh and cry throughout his presentation.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that but I think it speaks to his passion and abilities. I just made sure to not let anyone else see the tears in my eyes, it was dark so I’m hopeful I pulled it off.  All of these speakers were so inspirational and I loved being surrounded by those who share the same passion for photography I have.

Aside from WPPI itself I learned something else-Vegas is not quite the happening place we all picture it is on a weekday.  It has a much more touristy vibe, MAN that M&M store is so popular!

I also have to say I’m a bit addicted to that show Pawn Stars (nerd I know) so before heading to Vegas I found out where it is; naturally I had to go by.  Ok so I didn’t actually go in since there was a line… and I felt it better to keep up the image that existed in my head of what it looked like inside.  I can however; now say I saw the facade in person…now who else can say that?!

This was one unique shoot! Danielle & Ryan were so fun to photograph, and Ryan really took a great shoot and made it quite the memorable one.  Before I get there let me just say that by the end of this shoot it really felt like I was just hanging out with friends.  We walked all over the Design District in Solana Beach (which is one of my favorite locations).  We’d be walking and just chatting about everything from where they were from, to me grilling Danielle about her knowledge of flowers.  I just described to her flowers I like and didn’t know by name.  She got it when I asked about the funny “Tim Burton” like plant, apparently it’s called a monkey tail (quite an apropos name).  So as we walked along I would constantly stop them and say “oh that spot looks great” continue walking “ooooh do you mind if we try that?” Unbeknownst to me my out loud planning with Danielle about which spots we would hit next and ultimately last was aiding in Ryan’s master plan.  These two have been engaged for some time but as it were Danielle had not yet received the ring (Ryan was getting a family piece reset).  So Danielle had been waiting patiently for the last 6 months wondering when Ryan would put the ring on her finger.  Well turns out, our shoot was the day he planned to do it!

We finally got to our last spot, and I’m shooting away next thing you know he pulls the ring out of his pocket and gets down on one knee right there! Well I was shocked I had NO IDEA! I just thought go with it & get the shot.  I could not help but be swept into the moment, it was such a sweet and touching scene I found myself oohing and awwwing.  Danielle looked at me and proclaimed how happy she was that I was there to capture the moment.  I could not have been anymore honored to be a part of it.  She told me, after she recovered from her initial shock, that she jokingly padded Ryan’s pocket on the drive to our shoot and asked if he had a ring in there (luckily it was in the other pocket).

Thank you to you both for giving me such a fun and memorable shoot!

Such a little model this one!

The big reveal! I love Danielle’s reaction she’s just so elated.

The joy on Danielle’s face in this photo just makes me smile

  • Rodene La Bass - Great photos you captured Kelly, so natural. How special to get the to be part of the engagement.

It could be assumed, that for a town as large as San Diego you would not have a small world moment.  However it seems like I have those moments more often than you’d think.  Such is the case with Sherri and Brendan.  I actually went to High School with Sherri where (don’t laugh) we were both cheerleaders.  It was my freshman year I was on JV and she was a Junior on Varsity.  She could not have been any nicer of a person, then or now.  I remembered her as one of the only few nice girls on Varsity and always appreciated her kindness.  Well years later after being out of contact with her, my sister asked me if I knew her.  This was because it turned out Sherri was also friends with a friend of my sisters, and also knew my cousins fiancé! Small world right?! Well now she is a fabulous hairstylist in LA (http://www.sherridoeshothair.com/) and is engaged to her lovely fiancé Brendan.  And can I just say Sherri did my hair for a wedding I attended and she didn’t disappoint! Girl rocks it out.

Since she was in LA I finally got to use my dream photo spot: Griffith Park! I’ve loved it ever since 9th grade.  My love is really in part to Rebel Without a Cause (gotta love James Dean).  Going up there listening to some nice music on the iPod, just looking at the city…so wonderful.  Anyways this spot did not disappoint, only thing it was more crowded than Disneyland, so it was like a game to try to keep people out of the background.  In the end I think we made it work.

We had to work in the Christian Louboutins

Such beautiful light at sunset

I love LA from up above the traffic, so peaceful

For as long as I can remember I have always been into anything vintage. Really it didn’t matter it could be an old soda can from 1953 and I would think it was cool. I remember watching I Love Lucy at my Grandma’s house when I was in elementary school, and to this day I still watch it. I’ve also always wished I could go to an old fashion dance where there is a live band and couples dancing, and I’d get to where a beautiful 1950’s ball gown. I’m still holding out for the day I get to go to an event like that.
So combine my love of vintage things with something else I’m passionate about, photography, and forget it I’m in love. My cousin recently came into possession of these amazing cameras that belonged to his grandfather. Tyler (my cousin) brought these over for me to look at, he told me they were not in working condition, but he was committed to getting them fixed. Mainly he was interested in getting the projector fixed, the reason for this is that his grandfather also had a whole box of 16mm films that had titles like “Germany 1942″ I’ve always loved the look of 16mm, I need to make a 2011 resolution: find a working 16mm camera and go at it!

-Keystone Projector K160 16mm

-Kodak Retina IIIC (1959) The Kodak Retina IIIC enjoys the reputation as one of Kodak’s most collectible cameras

-Brownie Target Six-20 (introduced 1946) Not exactly a highly valued camera now, but I thought it was still very cool /-Keystone Model A-7 16mm film camera

Oh and funny thing about that Brownie camera, when we took it to Georges to get it looked at my friend who works there opened it (I could not figure out how to open the thing) and inside was $200 cash! It was quite random and appropriate.

Overall none of these cameras are worth millions by any means today. To me though that’s not the point, the type of image that these cameras produce is what I am most interested in. And I would love to shoot with any one of them.

I met with Haley and Jason a few months back to discuss shooting their wedding.  When we first started chatting it was just about them in general and not so much about their wedding.  We talked about what they did (turns out Jason works with my sister small world!) how they met, where they’re from….OH! And how Jason proposed which was a very interesting story.  I had never heard of this before but turns out Jason and Haley are big geocaching fans. To explain this I borrowed this description from the geocaching site

“Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment”

The two of them have done this various times-but to propose Jason made his own geocache, which ended with Haley finding the ring dangling over a cliff on a string.  She had no idea what was coming and was just so excited at the level of effort put into this particular geocache. And on top of it all her friends were there to film her reaction.  How original and cute is that?

We had a great time at this shoot; we started in a random field in Pacific Beach (I never knew any existed) they actually found it on one of their geocaching adventures.  This was a few weeks before Christmas and I suggested we needed some music so I pulled on my iPhone and put a Christmas station on Pandora! I just feel like music helps any situation, especially a photoshoot. After the first location we raced against sunset to get over to USD.  I was a bit worried about making it with enough light left but it ended up working out, it just turned into a bit of a speed shoot, which I hope didn’t freak them out.  I did, however assure them it was not the way I normally shoot.

I look forward to your wedding in April you two!