Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks - Polka Photos Referral Program

Polka Photos has a lot to be thankful for this year. Michael and I have enjoyed meeting and photographing so many wonderful couples and families. And we appreciate all of your referrals. We love seeing you again at another couple's wedding or party.

As our way of saying thanks for referring us to your family and friends, Polka Photos is happy to announce a new referral program. For every new client referred by you, we will give you a gift credit that can be used to purchase prints, albums and canvas wraps from your online gallery.*

$100 gift credit for every full-day wedding
$25 gift credit for every half-day wedding or other event
$25 gift credit for every portrait session

Los Angeles wedding photographer

As an extra bonus, I'm going to share my cranberry recipe with you. (I couldn't let my thank you cranberries go to waste.)

1/2 bag of cranberries from Trader Joe's
1/2 cup of water
3/4 cup of sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you'd like your sauce)
1 bag of frozen strawberries also from Trader Joe's

Boil water and sugar. Add cranberries. Bring to a boil. Let simmer 5 minutes or so. Add frozen strawberries. Simmer 30 minutes or so.

Great with turkey, panko breaded tilapia (from Trader Joe's - can you tell I shop there often?), or waffles.

* If your online gallery is expired but your event was a year or less ago it can be reactivated. If your event was more than a year ago, we may still be able to activate your online gallery. You can also use your credit towards prints, albums and canvas wraps from a new portrait session.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

World Famous City by the Beach

Santa Monica, California
We met Mackenzie and Allan on the Third Street Promenade for some engagement photos. Couldn't resist a photo by the awesome newsstand, where you can find magazines ranging from wedding planning to MMA fighting and everything in between.

Santa Monica wedding photographer

Instead of starting out with posed photos, I started by following Mackenzie and Allan on their walk. This gave them a chance to relax and forget about the camera.

Halfway down the block we saw the cutest chocolate lab puppy. Who can resist a face like that?

Mackenzie and Allan are naturals.

Quick stop by their favorite Santa Monica restaurant, Anisette Brasserie. I wanted to give these photos a more vintage, dreamy feel.

I love the shadows!

The cute couple did a quick change of clothes for a different look. They are so adorable!

We headed toward the pier.

Of course we had to take a photo in front of the famous Santa Monica Pier sign.


The many faces of Mackenzie and Allan...

The sun was quickly setting.

Pier with a view...

I wanted to shoot this a little differently. What do you think?

Santa Monica engagement portrait photographer

I decided to give one of the photos a vintage postcard feel. I know there are Photoshop actions that accomplish a similar result, but each of my images is custom made by me. I may put together actions for my own use but I like the creative aspect of deciding what mood each photo should have.

Mackenzie is truly a Polka Photos bride - just look at her toenails!!!

We went down to the beach for a couple of quick photos.

Michael took this gorgeous shot of the ring in the ferris wheel.

Then it was time to say good night. Thank you for an awfully fun engagement portrait session! We can't wait for your wedding next year!

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Magnetic Attraction

Playa del Rey, California
Look what I got in the mail from the awesome Mackenzie and Allan.... it's a cute save the date magnet made by MagnetStreet. I love it! Thank you for thinking of me!

Which reminds me, I still haven't posted photos from their awesome engagement session in Santa Monica. Stay tuned for more photos of this super sweet couple!

Los Angeles wedding


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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stylish Reception

Chula Vista, California
Mark and Melissa held their reception outdoors in their parent's backyard. Melissa's family did a great job with all of the decorations.

San Diego wedding photographer

The couple makes their grand entrance to lots of clapping and cheering.

The benefit of a second photographer is a different viewpoint, in this case the grand entrance from the guest's viewpoint.

Mark and Melissa start the evening with their first dance. I don't know what Mark said to make his bride laugh. I love this photo of the moms.

A kiss during dinner under the night sky.

Congratulations Melissa & Mark!

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Field of Dreams

Chula Vista, California
After the ceremony, we went with Mark and Melissa to take some fun portraits.

San Diego wedding photographer

I loved the colors in this field, and the light and Melissa's red hair.

If you've been reading this blog for a while you know I love shoes.

Now on to the reception...

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Congratulations Melissa & Mark!

Chula Vista, California
When Melissa and I first spoke over the phone, she told me she didn't want the standard wedding photos. That sounded great to me since I'm not a traditional wedding photographer. We did take some formal photos, but most of the photos were candids taken throughout the day. Those are my favorites - the shots that capture a particular moment, a glance, a shared laugh, wiping away tears of joy. So without further ado... here's the Happy Couple and their Day.

San Diego wedding photographer

I start the day taking getting ready photos at the bride's parent's house and their dog insists on having her picture taken.

I adore these shoes by Nina!

The flowergirl sneaks a peek as Melissa's grandma buttons up her wedding gown.

Finishing touches and the bride is ready to go.

Mark's mom pins his boutonniere.

Melissa's dad walks her down the aisle.

Mark and Melissa wrote their own wedding vows and I must say they are the funniest I've ever heard. Melissa promises her husband-to-be that she will let him go fishing anytime.

The bride's mom and dad get a little emotional.

The flowergirls

Michael captured this photo of the First Kiss from the top of the amphitheater...

and this is mine from the very bottom.


Melissa's grandma gives her a hug.

Then we're off to take some newlywed photos.

Which of these two shots do you prefer... the top one taken with a 24mm wide-angle from right behind the couple, or the bottom taken from a distance with 190mm telephoto???

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

'Til Death Do Us Part

Hollywood, California
Saw this couple celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Los Angeles Day of the Dead

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X Marks the Spot

Check out the new edition of Colored Chalk, which features my photos on the front and back covers and was edited by none other than the magnificent Michael Paul Gonzalez. This issue's theme is the Ten Commandments and there is one story for each. If you have a chance, read it online or download a free copy!


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