Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bathing Bride-Part 2

So we continued our shoot in the water and Jamie did a fantastic job. The key I've found to getting great shots is having brides or models that can go with your imagination. If they can follow your train of thought and imagine with just need to be ready to snap the picture when the magic happens. As I mentioned in an earlier post if I had tried to pose these with Jamie and just told her to stop and stand still...the pictures wouldn't have turned out. I gave her direction and then waited to take the shots. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Bathing Bride

One of my favorite things to do is make brides do things that make no sense. Why would a bride be bathing in a wedding gown and veil in a creek? Truth is she wouldn't. Any person wouldn't bathe with clothes on...but where's the fun in shooting that?

I find things are much more seductive and beautiful when there is a lot left to the imagination. I asked Jamie to get into the water and pretend to bathe. Again, while it makes no sense that a bride would be doing that....I thought it made for some pretty cool shots. I'm still editing some more shots of this shoot that I really love but that's for sharing tomorrow!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Los Angeles Wilderness Bridal Shoot- shooting tutorials

I already shared the first picture from our shoot in an earlier blog post but these shots below are some more from our shoot on the couch. From a photographic standpoint I love putting a rectangular couch that has straight lines in it in front of a huge wilderness backdrop that has everything but straight lines. Then when you throw a bride on top of the couch and completely change the lines by the positioning her in all different ways it can complete the shot to give you something you'll love.

We actually shot video of this session and I've had a lot of people asking me to start putting out tutorials in the hopes it could help them. I've been shooting video on all of my shoots recently to start developing a library that we can turn into shooting tutorials and guides in the hope they can help others. I'll be shooting video while doing the shoots I have in Spain for this same reason. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gotta Be Somebody- Justin and Aliya's Wedding Testimonial

We had the great opportunity to do an interview with Justin and Aliya Rinaldi earlier this year in their home in Washington DC. We love doing interviews because it allows our future clients to see what our former clients thought of their experience with us. It's always fun for me to hear what my clients perspective was on all of our adventures together.

I loved the experience with Justin and Aliya so much because even though they were in Washington DC we still did an engagement session together and spent two full days together for the wedding. It's also fun for me because I always leave the area where the interview takes place and I have one of my team members ask the it's really fun to see what they said after the video is completed by my team. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Christine's Big Day

It's been a long time since we booked the wedding but Christine and Danny's big day is this Saturday! This is one of the rare occasions when a bride is coming to me! Christine and Danny are from North Carolina where the picture below was taken, but they are coming to San Diego for their wedding.

I was also so glad to see the response at the Bridal Fair to this shot below that I took of Christine during her Bridal shoot. This was by far one of the favorites from the brides there and I was so pleased with the response to this shot. Thanks again to Christine for this amazing session we did together and I can't wait to shoot their wedding!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Transvestite Bride

So I'm traveling through the conservative state of Idaho and I have a shoot set up with one of my brides. Sometimes we will buy a wedding dress if the bridal shoot is before the wedding so we don't get the real wedding gown dirty or destroyed. We called around to some local bridal shops and found one in Nampa, Idaho named Jeannie's Bridal Lace. I spoke to Jeannie and told her we needed a dress in size 4-6 and that if she had one I would come over quickly to purchase it before she closed. She said she had one and even though she was getting ready to close she would wait for me.

Well, I plugged her address into the GPS and took off to go get it. I pulled into this little shop that was connected to her home and walked in the door. The conversation went like this.....
"Hi, I'm the individual who called on the phone looking for the dress." Jeannie looked me up and down and said, "You're the one who called asking for the size 4-6 dress?" I was in good spirits because it was a minor miracle I found a dress shop in Idaho past 5pm that had a dress that would work for my demeanor was very pleasant...."Yep, I sure am!" I responded.

Jeannie took another look at me and said, "Oh honey, you aint no size're a plus size for a wedding dress..." I immediately realized Jeannie thought I was buying the dress for myself...I started laughing so hard that I doubled over in the store. It was one of those laughs that could fill a movie theater. I found it so funny and I couldn't stop laughing for 15 seconds. When I did stop laughing she said, "I hope you're not offended, most men are a plus size when they're trying to put on a wedding dress." I responded still laughing, "You think I'm a transvestite?" She said, "Well, I've seen everything come through that door asking to wear a wedding mean to tell me you aren't a cross dresser or transvestite?" I said, "Do I look like one?" (now I was really curious!)..."Well, no you don't. But I've seen men in suits come in asking to buy a wedding you can't be too careful in today's world."

I went on to tell her that I needed a wedding dress for a shoot I was doing and that I was a photographer from Los Angeles. She started apologizing profusely and I told her, "You know the funny thing is that I have been in bridal shops all over the world..literally....and being from LA I would expect a question like that. I never in my life would have expected hearing that in Nampa, Idaho." She started to laugh and really felt bad. I told her it just showed she was very tolerant. It did pay off though, she gave me the dress and veil for $150 which was about $200 off....she really felt bad and I was more than happy for the discount.....a story I will never forget. Jason Lanier- International Wedding Photographer...and Tranvestite Bride.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bride in waiting-on a couch

I had the great opportunity to do a bridal shoot with Ms. Colorado from the Ms. America Pageant, the beautiful Jamie Dukehart-Conti. I found a location north of Los Angeles and we just shot away. This was literally the 1st image I took through the camera when we started the shoot, but it did require some prep time to make it happen. The thing I like most about this shot are the position of her legs. The positioning in my opinion shows the legs as feminine, modest, and sexy all at the same the time. I love it when shots do that. We did a huge shoot that lasted for hours that included a beautiful stream and pond, the forest, and a 1950's dump truck. I'm headed off to Idaho with the family but I'll be editing and posting more. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Daddy- I'm Sorry."

Still recuperating from the big Bridal Fair and response afterwards I haven't had the opportunity to take the flat screen we used at the booth back to my studio. It was still sitting on the floor of our family room downstairs. I was upstairs working on some pictures and Kara was getting dinner ready when I heard a huge BANG! I heard two of my boys start crying loudly and I was certain they were seriously hurt. I ran to find out what had happened and before I could see the TV both Kevin and Michael (my sons) came running up the stairs absolutely bawling. In the midst of their crying they muttered the words, "We broke your TV."

They had been running around downstairs on our wood floors and Kara had told them to stop because they could break something. I asked them if they were okay...and once they said they were my first inclination was to be upset over the TV....we're talking thousands of dollars here! I didn't say a word to them as I waited to collect myself. I had them sit on the floor in front of me and I asked them what consequences they thought they should have. They said, "No ice cream today,"..."No fun tonight,"...."Go to bed early," (they really liked that one because they thought that would get them out of any punishment I might give). As mad as I was I almost laughed a few times when they would think for a minute and give me their version of what a punishment should be. When I asked them for more ideas after they gave me a suggestion they would say, "Not big enough, huh?" While we were doing this I was immediately reminded of a story of me and my Dad years ago...and I thought the best way to handle it was to share that story with them.

I wiped away their tears and told them to sit on my lap. I told them that when I was a young boy I had a paper route. My Dad would take me as I sat in the back of his truck that had a camper shell. The back window over the tailgate would open up and I could throw the papers to the customers driveways in the neighborhood. I always had to remember to close the window before my Dad pulled the truck into the garage once we were done. Well, one day I forgot and the window to the truck got ripped off the camper as we drove into the garage. I felt horrible and didn't know what to say. My Dad gave me a good talk about remembering my responsibilities and that I couldn't forget to close the window. I used all my remaining paper route money for the month to chip in to buy a new window.

For the next three weeks every time we came into the driveway he would stop and remind me to close the window and we were in a groove. Well, we started doing it again without me needing to be reminded and a couple weeks later while doing the paper route again we pulled into the garage and just like the slow motion on the Matrix movies I watched in horror as the new window started to get yanked off the camper because I had again forgotten to close it. As the crashing and ripping noises commenced I was planning my escape route to get out of there. He stopped when he heard the noises and I jumped out of the truck and ran into my room. I was mortified and certain serious consequences were coming. I could hear the echoes of my Mom and Dad talking in the garage and about five minutes later I heard my Dad's footsteps coming up the stairs to my room.

My Dad opened my door and came into my room. He stood there for a moment and looked down on my face red from crying and he started to get teary eyed himself. He came over to me and sat down on my bed and told me about the concept of repenting and forgiving and that God looks for our level of remorse, not for a specific consequence when we are forgiven by Him for something we do wrong. My Dad told me that I already felt worse than anything any consequence or lecture he could give me could make me feel. He proceeded to tell me that I was forgiven and ended the conversation with a hug and said, "I love you son."

As I shared this story with my boys they understood why I was telling them the story. I ended the conversation by telling them that I forgive and very much love both of them and that I will always love them so much more than I could ever love a TV...I was so grateful that I had a Father and Mother that understood the power of forgiveness and taught it to me at such a young age. I hope my boys will some day be able to share this story with their children when they will undoubtedly do something that will require them to forgive and love as well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bridal Fair Madness- Special Offer Extended

Being that I shoot so many weddings either as a destination wedding within the US or internationally I haven't attended a Bridal Fair in over three years. I was contacted by an organizer who asked us to come and show off some of our recent work....and the response was overwhelming. At one time we had 200 people waiting at our booth...These pictures can't even come close to describing the response we had and I can't thank all the beautiful brides and my team of Chris Cahoon and Kara Laier who came to make it such a HUGE success!!!!!

As a result of the huge success we are extending our Bridal Fair offers until the end of August. If you book your wedding by the end of August you will receive a 15% discount off of our published prices. We have also introduced a new 4-step payment plan that allows our clients to book their wedding for only 15% down! Fore more details click on the links below:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Banyan Trees- ending the shoot with a bang

We ended this shoot in the middle of the Banyan trees that are all over Hawaii. This trees are so massive and the roots so tall that can make for some very dynamic shots. Our shoot was ended abruptly by a police officer which didn't make me very happy because when he pulled up in his car I looked up and was startled which made me drop my video light and it broke on the bottom. That's $800 that Hawaii should owe me...but I'll never see it.

Even though I had a permit allowing me to shoot in all open and accessible places, I guess he deemed the tree as not being open and accessible. We left and I missed out on a shot against an old fence overlooking the ocean that I wanted to get but I'll leave that for the next time I go back to Hawaii....Thanks Christine for an amazing shoot!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Broken down- using natural props in a bridal shoot

I just love abandoned buildings because they give you so much to work never need to bring props...all you need is a bride, a dress, and your camera. This building was adjacent to the building where we shot the smoking break and it ended up giving us some great shots. I love the lines in this building, and with the roof being worn out the sunlight was coming through the top which gave us some great light. I also love how the left side and top of the building was circular and the right side was straight...

We found this chair just laying on the ground and thought that the broken chair with a bride in the middle mixed with all the lines of the structure would make for some dynamic shots. Being in Hawaii I was amazed there weren't more bugs...although we did encounter a wasp nest in the other building that we had to run away from...I think the smoke made them angry! I hope you enjoy the shots!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smoking Hot- Portraits of a bride smoking a cigarette

Ever seen a picture of a bride smoking a cigarette? Ever think it could look hot? Well...I had to give it a try..

Disclaimer- I don't condone smoking and I think it's a very addictive habit that gets a hold on smokers. Please don't smoke!

That being said, Christine is in the process of quitting smoking...and during our bridal shoot she took a smoking break. We had already moved into this warehouse to do the shoot and when she lit up I had to throw her against this natural light pouring in from above. The first picture below is my favorite because I love the smoke that is going all the way up to the top of the picture. We took some more shots with the cigarette that I will share later...but I have to admit I ended up loving these because they are so's the first time I've ever shot a bride smoking....pretty hot.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fallen Angel- portraits of a bride-using lines in photography

When we could no longer stand the heat in the sugar cane we left the beautiful Sugar Cane Road and went down to a historic, abandoned High School that was built over 100 years ago. We immediately noticed the wonderful architecture and the lines that the building was yielding were magnificent. We got Christine up in this old window sill and I loved the fact that through the window I was able to see the lines from another building driving perpendicular through the window making for a much more dramatic shot.

The wind was blowing so hard that we didn't have to do any special effects to capture the veil as we did in the pictures below. I love the first shot because the veil looks like wings. I don't think I could duplicate the shot again because it was sheer patience and luck that the veil flowed in the outline of wings. The wind was blowing so hard that it actually flew out of her hair no less than 5 times...and when it flew it literally flew away and I had to go and get it. One time it actually flew backwards through the window and into the building you see in the background and I had to climb in and get it which wasn't easy.

When shooting photography the best pictures have symmetry and asymmetry at the same time. That's why I especially love the shot in the middle. There are so many lines that work with and against each other....making for a much more dramatic picture. That's also why I love to use the brides legs because sometimes the dress can overpower, and using the legs in images draws the contrast. In the first and last shots below I purposely had her legs showing and positioned in the direction of the building behind her to add more symmetry. Same thing as when I used the sugar's like they are fighting with each other but still come together enough to make a fantastic image as a whole. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

300th post!- I'm going to Spain!!

Today is the blog's 300th post! In honor of this historic event I am taking myself to Spain! In three weeks I'll be shooting in the beautiful city of Madrid and I can hardly wait. Even more cool is that my brother Ryan will already be in Europe at the time so he and I are going to connect and spend 4 days together in will be fantastic.

I'm also very excited about the 300th post to the blog. Year one of the blog was 2007 when we started in February. That year we had a total of 72 blog posts as we got our feet off the ground. We did better in 2008 with a total of 110 blog posts and our readership grew. This post is our 101st post of 2009 we're on track to smash through 2008 and possibly match 2008 and 2007 combined with total blog posts.

We've shared a lot of time together and told some fun stories as well as shared photography. I truly hope you enjoy the blog and let it be known that you are in good company by reading this blog. Since we started tracking in this year alone by the middle of August there will have been over 10,000 visitors to the thanks for checking in and making it a success. More pictures to come tomorrow.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Drowning in Sugar Cane

Ever wonder how tall the sugar cane is in Hawaii? You might drive past it and think, "That looks big.." but you never realize how tall or big it is until you put a bride in the middle of it to give you some perspective. These shots below were the first time I ever took a bride into the middle of the sugar cane....and I love the feeling of capturing her walking through this world of huge's almost like a Jurassic Park moment in that everything is so much larger than the bride.

The other thing we immediately noticed was the temperature change. It was literally about 15 degrees hotter inside the sugar cane than it was when we were shooting on the road. Part of it was the wind but a big part was just being enveloped by these plants. It was awesome!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Composition and shooting in thirds- making a great shot

We continued our shoot on Sugar Cane Road and it was so picturesque I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. We had blue skies, plenty of wind, great cloud cover, and sunlight piercing through the clouds to give me all the ingredients to create the images and art that I wanted.

One of the most important things when shooting is creating the composition for your shot. I spend the most deciding where to shoot and what to shoot. I had a bride recently say about me, "Jason finds the shot he wants, and then puts you in it." I think that's key so you don't get distracted with the beauty of the bride and forget the surrounding area.

As you can see with the shots below there are vanishing points, highlights, lowlights, etc. But I wanted to focus on the rule of thirds being applied here. The rule of thirds is simple in that you cut the picture into three parts and make sure each is represented within your image. In the images below the three parts would be the sky, sugar cane, and the three significant parts to your picture in one image. This makes for much better images...much more interesting and more beautiful. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A trip down Sugar Cane Road

I started my last shoot in Hawaii with Christine Higa and it was awesome. We had several locations planned but I wanted to start with a long sugar cane road combined with a lot of wind and a very long veil. I've never been able to get such a long veil to stay in the air without having to continually hold it or throw it up trying to get it to do something. In fact the main problem was that there was so much wind that we were fighting just to keep the veil from flying out of her hair!

The two shots with the veil on the ground below were the only chances we had to get it laying we took advantage of it. It was the start of a great shoot and I was so grateful to be able to get a lot of cloud cover as well as the sun to make for some very dynamic shots. That's the best thing about shooting in a climate like Hawaii....the weather is always changing so it can give you some pretty dramatic results. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Trashing the dress- resting after a long shoot....

So we worked hard...and then took a rest. It was so relaxing just there on the beach in Maui watching the sunset go was hard to leave. But we were both very wet from being in the ocean so that feeling kind of wore off and it was time to get back to the car. This was the second of three shoots that I was in Hawaii to do....and I can't wait to show you the next shoot which was smoking...literally...but that's for another day. Thanks Jackie for everything and for such a great shoot!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Trash the dress- fine art style...part 2

The key to creating a great trash the dress session is to try and shoot in bracket mode as much as possible so you can capture the different exposures of both the background and the subject so you can get both.

The picture directly below is real....I didn't just layer or cut and paste the bride into this landscape shot. Using bracketing techniques she really stood in the water and I got this shot. I'm not saying it should be hard to believe....but in this day of photoshop it seems everybody looks at a shot and the first thing they say is, "That's not real...that's photoshopped." I hope you enjoy all the shots from below...and they are real!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Trash the dress- fine art style...part 1

We continued the shoot and turned it into a trash the dress session. I believe that you can trash a dress but still make it fun and beautiful. There is something so awesome about taking a beautiful white dress and throwing it and the bride into the ocean. I personally got soaked up to my chest doing this shoot but it was worth it!