New Specs

So, I recently invested in some new equipment for my arsenal and I gotta tell ya, I’m lovin the new toy! I picked up a Canon 5D Mark II, quite the improvement over my previous cameras and it takes grrrreat pics. My family and I packed into the Skool Bus (my son’s nick name for my car) and had a mini adventure this past sunny Sunday. The sun was warm and toasty, beautiful skies, happy kids and airplanes. I’ll explain. It was a really nice day for all of us and lucky me with my bright new shiny cam!

I’m trying to shoot in black ‘n’ white when I don’t have to, this is a little training exercise I do because it forces me to see the world in monochromatic vision and visualize the hidden pictures around us. Yeah. That’s about right.

It was kinda scary how close the ducks would let you get, but how close I would let myself get? 10 feet. I like having a functional, normal looking nose thank you.

I like watching people, especially kids, ride contraptions that constantly spin you around til you don’t know which way is up. Ahhh, the life of spinning with no worries of regurgitating your lunch. No thank you…
Ice cream ROCKS!!!!
I don’t know who this couple was, but he wasn’t slapping her, he was very animated in his story telling. Got my attention.
My silly son riding his bike, and the one on the right was him right after he had his fill of the spinnies. Yes, I made that word up and I like it. As of this day forward I own the word “spinnies.”
So my son really likes huge machines like trains, planes and automobiles. Man, it’s gonna be so much fun teaching my son how to mount double barrel carburetors on his first small block V8. The joys of father-son time and this was some of those moments where we stood in front larger-than-life machines and marveled at the accomplishments of man. Just makes you wanna grunt, ooh ooh ooh.

By this point of the day my son was really tired of me posing him in front of stuff, kinda obvious, but I love these…
My favorite picture of the day.
Next outing will be in full lush color, botanical garden? Art museum? Poppy feilds? Oh wait I gotta take my Claritin for that one. I’m open for suggestion kids…

Peter G. - Nice! 5DMKII rocks!

Costa Rican Wedding: Celena & Jake

Ok, this is post is waaaay overdue! So I already rubbed it in about how wonderful and beautiful Costa Rica was and how cool it was to shoot Celena and Jake’s wedding there. Because they are just simply, like, the most awesomenest couple ever! I would go back there to shoot their wedding all over again, no seriously, I would. [hint-hint] I still can’t get my head around the fact that the wedding went soooo smooth, everyone had a great time and did I mention it was in Costa Rica?

Anyway, I plucked some of my favorites and sharing them with the all of you internet land! Sit back, soak it in and enjoy!

Celena’s mother and sister were getting teary-eyed as they helped Celena put on the final touches for her big day. It was touching and such a special moment, and I had the honor of being there for the little happy moments of the day. Best job in the world I tell ya!

So this is what all the guys looked like 20 minutes before the ceremony. Being a guy is ALSO the best job in the world, and the easiest.

A very excited Jake looking on as Celena and her father made their walk down the aisle. I remember him saying “wow, she looks hot” as she came through the doors.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Webb!

Beautiful details, great food, great music, and yes, a real live cigar roller!
The gentlemen enjoying their freshly rolled cigars watching the sunset.

So all of this takes place right on the beach in this little grass hut and lit up with a fireworks show, it’s gonna take some effort to top this little tropical getaway wedding. Simply perfect!

Costa Rican Paradise

So, last week I had the coolest couple fly me out to Costa Rica to shoot their wedding and it was simply amazing. I’m working on their wedding pictures and I should have them up soon too but I tagged some of my personal fav’s from the trip to kinda bring the sights to you. I was shooting with a 5D on this trip and it opened a whole new world for me as far as photography is concerned. I was a lil disappointed that there was no Cheesecake Factory near our secluded resort on the beach, but eh, I managed…

This toucan was awesome but scary at the same time, I was really up close and personal taking these as the owner brought by some papaya for the bird and nearly snapped off some of his fingers. Check out this bird’s raw talent for throwing and catching his food, yes, I’m easily amused…

Costa Ricans sure know how to takit e-c, the whole time I felt like slowing down and relaxing. Of course I didn’t and these hammocks are dangerous; you can lay down and be out for days, then the search helicopters go out to sea and then the dogs finally follow your scent back to one of these. Dangerous I tell you!!

So, we found this pizza parlor down a little dirt road and they had some of the best pizza I’ve had in a while, fresh ingredients, light thin crust, cool airbrushed mural on the wall, and a 95 degree dinning room. Yeah, that made it interesting but it didn’t stop us from ordering 6 pizzas…
This is a really nice picture but if look closely towards the center of the picture you can see one of the many wild monkeys that terrorize the Portero coast.

Sunsets were the time where you couldn’t help but just stop and take it all in; beautiful, simply beautiful scenery.
Cuban cigars soaking in cognac, and ice cold beer help with the whole tropical vacation theme.
The rehearsal dinner had some entertainment that included a trio and a fire juggler. The trio singing at the tables was a given, but the chick playing pick-up-sticks on fire, well, that was a pleasant surprise!

I made a friend one night sitting outside of my room having a relaxing conversation with my buddy when a stray dog came by and slowly approached us with the typical sad-puppy-dog face. She feasted on Doritos with us all night!
I’m kinda miss it already because the weather was gorgeous!! But I was sooo ready to get back home and see my wife, my son and freeze while waiting for the shuttle bus at LAX in my t shirt and shorts.

Check back soon for the wedding pictures from this beautiful little country!

Joel L - Beautiful set of images, Joel! I am so jealous! One of these days, it will be my turn! 😉 Thank you for sharing them!

s.sarmiento28 - I can see the difference that the 5D makes, awesome pictures Joel. Can't wait to see more.

Anonymous - pictures look awesome joel… I want to see the Le Boudoir shoot you did of colt on the beach 🙂

Anonymous - Joel, your pictures are amazing! I don't know a 5D from a CD but you captured the simple beauty and magic that is Costa Rica. Looking forward to the wedding shots. Cathy Cincis

Wanderlust - The color in these pictures is AMAZING! Great pictures. So jealous…sounds like an amazing trip!

And away we go!

Just finished packing my stuff for a wedding in Costa Rica, yeah, C o s t a R i c a! I know I still haven’t quite grasped the coolness factor about the whole trip but don’t worry about lil’ ol’ me, I’ll be a’ight…

I had a wedding in Italy a few years ago and it was the first time I’ve ever ventured out of the country, in a plane that is, and it’s a life-changing experience to visit another country and soak in the environment. Makes you really start to appreciate all the “boring” stuff you learned in geography and history, because all of a sudden you’re smack in the middle of Rome and desperately trying to recall your history lecture. Well, that’s life for ya! And so, here I am ready to embark on another adventure with my camera in hand; ready to soak it in. This time it’s going to be the sunny beaches of Costa Rica, I feel so hoidy toidy saying “Costa Rica” in my best romantic, Spanish accent.
Though all the excitement I reflect back at how I got here, to this specific point in my life; my family, my wife, my son. I am blessed to have so many good things in my life, and so many super cool opportunities. I get all mushy thinking about my life, and yet there’s so much more to do with every gift God has given me. So, I am going to “Costa Rica” and taking the best pictures ever! I’m coming back like wham! Check it out!
Tech note:
I recently rented a Canon 5D to see what it’s all about and boy, let me tell ya, I’m in love! I roamed around my house for days trying it out and most of my favorite pictures had my son acting like a goof-ball. Rich colors, awesome tones, Ah-Mazing in-camera black and white, crisp contrast and above all, I get full range out of my lenses! Can’t wait to see what I get out of it in “Costa Rica”.
Sta-raight out of camera.

Rafael Alcala - Have fun & safe travels!