Polanco Family :: Coronado Beach Family Portraits

I’ve watched this family grow over the years and it’s always fun to see the little characters these girls are becoming. That, and in awe of mom and dad’s stoic patience and commanding presence. They’re a lot of fun and since the Polanco’s live in San Diego, we play a little catch up during our shoot to make the most of our time together. Driving down to San Diego this morning there was some rain and thick fog and I was a bit worried, but by the time we made it to Coronado the skies had parted, the sun was warming our faces and the fun ensued.

Shooting family portraits with kids, especially kids under the age of 6 can be a challenge. So quick tip, take the first 20 minutes or so to break the ice, let the kids size you up take some random shots to let them know that this is normal and they’ll come around. The theme soundtrack for this shoot was Nightmare Before Christmas and apparently “Cinderella” is the new “cheese!”

The Aguilar Family :: Irvine Family Photos

I’ve kinda been MIA when it comes to the family portraits. So when I do get a chance to photograph a family it’s always a reminder how quickly time flies. Chrisitna and Raul have called me every year for their portraits ever since their daughter was born, and now they’ve added a new addition to their family. Sometimes I get that overwhelming feeling that we need to shoot quickly before the grand entrance, or before the wedding coordinator comes around looking at her watch. Deep breath. Take your time, and don’t forget to pack snacks to keep the kiddos happy.

Sandra + Danny :: Holy Family Catholic Church and The Rococo Room Wedding Photos

Last year, I met up with Sandra and Danny for their engagement shoot and they just shined. All smiles, laughing throughout, and just plain ready and willing to do anything. Dreamy right? I sort of expected the pressure to be on them when their wedding came around, therefore putting a damper on their happy-go-lucky attitude. Not. One. Bit. They were both excited, nothing was going to ruin their day. Funny, inviting and one of the sweetest couples I know.  And that’s simply who they are. I love how Sandra would randomly break into dance and Danny would plead for her to tone it down while laughing with her. I think we all need someone in our lives that reminds us to dance when it doesn’t make sense, and someone who can ground us.

We started the day in South Pasadena for their first look, both cool as can be without a nervous bone in their body. As soon as they saw each other for the first time the laughs began and our shutters fluttered. Their ceremony was at the beautiful Holy Family Catholic Church in South Pas, and with a deep sermon by their preist. A quick trip to the Wrigley Mansion for portraits and then The Rococo Room for a quaint intimate reception with family and friends. I laughed and smiled picking out my favorites from the day. It was fun then and, still, now.

It was awesome to see you two enjoy each other and your day, I wish you two the very best! And to Danny, like my wife would say, “OH, EMM, GEE!”


Ceremony Location: Holy Family Catholic Church

Reception Location: The Rococo Room

DJ/MC: Amazing Event DJ’s

Kat + Andy :: Downtown Los Angeles Wedding Photos

When I first met Kat and Andy they reminded me of my parents a little bit. Kat, like my mom, was reserved and graceful. Andy, like my dad, was the perfect contrast being funny and charming. They go together quite nicely as Andy brings out the silly side in Kat, and Kat can keep Andy on his toes. I feel fortunate that some off-chance circumstances put me in contact with these two, this seems to be the case with most good things in life. They offered an interesting challenge for me since they aren’t exactly the PDA(Public Display of Affection) kind of couple, and I was up to it. With a little persuasion here and some of Andy’s charm they passed the test with flying colors!

It was amazing to see Kat and Andy surrounded by so much love from their family and friends, I was greeted by both families with warm smiles and a sense of pride for celebrating Kat and Andy’s nuptials. Kat fought back tears minutes before seeing Andy in his tux, and Andy was pacing the hallways where Kat would soon walk down. Excitement was in the air as Kat’s bridesmaids were giddy with anticipation. Their big day was finally here and I couldn’t have been more honored to witness and capture it all!

Thank you both for the honor of photographing your beautiful wedding, for trusting in me and showing the world the love the two of you share! I wish you two the very best!

Andrea - Amazing job, Joel! This is Andrea, Bridesmaid #2 for this wedding. You and your team were nothing but professional and lovely, and the pictures came out amazing. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job capturing everything. If I ever get married, you got the gig!