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Newport Beach Portraits and Global Warming

Sometimes its great to just get out there to photograph and work with models, make up artists, designers and other fellow photographers. 

I love finding great locations and posing models to create a kool look and feel. So last weekend I did just that in Newport when a local group I'm part of organized a meet up.

Newport is a great beach community with a lot of fun places to see and do. Check it out here.

However, sometimes a small part of the year it can get cold when there is an off shore flow and the clouds and wind blows in. I know, I know I grew up in Seattle and should be used to it. 

Okay I admit it, I've been in the Los Angeles area too long and have become acclimatized, used to the warm weather, simply a wimp.

When it is a bit chilly here  (for here) in Southern California I sometimes wonder how I used to walk to school or to the bus stop in the rain and wind when it was below 50 or 40 degrees . Okay I'm sounding old, but I didn't mention the snow-oops.

So I found myself down near the shore near the Balboa Pier and it started to get around 60.  Then the wind kicked in and I was starting to grumble to myself about the cold.

I'm feeling a bit chilled and then I look up from behind my camera at one of these great models. Going where I ask and holding poses in mostly thin clothing, in the now stiff breeze, and cold. I realize I have nothing to complain about. I have a jacket and I can put my hands in my pockets when ever I want. I don't even have to smile.

Thank you to everyone involved, especially the models, who hung in there and did a great job!


Happily Ever After

Way back in 1977, my mom took me on a rare vacation from Seattle to Anaheim. It was my first experience with Disneyland and we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel.

Now flash forward 20 plus years to last week when Wendy and I had the privilege of photographing Tasha and Jonathan's wedding. 

Guess where it took place? Yep, more then twenty years later, I found myself back at the Disneyland Hotel. 

Jonathan is a chef and Tasha is an Insurance Agent. Their fairy tale story started when Tasha and Jonathan first met each other at a bus stop. They started talking, emailing, then dating,  and well things took off from there. 

Tasha and Jonathan are probably the nicest and most easy going people one would ever meet.

One of the "koolist" things they had at the ceremony was a horse drawn crystal carriage complete with coachmen.   Many of you may recognize it as just like Cinderella’s Coach in the animated movie, her transportation pumpkin to and from the royal ball.

Doesn't Tasha look like a beautiful princess going to the royal ball to meet her Prince Jonathan?  Let's not forget the glass slipper which one of the coachmen carried the ring with. 

The wedding ceremony took place in the Rose Court Garden which features an open lawn with a huge gazebo.

Everyone had a blast at the reception in the Sleeping Beauty Pavilion.

And so the story ends as  Tasha and Jonathan rode off into the sunset and they live happily ever after!

Congratulations Tasha and Jonathan!  Thank you for allowing us to share your magical special day! 

A little bit of Ranch with my Cookies.


My name is Allen and I am a cookieholic. I constantly crave, desire and love them. I must have them, they will be mine! Okay, maybe not all of them. I do have some standards, but many pass it and my lips.

At this moment I have been cookie free for 20 minutes.

Some of my favorites include classics like Oreos (My fiance guts them and only eats the outer shell. Then refuses to let anyone eat the spoils from her efforts. I shed a tear each time this occurs.), Oatmeal Raisin, Fig Newtons, the misnamed Animal Crackers, Chocolate Chip and Nilla Wafers (my mom used to make a banana creme pie with them in at as the crust)

Then there are the more elusive ones such as Danish Butter & Wedding cookies,  Russian Tea Cakes-another misnamed type, Ice Cream, Chinese Almond, Macaroons, and the annual Girl Scout Somaos and Tagalongs.

Let us not forget the tried and true Fortune, Sugar, Peanut Butter, Pecan Shortbread, and many more precious varieties that I couldn't possibly list all of them here.

So what does this have to do with these portraits I created of these wonderful models (in order from the top: Karin Lorene Larsen, Kristin Keating, Eryne Shan, Crystal Leland, Ashley Gregory, and Allyson Hoehl) ?

Granted I do enjoy being around both. 

(Thanks to the MUA's Melody Rachunok, Brandie Bedell, Kacee Geoffroy)

Though in reality they don't have a damn thing to do with each other! I just really like cookies.

So now I'm off the cookie wagon. 

(Special cookies go to Hanssie Trainor, Rob Ninja-Nicholson , Gavin Wade, Erin Wade, Sarah Frenzel, Derek Frenzel, Teale Landstedt, Matthew Saville Baldon, and Yvonne LeBrun.)

Mmmmm shortbread....

Smo mhich cookmie is your favmorite?


Laura and Tyrus: Do you want to go faster?

When I was in Elementary school we used to get free passes to the Western Washington State Fair.

One of the more exciting rides at the fair was the one that spun everyone around real fast. It was like a horizontal Ferris wheel or a merry-go-round on speed, but without the scary horses.

To add to the knuckle clenching sheer velocity effect the guy running the ride had a microphone and during the ride he would ask just one thing, "Do you want to go faster?"

Of course it didn't matter what the riders said, yelled, or screamed in terror. For you are about to go faster, hang on, take a deep breath, and most of all enjoy it.

Right from our first meeting, I knew that Laura and Tyrus were a couple that had something special.  The way they gazed into each other's eyes, I could feel the deep love and adornment they have for each other. 

I was thrilled to be a part of one of the biggest events in their lives. The Ceremony was held at McLean Overlook at Chino Hills State Park.  The view was simply magnificent!  Go back and look at the photos I took atop the park. Go ahead, I'll wait. It is so kool (that is how I spell it) and I had no idea this place existed so close to my house.

One of the things I love about being a wedding photographer is that I get to go to amazing locations and venues that I would otherwise never knew existed.  Laura and Tyrus' reception took place at the beautiful estate, Lilikoilani. Yes it took me 2 attempts to spell that and I still don't know if I pronounce it correctly. Any Hawaiians out there?  Anyway, the estate is simply gorgeous.  More importantly, the food was delicious!  The management and entire staff were extremely hospitable, courteous, and friendly. 

I also had a lot of help from the guys at Final Touch Entertainment. The DJ's,  Alex and his crew, were really helpful not only keeping me up to date on what was coming up, but taking care of the Bride and Groom through out the reception. Thanks guys!

There are many rides in this world. Sometimes instead of taking a ride I like to run them. For example,  one way I can ask the riders if they want to go faster is to suddenly jump up on a table and take their pictures -  see the image below.

"Smile Tyrus, Smile!"

Despite my playfulness, I know that no matter the ride they take, Laura and Tyrus will be enjoying it.  Congratulations Laura and Tyrus!