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Melissa and I are actually retired from wedding and family photography, but if you'd like to take a look around you'll see some of the wonderful clients and memories we had with all these beautiful people.

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Archive for 'Disneyland'

April 6, 2014

When mom Stefanie contacted me about possibly meeting her family in Disneyland… The answer was… yes of course!

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It’s so fun to meet people at Disneyland.  People come from everywhere!  It’s like Disneyland is popular around the world or something!  This wonderful family is from Colorado, and I had the privilege of meeting them and hanging out with them for most of one of their days during their vacation!  

When mom Stefanie contacted me about possibly meeting her family in Disneyland… The answer was… yes of course!  Melissa was really jealous that she couldn’t come with me this particular day, especially when she saw the pictures.  “Cute kids!!” She exclaimed.  Yep.  I have a great job!

Thank you Greens for letting me hang out with you during your vacation.  I hope I didn’t monopolize your time!  I really had a blast with you guys.

March 4, 2014
Melissa and I are so lucky to meet some amazing and beautiful people in this profession.  When we met Jessica and James, we knew we’d met some truly special people.  FUN people!  On top of being some of the...
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filed under: Disneyland, Engagements

Melissa and I are so lucky to meet some amazing and beautiful people in this profession.  When we met Jessica and James, we knew we’d met some truly special people.  FUN people!  On top of being some of the sweetest people we’ve met, these two love to laugh, they love each other, and they love Disneyland!  Which is okay with us, of course!

When I look through these images, I’m reminded of how much fun we had bumming around the parks that day.  It didn’t matter that we didn’t have our normal sunny Disneyland weather, nothing could dampen the fun beaming from these two!  Enjoy!

We’re REALLY looking forward to Jessica and James’ wedding in 2015!

December 7, 2013

Sun, smiles, vacation, and family. Sounds like a vacation in Hawaii! Wait, no.. This amazing family was on vacation FROM Hawaii!!

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Sun, smiles, vacation, and family.  Sounds like a vacation in Hawaii!  Wait, no..  This amazing family was on vacation FROM Hawaii!!

Melissa and I always jump at the chance to do a family shoot in Disneyland.  We’re finding that it might be getting more difficult to do these types of shoots as Disneyland might be trying to adopt the “No Pros” rules that Disney World has, but we do what we can!  We did have some severe issues walking in with our cameras, as security held us at the checkpoint for quite some time.  It wasn’t pleasant, however, the chance to meet families from near and far on vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth is just too tempting for us.  :)

The Sagayadoro family came all the way from Hawaii for the first time as a WHOLE family to visit Disneyland and a few other places.  We feel so lucky to have met these warm, sweet and FUN people.  Take a look at their day and let me know if you think they had a bad time.

Yes by the way.. Little Luke is reenacting the elevator scene from the Gangnam Style video!

Mele Kalikimaka Sagayadoros!

August 12, 2013

Another sweet family session at the Happiest Place On Earth! Click on!

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Have I ever mentioned that I like Disneyland?  No?  :)

One of the coolest jobs I have as a lifestyle family photographer is being able to capture real-life moments as they happen.  I certainly have an appreciation for posed family pictures, and they will always have their importance, but I’ve learned that the images that have always meant the most to me were the ones of great moments between me and my wife or those between family members.  I may be completely wrong here, but I think this is why we like dog and baby videos on Youtube, because these are real moments that really happened, and most of the time they are fun!

One of the advantages (and blessings) I have to living in Southern California, is that Melissa and I are able to travel to Disneyland quite often -usually to enjoy the place- but we’re also available as Disneyland family photographers to those families who may be traveling from out of state or out of the country even!  When heading to Disneyland, people sometimes realize that they need to hire someone to capture some real moments with them and their loved ones (even photographers realize this!), instead of taking the pictures themselves.  This gives people some more freedom to just have a great time in a truly wonderful place!  To some extent, this is why Disneyland invented the “Photopass” system.  If you’re not familiar with the system, basically you buy a prepaid package of pictures of your family taken at pre-determined locations throughout the park, along with a collection of stock images of Disneyland (or the Disney Park you’re visiting at the time).  All you have to do is look around for the cast member who looks like a photographer with a tripod and a vest (and a hat), you’ll know them when you see them.  I think this is a great idea for families who would love to get some family portraits in front of the traditional landmarks of the park.

What I like to offer is something a little more special for those families looking for an “upgrade” of sorts.  I like to spend some time with the family, and capture the real moments as they happen.  This way families have pictures of them that capture more of their personalities and what makes them unique, not just pictures of the same smiles in front of the landmarks they saw.  I will always do my best to capture traditional “portraits” in front of the main landmarks (you HAVE to have these!), but I also like to give families something special and hopefully more emotional.  So that when they look back on the images, and even others see their moments, they can remember how happy their time was, and not just of the sights they saw.  This is Disneyland!  The HAPPIEST Place on Earth!

When Courtney approached me about doing some family photos at our favorite place, of course I jumped at the chance!  Courtney is one of the lucky few who made it on to this years’ Disney Parks Moms Panel to answer questions people from everywhere have about visiting the amazing Disney Parks around the world.  What a cool job!  I may have to submit and application!  :)

I had so much fun with the Bautista’s on this SUNNY day in July.  Thank you for letting me hang out with you! … and I may or may not be stealing Mason’s outfit for myself.

June 1, 2013

So, I don’t normally shoot maternity sessions, but when Jeremy and Michelle asked us to do one in Disneyland… Well, we couldn’t say no!

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filed under: Disneyland

One of the greatest parts of being a lifestyle and wedding photographer, is that you really get to know your clients better than probably any other genre of photography.  A lot of times, you get to become friends of the people you shoot.  The very nature of “lifestyle” portraiture depends on a different interaction between the photographer and client than just posing and shooting.  That’s even more true shooting a Disneyland lifestyle engagement or family session.

Jeremy and Michelle have become good friends of ours, and excellent Disneyland companions!  So after shooting their engagement session in Disneyland, and their wedding (which sadly was NOT in Disneyland), we jumped at the chance to do a maternity session there.  We also knew that this wouldn’t be a “normal” maternity shoot.  :)  We just wanted to show how much they love each other, and how much fun they have together.  I think you can see that in these.

Thanks again Eurtos… and little Jude Michael…  We can’t wait to meet you!

May 31, 2013

Disneyland. Carousel. Proposal. Exciting! Beautiful. This time, an ACTUAL ENGAGEMENT! :)

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filed under: Disneyland, Engagements

What an experience this was!  At work last week, Tivon pulled Melissa aside and said, “I’ve been dying to tell SOMEONE!”

He pulled out the ring box, opened it and said, “I’m going to propose to Brandi this weekend!  Is there ANY way you guys can make it down?”

Well, lets see… Disneyland, engage…. of forget the reasons!  Of course we’ll be there!!  “We’ll find a way!”  Melissa told him excitedly, after catching her breath.

So here we have it, two amazing people who have chosen to spend their lives together… AND they’re planning an amazing wedding in a special place, but I won’t share that here just yet.  We’ll probably do an official engagement session soon with these two, but wow!  What an emotionally exciting day this was!!

Tivon told us as we were getting on the Carousel that he was going to do it, Melissa and I both experienced small heart stoppages.  We were excited and nervous for him, and didn’t want to spoil it with our excitement.  We tested our best poker faces.  Apparently it worked, because Brandi had no idea!  If you look at the third picture down, you’ll notice Tivon pulling the box out of his Chewbacca backpack, then “counting down” with his fingers behind his back (I only got “two” sadly).  After he opens the ring box to Brandi, she didn’t notice at first.

I love the last picture.. I was walking behind them, and Tivon just raised his arm winningly.

Thank you Tivon and Brandi for letting us be apart of this special moment in your lives, it was definitely special to us.  We are honored.

April 7, 2013

Soo many smiles! These two were like two kids in, well… Disneyland!

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filed under: Disneyland, Engagements

Melissa and I have loved our recent photo sessions in Disneyland.  I always get a little nervous before an engagement session though.  As a photographer, the engagement session is your first opportunity to actually *work* together with your clients after your first interactions and meeting.  It’s kind of like a second date.. and when the first [date] goes so well.. the bar is set high!  Especially when that second date is Disneyland!

Well, only 5 minutes into us meeting in California Adventure, I knew I had nothing to worry about with these two.  What fun they were to shoot!  We hit it off immediately and we hit the ground running, literally!  We were running against the sun, as it didn’t want to hang around long.  Eventually a bank of clouds rolled in right before sunset, but we did find some great locations to take advantage of the sun as it peeked through.

These two had so much fun, and Daniel really knows how to bring out the joy in Serena, as you can see in this set.  We were all laughing and having a blast together.  Thank you Daniel and Serena for the fun time, and we are ecstatic about your Bakersfield wedding in October!

March 31, 2013

Oh my word.. Too much cuteness! Turning 2 in The Happiest Place on Earth!

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What a fun day!  Once you glance through the pictures, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I’ve known Jeff for a few years now, as we used to work together in TV.  I may not be there anymore, but Jeff is still producing greatness!

Speaking of greatness!!  What a great day this was!  Melissa and I were honored to be asked to shoot some family photos in Disneyland.  If anyone reading this knows us, the answer to this question was “Um, Yes!”  The Lenk’s were celebrating Madeline’s 2nd birthday, and we were lucky to tag along.

For some time now, I’ve been curious how I would end up shooting a family session inside Disneyland.  My predominant style of shooting is a “lifestyle” approach, and hoped that I could give the them (or anyone else) something they could cherish for many years.  When we go to Disneyland we see cameras everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  With this session, I really wanted to try to produce images that were taken in familiar places, but maybe in a way people haven’t seen before.  I was really anxious for the challenge of shooting this sweet family at our favorite hangout!

I hope anyone finding this page will enjoy the pictures, because they make me happy too!  I think what I enjoy most about them, is seeing that sweet bond between brother and sister in these.  I love the honesty kids show and live.

Thanks Madeline for letting us be a part of your day, and life!!

June 13, 2012

Some photos from the new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land… Both soon to open at Disney California Adventure. Take a look at what they’ve done!

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filed under: Disneyland

Melissa and I were fortunate to attend a preview of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street in the “newly-reimagined” and renamed “Disney California Adventure.”  Whether or not I think this was a necessary change is a different discussion, but what Disney has accomplished in the park is truly monumental and special.

Our day started off rough, running late getting to Disneyland, getting in an accident in Anaheim, having to tow our car back to Bakersfield and missing our scheduled time slot to this event we had been so excited to attend for several months, was not the way we’d hope this would go.

We have all had our bad service experiences with select cast members, but on this day, the real Disney service shined.  Not only were they kind enough to let us in to the event, they gave us tickets to a World of Color show that night.  Inside the lands we visited, the cast members were the model of smiles and kindness.  Being taken back to 1920s Los Angeles in Buena Vista Street and completely immersed in one of the most intricately designed lands I’ve ever seen from Disney, was exactly what we needed that day. Needless to say, this park has become something truly special.

Here’s a list of some new attractions and eating establishments:

Buena Vista Street:

Cars Land:

  • Radiator Springs Courthouse
  • Luigi’s Flying Tires
  • Cozy Cone Motel
  • Radiator Springs Curio Shops
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Fillmore’s Taste-in
  • Sarge’s Surplus Hut
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe
  • Ramone’s House of Body Art
  • Radiator Springs Racers

This is by no means an exhaustive play-by-play of Disney’s huge expansion to an already-great theme park.  I just wanted to share some of the photos we gathered on the day.  I hope to post more soon.  Also with a video.

I hope you enjoy the pictures!  Try to visit this place soon.. It is really amazing.

-john

Cars Land Map

Map from MiceChat - Car's Land is so big! This map gives you an idea of where everything is.

 

 

June 8, 2012
It’s coming soon! I can’t mention much about it, but expect something soon from us.  Needless to say, we’re really excited about...
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filed under: Disneyland

It’s coming soon!

I can’t mention much about it, but expect something soon from us.  Needless to say, we’re really excited about it!