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I'm a portrait photographer living my dream of doing what I love in Sacramento. I'm always on a mission to provide value to others whether that means providing a service, writing a blog post, or interviewing other inspiring individuals!
Designing a Shoot: From Glam to In-N-Out Burger
So you ask… how did we go from a huge pastel flower crown to stuffing down a Double Cheeseburger at In-N-Out.
Short answer: Tom, Neesha, and I styled the shoot
Longer-blog-length answer: Well here we go
Getting to Know Tom and Neesha
I can’t stress enough how important the in-person consultation is in the entire process of designing a custom photo shoot.
Tom actually initially came to the consultation looking for professional headshots for his new startup company around healthy instant ramen called Smart Ramen, but Tom also mentioned that it’ll soon be his 8th anniversary being together with Neesha and that he wants to surprise her with a photo shoot.
So next thing you know (with Tom being the romantic he is), we’re having another consultation – this time with Neesha.
I asked them about how they met, how they survived doing long distance as Neesha went to UC San Diego while Tom was at UC Davis, and few other questions to get to know them better. Just after seeing them talk and interact for 5 minutes, I could see another level of comfort and security they felt around each other that I don’t see in other newer couples.
That was a good sign. They were cool and comfortable. My job gets a lot easier when my clients are cool and comfortable. So we moved on to designing.
Designing the Shoot
Designing a shoot can either go in two directions: the client brings in their own ideas and concepts to tell me how exactly they want to look or the client fully trusts me to create a beautiful photo shoot for them.
Neesha and Tom were in the latter group. They never had couple portraits taken and they both didn’t remember the last time they had their pictures taken. (First timers are one of my favorites to photograph!!)
So first we determined that the shoot was going to be two parts: First, for Neesha’s portraits and second, for the two of them together.
They liked the idea of studio portraits but also wanted some outdoors. I asked them if they had anywhere in mind, Tom brought up the classic arboretum. I thought aw they probably have cute memories from there but apparently, they’ve never been! So I rephrased the question to: “is there a significant spot in Davis where you shared a romantic moment?
“In-N-Out” Tom joked.
ON THE SHOOT DAY
The shoot day came around fast and we started it off as we planned. We put Neesha into make-up & hair and glam’d it up in the studio.
Absolutely loved this dress Neesha brought <3
We got to utilize the beautiful flower crown we have and of course our oh-so-popular tulle dress (I really need to order more variety, seriously)! Of course, Tom was in and out of shots 🙂
Before we headed off to In-N-Out, we decided to hit up the park right next to us to get a few shots.
We captured some beautiful shots there but the sun was dropping so fast out of nowhere so with fresh In-N-Out burgers and fries in mind, we jolted for our cars and raced our way to our last stop.
Now, THIS is the proper way to end your 8th-anniversary photoshoot.
Hope everyone enjoyed this blog post with the gorgeous images as much as we enjoyed producing everything 🙂
Tell us what you thought in the comments below! Do you think Tom and Neesha should be recognized Couple of the Year by In-N-Out like I do? Or … will you contest it?
The time finally came. My sister got engaged.
I don’t remember exactly where I was when she Facebook messaged me one day saying something along the lines of “btw I’m engaged.”
And that was almost close to a year ago.
I remember telling her that I’ll be doing her wedding photography because I didn’t like how streamlined the wedding industry was in Korea. Receptions have 30 minute sessions booked per wedding back to back. So at one Korean wedding I attended couple years back, I thought some families were arriving late when in reality they were guests arriving early for the next wedding – yeah pretty bonkers if you ask me.
So we started planning and going over different scenarios until there were one too many arguments that happened and we realized it’s just better for me to attend as a guest.
I thought that was that until around the beginning of 2017, MJ tells me she’ll be visiting America with her fiance, Jihoon, in the summer with 4 days available to spend with me in NorCal. She said she wanted to take Jihoon to Napa and Tahoe so it was set. We were set on doing a 4 day road trip engagement shoot in Tahoe and Napa.
We were actually heading home after the first location when we found this BEAUTIFUL overlook during sunset
I know, I know, you’re asking “if you were in Napa… where’s the vineyards?” Honestly it was WAY too freaking hot to be able to do anything. The thing with Napa is that there’s absolutely no shades so we just decided to shoot at the lodge MJ and Jihoon were staying at.
And that was a wrap! We had so much delicious food along the way and got to enjoy amazing sceneries, it wasn’t just 4 days of beautiful photo taking – it was 4 days of celebrating a new relationship in the family.
If you haven’t checked out the Behind the Scenes video, definitely make sure to check it out here below!
Last month, we got to photograph Greg and Shar two separate times; their wedding and their portrait session.
Greg and Shar wanted a very small wedding with just their immediate families at the Yolo County Clerk Office in Woodland. They didn’t want anything too stylized and just wanted some documentation of the day.
A big part of shooting a wedding for us is the creative part of the day where the couple and we can go for an hour or two to take a breather and simply create gorgeous images. We didn’t have that for Greg and Shar so they decided to have a separate portrait session where they can enjoy the shoot for themselves without worrying about their families and relatives.
So we started the day in the morning with Shar in the make-up chair and Greg in his suit and tie.
Greg is a funny and down to earth guy. We were joking around, talking about how the two of them met, Shar was chiming in on jokes, and it was a great time. One thing I try to do every shoot is to try to bring out a wide variety of looks and connections. Greg ended up saying he felt like the laughing one resembled him the most but Shar also loved the badass-ness of the other shots.
After 3 outfit changes with Greg, Shar was out of the make-up chair looking gorgeous. She brought in 3 different outfits so we got to photograph those and also got some couple shots in there as well.
The next part was when we had the most fun – shooting at the horse barn.
Shar is an avid equestrian with a lot of experience in riding. We got to visit the barn to shoot with her beautiful horse Logan. Shooting with a horse brought in a bit of challenge when posing but it also brought so many opportunities to tell a grander story.
They came back in for their reveal session and I’ve mentioned this before but this is by far my favorite part of the whole experience.
But getting to see and witness the reactions from my clients when they first see their photos is priceless.
This is Greg and Shar with one of their favorite portraits from their session and I’m so grateful to be able to play a part in their new journey together as husband and wife. 🙂
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