Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Blog

I have evolved and gotten a new blog. Super YAY!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Real Wedding- Santa Clarita : Jess and Mike

I cry at weddings. I try to hide behind my camera, or wipe my eyes while no one is looking, but eventually it shows. I find myself being to connected, and so intimate to special moments from behind my lens. Thank goodness, as for Jessica and Micheal wedding, I wasn't the only crier in the bunch. I was amongst a wedding of emotional messes like myself. Yay.

She walked down to The Beatles "All You Need is Love", and then I saw the groom's eyes, welled up with tears and holding his breath while she glided toward him with her Dad. I was trying to hold my composure and then I saw his family all filling up with tears, and then the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen. Then when Jessica's dad lifted her veil I could see that everyone was touched emotionally in the way same way. And we all had the same happy tears on our cheeks. This was going to be a beautiful wedding.

After the tears and "I dos" we went to Jessica's parents house in Canyon Country. We were able to sneak a few portraits on a staircase, in front of the pool, and my favorite, hike a fence and play in an open field.
Absolutely loved her flowers...
Oh how I love to back light, and make the couples kiss... Best part of my weekend.

This shot was Brienne Michelle's idea... and I love it.

Nothing like a first dance to Billy Joel's "She's Got a Way"...

A beautiful Father/Daughter dance to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman (that one gets my heart strings every time).

And a Mother/Son dance without a dry eye in the house.

Jessica was also part of my incredible bridal spa shoot earlier this year. She was absolutely as stunning on her wedding day, if not more, than on our shoot. I am so grateful that she wore her wedding dress for me, even though we had to be careful not to really show it in case Mike saw the photos.

I don't know how I get so lucky. Michael and Jessica are an amazing couple. They are so fabulous and absolutely a perfect match. Their friends and family were so kind and wonderful to me and my team. I couldn't help but get warm and fuzzy.

Weddings are all about beautiful moments. It is about the quick glances, private whispers and stolen kisses between the bride and the groom. As a photographer is it my quest and duty to capture these moments. I want to ensure that for a they have images of those moments for a lifetime, to share with their families.

Friends and Family can click to see more images from their wedding posted on Pictage.

I love working as a team. There are so many talented photographers and I am so lucky that I get to work with friends/talent. Brienne Michelle, Tibor Deme and Jordan Murphy, were my extended eyes and story tellers for Jessica and Michaels' wedding day. I love all their styles and techinques. I invited them to this wedding because I knew that it would be one to remember.

Brienne has an obession with fashionable shoes, warm fuzzy light, and beautiful staircases. She captures moments and has a beautiful charm that shines through with every couple she works with. I love and admire her work. She is devine. To see more of her beautiful photography, click here.

Tibor is a fantastic photographer with an edge and composition that I highly admire. He is able to be present in the moment, creative with images, and bring an art to normalise. For more of his wedding photography, click here.

Jordan Murphy is a film shooter. She brings a organic warmth to her images. Her enthusiasm weddings, sense of humor, and love of photography makes her a excellent partner in weddings.
I will post up her images as soon as I get them... But I know they will be worth the wait.

All the best in love and happiness!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Strawberry Fields for Holly

First off, I love strawberries. It is my favorite thing of all time. I think they are the perfect fruit, accessory, decoration, shape, and fragrance. Please refer to me as Holly Strawberry Steen from now on... With that said

There are benefits to being a photographer. Take away the obvious, like being able to go to beautiful locations, working with awesome clients that love you, and doing a profession you love, well you are left with the additional unknown benefits.

A surprising extra perk to being a photographer, is having awesome photographer friends. I have made so many beautiful friendship just with the sheer common interest of photography. Vanessa Brooke, is my photographer bff.

Vanessa Brooke is a fabulous Lifestyle and Children photographer. We love going out on shoot together. We laugh and play, and most importantly get to try out new and fun things that we could have never done with clients.

Vanessa asked me to shoot some shots of her and her son in some barn somewhere in Pomona. Absolutely sounds like a blast, so I agreed and got her some photos for her blog and living room wall. They are great.

Here is a link, go under families and look for the fabulous boy with a fo-hawk. (In fact you will see that we are wearing the same pair of boots!) We love shooting each other so much, you have seen other photos we have done together like the ones on the blog.

In return, she wanted to shoot me.


I am not really into photos of myself. Well, that isn't true, I used to be, but since I am getting older, I feel like I have to spend more time retouching my images to make me look like I used to, I don't like my photo.

That put aside, we found the treasure of all treasures to me ... The Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch, strawberry field. They were having the Cal Poly Pomona Tractor and Car show. All the tractors were all out for us to play on.
I have no idea why I thought that standing in a field with tractors with cowboy boots on was so funny, but really I couldn't stop laughing. Thanks for the great moment capture V.
Practicing what I learning in tractor modeling school...

I am not sure if they frown upon driving the tractors... but it makes for a fun photo.

Totally laying in strawberries, and enjoying every moment.
Cheese :

I am sure this is payback for every silly thing that I have ever put a bride through
Good times.

So thank god I have friends to take photos of me in total glee while sitting in a strawberry field. other wise the moment would be have just been a happy memory. Thanks VB.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hottness from the streets of Boston

So usually I am a straight shooter. I have had more response from this one shot and it was from the hip, like literally from waist level.

When I was in Boston, in the North End, there was this beautiful moment when I was so amazingly grateful I had my camera. We were walking in Boston's Little Italy and it happened. There was that moment that happens in movies when things go slow motion, the wind starts blowing, and the air gets taken from your lungs... yup. I got it on camera.

So folks I shot this. He is hot. It was not in Italy. I only used Photoshop the texture in the sky to make the image look more fashion. Nice.

Enjoy and wipe the drool off your chin when your done, we have to go to Mikes' Pastry to cool off in huge helping of geltato.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Huntington Beach Engagement

So excited to enter another I Heart Faces contest. This weeks theme was beaches. Yay!

I love the idea of shooting at the beach. It is a perfect location to capture all the different emotions, moods and romance.

Huntington Beach, California was were Andy lived. Canby, Oregon is where Carrie lived. Cursed by the usual long distance relationship, Andy and Carrie were destined to be together. Bonded by Goonies the movie, The Simpsons and the love of pop culture, they got engaged.

On one of the visits out to HB, I was able to shoot some "engagement photos" for Andy. Although they were not officially engaged yet, it was really the only chance for them to get some great beachy photos before he moved up to Oregon and they started a new life together.

It is funny because we almost canceled because it was raining on and off all day. I am glad we didn't because the clouds and the sky were so dramatic I was able to capture this fantastic shot on the coast.

I heart Andy and Carrie!

For amusement, carnival, and a fair time.

The grease of deep fried food, candied apples that stick to everything and smelly goats at the petting zoos is the essence of the fair. It is bigger, brighter and more magical on a date, of course. It is all romantic and sweet to have your love win you a goldfish, or a HUGE stuffy that you have to cuddle later that night when it is all over. Ah... the memories of the fair.

Really, I hadn't been to fair since I was small, I mean small enough to ride around on my Dad's shoulders and see all the sights from above knee level. At that time I wanted to eat everything I saw, feed and talk to all animals in the zoo, and conquer all the amusement rides until I was sick. My sister and I would play, giggle the whole time we were there at the fair. Which made for a pretty quiet ride home in the car for my folks.

It was pretty much the same for me this time. I was gleeful at all the colors and bigger than expected public amusements. I just wanted to dive into every cotton candy vat, scream my lungs out on the roller coaster and play with the hopping baby goats.

I refrained myself, because today I was a photographer. I was here to shoot Misty and Ben, and their adventures at fair.

Aww. We snuck on the bouncy for a quick smooch. So cute.

I am smitten with Misty. Her gorgeous laugh, her love of New Kids On The Block, and of course her sense of style is chic and fantastic, (think Anthropologie and Jimmy Choo had a love child.) She had told me casually that when they got married they didn't have enough money to hire an offical photographer. So they didn't have "real wedding" photos of their most special day. It is sad and I know that most folks that get married out of college this is true for. Misty and Ben absolutely deserve at least some mushy cute photos of each other.

Absolutely my favorite photo of the bunch. I think that when it comes down to it, this was exactly what I see in my head when I think of romance, fair, and sun flare.

I was over the moon when Misty and Ben agreed to have portraits at the fair. (Really, and I am not just saying this because they are reading this.) I have wanted to shoot in a different location other than the beach for so long, and do some cuteness to the max. They were so great to play and the idea to use a carnival as a backdrop for their portrait session.

I can't help it. I just love the kisses shots. I think that Ben was more than happy to help me out in my quest for the picture perfect kissing fair shot.

Yay! It almost looks like the fair is emptied out just for them, (never mind those people under the umbrella).

Awwwww.. I love this one. I still want to do some fancy retouching on it, but what is the timing like when I get a passerby with a HUGE teddy bear that is just on the edge of the photo. Joy!

Really so cute. Cute cute cute!
I had so much fun and great shots we decided to go to the petting zoo and pet the animals. It was so amazing how brave and adorable the animals were. They were so accepting of me and my camera. I couldn't believe it. He/She looked right into my Fish Eye lens.

Oh wait these alpaca were so friendly and beautiful. This one was an albino and just a little baby.

Petting zoo and baby goat cuteness. Aww. Really I couldn't think of a better way to end a date, and I didn't even need to win a big stuffed teddy bear.

This isn't Misty and Ben, but it is one of my Favorite FAVORITE images taken on the carousel on Balboa Island. I had to share it. The best part about this photo is that there is no Photoshop at all. This was how it looked right when I clicked it. YAY.

Same with this one. The couple and the location is the same. It was at Balboa Island, and the beautiful Ferris Wheel just made the mood so playful and fun.
Plus the couple was absolutely great for making it look so passionate. Thanks Ryan and Brianna.

For the Love of Fair and Kisses!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Real Wedding- Brookside Pasadena Preview

Wedding preview complete with a hot little dress, gorgeous shoes, and lively flowers.

She is a beautiful bride with awesome legs and Oscar de la Renta shoes. YAY

Moments after they first saw each other across the bridge at Brookside Golf Course.

They wanted to do the "first glance" before the ceremony and I could agree more. It allows for more time after the ceremony to enjoy the cocktail hour and guest!

Plus I get fabulous moments like this!

The glorious flowers were from Eddie at Commerce Flowers.
Again Commerce Flowers.

Centerpieces flowers were from Eddie at Commerce Flowers.

Cute little boxes with delicious treats inside.. yum. Also designed by the talented brother.

If I shot film, it would look delicious and beautiful like this.

Commerce Flowers did a great job on these custom circles with delicate flowers interlaced. And I loved the lens flare I got when I shot them smooching in them.

Her brother did a wonderful job on the invitations. I love them. Here is a link to his amazing art work.
It is perfect.

They were so cute and sat on the putting green for me.

Usually I am not into the goofy cake shots, but they were dancing in front of it and I couldn't help myself. They had smiles from ear to ear!

At the end of the night she changed into a perfectly gorgeous Oscar Dela Renta dress and matching shoes were provided by her fabulous officiant/artist/brother.

We stepped outside for some romance that was in the air.

Gorgeous. And there are still more images to share... Check back.