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Will & Stefanie- Crystal Cove Engagement Session

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This is Will & Stefanie.
Fact: They are awesome.
They are smart, silly, and self-proclaimed nerds. But I’ll tell you what. They are a blast to be around and their love for each other shows all over their faces. They so obviously adore each other. They are getting married in less than three weeks and I can’t wait!

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One of several personal dance parties we had.

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Can we talk about this sunset? It was an amazing night at Crystal Cove.
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Just another dance party. No big deal. Nothing to see here.

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Girly Girl Baby Shower- Redondo Beach Photography

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I’ve been on the party circuit lately and I love it! Remember Becky & Bobby’s fairy godmother? Well I knew I loved her when I first met her, but I’m loving her more and more all the time! She is one of the most generous people I’ve ever met and it has been so much fun to get to know her and see how much she loves and blesses her family.

Teresa recently threw a baby shower for her daughter, Jill, who is expecting her first baby in April. It was such a fun party and they made me feel right at home and just like one of the guests. Just look at all of the beautiful details!
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The guest(s) of honor.
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Cecilia from Royal Elegance Designs is the one who made all the magic happen!
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And here’s the fairy godmother herself!
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The daddy to be showed up to help carry all the gifts home.
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He’s a huge Dodgers fan. How adorable is his face, watching his bride open gifts for their daughter?
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They were starting this girl off right! Can you even stand these little shoes?
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Such a fun way to spend a Saturday!

What are you doing this weekend?

Come Learn with Me!

So for those of you that were hoping my announcement had something to do with me being pregnant… well… you might be pretty disappointed. I’m not. Pregnant, that is.

But for those of you who are wanting to start a photography business or are feeling stuck and wanting to take it to the next level… well, my announcement may just be great news for you!

I am so excited to offer, for the first time, one-on-one mentor sessions!

I have been running my photography business for almost nine years now (wow, has it really been that long?!?). I’ve done some things right and have fallen flat on my face at other times.

But through the trial and error of it all, I’ve learned A LOT! I’m an open book and I love sharing what I have learned with other photographers. I have created these one-on-one mentoring sessions to help you learn in the best way possible so I will be completely open on how I run my business, from client meetings, to pricing, to final product.

Everyone is at a different place, from dreaming of breaking into the photography biz to needing that extra push to grow your business. Let me help. Your one-on-one session will be customized to fit YOU and what YOU need most. Here are the details:

Mentor Session Postcard

 

A fun announcement coming Monday!

POST 1

Room for Two- a.k.a., how to turn a super girly room into something relatively suitable for a man.

A couple of years before I got married I painted my room pink. I was embracing my inner girly-girl and figured I’d better do it now, because if I were to ever get married, pink probably wouldn’t go over well. Well when I said it was time to paint, Tony, the sweet husband that he is said he didn’t mind the pink, as long as we mixed in other not so feminine colors. Like grey. So cute. But no. I would never do that to him.
And besides, pink definitely didn’t match our new bedding.
So here’s the before (s):
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… and the after!

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I love love love our bedding and the texture of it!

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Our headboard was made from an old door that Tony’s dad picked up somewhere. We had used it for the wedding for our escort cards.

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And then we stripped it down and voila!

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The Mr & Mrs were wedding gifts and we figured this was the perfect place for them. Don’t tell, but we don’t actually sleep under our respective signs. But “Mrs. & Mr.” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Since we decided to get a Cal King sized bed, and boy am I glad we did, we didn’t have any room for bedside tables. But you need somewhere to set a glass of water, or a book. So we came up with these.

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Tony built them and I finished them to match the headboard. They are just the right size and exactly what we needed! And man was it fun to take blowtorch to that wood!

Who doesn’t love a good makeover?

It’s one of the things I love most in life. Breathing new life into something old, beat up or broken. Or just plain ugly! When I bought my house I didn’t have a ton of extra cash lying around so I spray painted a heck of a lot of furniature. Tony and I have a joke that if it stands still, we paint it. Those same pieces have now been reincarnated several times over as I do my part to fully destroy the ozone layer. Is that even a thing people say anymore? Oh well, I just totally dated myself.
This piece here was a fun little project. It was my great aunt’s dresser that my mom insisted I take. My mother has a really hard time letting things go. Where I would try to sell an item on Craiglist or simply donate it, my mom will hold onto it because surely there is someone who could use it. Seriously, she would still have my furniature from my childhood bedroom if my younger cousin hadn’t have needed it. So when my aunt no longer needed this beast of a dresser, my mom insisted I take it because a.) it has a lot of storage, and b.) it would be great in a nursery someday. I’m not pregnant. Nor was I when she said this right after we got married. So after I picked my jaw up off the floor from this statement, I decided to take it.
It sat in the garage for months, with Tony using it as a work bench. *side note- let’s talk about that wood stacked in front of it. How awesome is that? We’re going to make something really cool out of that. I’m just not sure what yet.
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For a while I couldn’t decide what color to paint it. Would it look nice white or black? You can see my experimentation here. I thought that if I painted it white it might have that Hollywood Regency look about it. But come to find out, all that detail on there was plastic. Wood grained plastic. Yuck! So I decided to take on off to see what was underneath. Bummer, just particle board with big holes in it.
As I expressed my disappointment, Tony said, “Babe, think about who you’re married to!”
And this project just got a little more interesting.
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We had some old pine that we had picked up somewhere, but it looked way too new. We aged it using steel wool and vinegar. Look what a difference that made!
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So after we painted the rest of it a light grey, here’s what we ended up with.
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I even repurposed the knobs. They were white ones I had saved from the kitchen cabinets when I replaced them years ago. See… this is why I keep everything! You never know when you might use it! And I usually do!
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Why I love the 99 cent Store

Every day, as the afternoon sun shines through my front windows, the light falls upon these little beauties.
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They were a score from the 99 cent store the other day. Treaures like these are just one more reason I love that store!
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It’s amazing how much joy I’ve gotten from that $1.

Taking a Personal Day

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I love that my job is a creative one. I can’t believe that I get to make a living taking photos. That’s pretty amazing.
But sometimes I get tapped out. I’m pouring out my creative “juices” for other people all the time, and if I’m not careful, I can reach the point where there’s nothing left to give.

I think I reached that point recently. I knew I needed to fill up again. To do something for myself. So I grabbed my Canon AE-1, the camera I learned photography with, and an extremely expired roll of film and headed to LA.

We went to The Last Bookstore, which was really cool! It was so different to have the limitations of 400 speed film in such a dark place. Could these images be better? Absolutely. If I had my normal equipment, my wide angle lens and the ability to shoot comfortably at 8000 ISO, these images would be completely different. Not so grainy, probably more in focus, I would have had more than 24 frames to get it right, etc., etc.

But sometimes, isn’t life life that? We have limitations. Even more so when we are in our own personal dark places. However, there is a different kind of beauty that comes from that. Beauty in imperfection. In going outside your norm, in trying something new, or, in my case, simplifying things. Going back to my roots. I may reveal where my skills could be better and what I could work on, and that takes courage. But that’s not what this is about. It’s about the process of being creative. For me. Despite the outcome. All judgement aside. Just me, an antiquated camera and some expired film going on a quiet adventure with a wonderful partner by my side.

A quiet adventure into my soul.

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Becky & Bobby & Their Fairy God Mother- San Juan Capistrano Engagement Photography

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I have to say, booking Becky and Bobby’s wedding was one of the funnest booking processes I’ve ever had! Bobby’s mom Teresa had been going on wedding planning appointments with Becky, and during one of them Becky happened to mention my name as someone whose photography she liked. Lucky for me, I have a pretty memorable name, so I got an email from Teresa. She wanted to surprise Becky and pay for their wedding photography!
I know! So fun! And she wanted me to call Becky and tell her! So here’s how the phone call went:
“Hi, my I speak to Becky?”
“This is she.”
“Hi Becky! My name is Jen Disney, I’m a wedding photographer.”
“Uh huh…”
“I’ve never done this before, but I’ve been asked to call to tell you that your fairy godmother has paid for your wedding photography package!”
“What?” Silence. “Are you serious?!?!?!?!?!”
“Yep!”
The rest of the conversation was basically a bunch of nervous girly giggles shared between the two of us. It was so fun to get to surprise her that way! And I was super nervous since I’d never done anything like that before! So most of the giggles were probably me.
Surprise! I’m your wedding photographer!
Teresa told me Becky called her crying tears of gratefulness right after we hung up. What a cool mother in law, huh?
I got to meet both Becky and Teresa a few days later and I could tell that this was not only going to be a gift for them, but an even bigger gift for me.
I met up with Becky & Bobby down in San Juan Capistrano for their engagement shoot. It’s one of my favorite places to shoot portraits, and clearly I’m not alone in that. I think we saw six other photo shoots in process that day! Geez! I hope they don’t start charging any time soon!

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I can’t decide which I like better. b&w or color?
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I think these might be some of my favorites from the day.

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Or maybe these. Seriously, what is it about the light there?
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Yes I do ask people who live there if I can come into their yard and take a photo in front of their tree. They were very gracious.
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Becky, you’re gorgeous!
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The Mun Family-Fullerton Family Portraits

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Nellie Mun is a dear friend and the best darn wedding coordinator around! Seriously, if you need someone to keep you sane while planning your wedding (what am I saying, every bride needs that!) call her! I’ve loved getting to know her family too.

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