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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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The Fox Family-Fullerton Family Portraits

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Amber Fox has been a friend for several years now. But any time a fellow photographer asks me to do a photo shoot for them, it’s a little intimidating. But with a family this cute, how could you go wrong?
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Boy oh boy are these little guys cuties!
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The Selecky Family-Huntington Beach Family Portraits

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This family is adorable. Period.
Mom, Jennifer, is in the fashion industry so it’s no surprise that their outfits were absolutely perfect for their Huntington Beach family photo shoot.
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I mean, how adorable are these kids. Sophie is just the cutest.

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And Jack, he looks like trouble to me!
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The Wallin Family-Seal Beach Family Portraits

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The last time I photographed the Wallin family, their older son Hank was one year old. Now he’s 5. Geez. Where does the time go? And now there are two kiddos and Everett is one year old!
I met up with them in Seal Beach for their photos.
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Everett wasn’t sure how he felt about me.
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And before you think I just always get amazing photos of kids, here’s what it looks like most of the time.
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Warming up a little.
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There’s the smiley boy!
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Thank you for trusting me with your family and doing all of the weird things I asked you to do!

Lauren & Jason’s-Glendora Backyard Reception

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On the Saturday evening following their Santa Barbara ceremony, Jason & Lauren had a swoire planned with 150 guests at the gorgeous home of a family friend. It was a blast! Every detail was thought of and their guests had a great time celebrating the newlyweds.

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Have you ever seen such a display?
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How great are these cocktail napkins with fun facts about the couple?

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As each guest left, they were treated to donuts from none other than Donut Man, a Glendora staple!
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What a great evening! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it you guys!

The Clampitt Family- Yorba Linda Family Portraits

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If you’ve been hanging around this blog for a while, you might recognize this next family. Heidi was the first person to live in my cute little house with me, was my roommate for almost two years and one of my bridesmaids. And she’s just one of the dearest people I know. Her little family grew this past year with the addition on baby Amos. We went to a tree farm in Yorba Linda for their family portraits.

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Isn’t he a cutie!

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And I can’t believe how big Zerlinda is getting. She’s almost as tall as me and she’s only 10! She is such a good big sister.

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Jason & Lauren-Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding

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Everything about this wedding was fun. And different than any wedding I’ve ever photographed. Lauren & Jason have been together since high school and wanted to make it “official” surrounded by the most important people in their lives. Their families. So on a Tuesday afternoon in December, Tony and I met up with Jason & Lauren and their 13 guests at the gorgeous Santa Barbara Courthouse.
Actually, let’s back up a little. The couple was staying at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara so we met up with them there as they finished up getting ready.

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I love this image of them. Just gorgeous!
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The grounds of the Four Seasons are just gorgeous. How cool is this tree?

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Then it was time to get married!

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Woo hoo!
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Lauren was stunning.

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What a perfect place to get married! Stay tuned for their big reception!

The Brashear Family- Fullerton Portrait Photographer

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Chris and Masha have been friends of mine for many years. I even got to photograph their wedding years ago, before Lily was even a glimmer in their eye. Chris is a very talented photographer and I’ve had the priveledge of photographing several weddings with him. So it was such an honor to photograph their beautiful family!  And Lily is such a character!  I love this little girl.

Can you even handle those little boots?

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