Epic Imagery » A great way to learn more about Epic Imagery

In late April I received a phone call from a very friendly mom that spoke with a charming Southern twist. From just a few moments into our conversation I could tell that I really liked Lainnie and was looking forward to meeting with her regarding her son Ben’s Bar Mitzvah. One of the things that drew me towards Lainnie’s personality was her relaxed, casual and endearing character. One of the things she mentioned initially, was that her decision for choosing a photographer hinged on a “connection” just as much as the images themselves. Hearing this excited me, as this “connection” she mentioned is an essential ingredient in my creative process. After a pleasant conversation, we ended up setting an appointment to get together the next day at my studio… and the rest is history!

Photographing this Bar Mitzvah was a lot of fun. I started shooting at The Wilshire Boulevard Temple in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. This temple is awe-inspiring to say the least. The ornate features, details and history are a feast for the eyes. I’ve always really loved the Jewish culture. For me to have a front row seat and witness thousands of years of tradition is truly an honor. When I met the entire family on this cool Saturday morning in May, my first thoughts were, “Wow, this is a good-looking family!” From there it only got easier. Everybody was a pleasure to work with, from the family to the guests. After the Temple service and some family portraits, we regrouped at The Athenaeum, in Pasadena, CA for the party. I LOVE shooting at this venue for a host of reasons: Classic Pasadena flair, bold architecture and regal appointments to name a few.

From here it was all about having fun. The kids had an absolute blast! Of course the freedom to dance wildly, consume sugary drinks and full-access to their very own chocolate fountain helps quite a bit! The parents weren’t lacking any “grown-up” trappings either. All-in-all it was a wonderful day, and I’m happy to share a few images that I decided to display in B&W.

Danny Baker

 

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A few days ago on a rainy weekend in SoCal I traveled to Laguna Beach, CA with my good friend Neil Johnson to photograph Sarah & Andrew’s engagement session. Sarah had expressed to me her incredible excitement about shooting at Aliso Beach. I love when clients are excited and have a special connection to a specific location! So we worked out the details for a fun photo-filled Sunday afternoon in May. Leading up to the day, the rainy weather was a concern. However, the “silver lining” of rainy weather just happens (ironically) to be the incredible skies when the sun finally appears: puffy dramatic clouds & amazing sunsets… which we took full advantage of!

We actually got started shooting at Heisler Park, which sits atop incredible bluffs overlooking North Laguna Beach. This was an incredibly fun, and scenic (and very popular) spot. Along this beautiful stretch of park area there were countless places and opportunities to create amazing images. Having a chance to finally shoot Andrew & Sarah was a joy too. Sarah has this energy to her that I was simply trying to capture and Andrew was simply trying to slightly contain…which made for some great moments! (see below)

From there we went over The Montage Hotel in Laguna, which sits perched above Aliso Beach. We made our way down from the hotel, through various scenic spots and out to the waters edge. The tide pools are one of the naturally occurring wonders of the area and I really wanted to capture some interesting and creative images there. The only problem was that the tide was in.. way in. However, after a few moments of chatting with Neil we decided to traverse the open seas! We made our way around the base of some rocky terrain and out to the desired area. I sloshed my way out to about waist high of rushing water to get my angle while my faithful friend Neil did a great job protecting our gear while getting bashed by waves up against some rocks! What a guy 🙂

In the end it was an incredible day full of great moments and many laughs. Please enjoy a few images below!

Danny Baker

 

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I’m really excited to share this story! I met Melissa in my studio several months ago and immediately I realized that I REALLY wanted to shoot her wedding. I think our meeting lasted a couple hours, and it mostly consisted of random banter and a lot of laughing. A few days later when she informed me that she wanted me to shoot her wedding, I was ecstatic!

On this particular pristine L.A. afternoon, I had the pleasure of shooting Melissa & Sean’s engagement session. We started at L.A.’s Union Station which has a very vintage, romantic feel. I love hunting for creative angles, patterns and unique places…Union Station provided just this opportunity. From there we traveled just a few minutes to Disney Concert Hall right down the street. Initially we debated about whether to stop here or continue on our merry way.. boy am I glad we stopped. Some of my favorite images of the year were caught in the amazing light and contoured shape of this building. Lastly we stopped by the L.A. Library which shares a courtyard with the intimate Cafe Pinot. This is one of my favorite spots to shoot as well! I love the fountains, reflections and overall character of the library.

In the end, it was just a great way to spend an afternoon. I was also able to get to know Sean a little better, and realized what Melissa meant when she said, “He’ll be easy to photograph” in my studio that first evening, ha ha. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and I can’t wait to photograph their wedding in August! Enjoy a few of my favs

Danny Baker

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On a beautiful afternoon recently I had the pleasure of spending a couple hours with Melissa Abarca & Bryan Willis. This was an engagement session that I was VERY excited about shooting… Not only was it a beautiful day filled with amazing locations, but Melissa & Bryan have an amazing chemistry together, which was a joy to capture!  

We started the day in the San Fernando Valley at Lake Balboa, and then proceeded to The Getty Center Los Angeles. Both of these locations have their own unique features: Lake Balboa offers large Oak Trees, contoured grassy areas and of course the water element. The Getty Center is rich with architectural features, contours, shapes and also the famous garden area too. Both of these locations provided numerous opportunities for strong, creative imagery. Lastly we made are way to the legendary Santa Monica area visiting 3rd Street Promenade, Ocean Avenue and of course, the coastal scene at the end.

I love shooting engagement sessions for multiple reasons, but mostly because it allows me to connect with clients that I’ve recently booked. Establishing a sense of rapport, and advancing our relationship is vital in the process of creating comfortable yet powerful wedding day images.

Here are a few of my favorite images!
Danny Baker

 

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I had the an amazing time spending the afternoon with Jennie & Joe a few days ago!

I had been looking forward to capturing fun images of their engagement session for quite awhile now. From my very first encounter with them in my studio, we just clicked… probably a combination of our fun, quirky humor and love for Starbucks coffee (among other things)!

Our adventure started in Los Feliz and pretty much stayed there… due to L.A.’s world famous traffic. This slight change of plans worked out perfectly, allowing us to visit the iconic landmark located nearby, the Griffith Park Observatory. On this beautiful spring day, it was an absolute pleasure getting to know Jennie & Joe a little better, and in the process, capture some wonderful images. Enjoy!

Danny Baker

 

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I’ve been waiting quite awhile to share this story and these images! Needless to say, I’m very excited to start… My story with Michelle starts in August/September 2010. We had been discussing and planning their engagement session, with the possibility of wedding coverage down the road. Simultaneously, Michelle had applied for and was waiting to hear back from “My Fair Wedding” on the WE Network. Ironically, the day we had planned for her E-session at the beach was rainy so we decided to reschedule. Shortly thereafter Michelle got word from the network that her wedding was a go for 12/4/10… just several weeks away, wow!!! From there we switched gears and made whatever plans were possible.

From the moment I started getting to know Michelle, I could tell that these wedding images were EXTREMELY important to her, on multiple levels. I was very excited to capture this wedding for Michelle and really wanted to push myself to the limit for her. Given the format of “My Fair Wedding”, where all the details are pretty much a surprise for the Bride/Groom and guests… planning was a challenge!! I didn’t even know where I was shooting until maybe 2-3 days prior. Although challenging, it was definitely a fun change of pace for me.

The wedding took place at the Ventura campus of Brooks Institute of Photography which I was very excited about. The campus itself was pretty scenic, but it also had a basic “class room” portion too. This is where Michelle & Josh were being held… that’s right, “held” as in can’t leave! Ha ha. The restrictions of the day really forced me to be as creative with my situation and surroundings as possible. The details were amazing and the mini-car theme was flawlessly weaved into a beautifully planned out day.

Everything flowed smoothly, including a little blood… my blood. I’ve NEVER had anything quite like this happen. I had a window of maybe 15 minutes to work with the Bride & Groom, so I was definitely in “work mode.” I was shooting from a low angle, fell backwards and the back of my camera slammed against my forehead (see my outtake below). The funny thing was that I was shadowed, and somewhat concealed, so when I noticed the flowing blood I thought: “This is going to be embarrassing!” I stepped out and into the light to a bunch of “oohs & awes.” I still proceeded to shoot with a streaming flow of crimson until I saw the look on Michelle’s face, which wasn’t very bride-like.. although definitely very humorous 🙂

Ultimately,  I had a blast working with Michelle & Josh and the team at My Fair Wedding. My crew on the day consisted of good photog friends Asgeir Bollason & Kyle Ellis.

Thanks for stopping by!
Danny Baker

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