nick@nickyutakaphotographer.com | 949.415.4-NYP [949.415.4697]  | Follow nickyutaka on Facebook  | Follow nickyutaka on Twitter

Monday
Feb282011

wedding: joe & youngshin, part 2

in part 1 of this series, we saw joe and youngshin at the salon getting ready for their big event. in part 2 of this three-part series, i present the bride in all her glory: her portraits. aside from the obvious moments (the first kiss, the exchanging of the rings, the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, etc), this is the most important photo-taking of the day. 

let's be honest, this is the bride's big day. brides are the ones who fantasize about this day from moment they can pronounce the word "wedding" (grooms usually fantasize about being GI Joes until the words "i do" fumble out of their mouths on their wedding day). and for 99.999% of women, this is the only day of their adult lives that they are truly The Princess in their fairytale. 

that being the case (and being behind the 8-ball with time running out until showtime), i assigned my trusted second shooter, tien wang of tien wang photography, the task of snapping the groom's portraits. not that i take the groom's portraits any less seriously, but i know that the bride is the star, and i needed to attend to my star's portraits personally.

with the prep work from part 1 culminating in the vision you see here, i present part 2: the bridal portraits. 

i was digging the veil flowing in the breeze against the cool blue sky.

this is one of my faves. youngshin was absolutely radiant.

they are such a lovely couple, wouldn't you agree?

despite his disheveled look beforehand, this young man was eventually introduced to a comb and participated in the ceremony.

the groomsmen + youngshin's brother looking quite dap before…

 …the main event. tune in soon for the conclusion to youngshin's fairytale day.

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you are … a star …

Tuesday
Feb222011

portrait: the hong family

i like to keep you guys on your toes. are we going to see part 2 of the joe & youngshin wedding? or are we going behind the curtain again? nope, we're going back to the ongoing family theme. i think my demented logic is that i can hold your attention arabian nights style, introducing concepts/themes and keeping you, hopefully, in suspense for the next installment. 

when viki reached out to me to shoot her family—her, her husband, and their three rambunctious boys—i thought, sure no problem. but i've come to learn that while families can be tough to shoot, multiple-child families are a double-dare, and multiple-boy families are a physical challenge (get it? like the show double dare). there was even a bit of a secondary challenge in shooting at their home, the kids' home turf. in the end, the most important aspect of any portrait session is capturing your subject's personality, or personalities in this case. i'd like to think my shooting style lends itself to such captures: rather than forcing a bunch of preconceived poses on my clients, i like to give general direction and let them decide how they fit into the scene. i may look for some interesting light, backgrounds, or angles, but ultimately my favorite shots happen spontaneously. don't get me wrong, if you're like me and am completely uncomfortable in front of a lens (read: a deer in headlights), then i can provide as much posing and direction as possible. sometimes though, it's just best to get out of the way and let people get in where they fit in.


case in point: i like the overhead pose with a little backlight. so whereas i frame the shot, we let the boys fill the frame with their personalities. and they ran the gamut from proper to happy to playful. 

daddy, eugene, with his youngest, westley, and my good friend, sun flare.

in this instance, one of the twins (kona? viki, please forgive my bad memory if that's actually troy!) wasn't feeling the pose. once again personality shines through.

this was my favorite shot of the afternoon. it feels like a "this is my life, and i love it" shot for viki.

one telescope, three navigators.

sometimes photo composition isn't just what's going on up top…

…but also what's going on down below.

i didn't realize the gun show was in town! 

after they put the guns away, it was all hugs.

this shot was microcosm of the day: adults watching kids in motion.

almost all parents request a quick couple's shot at some point in their family shoots. without kids of my own, i can only imagine how surreal it must be for parents to frame themselves in the context of "a couple" once kids are in the equation. eugene and viki are no longer playing doubles tennis, they're on a basketball team (making eugene the center and viki the power-forward)! i'd like to thank the entire family for letting me into their home and allowing me the honor of taking the team photo. =)

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sometimes i struggle to think of an accompanying song or video for my posts. i like to make them relate in some way to the emotion, personality, or feel of the photoshoot. in this case, it came down to one name: vicki vale.


1999? raspberry beret? when doves cry? nope, batdance is my most well-remembered prince jam. yeah, i was the strange kid who listened to movie soundtracks.

Monday
Feb142011

behind the curtain: part 1 (and my valentine's butterfly)

before we move on to part 2 of the joe & youngshin series, i'd like to talk a little shop (unfortunately there aren't enough hours in the day or enough gas in my motor to chug out week after week of super-posts). something i've been wanting to expand upon here on the old bloggity blog is a little background on what happens between the shoot and the delivery of photos. 

it's a tad hidden on this site, but typical post-processing turnaround is four to six weeks. "wow," you might be thinking. "that's an awful long time just to dump the photos from the memory card to a dvd." ah, but there's more to it than that.

first off, something i hesitate to mention very often is the fact that i only do photography on the side. i still hold a 40-hour-a-week office job for my primary income. i am remiss to mention it for the fact that i don't want my clients or potential clients to think that their events and/or portraits are only of secondary importance to me. nothing could be further from the truth, but i'm sure there's something about "full-time photography studio" that sounds much more legit than "part-time photographer." 


caption 1: get this guy behind a camera, please!
caption 2: one benefit of being your own boss (at least part-time): beverages on the desk with no coasters. buya.

another thing to consider is that for each four-to-six-week cycle, i am also shooting other clients whose four-to-six-week cycles then overlap. for instance, during this past holiday season, i would have as many as seven (or more) photoshoots "in the can" at one time, each awaiting my post-processing attention. add on top of that, a majority of those clients were requesting expedited turnaround on a preview-batch of photos to use as holiday cards. making these preview batches required me to take two runs at each set, effectively doubling my workload.

if i had this kind of workload year round, i'd go full-time with photography. as part-time, this was the nightmare before christmas.

the point of all this boring logistics banter (besides boring you to tears) is to pull the curtain back a bit on the happenings between the glamor of pushing the shutter button and being the hero delivering that coveted final set of photos. ALL of my clients have been so amazingly patient during this process, so it's not something that demands to be explained, but i know i've always enjoyed that feeling of access to the things i'm interested in, and i thought i'd share a little of that here.

in that vein, i'll expand upon some of the technical aspects of my workflow in the coming weeks. as i'm fond of saying, "each one, teach one."

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mrs. yutaka gives me butterflies. sing it michael…

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