The Erbys | San Luis Obispo Family photographer | Surprise Baby Announcement | San Luis Obispo

Katie wanted to surprise her husband LaDell alerting him in an original way that she was pregnant with their 3rd child. I called it a baby-posal! I was SO EXCITED to be part of the surprise. This was photographed in early July, but I had to wait until the end of her first trimester to blog these beautiful images.

Katie gave me the plan:

  1. She would tell LaDell that they were taking family photos (only).
  2. At the end of the family session, I would tell him that I wanted something special for my website and for him to write 3 things on a placard that he loved about her…and she would write three things that she loved about him…but Katie’s message would not quite give her 3 things, but that he was going to be a dad again!
  3. When we were done with the traditional family session, I followed the plan. LaDell was so cute carefully writing the three things that he loved about Katie. Luckily, their younger daughters could not read the placards or they would have blown the surprise.

The couple were facing back-to-back. When I finally asked the two to turn around to face each other, the first thing LaDell said was “you didn’t write down three things!” (You'll notice his thinking pattern in the images.) When he finally read Katie’s sign, he wasn’t sure if it was true and when she said it was true, I had tears in my eyes. It was the sweetest family moment. Their two daughters, ages 4 and 2 were not quite sure what was going on, but all of the adults were so excited!

Congratulations Erby family! I look forward to meeting the littlest one in 2018!

Venue: Cuesta Park, San Luis Obispo, CA

Girls dresses:  DotDotSmile

Katie’s DotDotSmile Page

Amber + Red | Non-traditional wedding photographer | San Luis Obispo

Photographing intimate weddings, weddings lasting less than 5 hours and with less that 50 people is something I truly enjoy. Although I photograph many traditional weddings, my newest clients, Amber + Red had a totally different concept about their special day. Their wedding was a Faery themed wedding. The guests dressed as woodland creatures, while others dressed in really fun costumes.

Amber and Red met years ago through friends in San Luis Obispo, CA. Although they have now moved to the Pacific Northwest, San Luis Obispo is still one of their favorite places. They shared their love of this town through this special ceremony.

Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

Film vs Digital photography - which do you prefer?

When my father passed away, he left me one medium format film camera Mamiya 645. I had it looked over, cleaned and was ready for use; until I didn't touch it for YEARS! That beautiful camera loved by my dad stayed on my shelf. This was the time when people were putting down their film cameras and going digital all the way. I felt he would prefer for me to purchase a digital camera and use it frequently vs. using a film camera sporadically. I unfortunately sold the camera to purchase my first digital camera.

One of my former graduate students was a camera collector. When he moved from the West Coast to the Mid-West, he gave me his Mamiya 645! I cried, knowing my dad would be happy that I have the camera that he loved. I did not have it cleaned this time, and it stayed on the shelf for 3+ years before I wanted to start a relationship with it.

When I sold the first Mamiya, digital images did not have the caliber or look of a film picture. I succumbed to the digital way of life and after years of shooting digital, I am interested in using film again. There are quite a few wedding photographers in my area and in California who shoot a hybrid of half-digital/half-film and I am leaning towards that way of shooting weddings. 

I purchased my first light meter last week, so that I can make sure my lighting is correct, but it's really scary starting this new adventure. I am so excited to start this adventure! I am shooting a wedding on July 1 so please send your positive thoughts and prayers when I do this. Here are some images from my playing around with the Mamiya. My real test will be in two weeks at the wedding. I'll keep you posted. :)

How photographing auto mechanic shops made me a stronger event photographer. | San Luis Obispo Lifestyle Photography | Renoda Campbell Photography

Lifestyle photographer | Renoda Campbell Photography | San Luis Obispo.jpg

“Photography is storytelling with visual images. “ – Renoda Campbell

Photographers show the reality in the human experience. As a Special Events photographer, I know that when I enter the event space, it will show the best representation for that event (e.g. wedding reception, awards presentation, trade show). This special event has been planned for many months usually with extreme care and detail. The host wants the photographer to capture images that were planned and created for the present and future generations to enjoy.

I believe that photographing an auto mechanic business can be more challenging to photographing a special event. There are many details to be photographed, employees to highlight and locations to showcase. More often than not, auto work is NOT pretty. It is grimy, dirty, and messy. One must be very creative in expressing positivity, good customer service and great work that this company can do for you, the customer.

When given this type of photography assignment, I look for the colorful, geometric patterns, texture of the object, and  leading lines to make a creative image. Instead of photographing invitations, lace or up lights; I photograph auto signs, dirty hands and broken engines in fluorescent lighting.

I love what I do. It could be portraying beauty or everyday life, but ensuring that the overall story is in tact. I love the challenge to find humanity in what I photograph and adding an artistic quality to my images.