The Sheftells

My wife Sarah and I have known Lonni and Justin almost as long as we have been in San Diego.  They adopted their cat Oscar from Sarah.  Then, having fallen in love with our dog, they went and adopted a dog that looks just like him.  Humphrey is similar in his sweetness, but otherwise has a completely different personality than my dog.  The newest addition to the family is Stella.  Lonni wanted some photos of her while she is still a puppy.  This was the first time I met Stella and she was very shy with me at first.  Unlike cats who do pretty much whatever they want to do no matter what you tell them, dogs are more like kids.  A well behaved dog or kid can be told what to do and he or she will do it, at least for a little while.  The younger they are, the less they listen (until the kid becomes a teen, but that is a different story).  Stella just started puppy class, so she did not have a clue about what I wanted her to do.  Therefore, she was more like a cat (yes, I have been told before that I have circular logic).  We picked her up and moved her when all else failed- just like a cat.  When Oscar made a brief appearance at the end Lonni picked him up and held him.  In any case, Stella proved very photogenic, but I think Humphrey and Lonni stole the show.  They were working it for the camera!

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Trent’s Bar Mitzvah

I can start just about anything I write about a photography session by saying “I had the pleasure of photographing …” and mean it.  Trent’s Bar Mitzvah was no exception except, well, I did not get to photograph the actual ceremony.  Oy vay!  No problem, I met with Trent and his family at the Chabbad of La Jolla on the Friday evening before the ceremony instead.  Even though the rabbi put the kibosh on me shooting the ceremony, I found him to be a very energetic, friendly, likable guy.  I could see why he was chosen to oversee this important event in Trent’s life.

Fast forward to Sunday late afternoon.  The party was on the William D. Evans – a big old boat (that is the technical description).  Image 80+ kids and 40 or so adults.  Did I mention there were over 80 kids?  And most of these kids were around 13 years old!  Pandemonium!  OK, not quite.  It is just that I am used to shooting weddings where there is a rhythm to the day and a certain sense of order.  This was just party time for all the kids.  It looked like everyone had a good time.  So I was surrounded by a bunch of happy people – that is the way to live!

Mazel Tov, Trent!


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Sailor Cat

Generally, the world can be divided up into certain types of people.  Pet lovers often divide it up into cat people and dog people.  I always thought I was a dog person.  I had a dog as a kid and I have a dog now.  It is not that I did not like cats, I just was not around them that much.  My exposure increased over time until something really big, really momentous happened – I met my wife.  She is a cat person through and through.  So now I can’t get away from cats.  In fact, our oldest cat is practicly attached to my hip!  Through my wife we got involved with The Rescue House, which is a cat rescue.  Our participation with them is mostly as foster parents for kittens, though we also help set up for their adoption fairs.  I also donated a pet portrait session at The Rescue House silent auction fund raiser.

Lori was the winning bidder.  Three of her cats starred in the photo session.  They were real pros.  Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of putting costumes on pets.  I suppose it is great as a form of torture – they usually look miserable in them.  But when it works – MAGIC!  The sailor suit was my favorite.


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Rose Garden Wedding in Balboa Park – Alice and Stefan

I had a great time with Alice and Stefan as I tried to capture the magic moments of their special day.  The ceremony was in the Rose Garden in Balboa Park in sunny San Diego.  It was a perfect day.  Here are some of the images:


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Maternity Session at Windansea

The photo session I had with Khamsay and Amit at Windansea Beach in La Jolla reminded me of many of the reasons I became a photographer.

I got to meet and spend time with a super nice couple on a beautiful beach with the purpose of creating fantastic images.  What is not to like about that?  We met at the iconic hut, so that is where we started.  I love maternity sessions because I am supposed to focus on the baby bump.  No sucking in the tummy here to look thinner.  Nope, Khamsay wanted me to make the baby bump look as big as possible.  At a little over 6 months pregnant, the bump was big, just not jumbo yet.  She had that glow that many pregnant women get.  Here are a couple of my favorite images from the session.


I really like to shoot down.  This way the eyes draw the viewer into the image and the faces of the couple look thinner.  It is also a good way to simplify the background, thereby drawing more attention to the couple.

I usually don’t shoot an image with the idea that it will be square, so I was shocked when I saw how great these two images look in a square format.

 In this image Khamsay is laying down on the stairs that leed to the beach.  That is about as round as a baby bump can get!

Good luck to Khamsay and Amit as they enter the trickiest hood of all – parenthood.


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Michael – Portrait of an Actor

I have been putting off starting a blog and using facebook for a while now.  As a photographer I figure I do my talking through my images.  But sometimes even I have to admit that an image begs to have something said about it or the circumstances in which it came to be.  I thought I would start with this image.  Michael is an actor.  He has had

several small roles on television shows and on commercials, so I knew we would get a good variety of images as he cycled through his persona’s.  This image, however, is chilling.  I remember thinking as soon as I saw it on my camera screen that he should use it to get cast as a bad guy.  Not exactly what most actors dream of?  Maybe not, but I have heard that people that can play bad guy characters get work over and over again.  Think about how often you have seen the same actor in lots of villain roles.  Anyway, I hope this image helps him in his acting career.  Of course, we got the normal (and some not so normal) images in his portrait session, but this one stuck out.

Can you see Michael in a bad guy role?

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