Christmas toys for photographers

It’s that time of the year and if you have a photographer in your life, I have some suggestions for you.

If your photographer mostly shoots landscapes, a tripod and a set of graduated filters are no-brainers.

The trouble with my suggestion of a tripod is this. They can be expensive.

You should only be buying a tripod once hopefully it’s just like marriage.

But just like in real life,  we sometimes have more than 1 spouse  and we often misplace our photo toys.  My feeling is that it’s best to buy the best tripod you can afford because they really don’t break. Continue reading Christmas toys for photographers

More tips to improving your photo skills

Regardless of your skill level, all these are relevant.

So here are my suggestions for improving your photography

    1. Seek out positive mentors. There are so many out there but not all are compatible with your way of thinking
    2. Having your camera with you increases the odds you will use it or you will come across something interesting or unexpected. Phones are ok but often they respond too slowly

      Bring your camera with you everywhere. You’re dropped a fortune on it  already, it doesn’t cost you anything to tote it everywhere, use it

    3. Break down pictures you like, specifically ask yourself what was used to take the picture. You may be surprised with the workarounds that exist that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Read more about how I made this picture of water polo player Nicholas.

      Keeping his cool– Despite the frigid water temperature, Nicholas was a good sport. My main light, a Canon 600-EX-RT Speedlite at camera right, was triggered by Yongnuo YN-600-EX transmitter. Canon 40D with 17-35mm lens. ISO 400 1/250 f8

Continue reading More tips to improving your photo skills

Great to be back

It’s been more than 6 months since my last post.

If there is a valid excuse, well, I was working full time teaching at a high school.

I’m back everyone

Not too much has changed.

I’m happy that ugly election is over. Now it’s time to get over the mindset, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.”

I haven’t been posting a lot of work on Facebook because there’s good reason.

I’ve been posting more of my work on Instagram, so if you’re using Instagram follow me there and I’ll follow back.

The 6-month teaching stint was a great experience.

Though I didn’t enjoy the inherent problems of teaching at a high school like discipline, it gave me an even bigger appreciation of what teachers do day in and day out.

Parents are the primary teacher in life. They are the ones who set the standard of what is acceptable behavior. When they defer that responsibility to the teacher in school, I’m afraid that child is lost.

Because at the high school level, there can be no teaching happening in class when there is no discipline.

Faces of 2016

Over the course of a year, I’m quite surprised at times at the variety of faces my camera sees.


The majority of these are portraits.

Some are subjects I’ve photographed previously.

Others, are 1st timers.

I’ve learned I have to do my absolute best because that portrait I make could be something extremely precious.

Cece Alvarado

I’m very lucky that my clients arrive knowing they can expect my absolute best effort.

I’ve always believed that first impression a visitor to your website gets when they see your portrait is one you can control.

It’s after all a still image so you can absolutely make it your ‘best’ side.

Continue reading Faces of 2016

Photo tips from a creative Southern California photographer