• Palos Verdes wedding groom prep

    As we saw in a previous post, photographing the groom preparations before the wedding can record some very nice moments. Here are some of my favorite from a recent Palos Verdes wedding I photographed. Evan and his groom’s men were a super group of guys. I really enjoyed capturing this portion of a very special day with them.

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    Eduardo Suastegui is a wedding and fine art photographer serving the Downey – Los Angeles, California area.


  • Canon 5D Mark III better for wedding photography

    Experienced wedding photographer and Nikon shooter Ryan Brenizer has posted a nice hands-on, on-the-job summary with a Canon 5D III. In his opinion, Canon has done a nice job with the Auto-focus system to the point where the 5D III should perform reliably under demanding wedding day conditions.

    You can review the full article here.


  • When hiring a wedding photographer – Part 9 – Personal connection

    Previously we reviewed things a wedding photographer will consider to successfully capture your wedding day. Today we want to discuss the importance of personal connection between you and your wedding photographer. While the rates your wedding photographer charges, the type of approach or style he implement, the techniques he uses to handle challenging lighting, or even the equipment he brings are important, his ability to connect with you and your big day on a personal level will prove as indispensable.

    Does your wedding photographer get you – who you are, what’s important to you, how you feel about your wedding day? Will he be personable, responsive and in general easy to work with before, during and after your wedding day? Do you trust him or her to deliver on his promises? Does his vision for photography match up with how you want your wedding day recorded?

    These and other related questions, all boiling down to how you and your wedding photographer connect on a personal, emotional and even spiritual level are things you want to explore when you meet with your wedding photographer. Allow enough time for this. There will be plenty of logistical details to discuss: the timeline for the day, what is or isn’t included in the wedding package, what are the “must-have” shots the photographer must capture, and so on. But make sure you allow enough of the conversation to focus on you as a person: your interests, your likes and dislikes, how you have envisioned your wedding day, what special family dynamics you want the photographer to keep in mind, etc. Make sure that you also have a less than superficial conversation about the photographer’s philosophy as it applies to wedding photography. Review his images, yes. Even let him show you what an awesome, avant-garde photographer he is. But not without gaining an understanding of who he is as an artist, how his passion for photography maps into how he will approach your (not just any other) weeding, how his artistic vision will match up with how you have envisioned your wedding day.

    This may or may not be an easy conversation to have, but one well worth the effort. In a way, talking about the technical details is fairly straightforward once you have a few facts in hand. Yet, if you really think about what’s going on during a wedding day at its core, all the basic things happening at the surface – the exchange of vows and rings, the big kiss, the family portraits, the cutting of the cake, the big dancing – are all representations of a deeper core of love, convictions and personal interactions. Will your wedding photographer capture what’s happening at the surface, or will his photographs portray the true meaning of the day? If the latter is important to you, place a premium on discovering how your wedding photographer will be able to extract that meaning and transfer it onto a photograph.

    Eduardo Suastegui is a wedding photographer serving the Downey, Whittier, Los Angeles, California area.


  • When hiring a wedding photographer – part 8 – Value

    After reviewing the many considerations a successful wedding photographer must address, you may rightfully ask how much value to ascribe to her work. As much as we may hate the sometimes uncomfortable topic, after we review a wedding photographer’s portfolio and decide her approach to your big day is a good match, we will have to address finances.

    Some wedding photographers would suggest that you think about how much you pay wedding photography services as an investment. They want to get across the concept that since your wedding photos will last well beyond the wedding day, long after the flowers have withered, the dinners have been consumed and the cake enjoyed, you should consider what you pay for your wedding photos as an investment. This idea may connect with you… or not. Perhaps you think of photos as things you are buying, and you want to get the best deal you want.

    Even if you think of photo discs and wedding albums as mere products, in light of what we’ve discussed in previous installments of this series, namely, how many cameras a photographer must carry, the quality and capability of those cameras, the choice of high quality lenses he will likely make, the skilled way he will handle lighting, the special style he will apply to your photos, and the post-processing that will complete his artistic vision, you should expect to assign high value to that product.

    Wedding photography, I would argue, however, is more than a product. If you connect with a truly talented wedding photographer, you will enjoy a relationship with her, and she will seek to serve your needs with the best skill and diligence she can apply to your wedding day. Here the emphasis should be on service more than commodity. Your relationship with your wedding photographer coupled with her passion to capture you as you are and your wedding day as it unfolds will in many cases yield a unique and irreplaceable family heirloom. Do you want to think of this outcome as just a product or commodity?

    “But I have a limited budget,” you say. That’s a very real constraint for many. Often this constraint is accentuated when all other wedding expenses are allocated and committed before hiring a wedding photographer, leading to fewer and limited choices when it comes to the quality of service and photographs a wedding photographer will be able to deliver. You may luck out and find a very talented, just getting started wedding photographer and artist who shows up with just one camera and one lens and somehow manages to do a fantastic job… or more than likely, not.

    Perhaps a better approach to a limited budget is to prioritize the things that are most important to you, and if in your case, special, high quality wedding photography is important to you, then reserve a larger portion of your budget toward achieving that outcome.

    The next installment in this series is now available here.

    Eduardo Suastegui is a wedding photographer and fine art photographer serving the Downey, Los Angeles, California area.


  • When hiring a wedding photographer – part 7 – Prints & Albums

    While these days printed media is in steep decline, for wedding photography, prints and wedding album portray your special day as it deserves. Though many may prefer the ease of distribution and relative low cost of digital photo files, I recommend you don’t make a final – and in some cases irreversible – decision to have your photos developed as large prints and or processed for inclusion in a wedding album.

    As we suggested in our previous installment, a wedding photographer will choose the type of post-processing he will use to best suit the output medium. If the wedding photographer is only delivering a disc of images, he will not know whether in the future you will want a print, either black and white or color (and if so what color treatment), or whether you will want your photos sized specifically for an album, and at what aspect ratio. For this reason, his disc will likely include a straight-forward processing that should display well on a computer screen, but may not be optimum for other display media. If you are planning to make your own prints and/or albums at a later date, you may not achieve the best results.

    For this reason you should ideally work with your wedding photographer to obtain the products you want, including albums and prints, as part of your wedding package and/or a la carte options. Before you decide whether you want prints and/or wedding album(s), ask your wedding photographer to show you samples of such products he has produced in the past. You may well be pleasantly surprised by the impact and superior look a printed photograph or an album offers over comparable display of your wedding photos on, say, a laptop or tablet screen. You will also gain appreciation for how the wedding photographer integrates his post-processing approach with choices in album design.

    Consider also whether you want to entrust the archival of your wedding photos to an electronic device that may become non-functional or obsolete in the not too distant future. Ask yourself whether an album or an electronic device will provide the best and most appealing family heirloom, shared with one generation and the next. While you may still request delivery of a disc containing your photos, I invite you to assess whether you want to avail yourself of the full range of quality your wedding photographer should be able to provide through printed photos.

    Bottom line: ask your wedding photographer to show you photos and albums he has produced in the past. Check out the quality of his/her work then decide whether you desire these deliverables included in your overall wedding package.

    The next installment in this series is now available here.

    Eduardo Suastegui is a wedding photographer serving the Downey, Los Angeles, California area.


  • A Palos Verdes Wedding with Luke Pickerill

    A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed the privilege of second-shooting a Palos Verdes Wedding with Los Angeles Photographer Luke Pickerill. Luke is a very talented photographer, in particular when it comes to lighting. It turns out he does a fantastic job with post-processing as well, showing off both his skill and artistry. I count myself blessed to be able to collaborate with Luke.

    Click to view this wedding at Pickerill Creative Blog
    A Palos Verdes Wedding by Pickerill Creative