Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (4)

Ashley and Cameron’s Engagement Portraits in San Diego CA

Cameron and Ashley’s Engagement Portraits in San Diego, California from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Time to take some engagement portraits with Cameron and Ashley, but it’s hot in Phoenix.  But, they were traveling to San Diego on vacation so we decided to take their engagement portraits there on the beach in La Jolla.  San Diego is one of my favorite places, so I was thrilled to spend the evening on the beach with Ashley and Cameron.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the shoot.

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (12)

We had a great time on the shoot.  I enjoy the casual nature of an engagement shoot and this was no exception.  Ashley and Cameron are a fun couple and La Jolla beach is a beautiful place to spend an evening.

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (11)

This is one of my favorite images from the shoot.

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (10)

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (9)

And this one… Ashley looks absolutely fantastic.

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (8)

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (7)

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (6)

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (5)

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (4)

It was a great photo shoot.  Thanks for hanging out with me, Ashley and Cameron.

Engaged couple at the beach in LaJolla California in San Diego (2)

Engagement Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Slideshow music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

Location: San Diego, California

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (1)

Lindy’s Senior Portraits in San Diego, California

Meet Lindy.  Senior, class of 2013.  She’s a all around great girl with a great attitude.  I love to meet high school students who have perspective and can see the big picture.  Sometimes a teenager who is wise beyond their years can be a bit too serious so they aren’t super fun, but Lindy has a lot of energy and spunk, but still sees her world in realistic terms.  That’s important.  Well, I can’t say enough good about her and we wish her the very best during her senior year and out into her future.

We took Lindy’s senior portraits in San Diego at Mission Beach.  We arrived at the beach early in the morning, so the beach was fairly empty which gave us plenty of room to work.  I love the over cast day.  So many clients worry when their photo day or wedding has clouds, but when it comes to photos, I couldn’t ask for anything better.  I love the soft light.  It gives me a nice even exposure to deal with.  Then, if I want to sculpt with light, I can add a little light wherever I want to see it.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (9)

Lindy brought along a hat, which I completely loved, so that stayed with us a lot during the shoot.  While in this next image, it is merely a prop, it finishes the photo in many of the images.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (8)

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (7)

This is where the hat really makes the image!

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (6)

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (5)

This next image is very important to me as a photographer.  Catching a subtle and important aspect of a senior’s personality in an image is important to me.  And this image, speaks volumes to me about Lindy.  That strong determination is a big part of how I see her.  I suppose I can be wrong in my read of personality, but when I am photographing someone, I think I get a good read on people.  And with Lindy, because she is a good friend to our family, I think I can say with confidence that this one is very accurate.  But, I suppose you’ll have to ask her mom.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (4)

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (3)

We did a few shots of Lindy looking at the camera next to her 2013 numbers in the sand, but I liked this one the best.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (2)

This is a great example of the process of sculpting in a subdued and flat lighting condition.  I am using the ambient marine layer lighting to get the basic exposure accomplished, then with my Canon Speedlite 600RT flash off camera to the left and behind the subject, I am adding the crest of light on her nose and cheek-bone, etc.  This gives the photo great deal of volume with very little effort.  Normally, the sun would fill in as the backlight, but when the sun is held up behind a thick cloud, you have to create your own sun.  The nice thing about this manufactured sun (a flash), the power is completely controllable.

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (1)

Lindy, thanks for trusting us with your Senior Portrait.  May every year ahead of you be a success!

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: San Diego, California

Megan and Brandon – In Disneyland

 Disneyland Engagement Portraits

I spent a day with Megan and Brandon in Disneyland.  There is nothing more entertaining than to spend a day photographing in Disneyland.  I have never been one for the rides and such, but I have always enjoyed watching people in the magical kingdom and this time I was invited to do so.  Megan (like her family) is a Disneyland expert.  She has been to the park too many times to count.  They knew all the ins and outs.  I was traveling with the experts.

While we got a lot of photographs that have iconic disney elements in them, I was much more drawn to the less obviously Disney elements and more toward the opportunities for beautiful backdrops.  And who doesn’t love the visual of a carousel in the background?

 Disneyland Engagement Portraits

Also, you might notice that I typically look for shade as much as I possibly can.  Especially when I am trying to keep a low profile and so not have the option of reflectors and flashes, I am going to look for open shade opportunities to get the very best light.

 Disneyland Engagement Portraits

And of course, how can you go to disneyland without getting poked in the forehead by Goofy, or one of the gang?

 Disneyland Engagement Portraits

The New Orleans section of Disneyland was my favorite place to photograph.  It is very well designed and feels very like the real place, except that there are a million people with Mickey balloons and mouse ears, rather than beers and beads.  We found this little nook and staircase that was perfect for shooting, but as it was daytime, no one bothered to turn on the lamps hanging on the wall in the background.  So I turned them on myself.  (more on that in tomorrow’s post)

 Disneyland Engagement Portraits

Watch the Engagement slideshow below.

Megan and Brandon’s Engagement Portrait Session from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Rex and Kacey’s San Diego Wedding

As I may have mentioned before, my brother, accountant and second photographer, Rex, got married in San Diego a week ago.  The wedding was in La Jolla, Califonia and the reception in San Diego itself.  I was only there for a few hours, because I was needed at home (our little baby girl was just born).  So I flew in for the wedding and flew out before the reception was over.  It was quick, but it was a beautiful day and such an honor to photograph my brother’s wedding.  He’s a great friend and his wife is a fantastic person.

The wedding portraits were shot on the beaches of La Jolla, California.

My favorite images are below as well as a slideshow.  Enjoy.

The sky was blue and the sun was perfect, but sometimes, color, even as beautiful as it can be, is a distraction from the shapes and form of the photograph.  So, I removed the color and the image just sang to me.

The flowers were a subject unto themselves, so I couldn’t have the flower girl hold the flowers near her dress.  The needed to be on their own, against the horizon, just like she was.  She was already holding them up and out a bit, so I asked her to pronounce what she was already doing and for heaven’s sake, don’t look at me…  I think there is something wonderful in this photo.  I see a young flower girl who is just about to grow up.


Kacey really wanted to do a few shots in the gas lamp district.  We were running out of time, but we did it and I am so glad we did.  I loved the images we got down there.  And I think the effect here on the photos goes well with the feel of the streets in the area.  I make some pretty quick decisions (some not consciously) while shooting and editing images, but they usually end up being the right decisions.  I think that is what photography is all about.  Making decisions.  We make a lot of them in split seconds and have to live with them.  I am glad I make those decisions well.  I suppose if I didn’t, I would need to find a different career.



Can you believe the perfect luck on this photograph.  I couldn’t have planned it any better.  We got them into position and put the light on them to help equalize the exposure between the bright sun and the couple and then…  cue the bird!  That bird just makes the photograph.  Jonathan Livingston Seagull, anyone?


The La Jolla coast line is full of absolutely beautiful and strange beaches.  It is one of my favorite places to photograph wedding portraits.  No matter what time of day it is, there is a spot for some pretty magnificent photographs.


The next photo reminds me of a photograph I have by George Bernard Shaw (the author).  I found the photo in the archives at the London School of Economics where all of his films and prints are kept.  It is quite a treasure trove of images and I think the strangest place for a photographic collection.  The color effect makes it feel a bi more like BS Shaw’s Photo, albeit his is scratched and full of dust and poorly printed.  The LSE staff is not great at printing.  I suppose they would be the first to admit that the principles of division of labor preclude them from being good at anything artistic.  Anyway, as I was shooting this photo I was thinking about Shaw’s photo in my modest collection of old obscure photographs, which is one of the few little sentimental pleasures in my life.


This one Kacey broke out of her shell and started hamming it up.  That is always a good sign, when your bride and groom forget about being cool and just start having fun.


San Francisco Streets at Night

Just a quick shot from last week in San Francisco. I was doing a workshop there at the liveBooks offices and was staying near by. I went out to explore the streets after dinner and found an interesting store, in front of which people were passing. I set up my G10 camera on a newspaper box and started photographing waiting for the right person to walk by. This is an example of contextual honesty. No matter who passed in front of the camera, this homeless man was the perfect representative of the people who populate the streets around my hotel. After all, I am a documentary photographer. I attempt to tell the truth.

The streets of San Francisco late at night, when I should be sleeping.

The streets of San Francisco late at night, when I should be sleeping.

The San Francisco Lightroom Workshop is Sold Out

I am pleased that so many people are taking advantage of the opportunity to come to my Lightroom Workflow Workshop in San Francisco.  The workshop is SOLD OUT.  Should be a great crowd and everyone will walk away with a new way of looking at their images and their post production workflow.  If you are thinking about taking the workshop in a city near you, you need to sign up now, don’t be left out.

The San Francisco workshop is being hosted by liveBooks, my web portfolio creator.  They are hands down, the best in the business.  If you haven’t been to their web site, you need to go.  Not only do they make great web sites, they also have great learning resources for professional photographers including informative blog posts, webinars, video interviews and articles.  Don’t miss out.  Go to liveBooks and check it out.