Thank you for stopping by to see what I've been shooting lately.
About six weeks ago, I was out of Los Angeles for a couple of weeks.
I had an AMAZING trip. When I got back, I was ready to shoot. In truth, I was more ready to shoot than I had been in a very long time.
What follows is a collection of some of the shoots I've done since coming home.
I recently did a shoot with the British Canadian actress Georgina Reilly, of the television series Murdoch Mysteries. Having recently relocated to Los Angeles, Georgina called me wanting photos that showed another side of her.
I met her at her house and we went through the looks she wanted to have photographed. After these were chosen, we went outside to shoot.
I love being able to utilize the local environment for a shoot and so we scouted around her neighborhood. Right away we found a tree with a beautiful overhang. The result:
From there we found spots to complement both her fair skin and the coloring of the outfit.
After about an hour-and-a-half, we were done. She told me how easy the shoot was. It turns out she'd been expecting a long, drawn-out ordeal (as she had had in the past), but instead found herself moving through the looks and getting exactly what she wanted. (Note: This is how your photo shoot should go; getting the perfect shot should never be an ordeal!)
I loved when I saw one of the photos I shot turned up on IMDB! Judging from her posts (and the social response of her friends and fans) the shoot was a success:
Tracee Nichols Jewelry
Little did I know when I first met Tracee that she and her jewelry would become such a presence in my life. Last year, I purchased the Roman pendant in rose gold with rubies. It was hand delivered to me at work in a cute black bag with a thank you note written in silver pen on black paper (such a beautiful touch). As I do when I am excited about something, I posted it right away to Instagram:
Over the following year, I got a lot of compliments on this piece, and it’s become one of my staples.
Over the last six months, Tracee and I started talking more often, most frequently over coffee. One day she had a new piece and wanted to promote it, but had no photos. We were at her office, but I had no camera (I know: shame on me!).
I took out a few white pieces of paper, laid out the piece on top of them, brought out my iPhone, adjusted the piece and paper to the natural lighting, and shot it. I then asked her for a fun fabric to use. There was nothing in the office, but I spotted a cool snake leather jacket and took more photos. I gave the shots to her and she instantly used them on her website, newsletter and social media.
Having done this impromptu photo shoot, I talked to her about new photos of her current and upcoming pieces, and one day not long after that, the shoot just came together, like magic! We scheduled for a morning shoot, she came over and we got right to work (having both already had our coffee).
Since our shoot, Tracee has been showing her pieces on Facebook and Instagram with great feedback:
I have a confession: Before we had shot all her pieces, I was super happy to be able to see and try on her as yet released rings (Okay, okay. Maybe drool a little over them as well). I guess the time for my special, for-Jamie-only sample party is over. Now that they've been shot, if you follow her you can see what she has, and they are stunning.
Andrea and Steve Oliveau
I met Andrea in June of 2014. At that time, I had no idea she would be marrying the man of her dreams in March of the next year. I certainly had no idea that I would be a part of this special event as the photographer.
Andrea and I were doing a personal improvement program at the same time when we met. Because of this, I saw her every day for an extended period of time, and talked quite a bit. Even after we had completed the program, we continued to stay friends via Facebook (the best thing ever). One day, Andrea said to me, "So I am getting married, I want you to shoot our wedding." She continued, "I am already hiring you, but I need my groom-to-be’s okay."
Yes. She is quite direct.
So I sent my bid over and waited. A few days later she said to me, "he said ok… Woo hoo!"
She let me know this will be the combining of two already existing families, as both the bride and groom had prior marriages and children. She knew it would be at the beach, weather permitting. Well, the week before the wedding, it rained. The day of the ceremony, it was scorching hot! Weather permitted, eventually.
You might know the spot. Since there wasn't parking nearby (a pretty good sign that a great spot had been chosen), we shuttled out from Gladstone's to where the ceremony would be taking place. She had chosen the overlook at Point Dume. It is above the beach and looks down on cliffs.
From this spot, you can see sea lions and sometimes whales. During the ceremony we heard the seals barking and saw dolphins swim by. Her daughters kept glancing over hoping to see the dolphins and maybe a whale. Speaking of daughters:
The ceremony was not traditional, but it was very special. The kids gave their blessing and a huge family hug occurred. This wasn’t a man and wife. This was a man... his daughters...his son... and the bride's daughters.
The kiss was magical and the crowd oohed and ahed. There was so much joy and laughter in the air.
We did the family photos after the ceremony but before the reception. Since the lookout was so stunning, others couldn't resist getting in on the shots.
I took the limo back with the wedding party and shared the first toast with the bride and groom in the limo (all the kids drank soda; and I observed not a one try to break the soda rule :)). The reception was in Malibu at the groom’s sister’s house, with a beautiful view of the ocean. It was a great and intimate event. It was ended with a champagne toast and gluten-free cupcakes!
I really wish this huge family lots of happy times ahead... and I can’t wait to shoot this huge family’s portrait.
Beauty by Earth
So, as you can imagine, I have met a lot of people in the last 20 years in Los Angeles. Consequently, I have built up quite the number of people who I've emailed. One day I realized that I wanted to know them all. So I set out to contact people.
Prudence responded to me (such as nice person!) She is a mom of two adorable kids and has a company that sells beauty products on Amazon. Cool, right? So we have the formal introductions over the phone the day before I bring my studio to her house (What can I say? Sometimes a portable studio is what's needed to get the job done).
Living in Los Angeles, I've learned to cope with the traffic. I predict it when I can, and allow ample time when I can't. When I was a kid it took 20 minutes to get anywhere; now its more like 45 minutes for the same destination. So I gave myself an hour, in case there was traffic, construction, or a truck of jelly beans that spilled everywhere. I arrived to her part of town extra early (only minor traffic; no jelly beans), and as it was a hot and sunny day, I grabbed myself an iced coffee from Starbucks. I then met Prudence at her place, and she helped me carry my studio in, super nice and unexpected. First thing I noticed was her cool wood floors, dark, dark gray. I dig those! Anyway, I picked the dinning room, set up and got ready to shoot.
(If you look in the comments section of the above posting, you'll see that I wasn't the only one that noticed the floors. They're that beautiful.)
She introduced me to her products and we immediately set off to work. Her dining room was transformed into our studio: lights, camera, laptop, flowers and a double pane thick glass to give the products a nice reflection. As the products weren’t running away, I shot tethered to the laptop (allowing us to see the shots on a large screen almost instantaneously, and correct either in the camera or laptop right away). Since Prudence got to see every shot, we got exactly what she wanted. I've since seen the products on Amazon, flowers, reflections and all. Below are two examples.
L2 Interiors: Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts
In my quest to know all the people I've emailed (how's that for a goal?), I also met Jason Lai of L2 Interiors. In speaking to him, as well as his business partner, Stephanie Leese, I learned that they had designed a section of the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, and needed photographs taken of their work. We set up a time for me to meet Stephanie.
Having arrived in Pasadena, I parked, and met Stephanie. We took the shuttle over to this year's Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. If you're not local, or have yet to hear of the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, the very short version is that the house acts as a fundraiser. A house is chosen along with interior designers to transform it. Tickets are then sold with the funds going to support the arts, including grants for groups such as the LA Philharmonic, as well as music education for children.
To provide a little personal backstory, my parents have been going to the houses chosen for the Showcase for years. Every year they bring me home the literature they received to oooh and aaah over. I love seeing all the designs and what people can do with a space. This year was no different, and although I didn’t get to tour the entirety of the house, I did walk through the grounds (gorgeous) to the carriage house.
L2 Interiors was chosen to design two spaces, the master bedroom and bath at the carriage house. I started with the bathroom, a warm yet modern feel with a freestanding tub and huge tiled shower. I moved to the bedroom, which had a perfect feel of horses and comfort. Now, I love me some horses. This room made me imagine they were downstairs. Stephanie showed me the before pictures of the space. It was pink and green and had a ceiling painted with clouds.
Yes. The improvement is gorgeous.
After shooting we took the shuttle back and said our goodbyes. Since the shoot I took some time to learn a bit more about the Pasadena Showcase House and all it does. It really is a worthy cause supported by a great group of people.
Lazy J Lifestyle
Molly is the owner and lead designer for Lazy J Lifestyle. When we first met via email (I'm serious about wanting know know all the people I've emailed), I went to her site and was immediately attracted to her simple yet beautiful patterns and designs. We scheduled a shoot in Solano Beach. Now, Molly lives in Tiburon and I live in Los Angeles, so this was quite the trip for both of us. There was some funny traffic that day; I think I might have actually used every freeway in the greater Los Angeles Area and Orange County.
I had never been to Solano beach and it’s super cute. I arrived with time to spare and of course grabbed a Starbucks (like usual), signed onto the WiFi and worked. I then parked at the beach and walked around, taking in the fresh air, cute kids and everything else this pretty beach had to offer.
I met my client in person and we pow-wowed at the trunk of her SUV to go over her sketches for the looks and the shirts themselves.
Now, let me try to get across how much of an artist and professional Molly is. Molly had done full sketches of exactly what it was she wanted to capture in the photos. And the sketches really did convey the desired mood for the shoot, especially when viewed side-by-side with the products we were about to shoot. You could see just by the amount preparation Molly had done for the shoot that her work really is a labor of love.
The pieces she had to be modeled were so fun! She had origami parrots and pineapples and great quotes on tank tops and long sleeved t-shirts. The weather was perfect and we set off to our first location. Karly, the model, was a local surfer who knew everyone and consequently, we had an audience. This cozy, local beach had a photoshoot going and everyone was watching like it was a Hollywood movie. We shot in the ocean (the low tide worked in our favor), at the rocks, a life guard tower and at a patch of banana trees.
Having completed the shoot, I did some basic correction and sent the shots off to Molly for her review, so we could move forward on any desired editing. She was so excited, she asked if it would be okay for her to do some social media posting with the shots as-is. Molly did some posting, but the model snuck one in as well. Turns out it was a popular shot amongst her followers:
Lazy J Lifestyle is already using the photographs we took on her website, Instagram and Etsy store. I've looked through the comments that her followers have been leaving, and I have to say that I agree: all of her new pieces are super cute, just in time for (and in the spirit of) spring and summer.
Are you ready for another? Now available for pre-order, "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air" quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on this super soft distressed "vintage" light gray tee. Screen printed with Navy ink. $28 now, prices go up to $35 May 4th!! ☀️🌊💨 <<link to shop in bio>> #etsy #etsyseller #etsyelite
In honor of Lazy J reaching 500 IG followers, I'm having an incredible #flashsale and #giveaway!! 1)Enter code: FLASH500 on the site any time today upon checkout (Link in bio) This will get you 50% off store wide!!! (Minimum purchase $10) 2) TAG a friend (or lots of friends) that you think would love Lazy J 3) Each name gets you an entry to win a $100 store credit to LazyJLifestyle.com!! 4) Each time your tagged friends tag their friends, they get entries too! 5) a winner will be chosen on Monday. Also, make sure to check out the new Geometric long sleeved tee in the shop! It's the last one coming out for a while so shop away 💚 Happy Saturday!!! And thank you to all of our followers!! 😘😘😘😎🍍🌴🌊 #patchworkshow
If you look at Lazy J Lifestyle's Etsy store, you will see that all of her products are amazing! She has childrens' clothing as well. I wish her so much success. I hope to shoot more with this amazing lady in the future!
Jackson Murphy and Erin Rogers (Soon-to-be-Murphy!)
To start, these are two of my closest friends. In fact, I’m in their wedding party, which I am very excited about as the wedding is only a month away.
But I get ahead of myself. As a holiday gift for Erin, Jack purchased an engagement photo shoot. After she received it, he set her and I up to discuss all the pretty stuff. I went to their place to go over some of their ideas, what the wedding theme was, etc. While going over ideas, we snapped a few shots (Note: the dress she happened to be wearing that night was blue, but her wedding color is green. But, what the bride wants, the bride gets.):
After this night of basic planning, Erin and I went to work on ideas using a secret Pinterest board (highly recommended for developing the mood that you want to achieve in a shoot). After going through locations and Pinterest boards, Erin decided on Pasadena City Hall.
Pasadena City Hall has a European look, with stunning arches and a beautiful fountain. We started with the entrance and the beautiful arches, Erin brought balloons, simple and romantic, we played around with and without these. From here we found different areas that captured the spirit of this particular relationship. There was one spot that reminded me of the end of Notting Hill, so I asked them if they wanted to do it… and Erin loved the idea! Needless to say we had a blast.
I love shooting couples, there is so much love that I can capture in the camera. I can’t wait to see them get married!
Erin and Jack orginially wanted to get married at the church across the street, but the place was too small. So I asked if they wanted a picture there, at the very least, again, both jumped at the idea. The old wooden door was so textural and perfect for a kiss. Funny enough I ended up shooting a “headshot” of Erin while Jack had to take a quick call from his mom.
Erin had the ideas of what she wanted, and we worked to capture the mood that was the common thread through all those ideas. I happen to know (remember that secret board on Pinterest?) that Erin has other ideas that are some of the most endearing I've ever heard of. I absolutely refuse to divulge her ideas, but just know that there will be no lack of beautiful photos from this couple in the future.
But, before completely leaving Erin and Jack, theres this:
Sometimes giving a couple the space they deserve results in the best shots of all:
A few months back I did a shoot for an upcoming movie called Pups United. The movie stars some very cute dogs and I did some shots for promotional use, such as the movie poster. I took along an assistant that day, named Justin Lurie (Justin is an up-and-coming photographer; he is also an amazing person. He left at the drop of a hat to volunteer in Nepal with disaster relief). It's possible that day turned from work into play for Justin and I because of the dogs.
You see, these aren't just any dogs. These are celebrity dogs. They are celebrity dogs because they can run, jump, flip, run up walls, and many, many other things. You can check out this video of Jumpy if you don't believe me.
In addition to Jumpy, there was Popeye, Dash, Brigitte, Kuma an Juno.
All of these dogs were amazing and so well-trained! With the introductions to these amazing dogs taken care of...
...we moved on to the actual shoot, which was a total pleasure:
Now, that was several months ago. Fast forward with to me to about a week ago. Shooting the dogs for the movie poster for the movie Pups United was pretty exciting... then the other day one of the producers (Mr. Damiano Tucci) called me to shoot the actors! How fun moving from talented animals to talented humans!
Four of the actors were scheduled in my studio. I worked it out for two in the day and two at night (One of the actors scheduled for the night actually came straight from LAX!) Their names are Trevor Black, Matthew James Roberts, Kristin Carey and Paul Lang. These actors were a ton of fun to shoot! Kristin stuck around after her individual shoot and was around for Paul's shots. She ended up fighting her way into Paul's shoot. One of the resulting shots of them is included in this Facebook post:
Now, Paul Lang shared the above photo of him and Kristin. It ended up that he put the fight to a vote. Kristin was classy about the whole thing and chose not to cast her own vote. Unfortunately or fortunately, his friends sided with my prediction. :)
Thank you again for taking the time to see what I have been shooting. Please leave any comments or questions below, and you'll always get a response. Finally, please do take time to look at my portfolio. Photography is meant to be viewed and I would love to hear any thoughts or answer any questions.
As you might have guessed, I'm in love with what I do. I promise to still be in love with what I do when we do a shoot together in the future.
P.S. I'd love it if you'd sign up for regular updates from me through email. You'll get to come along for the shoot (after the fact), and you just might get the inspiration needed for your next photo shoot. And hey! Look at that! I've included a form below for you to sign up. Easy as pie.