Jennifer & Danny began their love story back in 1999. Danny & his friend pranked called her a few times before he got the courage to call her alone for a Real convo. They built a strong connection over the phone and became the best of friends. Now 12 years later, the love is still flowing strong & they are planning their wedding for August! Whenever Danny looked into Jennifer’s eyes she would get all cute & giddy! They shined through the gloomy weather & were total troopers through the freezing beach breeze… Many warm wishes for Jennifer & Danny’s future together!
I luv people who share their secrets to success, it has helped me out on my journey thus far… No, I’m nowhere near as successful as the photographers that I follow, but I get one step closer to where I want to be with every session I shoot. So I decided to start posting any questions that I get... in hopes that it will help more than one person out.
Hey Janelle, I am curious as to how you got into photography? Have you ever taken any classes or is it all first time stuff for you?
Both! It’s all new to me. Camera lingo is a whole other language; you can research it all online & teach yourself or go to class for FREE. But I learn better in a classroom (I never did well on those Online College courses) so I signed up for Tri Community Photo Program in Covina. This place is seriously too good to be true! It’s not like taking college courses where you have to pay per unit, it’s a Quarter fee of only $185; and you’re able to take as many classes as your little heart desires! They offer classes on EVERYTHING from landscape to weddings; even how to use Photoshop & light room. The teachers there are awesome; they each have their own photography business & work their part time, so they know the ropes. My first semester I took Eva Delgado’s Photo 1 class to learn the basics, and jumped into a wedding & children’s shooting class. The first few weeks I was overwhelmed, but I’m glad I did it this way; because even though I wasnt familiar with my camera, these shooting classes forced me to learn it & practice faster. There are pros in the class that are so willing to help you if you’re lost too.
Aside from school I did my own research... I googled the style of photography that I was interested in and checked out other peoples work. When I’d find photos that I liked, I'd visit the photographers blog. For the most part photographers will include post about how they grew their business or FAQ’s. Sometimes the stuff that I learned online, my teachers would also cover, so it was pretty cool to see we were all on the same page. Remember everyone has their own style & journey, make yours your own! Hope this helps :)
My friend Susi from Birdyful Photography was telling me about a wedding that she was shooting, of course I jumped on the opportunity & told her if she needed FREE help I’d love to second shoot for her! She was grateful & accepted my help.
I pulled up to the house where the bride was getting dressed. We walked in & caught her as the makeup artist was applying her makeup. I made sure to be on the opposite side of Susi so I could add different angles to her portfolio. We took the rings, shoes, & dress outside to find some cool creative spots to photograph them. We found a cool cactus & carefully placed the rings trying to avoid getting pricked. Susi let me use her macro lens for a few shots & its insane how close you can get with it.
Once the bride & groom were ready we took them to a park down the street from their house. There were lots of kids running around so we had to bend down & shoot up on them most of the time to avoid all the other people. The bride & groom were perfect for each other! They kept making each other laugh, I wish I could understand everything they were saying but they only spoke Spanish, the really fast kind! I could only understand some of the slow spoken Spanish! (God knows I wish I was fluent in my native language!) Jack & I keep saying were going to take a Spanish course at a community college together, but we’ve been saying that since we graduated high school 7 yrs ago!
The photo above is the closest I could get with my 50mm lens... the photo below is when I used Susi's 100 Macro... which allowed me to get very close!!!
Finally home! It’s nice to have a little getaway with the girls, but man am I happy to see my babe and my lil guy! I was anxious to practice what I learned over the weekend so I took my son outside for some photo play time. It’s so funny because before it was like pulling teeth to get him to sit still in front of the camera, but after he saw that his best friend had a photo shoot, he is now totally up for it.
His daddy bought him a new gun that came with these "cool guy" glasses (they're like aviator/nerdy glasses! Luv them!)
My self-assignment was to take him out in the bright sun around 2:45pm-ish and position him to be able to get his face without hotspots and get this cool rim light around him. The goal is to be able to shoot at any time of the day!
This weekend was full of fun randomness! We arrived in Vegas on Saturday night and
decided to go out dancing (ya’ll know I love to get my groove on!)So we hit up The Bank at the Belagio and it just so happened that Robin Thicke was there performing a few songs that night. All
the ladies were all drooling over him, but he’s not really my cup of tea. I know I must be weird! We stayed out pretty late and had to wake up pretty early for the WPPI conference.
The next morning I felt like a walking zombie running on 3 hours of sleep. Ugh! My
friends Katy, Susi, & I went to a boudoir seminar which had pretty cool marketing tips from
Celebrate Sexy. Then I found my next Stalking Victim, Cliff Mautner, at “so you really want to be a wedding photographer”. I instantly clicked with this East coast photographer because he had that I don’t give a crap what anyone else thinks!This guy reminds me a lot of my father n law, real to the core!He has some amazing work and gives you some awesome tips on how to work with bad lighting. He
reminded me why I wanted to do photography in the first place… to capture the MOMENTS! This guy made me cry with his photos even though I had no idea who these people were, but I could feel what they were feeling! How the heck can I bring those emotions out of my clients? Then he said he
captures the moments the clients give him. “We’re only as good as our clients!”It was Great
Sunday was the day that I got to see my first Stalked victim in real life! Jasmine Star!! This girl has balls of steel to be able act like herself in front of all those people! She was very inspiring! I know that I could never do what she does because I am too doggone shy! Believe it or not I am pretty shy… yes I talk to different people that I meet, but I could never speak in front of a huge group like that! God
knows I had so much trouble passing my Speech class back in college and that was only 15 people!
Look who got ahold of my point & shoot camera... He's pretty good! I called him a photographer & he got mad and said "Im not a togapher! Im a Picture Man!!"... oops my bad!!
Remember those old cartoons that would show a character
with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other? Well I really
believe I have them on my shoulders! The angel was cheering me on, telling me
that this was such a good opportunity and to hustle my little butt off! The
Devil (or evil Janelle with horns and a tail) was saying turn back
now!! You can’t do this! Stick to what you’re used to.
yourself up for failure! You don’t even know these people that you’re shooting
with. You have no idea how to even use external Flash and this is an indoor
wedding. RUN Trick!!!
Hannah told me that it was an indoor wedding, in a dark venue and we need to use
an external flash the whole time… I had a panic attack! First off I
don’t even OWN a flash. Second, I don’t even know how to USE one, let alone turn
the thing ON! My self esteem quickly went Low… I
mean Low Low!
Jack could see that I wanted to back out, so he gave me a lil pep talk.
Driving over my nerves almost got the best of me! I knew that the more that
I thought about it, the more that I’d want to turn my car right around! So I
turned my radio really loud so I couldn’t hear myself think. Gotye’s “Someone I
used to know” song was playing; I immediately started laughing because for the
past few days Jack hasn’t been able to get this darn song out of his head. Then
all my jams started playing so I was good! Isn’t it funny that music has the
power of taking you to a whole different place.
So now I arrived to the Fox Theater in Redlands and I’m looking for parking. I
admit that I am an ALRIGHT driver, but when you put me in an unknown
environment… ALRIGHT turns into HORRIBLE! I was totally zoned out
looking for parking when I almost hit a motorcyclist! It all
happened in slow
motion, I could see the fear in his eyes and him starting
to swivel the arms of his motorcycle. I got out of his way as fast as I could! I
pulled into a nearby parking lot and I feared that he was going to follow me and
kick my butt for almost killing him! I would’ve deserved it, but thank God he
didn’t. So I was off to a bad start…
Luckily things got better once I
met the team of photographers for the day. Hannah is the
hancho that got us all together. To say she’s amazing is an
understatement! She’s totally cool! Abbey&
Gina were the
other 2 second shooters, & they were awesome too! I love meeting friendly
people. Hannah gave us a tour of the dark theatre where both the ceremony &
reception were to take
place. We were trying out our cameras & settings
when I realized that my autofocus sensors weren’t grabbing on to anything that
didn’t have a pin light on it, and the bride & groom were not going to be
under a light. It was too dark for my sensors to focus. We tried everything and…
NOTHING! Im guessing it’s because I have a camera that doesn’t have as many
focusing sensors as the upper
level cameras do. This meant that I was going
to have to manual focus the whole reception! DUN DUN DUN…
the walls were coming in & I couldn’t breathe! So now I don’t know
how to use my flash & I have to worry about manual focusing too! I had
to take 3 shots of each pose & play with the focus to get at least one in
focus! It was sooooo frustrating but at least there were two other shooters
to get the shots. Other than that the whole wedding went smoothly! I have to
start doing some pushups to be able to hold the 70-200 2.8
lensaround, that thing is a monster! My little weak wrists were dying
trying to hold that thang up!
I was on a real high
because after getting my toes wet, I wanted to dive right in! I am certain
that this is RIGHT for me! I want to be a wedding photographer! Thank you so
Much HANNAH! I am very appreciative of you for giving me this opportunity! I me
great gals from this & ate some bomb food!!! Yummm!!
Friends + Food = one happy gal!
Groom had to grab a smoke before he saw his bride, I followed him outside &
thought this was a cool photo because the flame added enough light to see the
details of his face!
I was posted on the stairs so i was able to run up and down the balcony to be able to get these shots...
While Hannah was posing her bride & groom I was off to the side getting
different angles to add to her collection...
This lil guys photo was my favorite of the night! All the kids made a mess with
the rose petals & he was trying to clean them up!
The brides father and sister dancing away...
I'M JANELLE MARINA
Wife, Mama Shark, + Photographer.
Most days, you'll find me in mismatched socks and a top knot, working behind my computer with a smile on my face, listening to Zac Brown Band and R&B
--or, dancing in the kitchen with my 3 littles and hunka husband, seeing who could come up with the coolest dance moves. I'm a wedding photographer, West Elm lover, aspiring advocate for our buddies with special needs, and a Certified Dreamer since 1986. We live in a cozy city in Southern California and are always up for a good adventure. I enjoy telling stories with my camera, grubbing on spicy food, and solving the latest Dateline case.