Brian LaBrada Photography »

Part 1: I really love photographing bridal inspiration. It’s a great way to see wedding designers’ new bridal collections and gives me the ability to hone my craft in a more open environment where I can experiment. Having a little more time than I normally would with a bride let’s me do extra creative thinking in advance, which then helps my brides feel like super models on their big day. (Always a plus in my book!)

I reached out to one of my favorite modeling agencies and booked 2 models I felt would fit the look and feel of what I wanted to shoot. I then contacted one of my favorite bridal stores, Bonny Bridal in Brea, CA. We drove through Padua Hills and found a great spot to shoot. Here are some of my favorites with our model Summer.

 

 

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Desert background, gorgeous bouquet, and a incredibly sweet couple all equal up to an awesome engagement session. Being huge lovers of all things outdoors, Mia and Raf were set on doing their engagement photos in a natural setting. Having just visited Joshua Tree National Park, we suggested it for their session and they agreed on the spot! Once we had a location set, we worked together on wardrobe and even contacted Starla of Enchanted Fine Florals for a bouquet and headpiece. Our joint vision for their engagement session couldn’t have come out more beautiful! Check out some of our favorite shots below.

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Dress: Zara
Shoes: Dolce Vita
Men’s Blazer: Armani from Bloomingdales

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Growing up, my family owned a 10 acre ranch complete with chicks, chickens, pigs, wild donkeys, llamas (we’re Peruvian), goats, a giant Christmas tree farm, and last but not least, 25 Thoroughbreds we would raise and train for racing. You would think I would have a love for horses and great memories of riding my horse for miles and miles in a romanticized manor. But unfortunately, my experience with our horses was cleaning their pens, balling hay, feeding, and washing them. I once rode a five year old mare bare back for about 10 minutes. I was suppose to be warming her up but she gave me a look while I was putting her bridle on that said “Hey… you gonna get on today? I won’t tell,” and then I swear she smiled at me. I ran her around the corral a couple of times, then I grabbed her my the mane (that I hadn’t yet braided) and hopped on. It was a great 10 minutes, yet kind of painful – bare back riding is not as fun as it sounds. 🙂

Although I didn’t really get to ride them, I did get to go to the race track to see them run and man did I love it, I still go now any chance I get. My favorite part would be in the winner’s circle waiting for our picture to be taken. The horses would still be cooling down from the race and I would place my hand right above one of the front legs and I could feel their hearts pumping so hard still. I could literally feel my hand being pushed away from the force of the heart beat.

A few weeks ago I went out to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA to watch the races. It was a great day of betting, popcorn coma, and the coldest beers ever. 🙂 I walked around for a couple hours, camera in hand and shot everything that caught my eye. Here are a few of my favorite shots. Can’t wait for next month’s live races!

 

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Part of what I love about the wedding industry is getting to meet and work with so many talented vendors. After meeting Anna and Natalie from A Good Affair Wedding and Event Production, I knew wanted to work with them more. A few weeks ago, we chatted about setting up a styled shoot for a Fall Wedding Inspiration and racked our brains on the perfect venue and team to make it happen. Fast forward to this past weekend and we’re walking through The Villa Juan Capistrano planning our vision for the shoot. Tucked away just down the street from the Mission San Juan Capistrano, The Villa has so many beautiful areas that will soon be used to their full potential! Can’t wait to work with the awesome team we’ve assembled and to photograph all the beauty and elegance that will be brought to life!

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A few months ago I had the opportunity to attend The Hybrid Workshop at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, Ca. The main reason I attended was because it covered shooting film and digital side by side and allowed for a way to get the images from both mediums to match in color and consistency. When I first started in photography, all there was was film and I really loved using it. Not only did I love spending time in the dark room, I really enjoyed making my own prints. I could spend days in the film lab and not even think about it! Nothing else mattered, life was easy.

As time passed, and more and more film stocks became unavailable – along with the ever increasing price of development and scanning becoming too much to bare – I slowly but surely switched over to digital. All the time I would spend in the film lab disappeared, and eventually, so did the prints I loved making and sharing. Quite honestly I never LOVED digital as much as I LOVED film…until now. A couple of years ago, while sorting through old prints and digital files, I said to myself “Man, I wish digital looked like this!” Film is so beautiful outdoors and in bright light, while digital is not so great in contrasty light but excels in low light. I started thinking that I could use both mediums’ strengths to my advantage and I started implementing film back into my workflow – 1-2 rolls every shoot. One roll of color film and one roll of black and white film. The workshop helped me refine my process. I never advertised that I was shooting film and digital together (in case I screwed it up), I just did it. And although clients couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was, they would say things like, “I love your work… I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s got something.” I knew that “something” was film, proven to me by them predominantly choosing the film shots as their favorites.

The best part of shooting film is that the prints came back and that’s why most of my Wedding Collections come with printed proofs. The ability to look at your wedding day, engagement session, family session, etc. on printed pictures right in front of you is something you have to experience for yourself. For a long time, the tangible print was dead but I’m bringing it back.

Can you tell which are film below?

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 Special Thanks to all the great vendors!

Planner/Stylist: Yellow Bird Weddings & Event Production | Florals: Peony & Plum | Rentals: A Rental Connection & FOUND rental | Linens: Luxe Linens | Make-up: Ting Makeup | Calligrapher: KA Kalligraphy | Cake: Butterend Cakery | Hair: Billion Dollar Hair | Invitations: Prim & Pixie | Wedding Gowns: JENNY YOO Collection | Tuxedo: Friar Tux Shop

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