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Shannon and Michael | Romantic Garden Wedding | Santa Rosa, CA

When Shannon and Michael started planning for their wedding, Shannon's vision was to merge rustic with romantic. She imagined a lush landscape surrounded by trees and greenery along with the whimsical feel of twinkling lights and vintage accents. When they discovered this backyard space in Santa Rosa, CA they knew they could make their dream wedding a reality. 

The couple worked together along with their friends and family to create Shannon's vision for the decor. They blanketed the backyard in antique chandeliers and dish ware, distressed furniture and signs, and twinkling market lights. Michael made a beautiful tree swing for the backyard, at Shannon's request, along with the gorgeous arbor for the ceremony. They also included a chic sitting area with antique couches and chairs for guests to enjoy. 

The color scheme of the wedding was mauve, blushes, blues and greys. Shannon incorporated these soft tones in her bouquet, her bridesmaids dresses, and the drapery on the ceremony arbor. She brought calm lavender touches to the wedding with a lavender toss at the ceremony, garnishes for the drinks, napkin accents, and wedding favors. 

I think my favorite part of the wedding day was seeing Michael's face during the couple's first look. I have never seen a man smile so big and with such awe. Every girl deserves to be seen the way Michael looks at Shannon. Michael would move mountains for Shannon and it's that kind of love that makes me treasure what I do so much. 

Venue: Private residence in Santa Rosa, CA | Bride's Gown: David's Bridal | Bride's hair by: Kimmie Ciccone | Bridesmaids hair by: Nicole Rogers and Kimmie Ciccone | Videography: Nick Patterson | Cake by: Kimmie Ciccone | Dessert bar: Gimme a Dozen | Band: The Snareheads | Bride's Make Up by: Herself | Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Men's Warehouse and J. David's | Rentals and Catering: DJ's California Catering | Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu | Florals by: Melanie Gibson and Leah Paul

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How to Capture Natural Moments on a Wedding Day

Often times, some of the images I'm the most proud of after a wedding day are those that are completely candid moments. A beautiful moment is rare and happens in a split second. This is why capturing a natural interaction on a wedding day is truly an art form. 

An awesome image should tell a story. It should conjure an emotion from deep in the viewer's heart and leave your audience feeling like they were there in person. Here are some of my favorite natural moments from previous wedding days and tips on how to capture them. 

 This image was taken as the bride and her father drove up to the ceremony. Leah started beaming as she pulled up to see all her guests and future husband waiting for her at the aisle. I love this image because her and her father look so connected in their body language and they both have tears in their eyes. I was able to capture this in a moving car on my 24-70 2.8L lens making sure my shutter speed was over 250/s to ensure it was sharp. This image was taken while second shooting for Christine Chang. 

This image was taken as the bride and her father drove up to the ceremony. Leah started beaming as she pulled up to see all her guests and future husband waiting for her at the aisle. I love this image because her and her father look so connected in their body language and they both have tears in their eyes. I was able to capture this in a moving car on my 24-70 2.8L lens making sure my shutter speed was over 250/s to ensure it was sharp. This image was taken while second shooting for Christine Chang. 

 I love the feeling of excitement in this image after Amy and Brian turn to see each other for the first time. Brian's expression is one of disbelief and Amy just couldn't stop laughing. 

I love the feeling of excitement in this image after Amy and Brian turn to see each other for the first time. Brian's expression is one of disbelief and Amy just couldn't stop laughing. 

 This photo was a result of being at the right place at the right time with my camera on the right settings just in time to snap this. I was standing next to Brenna and Ben when Ben's grandmother walked up to excitedly see the couple for the first time that day. I took this on my 50mm 1.2 L fixed lens which helps me to capture moments quickly with beautiful bokeh.

This photo was a result of being at the right place at the right time with my camera on the right settings just in time to snap this. I was standing next to Brenna and Ben when Ben's grandmother walked up to excitedly see the couple for the first time that day. I took this on my 50mm 1.2 L fixed lens which helps me to capture moments quickly with beautiful bokeh.

 I placed these two adorable flower girls under this greenery and asked them to stand and look at me. Then I asked them to look at each other and she stuck her tongue out quickly. I, of course, kept snapping as I laughed. Some photographers might not use this image, however, I love how natural it feels. The photo is fun and playful, a total representation of my brand. Sometimes part of the art form is choosing which moments you feel are important to show to your audience.

I placed these two adorable flower girls under this greenery and asked them to stand and look at me. Then I asked them to look at each other and she stuck her tongue out quickly. I, of course, kept snapping as I laughed. Some photographers might not use this image, however, I love how natural it feels. The photo is fun and playful, a total representation of my brand. Sometimes part of the art form is choosing which moments you feel are important to show to your audience.

 This is a sweet moment between Samantha and her mom. Samantha is not a "lovey dovey" type of person so when I asked her mom to lean in and kiss her cheek, she made this hilarious scrunched up face. I thought it was really cute and reminded me of what Samantha may have done as a little girl if her mom was kissing her before she sent her off to school or something. Sometimes a good trick is to place your subjects in a beginning pose and then ask them to do various things that may make them laugh, anticipating the shot. 

This is a sweet moment between Samantha and her mom. Samantha is not a "lovey dovey" type of person so when I asked her mom to lean in and kiss her cheek, she made this hilarious scrunched up face. I thought it was really cute and reminded me of what Samantha may have done as a little girl if her mom was kissing her before she sent her off to school or something. Sometimes a good trick is to place your subjects in a beginning pose and then ask them to do various things that may make them laugh, anticipating the shot. 

 On a wedding day it's really important to remember that there are moments happening all around you. I was photographing the bride putting on her dress when I turned over my shoulder to see her sister in tears as she looked on. I snapped a couple shots of this very quickly and then continued to get Amy in her wedding dress. I love how much love she has in her eyes. 

On a wedding day it's really important to remember that there are moments happening all around you. I was photographing the bride putting on her dress when I turned over my shoulder to see her sister in tears as she looked on. I snapped a couple shots of this very quickly and then continued to get Amy in her wedding dress. I love how much love she has in her eyes. 

 This is a sweet image of my bride, Kaitland, and her sister. The two are very close so, at one point when they were getting ready, Kaitland's sister became very emotional. Kaitland wrapped her in a big bear hug and tried to comfort her. I love the love between sisters in this shot. Again, this is an example of knowing what would be important to your client. The image tells the story of love between sisters.

This is a sweet image of my bride, Kaitland, and her sister. The two are very close so, at one point when they were getting ready, Kaitland's sister became very emotional. Kaitland wrapped her in a big bear hug and tried to comfort her. I love the love between sisters in this shot. Again, this is an example of knowing what would be important to your client. The image tells the story of love between sisters.

 The moment when a woman puts her wedding dress on is when she officially becomes a bride. This is 100% of the time when you can expect for tears to happen. I was shooting Rocio after she had just put her wedding dress on and turned around to see her mother peaking around the door with tears rolling down her cheeks. Of course, it made Rocio cry to see her mother cry and pretty soon it was an all out sob fest. As Rocio tried to comfort her mother, I kept snapping and was able to capture this raw moment between mother and daughter. 

The moment when a woman puts her wedding dress on is when she officially becomes a bride. This is 100% of the time when you can expect for tears to happen. I was shooting Rocio after she had just put her wedding dress on and turned around to see her mother peaking around the door with tears rolling down her cheeks. Of course, it made Rocio cry to see her mother cry and pretty soon it was an all out sob fest. As Rocio tried to comfort her mother, I kept snapping and was able to capture this raw moment between mother and daughter. 

 This shot is the bridesmaid's reaction to seeing Amy in her wedding dress for the first time. It's important to realize that these women have probably been helping Amy plan her wedding since before she was even engaged. For them, it's just as much of a celebration as it is for Amy. This image tells the story of how sacred close friendship is. I was able to get this shot because of my second shooter that day. I was actually standing at a different angle with focus on the bride while my second had an angle on the girls. It's so important to have a second photographer on your wedding day!

This shot is the bridesmaid's reaction to seeing Amy in her wedding dress for the first time. It's important to realize that these women have probably been helping Amy plan her wedding since before she was even engaged. For them, it's just as much of a celebration as it is for Amy. This image tells the story of how sacred close friendship is. I was able to get this shot because of my second shooter that day. I was actually standing at a different angle with focus on the bride while my second had an angle on the girls. It's so important to have a second photographer on your wedding day!

 I absolutely adore this image of Julie and her grandmother on the dance floor. Her grandma's expression is one of infinite joy and it makes me happy when I look at it. Keep an eye out for important family members (like grandparents) and any interactions they may have with the couple. Don't watch them too closely though...that's creepy.

I absolutely adore this image of Julie and her grandmother on the dance floor. Her grandma's expression is one of infinite joy and it makes me happy when I look at it. Keep an eye out for important family members (like grandparents) and any interactions they may have with the couple. Don't watch them too closely though...that's creepy.

 This is a shot of the groom's sister and nephew listening to speeches. This little boy was so sweet and kept reaching for his mom's hand, it seems, just to be connected with her. I think this is one of those shots that will be cherished in 20 years when he's a grown man. 

This is a shot of the groom's sister and nephew listening to speeches. This little boy was so sweet and kept reaching for his mom's hand, it seems, just to be connected with her. I think this is one of those shots that will be cherished in 20 years when he's a grown man. 

 There's always that one guy that gets REALLY into it on the dance floor. He was that guy. This image really captures the energy and movement from the dance floor. I love to use my light dragging technique to create more movement and liveliness in dance floor shots. 

There's always that one guy that gets REALLY into it on the dance floor. He was that guy. This image really captures the energy and movement from the dance floor. I love to use my light dragging technique to create more movement and liveliness in dance floor shots. 

 This was captured during the couple's first dance as husband and wife. I love how gently he's holding her and his expression has a sort of tranquil completeness. I was able to get a bit closer on this shot with my 70-200mm 2.8 lens. This lens is great for capturing intimate moments without being intrusive. 

This was captured during the couple's first dance as husband and wife. I love how gently he's holding her and his expression has a sort of tranquil completeness. I was able to get a bit closer on this shot with my 70-200mm 2.8 lens. This lens is great for capturing intimate moments without being intrusive. 

 This is a shot of the bride with her nephew after he saw her for the first time in awe and proclaimed, "You look SO beautiful!"  

This is a shot of the bride with her nephew after he saw her for the first time in awe and proclaimed, "You look SO beautiful!"  

 This shot is when the bride's new father-in-law walked around the corner to see her for the first time in her dress. It was so sweet how excited he was to have a new daughter in the family. You can tell how much he loves the woman his son has chosen.

This shot is when the bride's new father-in-law walked around the corner to see her for the first time in her dress. It was so sweet how excited he was to have a new daughter in the family. You can tell how much he loves the woman his son has chosen.

 Again, this was snapped with my 70-200mm 2.8L lens as the bride walked down the aisle with her father. The body language here is so natural and trusting. The expression on her father's face is one of pride and confidence. The way she leans into him like "daddy's little girl" is what tells the story in this shot. 

Again, this was snapped with my 70-200mm 2.8L lens as the bride walked down the aisle with her father. The body language here is so natural and trusting. The expression on her father's face is one of pride and confidence. The way she leans into him like "daddy's little girl" is what tells the story in this shot. 

Elliott | Newborn Session| Ventura, CA

I hold Erin and Eric very close to my heart. They were one of the first weddings I ever shot. I look back and feel so grateful to have had such an in love couple put 100% of their trust in me from the beginning. They have always had an ease together that I feel so inspired by and their love for baby Elliott is no different. 

Erin and Eric's home is a cozy place bathed in gorgeous window light that makes everything feel intimate and warm. I wanted to capture the close bond they now felt as a family of four...yes, I'm counting their adorable dog, Lacey, who made sure she wasn't left out of the photos.

Ashlee and Henry | Engagement | San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has been my favorite city since I can remember. From the bright pink old buildings to the intoxicatingly salty scent of the bay, my heart fell in love with this place in all its golden gated glory. 

For Ashlee and Henry's Engagement Session, I basically got to go to all my favorite places in the city and bask in the magical Northern California light. We weren't initially planning on it, but when I saw Ashlee and Henry's gorgeously lit apartment I knew we HAD to shoot some lifestyle stuff there. I love how intimate and sentimental those shots feel. I imagine they'll look back at the images and smile at the memory of when they shared their first apartment together. 

Our next three locations were at Presidio Park, Baker Beach, and the Sutro Baths. I swear, the light is different in San Francisco. Everything looks like a painting right before the sun sets! 

Ashlee and I have been friends since junior high school so it was a really special day getting to capture the love she shares with her amazing fiancé Henry. Not only does he ADORE my friend, but he's also an absolute gentleman. I couldn't have asked for a better person for her. 

My Love Affair with Paris | Paris, France | April, 2017 |Travel Photography

Whoever said happiness isn't a place is an idiot. Happiness is sitting along the side of the Seine River, devouring the savory remnants of a fresh quiche, pressing my finger into the buttery flakes so as not to miss out on any of it. Happiness is carelessly watching my feet dangle over an ancient cobblestone wall as I spend a lazy afternoon drinking in the view of the Eiffel Tower from my lunch spot and watching the beautiful Parisians walk by. Happiness is sitting on a park bench at magic hour in a Parisian garden and ravaging a warm baguette, letting the crumbs fall all over my lap and not giving one last shit who sees me. Happiness is walking aimlessly along the streets of Paris and stopping to look up. Happiness is picnicking in the French countryside with the echo of chirping birds and ancient church bells in the distance as your soundtrack. Whoever said happiness isn't a place hasn't been to Paris. 

I try to set an intention for each trip I go on. It is my belief that every place holds a lesson. For me, Paris was my lesson in self-love. I took myself on dates and indulged in wine and beautiful dinners. I wandered the city in a dream and enjoyed my own company and the company of dear friends. I admired the couples as they strolled by and smiled with a warm heart at love's purity. I walked through a park and watched a child twirl under the petals of the cherry blossoms as they danced from their branches in the soft breeze. There were many times I was brought to tears in private moments, not from sadness, but from the pure joy attained in the realization of life's magic. 

Photos of me taken by Sarah Zimmer and/or Margot Landen. 

Taylor and Robert | Maternity Session | Malibu, CA

Taylor's dress by Sew Trendy Accessories  | Taylor's Make up by Javier Mena at Garrett Markenson Coiffure

Amy & Brian | Casa Cody Wedding | Palm Springs, CA

Whenever I second guess my belief in love at first sight, I meet couples like Amy and Brian who prove that it exists. The two crossed paths over six years ago and connected immediately. Amy called her mother the very next day and told her she had met the man she was going to marry. "I didn't know what it was," Amy recalls. "I just knew he was going to be part of my life in a big way."

I think one of the qualities I love most about Amy and Brian is the way they love the people that mean the most to them. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they are loved by those they are closest to. It was so abundantly clear throughout the day just how much they are adored by their friends and family...and I have no doubt this kind of loyalty is a direct result of the generosity with which they give their whole heart.

When asked what they wanted the "theme" of their wedding day to be, rather than describing a "rustic chic" wedding or "romantic glamour" wedding, Amy and Brian simply replied that they wanted the theme to be tangible love. They just wanted to be surrounded by love.

One of my favorite relationships to capture through out the day was that of the Bride and her sister, Sara. There were so many tender and sweet exchanges between them that reminded me that weddings aren't just about the couple, but also about family. One of my favorite parts of the day was Sara's speech to her sister and Brian during the reception. She captured them, and love in general, perfectly:

"When I think of Las Vegas, a few things come to mind but most of all is luck; It got me thinking about the relationship between love and luck. So often, when we talk about our loved ones, we say “I feel so lucky to have Brian - or So lucky to have Amy - whomever. And Im not really into that. Luck is flighty. Luck is a fluke. A chance, short-lived, a gamble. Luck is a flash in the pan. Is not measured and lacking in substance. Luck is the tasteless top layer that tries to distract you from a bountiful fortune. Fortune should be what we seek.

From this day forward, I am SURE when you speak of your spouse you are conscious about your language. That you choose to invest in each other by investing in how you talk about one another, 'I feel FORTUNATE to have my husband...to have my wife.' Because this love has seen and will see deep fortune. Fortune stands the test of time. Fortune is worked for, pined over, built upon and manifested. Fortune gives a damn, is deeply rooted, and if sought, reciprocates a wealth that shows longevity and legacy. Fortune doesn't fade.

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. Tune into the words that surround your love. Tune into the decisions and greatness that lies ahead. You are so fortunate to have one another. I know you worked for this perfect love. You deserve this.

Amy, you deserve the goofy smile Brian puts upon your face. You deserve the couch snuggles and hair twirling. You deserve the Bieber loving, Chris Brown dancing partner in crime. He brings your sun to the surface. Brian you deserve this strong woman by your side. You deserve this ride or die, Hold you down chick. Someone who knows to put ice cubes in your milk and toss the egg yolks to the side. She keeps your feet stuck to the ground."

Fortune should be what we seek. And, Amy and Brian are so fortunate in love.

Venue: Casa Cody Country Inn |Make Up & Hair: Brianna Viera     | Bridal Gown: Sarah Seven   | Bridesmaids Gowns: Asos, Lulu's, Adriana Papel    | Groom's Suit: Groom's Grotto   | Groomsmen's Suits: Groom's Grotto     | Florals & Invitations: Celebrate Florals      | Catering: Fresh Start Catering      | Second Photographer: Mike Villa | DJ Services: DJ Essence     | Coordination: Taylor at Love & Laughter Events     | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals

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Best of 2016

I know everyone always says this, but I'm going to say it anyway. I can't believe a year has already gone by! This year in particular seemed to go by in the blink of an eye and, looking back, I can see why. (Sorry for the unintentional rhyming). On New Year's Eve last year, I sat down and created a list of intentions for 2016...something I haven't done in years past. I have to say that I feel like I had a completely new experience after doing this. It was amazing to see things I put on my "2016 Bucket List" come to life. Lay in a hammock in Bali...check. Take a calligraphy class...check. See Northern Lights...check check. Set your intentions people! There was one thing on my list, "Fall in love." I looked at it a few days ago and thought to myself, "Well, that didn't happen." But then I thought about it again. I actually did "fall in love." Looking back on 2016, I realized this year was huge for me in personal growth and working on self love. For the first time in a long time, I feel much more clear on how to love myself, how to set boundaries in personal relationships and stand by how I want to be treated, and, most importantly, having a clearer understanding of my self worth. I think this is an ongoing process for sure, but learning to fall in love with myself and treat myself with kindness has been one of the best relationships I've ever been in.

I played, I worked my ass off, I met amazing people and cultivated very precious friendships. My theme for 2016 was "Service." I asked myself, "How can I serve others?"  I think giving is one of the most important things a person can do in their lives. I gave all of myself to my clients and my business. Which leads me to my theme for next year, "Balance" AND "Letting go of limiting self beliefs." Next year I will be working on maintaining a better balance of work and personal relationships...making it a priority to make time for friends and "personal" time. I will also be working hard on letting go of playing small and releasing the fearful beliefs that hold me back from dreaming BIG. I'm excited to see where that takes me!


 

I started off 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska with my besties Mark and Christine. We played in the snow and went dog sledding. We were even able to check "See Northern Lights" off our Bucket Lists on New Years Eve. What an amazing way to start the year! You can check out more images from our trip here. Photos by Christine Chang, Mark Groves, and/or myself. taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0050taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0051taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0047taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0049taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0048

 

I rented a bright orange jeep with some friends and went on an epic road trip adventure up the Central Coast. Whenever I'm feeling uninspired I plan a trip and it makes me feel totally refreshed both mentally and creatively. Photos by Christine Chang, Katrina Jayne, and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0062taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0063taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0064The biggest highlight of my year was planning a trip to Bali. I had felt called to travel there for a long time and the trip was absolutely life changing...I even got my first tattoo! (sorry mom) Bali is such a magical place and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they can brave the 23 hour flight time. Check out more images from our trip here. Photos by Shaina Weiss, Anthony Weiss, Brandon Haws, and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_bali_travel_photography_0055taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_bali_travel_photography_0054I was lucky enough to shoot a wedding in New York in July 2016. I hadn't been to New York since college so it was a really different experience the 2nd time around. New York is such an amazing city but I don't think I could live there. I'm an open spaces kinda girl. Photos by Sarah Zimmer and/or myself.

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taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_joshua_tree_travel_0052taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_joshua_tree_travel_0053One of the highlights of my career thus far was getting to shoot at Taft Point in Yosemite. I didn't know I was afraid of heights until this moment. It was SO terrifying but such a rush at the same time. I could hear the echo of my voice as I directed my couple to move closer to the edge of a cliff. Crazy! Photos by Kylie Nicholson and/or myself.

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Thanks to all for your love and support. Can't wait to get started on 2017 with you! Cheers to making new memories!

 

Kristen and Rigo {Engaged} | Vasquez Rocks, CA

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Kristen and Rigo are one of those couples I feel so lucky I get to work with! They are both total sweethearts and trusted me completely to capture the love they share. I can't wait for their wedding next year! 

CeCe Moon {Newborn} | Valencia, CA

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Ask Me Anything... {6/21/16}

image1-2"Ask Me Anything..." is a weekly blog segment where I answer your questions about photography, me, or...anything. Check back next Monday on my Instagram and Facebook pages where I'll be taking all of your questions. 1-What is the Arab country you would like to visit?

Those of you who have been checking in on my posts know that I love to travel! When I read this question I literally said, "ooooOOOoooOOOOo" because I hadn't really included any Arab countries yet on my list of "places to see." I think the country that sparks my interest the most would be Morocco. There's something about this place that seems mysterious and kind of magical. From the colors in the architecture, to the never-ending sand dunes, to the busy marketplaces, I think Morocco would be an awesome adventure!

You can check out some other adventures I've been on here, here, and here.

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2- What is the number one piece of advice you would give others regarding the creative process?

Sometimes being a creative person can be really challenging. I think the one major obstacle I've been faced with the most along my journey as a creative is self doubt. Overcoming this is definitely still something that I struggle with but I'm learning how to move past this by implementing a couple of important ideas into my life.  I'm going to give you two pieces of advice, rather than one, because I'm feeling generous today.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Yes, there's a reason I just underlined that. It's one thing to be inspired by a person, but it's a completely different thing to feel lesser than because you are not "as successful, as pretty, as smart, as talented, as rich, as busy," etc and so forth. Comparing your art and your journey to someone else's will be the number one killer of, not only your creative freedom, but your confidence as well. OWN your art. OWN your place in your personal journey.

Surround yourself with people who  build you up. No, this doesn't mean "only have friends who kiss your ass." Although, that would be nice. What I mean by this is that the people you surround yourself with are crucial to the evolution of who you are. Do you have friends who aren't supportive of your personal growth? Ask yourself why you keep them in your life. Do you interact with people that are hell bent on putting you in your place? Why? Make the decision to have people in your life that are on your team. This means they celebrate WITH you during your triumphs and call you on your shit when you're messing up. Because a real friend will tell you how it is in order to see you succeed.

3- How difficult was it getting started and how long was it before you felt you "made it"?

Getting started with my business was easy in some ways and really difficult in others. Where I am in my business now was not an overnight success at all. I worked tirelessly to learn/network/improve/hustle because, ultimately, I felt compelled to make this art. It's the one thing I've ever done in my life that I've been completely sure of. As a result, working towards building my business never felt like work. It just felt like a fun challenge that included lots of baby steps towards success. If you want a technical answer, I started teaching myself photography in 2011, started shooting friends and family as a hobby in 2012, and officially started my business in 2013. I left my full time job in July of 2014 to be a professional photographer full time.

I use past tense but, really, I should be using present. Because building my business still feels like a fun challenge every single day. I don't feel like I've "made it" by any means. What does it mean to have "made it"? I suppose you can say I've accomplished many of my goals leading up to where I currently am in my journey. But, guess what, now I have a whole new set of goals to work towards.

I think if you ever feel like you've "made it" and no longer have to keep striving towards improvement, you should reevaluate what you're doing.

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"Ask Me Anything..." {6/15/16}

image1-2"Ask Me Anything..." is a weekly blog segment where I answer your questions about photography, me, or...anything. Check back next Monday on my Instagram and Facebook pages where I'll be taking all of your questions. 1- How big do you think your portfolio should be before you can start charging clients? How should you price yourself when you start out? I've read that if you price yourself cheaply at first, it will be hard to get clients to see you as worth more later down the line. Do you agree with this?

Trying to build your business and client base when you're first starting out is a bit of a catch 22 isn't it? You can't get clients unless you have something to show and you can't have anything to show unless you have clients. The beginning of your career is the time when you have to be entirely proactive with creating what you want(Although you really should always be proactive). Clients aren't going to come to you and say, " Gee, I was hoping you would take my photo for your portfolio." From my experience, you usually don't get what you don't ask for.

I spent probably the first year of my photography journey asking friends if I could photograph their kids at birthday parties or taking pictures of people on my travels. I asked family members if they would let me practice on them and then posted those images on Facebook. Eventually, I had people approaching me and asking how much I charged. I go into depth on pricing in this previous "Ask Me Anything..." (Click here).

In answer to your questions, I think you should have a few sessions to show before your start to charge. Do I think you should have a huge portfolio of work to show off? No way! That takes time. Do I think you should charge while you're building your portfolio? Absolutely! Do you know why? Because you're an artist, and your art and your time are valuable. If you don't value yourself, no one else will.

One thing on this I will say though, is that you should not charge your full rate for sessions you are using them for practice. People should not be paying you to practice with your camera. When it gets to a point that you're charging, I personally believe you should be shooting every day...whether it's pictures of your dog or a beautiful sunset, practice until that camera is like second nature to you. A lot of people start by charging lower rates, which can also be looked at as "Portfolio Rates." It's perfectly acceptable to offer clients lower rates because you're still building your portfolio. I totally charged cheap rates when I was starting out! Do I think people see me as less valuable now because of that? No way! As you grow as an artist and a business, your rates will also grow. That's just the nature of business.

 

2-How do you avoid getting stuck putting people in the same pose or having them do the same thing? I feel like, during sessions, I go back to doing the same thing with couples/families sometimes but don't want sessions to look the same and get boring. 

Posing is an interesting topic because there are so many different ways to approach it. I absolutely have felt like I'm doing the same things over and over again on sessions or wedding days. There's nothing like doing the same thing over and over again to kill your creativity, right? Here's the thing though, those poses you are doing over and over again are a completely new experience to your clients. And, actually, those poses your clients have seen in your portfolio are most likely the reason you were hired in the first place. If you have a formula of poses that you use as your "go to" poses, there's nothing wrong with that, because it works.

I think, when I feel this way, the best way to spark my creativity is working with another photographer, attending a workshop, or planning a styled shoot. Go to a museum, take a trip, watch a beautiful film...just engage in anything that makes you feel totally inspired to create.  These are all awesome ways to spark fresh and creative ideas that will help you avoid feeling stagnant.

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3-How do you deal with a bride/groom/family member who is stressed out the day of the wedding and is not being very cooperative?

I think the one aspect of photography I didn't anticipate when I started was just how many personalities I would have to engage with.  On a wedding day, there's a WHOLE lot of stress and personalities all in one space. If you're not good in situations like that, it can really take away from your ability to be successful on a wedding day.

I think the number one approach that has helped me tremendously is settings expectations. Communicate with your clients well in advance to work with them on what they can expect from you on their wedding day. I always work with clients on a really organized timeline of their day well in advance. I educate them on how much time I will need for each portion of the day and what time of day is best for lighting. I ask them what is most important to them on the wedding day and how they would like the day to go. That way, when the wedding day comes along clients are totally prepared and know how the schedule of the day should be going.

Sometimes though, shit happens. I don't think I've EVER had a wedding where every single thing went according to plan. That's just the nature of life. There's no point in stressing out over little things. All you can do is try your very best to be prepared and capture the day as it progresses.

Ultimately, I think the one thing that has helped the most is just letting clients and family members know that I'm there to help them. I always say my job goes beyond taking photos on a wedding day. I'm there by my couples' side offering emotional support, updating timing situations, checking up on flowers, making sure they're hydrated, etc. I truly want my clients to have the best wedding day experience they could have hoped for. I think knowing they have that support is always really helpful in mellowing out the mood. This is why I always encourage couples to hire a coordinator...but that's a whole different blog post. ;)

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Leslie Maternity Session {Los Angeles, CA}

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For Leslie's Maternity Session we decided to keep it lifestyle and relaxed by shooting in her Hollywood residence. Getting to use her home as our location was like being in Disneyland for me! The decor and architectural elements were all so gorgeous! I always love when soon-to-be-mommies opt to shoot in their home. I think it adds a really personal, intimate feel to the images.Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0584Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0586Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0583Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0570Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0585Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0563Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0587Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0588Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0560Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0568 Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0567Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0582Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0571Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0572Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0574Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0576Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0578Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0579Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0580Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0581Taylor Kinzie Photography_Los Angeles_Maternity Photography_0589

Julie and Kyle | Engaged {Mammoth, CA}

Julie and Kyle both love adventure and the outdoors and will be getting married in Yosemite this October. It seemed like the most obvious choice to shoot their Engagement Session in the gorgeous mountains near Mammoth, California. We planned for everything from wardrobe to various locations. When we saw rain in the forecast, we decided to plan to shoot as scheduled and hope for the best. When I met them at our first planned location at Convict Lake, it was literally pouring rain. I pulled up to their car, rolled down my window, and said, "Well, it's raining." The look on their faces was full of worry and disappointment. I knew I had to come up with a plan, fast.

Luckily, I had come from an area where it hadn't been raining so we decided to drive in that direction and chase the light. You can see that our first stop was still a bit drizzly. If you look closely you can see the raindrops falling on Julie and Kyle. They were so great and just went with the flow, laughing it off and continuing to smile.

As we continued to our next location, I could see the clouds start to part and the sun started shining. Off in the distance, I saw an open field with a beam of radiant light shining down on it. I have driven by this area probably 100's of times (I've been to Mammoth a lot in my lifetime) and I've never thought to explore there. So, in photographer's fashion, I pulled off onto a random road and started driving towards that light. What we discovered was so much better than any location we could have planned for. Roadways with epic trees arching over them, fields of irises, a rope swing...a rope swing for crying out loud! When I met with the couple at our consultation, Julie had mentioned to me that she and Kyle had been working on their "frolicing" skills in preparation for their Engagement Session. I'm so glad we found the perfect grassy field for you two to frolic in.

This experience was such a reflection of life for me. Sometimes you can plan for things, but, ultimately, you just have to let go and let the Universe deliver gifts that are so much better than you could have ever imagined.

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Adventures in Bali

How strange it is to be stagnant in stillness for 18 hours all the while watching the world fall behind. You peer through a tiny window as you punch through the sky, forward in time, anticipating memories you’ve yet to make. I’ve always been one to look forward. Always sitting still, but never being here. I do not travel seeking stillness, but rather to satiate the sweet addiction to finally feeling that the daydreams in my mind are in alignment with reality. I had been dreaming of Bali. There is a line from a movie called Hector and the Search for Happiness that says, “There is a big difference between being here, and being here to be photographed being here.” On the second day of our trip, my camera wouldn’t turn on. I had spent months planning the kinds of images I hoped to get on this trip. In all honesty, I had initially planned this trip for the sole purpose of taking pictures. After trying everything I could think of to bring my baby back to life, I eventually came to the realization that I may need to continue the rest of the trip without being able to take photos. Although I tried to hide it, my heart was completely broken. Little did I know I would learn a very important lessons from this.

The day went on without my camera by my side and I continued to endure the torture of letting moments slip away. It seemed that, unless captured in my camera, they were moments wasted. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I took a deep breath and let it go. I wish I could remember what it was, but something cool was happening outside the car window as we were driving and I missed the shot because my camera wasn’t working. I contently smiled and said, “Some moments aren’t meant to be captured.”

My camera started working again the next day, but for the rest of the trip I didn’t feel as dependent on it. In fact, there were a lot of moments that escaped my viewfinder. Instead of being sad I “missed the shot”, I simply reveled in knowing that particular moment was a gift just for me…not to be shared with anyone else’s eyes. Because sometimes capturing a feeling with your heart is more important than having the photo of it.

There are so many moments from this trip you will not see captured in my photographs. How do you capture the introduction to the feeling of driving in a country with no stop lights? The responsibility of allowing someone to trust you with their deepest secrets? The freedom in napping on a lounge chair under the stars in the middle of a crowded room? The thick, sticky air and how alive I felt to be swimming in it? The way your heart races when a wild animal allows you to see into its soul? The warmth of watching the reflection of the moonlight on a rice field? The gratitude you feel for people you don't even know? The connection you build with friends you spontaneously got your first tattoo with? I can do my best to try, but no matter how great my camera is, a photograph can never compare to being there. In it. Present in the deliciousness of feeling the energy of life's magic.

We went to Bali searching for answers to questions we could not find within ourselves. Hoping for some strange enlightenment that can only be discovered somewhere between the depths of a stranger’s smile and roads leading to deep, dark jungles. We ventured to the island of love, hoping to purify our bleeding hearts in the holy waters but were met with an uninvited truth. Our pain is not something that is meant to be cleansed. No, our pain is what makes us divine…beautifully broken masterpieces. We went to Bali to find direction and were met with the path towards the courage to keep our hearts open to love. We went to Bali in search of ourselves, but ended up finding each other.

Uluwatu:

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It was so humid in Uluwatu it was nearly impossible to wear clothes without sweating through them. Here I am sitting at Kelly's Warung, a cute little cafe with a beach view that served the best Pitaya Bowls. 

Seminyak:

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One of my favorite parts of Bali was the beautiful alley ways leading to mysterious places.            Ketut posing by the art in our AirBnB in Seminyak.

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Ubud:

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Ketut: Thank you for showing me what a truly pure heart looks like. I have never in my life met a more kind and gentle soul than yours. You truly made this trip better for us than we could have ever imagined and we will be forever grateful that you were part of it.

Brandon: I so admire your courage, your sense of honor, and the way you constantly strive to be a better version of yourself. Thank you for teaching me how to receive help from others without feeling weak, or proud, or underserving.

Shaina: I love the way your heart light shines. Your inner strength and the depth to which you love is so inspiring to me. I'm so excited to witness the evolution of your purpose.

Anthony: I'm so proud of you. I am in awe of the way you set your mind to achieving the intentions you create for yourself and how you want to live your life. I can always count on some good belly laughs whenever we are together and I am so grateful for our years of friendship. Thank you for inspiring me to live with passion.

Watch until the end for bloopers.

https://youtu.be/RsYNNdzfhNk

The Howard Family {Vasquez Rocks}

I've been photographing the Howard Family for a few years now and this year we decided to do something a bit different by shooting at Vasquez Rocks. Ashley is an amazing yoga instructor (check out her site here) so I wanted to shoot somewhere that reflected her spiritual and peaceful nature. We had so much fun highlighting the kids' playful side by incorporating fun props like the tee pee, jumbo balloons, and magic wands. The family spends a lot of time outdoors so it was awesome to snap some pics of them totally in their element climbing on rocks and jumping from path to path. Ashley's dress is by Free People. Hair by Ashlee Norman. Make up by DoubleTake Makeup Artistry. Reese's flower crown by CelebrateVasquez Rocks Family Photography_0394Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0393Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0395Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0397Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0396Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0398Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0399Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0400Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0401Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0402Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0404Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0403Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0405Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0414Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0406Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0407Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0409Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0408 Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0411Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0415Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0416Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0412Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0413Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0418Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0417Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0419Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0421Vasquez Rocks Family Photography_0410