Mike Colon seminar - Day 4

Mike Colon seminar - Day 4

The seminar concluded in great fashion with a wonderful party at the OSPMC Mansion. It was great to meet so many additional visitors who had driven quite a ways to see everyone.

We'll have more pictures to post soon, but for now, here we are hanging with Mike, David Jay, Liana Lehman and Dane Sanders. Of course we took lots of pictures with other OSP celebrities, but they must be on other people's cameras. Hmmmmm....


Mike Colon seminar - Day 3

Here are some shots from our Hollywood shoot on Wednesday.


Hot Shots from the Mike Colon workshop

Mike Colon seminar - Day 2

Today we had a great time in class. We spent the first half of the day talking about equipment, and checking out some of the pics from Mike's recent fashion bridal that he did for Grace Ormonde.

After lunch we headed out to the beach with a few mondels. It was so much fun, working with Mike and with 20 of the other top photographers in the country. After class we all headed back to the mansion for Mexican Night. Mike cooked chimi changas, Jim Cook made guacumole, Choli made encheladas, and Joy and I made the salsa.



Laguna Beach #4

Monday was day one of the Mike Colon Conference. After introductions, we talked about websites, advertising, and editorial photography. Mike also talked about the importance of building bridges through making genuine friends.

While I was in the seminar, Joy spent the day with Amber Holritz and Regis Chen, touring the area, eating Italian food, taking a ferry to Balboa Island, eating ice cream, eating funnel cakes, and having a great time.

After the seminar most of us went to a great Japanese restaurant, even though Joy and Amber weren’t really hungry.


Laguna Beach #3

We had a great time on Sunday. The morning started out with a wonderful engagement shoot with two different couples. They are clients of Greg Bumatay, and with about a dozen photographers, we had a great time shooting together.

After the engagement shoot Joy and I went to downtown Laguna Beach to find lunch. We found a great French restaurant, C’est La Vie. Joy ordered an omelette and I ordered fish and chips. It was delicious. And then they brought out the desert tray (see picture).

After lunch we headed back to the mansion where we met up with several other photographers who had stopped by to visit. We chatted for a few minutes and then headed to Highlands for the Barlowgirl concert with Regis Chen and his friend Nicole. On the way to the concert we stopped at In-n-Out, a California favorite with DJ, Amy, Sarah, and Amanda. Following the concert, Sarah Barlow got us back stage privileges with the Barlowgirls, her cousins. Tomorrow the Mike Colon seminar starts, and it’s going to be a blast.


Liana's Summary of Laguna Beach Mansion Week

This is from our friend, Liana Lehman, who is also an awesome photographer, writing about our week here in Laguna Beach. These are also her photos of the gorgeous mansion we are staying in! Lots to come!

On February 17 and 18 over twenty of the nation’s hottest wedding photographers and rising stars will converge on the California coast for what is to be one of the most memorable weeks in the industry.

What started off as a simple 4-day-intensive seminar in Newport Beach lead by one of the nation’s best high-end wedding photojournalists, Mike Colon, has turned into a week-long celebration among a group of photographers who are making waves in their areas.

With photographers representative of every age and from all areas of the country – including New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Portland, Chicago, Little Rock, Chattanooga, New Orleans, Orange County, and Santa Barbara – the controversy has already begun. What will happen when 14 photographers move into a 4-story mansion in Laguna Beach on Saturday February 18?

The itinerary kicks off even before the week starts with photographers pairing up around the country to travel to Newport Beach. Two kick off the trip with a quick stop in Vegas and a drive over from there. The New York boys have a long six-hour drive to the airport before they head west. A trio of young female photojournalists unite in Los Angeles to shoot an intimate wedding that Saturday before moving into the Mansion. A tag-team of the NY boys, the Orlando couple, and a local Californian are covering a wedding across town at the same time.

Sunday is chalk-full of photo shoots starting at sunrise and includes real couples as well as models. A BBQ and concert are on the agenda for that afternoon and evening. Monday starts early with the first day of “class” that includes everything from business strategy and shooting techniques to discussions on post-production and branding. Each night hosts a series of portfolio evaluations and some sort of party or activity at the Mansion or out and about. Mexican night spouting homemade chimichangas by Mike, margaritas by Liana, Jim’s Guacamole and Garrett’s salsa is going to be one to remember with KKs “rap-opera” performances and tunes on the baby-grand by Nathan.

Thursday concludes the 4-day intensive with a massive poker-tournament and dinner. Friday morning, the group heads to Disneyland for a “field trip” and is joined by dozens of other photographers including more local celebrity wedding photojournalists.

Parting ways on the 24-26 is going to be difficult to swallow but plans for future rendezvous are likely.

February 18-25 is sure to be one of the most memorable, educational, emotionally-charged, exhilarating, and hilarious weeks for these friends and strangers and for the industry as a whole as lives are changed, friendships made, and in celebration of all the unforgettable moments.

Laguna Beach #1

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Laguna Beach…what a great place. With three sets of conflicting directions, we finally made it to the “mansion.” This house is unreal! I don’t recall for sure, but I think there’s something like 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a gigantic living room with a grand piano, roughly 5 balconies with the greatest view ever, and a guest-house with studio apartment and a loft. By the time everyone had arrived last night there were about 16 of us. People came from upstate New York, Oregon, St. Louis, Orlando, Atlanta, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Maine, Louisiana and who knows where else. Today the Holritzes arrive from Chattanooga.

Last night a group of us went out and found a great Mexican Restaurant. After telling us the wait was 40-45 minutes, we were seated in only 10 minutes. But then we waited 30 before we got our menus, so they were right. But the food was good and so was the company.

This morning some of the group are doing Tai Chi on the beach, and they’ve hired a private instructor. Don’t worry…I’ll take pictures. Then we’re supposed to be doing an engagement shoot on the beach, which I’m sure will be fun. Can you imagine being the couple—trying to be natural when 15-18 cameras are pointed at you! I can’t wait.


Among friends

Without a doubt some of the greatest blessings in life are friends. We've had a great time spending the last few days in Loma Linda with friends before we headed to our workshop in Newport Beach. Isaac, Mike and Chris were so hospitible to let us crash at their place.

Thursday we had two engagement shoots, one with Sandra and John and another with Jessica and Brad. Then we went to Market Night in Redlands, where we met up with Jessica and Pete. On Friday morning I had a shoot with ChiChi and her neice, and then we went to Claim Jumper for lunch, and what a lunch it was! Our visit in Loma Linda concluded on Friday evening with a get-together just for us that Isaac planned. We were fortunate enough to catch up with so many people that we hadn't seen in several years. Many were friends from college and some even from high school. It was great fun. May God bless you all as you continue your endeavors along the path of life.

*Unfortunately some had to leave before we took the group picture, and several others couldn't attend because of prior commitments.

Chi Chi

Last November one of our past wedding clients emailed and said she had a friend in California that she wanted us to shoot with. Her name was Chi Chi and she was recently crowned Miss Africa International. She was also planning a wedding for her and her fiance Jonathan. Obviously we were excited.

On Friday we finally had the chance to shoot. What a great model! We shot at the train depot in Redlands because it offered a convenient location with lots of opportunities for unique and different looks. I haven't had the opportunity to get through all the images yet, but here are a couple of my favorites.

Jessica and Brad

Jessica and Brad are living in Loma Linda, California, while they're in school. Jessica and I went to high school together way beack when, and Brad is good friends with my youngest brother. We had so much fun with them during their engagement shoot. It all started off right with some great Vietnamese food at "A-Dong" in Loma Linda.

We had no real agenda, so we just walked around Redlands. We took some really fun shots in a local coffee shop. They were so nice and accommodating in there, and Jessica and Brad posed and played like no one was watching. Then we drove over to an old train depot, where we took some more great shots and almost got run over J-walking!!! Jessica and Brad are getting married in June in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Sandra and John

Sandra and John are living in Loma Linda, California, while John is in dental school. We were fortunate to meet them through Sandra's brother and sister-in-law (Matt and Kelli), who's wedding we photographed last summer. Their engagement shoot was so much fun, and I have to admit that even though I was skeptical, the AK Smiley Public Library in Redlands is awesome! Way to find a great location, guys! Sandra and John are getting married in June just outide of Tampa.


Kelli and Kent

We had a great time working with Kelli and Kent. They both work in finance at Adventist Health System in Winter Park. We shot along Park Ave and also at Rollins College. Allbeit a little cold, it was a perfect day for shooting. Kelli and Kent did great. I love the way the light shines through on this image. We look forward to your wedding in a few weeks at Casa Feliz.

Brandi and Scott

A little rain didn't dampen Brandi and Scott's spirits for their engagement shoot. Actually, I'd always wanted to do an engagement shoot in the rain, so it was nice to be able take advantage of that...and they were great sports. The second image we shot this weekend during their non-raining engagement shoot. Thanks guys, we look forward to your wedding in a few weeks!


Reflections on Corporate Life

I've always had a fantasy with corporate America. It was a part of my upbringing. Like many kids of corporate executives I spent my summers at the golf course and evening dinners without the presence of both parents. Fortunately, I'm happy to say that I have no regrets. Breakfast was our family time, where we all gathered around the table together to start our day. My parents loved my brothers and me and provided us with a comfortable childhood. Being the oldest of three boys, my "job" was to be the role model...do the right thing, say the right thing, and pave the way for the others. Private church-schools and a similar college experience taught me the value of fitting into the corporate world, making your mark and climbing the ladder that others find fulfilling.

Within the past year I've been shaken.
Shake #1. Becoming a father
Shake #2. Shifting jobs from one corporate company to another
Shake #3. A surprisingly increasing number of photography requests
Shake #4. A rather large kick in the pants from my dear wife
Shake #5. Finding OSP

So here I sit, my last day of being a part-time photographer. Tomorrow things will be different. Everyone's asking me if I'm nervous. And I'm here wondering if I should be?

Fortunately I was able to finagle them into offering me part-time work on a per-diem basis that will allow us to keep benefits. That's a beautiful thing since we've committed to keeping Joy at home with the little one. And ultimately it will be a win/win because I can continue to assist with the hospital's marketing efforts and help promote the mission that I believe so strongly in: To Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ.

I've had three corporate jobs since I graduated from college. All of them I loved. I'm supposed to be a logical person, but I'm a "feelings" person. When I left job #1 in Tennessee I cried...I'd never been so passionate about my work. When I left job #2 last May I cried...I'd never been such good friends with my colleagues. Today my team will take me to lunch and as we leave the restaurant I'll skip to my car (no cameras please). No tears. Just smiles. It’s not because I don’t enjoy my work or I don’t enjoy my colleagues (they’re great!), it’s just that I’ve never been more excited about the future.

This weekend we'll pack for 10 days in California, visiting friends from college, and then it’s off to a 5-day intensive seminar with one of the top wedding photographers in the world. During the seminar we’ll be staying in a 6,000 square-foot beach house with 18 other photographers, most of whom we’ve met in person, but all of whom we already know from DJ's forum. These are some of the top photographers in the country…multiple award winners, folks who have been published/featured in every photography magazine around the world, even one guy has had his photo on the cover of TIME magazine, (Frank D!) We're so excited. What a way to kick off this adventure!

God has blessed us, as He has blessed so many of you. Thank you all for the constant source of encouragement that you've provided. I'll not mention names, but you know who you are. Our prayer is that your kindness comes back to you 10-fold. Here's to a super 2006!

All our best, Garrett and Joy


Lillian and Steve

There are so many things that we enjoy about being photographers, but one of my favorites is the couples/engagement shoot. This weekend we had the privilege of doing a couples shoot with Lillian and Steve. I met Lillian through my work at Florida Hospital, where she works part-time in the Marketing Department. Their goal was a "fun" shoot. Easy enough, I thought. But I never expected it to be this much fun. And it shows in their images. I hope you guys had as much fun as I did!