#HeyFrancis | Yesterday, the crew and I explored LA to grab some b-roll 🎥 for a New Balance lifestyle project we’ve been working on. Had a great time flying the drone 🚁, learning about what it takes to make a living shooting photography here in LA, and getting a feel for the next steps I plan to take as a photographer - lifestyle shooting. Hope the LA vibes find you well and much more to come ;)
#HeyFrancis | This has been a intense week for me to say the least - so many revelations, a few heartbreaks, and still recovering from my knee injury in the Philippines. In the midst of all the stress and confusion, I'm so grateful for photography. More than just art, it acts as meditation for me - allowing me the chance to escape reality, even just briefly, to capture a glimpse of light and beauty in what can often seem like such a dark and somber world. Here's a shot I captured this evening as I watched the sunset reflecting off the Westin in Downtown Los Angeles. S/o to the homie Christine who's celebrating her 28th Birthday today - this one's for you!
Gear: Canon 5D Mark III, 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II Lens, Amazon Basics Travel Tripod, ZOMEI Variable ND Filter
Settings: 24mm, ISO 100, f/8, 2.0 second exposure
#HeyFrancis | Reps, reps, reps! Immediately following a long day of shooting Mauneal & Zhenli's first (Indian) wedding (here's a link 👉 http://bit.ly/2dzck4V), it was time to begin working on the second. We learned so much as a team from the first day and were super excited to make some key adjustments headed into the second day of shooting. Growth is such a beautiful thing, and even more special when you can reflect and apply new knowledge right away; we were ready!
You would think we were tired from the busy night of shooting, yet the excitement for the day had us up early and ready to rock and roll. The morning started off with a smooth ride out to Anaheim where we were to meet up with the Bride and Groom. Sarah (@sarahjackson_mua) was already at work in applying her first round of make-up as Miguel and I made our way upstairs. One by one, the ladies entered and departed from the make-up chair ready for the day. Shortly thereafter, it was time to head out the venue.
Following a brief Limo ride, we all arrived at the La Venta Inn in beautiful Palos Verdes, CA. And when I say beautiful, I mean, "B-E-A-UTIFUL!" I would like to thank Charla (the Office Manager at La Venta Inn) for all her help throughout the day. She was an ABSOLUTE pleasure to work with!
The limo unloaded person by person as the Bride and Groom made their way to their respective quarters not to see each other until their first-looks. The Bride and Bridesmaids headed off to a quaint little cottage that sat atop the hill with an extraordinary view of the Pacific Ocean (my favorite 😁 place to shoot). After taking some snaps 📷 utilizing the soft and natural light peeking in from the windows, it was time to capture the fellas. (By the way, peep the Bride's Dress and Shoes 😍 below)
As I walked over to the Men's cottage, I had a "Wait, hold that thought" moment as I halted at a stunning location for the rings to be shot. Standing before me was a wooden barrier that had light spilling on it through the leaves of the lush tree above. It was as if Mother Nature had set up a spotlight on this barrier just for me. Thanks Mother Nature 🙌 . After making a few in-camera adjustments, here's 👇 what I got.
At that moment, I then realized how much fun I was truly having. Chris was now working with the ladies, Ryan was off getting all of his DJ stuff knocked out (#GoDJ), Miguel was climbing in and around bushes to get all of the video pick-ups he was looking for, and Sarah was standing by ready and willing to help out if needed. Having such a great team working together made it easy for me to focus on what I needed to do as a photographer, and I'm so thankful for the team's professionalism and hustle; we were putting in work! Right after, I made my way down a set of stairs a met the fellas in their cottage. It was ducked off and shaded on the other side of the grounds setting up a few images that were more on the "cool 😎" (temperature) side. That was a photographers joke if you didn't get it 😉 .
Next thing you know it, it was already time for first-looks. Luckily Mauneal couldn't see very well without his glasses on as Zhenli made her way from the cottage (right past him lol) and over to the stunning white-stoned terrace that faced the ocean. Following a few pictures, the Bride and Groom parted ways again as the ceremony was about to begin.
One-by-one each couple from the Wedding Party made their way down the elegantly set aisle. A rush of emotion started filling the air as they knew the Bride was finally on her way. The music started playing and then came the tears (I even teared up a little bit 😪). Step-by-step, Zhenli's Father guided her daughter down the aisle. With a nod of the head and with an exchange of smiles, Zhenli's Father handed His Daughter over to Mauneal for the first time; the ceremony went silent. At that moment I thought, "It's so crazy to experience all of this through a camera lens." What a pleasure and honor it was being in a position to capture it all!
After an exchange of vows, a few laughs, and smiles between one another, the Marriage Officiant proudly presented, for the first time 💍, MR. and MRS. SHAH! 👫 With a roar of applause and cheers from everyone in attendance 🎉🎉🎉, Mauneal and Zhenli made their way back up the aisle and pulled everyone in together for group picture.
Following the ceremony, we had the chance to take the Wedding Party away from the crowd for a few moments to capture some stunning shots using the light from a gorgeous setting sun. I'm serious, you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful sunset. As we wrapped up on some shots, we could already tell the party was getting started ("as you hear the sound of popping bottles 🍷 and music 🎤 from the infamous DJ Bootr0n in the distance").
The time was finally here, it was "Reception Time"! The Wedding Party danced 💃🏻 their way into the room with a storming roar of applause and cheers as everyone awaited the arrival of the newly wedded couple. With microphone in hand, DJ Bootr0n introduced the newlyweds and even more cheers rang out; what a time to be alive! Following the Best Man and Maid Of Honor speeches, some tasty 😋 dinner, and cake 🎂 cutting, Mauneal and Zhenli took the floor and danced together for the first time.
It was such an honor given the opportunity to witness the union of this amazing couple 👦🏽👰🏻 ! I've always been my own worst critic, yet this experience really opened my eyes 👀 to how hard I've worked throughout the years to finally get to this point. My team and I had just finished capturing our second wedding in two days at one of the most fascinating wedding venues we had ever been to. Dreams come true, but they take time. All I can say is that if you set out clear goals and work towards them each and every day (even justtt a little bit 👌), you'll see them come alive right before your eyes. Congratulations 🙏 again to the happy couple, and thank YOU, the reader, so much for being a part of and following the journey.
Check out Miguel's video below 👇 for a full-video recap of the accounts of the day! Also, check out his blog here which highlights the events of both days. I'd love to hear from you! Please leave your COMMENTS and FEEDBACK in the section below! Be on the lookout for the next BLOG highlighting my 3rd wedding in 4 days (whoa!) coming soon! -MF
Video By: MigZilla
#HeyFrancis | The more I photograph with people, the more I realize how special it is to have been selected to capture a moment in time that will never happen again; this opportunity was a true representation of that. On October 6 and 7, 2016 I had the pleasure of photographing 📷 the weddings 👫 (both Indian and Traditional, respectively) of Mauneal and Zhenli Shah.
[ I have to give a major shoutout to my Brother Ashir for making it all happen; thanks Bro! 🙌 ]
What made things even more special was the fact that I had the chance to bring together and collaborate with a really close group friends and creatives: Christian Adkins (photographer), Ryan Butron (DJ), Miguel De La Rosa (videographer), and Sarah Jackson (make-up artist). I'd like to thank them all so much, you guys are the best! If not for them, capturing and curating all of these beautiful moments wouldn't have been possible. Make sure to check out the recap video curated by Miguel at the bottom of this post! Here's a breakdown of Wedding Day 1.
This was my first time shooting an Indian Wedding, and what a day we had ahead of us! The gang and I arrived early at the Iskcon Temple in Laguna Beach 🌴 just as the sun was reaching its highest point in the sky. As we entered, the vibe was quite somber as members of the temple began setting things us. This quiet time was a great opportunity for us to grab some really nice establishing shots and set up the shot lists for the day.
Guests, dressed in extravagant and traditional Indian attire, started arriving shortly thereafter and one could feel the energy ✨ of the space growing with each and every hug and greeting; today was going to be a great day! After snapping a few shots and connecting with the members of each family, we began to hear a ruckus outside; the Bride had finally arrived!
When the car pulled up, all I could say was, "Wow!" Zhenli stepped out in a beautiful, bright red Lahenga trimmed and accented in Gold. With a keen smile ☺️, she moved slowly and worked her way towards the temple as she was greeted with laughter, hugs, and smiles. After a few touch ups and attire adjustments (along with a few deeps breaths lol), it was finally time for Zhenli to see her Groom for the first time.
Words couldn't describe the look on Mauneal's face 😊 as Zhenli walked down the aisle hidden behind a near transparent red cloth. He looked so happy and so did Zhenli. After a few rotations around the ceremonial area, the beautiful couple came to a stop standing face to face; beautiful tensions was in the air. Following a brief introduction from the leader of Hindu Wedding Ceremony, the cloth was dropped as Mauneal and Zhenli tossed rice at each other. We learned that whoever tossed the rice first would take "lead" in the family (I think Zhenli won 😄 - check out the video below 👇 let us know in the comments who you think tossed the rice first).
From there, the leader of the ceremony guided Mauneal and Zhenli through a variety of Hindu Wedding traditions and brought the wedding to a close with a round of applause from everyone in attendance. It was such an awesome experience witnessing 😄 these traditions for the first time. After a few greetings of congratulations and photos with family and friends, it was finally time for some one-on-one time with the Bride and Groom.
It's so hard to express how much fun 🙌 it was photographing and working with Mauneal and Zhenli and their families. Their love for one another truly radiated from our time together and I'm so grateful to have had the pleasure to capture their special day. Be on the lookout of Mauneal + Zhenli: Wedding (Day 2) coming soon!
Congratulations again Mr. and Mrs. Shah! 🎉🎉🎉
Video by: MigZilla
#HeyFrancis | After discovering I had the power to "Time-Lapse" lol, I've been on a tear. Last Tuesday afternoon I headed out to Santa Monica, CA an spent a fair amount of time capturing and composing some really fun shots. Here's my latest project: "Santa Monica Dreaming", which is composed of over 1,440 photos processed and exported using Adobe Lightroom, and then rendered using Adobe Photoshop.
All photos were taken at various settings using the Canon 5D Mark III, 16-35mm f/2.8L Mark II Lens, AmazonBasics 52" Carbon-Fiber Tripod, and NEWEER Timer Remote for Canon. What I've learned from this project is that you should always weigh down your tripod with a weight; it'll greatly reduce how the tripod shakes depending on it's foundation and lead to some really smooth and steady shoot for your time lapse.
Thanks for following the journey! For more, check out my Instagram @heymikefranics