Earlier this month Felicia and I headed out to New York to meet up with Francis and Christina for their engagement session. They’re both very busy doctors getting married in California next year, so having us come to New York was more feasible than them coordinating schedules to be in Los Angeles.
We had met Francis a few months ago here in California, and then spent a Skype call with Christina talking about food, food, and food, instead of their wedding. When they showed up at The High Line for the first portion of their shoot, we finally got to meet Christina… and she brought us CUPCAKES … at 9am! I was instantly enamored with them both (I know, I know… I’m easy). Anyhow, when a doctor gives you a cupcake, you eat it. We had a spectacular morning wandering the Highline and Central Park before everyone got hungry and had Japanese food for lunch on the Upper East Side.
Later that evening we headed over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the evening part of the shoot. They came dressed to the nines – so much so that Felicia leapt up from the bench exclaiming ‘THEY LOOK AWESOME!’ when they showed up - and the Manhattan was aglow behind them.
Thank you Francis & Christina for having us in New York, AND for 9am cupcakes. Great food and awesome clients in an amazing city: no wonder we love what we do!
We met Michael and Natalie last weekend at Pasadena City Hall for their engagement shoot, where we were dodged the never ending stream of brides and bridal parties. Thankfully with some patience it all worked out.
Afterwards we headed over to Colorado Blvd. where Michael and Natalie tapped their connections to get their names up on the marquee at the Laemmle Playhouse. Awesome!
Congrats again guys and we’ll see you soon – the wedding will be here before you know it!
Eight years ago, I did an exchange program in Paris, and during that time I made friends with several Los Angeles-based American students including Lisette (whose wedding we shot two years ago), and Linda. Thanks to the technological wonder that is social media, I kept in touch with Linda and my other classmates over the years.
Last month, I got an excited message from her asking if Rob and I would be her wedding photographers! Well the answer is obviously YES, and we are so thrilled that we will be part of Linda & Jason’s special day. Eight years ago in Paris, I would have NEVER imagined that I would be these ladies’ wedding photographer. But life works in crazy ways. I never thought I would meet a tall, handsome, charming American in the barren, windswept steppes of Tibet either, nor be moving to Los Angeles…
So anyway. Back to Linda & Jason: Rob and I spent an beautiful day with these high school sweethearts in Solvang, the lavender fields of Santa Barbara, and Gaviota Beach – where the rangers threatened to lock our cars in if we didn’t leave at sunset. Thankfully we managed to wrap up the session in time and got out before the gates were closed: I doubt the Prius would make a very good battering ram…
Joanna & Nathan love heading onto the trails with their dog Gemma, so a few weeks ago, we met up at Placerita Canyon Park, which was close to their home. After Gemma got bored, Joanna & Nathan dropped her off, and the rest of us continued on to the Odyssey Restaurant for a few sunset pictures, and caught the twinkling lights of the 405. That freeway is so much more appealing when viewed from afar.
Congrats Joanna & Nathan! See you in the Dominican Republic!
Yaelle & Josh got in touch with us a couple of months ago about an engagement shoot here in Los Angeles as they would be getting married in Chicago. Turns out, Santa Monica is THE special spot for them, since Josh had proposed there on the beach.
But, with 7.3 million visitors a year, shooting at Santa Monica pier on a weekend in summer often feels as though all 7 million of those people showed up there all at once.
So we all woke up at unpalatable hours where it was still dark out, met up for a sunrise shoot, and managed to have our run of the pier before those 7 million people arrived. Nice.
Earlier this year Rob and I met Alicia, a very charming lady who was helping her daughter with wedding planning. We exchanged travel stories, and soon enough, we had a phone call with Alex and Blake, and they were every bit as fun, kind, and wonderful as Alicia!
This last week Alex & Blake were in town from Colorado for 4th of July, and we finally got to meet up. Rob and I headed down to Orange County, and we spent quiet afternoon wandering O’Neill Regional Park in Trabuco Canyon.
Congrats Alex & Blake! We’re looking forward to the wedding!
One of our favorite aspects of what we do is that we get to frequently discover new locations. So when Irene & Brandon diligently spent weekends scouting Santa Barbara county, we knew we were in for a treat. Well, not to mention that Santa Barbara is one of our favorite cities in the US!
We started at the tranquil Nojoqui Falls just outside of Solvang, where Irene & Brandon also dressed up as Han Solo and Princess Leia…which is nothing short of EPIC. Seriously, we have the best clients!! I really was sad I didn’t dress up as R2D2. Rob aka RCP3, can be C3PO.
We then headed to the ruins of Knapp’s Castle, where we marveled at the glowing sunset amidst these crumbling structures. It would have been perfect save for a trio of cackling teenage girls who decided that belting out ‘Call Me Maybe’ complete with dance moves was a good idea for such serene surroundings. (Rob’s right: I’m well on my way to being a grouchy old lady…)
Thanks Irene & Brandon for suggesting the wonderful locations!
We get a huge amount of questions/compliments about our Astro-Engagement/Wedding photography sessions (Can we do these during our Los Angeles wedding? How long do I have to stand still? Is it photoshopped?), and since these sessions were just featured on PetaPixel, I figured now is a great time to answer some questions and help if you want to plan one of these astounding sessions.
First of all, no it’s not photoshopped. Felicia and I are very lucky to have clients that utterly trust us, even when we tell them to meet us outside a dodgy motel in the middle of the desert at 2am, then get in our car and drive to where we can find the least possible light. Then, through a very technical mixture of long exposure, speedlites(flashes) and couples who are willing to hold very still while I tinker like a madman, we are able to create a unique mix of astrophotography and portraiture that I personally had not seen before (not to say I invented this or that no one else out there is doing this).
Secondly, no, we probably can’t do this at your wedding, or anywhere within 100 miles of a major city/light pollution. In Death Valley we have to contend with the lights of Las Vegas and on the horizon in Joshua Tree we are glimpsing Palm Springs. Sometimes these lights can add to the picture, but mainly they just affect the ability to truly appreciate our night skies. If you have never stood in the middle of the desert on a moonless night, you are in for a treat.
Speaking of the moon, we don’t want that either… if we want to see the most stars, we need it to be as dark as possible. I haven’t experimented with this rule yet, but I like to schedule these session +/-5 days of a moonless night. I am interested in shooting a long lens, full moon session (think moon silhouettes), but that’s next on the list of to-dos.
Lastly, and most importantly, clouds will ruin this shoot quicker than anything else – so up until now we have stuck with the dryer climes of the California deserts (but this too may change soon).
We love finding new and unconventional techniques and locations for our shoots. Thanks again to our amazing clients who trust us and our seemingly crazy ideas!
The light in the sky at the bottom left of the above picture is actually Las Vegas, which is about 100 miles away from where we were shooting. It’s a bit insane, but even the smallest light in the distance can be extremely amplified when working with the long exposure time of astrophotography.
Each year we have a few couples that we consult with over the phone because they live far away, and it’s always extra intriguing to meet up with them right before launching into a full photoshoot. Thankfully, Agnes & Daniel were even more awesome in person!
We started at Malibu Creek State Park where Rob showed off his impressive Eagle Scout skills and fashioned a rather sturdy tent out of the materials Agnes & Daniel brought (the sticks for the tent frame were cut from a tree in their parents’ backyard). Robert Paetz Photography: now includes campsite set-up.
We had an incredible time with these two, nevermind the onslaught of crazy gnats at Point Dume.
Thanks for being so much fun, you guys! Can’t wait for the wedding!
Daniel is a photojournalist, so they brought a vintage camera, which we managed to shoot through (right). The apple’s for Agnes, as she’s a professor.
Avi & Angie came referred to us by Justin & Christa, and though we figured that could be a hint that Avi & Angie could be pretty cool by association, we did not expect to be spending 2 hours with them at Starbucks talking about everything & anything, including a debate about the merits (or demerits, according to Avi *ahem*) of The Life Aquatic. Obviously Rob is a big fan.
Rob says you need to watch this, so here goes:
But despite that minor hiccup – it’s OK, Avi does actually like Wes Anderson – just not that particular movie, and Angie is a badass – so these two make for pretty rad couple,as they would say.
A couple of weeks ago we hung out at Union Station, took some pictures, got told to leave, crossed the street, took a few more pictures, got asked if we had a permit (seriously, LaLaLand…), kept shooting, and then sadly had to leave instead of having drinks with them because we had a meeting to attend. Wop wop….
But it’s OK. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of these awesome people before their wedding.