Lukas & Suzy International Wedding Photographers » Blog

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    Welcome to the blog! If the banner doesn't make it obvious enough I'll just spill the beans and let you know that we are a full time husband and wife wedding photography team. We love life, God, weddings, and if you slide over our names to the left you'll note a few other things we love.

    We are based out of Los Angeles, and when I say that, I mean our studio is right in the smack dab center of downtown. However, if you start browsing through the blog history you will soon note that we shoot weddings all over the country and world. We put a lot into making our images so I hope you enjoy checking some of them out!

    If you're up for having a great time at your wedding, and our photos have the look you are going for, then feel free to shoot us a note and we would love to chat some more!

    - Lukas and Suzy VanDyke

Getting Beyond the Intimidation of being Photographed

One of the things I love about being a photographer is all the people I get to meet. I mean what could be better than getting to meet new friends, bringing out the best of their personality, and capturing that forever. I seriously can’t tell you how much I love it. I crave the whole image creation process all the time and feel like I will burst if I’m not out there doing it.

However, I think a lot of people are slightly intimidated when it comes to getting photographed. We all have had some pretty bad photos taken of us, so I won’t blame anyone. So let’s look at this from the perspective of your average Joe. Lets call him Jack.

Jack just got engaged, his new fiancee just called a photographer and now they are set up to do an “engagement session”. Jack’s not a model and has seen a lot of bad photos of himself before. He doesn’t know what to wear, he is sure he will look awkward, and really has no idea how to act in front of a camera. He’s going to spend a few hours with someone he’s not familier with (the photographer), jump into the unknown, and subject himself to the risk of the possibility of some awkward photos of himself. At least from past experience he thinks that’s what could happen. He looks forward to the opportunity to make his girl happy, but isn’t super excited about this whole outing.

The scene is set for disaster, and this where the photographer jumps in. Wrong. The most common sentence I have heard after I finish an engagement session is “wow that was a lot more fun than I expected” and here is why. Portraiture isn’t about capturing the shape of someones face. That’s what mug shots are for. Portraiture is about capturing the best of someones personality in an image. This is key: If someone isn’t showing the best of their personality you CAN’T capture it!

Like I have mentioned before, photography has a lot to do with relationships. Before I head out to the aforementioned engagement session I try to always have had at least a consultation over coffee so we can start to get to know each other a little bit. For non engagement sessions it’s fun to either meet at a Starbucks and talk first, or at least carpool together to the location so we can get to know each other. I will always advise everyone in advance to bring 6-7 sets of clothes. That way we can match the clothes to the location as we go an put something together which looks great! I also don’t expect Jack to be a professional model and will give a lot of direction as we go to make sure everyone looks good.

But more than all that it’s about having fun. I think that’s what I enjoy so much about photographing couples. They laugh, they dance, they hug, they kiss. The give each other their own secret little expressions and I get to capture them. We run through fields, wander alleys, climb on trains, hang out in coffee shops, walk through the subway, climbs hills, splash in the ocean. It’s real emotion and it’s fun! Portraiture isn’t about creating mug shots of Jack and Jill standing on the hill. Anyone can capture the shape of their faces standing on a hill. Portraiture is about capturing the real them, the best of the real them! That’s what I love so much.

So seriously, let go of the fear and be happy. Think of it more like a date and I’m the third wheel. =)

Ok these photos have nothing to do with the above article. But I was given an assignment. The assignment was to descend on The Master’s College campus and in a short period time find some students and photograph them for some publicity photos. I parked my car, grabbed my camera, and just wandered till I found some strangers to photograph. I walked up to them and asked if could do a 1 minute mini session right there where they were standing. Here are the results! =). Thanks for being real guys! You look great!

Tommy (below) is the exception. I already knew Tommy.

March 3, 2010 - 3:02 am

arenda - what a neat assignment! love the first photo especially – beautiful catchlights!

Joe & Ashley: Wedding Slideshow – Culver City, California

Joe and Ashley’s wedding didn’t have a wedding bouquet or garter toss, it didn’t have a first dance, father daughter dance, mother son dance, or slideshow. I don’t think the bride and groom ever even went out on the dance floor.  There was no bridal party, no foot washing, no candle lighting, no solos, and it didn’t have a grand entrance, or a getaway. In fact I was taking some photos during the reception and noticed they had disappeared and just caught them all changed into travel clothes sneaking out that back door. I was glad I got to say goodbye because it reminded me what their wedding did have. It had their love for each other and just the things THEY wanted. The glow on Ashley’s face when she first got to see Joe. His big grin when she first embraced him. Their comfortable embraces and loving laughs told it all. They were in love, and had planned a simple day which fit their personality. Thinking about their wedding brings warm happy feelings to mind and I was glad I got to be there. You two are the best!

I put together a little Storybook Slideshow of the day, so be sure to check it out!

April 7, 2010 - 5:51 pm

Christine Low - Hi Lukas, I am getting married this summer and I LOVE the way Ashley did her hair. I know this is a kind of weird request, but do you have any pictures of the back of her head so I can have something to take to the hairstylist with me? If this is too weird a request, or you’d like me to contact the couple to ask for permission for a picture of that sort, please let me know.

Josh & Ashley: Engagement Session – North Hollywood

Wow, it’s been a super busy weekend and looks like a super busy week is in store. At least I’m still alive and mostly healthy. lol. I think I talked too much this weekend because I didn’t have much voice left this morning.

Well I already told a little bit of the story when I posted the preview of our mini engagement session. But Josh and Ashley got engaged last weekend and are now in full swing with the wedding preparation for a June wedding! I wish I could be two places at once so I could shoot it!

I met josh a couple years ago at a Bible Study we both went to through our church and my funniest memory of Josh was two summers ago. He was in Israel for a tour of the holy land and had already been there for a few weeks. The last 2 days of the trip they were staying at a certain hotel/lodge. I had been sent over there on an unrelated project and ended up at the same hotel. I saw him and casually wandered over to say hello. It’s happend to me quite a few times, but it’s always funny when you randomly see people you know in other countries and surprise them. =).

I’m excited for you guys, and your upcoming marriage! Congratulations again!

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