Lukas & Suzy International Wedding Photographers » Blog

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  • WELCOME!

    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

A Few Previews

I’ve been suffering from one of those annoying head colds most of the weekend. But with a little Dayquil I still managed to shoot a wedding and two engagement sessions. =). But you know what? Headcold and all I still had a lot of fun! =).

Anyway, I’m going to head to bed in order to finish my recovery and get a good start on the week. But I thought I would post a few quick previews. I haven’t even looked at all the photos yet. But these caught my eye as I scanned the thumbnails! =).

Engagement Photos: real or a scam?

I have an idea. Lets charge people a lot of money for their wedding photography, and then invent another photo session to add on to that so we can charge them even more! That’s how some people feel about engagement sessions. I’ve gotten questions about why I do engagement photos, and I guess that you could look at them in that light. But then you should look at me and the engagement shoots I do. I do engagement sessions when I’m on vacation just because they are so much more fun than most other things to do. If I’m shooting a couple’s wedding, I don’t charge for the engagement photos. And I HIGHLY recommend brides and grooms make every effort to make the session happen a good amount of time before the wedding. So you might ask, Why am I such a fan?

There are in fact a lot of reasons to do engagement photos.

First of all, good photos and fun times come from relationships. I mean it’s one of the most important days of your life, and everyone else attending is a close friend who you have a meaningful relationship with.  I don’t expect to be the bride and grooms VERY BEST friend, but  I do like to feel like we have a connection and can have a good time together. And you know what? We could end up best friends, it’s happened before.  So there you go! Engagement sessions are a great chance for us to have some fun, hang out, and get to know each other a little better. It’s funny, but the most frequent comment I get from people after we finish our e-session is “wow that was a lot more fun than I expected”.

Second it’s almost like a practice session for your wedding. It gives you a chance to see how I shoot, and it gives me a chance to see how you interact together. Every couple has their cute little smiles, inside jokes, and comfortable embraces. I want to know what they are and capitalize on them. Knowing how you interact is key to making amazing wedding photos that represent YOU. It makes it fun and it makes it real! It also gives you a chance to see and understand the process and how I work a lot better before your big day.

Third, I find that most couples get a big print from their wedding, and/or do a wedding album. But they still need photos for the rest of their house. Like that little nook by the front door, or the nightstand by the bed, or maybe even on the bathroom sink (I’ve seen it more than once). Well engagement sessions are the no limits,  crazy awesome wardrobe, multiple location chance to:  show your love, look great, have fun, and create some amazing pre-wedding photos. I mean what other point in your life do you have that adorably cute love which is so full of anticipation.  So why not capture it to keep forever.

When it comes down to it, I think engagement photos could be a scam if your photographer is in it only for the money. But if they’re like me and in it for the pure joy of capturing those unforgettable moments of love in some amazing images, then engagement sessions are nothing less than a wonderful invention!

p.s. I’ve done almost 100 engagement sessions in the past 2 years, so feel free to click here if you need some ideas. =).

p.s.s Ok one more thing. This is cute. My friend Josh just got engaged last night. Yes, 14 hours ago. Ashley is only in town for this weekend, so he decided to propose and then come over here the next morning for a quick mini session before she heads back to Nebraska. I love it! I’m about to head to a wedding, but here’s a quick preview from this morning.

March 7, 2011 - 7:35 pm

Shannon - Luke, I love, love, love how well, cute, and creative your engagement and wedding photos have become! It’s been fun to see your skill and style change over the last many, many years. I only wish you were doing the engagement sessions and more creative wedding pics when Sean and I got married. Keep it up!

May 29, 2011 - 4:45 pm

veronika - Love the look of the brick wall and the contrasting parking block. Was this done in Santa Clarita? I live there and I can’t think of where this even is!

To Register or not to Register: surprised by generosity

When we planned our wedding we decided to do a very small family ceremony and didn’t really see the need to register. I mean when it comes down to it, we’re not looking for gifts, we really just want our family and friends to be there to celebrate with us. But as people heard we were engaged many almost seemed offended that we hadn’t registered. I was surprised by so much generosity. We ended up receiving a good number of gifts and many more checks in the mail with notes of congratulations. It wasn’t asked for, and they were given by people we didn’t even invite to the family ceremony.

So when it came to time for our bigger wedding reception with friends we needed to make a decision. We really just want our friends to be there and celebrate with us, and we by no means have done a cost benefit analysis comparing the cost of the party versus the total value of gifts we hope to receive. But at the same time, I think I have come to realize people are generous and want to help us out with some of our little household needs as we get started in our married life. So in the end we decided to register. However, I hope no-one feels obligated to bring a gift or makes it a deciding factor whether they should come or not. If the whole night happened and we didn’t receive a single gift, I would be just as happy.

On that note, as others plan their wedding, I know times are tight and weddings are expensive but I would give this advice. Register to your hearts content, but make it priority to invite those you love. Love those you invite. Plan for no gifts, and be unexpectedly surprised by the ones you receive.

I know we already sent you all notes, but thank you again for all of you out there who showed so much unexpected generosity with your gifts and checks in our first few weeks of marriage!

Ok these are the first three random unrelated photos of gifts I found on my hardrive, and I thought I would add them for a little color. =)

February 17, 2010 - 8:51 am

Christine Low - Thanks for posting this. I’m in the midst of planning my wedding and the registry feels like one of the most awkward things to me. I hope to have the same attitude that you did – that every gift is an unexpected blessing (even if you did kind of ask for it via registry) :)

March 10, 2010 - 3:40 pm

dianna vo - Please let me know where your post-wedding registry will take place. Wedding gifts are to help you best prepare for marriage and the next 50+ years, so what do you not own in your kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom? Love you guys!!

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