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

Joe & Erica: Wedding Preview

Here’s a little tip for all you brides out there. Make your photographer feel like they are loved and you really want them to be there. Chances are you will get a lot better photos. When Suzy and I first arrived at the salon to take a few getting ready photos, Erica handed me a program from the wedding and right there on the back was our names with a big thanks for all the photos in advance! Not only did it put a big smile on my face, but it also gave me extra incentive to attempt to go above and beyond my normal attempt to go above and beyond! =)

I’m still working on the weddings from last week, and will be shooting my last wedding of December tomorrow. But I wanted to just post a couple quick previews from Joe & Erica’s wedding. =)

I don’t know if these photos will ever appear anywhere else, so I thought I would post them right here right now.  =). I was looking through my lens and unaware of what was going on in my side vision. As I was preparing for the above shot of the bridesmaids, all of a sudden the below sequence happened. We laughed a lot! Thanks for such a great day all of you!

December 21, 2009 - 7:53 am

Laura - Thanks for posting these Lukas!! I have been looking forward to this post ever since Erica told me you were doing her wedding photos back in September! You’ve captured the fun and joy of Joe and Erica (and the rest of the bridal party!) perfectly. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for helping those of us who weren’t able to be there, to experience some of the joy. Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2009 - 1:54 pm

Suzy - Erica you are an amazingly beautiful stunning bride!!! I had SUCH a blast with you guys and have to say you chose the nicest bridesmaids. Congratulations you two love birds!

A Quiet Evening

Do you know how sometimes you just feel happy, relaxed, and life is good? Tonight Suzy was out with a friend, and I finished up my work for the day and had some time to sit, catch up on a little reading, and spend some time in prayer. It felt so good to just drink my green tea, enjoy the silence, and spend some time with God! I’ve been reading a book lately called “When People are Big and God is Small” by Edward Welch. It offers so much good insight into the sinfulness of our heart and the motives we have for many things we do. I also got a new Tabletalk magazine in the mail today, and was blessed by R.C. Sproul’s article on anxiety and specifically the sin of melancholy.

Anyway, as I finished up the reading I got to thinking about one the my favorite places in the world. A few years ago I went down to Fortaleza, Brazil and had the opportunity to do some photos for the ministry down there. It was incredible getting to visit some of the slums and seeing people literally living in houses put together from scrap wood. But through it all they live and trust God completely. It’s such a contrast to our lives here, and a good reminder that we really don’t deserve anything.

John Baptisto is a Brazilian who was a former drug addict and came to a repentance of his sin and turned to Christ later in life. He’s now in his late 50’s and has an incredible life living and ministering in the slums of his hometown. The team I went with to Brazil had raised enough money to buy bricks for a family who was living in the below shack pulled together with scrap wood. They wanted to thank us and show us where they were going to use the bricks to build a “real house” for protection from the rain and robbers. The girl photographed is one of a number of kids living in two 10×10 foot rooms.

The below women was also a Christian and friend of John Baptisto. We had the chance to pray with her while we were in the community.

And a few shots of the larger metropolitan area and the coast.

Someday soon I hope to go back with Suzy.

December 22, 2009 - 11:09 pm

Sarah - Wow! Those are amazing pictures!

Post processing and some helpful hints!

When I first started shooting, the first wedding photographer I worked for told me I needed to learn how to shoot in manual mode. I responded “Great I’ll work towards that!” Although I pretended I knew what he was talking about, I really had no clue. I knew it had something to do with adjusting the shutter speed and aperture, and I figured it also meant using the ring on the camera to manually focus everything as well.

A few years down the road adjusting the shutter speed and aperture now comes as second nature without really thinking to much about it. I now know that shooting manual involves using the auto focus. But I use a back focus button and adjust my focus points in almost every image. I also now manually adjust the Kalvin temperature and ISO every few shots as well. All to say, there are a lot of foggy things from shooting to lighting to Photoshop that took me a long time to figure out. But, once they became clear, photography became a lot more fun!

But I digress from the point of this post. The point is that I am working on a new section of my website. I don’t have a launch date yet, but it will have everything from how a camera should be setup, to the the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom. I’m going to add one section at a time as I get things put together. So feel free to let me know if you have any questions or ideas for the new site.

The first section I am working on is a little behind the scenes view of some Trash the Dress sessions. It will be the story of three sessions with everything from concept to post processing.

Below is a sample from the Photoshop processing section.

Original Image: (off Camera)

Processed Image:

Steps from before to after: (TRA = Totally Rad Actions
– Open JPG or RAW image in PS RAW Adjuster (minor exposure & temperature adjustments)
– Healing Brush for spots on sky
– TRA Ying Yang (lighter on skin and jacket)
– TRA Ying Yang (darker on ground)
– TRA Oh! Snap 100%
– TRA Can oh Woop* 50% (on ground)
– TRA Big Blue 50% (on sky)
– Burn tool 30% on bottom corners.

December 16, 2009 - 7:37 pm

Thomas Brooks - Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. In addition to the items you mentioned above (camera use, editing software) I would love to hear tips regarding the actual shooting process, how you prepare people for the shoot, how you prepare, posing people (or not posing), lighting, dealing with the unexpected (poor lighting, bad weather). Anything like this would be great. Thanks again.

December 16, 2009 - 10:08 pm

Caroline - thank u soo much for doin this.. m still in the baby stage of tryin to use my camera in the manual mode.. hopin to learn more from these posts :)

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