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

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 :)

Jim & Linda: Preview

I can’t remember that last time it rained as hard as it did on Saturday. Originally Jim and Linda had planned their Sherman Oaks wedding in Linda’s backyard. But with the constant downpour plan “B” went into effect. However, the whole thing was so lovely I don’t think anyone really even noticed there was a change! I really enjoyed myself the whole day, but I will leave it at that till I have a chance to get the whole wedding online! Here’s a few quick previews of Jim and Linda. =).

December 15, 2009 - 7:41 pm

Emma - Beatiful! :-) I can’t wait to see all of them! Btw, I will totally take you up on your offer if you ever need a third shooter :-)

December 24, 2009 - 10:48 am

Linda & Jim - Lukas…wonderful photos to come home to from our St. Lucia honeymoon! Thanks for sharing and documenting our wedding day. You worked magic with the rain and we are very much looking forward to the rest of the great work you did for us!

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