Being honest about your photography: Wedding and Engagements

It might be difficult, but being honest with your photographer about your engagement photos is probably the best thing you can do for your wedding coverage.  This is especially true if you aren't completely happy with the images you got from the engagement shoot.  The engagements are a test drive, first-take, ice-cream-mini-spoon taste-test of what is to come.  This is your chance to give feedback and align on what your expectations are for the kind of images you hope to capture at your wedding.  If you don't really like what you see, you had better pipe-up-pipsqueak.  Luckily, that is exactly what Rachelle and Daniel did after they received the proofs after their engagement session.  Overall, they were very happy, however, they wanted more close-up, look-at-the-camera, standard-issue-print-for-my-mom's-wall shots.  So, we went back out together and got exactly what they were looking for.  So, when the wedding rolled around (posting soon), we were sure to get plenty of the shots they wanted.  The lesson here?  I suppose for me, to ask my clients to be completely honest with me on their feelings about their engagement photos.  So, the first image is that all-important standard photo they wanted.... KEY!  (along with a few extra fun photos too).

Getting to know my clients... and their big hearts too.

One of my goals as a photographer is to be accessible to anyone. Yes, the income supports my family, however, photographing people is my passion.  In some cases this means pushing my rate card aside and tailoring the wedding coverage around a very tight budget.  In these cases the currency of gratitude and appreciation for my work is all the value I need as an artist. Last month, I put this policy into words on my website and called it my "Big Heart Discount". This program is geared towards teachers, public servants, nurses or any other profession where you've chosen to serve rather than earn as a first priority.  So, what are those two fuzzy sonograms you see below?  Well, they are the hearts of my new clients Sara and Zareth.  They both work in the medical field and took the time to capture for me... images of their own big hearts.  Any thoughts?


Posted on August 5, 2009 by Registered CommenterAaron Willcox | Comments2 Comments | EmailEmail

San Clemente Engagements

I received an email inquiry a few days ago with some very kinds words.  The bride-to-be described my photos as "heartfelt".  I had never really thought of my work in this way;  at least, I never used those words.  But that was truly a wonderful thing to hear.  As mechanical as taking a photo might be with all the technology and the science, somewhere between the shutter and optics, there is a part of me, it seems, that shows through.  I suppose this is what I had in the back of my mind when I met up with Sheyanne and Dan last Saturday evening.  Here are a few of my favorite shots...  I'm hoping there is a little extra heart in these... (and some cheesy-cheese mixed in) or they came from simply having a good time at the beach with some new friends.  All I know is I'm going to keep looking for more of that elusive hearfeltness.



A final wedding in Jackson Hole; close to my heart in every way.

The final and most fitting stop to a month long journey.  It happens to be my place of birth and home to some of the most dramatic landscape I know... along with all the wonderful people it attracts.  There is something truly magical about Jackson and I always leave with an incredible sense of life and personal direction.  It must be that crisp air, long days, deep shadows and those ever looming Grand Tetons.  Everyone seems to be on an amazing adventure, unplugged and twinkle-eyed... the genuine article.  With this as a backdrop my cousin Bailey and Alfred spoke their vows of marriage.  We had an army of photogs with Micah and Christie, the hired guns from LA (incedible shootin' Tex).  The pressure was off to have a little fun with along with fellow Nikon toting Kat.  So great to witness skilled photogs!  Here are a few of my favs:




This destination wedding is local: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The story of Armando and Kristine began in the Dominican Republic.  Last weekend, another chapter was written on a small beach in Puerto Plata, surrounded by close relatives and friends, under the warm, well, blazing Caribbean sun!  Despite the language barrier, Armando's family, mostly from the Dominican Republic, welcomed Kristine's family with open arms.  The love shared between these families was thrilling to photograph and a real treat to be a part of.  One of my favs is the group shot we put together.  I've decided to plan out the wedding party shots a little more now and I believe they are coming out better and better.  Any favorites?  I also want to be sure to thank the whole staff at Sun Village Resort for keeping all the details together, they did a fabulous job.  Of course, don't forget to check out their killer slide show.



A big'ol wedding in little 'ol Bloomington, Indiana

I had the honor of standing up for David and Holly at their wedding last Sunday. I have to admit photographing a wedding from the inside out can be a challenge in many ways. On the other hand, it allowed me to include myself which I usually work very hard to avoid. David and Cathy captured the wedding and were kind enough to allow me to shoot a bit too. Super fun! I went ahead and put together a small show of my favorite images. Be sure to crank those speakers up. Listen for a touching toast by Manuel, father of the groom. Enjoy!

Engagement Photography in San Clemente

Sometimes a great attitude is all you need:  On the 20 minute drive up to San Clemente, the rain drizzled down and the grey sky began to get even darker.  I was getting a little worried.  The phone rang, it was Lilian and Joe who's engagement shoot was about to begin.  Let's do it!  I knew we could get some fabulous shots, but only if Lilian and Joe had a positive attitude and were able to put a little trust in my work.  We ended up having a great time and the overcast day provided for some sweet diffuse light.  Here are a few of my favs:

Summer sale on canvas gallery wraps... YUM!

For the rest of the summer, I'm running a sweet little sale on all canvas prints!  If you have been thinking about gifts or looking for something to fill that blank white wall, this would be a great time.  At $120 for a 16"x20" or $200 for a 20"x30" you'll be set.  Just shoot over an email and we'll get you set up.  Thanks to Sarah and Tim for rockin' the sample.  Happy summer!

Engagement photos at the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Stephanie and Gary knew exactly where they wanted their engagements done and it turned out to be a blast!  The Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach is a permanently moored cruise ship complete with restaurants, bars, live bands and endless opportunities for fun photos.  When the sun began to set, we jumped on the local bus and explored the nearby harbor.  They were even patient enough to experiment with some night shots using the off camera flashes.  As always, we tried I few things I've never done before and as always, a few of them didn't work out at all... on the other hand a few worked fabulously and that makes it all worth it! 


Seagrove Park Wedding Photography

I had the great honor of capturing Connie and Cuong's wedding right here in Del Mar, California.  It's such a treat to cover local weddings and these two planned an incredible day that sailed right by without a hitch.  Here are a few of my favorite shots pulled from their slide show.  I have been having a blast capturing audio clips for the shows, so be sure to have your speakers on when you watch.  The passing trains are a part of every wedding at Seagrove Park, so including that along with some special vows will really draw you in. 

A big shout-out goes to Banquet Captain Joe Patt at L'Auberge as well as Stacy Porras and team for the smooth sailing, LaVonne at Adorations for the fabulous flowers, and Melanie for great hair and makeup.


Seattle Courthouse Wedding Photography with Heather and Jim

Just finished up Heather and Jim's photos from a fabulous wedding last weekend in Seattle, WA.  We spent an incredibly intimate afternoon at the courthouse and I had a blast shooting this wedding.  It's always easy to post the "WOW" shots.  The visually stunning shots, however, I want to be sure to show you a few of the other kinds of photos I like to capture.  They aren't going to win any magazine awards, however, these end up being some of the most favorite shots of my clients.  Quiet and subtle, looks and sincerity and genuine emotion.  Also, I captured a few audio clips for their slide show, be sure to listen for Jim's vows and a few other fun captures.




Posted on March 28, 2009 by Registered CommenterAaron Willcox | Comments4 Comments | EmailEmail

Camera straps that ROCK!

It has been several difficult months, however, I'm happy to finally to announce my new line of camera straps!  So check out the most stylish, retro and comfortable camera straps available at RileyG  We have already begun taking orders and will be offering some sweeeet hand straps in the near future, so stay posted! 


Posted on February 21, 2009 by Registered CommenterAaron Willcox | Comments1 Comment | EmailEmail

San Diego Engagement Photography

With all this crazy San Diego weather, it has been tough getting a little sunlight into a photoshoot, but last Sunday, Holly, Dave and I lucked out.  We got plenty of good light, dramatic skies and even a few puddles for a spontaneous reflection shot... one of my favs.  I had an awesome time with you two!


Posted on February 12, 2009 by Registered CommenterAaron Willcox | Comments3 Comments | EmailEmail

My first magazine spread!

I'm thrilled to announce Steph and Ryan's wedding has been published in the latest issue of Pacific Weddings Magazine!  A big thanks of course goes out to Steph and Ryan for a wonderful love story as well to Shaunna at Pacific Weddings for putting it down on paper.



Posted on January 28, 2009 by Registered CommenterAaron Willcox in | Comments7 Comments | EmailEmail

Holga Fun

I finally got my film developed from my Holga photos!  These are so cool.  With only 12 shots per roll, and about a buck each, every shot takes some consideration.  Then again, it's a $30 plastic German camera, so how serious can you get?  But that is just the begining of the story shooting with the Holga.  There is something liberating about only having two shutter speeds.  No thinking, just shooting.  The best part is, I have no worries about anyone trying to take my little toy camera.  If you want some inspiration, I would recomend picking one of these bad boys up, I think Amazon even has them.  Here are a few of my favs from down in Mexico last November.  Thanks Jose!


Posted on January 13, 2009 by Registered CommenterAaron Willcox in , | Comments2 Comments | EmailEmail

Planning some fun

Most of my photography is very spontaneous and un-planned.  So it came at a little bit of a surprise when I decided to begin planning a few shots, working with the bride and groom to create an image.  This usually always comes up when we begin to talk about those "crazy" and "fun" wedding party photos.  Pre-planning that "crazy" shot is a big big part of the creative process, especially when working with a dozen subjects.  A group that big is hardly spontaneous and usually need some specific direction.  I don't know about you, but when all eyes are on me, sun is blaring down and I've got three minute, no make that "WERE LATE!" to create some magic I just go blank.  Robin Rachel and I began looking at and discussing some "fun" ideas prior to the wedding.  When it came to down to creating the shot, (in a hurry) we were all on same page, easy, no stress and FUN! Here is what we came up with, along with a few of my unplanned favs.


Posted on January 9, 2009 by Registered CommenterAaron Willcox in | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail

Pacific Beach Enagement Photography

By the time we got downtown, we had lost most of our light... that didn't stop us from getting some super cool night shots!  Here are my favs.  Be sure to let me know what you think... all you ghost readers out there :)

Thursday Club Wedding Photography

Had to post three of my favs from Sarrah and Tim's wedding.  Be sure to check out the SHOW below for the full experience!  Make sure your audio is on (ie headphones for those of you at work)...


Sunset Cliffs Wedding Photography

Hyatt Regency La Jolla Wedding Photography

Ashley and Dongkyu planned a fabulous afternoon wedding and reception in La Jolla.  The full sun dished up some dramatic lighting, but the tall towers of the Hyatt Regency La Jolla gave us some warm shade and sweet colored walls.  My favs: