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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Orange County Destination Wedding

Destination Wedding | Las Palmas Mansion Laguna Hills

Kandace and Rick flew in from New York City for their Orange County destination wedding.  Their destination pre-wedding celebration started on Friday evening at Laguna Beach’s Mozambique restaurant, where Kandance and Rick hosted an intimate wedding rehearsal dinner.  Bubbly, wine and  laughter mixed with a cool off shore breeze from the Pacific.  Guests passed by an enormous cage of Makaws as they arrived by shuttle from the Monarch Beach, St. Regis.  Close family and friends traveled from afar for their destination wedding:  New York , Shanghai, Canada, Chicago, New Jersey and London to attend Kandace and Rick’s destination wedding at Las Palmas Mansion in Laguna Hills.

What made their event special?  It wasn’t the Prada, yes there was plenty of that.  It wasn’t Kandace’s exquisite wedding gown {Vera Wang Couture}, which she looked like a Hoolwood starlet in.  It wasn’t Rick’s custom tailored {Prada} suit either.

Kandace’s exquisite wedding dress is Vera Wang Couture  | Rick’s suit is from Prada, and his shoes what else?  Gucci.

Las Palmas Mansion is stunning and I can tell you that as a photographer it is an Orange County destination wedding dream location to photograph at.  At each turn, another gorgeous photographic vignette reveals itself.  Las Palmas Mansion is blessed with exquisite light the streams through towering floor to ceiling windows.  But it wasn’t the location that made their day special either, although it surely did add to it.   Rather, it was the genuine friendships and relationships that Kandace and Rick share with their family and friends.  During theit destination wedding ceremony Rick was overcome by emotion while expressing his love for Kandace that he had to pause several times to gain his composure to continue with his vows.  Kandace’s mother and father were simultaneously overcome by emotion both wiping away their tears during the bride and groom’s wedding vows.  And the tears from a deep feeling of love for her mother that Kandace was wiping away during her mothers heartfelt toast.  And the tears that trickled down Kandace’s cheek as her dad danced with her as her friends watched and wept too.

As a photographer and a dude that’s in very in touch with his feminine side….I am honored and blessed to witness a spectrum of emotions from wild laughter during K&R’s amazing booty bumping dance {Rick, the white guy that can really grind and Kandace the NYC dance champion} to soulful toasts and familial closeness and an emotional Father-Daughter dance.  This is one destination wedding that no one will soon forget.

Inside Lighting Tech Scoop:  For all you photo & lighting geeks out there.  The photograph {above and most of the others below} were created after the sun set.  If I’d of used an on camera flash it woud have totally flattened the image.  I never, ever use direct, on camera flash, and I believe its breaking one of the ten photography commandments to do so.  Off camera remote lighting creates dimension through the use of highlight and shadow.  To get the rim and fill light, I’m using a three light set up.  A Canon speedlight is aimed over the brides shoulder {about 90 degrees to the couple camera left} on  a light stand, about 7 feet off the ground, about 15 ft. away, Manual at 1/64 power.  Another light, a Quantum {could just as easily be another speed light} is on 1/4 power about 25 feet away about 30 degrees camera right on another light stand acting as fill for the B&G.  The third light is my VAL {Voice Activated Light stand} and is directed at whom ever is toasting.  The kicker does double duty.  Catching both the B&G and whom ever is toasting, while the third light acts as fill for the toaster.  Pockets Wizards are used to trigger all the lights.  The best thing about this is that if you are traveling for destination weddings, this set up ir really light weight and easy to bring along with you.Bottom left {above} Courtney and Rich:  I photographed their wedding about 5 years ago.  Since then Rich has enrolled and finished his MBA at Columbia, in NYC and is enjoying a lucrative career in the financial sector.  Courtney has enjoyed a successful career with Conde Nast and other publishers.  I love to see people pursue their dreams.  Thank you Courtney and Rich for referring my services to Kandace and Rick.  Like you they are amazing people!  It was so great to see both of you happy, having fun and so in love.

orange county destination wedding photography5 Star on Site Destination Wedding Coordination at Las Palmas Mansion

I’ve gotta give a big nod to Sanya {a former bio-chemist and pharmaceutical rep},  the site coordinator at Las Palmas Mansion.  At this point in my career I’ve photographed close to 500 weddings from Orange County to Stockholm, Sweden.   And I’ve experienced a range of coordinator services, from mediocre to 5 star service.   In my book Sanya is of the 5 star genre.  Not only did Sanya do an amazing job, she has an wonderful sense of humor and is passionate about client service.  The wedding went off with out a single hitch, Sanya and her team pay great attention to each and every detail and I have to tip my hat to Sanya and staff for that.

Delicious and Consistent Wedding Catering from Iva Lee’s

Before I was a photographer I spent over 20 years in the food service industry working almost every station in a classical French kitchen to front of the house.  My last few years before leaving the industry I was a cellar master and wrote award winning wine lists.  So I believe myself to be somewhat of an authority on what makes food, spirits, service and catering excellent and just passable.

Ya know, wedding catering can really make or break a wedding experience.  I remember one of the worst experiences ever was a wedding I shot with a buddy of mine in San Diego a few years ago….there was a lag time of 45 min. between courses.  Ouch!   That caterer was way understaffed.   I’d spent over 20 years in the restaurant and service industry before starting my career in photography 12 years ago.  Three of the hardest things to pull off  when catering are….

1.  Delicious Food:  Iva Lee’s food always has that extra special something.  It’s super fresh,  full of flavor and never overcooked.
2.  Consistent Food:  I’ve eaten three meals,  the same as the wedding guests,  each at different venues and each time my meal has been perfectly cooked and arrives warm, not tepid or cold.
3.  Excellence in Service:  Their wait staff is simply great!  Iva Lee’s is always well staffed.  Great attitude, hip, young, well dressed, staff is always quick to refill guests wine glasses or fulfill a request.   I’m a vendor and I feel like I’m being treated as a guest, when they serve me.  That says allot about Iva Lee’s commitment to service and their brand.

Make Up By Berit: Ladies, I’ve worked with Berit on a number of weddings now.  She is a sought after Make Up Artist by the top wedding coordinators in Orange County and by discerning brides.  Berit always brings a smile and her “A” game to every event.  Her make up application is flawless and she’ll keep you on time!   That’s a huge one and its the first place you’ll find yourself running late if you are not working with a top notch pro like Berit.  What I love about Berit’s craft is that there is always an even skin tone and what she does with eyes and lashes is perfection. Beautiful brides look exquisite when Berit is done with them.  You can reach Berit at 949.444. 1474

Orange County Destination Wedding Venue: For More info on Las Palmas Mansion contact Sanya @ and tell her I sent you!


Marc Weisberg | Marc Weisberg Photograhy Blog
Marc Weisberg Fashion Photography | Orange County Destination Wedding Photographer

Newport Beach Destination Wedding Photographer | Los Angeles Destination Wedding Photographer
Orange County Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer

For Orange County wedding photography, Los Angeles wedding photography, Orange County wedding photojournalism, Southern California wedding photography, Call Marc at 800.943.0414 to reserve a date and ask any questions that you may have concerning my services. I am an Orange County | Los Angeles | Destination Wedding Photographer.

Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

Orange County, Newport Beach, Newborn Photographer

Newport Beach, Newborn Baby Pictures | Annalise

Had the privilege today of photographing a beautiful Orange County, Newport Beach newborn baby girl.  She weighs in at 7lbs. 6 oz. She was a bit fussy but settled down nicely into a peaceful newborn baby slumber.  Her mom and dad, Francie and Mike and grandmother Gail were on hand to soothe her and make sure she had all the love and support she needed.

orange county newborn baby photographer

orange county newborn baby photographer


Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

10 strengths to look for when hiring a 2nd Photographer

So You’ve Got Your Gear – And You want to Get Your first Wedding Under Your Belt. Now What?

Before you run, you’ve gotta learn to walk.  Learning to second shoot for a competent and skilled wedding photographer would be your first step to going pro.  One of the issues the wedding industry is faced with these days, are people with DSLR’s who think they are a professional because they have a web site, and some gear.  I’m here to tell you, that just because someone has a fancy camera, has photographed a few weddings for friends doesn’t make them a pro.  As a second shooter working with a skilled, experienced wedding photographer that understands people, exposure, composition and lighting, over a year or two you will learn things about wedding photography you’ll never learn in school.  You’ll be put in different circumstances with different lighting conditions, some ideal, some just awful.  But you’ll learn to make the best out of any situation.  Inexperienced photographers, when faced with less than ideal circumstances will fail miserably.  An experienced photographer will always win.  Tiger’s blood!

A few weeks ago, I shot 2nd for a buddy of mine in San Diego:  Kevin Connors, Master Photographer and Photographic Craftsman, PPA. We often trade on and off and shoot for each other.  Instinctively, both of us know that we’ll nail the shots that we need for each other and in turn for our clients.  Our styles are different and compliment each other.  With no second thoughts, we’ll let each other know what we need covered when working together at our respective weddings.

All the images in this post are RAW captures, post processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.  No retouching was applied to any of the images using Photoshop or any other image editing program.  I believe that its important to not rely on actions or Photoshop to “make” your images.  Just start with a clean capture.  

san diego wedding photographer

{Above:  I count on my second shooter to capture little details like these, when I’m busy setting up family portraits or focusing on the bigger picture.  Little details that have taken a year or more to plan, should not be overlooked.}

When I first started out about 12 years ago, I shadowed a wedding photographer to get my portfolio together.  I knew very little about the inner workings of photography.  All i knew was that i loved to make images on film.  Looking back at my early images, I cringe.  They are contrived, stiff and void of life.  We all start somewhere 🙂

3.  Understand Light and Nail the Exposure

For years I was a Jpeg shooter.  Now, everything i shoot is RAW.  Being a Jpeg shooter, early on, I learned to nail my exposures.  Not much latitude when shooting Jpegs.  I feel that a RAW file’s color fidelity and clarity is superior to a Jpeg file.

san diego wedding photographer

To understand light, you need to shoot allot.  Weddings are unpredictable.  You are often thrown into situations with horrible light and you need to make the best of it and make your clients look like rockstars!   Grab a friend, your wife, your husband or a kid, put them in crappy light and make great photographs.  Do it thousand of times and nail the exposure.  You’ll be glad you did.

san diego wedding photographersan diego wedding photographer church pictures{Above:  For a different perspective I positioned myself in the balcony and used a 70mm–200mm f2.8 IS lens, shooting wide open at ISO 2500 at 1/40 sec.}

4.  Have Back Up Gear

Professional photographers have back up gear.  Period.

san diego wedding photographer wedding party pictures

{Above: I chose a flattering angle to compliment Kevin’s more formal image.  He is dead center, camera on a tripod and using a softbox.  I am hand holding my camera so that I’m highly mobile.  Tech specs:  24mm, ISO 400, 80th/sec @f 5.6.}

5.  Be Pro-Active

Always be thinking ahead.  If you are just starting out, I suggest riding along with a wedding photographer who’s work your really, really like.  First time out….don’t shoot, just observe.  See how they interact with their clients.  How do they move.  What is their body language like?  When appropriate, ask them to explain why they are doing what they are doing.  Take written or mental notes about their interaction with their clients.  What do they do to direct posing? Notice how they use their gear.  An experienced / pro photographer, most likely doesn’t even need to think about their gear.  They just react to what they see.  There is a regiment to some expected photographs / portraits at a wedding event.  What are they?  When do they take place.  Ask the prime photographer for some of their business cards so that you can pass them out when a guest asks who the photographer is.  If this were your wedding, were would you do family portraits and why?  For family portraits, I always look for a clean unobstructed background first and then look and see how the light is.  How would you group and pose people during portrait sessions and why?  What are the little things that you could be doing to help out the primary photographer to make any situation easier?   These are all pieces of the wedding photography puzzle that a seasoned or experience 2nd shooter will learn and know instinctively to be a pro-active asset to the prime photographer.

san diego wedding photographer wedding party pictures

san diego wedding photographer candid photography

{Above: Here I’m using a 70mm–200mm f2.8 IS lens, shooting very quickly to capture emotion.}

6.  Shooting Opposite and Picking Angles

Kevin and I make ourselves aware of what lens we are using and we’ll pick an opposite focal length to work with.  For instance if he is shooting wide, I’ll shot telephoto and vice versa.  If he is dead center, I’ll shot on an angle.  But I’ll make sure that that angle is flattering to the bride or grouping.  Learn to anticipate smiles and laughs.  Part of anticipating is using your listening skills, the other part is visual.  A head will till back before a big laugh, there may be some banter back an forth before everyone breaks out in laughter.  Look for subtle cluses about how close the family is…..are they standing lose together….are there lots of hugs.  This way, you can anticipate emotion.   As a second shooter I can take more chances and shoot with a shallower depth of field to isolate subjects.  My favorite lenses for shooting opposite is Canon’s bokeh beauty –  85mm f 1.2 {if you can’t afford this lens a great alternative is its less expensive sister the 85mm f1.8, less than $400, tack sharp, nice bokeh…..a great lens for the price.  I have both.} and the tack sharp and painterly 135mm f 1.2 lens.

7. Have a great Attitude

No matter what happens on the wedding day, always have a great attitude.  At almost every event there is a glitch or two or maybe a pesky person.  Don’t give it a second thought.  Part of being a pro is acting the part. You’ll be very close in proximity to the bride, groom and their families always be warm and positive.

8. Don’t get Distracted – Be Aware

I’ve seen new photographers and assistants get caught up in the moment and totally zone out during the vows, first dance or an emotive portion of the wedding day.  I’ve also seen photographers be so deep into what they are doing they don’t even notice that they are in the prime photographers frame.  Be aware of your position and if you are directly opposite or in the line of sight of the prime photographer…..move.

9.  Don’t shoot Everything Wide Open

When i first started, i shot almost everything wide open.  Probably wasn’t the best idea.  There is  right time for everything.  Be aware what your 50mm 1.2 is capable of.  You can’t expect to shoot a group of 4 people at 10 feet away and have everyone in sharp focus at f2.0.  Just isn’t possible.  Stop down to at least f4.0.  Yes, if you are 20 or so feet away, you can reasonably expect to have all four in focus at f2.8, but not at 10 feet.  You’ll learn this from testing and repetition.  Same goes with an 85mm 1.2.  Shoot it wide open and you’ll get magnificent results.  But try photographing 2 people at close range, wide open, and only one person will be in focus.  My general rule is f4.0 for candid groups and f8 for formals, at about 10 feet with any lens in the 24mm to 70mm range.  If the bride or groom asks you to photograph a grouping, she/he wants to be able to clearly see each person in that photograph and that won’t be possible if you are shooting wide open.

san diego wedding photographer reception images{Above:  I always bring a tripod to every wedding with me.  Sometimes, I never use it.  Never understood the mantra of some photographers:  “I never use a tripod.”  Why?  For the shot above my tripod definitely came in handy.  Camera on tripod, 15mm fisheye lens ISO 1600 @f3.2, 1/25th sec.  All Ambient light.}
san diego wedding photographer reception imagessan diego wedding photographer reception images{Above:  Table shot (left) with camera on tripod, only at 1/8th/sec.  Try that handheld and get it tack sharp!}

10.  What Did Your Learn from Your Last Shoot?

Every time I go out and shoot I learn something new.  The process is simple.  I do a mental review of  how i can improve my vision and photographic prowess.  After I download my images I’ll review them and see what worked best.  If it was a technical lighting image, or a particular angle, or quality of natural light, can I replicate it, how can I improve it?  I’ll make a mental note to look for that quality of light again.  I’ll also look at what didn’t work and figure out why it didn’t work and make a mental note about how to solve it next time. History is our best teacher. Learn from your mistakes and from your victories.

san diego wedding photographer reception pictures

san diego wedding photographer reception picturessan diego wedding photographer reception pictures

{Lower left:  Bride and groom’s first dance:  16mm-35mm @30mm f2.8, ISO 1600, 40th/sec.   I’m always looking for expression and emotion from mom and dad during the first dance and during speeches.   Right after I captured a few frames of the first dance.  I spun around, changed lenses and captured a few frames of the bride’s mother and father.  Above – top right: Bride’s mom and dad look on at the couple first dance.  Captured with an 85mm 1.8 @f1.8, 40th/sec, ISO 1600.   Lower right corner – arms crossed:  Kevin and his Emcee buddy.}

Marc Weisberg is an award-winning photographer based in Irvine, California. Marc specializes in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Portraiture. He’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and engaging images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

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