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santa monica engagement photography | selly + joon

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Happy Monday, all!  I thought I’d kick off the week with a fun engagement session.  I especially love the processing in this session.  Take a look and let me know if you notice a difference!  So Selly and Joon met in the dorms at UCLA.  It was all fun when they first met and the fun has not stopped since!  It had been rainy in LA but the skies cleared for our shoot and we had perfect LA sunny weather.  I had so much fun shooting on a carousel in Disneyland last year that I’ve been wanting to do it again.  Selly and Joon were the perfect couple for a little amusement park fun!

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Aren’t they just so cute?  I love how pretty & classic the horses are on this carousel.

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Selly saw that UCLA soccer ball coming in and wanted it.  You have to make 2 baskets to win it, but Joon said he wasn’t good at basketball.  The guy running the game wouldn’t let us just pose with the ball, so Joon played one game.  Keep reading to see if he wins…

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And then one of my most memorable moments on a shoot.  I went on this green seahorse thing with them.  I haven’t been on a rollercoaster type ride in forever.  I used to love it when I was younger, so I must be getting old.  I braved it and went on this ride with them.  OMG my knees were literally shaking!  I love this shot that Jonathan got from the ground!  Cropped & processed by me, but I love this shot he got!  He actually got shots of me freaking out too, but I’ll spare you of those.  haha.

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But even while I almost peed in my pants, I still got some fun shots of them on the ride.  They were having a blast watching me freak out.  haha.

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Remember that basketball game I told you about?  Well, Joon made both baskets!

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Selly brought these cute mugs with their initials from Anthropologie.

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I LOVE her hair piece and little belt from J.Crew.

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We then headed down to the beach to catch the sunset.

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I love how soft and romantic everything looked.  She looked like a mermaid who came up to see her prince!  Am I cheesy?  lol.  I just love how beachy, yet elegant, she looks.

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And the beautiful sunset & sky.  I love how I can shoot sunsets at the same location over and over and they’ll never look the same.

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Notice the difference in my processing?  What do you think?  Still has my style but looks a little different?  I hope so!  No action(s) should make/define your style.  Your style cannot be bought – if it can be purchased, then it’s not your unique style.  But actions can help enhance your photo, especially if you’re not as fluent with Photoshop like me.  I like to get things right in camera first, and then give it a little dreaminess in Photoshop after.  You can see from my previous post about Nikon to see how my images look straight out of camera.  (note: with Canon, I usually do color correcting, but with that Nikon post, most (if not all) was straight out of camera.)

Every photo in this set was processed with The Shoppe – Design for Photographers.  They’re super easy to use.  I don’t really know Photoshop at all, but these were very user friendly.  The unique thing about The Shoppe is that there are constantly new products!   You can either purchase things a la carte, or subscribe and have unlimited downloads! I’m slowly playing with them all and will keep you up to date with what I find.  Use the code: caroline20 to enjoy 20% off your purchase on the Nostalgia Actions and Blend!

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Sandy - March 15, 2010 - 11:10 am

I love the bride’s outfits and accessories, especially the belt and hair flowers! I want to buy some of those belt flowers to dress up my outfits!! I really love the style of these photos, they have a hint of vintage to them b/c they have a really nice light soft look to them. This last photo, STUNNING!!!

Karo - March 15, 2010 - 11:10 am

I just love the images from this session. Your work is so consistently incredible, and your clients are all gorgeous!

Kisha - March 15, 2010 - 11:26 am

one of my favourite engagement sessions, of any photog, to date. i absolutely love everything (the tones, how romantic everything looks…their outfits!) and love that while there is some action in some shots (like on the rides) the focus is still clearly on the couple – and what a good-looking couple! & i love your processing!

shannon - March 15, 2010 - 11:30 am

caroline if these were any cuter I’d probably explode. this couple is fantastic!! and you and your clever eye never cease to amaze me.. seriously you’re such an inspiration.

jason - March 15, 2010 - 11:44 am

if you were a guy, i’d say you were a stud. great job caroline tran! :)

Carolyn Egerszegi - March 15, 2010 - 12:01 pm

The hair, the clothes, the details, the composition, the action, the gorgeous couple… Wow. Even if these photos were dipped in chocolate I could not love them more Caroline!!! You constantly inspire me. And I love your processing for this set. It’s the same, but different – if that makes sense? It’s you, but a richer, deeper version of you. Stunning!!!

weddingchicks - March 15, 2010 - 1:42 pm

love this shoot! well, we love all of your photos. (:

Marissa Rodriguez - March 15, 2010 - 2:18 pm

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Andre Nievo - March 15, 2010 - 2:21 pm

You two are perfect couple.

Karleen - March 15, 2010 - 7:18 pm

what a lovely set! i notice a slight touch of cool tones to this set than your usual processing, but the photos are still distinctively yours. gorgeous colors. i LOVE her belt and hairpieces! your couples are always so stylish! btw, are you now a nikon convert =)

jenny - March 15, 2010 - 9:55 pm

Love the new processing ! looks great !

Eve - March 15, 2010 - 10:48 pm

i don’t even know where to begin with this photo shoot. i’m a fan of all your work, but i especially love this shoot.

first, they are are so cute!! they’re having so much fun together and are both super photogenic. second, i love that it was set at the amusement park/fair, and that not all of the shots were static. you took a lot of “action” shots and captured the moments so well, like when they’re riding the rides. third, i love the colors! from the way you framed each shot to the couples’s wardrobe, and to the processing you did afterward…it all comes together perfectly.

i hope you can shoot for me when i get engaged and married one day! :) needless to say, keep up the fantastic work, caroline!

caroline - March 16, 2010 - 12:07 am

@sandy: thank you! yes, i love her outfits too!
@karo: thank you so so much!
@kisha: thank you! yes, the almost peeing in my pants was worth it! lol.
@shannon: please don’t explode! :)
@jason: hahahaha. you crack me up! when are we partying again? ;)
@carolyn: thank you! i’d like to dip it in chocolate. :D
@weddingchicks: you chicks rock!
@marissa: thank you, thank you, thank you!
@andre: they really are!
@karleen: thank you! i haven’t converted yet, but impressed so far. will keep playing around for the next 2 months.
@jenny: thank you love!
@eve: thank you so so much for your thoughtful comment! I hope to shoot for you too!

Anh - March 16, 2010 - 12:13 am

Hi Caroline
I’ve been looking at your blog for the past 2 months ( you have the same surname as mum :) ) and this particular post blow me away. I love all the lighting and smiles and sweetness and the post processing of this shoot! Was feeling down and you brought a smile to my face! Thank you!

caroline - March 16, 2010 - 12:30 am

thank you, anh! i’m glad i was able to cheer you up!! :D

stefani - March 16, 2010 - 5:34 am

WOW! all i could think about was creamy!
i love your work! :D

amanda - March 16, 2010 - 9:10 am

Can I just say- WOAH. I have been a blog stalker for a while but I had to come out of lurkiness to say Holy Cow. What an incredible and bedazzling engagement shoot. I loved everything about this shoot, the location, the interaction, the outfits, the photography. Beautiful, beautiful work. Inspirational and something to aspire to be like someday! :)

caroline - March 16, 2010 - 11:10 am

stefani: thank you!! i like the sound of creamy. :)

amanda: thank you so much for taking the time to say hi and for your sweet words!

Nessa K - March 16, 2010 - 2:27 pm

Absolutely amazing! This put me in such a good mood =)

Tyrone - March 16, 2010 - 3:24 pm

LOVE the colours in these… brilliantly captured, emotions jump out of the photo’s…

lane dittoe - March 16, 2010 - 4:18 pm

I like the processing better, it looks great! I like how you talked about actions because i have been a photographer a long time. And in no other field of photography does any one use actions (a few exceptions of course that are photoshop processes).i love the photos and processing great job. Lane

red - March 17, 2010 - 8:28 am

Been a lurker for a year. This shoot made me come out of hiding! Big fan Caroline. This shoot has richness to it in terms of color. The flares weren’t too blown out and the vividness are so much better compared to the ones you shoot using canon. I guess it does have a difference!

caroline - March 17, 2010 - 9:55 am

thanks red! Great to meet you. this was actually taken with nikon. only difference is my processing. i’ll be sharing more nikon stuff soon!

Joon - March 17, 2010 - 1:20 pm

wow caroline…you are getting some major love from your fans :) . Selly and I are extremely happy about how the shoot turned out. i’m not as eloquent as all your fans here, but trust us, we sent the link for the pictures to all of our friends because we thought they were so beautifully shot. that’s a little self centered of us yes we know but what can we say, you made us look great :) .

Van - March 23, 2010 - 2:41 pm

Love the new process!!! Love your works!!!

Selly Kim - March 27, 2010 - 12:17 am

wow this is funny my name is SELLY and my husband’s name is JOON too~ congrats to Selly&Joon! LOVE the pictures!

tracy - April 8, 2010 - 2:49 pm

love the new actions! i’ve been a lurker for quite some time and love your work and you inspire me as a photographer as well. just curious if you like working with photoshop vs. lightroom? i know that these actions are through ps too…great job!

caroline - April 8, 2010 - 3:29 pm

selly, whoa that is such a huge coincidence! way cool!!

tracy, i use ACR. i only use PS at the very end to re-size for blog. even for the action, i just batch process through bridge. it’s super fast because i run them overnight or when i step out.

Jessica - April 28, 2010 - 8:03 pm

I know this way late but I adore everything about this shoot especially the Bruin love!

   
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