I’ve been in this industry a long time now.  It doesn’t seem like it, but I’ve spent half my life focused on photography.  I don’t feel like I’m old enough to say that.  With being a part of the art of photography for the last 18 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes.  I started with film, learning how to get a great shot, but also learning how to make a great print.  It was never as simple as just printing the negative, the image had to be coaxed out, to be the best it could be.   With digital photography, the barriers to get into this industry have come down tremendously, but unfortunately that’s also meant a whole lot of people who don’t understand the full art and process of photography.  There’s an art to working with the subject, an art to lighting and exposing the image in camera, an art to developing the image, and what’s most often forgotten these days… an art to printing and finishing the image.  I’ve spent the last 18 years mastering each of these steps so that you don’t have to.   While most photographers can do a fair bit better than the straight out of camera image, very few have the skill and expertise to take the image to it’s full potential (adding some crazy filters doesn’t count, although they do have a place, they’re often used to hide the fact that the image just isn’t that great on it’s own).

While tastes vary and you may like a very natural looking image or a very “wow” or “hero” image as the one below, it doesn’t actually change the amount of retouching needed for a great finished image a whole lot.  Either way, when choosing a wedding photographer, make sure you choose someone who won’t just hand over the files, but who will rather create art for you.  A photograph printed on display tells a 1000 words, a digital file gets lost and buried under the never ending deluge of images and content being generated constantly in this day and age.  Please print your images!

Chelsea & Reid had a gorgeous wedding a few weeks ago at the Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln, relatively near our Sacramento studio.  This past Sunday they came in to select images for their wedding album and the image below was chosen for their wedding album cover.  It will be printed under acrylic and look phenomenal when finished.   The following are versions of the same image in the various stages from the album cover image back to straight out of camera with a brief description below each and at the end a video of the process from start to finish (coming soon!).

Catta Verdera Wedding Photography

This first image is the cover of their wedding album. Part of finishing the image is knowing the final output, so that the image can be the best it can be in the given medium and at the given crop. In this case, it means a fair bit needed to be trimmed from one side of the image. To keep the veil showing as much as possible, we cropped the left side in and up a touch to help put them in a more visually intriguing position with the frame. One subtle thing that’s often missed when images are cropped is that it often creates slightly awkward areas within the image. In this case, the bottom left corner showed the path that you can see in the other images below, but without context, it just looked like a brown triangle. So as you can see we went ahead and filled in the grass for this version.

 

Catta Verdera Wedding Photography

This next version is the full image retouched. As you’ll see below, it’s entirely different than where it started.

 

Catta Verdera Wedding Photography

This version is the same as above, but is now cropped to panoramic. If I was going to put an image on my wall, this is probably how I would crop it.

 

Catta Verdera Wedding Photographer

This version is the image as originally shown to our couple. This is what we call an edited image. Meaning that it’s been processed well beyond the original the camera took, but it hasn’t been extensively retouched like the versions above.

 

Catta Verdera Wedding Photography

This version of the image is a little behind the scenes trick we use on occasion. When an image is so bright that details are lost, we can often go back to the original raw file and process a special version just for those details. In this case, the veil behind Chelsea’s head was blown out to pure white in our standard version above, so that we could no longer see the detail in the veil. In this version as you can see, most of the detail is back (by underexposing the overall image) and by layering the two images, we’re able to make a special composite that brings those details back in.

 

Catta Verdera Wedding Photography

While we’d never normally show this version, I always think it’s interesting to look at the original straight image as the camera saw it. This has not been modified in any way from how it was taken.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!  Please leave us a note below and let us know if you’d like to see more posts like this one.

Mischa Purcell Cr.Photog.

Jessica, Abdul and their kids recently visited San Francisco for the first time and scheduled a family/engagement portrait session with Mischa to capture their joy, professionally.

San Francisco summers are notoriously cold, especially when you compare them to June in Tucson. Jessica and Abdul were great sports and though the Golden Gate Bridge is almost completely covered in thick fog, you can hardly see their teeth chattering in the photos.

We hope you enjoy a few of our favorites from Jessica & Abdul’s San Francisco family/engagement portrait session.

Here you can see Mischa’s not-so-secret trick to warming up on a cold day: running.

SF family portrait session

 

San Francisco is so famous for its fog, the locals even call it by name. And yes, you can follow “Karl, The Fog” on Twitter.

SF family portrait session

 

Cold weather is a very effective way to get families to stay close for pictures!

SF family portrait session

 

Baker Beach family portraits

 

… then, maybe a bit more running…

Baker Beach family portraits

 

And some jumping too..

Baker Beach family portraits

 

A minor wardrobe change and it was time for the newly betrothed to share a little body heat

Baker Beach engagement session

 

The only “must have”  shot Jessica requested in Mischa’s phone consultation was one of them “walking away with their footprints in the sand”

Baker Beach engagement session

 

Then, of course, there was more cardio to keep the blood flowing.

Baker Beach engagement session

 

Then, we asked them to get a little silly

Baker Beach engagement session

 

Maybe even a lot silly.

Baker Beach engagement session

 

We asked them to snuggle on driftwood

Baker Beach engagement session

 

Baker Beach engagement session

 

Baker Beach engagement session

 

If I didn’t know how nippy the day was, I wouldn’t have guessed from the smiles in these photographs. They genuinely look happy, in love, and like they’re enjoying themselves. Way to go, Mischa!

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Here’s a closer look at that gorgeous ring

Baker Beach engagement session

 

One last shot of the beautiful couple and (what we promise is) the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Baker Beach engagement session

 

Congratulations on your engagement Jessica & Abdul! Thank you for braving the biting cold that is a foggy San Francisco Summer day at the beach for your family/engagement portrait session.

  • June 22, 2016 - 7:04 am

    Abdullah Abdul Wahid - Beautiful

  • June 22, 2016 - 7:04 am

    Abdullah Abdul Wahid - I love it

We’ve been published in Real Weddings magazine again!

You may remember Ashleigh & Frank from their  wedding blog post or the artistic images Mischa featured here.

Today, they were blogged by Real Weddings magazine and we couldn’t have been happier to read what Ashleigh told Real Weddings mag about us!

Mischa Photography—I searched for weeks online looking for photographers. I went through hundreds of images and when I came across their website I knew I found my photographers. Mischa and Bri fit right in like family. I have never enjoyed having my picture taken but when you are around them all you can do is smile and have fun.

You can find the full article here.

ashleigh & frank

 

Mischa photography Published in Real Weddings

 

I love getting to know the people behind the photographs so much. This article inspired me to get a little more inquisitive with our brides to find out more than just what meets the eye.

We love giving our couples the opportunity to have their wedding photographs published. This way we can relive their wedding day (and additionally, their reception day,  in Ashleigh & Frank’s case) and share the love with others. Hopefully our future brides will be able to find us because of real wedding features like this one.

Lest you worry that this is the last you’ll see of Ashleigh & Frank, Real Weddings is about as socially networked as one can be and did a great job of posting our images far and wide.

On Facebook:

And, Twitter:

And, pinned on Pinterest!

And, posted to Instagram:

And, posted to YouTube:

 

 

Stephanie & Dave were married this past Friday at Chateau St. Jean in Napa

You may remember them from a previous blog post of their engagement session in San Francisco

The talented Echo Wright of A Dream Wedding was their planner and made the event a huge success.

It was a super hot and super gorgeous day, here’s a super quick sneak peek

Napa wedding sneak peek

 

Napa wedding

 

Napa wedding

 

MSP_8997-2

 

Napa wedding

 

Mischa photographed this Granite Bay Golf Club wedding solo (while I was photographing Jess & Eric’s Intimate Beach wedding), so I asked for contributions from both the bride, Angela and the coordinator, Kelle to help tell the story for the blog post.

What follows, are their words and our photographs:

Angela begins:

“Jim and I met at a lounge in downtown Sacramento 5.5 years ago. At the time, we were both newly separated from previous long term relationships and we weren’t looking to get into another relationship–certainly not expecting to meet our Soulmate. It was such a dark time for both of us, and fate truly gave us a new breath of life. ”

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Angela continues:

“As the Membership Director of Granite Bay Golf Club, there is no place I would rather marry the Love of My Life! Aside from it being my home away from home, it is such a beautiful venue where I am surrounded by amazing people. I also have first hand knowledge as to the top notch service our team provides on a daily basis, and the care they put in to every event we have at the Club.”

Granite Bay Golf Club

 

The day was unusual if not eventful, with thunderstorms and wind for the first half of the day giving way to sunshine and double rainbows just in time for the ceremony.

(editor’s note: WOW! Angela! you look stunning walking down the aisle! Your dress is perfection)

Granite Bay Golf Club Wedding

 

The intimate ceremony was held on the Club’s Library Patio among a small group of family and close friends.

Granite Bay Golf Club wedding

 

Donald Darst officiated the wedding. He and his wife Liz enrolled as Members of GBGC a couple of years ago, and we instantly became friends. Don moved to Granite Bay from Santa Cruz after retiring from his Family Law practice. He had decided to officiate weddings in an effort to bring goodness to people in support of marriage after spending so many years as a Divorce Attorney working with people who were splitting up.

Granite Bay Golf Club

 

The Bride and Groom exchanged touching personal vows, and there was not a dry eye to be seen.

With no one more evident than my daughter, Jenna. 😉

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“I adore the photo of her teary blue eyes peaking above the floral bouquet.” – Angela

Granite Bay Golf Club

 

Upon the conclusion of the ceremony, the wedding party and guests exited to the violinist’s rendition of “Stairway to Heaven”.

Granite Bay Golf Club

 

Kelle from Granite Bay describes the reception setting:

“The room looked absolutely magical! Katie from Ambience Floral Design did a phenomenal job with the florals for this event”

Granite Bay Golf Club wedding

Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed dinner in the Library adorned with glitzy decor and candles, with a canopy of crystals, tea lights and suspended flowers.

Granite Bay Golf Club wedding

 

Granite Bay Golf Club wedding

Kelle continues:

“Without the rain, we would never have rainbows. The sky was magical that day and it created breathtakingly beautiful photos that I know this family will treasure for many years to come.”

Granite Bay Golf Club wedding

 

“To Angela and her family I am known as “Auntie Kelle”. Every wedding I plan I treat as if it were my own, but when you are working with your best friend and their family you want that day to be EXTRAORDINARLY special and it was.”

 

According to Kelle, this is…”Hands down my favorite photo of the day!! It truly captures the personality of their family and the silliness that I get to witness at their home regularly.”

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“My favorite photos are those that capture the beautiful and dramatic sky as well as the terrain of the course.” – Angela

Granite Bay Golf Club wedding

 

Granite Bay Golf Club

 

Additional guests and Club Members joined the celebration on the patio after dinner while listening under the stars to R&B and Classic Rock tunes performed by Boomer.
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Angela & Kelle both pointed out the “love” photo as a favorite.

Kelle elaborates: “I have always loved this style shot that Mischa does. The blue lighting in the sand traps was from the band lighting behind us and the light behind the clouds was from the moon that night. It was awesome to witness and assist in the execution of this shot.”

Granite Bay Golf Club

 

Such a gorgeous Granite Bay Golf Club wedding! Many thanks to Angela, Kelle & the rest of the vendors for all their hard work on such a successful event.

Venue: Granite Bay Golf Club, Granite Bay, California

Floral & Decor: Ambience Floral Design, Katie Edwards
Hair & Makeup: Morgan Merrill
Cake: Sam Hardy, GBGC Pastry Chef
Officiant: Donald Darst, GBGC Member
Event Planner: Kelle Collier, GBGC Private Event Director
Linens: Mimi & Co.
Live Music: Tom Tally (Violinist); Band Boomer
Event Rentals: Celebrations!