It’s a wonderful feeling to have … I’m sure you have felt it … that “my heart just might burst” feeling or the “how did I get this lucky?”
planning consultation
Those magical days, with your soon-to-be husband, your adventurous one-year old or that little human growing inside of you … they will soon be just a magical memory. Before you know it, you’ll glide into the next phase of your family without even realizing it has happened. You don’t want to forget these moments, do you? Of course not!! Don’t let these moments become another happy memory floating around in your brain along with tomorrow’s to-do list and what’s for dinner. Hire a photographer to capture these moments so you can commemorate them! But just how do you make the perfect session happen in-between your long list of to-do’s? Some days you can barely handle getting up and out of the house, much less coordinate a Pinterest worthy photoshoot!
planning consultation
planning consultation
Well, as a professional wedding and portrait photographer, it’s my job to make this experience happen for you. I can make your next photography experience one that’s a fun, relaxing, stress-free adventure. I’m happy to say that my experiences over the years have helped me build a client experience that will deliver beautiful images of your family that matches your home perfectly!
Just so you know, this doesn’t happen by coincidence. It takes prepping and planning together to create the experience and images you have dreamed up.
planning consultation
planning consultation
planning consultation
Every family is different: from fashion, to decor, to style, to colors, to personality … so it’s crucial to communicate well with you to ensure that your photographic art coordinates not with just your style and personality, but your home as well.
At Krista Mason Photography, we have found the best way to make sure you get images that will blow your mind is to schedule either an in-home visit or a Skype call where we can cover a series of important questions. My goal is to create beautiful art to display in your home AND to remind you of those fleeting magical moments. This all happens in your planning consultation.
planning consultation
This is what sets us apart from the photographer down the street. You know the one that just shows up to take your photograph? Without some careful preparation, you could end up with images that are busy and distracting because there wasn’t enough attention given to details like your outfits or location selections or you may miss an important wedding moment because the timeline wasn’t scheduled properly. You might even end up with images that are wonderful, but just don’t match your home. I think that would be the worst of all! All that time and effort, not to mention the financial investment you’ve made in your session, and then to not be able to display your images in your home because they don’t really match.
That is why we spend the time and energy to communicate with you prior to your session about your likes, your personal style, family dynamics and the timing of your event. Then we guide you with mood boards and other elements of inspiration, so that when you show up for your session, there is no doubt in your choice. When you review the images, you are already visualizing the perfect place in your home for your new art.
planning consultation
Whether you’re an engaged couple, a family with 2 kids under the age of 4, or a new expectant mother, you are all going to have very different characteristics. It’s these unique differences that really deserve to be treated as individual as you are. As your photographer, learning about you and your family and how you spend your time is a very important part of our process in capturing your images. That’s what the planning consultation is all about.
You should feel natural and comfortable with your decisions, from your location, clothing options and how you plan on displaying your beautiful memories. We hope you’ll allow us to partner with you to make some beautiful images and some new memories along the way.
planning consultation
We will help preserve your memories of this special moment in time, capturing what makes you unique – whether it’s your activities, your personalities, or the fashion at the moment – and delivering them to you in a way that you can cherish for years to come.
planning consultation

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Having professional photos taken can be quite stressful. For most people, being in front of the camera doesn’t feel natural! You’re feeling nervous and awkward, wondering what locations or outfits are best. What about timing for the best light? Oh, and don’t forget you’ve got to work around your kids’ nap schedules! Then you’ve got to figure out how to look gorgeous and natural without looking too posed. I mean, come on! Even a selfie pro has to take a bunch of snaps to get that one Instagram worthy shot – and she likes being photographed! All these questions and thoughts are running through your head before your session and all this anxiety is just building up more and more. But wait … it doesn’t have to be that way. Read on for some of my best tips for a stress-free portrait session!

stress free session tipsstress free session tips

At Krista Mason Photography, we want you to have a fun, relaxing, stress-free session. You can do that by leaving all the details to us, the professional photographers. Our goal is to capture your family – whether it’s just the two of you or your growing family of 4. We do this in a fun and relaxing way that allows us to capture your genuine personalities with love and laughter.

stress free session tips

You can be sure we’ll do our part, but how do YOU make a great photo session happen? Read on for our tips:

Choose the right photographer

Not all photographers are the right photographer for you. The most important step in the process to finding a photographer is finding one that you connect with and feel comfortable around. A photographer that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable and confident.

stress free session tips

Pick the right timing

It’s a fine line between picking the perfect time for gorgeous natural light and that time when your little ones are going to be in their best mood. Communicate with your photographer if you have specific time frames you’d like to work with. But, keep in mind the best lighting is just before sunset. Of course, during the summertime, that’s the witching hour for the little ones and can prove a challenge to get kids to cooperate. The best photographer is willing to work with you and your family’s schedule while still striving for the best options for getting those amazing shots.

stress free session tips

Have a consultation with your photographer

Feeling confident about your location and what you are going to wear are crucial in capturing the best images. Be sure to communicate your expectations with your photographer and your family. This will make for a smooth session. An experienced photographer will be one that asks lots of clarifying questions either with a Skype call or an in-home visit. This will go a long way to getting images that will blow your mind; images that you’ll proudly display in your home – beautiful art that will remind you of that fleeting magical time!

stress free session tips

Keep it light hearted

Your kids or husband may be driving you up the wall while you’re getting ready and rushing out the door for your session. Stay focused and don’t let it get to you. Do your best to keep everyone calm, cool, and collected … including yourself. If you need a moment to relax – even just 30 seconds alone to regain your sanity – just take it. Nothing is worse than showing up to a session trying to capture the love between you and your family but you just got in an argument. Even worse? Trying to get the kids to listen but one of them goes into full-on meltdown. Today is supposed to be a peaceful day! Bonus tip: bring a little something to keep the kids entertained and focused … a favorite toy (or even a new one), music, snacks … candy is my go-to favorite! Of course, I don’t have to go home with them, though – lol!

stress free session tips

Prepare and be ahead of schedule

Nothing adds to the stress more than running out the door in a panic because you’re late for your session. Allow plenty of time to get ready and arrive on location for your session – maybe even add on a little extra time to deal with those unexpected hiccups that inevitably occur. We suggest at least 2-3 hours to get ready. Lay out all your outfits the night before – including shoes, socks and all the accessories – because there’s a good chance you’ll forgot the socks or won’t be able to find those shoes that make the outfit complete, lol. We also suggest to double your expected travel time, it is LA after all. It’s always better to arrive early enough to look around. It lets you and the kids unwind from the travel rather than being in a frantic high-strung state because you got stuck in traffic. Don’t make specific plans after your session, like dinner reservations, ball games or anywhere you have to be at a set time. Sometimes things can go a bit longer than anticipated.

stress free session tips

Trust your photographer

Trust your photographer to capture you and your loved ones. Let them guide you and direct you. That takes the pressure off of you. Trust they have your best interest in mind and want you to love your images just as much as you want to love them. Don’t worry about anyone but yourself, your photographer has your back and is looking at everyone to make sure you all look your best – even the kids and fur babies.

stress free session tips

Be well rested and have a snack (especially the kiddos)

Get a good nights sleep. Try to get everyone to take a nap if you’ve got a late afternoon or early evening session. Eat a light snack before your session. Yes, I know that you are trying to fit into that stunning dress, but hearing your tummy grumble during a session will for sure be a distraction. And we all know how testy a hangry toddler or husband can be!

stress free session tips

Hair and Make-up

Consider professional hair and make-up for your session. Pamper yourself a little and take the stress off of getting the perfect style and look. Don’t have time to go to the salon? No problem … many hair and make-up artists now come to you, like our friends at glam squad!

stress free session tips

Have fun

The most important tip we can offer you is this: have fun and let loose. Allow yourself to laugh, enjoy the silly moments, whatever it takes for your session to be fun. Let your inner child run free, and of course let the kids be kids. It’s about capturing the precious moments and a genuine reflection of your family. Look at your session as an adventure, a date night or an enjoyable excursion with the family. You’ll be happy when you see images that tell the truth about who you are as a family!

stress free session tips

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It’s been another wonderful year filled with amazing weddings, engagement, portraits and some of the best clients! We have pulled together the Best of 2017 … some of your favorites and ours, too! Everything from your favorite Instagram post to your favorite tips.  Stick it out to the end for a festive holiday cocktail recipe from Tal, one of my favorite mixologists from Pharmacie!

Your Favorite Tip

Your favorite tip of the year is a big one for many of our engaged couples, 5 Things to do to get started planning your wedding. Visit the post to get a recap on 5 things to do before you start planning.

Your Favorite Instagram Posts

We love your engagement with us on Instagram!! Here are the top 3 posts from this year according to YOU!! Looks like 2018 is going to be beautiful and classic!

Your Favorite Facebook Post

It was a tie between these two posted on Facebook this year! The excitement of just being wed and the beauty of this stunning table by Nicole George Events and Peony and Plum.

 

Your Favorite Krista and Aldo Adventure

Scotland and the Cairngorms were on our top list as well! But you guys were the sweetest, loving the pictures of Aldo and I at Arthur’s Seat! Those rolling green hills are to die for, I’ll admit, and it was so fun walking around being photographed by our good friends.

Favorite Portrait Session

Oh yeah, this was a good one! This gorgeous maternity session has opened up a new love for in-home maternity portraits for me.

Favorite Wedding

This was a close one, but in the end you all loved this beautiful Palos Verdes wedding at Wayfarers Chapel. I mean, with this adorable couple and beautiful glass chapel with stunning views, it’s hard not to love!

palos verdes

Favorite Styled Shoot

This was such an amazing shoot! So much color, so many bridal styles, so much beautiful awesomeness! All rolled into one killer shoot with my favorite dream team, Chic Celebrations and Lauryl Lane! I have a surprise for you next year involving this awesome dream team!

Fig House

Favorite Engagement Session

Those Santa Ynez views and sunsets are my favorite too! This beautiful engagement session was filled with as many surprises as it was stunning images!

destination engagement {Krista Mason Photography} [post_title]

Favorite Cocktail

Well, if you’ve made it this far, you deserve a cocktail!! So, as promised, here’s one of my favorite holiday cocktails! As a bonus, Tal has graciously given us his secret recipe! If you try it out this holiday season, we’d love to see your version of it! Post your pics up on Instagram and tag us: @kristamasonphotography and @pharmacie__ (that’s 2 dashes at the end smile.png )

(Hint: Right-click the image to save the recipe for yourself!)


And there it is!! All of your favorites from 2017!! We love all of you and appreciate your support and always look forward to the next event or portrait! Thank you to each and every one of you – you know who you are! You know you want to join in on the fun and be part of the KMP family! Give us a shoutout! Happy Holidays!!

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People always talk about how important it is to capture your children each year as they grow. And while I know it’s true, it’s also just plain obvious. You love seeing your kids grow each year and how much they change. We all know how important it is to look back and see their growth. From that first day of school photo at your front door to the last day of school. But what about just the two of you whether you have kids or not?

Recently, I personally experienced the importance reflecting back through the years in my photos. It was super fun, but I really wish I had a photo to represent each of our early years. I’ve learned it’s never too late to start. I have vowed to have a professional photo taken of Aldo and I every year, so that in 20 years or 50 years, I have images that we can look back on, laugh at and talk about what babies we were.

It occurred to me while celebrating our 14th Anniversary, how important capturing each year is. I don’t know if you saw it on my social media channels, but I posted a photo of each year Aldo and I have been together – all the way back to 2007 and even one from what I call the early years because I wasn’t sure of the date. We were such babies!  But I couldn’t find very many photos of us earlier than 2007, and you know why? It’s because we didn’t start taking our Holiday Portraits until 2007. Yes, I’m sure that we have photos during that time, but where are they? Who knows and they sure as heck are not as cute as the ones we had professionally done.

I share this with you because I don’t want you looking back in 14 years wishing you had taken professional photos. There’s nothing better than proudly sharing your life with your friends and family, no matter the style or look that you were rocking at the time. When I was looking back at our photos, I was like, “Wow, I just dated myself, lol.” But I am still so very happy to have them so I can reflect back on the wonderful years I’ve shared with the love of my life. I’m even more excited that I have current ones that represent us as a couple, showing our relationship and style.

Every time I see your updates on Facebook or Instagram or you send me an email, I get super excited to see what adventures you have been up to lately. Was it a new job, a new house, are you expecting, your first, second, or maybe even your third child? Did you get a new puppy? Take any fun travel adventures? Did your kids start their first year of school? That’s been a fun one for me since it’s that time of year. Watching you all post your minis with their first day of school signs…just the cutest! This got me thinking … obviously, in addition to wanting professional photos you want to be able to take great photos on your day-to-day adventures. So, I wanted to share a few fun tips with you on how to best capture these precious daily moments with your mobile phone. Whether it’s travels, your kids first day of school, or a special moment between the two of you, you’ll want to capture them all!

Make sure you have a subject

The same composition rules apply even if you aren’t photographing people. Be sure that you have a focal point or main point of interest to grab the viewer’s attention. Remember the rule of thirds and put that focal point in one of those sweet spots.
One interesting subject is all you need to create a stunning photo, but we understand that sometimes you want multiple people in the image and that works just as perfect.

Eliminate Distractions

Don’t be afraid if your photo has a lot of empty space. This is what us photographers call “negative space” and it’s helpful in making your subject stand out.

Be sure to look at all details. Is there a trash can or water bottle in the shot? Move it. Can’t move it? Change the angle of your shot to avoid it.

A subtle muted background keeps the photo from becoming too distracting. Make sure the background complements the color of what the subject is wearing so they don’t blend in.

Find the best light

Lighting is the most important thing in any photo. The best kind of lighting is soft, natural, diffused light, such as window lighting. The same rules apply for outdoor photos … soft natural diffused light. The best time of day to shoot is what professional photographers call the golden hour. Either early morning just as the sun is coming out or just before sunset. In my line of work with weddings, we understand these situations aren’t always achievable on the go. So, look for soft evenly shaded areas. Again, be aware of your background. If it’s too light or too dark, your subject will get lost. Avoid harsh shadows and shooting the subject facing the sun. This will produce squinting eyes and unwanted shadows. Also beware of too dark of areas. All too often we see subjects being photographed in dark dingy corners where they tend to get lost.

Our eyes can determine both dark and light exposures at the same time, but the camera cannot. Ever have a subject with the beach as the background and either the beach is properly exposed but your subject is too dark or the subject is correct and the beach is blown out? This is because the camera can’t capture what we see with the naked eye. Most mobile phone cameras will capture everything overall and guess at what the best mix will be. This means if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll won’t get the photo you’re aiming for. Try tapping on the main subject to achieve the best exposure. Sometimes, though, even that won’t work. In that case, you’ll need to rethink your background and lighting situation. Look for that open soft shade or window lighting.

 

Focus on the eyes

It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul. They are also a great part of your subject to focus on when you’re trying to capture them at their best. It’s because the eyes are the most expressive part of the face. Ready take it one step further? Focus on the eye closest to the camera.

Composition

Experiment with different perspectives and cropping. A common mistake is always putting the subject directly in the center of the frame.

You don’t have to always center your subject. Learn the rule of thirds. Try an angle from above or below. Set your subject off centered.

Photographing Children

Photographing children is always a challenge, sometimes even more so when mom and dad are doing it. We recommend getting down on their level. Get low, talk to them, engage with them. Make them laugh and wait for that perfect expression that best expresses their personalities. This is where you have an advantage, because you know them best. You know that expression right before it happens, so be ready to click. If you try to force smiles or make them stand stiff and still that’s the look you’ll get. Put them in the right lighting with the right background and let them be them. You’ll know when to capture that perfect moment.

Stay positive

The #1 rule when photographing anyone is to stay positive and give lots of affirmation that the subject looks amazing. If your kids are making funny faces, make them back. I promise it will make them laugh and if you’re ready, you’ll capture the perfect smile. With couples, the same thing applies – OK, maybe not the funny faces, but you never know … that might work, lol. Just keep it upbeat and positive and you’ll get that emotion you desire. I have to make Aldo sincerely laugh anytime we take a photo, otherwise he looks like a grumpy old man! I do this by any means necessary – being a goof ball, tickles, stupid jokes, whatever – but it works, we manage to get some awesome smiles out of him. Also remember you don’t always have to smile for portraits!

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to get great photos…and remember, the best camera you can have is the camera you have with you! Don’t be afraid to experiment. You’re mobile camera is digital, so if you don’t like the image you can delete it and try again!

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Vendors: Photography: Krista Mason Photography // Location: Colony House- Anaheim, CA // Equipment Rentals: Archive Rentals // Makeup Artist: Kacee Geoffroy hair and makeup // Floral Designer: Krista Jon Floral | botanical |stylist // Personal Stylist: Styled by Two’s Company // Female Model: Whitney Hoy // Male Model: Matthew Lee Williams

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I adore this boudoir session at The Colony House. I seem to have found a new passion in photography…boudoir, who knew!? The elegance and beauty is such an honor to be able to capture. And I can’t get over the styling by Two’s a Party and Kacee Geoffrey! Such an amazing job!

Vendors: Photography: Krista Mason Photography // Location: Colony House- Anaheim, CA // Equipment Rentals: Archive Rentals // Makeup Artist: Kacee Geoffroy hair and makeup // Floral Designer: Krista Jon Floral | botanical |stylist // Personal Stylist: Styled by Two’s Company // Female Model: Whitney Hoy // Male Model: Matthew Lee Williams

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