The Montage | Laguna Beach, CA | Hilary + Michael


One of the delights I’ve found as my photography business has grown and my
experience has become expertise is the opportunity to pass on what I’ve learned to
other photographers. At my mentorships I am able to coach
up-and-coming photographers, as well as those looking to gain or expand a skill-set,
in the particular areas they hope to grow. And when a photographer wants to work
on use of light, there’s no better thing to do than head to the beach!


This Laguna Beach styled engagement session mentorship session featured the jaw-dropping
floral design of Maher Haroun, a flowing, beachy dress and a loving, real-life, engaged couple.
Between the coastal breeze, harsh lighting and sand, the beach can be one of the
most challenging locations for a photoshoot, so we were able to really put in work
on vital wedding photography techniques.


One of my top tips for photographing in harsh lighting is first to look for shade,
getting a wide variety of images under the protection of trees, awnings or, in our
case, rock outcroppings. That way, you can guarantee quality images and get
comfortable with the subjects before heading out into the sun. This also gives time
for the sun to sink a bit, softening the light. This is what I usually do in any situation. However, the
beach doesn’t provide much shade. When we struck out toward the
shoreline to work on effects like avoiding lens flairs, our couple glowed. While the
waves rolled and crashed, the rays of sunlight danced around them creating a fairytale scene by the ocean.
I also worked with the photographers on the finer points of shooting details, capturing invitation flat lays,
creativity and, above all, practice, practice, practice! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to
work with photographers as they hone their skill set and build their portfolio, and, as always, I look forward to
working with them again someday soon! And above all, I am so excited that I get to head back to the
Montage this Spring to photograph Hilary and Michael’s wedding!