Open Iris Photo & Films

Category: Creativity

Senior Portraits Ventura

Kylee’s Ventura Senior Portraits

We are always excited to photograph High School Seniors! So much life and energy makes these photography sessions so much fun! Kylee is an amazing young lady who loves to have fun and laugh. She looks simply beautiful in her photos! Congrats Kylee, and thanks for letting us be a part of your amazing journey.

Senior Portraits Ventura

Senior Portraits Ventura

Senior Portraits Ventura

High school senior photographer

High school senior photographer

High school senior photographer




engagment photographer Thousand Oaks

Film Inspired Engagement Shoot

Engagement photography Malibu

Sometimes I like to change things up and shoot  film during a photography session . This engagement session was taken in Malibu , California on 5/17/2013. I used a Canon A1 in manual mode with Kodak Ektar 100 film . I scanned the image in using the Wolverine F2D2 film scanner and imported into Photoshop for basic corrections along with simple manipulation. The film was expired and was exposed to elements,but overall I love the outcome! Film is a great way to simplify , yet get creative looking images. If you have any questions about gear/ technical I’d be glad to help you out! For booking engagement sessions you can e-mail us at [email protected]


how to be a creative photographer

Be a different photographer in 2013

how to be a creative photographer

Be Different in 2013

5 Ways to Get Started!

Really? … Another blog about how to be a better photographer! I’ve seen about five this week, which inspired me to write this. Photographers are so infatuated with the idea of being better that they forget to be different. I’ll admit, I’m super inspired by other photographers work and will take practical advice from them, but the last thing I want to do is ride their road to success or even worse, become something I’m not. So here’s to being different in 2013.

#1 Do More Personal Work
Why start the New Year doing something you hate or are obligated by? Do what you need to pay the bills, and then do what you love. Take on a personal project that you are excited about. This will renew your love for photography and your passion will show in your work. If it’s possible find someone who shares a similar passion for your ideas and partner up. This will improve the likelihood that the project actually gets completed.

#2 Break the Rules
Rules are important, yet sometimes they have to be broken, tweaked, altered. I can’t stress this Sh%@* enough. I’m not saying turn your camera to P mode and disregard everything the great Zack Arias has taught you, I’m just simply saying experiment. Most the time when you break the rules, you’ll know why there was a rule in the first place. Of course once in a great while you will stumble upon something awesome that you can add to your arsenal. I would suggest that when breaking the rules and trying new techniques that it’s on your time, your budget.

#3 Learn More
I’m a huge advocate of learning. It’s the foundation of what you love. If you aren’t taking the time to properly learn photography you are actually ripping yourself off. Just think, once you understand the basics, how much more creative you can be as a photographer. There are great resources and blogs out there! Creative Live is amazing, Zack Arias has a gnarly blog in which he answers questions about photography and of course you can pick up Jeremy Cowarts Life Finder DVD. So there are no excuses. I would also suggest venturing out of photography and learn about design, painting, whatever else that might spark creativity. Learn something this year.

#4 Don’t Waste Your Time
Time is valuable. Don’t waste it. Stay away from energy vampires! What is an energy vampire you ask? It’s anything and everyone that sucks the life and energy away from you. Do not take projects that aren’t worth your time! Think of all the creative things you could be doing. I would also suggest that you rid yourself of people who are negative and throw dog shit on all your ideas. I think it’s important to work with others and getting creative input from someone other than a loved one. There’s a huge difference between creative input and someone that’s just plain negative. Ditch the negativity and save your time for those who inspire you to work harder and get better and what you do.

#5 Don’t Be Threatened.
Do not be threatened by someone else’s work. There’s always going to be someone that produces good work, but the good news is that you can do the same. That’s why it’s so important to be DIFFERENT. It’s easy to get in the mind frame that if you only had this camera, or those lights, or whatever that you could duplicate something you saw in a blog or magazine. That’s not the point. Instead of getting worked up, get inspired to create something different. It’s also good to share what you know with others who are just starting. It helps shake the idea that anyone can do what you do. If Avedon himself taught you everything he knew, you wouldn’t be Avedon. Be different by being you.

5 Survival Tips to Wedding Photography

how to prepare for wedding photography

What they don’t tell you about wedding photography.
5 Survival Tips..

1. Good Night’s Rest

This may sound pretty obvious, but sleep may be one of your best friends come wedding day. I know most people think that the job of a wedding photographer is licking lollipops and galloping around with a camera taking pictures of pretty things… but it’s hard work. More than likely you’ll wake early due to the anticipation and morning prep, and be on your feet from anywhere between 4-10 hours or more depending on the agreement. There are not a lot of breaks so it’s important that you stay hydrated and that extra sleep from the night before will ensure you’ll be a champ by the time you hear the last Black Eye Peas song at the reception.

2. Be Organized

Nothing will bring out “bridezilla” faster than your lack of organization and shoot from the hip mentality. Sure, be relaxed but prepared as well. Your bride has spent her entire life dreaming of this day, as a paid photographer you should do anything possible to make it as fairytale as possible. Make sure you have met with the bride two weeks before the wedding to schedule times, places and coordinate overall photography. This will give a bride peace of mind and she will put you on a pedestal if you pull it off.

3. Have the right Equipment

Whether you have been shooting for years or are just starting out make sure you have the right gear come wedding day. You don’t have to own it, just make sure you have it. Places like Borrow Lenses are great for renting professional gear. If you are a paid wedding photographer you should have at least two working camera bodies, wide-angle lens, telephoto lens, and something that stops down to F/1.8 or less. A flash is not necessary but highly suggested. The night before test all your gear and make a checklist so nothing is left at home or at the wedding venue. For good measure clean your gear and make sure batteries are charged so you have no surprises come wedding day.

4. Be Nice To Everyone!

Easier said than done. I can’t stress this enough. At the end of the day your photography will be judged not just by how awesome your photographs are but by how polite and courteous you were through the entire process. I know some amazing photographers who are just plain a-holes and they wonder why no one will work with them. There’s going to be times were the bride may snap at you or an uncle has had too much to drink. Just keep your cool and it will pay off. Your photos may be par, but if they loved you and the overall experience… THAT MATTERS!

5. Comfortably, Look your best.

Yes, there’s an unspoken dress code at weddings. As a professional it’s important to look your best and be comfortable at the same time. Nothing will hurt your reputation faster than showing up looking like a slob to a wedding. If you’re not sure it’s okay to ask the bride. It’s also important that you don’t stand out. Leave your bright green polo at home unless requested by a bride. Most photographers wear black… but I say dress to your brand without drawing attention and looking cheap.

” 5 Reasons to buy the New MacBook Pro “

First of all 2012 has been a great year for photographers and media designers alike. For myself it started with the release of the extraordinary Nikon D800 and it’s un-rivaled image quality , and now the announcement of the new Macbook Pro has launched me into pixel euphoria. If you are a photographer , cinematographer , designer , or use your computer for presentations and require a professional , reliable , experience… LOOK NO FURTHER! 5 Reasons this Apple is for you!

1. See More Pixels “Retina Display”
One of the gripes of professionals using laptops while on the go or as a workstation is that the screen resolution and size tend to make your eyes bleed. Well maybe not that dramatic, but it does make it hard to be productive and see more pixels without zooming times ten. Apple has now graced us with it’s beautiful retina display to be seen on 15.4″ of scheer LED bliss. With a resolution of 2880×1800 pixels your mouth will drop and sing the praises of Apple’s leap forward. What does this mean ? You see more , a lot more!

What is Flash Storage? It’s what the rest of the world refers to as SSD “Solid State Drive” and is an incredibly fast hard drive. Not only will you see a huge performance increase in daily task , you will also notice that your laptop will be less noisy and run at lower temperatures. In programs like Photoshop CS6 and Premiere CS6 you will notice faster render times as well as a faster scratch disk. The huge plus is that Flash Storage is less likely to fail on you due to it’s reliability. That’s good news to all professionals. Work faster and safer.

One of the lacking components in most laptops is the graphics card. Most laptops that are marketed to professionals have an integrated intel graphics card which is sometimes hidden by cheap sales gimmicks like , “oh did you see how big the hard drive is?” Laughable. Apple has made sure to give you a power house computer that rocks a solid Nvidia 1GB GDDR5 graphic card. Awesome for photo editing , video editing , and general media usage. Simply put, this is one bad ass graphics card.

4. Hello USB 3.0 + Thunderbolt
Yes , finally USB 3.0. Apple has complied with the rest of the world and given us USB 3.0. I have no doubts that Thunderbolt will continue to wow us with a plethora of devices in the near future, but for now I’ve been needing a USB 3.0 port on my Apple. For photographers and cinematographers shooting video from a DSLR they will be happy to have faster transfer times from CF cards using USB 3.0 devices. Throw in the fact that you also have thunderbolt and you’re as happy as a kid in a candy store.

Now Apple is just showing off. If you ask, you shall receive. The outcry of Apple’s lack of an HDMI port on its computers did not fall on deaf ears. This is a huge upgrade for those who rely on their MacBook for presentation purposes. The HDMI powered by an extreme , profound laptop will give you more peace of mind when presenting or sharing media with clients or at memorable events.

Apple has outdone itself once again! Sure it’s pricey at $2199 but it’s well worth it! The retina display alone makes this laptop worth every dollar. If you are a professional this Apple Macbook Pro will not disappoint.

laptop for photographers

Beware of naysayers – 12 Tips for Success – Photography

Check out this great article for entrepreneurs!! There are a ton of photographers out there… and a lot that don’t or can’t make a business work . This is a great read for anyone who needs some practical insight . I know when I started out one of the biggest challenges was overcoming the naysayers. It sometimes seems that no one wants or cares if you succeed and it’s important to be able to keep going.
Check it out!

photo credit:

10 Tips to help photographers with Contracts from CHASE JARVIS – Good Stuff!

If you love photography, and love the ethos of it… then you’ve probably heard the name Chase Jarvis. Chase is a great photographer, social guru , and all around giver to the creative community. Check out his lastest post about helping photographers with contracts. A contract for photographers is super important. It will also help guide you and the client down the right path. A must read for any photographer.. especially wedding photographers. Don’t get caught with your pants down!
Check it here :

Creativity. It’s not the camera that counts.

I was sitting at my local coffee shop that I often frequent and caught myself listening to a conversation to the right of me. Who isn’t guilty of such things? The couple was talking about the latest and greatest camera, and if they only had it. The continued to talk about all the awesome pictures they could take, and how they would be recognized as great photographers if they only had the best camera. It was quite a euphoric feeling for the both of them.Wishing, hoping, dreaming… that they could… if only… I began to laugh on the inside knowing that even if… Even if they had the the best cameras in the world it wouldn’t change the fact that cameras don’t make you creative. Sure, all your tools foster creativity , but they do not create it! Let me say that again, “they do not create it!” Creativity is whats inside you, that no one else can create. Creativity is doing something that no one else has done. Creativity is you! If we can all can take a lesson in creativity it would be this ; You aren’t creative because you watched the latest and greatest YouTube video, nor is it a new piece of equipment, it’s the thing thats inside you that is screaming to come out. That’s creativity. Creativity is only harnessed,held back by our inability to let it out, not by a camera. Our lack of creativity shouldn’t be blamed upon what we don’t have, yet upon our ability to set it free.
Creativity is more than a camera...