/Weekly Wednesday

Just a Quick Saturday update!

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week.  We got busy, and then by the time we got down to work on some pictures, our computer was acting up!  One of those weeks, I guess!

One of the coolest things to happen to us in a while happened last week, when our friend, Kerry Garrison, who, along with David Esquire, make up the team over at Camera Dojo, sent us a message asking if we’d want to be interviewed for their weekly Podcast!  Of course we would!  Team Sipper is always down for talking about what we love to do, and Kerry and David are cool guys and a TON of fun to hang out with!  I’ve listened to their Podcast for the last 5 or 6 months now and it’s full of great interviews with some amazing photographers.  Go check it out, and let us know what ya think over at CameraDojo.com

Another thing that you may have noticed, if you’ve checked out our website in the past couple days, is that we put up an exciting new Splash Page! Ya see, we love our logo, but thought that the opening page was… well.. a bit bland, so we enlisted the services of Tanya Ahedo over at Design Action Studios to kick it up a bit!  We LOVE it!   I love new stuff on our site!

Well, that’s all I have right now.  We are heading out to the Art Walk in downtown Santa Ana tonite with our friend Scott.  We’ve never been there, but it looks like it could be pretty fun!


Just a Quick Saturday update!2009-05-02T17:45:21+00:00

Weekly Wednesday-Baseball Season is Here!

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Life has been busy as usual for the Sipper’s, this last week or so I have been working with my friend Melly on some new marketing postcards for the portrait side of our business.  Melly is such a fabulous designer, she knows our branding and always comes up with exactly what I envisioned. We are two peas in a pod I tell ya!

We also decided to add some spice to the website, so keep a look out for our new splash page which is coming very soon! Our flash designer is Tanya Ahedo who was referred to us by our client Kirsten Wright. By the way, if anyone needs any Creative Writing or Copywriting for your business or blog, contact Kirsten, she does some fabulous work. Both of these ladies are great and it has been a pleasure working creatively with both of them.

So, last night we took a little break and attended our first Angel’s game of the season. Both Jeff & I love baseball, it is such a great past time that we have shared with our families. Though we have our Angels vs. Yankees rivalry we still remain happily married. We both knew of this going in, but still stuck together. Don’t get me wrong, I support the Angels when they are playing any other team but the Yankees, THEN IT’S ON!

Baseball reminds me of my dad too, those Yankee games are still a bit hard, it makes me think of old times…we used to have so much fun going! My dad and I ventured all over to see the Yanks, so many memories…I miss & love ya dad!

Speaking of missing people, it was such a tragedy losing the Angel pitcher, Nick Adenhart. It was somber near the hat entrance of the stadium where a huge memorial was set for him.

I really got choked up reading this letter from a 10 year old fan, it was so heartfelt and really shows how these players become heroes to us.

The support was amazing out there as the sun was setting. Here is a shot of one of the hats, I took while we were waiting for our friends Tony & Jeanette to arrive.

We were so excited to get together with them, this game was going to be so cool because it was their son Anthony’s first baseball game. Anthony enjoyed himself so much, he ate a hot dog, clapped his hands & cheered! We all had a great time and Aunt Dana & Uncle Jeff felt so honored to share this first with him.

Hope you all have a great rest of your week! I leave you with these two final shots of Little A’s first Baseball game!

Enjoy, J+D

Sitting on dad’s lap enjoying the game!

Weekly Wednesday-Baseball Season is Here!2009-04-22T17:09:03+00:00

Weekly Wednesday Blog-Get with the flow!

Hola Amigos!

What’s shakin’ out there?  Busy, as usual here.  As you saw from the last post, we headed out to Arizona to see Dana’s family last weekend.  The weather was surprisngly nice out there.  Not hot at all.  In fact, I think I wore pants the whole time we were there.  And believe me, that NEVER happens when we are in Arizona!  But it is April, and the weather hasn’t really heated up there yet.  We had a fun time, and met some cool people!

So, with this week’s blog, I’m going to deviate slightly from the regular “Jeff rants about whatever for a few paragraphs” as Dana likes to put it, and talk about our work, and our workflow.

Inevitably, whenever you get a bunch of photographers in the room, questions arise.  Usually they end up in arguments, err discussions, about Canon Vs. Nikon, and Mac Vs. PC. (We all know that Nikon and PC are the way to go, right?! 🙂 ) After these arguments end in a stalemate, or people fighting in the streets, the next question that pops up is about “workflow”.  Now, since Dana and I both learned on film back in the dark ages (the early-mid 90’s) the term workflow really had no meaning to us.  Not really anyways.  I mean, you shot the film, dropped it off at the lab, go have a sandwich, and when your’re done eating, wham, prints are done.  Throw them in an album, and out the door they go.  No color correction. No effects. Nada.  You had to get it right in camera.  No Photoshop to fix your mistakes!

So, when it came time for us to switch to digital, we had to come up with a workflow.  Getting the images from your camera, to your computer, to the lab/web, etc.  At first, there was a lot of trial and error.  There was no simple solution to edit, adjust, tweak everything.  We used Photoshop, and Bridge, and it worked.  Just not that great.  Fast forward a couple years, and Adobe busts out Lightroom.  Sweet Jesus!  Lightroom is probably the best piece of software I’ve owned.  The ability to import pics, keyword them, adjust them 10000 times, and still revert back to the original without damaging the file is amazing.  I can batch thru 1000 pics, adjust color, exposure, change to Black and White, whatever in about 1/4 of the time it took me with Bridge and Photoshop.  It’s just that good.

So here is our basic Workflow with Lightroom/Photoshop:
1. Import pics into LR, using a basic preset for the Nikon D300.  I found a preset online that I tweaked a bit to make our stuff look great right out of the box.
2. Dana then does the rough edit, getting rid of bad pics, out of focus, bad exposure, blinks, etc.
3. I go thru everything, and adjust White Balance, Exposure, Color, Sharpening to give it our basic Look.
4. At this point, they are ready to go to a lab.  I export them as .jpg’s, and send them away!
5. Then I back up stuff (or should… I’m fairly lazy with this, and need to get better) onto two seperate portable hard drives, plus the HD in the computer.

All this is done without EVER going into Photoshop.  I would have to say anymore that I’m about 90% Lightroom, and 10% Photoshop.  As good as Lightroom is, there are still a few things that just can’t be done there, and I have to make the roundtrip to PS.  In talking with other photographers, this seems to be about the norm for most of them.  Except for those that do major work, and really heavy editing to their pictures.

The fun part comes after all that is done.  The time when we take our favorite pics and have fun with them.  Over the course of the past year, I think we have really dialed our style in. I use the same basic presets in LR, and Photoshop to give us a consistent look.  Occasionally, I get a little funky, and play with some new presets or actions that look cool, but don’t necessarily fit our style.  Usually these are on our more personal work.  Sometimes, if something works well there, we may incorporate it into more of our regular work.  Here are a few examples of some of the latest stuff I’ve been playing with:

Earlier this week, I got a message from my friend, Kerry over at CameraDojo.com.  He puts together a really good set of Lightroom Presets that sells at a really great price over at his site.  He was putting the final touches on a series of Black and White Presets and wanted me to check them out.  I gotta say, I played with them a bit last night, and really dig them.  They are some good, solid Black and White settings in there.  This one was made using the Greyscale Max White setting with a Med. Vignette.  The great thing about these presets is that you can apply them, and tweak them to suit your tastes.  For the ones I post here, these are straight up, no tweaking.  I really wanted to see how they looked right out of the box!   If you don’t know Camera Dojo, you need to go check them out.  Not only do they have a weekly podcast with some of the big names in photography, the website itself is filled with TONS of useful info.  I’m coming into almost 20 years of photography, and I can always find something on their site that I didn’t know!

This was us screwing around up in Santa Ynez from a few weeks ago.  We found a really great field across from the Firestone Brewing Company Restaurant and used some of the late afternoon sunlight to get some pics of ourselves.

This was done with the CameraDojo Infrared preset with a medium Vignette.  I’ve never had any luck the 3 or 4 times I had to shoot Infrared film in school, so this works just as well for me!

This was the new Wedding Lawn at Firestone Winery.

For years, I’ve had a Holga 120 plastic, piece of crap camera.  It’s covered in tape, and leaks light like a sieve.  Because of this, it produces really funky, semi-out of focus pictures with odd flares and such. The problem with the Holga anymore, is that it shoots film. I still love film, but the costs are hard to justify anymore. Brandon Oelling over at X-equals.com seems to have had the same thoughts and came up with this really cool setting.  He’s also a bit of a LR expert and has tons of tutorials, tips, and tricks on his site.  Definitely check his stuff out!  The border was added in Photoshop to give it that fake film look! 🙂

This one here is more of what you normally see in our blog, and on our site.  It is a PS action that I came up with that basically desaturates the picture overall, and adds a little bit of warmth to it.  It seems to work especially well in that late afternoon/sundown flarey light time.  I just like it, because it’s actually a decent picture of me.  Of course, Dana shot it, and she’s fairly handy with the camera, ya know!

So, there ya go.  Hope you got a little insight and how we do what we do, and if you have any questions about anything, please email us, or drop a comment at the bottom here, and we’ll get right back to ya!  And be sure to check out both Camera Dojo and X=Equals websites!

See ya next week!


Weekly Wednesday Blog-Get with the flow!2009-04-15T18:04:34+00:00

Weekly Wednesday Blog-Top 5, baby! Wedding Photographer Orange County

Yo yo yo yo!

Well, the results are in and you guys voted to make Sipper Photography one of the Top 5 wedding photographers in Orange County for ’09 on the FoxLA website! How cool is that?

It woulda been great to win, but, seeing as how a year ago, we weren’t even on the map, it’s pretty exciting for us!  We couldn’t have done it without the help and support of all of our friends, and clients over the past year.  It really amazes me how far we’ve come in such a short time!  Seems funny to say that, since Dana and I have been together almost 10 years, and have shot together for nearly that long.  It was only about a year ago, we finally got everything together, and really went full bore into doing what we really love to do!

As usual, it seems, we’ve been pretty busy!  Last weekend we spent Saturday up in Santa Ynez, hitting some wineries and meeting new people.  Sunday we had a great photo shoot at the beach, where it just happened to be about 80 degrees and perfect!  Sunday night we had dinner with our friends Kerry and David of CameraDojo.com, and their wives at Daimon’s Teppan Yaki in Huntington Beach.  It was a great time, and cemented the idea for me that if this photo thing goes south, I would love to be a Teppan Chef!  That just looks like a fun gig to have!

This weekend, we are, once again, hitting the road and heading out to see Dana’s family in Arizona.  Should be a good time, we have 3 photoshoots scheduled on Saturday, and the rest of the time, just hanging out with the family.  It’s a nice time of year out there now… not too hot, yet!  And, it’s not cutting into my May-October Blackout Months, so it’s all good!

If any of my peepz in the AZ wanna hookup, gimme a shout-out… we’ll set something up!

See ya later !


Weekly Wednesday Blog-Top 5, baby! Wedding Photographer Orange County2009-09-02T21:33:37+00:00

Weekly Wednesday-Gettin’ busy time!

Hey kids!

It seems it’s been a few weeks since the last installment of the Weekly Wednesday post, or as Dana likes to call it, “Jeff’s rant about something post”!  We’ve been pretty busy and had a few, much more interesting things to post up, so the Weekly posts have slipped away a bit.

So, like I’ve said, we’ve been fairly busy.  Between shoots, and appointments, and seeing friends, our calendar has been pretty full.  This past weekend brought us dinner with our friends, Kerry and Karen, a photoshoot with the Andersen family, and their newest edition, Josie, dinner with my cousin, Kristen, and her friend Kristen, and we shot some Gift baskets on Sunday.  All the while, both of us were dealing with a bit of head cold all week.

It’s a good thing we love what we do, I mean, really… how could we not?  We get to make friends with amazing people, and we make pictures people love.  I could thing of waaaay worse ways to spend our days! 🙂

This weekend seems to be more of the same, with a photoshoot for a Charity we are working with up in LA, and a bridal show at the OC Mining Co on Sunday evening.  If you are in the neighborhood, you should swing by, and say HI.  I think it is a $5 fee to get in, but they have food, and you might win a free engagement session with us!

I might even try and sneak a bike ride in this weekend with OCRR!

Speaking of bike rides, I love the time change.  It’s giving me a chance to get out a couple times a week to ride after work with my bike club.  So far this year I have more miles than I had ALL of last year.  Last year was a really off year for me.  Just by looking at the numbers, I can tell where the extra 10 lbs. I’m carrying came from!  They should belt away pretty quick, once I get longer and longer rides in!

For those of you in the Chandler/Mesa/Tempe Area of Arizona, Dana and I will be out there April 10-11.  We have a few shoots setup, but might be able to squeeze you in!  Also, for any photographers around there, if you wanna meet up for Drinks and to talk shop, hit us up… our schedule at night is reasonably free! 🙂

Well, that should just about wrap up what’s happening in our neck of the woods.  Just keeping busy, living the dream! 🙂


Weekly Wednesday-Gettin’ busy time!2009-03-25T12:28:21+00:00

Where haven’t we been?

Hola Amigos!

It’s been a little while since we’ve posted a catch up post.  We’ve kinda been all over since last Friday.  Here’s how it went down…

Last Friday we took off to Palm Springs so that I could ride in the Tour de Palm Springs.  It was a bit more challenging than I thought… that, or I’m in a little worse shape then I thought!  Either way, we scored great weather, in between storms.  It was about 40 degrees when I took off on what ended up being a 65 mile ride.  I had planned on riding 100 miles, but was having some knee issues, and at mile 35, they had a bailout route to shorten the course up a bit.  I took this route, and had a great time!  The people that put on the ride, and all the people that volunteer did an amazing job.  The rest stops were fully stocked with great food, and everyone seemed to be having a good time!  While we were there, I did run into a couple people I talk to over on Twitter.  Black Bottoms Cyclewear, and MotorTabs.  I can’t say enough good things about both companies!  Great products from both, and I dunno if I would have enjoyed my ride as much without the killer fleece vest, and the amazingly delicious MotorTabs drink!

We dodged the bad weather, once again, as we drove out to Fabulous Las Vegas on Sunday morning for the WPPI.  Dana used her lead foot, and we got out there in a little over 3 hours!  The WPPI is the Wedding and Portrait photographers convention that takes place every year, and lemme tell you… it is AMAZING how many people show up for it.  All the big name shooters in our industry were out there along with people from all over the world to check out the tradeshow, and all the latest and greatest in the world of wedding photography.  I had just as much fun pointing out the big name guys as Dana had playing roulette!

When we arrived on Sunday, we met up with our friends Kylee and Franjo, who are getting married later this year, and wanted to get some engagement pictures.  They decided to go all out, Franjo rented a bad ass James Bond style tux, and Kylee had a killer Calvin Klein dress on.  Lemme tell you… their pics look super HOT!  We’re working on them now, and will probably have a blog up early next week.  Stay tuned!

Even better, during the shoot, our friends Kerry and David from CameraDojo came out and videotaped the whole shoot for fun!  I’m hoping they got some good stuff, as it’s always fun to see how we look when we work!  I think they are heading back from Vegas today, so we’ll talk to them later on to see what they got.  They run a great website, and podcast with TONS of information for photographers of every level.

We saw so many vendors and people we knew, either in real life, or online while we were out there.  Finally nailed down an album company for our higher end albums, and found a couple great printers to work with.  It’s so nice to work with great people, and great companies!  It really makes me happy to be doing what we are doing!

This weekend looks to be a little more laid back, but with a boudoir shoot on Sunday!  Can’t wait for that, it should be lots of fun!


Where haven’t we been?2009-02-19T12:06:27+00:00

Weekly Wednesday

Hola Amigos!

What’s happening out there?  It seems we’ve been slacking a bit with the Weekly Wednesday posts recently, and that needs to change! We’ve been crazy busy, meeting new people, taking great pictures, and generally, BUSY!  Busy is GOOD, right?  At least we’ve dropped some great picture posts lately!

So, for those of you on Facebook (and face it, who ISN’T on Facebook anymore… even my mom is!) what do ya’ll think of the “25 things” posts that have been going on lately?  I, for one, can’t seem to pull myself away from reading all of them.  Even people on my Friend’s list that I’m not super close to.  I get to find out all sorts of new things about them!

Even better than playing MyFarm!

So, other than being super busy, I’ve been getting back on my bike, and riding pretty well.  Rode a 43 mile ride with about 2200 feet of climbing last Sunday.  I thought it was going to kick my butt, but I felt pretty good afterwards!  I have the Tour de Palm Springs next Saturday… 100 miles, and not a ton of climbing.  It should be a fun ride.  A little bummed that my buddy, Tony, isn’t going to be riding with me this time.  Tweaked his shoulder helping a woman change a tire.  Next year!

And speaking of Sunday… did you watch the Superbowl?  Looks like my Pittsburgh Steelers squeaked it out, and beat that other team from AZ.  Being a lifelong Steelers fan, it’s always nice to see them win!

So, another cool thing happened this week.  Over at CameraDojo.com, our friend Kerry, who hosts the weekly podcast gave us a little shoutout in an interview about using video with Vu Bui, of the Bui Bros.  He mentioned our video that we posted about a month ago, and how it could be used as an example to show clients how we work.  Of course, he made fun of my mad video skills, or lack thereof.  No worries… Kerry is a cool guy, and, along with David Esquire, put on an educational, and entertaining Podcast.  Great for photographers on any skill level! 🙂

Geez, Jeff can just go on for days, can’t he? Love ya babe, but the wifey is here to put her two cents in! Well, I am sneaking in on this post to share with you a wedding vendor in which I met with a few weeks ago…busy meeting new people as Jeff said and an awesome person at that. I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca Calagna of Rebecca Calagna Events, she specializes in Event Planning & Custom Party Designs. Rebecca and I chatted over lunch at Panera Bread about our two businesses and our personalities just meshed so well. She is totally talented and can help you with your wedding or special event in all facets including custom invitations & favors and such. All around Rebecca is a great girl, with a great style and I hope our two styles collide a lot in the next years as we work together.

Well, I think that is all for J+D this week! Happy Hump Day to you all!

Weekly Wednesday2010-07-11T19:12:23+00:00

Weekly Wednesday-Helllooooo 2009!

Hey Kids!

Welcome to the first Weekly Wednesday post of 2009.  It seems like forever since I’ve done one of these, but really, maybe it’s only been a couple weeks!

So how was everyone’s New Years?  Ours was pretty mellow.  Dana had to go to the dentist, and get a crown on New Years’s Eve, so she wasn’t much for going out and doing anything.  We just stayed at home, watched the ball drop, and went to bed.  Oh yes, we lead an exciting life!

We did welcome into the family our first Niece, Emmi Victoria, as my sister and her husband had their baby on New Year’s Eve.  We are going to head up to Pleasanton next week to meet her!

Oh, and it’s my sister’s Birthday today, so I gotta put a shout out to her!  Happy Birthday Jen!

Did any of you make any resolutions for the new year?  I didn’t… I never really do.  Usually when I do, they just consist of trying to spend more time outdoors, or more mileage on the bike, or something like that.

If anything, we are making goals.  Goals for our business, goals for our life.  Planning things out, and getting things done.  So far, things seem to be looking up!

About riding my bike.  I’ve been less of a wuss lately, and braving the cold weather here in SoCal (in the 40’s in the morning some days!  Brrr!), and getting out there on my bike.  I make a big deal of actually getting out of the house, but after about 15 minutes on the bike, I’m nice and warm, and it’s all good.

I have the Tour of Palm Springs coming up in a little over a month.  103 miles, if the website I saw was correct on the mileage.  I get to ride with my friend, Tony, so that is always fun.  I hope he’s been getting some riding in… 100 miles isn’t a super easy task, even if it isn’t very hilly, like this one isn’t.  I find, for myself, that after 70 miles, it becomes more of a mental challenge.  Your legs go on auto-pilot, but the voices in your head keep telling you that this is stupid, and you should really just pull over and wait for the wussy wagon to come get you!  But, you keep riding, and next thing you know, you are at mile 90, and it’s cruise control right into the finish line! 🙂

Well, that’s all I got for this week.  Be on the lookout for a VERY special sitting that Dana and I were privileged to be a part of coming soon.


Weekly Wednesday-Helllooooo 2009!2009-01-28T22:23:27+00:00

Weekly Wednesday- New Year’s Eve Edition!

With 2009 fast approaching, I am starting to reflect on the last year and what I want to accomplish in the New Year. Time is just flying by so quickly and there is little time to waste. Jeff & I are very blessed to have each other. We have many friends & family who we absolutely adore. We spent last week with both of our families over Christmas and each year we just love them more.

On Monday, Jeff celebrated his 34th birthday! Hubby received many birthday wishes on Facebook, he really didn’t think he was that popular, but happiness just kept rolling in. We went to dinner at the Clubhouse Restaurant in Costa Mesa. In the spirit of our trip last year to New Orleans for his birthday he ordered Jambalaya. We didn’t have the same company as last year when Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Shiloh sat at the table right behind us at a Irene’s Italian Restaurant in the French Quarter. That was a night to remember! The food was great though and the wine we brought was even better.

Here are a few photos from our birthday date…

Awesome wine we had with dinner…check them out at Silver Horse Winery

We are excited today for the birth of Emmi Victoria Aguiar…my sister-in-law is at the hospital now as we blog. She is supposed to come today per Jenn’s doctors, so we wait. As soon as we hear something we will let all of you know!

Well, we wish all of you a Happy & Safe New Year’s Eve and come back tomorrow because we will be blogging our Top 10 photos we took this year!


Weekly Wednesday- New Year’s Eve Edition!2008-12-31T15:13:08+00:00

Weekly Wednesday- A Family Edition!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

This is such a busy time of year for everyone with the hustle & bustle of Christmas right around the corner. We need to take the time to stop and be thankful for the goodness in our lives and not get all caught up in the gifts & sales. Let’s remember to stop and take a moment to drop an email, or make a phone call to someone you love and thank them for being in your life.

We have many people to be thankful for. I am particularly thankful for such an amazing husband, who I absolutely adore and love sharing our passion for photography with. Our families who loves & support us each step of the way, in good times & struggling times. We almost have a new family member here, my sister-in-law Jennifer is pregnant and we are eagerly waiting the arrival of Emmi Victoria in the next few weeks to grace the Sipper Family with her presence. We also have some great friends who consistently show there support. Some live further away, and we miss them dearly, others live right across the way and we are happy to have all of them in our lives. We want to send out a particular wish to Carol & Jesse, our friends & neighbors who brought Liam Isaiah Brunnel into the world this past Sunday, 12/7/08…congratulations guys! I will try to get a photo in the next couple of days to share with all of you.

Please try to spend some time with your family & friends during this busy season and thank them for being a part of your lives. We were lucky enough to spend time with this fabulous family, The Young’s! Here we got together a session of everyone! This is why I love my job because we get to share these family moments with people. Jeff & I had the honor of shooting Amy & Chris’ wedding this past January and now we have become apart of the whole family.

We share with you this great family…enjoy!

Amy, Chris, Jack, Marcia, Ashleigh, Jason, Allison, Brooklyn, Amanda, Adam, Aaron & Alec

Jack & Marcia with their Grand Kids!

Jack & Marcia…where it all started!

The original Young Family Gals…Amy, Amanda & Allie with Mom (Marcia)

Amy & Chris…almost 1 year!!!

Amanda, Adam, Alec, Ashleigh & Aaron

Amanda & Adam

Adam & Amanda’s little ones…

Three Generations!

Allison, Jason & Brooklyn

Allison & Jason

Allie & Brook

Little Miss Brooklyn

All the kids…a photo finale!

Weekly Wednesday- A Family Edition!2008-12-10T15:01:05+00:00
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