california

Emily + Cory's Cinco de Mayo Wedding

If it had been up to this bride, Emily would have eloped but her fiance, Cory convinced her that looking back, she'd be glad they were able to celebrate with those closest to them! Her laid back cool girl vibes created the perfect effortless chic May 5th, Wedding. Cinco de Mayo holds a special place in their hearts as a couple. Borrowing from the holiday, the wedding incorporated bold vibrant colors, delicious comfort mexican food, and featured a breathtaking view of the ocean.

 

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Venue: Crystal Cove State Park

Photography: Sidney Kraemer Photography

Wedding Planner: Pop the Champagne Events

Caterer: Beachcomber Cafe

Florals: DIY

Wedding Gown: Reformation

Bridal Shoes: Nordstrom

Groom's Attire: Menguin

Bridesmaid's dresses: Lulus

Invitations: Bella Figura for Urbanic Paper Boutique

Hair and Makeup: Daniel Mendoza

Cake: Simply Sweet Cakery

DJ: Showcase DJ

Favors: Otomi print koozies at Moontower Rentals

 

Surprise Corona del Mar Proposal

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Jordan's Maternity Session - Laguna Beach

The morning after St. Patty's day, with the beach all to ourselves, I met up with Jordan and her husband Nick to photograph their growing baby bump. They chose the same beach they were married and it made it a super special shoot. Jordan's inspiration for the shoot stressed a casual lifestyle, that is the epitome of their personalities. Just the two of them enjoying a most lovely day at the beach, waiting patiently to meet their new one!

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Long Beach Couples Portrait - Riley + Kylie

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Mother Daughter Self Portrait Series - Long Beach

Happy Mama's Day! I can vividly recall a moment in time, long before my daughter was in my arms. It was in this moment, that it was so very clear to me what I wanted to be.

You see, I went off to college thinking I had to go. I had to learn something, that could get me a job and basically set up my life forever and ever. I had applied to colleges in an interesting matter. Each college I applied to was with the intent of studying a different material. I didn't really want to be anything. So when the acceptance letters came in, my choice came with not only a school--but set up what I thought I'd be doing for the rest of my life. I throughly enjoyed art; I appreciated it earnestly and so after careful consideration the school that was my art path was selected and off I went.

But it was later in a moment of hysterical tears streaming down my face, brought on by a stressful, competition riddled college and a beautiful case of PMS, that I dramatically blurted out, to my boyfriend at the time, that all I really wanted to do was be a mom. I had broken down and thought I was never gonna make money (I was doing a lot of free work at the time). Therefore I would never have the funds to support a kid. I thought for sure I was just destined to never be able to have them. And the one thing I wanted, ever, was to be a mom. That's all I wanted.

Looking back I clearly was amazing girlfriend material, so many guys love a super-young-crying over wanting a baby-girlfriend! While that was not the prettiest moment in my life. I was vulnerable. I was embarrassed. I even remember thinking it wasn't right--so many woman had worked so hard for equality that  JUST wanting to be a mom seemed like a betrayal.

But every once in a while I like to remember that moment, that night. When my heart was breaking and I knew what I wanted, a single thing-my baby.

Maybe it was about a year later, that I got what my heart desired. My baby came without any plan. And despite the hardships, the trials that came with an unplanned pregnancy, I know She and I were planned, just by someone a lot smarter than me.


So when I asked Billy to take some portraits with my yesterday she said "sine" which is "fine." She can't quite get those Fs down. But as we went to her closet, she was adamant she didn't have the right clothes. After pulling out her entire dress collection I said then you'll just have to be naked. She looked at me, smiled, and threw off her shirt and that settled our wardrobe choices. However, I must say that taking self portraits, while trying to hide some delicate parts AND have your three year old insist she should click the wireless remote shutter and not  really know about hiding it, the "session" was one of the more difficult ones I have done.

 

From my Body

Here's to my little budding photographer. A mommy and me collaboration.

 

 

Old Towne Orange - Rainy Day Newborn Lifestyle Session

With Mother's Day right around the corner, I started reminiscing about when I first became a mother. I remember being worried that I wouldn't know what to do. I still can recall the first night with my baby and thinking I shouldn't go to sleep--I thought I should be doing something (How silly is that?) I ended up watching my kid sleep and missing out on those precious hours that could have helped a few nights later! Oh well, first time mom mistakes! What I do know is that taking pictures, even though that is probably the last thing you want to do in the first few days, is so incredibly special. Babies change so quickly in the first weeks/days/hours. Having those images, you can recall just how you felt in that moment.

Below is a newborn session I never shared more than a few images despite how beautiful these pictures show mom and dad with their week old babe. I always have a heart for moms, but it gets worse at this time of the year. Share in it with me here through this session!

"And so the adventure begins"

 

 

Romantic San Juan Capistrano Wedding - Mikaylah + Evan - Orange County

This was one of those weddings were I went home and I was so happy with what I do. I am a firm believer that photography should be one of the biggest investments in your life. It might be from the many many times my family would look through the giant albums my mom made, but photographs have always been a big part of my life. I love looking back and being able to recall a memory because of a photograph or asking about an image that goes beyond me and learning something about my family history. When I began photographing weddings, I felt like a part of history. These are the images tell a family's real story.

Mikaylah and Evan's wedding was by far a favorite of mine. There was so much family, so much love throughout the day. The baby of all her sisters, Mikaylah was surrounded by her best friends for life. As the evening progressed the bride and groom danced surrounded by all their nieces and nephews. It was truly a sweet, sweet affair that will be remembered fondly from all different perspectives, all different generations.

Below are some highlights...

 

 

 

 

 

Some reception fun...

 

 

Venue: Plaza de Magdalena 

Coordinator: EVENTS by Robin

Photography: Sidney Kraemer

Videographer: Ellie Meade

DJ + Lighting: VOX DJs

Florist: Fantasy Floral

Hair: Dry Bar

Cake/Desserts: Nothing Bundt Cake

Officiant: Jeremiah Ramer

 

Portrait Session with Tommy

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A bit ago I was contacted to do a session for Tommy. A runner, he was looking to test his feet in some fitness modeling. Never been in front of the camera, he came into the studio a bit nervous but after just a few minutes was feeling like a pro! Here's the results.    

Ocean Calling

The ocean, the beach- it's like pure medicine to me. I need to live near it. Too much time without gazing at the horizon, too much time without touching my toes to the water, or walking on the sand and I break a little inside. While California water gets cold, dipping into it and floating on its surface, the temperature doesn't matter to me. It's healing and as I grow older, I become more and more self aware of a much needed connection I have to the sea that I just cannot ignored. During my time in college, a great professor, downright scared me. He scared me because he spoke of "burning out." He shared that many students he would talk with after graduating did not want to photograph anymore. Since then, I have burnt out, many times.  My relationship with photography has been a continual rollercoaster of love and hate. I'm always wanting to get better and in response to this, I've gotten angry. I push myself and I burn out. But, then I get anxious and I need to create. I need to pick up that camera.

The ocean helps. It inspires. It heals. It reignites the flame. It's a reset for me, a way of stepping back and acknowledging the grandness of the world. It's hard to do that in the world today. There is a constant demand of instant, new work. Share! Share! Share! But it's in those moments of rest for me that the seed of something great has time to develop, to be created. I need to live a life, in order to create something lasting.

The ocean is an inspiration to so many and means a great different things to people. But here, this story is a reflection of the calm, the quiet, and the stillness it can bring directly to one's soul.

Model Kelly Coker shows up as the ultimate beach goddess in Malibu, California.

Makeup by Maddie Buffardi

Photography & Art Direction: Sidney Kraemer

Photography Assistant: Alexa Smith

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LA Winter Fashion Story

Everyone, I'm pumped to share this story with you all. Shot in Los Angeles Art's District, Model Lily shows off some california winter basics for any budget.

Forming a relationship with the subject of your lens has great benefits. While I often think photographers are worried about shooting more models, shooting with someone you already have before has its benefits. Where do you think muses come from? There's a level of trust that is there and often a smooth flow, like dancing. Having a level of comfort is essential for me when shooting. I'm asking someone to be vulnerable. I might ask them to show intense emotion or do something that might seem really silly to them. If they don't trust me, it will show, seeming forced or unnatural.

This is preciously why I like to speak to my models as much as I can before shooting. I try to have everything ready even before everyone's arrival, if its possible, and that way I can talk to my people. Get to know them a little bit before I start directing them from behind the camera. I find this is especially helpful for new faces.

Shooting with Lily again, I wanted to do something very different from the beauty shoot we had done previously. Her own personal style influenced my choices and this sort of vintage street style became the movement for the shoot. I was super inspired by the makeup trends for winter this year. I've always been a fan of the classic looking cateye, in the hands of my makeup artist, Crystal came out so beautiful.

I'm a big fan of Zara and they show up a few times in this story. Proving fashion does not have to cost an arm and a leg, Zara has become a major staple in many women and men's closet. I can still recall my first time in their store. I was in high school shopping with my sister at one of our favorite places, South Coast Plaza, known for its luxury designer stores, and she exclaimed that we just had to go in to Zara. Previously, I had always looked longingly at the dressed mannequins in the window and continued on assuming it was one of those stores I could never really purchase anything at. She led me in and years later it is still a must visit during shopping excursions. Oh my goodness and now with their kids line! I can safely assume Billy's closet is over half of the Zara brand. If you haven't checked out their kids line I order you to do so right now. For some more adult looks check out our story below.

Shirt: Leith

Skirt: Zara

Coat: H&M

Shirt: Ella Moss

Earrings: Leith

Shirt: 1.State

Ear Cuff: Leith

Blouse and Skirt: Zara

Shoes: Zara

Turtleneck: Zara

Model: Lily McCune

Makeup by Crystal Martinez @ Iconic Artistry

Girlish Charm

Hope everyone is having a lovely week! Here's a fun little fashion editorial shot down at Balboa's Fun Zone, I'm calling it Little Miss (No) Fun Zone.

Model: Lizzie W
Art Direction & Photography: Sidney Kraemer

I loved shooting here! Born and raised in Orange County, my dad would bring my sister and I to the Fun Zone in the summer time. He would share stories of his own childhood summers staying with his grandmother on the peninsula. He and his brother would sneak ice creams on the ferris wheel the same way my sister and I did. The park has recently been restored to which I found such a great, classic SoCal backdrop for this shoot.

(I do miss the grimy ski ball machines and sparking bumper cars though!)

As for the looks...Having a daughter has encouraged me to really embrace my own femininity.I wanted each look to reflect this. While so much of the world is hyped up on androgyny, I currently am all about playing up the female form. Don’t get me wrong, androgyny is great, but I might have overdosed a few years back. I shopped in the men’s department, wore oversized clothing, and then balanced it with some killer makeup. Nothing wrong with that. I'm now obsessed with the classic feminine style, and I love putting a little modern edge twist on it. I want to celebrate a woman and her body. I want to appreciate it.

When you get your post baby body back, it just feels good and the last thing I wanted to do was hide it. I started buying clothes that flattered my silhouette and hugged my curves. On top of that, Billy was a girl and all of a sudden not only did her clothes show some strong girl power but my own style got a lot softer. Instead of completely ignoring the color pink in stores, I was drawn to it. All of the sudden pastels, lace, and teeshirts with sweet sayings appealed to me. I wanted my own closet to compliment hers and with that an innocence and whimsical feel was added to my boyish assemble.

Show our womanhood some love. Let’s wear those short shorts! Put on that tight dress! Wear some pink! Elle Woods may have been on to something there. Case in point – having a daughter might encourage you to really enjoy being a girl and you may find yourself throwing a bow in your hair or slipping on a pretty girl dress.

Visit the mood board here to see the inspiration behind it.

Shop These Looks

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