Jennifer & Jordan: Classic Hollywood Engagement Portraits

When I met Jennifer and Jordan, they had a clear idea of what they wanted before they even hired a photographer. However, they had not yet found a wedding photographer who could do more than just environmental and available light portraits. They liked the way that I use shadows in my wedding work, but they did not know I had a strong studio foundation as well. To go off on a slight tangent, shadows are important. They define our visual selves – our faces, our eyes. The use of shadow is the same as the use of light, the very foundation of what makes photography possible. Our couple wanted a studio session instead of your typical outdoor portrait shoot, but they also wanted it in a certain style.

As fans of old Hollywood glamour and film noir, they wanted a certain classic finish to the final product. I knew I could do it. I’ve had years of experience on commercial and studio jobs. The catch though was that I’ve never been asked to shoot something like this. How many photographers actually deliver old Hollywood glamour portraits? How many fans have what it takes to pull off the look? I was excited for a challenge. These unique opportunities are what I live for.

This was also an amazing chance to put my Mamiya RZ67 to work. After Jennifer had her hair and makeup done and picked out her favorite dress and jewelry in the studio. Jordan donned a timeless tweed jacket and pants combo that complemented Jennifer’s vintage style. We put on a playlist with tunes from the 1920’s and 30’s. With a couple of rolls of Ilford HP5, getting rich shadows and grain on black and white was a perfect tool for executing Jennifer and Jordan’s vision.

Hair and makeup – mariaaspegren.com

Classic Hollywood engagement portrait - Stephen Tang Photo
Classic Hollywood engagement portrait - Stephen Tang Photo
Classic Hollywood engagement portrait - Stephen Tang Photo

Wedding Album and Design

Print is still my favorite way to enjoy photography. This is a copy of the 15″ x 10″ silk wedding album that I offer with 10 or more spreads designed by you and me.

After completing and delivering my edits from your wedding, we’ll work together to select images for telling your story. I’ll go through up to two revisions to make any changes, additions, or removals to optimize the flow of the layouts. We’ll also pick a material and design elements (e.g. colors, font, title) for the album exterior. The final draft goes to the album makers, who print the large spreads and craft the book by hand (in the good ol’ USA, to boot). Finally, the album is delivered to you, ready to be enjoyed by you and your loved ones. Feel free to order and save on additional copies for your parents and in-laws!

15" x 10" silk wedding album

15" x 10" silk wedding album

15" x 10" silk wedding album

Griffith Observatory Engagement Session

Sunsets are great. As is cool architecture. Crowds, on the other hand, are not my favorite thing. We waded through the sea of people to emerge through the surface of the very popular Griffith Observatory. For a crowded space where you do want to include the environment, put some space between the subjects and the background. In the case of this engagement session, take a walk to achieve the composition for the wide shot.

That one photo with a black border? Kodak Portra 400 on my Mamiya 6. The way it renders color at sunset is quite spectacular with those orange and purple hues.

Tidbit: I met Kawhi Leonard a few months ago, but this tall gentleman claims to have been dunked on by him, which is a way cooler story to tell.

Sunset Portrait at the Griffith Park Observatory - Stephen Tang Photo
Sunset Portrait at the Griffith Park Observatory - Stephen Tang Photo
Sunset Portrait at the Griffith Park Observatory - Stephen Tang Photo
Sunset Portrait at the Griffith Park Observatory - Stephen Tang Photo
Sunset Portrait at the Griffith Park Observatory - Stephen Tang Photo