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Sarah K Chen Photography Blog bio picture

Welcome to my Blog!

I'm a simple person who loves photographing people and spending time with my husband and two little girls, Ellie (4) and Emmeline (1). My girls are my world and every day I wonder how I became so blessed to be their Mama.

When I'm not behind the camera I love to knit and sew cute things for my girls and bake cookies. My husband likes to say I'm a granny at heart, but I like to say I'm a woman of many talents. ;)

I also enjoy snowboarding, traveling and immersing myself in books. One day I will conquer Cornice and get down without snowplowing my way. I dream of traveling to Greece, Italy and Paris one day, but I have yet to convince the husband that traveling abroad with two little ones would be aweome. I'd also love to go camping and show my girls the joys of a perfectly toasted marshmallow and walking barefoot through an icy cold creek bed. And although I said it would never happen, I now read most of my books on my iPhone or iPad instead of a book. Have kids and you'll soon realize the gift of a built in light and always having your book with you.

I'm based in Orange County, California and ocassionally travel for shoots.

Mission San Juan Capistrano Engagement: Sherri & Patrick

I shot Sherri and Patrick’s engagement session earlier this year and it’s one of my favorites to date! Even though they still had a while until their wedding, they wanted to get their engagement session done as soon as possible to share with Sherri’s 99 year old great grandmother who lives out of the country and wouldn’t be able to attend their wedding. Well, after her great grandmother saw the photos, she insisted on paying for another session for the beautiful couple so that she could have even more beautiful images to look over. Seriously, it melts my heart and brings me so much joy to hear things like that! And so began our second session with Sherri and Patrick! The two were thinking about doing a winter themed session in the heart of Pasadena, but given the holiday shopping madness, I wasn’t sure we’d get the types of images they were wanting with everyone (and their Mothers!) out shopping downtown.

I suggested the Mission in San Juan Capistrano which has this amazing architecture and so many different backdrops to choose from. Minus all the holiday shoppers of course! And the two of them fell in love with the old Mission. Then Patrick surprised Sherri with this gorgeous gown and when Sherri sent me the picture, I just knew she had to wear it! It’s stunning on her and so different from her actual wedding day dresses. Knowing Sherri’s style and the look she was going for, I brought along my fur stole and sparkly earrings in case she’d want to use them. I grew up with a twin brother so I have a bit of a tomboyish streak in me, but with Sherri, it’s like having a sister to play dress up with! She loved the stole and the earrings so we incorporated them into the shoot. Fun!

Everything was shot on film on either my Contax 645 or Canon 1v and developed and scanned by my favorite lab in the whole wide world, Richard Photo Lab. Love those guys!

It was a perfect day with delicious light and I adore these photos so much. There’s such a sweetness to the two of them that’s evident in the way they smile and look at each other. But there’s also a this sexy side to the both of them that I also love capturing. There’s this intensity in their eyes that evoke so much in one little look.

Did I not tell you how hot they can get. Love!

Sometimes I miss shooting digital for the sole reason of shooting back light and getting awesome flare. It doesn’t quite translate on film the same way, but sometimes you get glowing soft images as these next ones and think to yourself, who needs flare?

We caught the very last rays of light after they changed into their second outfit. Isn’t the gardens at the Mission so incredibly lush and beautiful?

We even got a bit of Fall colors going on and I just had to shoot with this gorgeous yellow tree. I’ve decided that’s what we need more of in Orange County. Color. Big trees that turn shades of yellow, rust, and red as the seasons change. In the Bay Area I drove past these ridiculously bright yellow ginko trees and decided on the spot that I have to find and plant one in my backyard.

Even with a bunch of giant Koi swimming under the surface, I was amazed at how glass like the water was.

I hope Great Grandma loves these as much as the first set! I am SO looking forward to your wedding next year!

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