Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm Bringing Christmas Back

In my youth, I had a very special affinity for Christmas.  It was a purely spiritual experience for me.  The sights, the sounds, the scents and the tastes all would contribute for my love of this special holiday.  Over the years, the experience went from spiritual to one that was customary and hardly special.  Then it went to routine.  Then tedious.  Now it’s a feeling of indifference.  I felt that the world had changed and made Christmas a bad ol’ commercial.  I blamed the crowds, the savagery and the indifference to Christmas contained in others.

But society is not to blame for this, I am.  No one or thing can make me feel good or bad unless I want them to.  I can only bring back that spirit for myself.  Now that I have 2 children, I not only have to do this for myself, it’s my responsibility as a parent to do it for them.  Therefore I have resolved to overwhelm myself and family with the Christmas spirit this year.

The day after Thanksgiving, we had a family meeting and have decided on some initiatives to help us with that.  Here they are in no particular order:

1. Decorate the outdoors and indoors of our home with lights, wreaths and decor
2. Purchase 1 new decoration for each the outside and inside of our home
3. Fill the home with Christmas scented candles
4. Attend a Colonial Christmas dinner at Riley’s Farm
5. Send out a Christmas card to family with portraits of our children
6. Select a Christmas tree as a family
7. Decorate the tree with the fireplace on, to Christmas music while drinking egg nog and hot cocoa
8. Cook a Christmas goose!  Can't wait for this one!
9. Attend a tree lighting event
10. Vintage Santa portraits for the kids
11. Drive the Pasadena Christmas light tour while listening to Christmas music
12. Light the fireplace every Sunday evening
13. Listen to the Nutcracker suite at least once this season
14. Make a Christmas craft with the kids
15. Make Christmas cookies
16. Go to Disneyland for the Christmas experience
17. Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”
18. Go to 1 Christmas classical music event
19. Try 3 new Christmas beverages at Starbucks
20. Take plenty of photos for this season
21.   Take plenty of Christmas inspired photos and post on Intstagram.  Follow us @fotonuova

I hope that some of these can help you and your family to bring that spirit back.  I will leave you with a very powerful and inspiring scene from one of the greatest Christmas films of all time.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vintage Santa at The Jingle Bell Walk for Arthritis

So every year for the past 3 or so years, we attempt to offer our twist of Santa portraits. Our Santa portraits have been aptly named portraits with Vintage Santa.

I love to see people's faces when they first see our Santa. It helps that we work with such an amazing looking Santa. Santa David Lloyd takes his job very seriously and is a true professional. Heck, he even tooled his own leather belt with beautiful Christmas designs!

This holiday season, we had the opportunity to participate and provide our Vintage Santa for the Jingle Bell Walk for Arthritis in Glendale. It was wonderful to work with such a great charity and worthy cause!

We created a crude outdoor studio among other booths that lined the start/finish line. It was an absolute blast and we hope to work for the Arthritis Foundation next year!

During this holiday season, please consider making a small or large, donation to the Arthritis Foundation? Please donate here: DONATE

Until next time my friends,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Take a Look at Our October Newsletter!

Our awesome monthly newsletter is mailed out every month and contains interesting articles, specials and an opportunity to win prizes!  Learn some interesting facts not related to photography, take a look at some of our latest work and best of all get exclusive deals that are not offered anywhere else!

Download the sample October newsletter for free here:  October Newsletter Download

If you want to be part of getting this printed newsletter regularly in your mailbox every month, we would love to have you!  There is no cost at all.  Please take a moment to complete the information below and we will ensure to get one out to you starting as soon as November!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Engagement Session Viewing

Earlier today we hosted a viewing session at the studio.  Our clients get really excited to see their images for the first time projected very large on a big screen!

It's a very special experience and so much better than viewing your portraits for the first timen online.  Viewing images online is an underwhelming and very dull experience. 

You should see each image in your portrait collection in a very grand and beautiful state!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Little Monsters Portrait Event!

We love sharing the Halloween spirit with our friends.  This Halloween, please join us for the Little Monsters Portrait Event!

We will be providing a complimentary Halloween studio portrait and a 4x6 print for children that come dressed in a costume!

Please come by and join us for a small treat and refreshments while we provide you with a precious memory to keep forever!  This is the perfect Halloween event for the little ones!

Saturday, October 27, 2012
2:00pm - 4:00pm

FotoNuova Studio
936 Huntington Dr. Suite E
San Marino, CA 91108

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dan and Nancy Wedding Featured!

Cool! One of our weddings was given a full feature on Ceremony Blog!

Dan and Nancy were married on a stunning yacht in Marina Del Rey! here is there wedding details featured on our blog: Dan & Nancy Wedding

Thank you Ceremony!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Three Tips for an Amazing Family Holiday Portrait in 2012!

It’s October!  Where did the time go?  It’s ok because Fall is the best season of the year!  Perfect weather and perfect natural light patterns cast by our Sun!  A perfect time for a new family portrait you have been thinking of!

I’ve come up with 3 tips for your amazing holiday family portrait in 2012

Tip 1 - The Best Time is in the Fall

With the coming of Fall comes holiday family portrait time!  If you are anything like me, you don’t want to hear about the holidays until after Thanksgiving!  Heck, Halloween is not even here yet!  Most folks are not ready for holiday portraits in the Fall.  We are busy adjusting to our new routines that are impacted by back to school and other activities.  In Southern California, it’s hard to wrap our mind around the upcoming holidays as the weather is still very warm in September and most of October.  Sweaters and scarves are far from the mind this early in the Fall.

In reality, the time for families to have their holiday portrait done is such a small window of time.  October and November are peak season and everyone wants a new and fresh family portrait before the holidays.

But did you know that if you wanted to send out a custom holiday card with your beautiful family portrait this year, you would need to have your family portrait session about 4 weeks prior to receiving your beautiful custom cards?   For the year 2012, it would be ideal if your portrait date was no later than November 18th.  This would give the studio just enough time to edit your portraits, create a stunning holiday card and have it in your hands by the 2nd week of December.

If you are not considering a custom holiday card and are looking for prints as gifts for your family, the timing would be about the same.  

Tip 2 - Here is What You Should Wear

Wear what best reflects your family’s personality.  If it’s formal and conservative, wear elegant dresses and suits for Dad.  Dress as if you are taking the family to an elegant restaurant.  If you're more relaxed and informal, wear a pair of nice jeans, sweaters and colorful scarves.  Dress as if you are taking the family out to a nice family restaurant.

Now there are items of clothing that are complementary to the body and complexion.  Then there are types of clothing that work against us.  My recommendation is to wear dark solids.  Dark solids always help with slimming.  

Stay away from stripes, patterns, plaids, prints, logos or lettering.  These tend to distract the viewer whereas solid colors tend to isolate faces and keep the family as the focus of the portrait.  Primary red and primary blue tend to place their shade onto face so I would suggest to stay away from these colors as well.  Both these colors as well as fluorescents also tend to be dominant forces in portraits I find.

When making a determination on how to coordinate colors with the family, one does not always have to be overly concerned with wearing matching tops and bottoms.  Coordinating colors and finding colors that compliment each other is very important.  

Instead of matching, try to pick two simple colors that coordinate well with each other.  Once you have picked your two colors, tell each family member to select wear clothing featuring either both colors or one.  For instance, if your colors are white and navy, dad can wear a navy suit with a white dress shirt, mom can wear an all white dress, sister can wear a navy blouse with white pants and brother can wear a white sweater and white bottom with a navy scarf.  Both white and navy are featured in this family portrait without being matchy or clashing.

It’s fun to pick your own family colors that reflect who you are!

Tip 3 - Either You are A Nature Lover or Admire Architecture

One of the biggest inquiries I hear from families is where they should have their portrait created.  The answer is very simple.  Select a location that reflects your personality.  Perhaps a location that is special to you and your family.  This can be inside your home.  It can be at a special park you used to take the kids when they were younger.

Thoughts to ponder and ask yourself are;  Are you an outdoor family that enjoys nature or do you  prefer cultural and architectural settings?  Once you have decided this, you are very close to selecting your location.  Ask your photographer for a few suggestions on which location he or she feels is best based on your preference for nature or architecture.  Your photographer can also help select the best time of day for natural light in your selected portrait location.  Locating the best natural light will make a significant difference in your portrait.

So there you have it, 3 tips for your amazing holiday family portrait in 2012!  Availability for family portraits in October and November is competitive so please plan early!

Yes, we love you! We are offering a 1 week sale on all Holiday Family Portraits! Call us at the studio to reserve your family portrait during the time frame o 10/8/2012-10/12/2012 and receive $50 off your portrait session fee!

Please call 626-588-2445 to redeem your sale for this week only!

Holiday Portrait Sale
Offer for limited only!

FotoNuova is a family portraits photographer providing services in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County and throughout all of Southern California. For more information, please visit our website at: Family Portraits Photographer | FotoNuova or call 626-588-2445 

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Friday, October 05, 2012

Katie's Portrait from the SLR Workshop

Last month I hosted an SLR workshop at the FotoNuova studio. Our lovely model was Katie who provided her modeling expertise for our workshop. Here are some images from that day.

God's Gift - Mussels, White Wine and Spanish Chorizo

This summer, I was reintroduced to the fine edible delight of steamed mussels with white wine and Spanish chorizo! I was on a portrait assignment in Tuscon, Arizona of all places. We dined in this small restaurant filled with locals. Their food was amazing. I'll be sure to post their info once I remember the name of the restaurant. Anyhow, their steamed mussels dish was something to remember. Since then I have craved the taste so much that I decided to try a similar dish on my own. The recipe is so simple anyone can do it. It can be labor intensive when it comes down to debearding and soaking the mussels but it so well worth it!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Redfin Portrait for Elise

The amazing Elise, dropped by the studio for her business portrait.  Elise is a real estate agent in the LA area.  She has just become a member affiliate of Redfin!  As a member of Redfin, agents are required to submit a portrait that meets certain portrait specifications.

We were very pleased to help Elise.  She is an extremely special person!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mirabella at the London

If you have not been to the London in West Hollywood, I would so urge you to go! Chef Ramsey's at the London Hotel is so great for dinner!

Last month I had the opportunity to visit the London to capture a bridal beauty event. Mirabella Beauty introduced a new line of bridal make up products for guests in the make up and beauty industry. Guests in attendance were the likes of Renee Strauss and Kevin Lee.

Guests were treated to a splendid brunch at Chef Ramsey's, a beautiful bridal fashion show by Renee Strauss and complimentary make up from Mirabella Beauty.

This beautiful event was wonderfully planned by Fresh Events Company.

Nancy and Dan's Wedding Album

Look what just arrived the other day! Nancy and Dan's Leather Craftsmen wedding album just stepped into the studio and it looks absolutely stunning!

This big baby has a beautiful terra cotta glove like leather for the cover. The beautifully tells their romantic wedding day story from beginning to end!

If you are planning to get married soon, make sure that one of these is included in your package. I always tell brides that at the end of it all, you want a beautiful wedding album that tells a story of your day. This story will keep on telling and telling much past our time here on earth! These books can be passed down from generation to generation. They are your legacy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Patrick's Cool Pool Birthday Party!

Check out some of these images from Patrick's pool birthday party!  Laurel from P.S. & Associates Event Planning went all out for this party!

Each child received a goldfish as a party gift!  Kids are so lucky nowadays.  I seem to recall getting brown paper lunch bags filled with Brach's candy when I was a kid.

The theme for the party was very water related.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Liam

We were blessed to be a part of and photograph Damien and Annette's wedding last year. We were extremely fortunate to be asked to capture their new baby Liam! This boy is going to be a lady killer! Here are a few portraits of Liam and his mother Annette. Father Damien is overseas serving our country.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Lupita Infante

I remember when I was very young, we would spend time in Baja California as a family. My mother used to take us to music stores to stock up on the latest latin music. At that time, I would be extremely fascinated by the musical artists on the covers of cassette tapes. It would always be these very colorful and vibrant portraits. Deep blue skies, vibrant reds, blue seas, earth toned horses and lush green trees. I had the recent opportunity to photograph Lupita Infante for her promotional portraits. Yes, Infante, Infante. She is a brilliant and talented Mariachi singer. Together, we wanted to stay within that vision of a classical portrait.

Monday, August 06, 2012


I wanted to share this beautiful piece of film that happens to be a Nike commercial.  I had the opportunity to view this commercial while getting my daily fix of the Olympics yesterday.

This is a piece of absolute genius that provides one with pure inspiration!  I love the sounds of the night insects, the time of day it was filmed, the sounds of steps and definitely love the message!

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wedding Row California Feature

Recently, Fotonuova was honored to be featured on another great wedding blog.  Remember Kevin and Maggie's wedding?  

Here's the link we were featured upon, enjoy!