Ten reasons you don’t want to be friends with a photographer

1. They can’t just take a picture when you ask them without having to move to a different spot because of the light or background noise
2. They don’t know how to answer a simple question like, “What camera should I buy?” without going into a lecture about photography and lenses
3. They can’t just sit anywhere in a coffee shop, it has to be a spot with the most natural light
4. They won’t photograph everything, because it might not be in their “specialty”
5. They might force you to model for them in case you happened to be standing in a good light
6. They can’t just have a cup of coffee without taking a picture of it first
7. They’ll likely not like you if you ask them what camera they use, since it’s definitely the camera that takes amazing photos
8. They have the lamest jokes, since they’re in the business of making people smile
9. They might give you outfit suggestions without being asked, since they give wardrobe tips to clients on a regular bases
10. All of the above combined

And because posts are better with a photo, here’s a cute gift I received from my client and friend! Thanks Danielle, Jeff and Ridge, love you guys so so much!
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A close game of Empire and new friends in the industry

We played only one round when I knew that this is going to be a good game of Empire for me. No one suspected that I would be the one in need of making new friends. Not long after the New Years I got together with a few friends to celebrate the fun new things the year has for us and to end the night we played a round of Empire, using our new year resolutions and goals. One of my goals was to make new friends in the wedding industry, but to make it a little less obvious for the game, I simply said, “make new friends,” as my resolution. I didn’t win the game (although very close), but I did make my resolution a reality. Today I got together with a group of sweetest wedding photographers, who’ve become my new friends in the industry. We watched CreativeLive together, shared our ideas and visions, answered each others’ questions, gave critique on each others’ Websites, and also had a lot of fun while at it. Monika, Candice, Katie and Beatrice, thank you for your friendship and for our lovely time together, can’t wait to see you all in March! Lots of love, Yuliya

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How to shoot in manual, without the stress

If I could back in time, perhaps four or five years ago, I would tell myself that it’s ok to make up your own rules!!! Well, at least when it comes photography. I was so focused on getting the rules and getting them right that it made my photography journey extremely stressful. Who says there’s a right f-stop for every shot, if you like it it’s right!!! Except this took me way longer to learn than to write. I once asked my girl friends to model for me and after lining them up as a potential wedding party, I photographed the same frame at every single f-stop to see the difference!!! That was tiring, but it narrowed my options for me, because I seemed to really like 2.0 and so I stuck with it for a few years, except now I’m more of a 2.8 girl ;). So, this post is for someone who is familiar with ISO, f-stop, white balance and shutter speed . . . and for someone who wants to use these without minimal stress ;).

Last night I met up with my friend Laura and taught her a few basic things I do at every shoot, these are tips based on how I like my photos to turn out, but definitely are not rules!

1. Set your camera in Manual mode
2. Set f-stop to 2.8 (or your favorite number ;), whichever one you like shooting at most of the time)
3. Set your ISO. 100 for a very bright sunny time of day. 400 for a sunny time of day. Over 500 hundred for a darker shooting area, but most of the time I’m never past 640 unless I’m indoor in a super dark church.
4. Set your White Balance to a picture corresponding to your light source, or to the warmth you like on the back of the screen (I sure have the best explanations ever!). I never let my camera decide the white balance on every shot, because I like to edit my photos in a batch and choosing one temperature for my photos really speeds up the process.
5. Set your shutter speed! Now this you can do by trial and error (well unless you shoot film). As one photographer once told me it’s all about making your picture lighter or darker and since he’s pretty good, I’ll take his word on this. So take a few trial shots and see which shutter speed gives you the amount of light you like!

Basically the only thing I constantly change throughout the shoot is the shutter speed, this makes it very easy for me to shoot and always be ready for any shot ;). Sometimes I might have to adjust steps 3 and 4 because the light changes, but other than that, it’s a great way to narrow down manual shooting! Laura, I hope this is helpful and if it helps another person, even better!

And since we love weddings and pretty things around here, here’s are two shots f-stop 2.8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/500

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New year = new you = new Website

Are you really going to forsake the “There she goes” blog and replace the dpicturesque url with something new? Dina asked me this question in the midst of my rebranding processes. yuliyam.com/blog sounded too boring to her, especially since I no longer would have the letter “D” (which does stand for Dina) as part of my url. While we’re still debating with her and my designer what we are going to do with my beloved blog, my new Website is officially up and running and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share the news with you! World, meet the very new Yuliya M. brand at yuliyam.com! And as always, leave your comments in the comment field below! I love getting them from you. Yours truly, Yuliya.

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Happy New Year 2013

One night of my life I would relive over and over again is the New Years party with my church. Every year I love it more and more, except it seems like it’s growing shorter in hours. As always together with a team of extra talented people I organized a photo booth for my church and I loved seeing everyone’s creative input make it happen. The end product turned out nothing like the original set up I had in my mind, except of course for the Christmas trees, but in the end I loved the new idea even more. That’s enough of talking, enjoy the photos and hope you have a fabulous 2013!!! After all 13 is my favorite number.

First one of me with James, who made everyone look good with his off camera light set up! Thanks a ton, James.
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Can’t get enough of this sweet couple
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My nephew Jeremy’s first photo booth photo
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I love this family, they were my adopted family when I lived in LA during my college years.
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This duo made my night, they had the most fun at the booth
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Favorite people ever with their little girl Adelle!
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My very first second shooter Aleksey with his lovely wife!
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These girls brighten my every single day, love them!
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Dina and me!
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This girl, reads my blog every.single.day!
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One of my favorite photos this year!
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Where would I be without my photog friends? Thank you guys for everything.
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And one more of yours truly . . .
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Happy 2013!!!

To download your photo go here

One cold December morning and my so called writer conversion

Three full years, I can hardly beleive it. I remember that trip to LA so well, especially the long Monday morning I spent in Burbank airport. The small seating area near my gate was filled with business people, men in their dark suits, ladies with their expensive laptop bags, and me with my well used Greek grammar book and more thoughts in my head than I could handle. Thoughts I wanted to write down, stories I wanted to put in writing for me, not for my school paper, or my job, but for me to relive after. I’ve experienced a short love affair with writing while in the Middle East. Not one day was alike and I loved blogging about my adventures. When I came back to the States, I wished my blog goodbye, since obviously nothing exciting happens in this part of the world. That morning in the airport something changed. Not only did I desire to write, but all the sudden stories started shaping in my head, something I read about, but have never experienced myself. I couldn’t wait to go home to write, you can read the blog post I wrote that morning here, and I’ve always wanted to write since. Perhaps this was my writer conversion and every December I’m reminded of that morning, the tall glass windows of the airport in front of me, the worn out blue linen book in my lap, and the stories in my head.

And to celebrate my writing anniversary, wordpress announced I have blogged 500 entries! Pretty exciting! Cheers, Yuliya.

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