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Kyle & MaryBeth’s Beautiful Yosemite Engagement // David J. Orozco Photography

This engagement shoot almost didn’t happen. But I am so glad that it did.

It had been a stressful week leading up to this for me. I almost had to reschedule due to some personal things going on. But I always say that Yosemite has this certain magic about it that no matter how stressful life gets, Yosemite gives you exactly what you need if only you pay attention.

Kyle & MaryBeth are two people who I have known for a few years now. When they asked me to photograph them for their engagement and their wedding to come later this year I was grateful but also so freaking excited. Why you ask? These two are my kind of people. They share my love for mountains, snow, and all the magic that nature brings. They even brought their pup Duke who you will see in some of their photos.

Obviously this is a great looking couple but even more than that they are two genuine, carefree individuals who trusted all of my crazy ideas and ran around the park with me, so for that I am very thankful.

Also a huge shoutout to my friend Melissa who drove up with me a took some behind the scenes photos of the day.

Anyway check out their engagement photos, let me know what you think, and where your ideal photo session would be!

 

With love,

D

 

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Jose + Anayansi // Beautiful Shaver Lake, Engagement Photography

For whatever reason the universe had decided to make us work for these engagement pictures. Let me explain. Jose is a firefighter. Anayansi was in the Army. California had an absolutely crazy fire season this past year. As a result we were at the mercy of California & it’s never ending fires.

After a few reschedules which were out of all of our control, we finally made it happen. That day we drove up to Shaver Lake, CA was right after a decent snow (probably the only snow of the year). It was we-can-barely-see-10-feet-in-front-of-us foggy that day. A little scary & very moody. But once we finally reach Shaver Lake, the fog and the clouds parted to a beautiful sunny day.

These two had never had professional photographs done before. Every now and then I photograph a couple who you waste no time getting lost in each other. Yeah I have my normal spiel that I give but I don’t think I got through 5 minutes of it before these two were off being all cute and in love. Made my job easy peasey.

Not to mention that Anayansi is a freakin trooper. It was maybe 30 degrees up there, probably a little colder and she handled it like a champ, in a dress, and still managed to look fantastic.

Anyway here is what an engagement session in freezing weather up in the mountains looks like. Or better yet here is what it looks like with Jose & Anayansi. Cheers guys and I can’t wait for your wedding later this year!

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2017: The Year That Changed Everything

This is the year that everything changed. This is the year that nothing changed.

What changed was me. My perception of who I am. Who I accept myself to be. And who I openly want to be.

I’ve held a camera in my hands for a few years now. It wasn’t until last year that I really gave some action to the thought about being a full time artist. But in the back of my mind there were real doubts. Times and moments where I thought, maybe I should go back to school. Maybe I should get a real job. We all have those thoughts. But they didn’t really start losing power until this year.

This was the year that marked being able to accept myself as an artist. 

I woke up this morning as usual. With a little resistance. And somewhere around neutral in terms of mood. Then I remembered that this is the last day of the year. The last of 2017. Just let that sink in for a minute. Can you feel the weight of that sentence? That’s exactly what I felt after the thought occurred to me. So I started to reflect. To think on the entire year that is now behind me. What did I accomplish? Did I really do anything this year? Did I accomplish enough for others myself.

And then something happened. As memories started to flash through my head I began to feel it. A moment of clarity for everything I had done. For everything that had transpired over the last year. And I begin to feel gratitude. But more than that, this overwhelming emotion of being enough. This kindness for myself that said, “you have been so hard on yourself lately, look at all that you have done. Look at where you came from. You’ve been through a lot. Ups and downs. And you are still here pushing to be what you want. I’m proud of you.”

That’s something we don’t tell ourselves enough. I’m proud of you and I love you. And that’s something that I organically felt this morning. After going through most of my photos from 2017 I cannot be more grateful. For all of you who have supported me in some way shape or form. I sincerely thank you.

This was the year I begin to stand a little taller and introduce myself as a photographer. As an artist. As a creative. As someone who creates for a living. And each time I did that and continue to do that the shame of “well that’s not a doctor, well it’s not a police officer, blah blah blah” lessened.

I do it because my heart tells me to. And this was the year that I began to listen to my heart more than my mind.

So if there is anything to take away from my ramblings it’s that we should all listen to our heart more. Life gets complicated but it’s amazing how things tend to work out when you start to do that.

Here’s a few of my habits that have helped along this process.

  • Meditation. Absolute game changer for me. I’ve become acutely aware to how my moods, outlook, and tolerance to just about everything change when I don’t meditate. The app that I use is Calm.
  • Exercise. This one is a struggle. As I continue to get busier finding time to exercise gets harder. However a few bands and planks, push ups, and you can accomplish a pretty good workout at home.
  • Journaling. Although my thoughts tend to happen at light speed compared to how fast I can write, journaling is a way to slow down, get my thoughts out onto paper and then I can sit back and analyze them more effectively and objectively. Something interesting happens when a feeling or thought leaves your mind and moves onto paper or spoken word.

Here are a few of my favorite moments from 2017. It’s been a beautiful year.

 

 

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Fresno Dome // Sony A7rIII

After every major holiday Yaz and I take a hike. Literally. We pack our bags and head outdoors. It’s actually kind of a great combo. Spend LOTS of time with family. And then spend LOTS of time in peace and quiet outdoors away from people. I mean let’s be honest, sometimes family time can get to be a little much. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and cherish the time I get to spend with my family these days. But there is something about following up that time spent with them along with time spent outdoors to think and reflect.

We hike more than just after major holidays I promise. But being that it is the holiday season and friends are in town, we decided to take them to a hike. What we didn’t know is that the hike would be the easiest part of the trip. The drive up there was something we weren’t prepared for.

So for all of you going up to Fresno Dome anytime soon know this, the road is bad. It is not suitable for anything that doesn’t have a good several inches of ground clearance. The terrain is full of rocks, holes, mud, snow & ice right now. So our trip took a bit of a turn that we didn’t prepare for but lucked out in that for the most part we brought everything we needed.

We got there and there was snow everywhere. Another thing I had not expected to see. Yeah you are decently high up but we have a dry season so far. So I didn’t really expect to see any. But there was definitely plenty. The hike itself was a piece of cake. We let the boys (dogs) run free and they LOVED it.

Overall it was a great reminder to embrace the little spontaneous turns that life throws your way. I even made a video about it here:

So for a little bit of photographer needing out. i brought along my Sony A7rIII. This camera has seen a few shoots but I haven’t posted anything about it yet. Until now.

I’m not one to brag about gear. New stuff is cool. But sometimes it gets in the way of you creating what you need to. This definitely does not. I love it because it is an all in way package for me. I shot a video that i am happy with and images that are up to the quality that I am used to and then some. So overall this camera is a welcome addition to my bag. Anything that simplifies what I carry and use is a winner for the minimalist in me.

Let’s be friends on Instagram if you have any gear related questions or want to see more of what I create!

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A Christmas Photo Story

Usually during the holidays I leave my camera at home. I’m a working photographer and the last thing I want to be doing is to feel like I’m “on the job”. Plus iPhone cameras are soo good these days. Really, I like to make it a point to really be present. To be aware of everything I’m doing, feeling, and just to be actually WITH my family.

This year I chose to do something a little different.

As a photographer I have a unique ability to tell a story. The way that I choose to tell a story. The times when I decide to pull the camera up. Push the shutter. Those instances are almost entirely my own.

So almost as a creative exercise but also a way for me to be present in a different way, I decided to bring one of my cameras with me. My goal was to document what a Christmas looked like for me through these series of images. A photo story. The parameters I set for myself were to still be present, tell no one about what I was doing, but also be conscious of not being consumed in my camera and creating but to still document key moments that I thought were important. Really, take a few meaningful photos, than taking a ton of mediocre photos.

These are some of the people who are closest to me. These are memories that I hope one day we can look back on and cherish. I almost feel to a certain degree this is a gift to myself. All of these moments are moments that I saw something in a thought “hey that’s interesting!” and so hopefully a few years later I can look back and remember with even more clarity how beautiful these days really are.

To an extent this is a window into who I am and my heart. Who better than that to photograph right?

 

So next time you are with family whether it be a holiday or family gathering. Make sure you are there. Be present. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few meaningful photographs from the day. Those moments may mean the world to you later on.

 

 

The logistics are: this spans over two days. Christmas Eve with Yasmeen’s family & Christmas Day with mine.

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