Lauren Taylor lives in an orbit around the camera. As a teenager, she modeled in front of the lens. She later attended the Institute of Studio and Makeup Design, after which she would collaborate with photographers behind the camera. Lauren eventually gravitated to the camera itself, which she now wields with aplomb in her own photography studio. Here, her life-long experience and education converge in the work of shooting sumptuous and striking images.
Thanks to her time in the sights of the camera eye, Lauren has a particular way of making subjects feel comfortable. She especially enjoys sessions with other women, documenting expectant mothers or capturing sensual boudoir portraits. Otherwise, Lauren's newborn shoots capture babies in their most innocent state, before they learn to talk or knit a ski-mask. Lauren still exercises her eye for fashion, snapping stills for advertisements and industry headshots. She also documents weddings, taking a photojournalistic approach to event photography by capturing candid moments and emotional milestones.
Photographer Daniel Woods can hold his breath for 3.5 minutes, which comes in handy when he has to grab an underwater shot. An avid outdoorsman whose accomplishments include a 22-mile kayaking excursion to Catalina Island, Daniel found his way to photography through the continual inspiration he drew from wild landscapes, particularly ocean coasts. And then he wondered: why should these landscapes be limited to models and athletes posing for magazines? With that, Daniel launched Beach Shoot to make these wild backdrops accessible to anyone seeking an adventurous photo.
His shoots—which he calls “personal ad campaigns”—venture to locations where beaches, sea cliffs, and trails abound. During these shoots, he paddles along with his subjects to snap portraits and action shots while they're kayaking, standup paddleboarding, or belly-flopping on the exact spot where Venus was born. He posts sample shots to his online portfolio, organized into categories such as adventure kayaking, wildlife encounters, and portraiture. He also uses these dramatic backdrops to frame marriage-proposal shoots.
For photographers, the process of capturing meaningful portraits requires more than first-rate equipment and technical know-how. As the team at Jack Randall Photography knows, photographers must also establish a comfortable environment for their subjects. Armed with high-resolution digital cameras, Jack Randall's photographers capture casual poses and candid moments during shoots conducted at their indoor studio—where subjects can model with props and different backgrounds—or at a variety of scenic, Orange County–area beaches and parks. The photography troupe covers special events including weddings and engagements, as well important milestones, such as high-school graduations or a toddler's graduation from fruit purée to fruit roll-ups.
After a fruitful modeling career, Lori Brystan moved to the other side of the camera lens, where she began to capture artful portraits of families, kids, and women that would look at home in the pages of a fashion magazine. In 1989, she opened Brystan Studios, which eventually expanded to include a team of professional makeup artists, hairstylists, set designers, and photographers. Inside the professional studio, a large dressing room brims with props, fan mail, and glamorous costumes. Using in-studio sets, Lori captures images ranging from burlesque-themed boudoir shoots to pared-down images, such as women posing in front of a white sheet or siblings lying in a hammock. The studio also specializes in love-note videos, professionally produced short films that capture the subject's inner starlet without the use of a net. The busy shutterbug also works as beauty editor for the lifestyle pub Greer's OC and penned High Impact Portrait Photography, a book on framing eye-catching portraits.
The Boudoir Divas want to make the "ultimate supermodel experience" accessible to every woman, and the website's testimonial page offers happily tearful proof of that mission's success. For example, client Susan wanted to shed her everyday style for a day of flashbulbs and glamour. She starts her anecdote by describing the consultation she had in the jazzy, girly dressing room, and finishes her story by confessing that when she saw her prints, she cried. Susan described the experience as life-changing, saying, "it was just one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Second to my wedding."
Creating these unforgettable experiences is an all-female staff of photographers, makeup artists, and image editors, who run a 6,500-square-foot studio that houses a dressing room, more than 16 sets, and an area to review subjects' proofs. Spangled with vanity lights, the crimson dressing room is lined with a wall of shoes, and opposite, a wardrobe rack is strewn with leopard print, tulle, fringe, and lace, offering a variety of mix-and-match outfit choices. Numerous packages are available, and the Divas' portfolio is divided into Romantic, Supermodel Sassy, Fine Art, and Simply Beautiful categories.