Lukas & Suzy International Wedding Photographers » Blog

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    Welcome to the blog! If the banner doesn't make it obvious enough I'll just spill the beans and let you know that we are a full time husband and wife wedding photography team. We love life, God, weddings, and if you slide over our names to the left you'll note a few other things we love.

    We are based out of Los Angeles, and when I say that, I mean our studio is right in the smack dab center of downtown. However, if you start browsing through the blog history you will soon note that we shoot weddings all over the country and world. We put a lot into making our images so I hope you enjoy checking some of them out!

    If you're up for having a great time at your wedding, and our photos have the look you are going for, then feel free to shoot us a note and we would love to chat some more!

    - Lukas and Suzy VanDyke

How to Frame & Pose for Portraits + a FREE Mentor Session

When I first started shooting I took a class or two on photography at the local community college. In retrospect I don’t know if I would recommend that as the most effective way to start of your photography career. However, there were a couple assignments which proved invaluable. Those assignments had one thing in common. They each had a list of instructions to follow as you took photos. Later the class would review each image individually. They key to this was it really got me in the habit of evaluating each image in camera as I composed it.

As part of my one-on-one mentor program I will sometimes give this assignment out. It’s a step by step guide, and list of photos to take when doing a simple one person portrait session. It includes tight shots, mid length shots, wide shots, as well as a few things to think about when framing. Every person, location and session is different, so this isn’t a guide to memorize and repeat. However, when you are shooting portraits you want to remember to always get a few really good photos from a wide range of focal lengths. I think this guide will be really helpful if you’re wondering what photos to take and include in a session. It might also be helpful if you’re having trouble finding people to photograph. You can just tell them you have an assignment to complete. It worked for me when I was looking for my first few volunteers.

So here’s the assignment and the prize. Print out THE ASSIGNMENT and read it over. Find a friend, model, family member or anyone who you think would like some fun photos of themselves. Complete the assignment and post the results on your blog or on Facebook in the order they are listed on the assignment. Put a link to the photos and mention me in a tweet or Facebook status sometime before March 18th 2012. The entry that follows the assignment with the most style gets a free 30 minute Skype mentor session with me. If only one person enters they win.

I did the assignment myself this morning and it only took me 25 minutes. Thanks Grace for volunteering to model for me! You can also check out the time lapse video of me doing the session at the bottom of this post!

I labeled all my photos from the assignment below. Good luck!



2.a. (left) 2.b. (right)




3.b. (left) 3.c. (right)





3.g. (right) 3.h. (left)


3.h. (left) 4.a. (right)

4.a. (left) 4.b. (right)








The whole session in under 1 minute!

March 7, 2012 - 8:21 am

Grammie - You are really good!! Keep up the good work!!!

March 7, 2012 - 10:12 am

carlijean - already finding someone to be my model!

March 7, 2012 - 10:41 am

Haley - so so great!

March 7, 2012 - 11:47 am

Lillie Duncan - Thank you for these! It is so helpful!!!

March 7, 2012 - 3:11 pm

estella - fun post! i like the video too.

March 7, 2012 - 3:19 pm

Diana Orellana - SWEET!!

March 9, 2012 - 2:39 pm

Michelle Miano - You said “When I first started shooting I took a class or two on photography at the local community college. In retrospect I don’t know if I would recommend that as the most effective way to start of your photography career.” For someone who is just learning what would you say would be the most effective way to start?

March 18, 2012 - 11:47 pm

Jessica Chavez - Alright! I found a model and blogged about it!! :) check it out here…

March 29, 2012 - 6:21 am

A Little Update + Mentor Session Winner | Lukas VanDyke - International Wedding Photographer - […] two of the blog post I wanted to post the winner from the little photo assignment I gave a few weeks ago. The real objective of the assignment was to not only understand the secret […]

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