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Random Jazz: “Srsly, Everything” Edition

Jake Reinig, travel and portrait photographer

Subjects: Women, children, butterflies, flowers, sunset, seascapes, Disneyland, beaches, friends

Another assortment of random jazz I’ve photographed in the last few months, but which I’ve not posted elsewhere. Enjoy. :)


You’ll notice in a lot of my sunset photos that they’re visibly vignetted at times. This is because I tend to shoot with stacked filters: a UV filter, a neutral density filter, and a graduated neutral density filter.  The filters become so “tall” that they show up in the photos.  This photo–which, by the way, my talented brother helped me with–is an example of getting the filters wrong. I forgot to rotate the graduated filter, which is why the left side is so much darker than the right. Even though it’s technically messed up, I still like this self-portrait.





I think we took about 10 of these photos, and I believe that this was the closest we got to smiles in any of them. :)





One comment on this photo: Danger was not cooperating for most of this shoot. Randomly however, he walked past me, laid on the floor, and let me snap this gem.

Oh, and one other comment: for reasons I won’t go into, I had a Justin Bieber star-shaped piñata at my apartment the night we did this shoot.  Danger’s dad decided to go through the mass of candy inside, and of course the kids were interested. Days later the family was passing near my place when Danger said something to the effect of: “Remember how Jake has candy in his star hole?”  Makes me laugh every time. :)






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Waiting for July

My friends Sonja and Ben had their first son the other day, Sonja having waited an extra 15 minutes to push so that Gavin would be born on July 1st instead of the 30th. For some reason, this makes perfect sense to me. :)

The collection below represents some of my favorites from the first few days of Gavin’s new life.

Sonja is a Starbucks fiend, so I brought her a cup on my way to the hospital. Here, she poses Gavin with it. (No actual babies were given caffeine in making this photo.)

Apparently, newborns sleep a lot. Who knew?

Ben had just suggested that I take some shots of Gavin’s feet, blurring his face out in the background. I had literally just done that before switching focus back to his face. No sooner did Ben finish speaking when G started lifting his feet up in my direction as if to say “Try it again; I don’t think you did a good enough job the first time.”

A baby’s eye view of the living room.

Toby: teenage trouble maker and new older brother.

And last but not least, a quiet moment between mom and son.

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Like her brother before her, “Action” Abigail was the subject of 7-month-old portraits. No, I don’t know why it was 7 months in both cases, but I do know this is a pretty darn adorable future superhero child. I’m sure you’ll agree.

Older brother Declan in mom’s boots. Nearing 3 years of age, D is like lightning in a bottle if that lightning blew up the bottle and then drank Red Bull made from double Red Bull. Although he wasn’t the subject of the shoot, I tried to catch him every time he ran across my paper. This was about the only frame in which he wasn’t a blur.

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2010: Year in Review

2010 was probably the most challenging year of my life, with a number of personal and work events that pushed me to the brink a number of times. But, it was also the most productive year of my life in a number of areas, certainly with respect to photography. By the time the year was over I felt that I had reached a new level in my ability to capture the world around me. Additionally, I found a new calling in life on a political and social level, traveled and “adventured” like never before, and most importantly, spent an incredible amount of time with a diverse group of amazing people. To all of you, even those who aren’t represented here, thank you for letting me into your lives during the best (and worst) year of my existence.

Even though this is a pretty darn big post, the photos below are only a small selection of some of my favorites from the year. Click on a shot to go to the full post it was originally found in.

Ireland and Italy

I traveled to Europe with my sister and cousin, stopping first in Ireland to visit my brother before heading off to Italy.

Robin and Laurie

Two incredible women who are a true pleasure to be around.

Section 8 at the House of Blues

I got to shoot my cousin’s band from the stage at the House of Blues in Anaheim. That was definitely a cool experience.

Corona Del Mar

I’ve spent a lot of time doing photography along Corona Del Mar. This photo seems to be the one people like best.

Los Angeles Arboretum

I made a number of trips to the arboretum this year. I started the year barely knowing what an orchid was, but thanks to the arboretum and Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, I’m pretty much an expert now. :)

These are from two different trips.

New York City

One of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to, and I barely scratched the surface.

Studio Chaos

2010 was the year that I finally got a handle on studio lighting. I’m certainly not an expert, but this once mysterious discipline has let me in on some of its secrets. The first two photos are from some of my first sessions at my new studio. The self-portrait of me isn’t published elsewhere on the site, but since it’s the most obnoxious photo I took all year, I figured I’d include it.

San Diego Ruins

I spent a long time scouring the desert near San Diego this year looking for ruins and pictographs. I didn’t find either; instead, I found this ghost train amid some adventures too crazy to share.

St. Louis

The weather in St. Louis was hot and miserable during my trip, but the stay was one of my best photo experiences to date.

Khmer New Year

Thanks to a connection through my friend Nita, a temple in Riverside asked me to capture their Khmer New Year celebrations.

Huntington Beach Pier

The third most viewed photo I took all year. Having grown up in HB and spent considerable time there, I actually find shooting the pier pretty boring. This one afternoon with my cousin and brother, however, made me feel like a first time visitor.

Scranton, PA

Pennsylvania is awesome. If it didn’t get to negative one million degrees in the winter, I might consider living there. Thanks to Aislinn and Bruce for joining me on some fairly crazy adventures.

Lake Shrine

An unusual retreat in the chaos of LA. Take a blanket and spend time reclining near Gandhi’s ashes.

Team Chaos: Action + Danger

I’ve been single forever, so taking photos of my own kids isn’t possible, given that I have none. Luckily, my good friends have two adorable children that I’ve been fortunate to photograph on a number of occasions. The first photo shows “Danger” Declan in James Bond mode, smooth talking the ladies already. The photo of “Action” Abby in her tiger costume is one of my top 5 favorites of the year.

Christmas with the Moores

In pursuit of a Christmas card, I spent a day with my cousin Dan and his lovely bride Kim, as well as their two very big dogs. After we were done for the day and driving home, we lucked into an amazing sunset and a great place to capture it.

Trenton, my favorite photo of the year

As part of a photojournalism project, parents Wendy and John let me into their family for a few weeks as I documented life with an autistic son. I haven’t published the full set yet, as I’m still working with some other families to get a larger body of work together. For various reasons, this photo of their son Trenton, a dynamic and incredible little guy, is my personal favorite  of the year.

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[Indefinite Article] Crimefighting Duo

Location: my studio and Tanaka Farms. Subject: children and Halloween costumes

I had the good luck to photograph Danger and his new sister Abby in my studio this past Friday night. Since I gave Declan such a cool crime fighting nickname, I feel like Abby should have one too. “Action” is the first thing that comes to mind, but we’ll have to see how she turns out. At 4 months old she can barely hold her head up, let alone battle evildoers in dark alleys, so we’ll see.

Declan was in a mood all night (he seems to manufacture his own supply of raw sugar) so we didn’t get a ton of usable photos, but the ones we did get were pretty great. Action Abby, though ready for bed, was adorable in her tiger costume.

At the end of the night I walked the family out and asked Declan what the name of the bright round object in the sky was. He excitedly pointed and said “a moon,” which is technically correct. However, I took the opportunity to explain the difference between definite and indefinite articles and that we usually say “the moon,” but he didn’t seem to care.  I guess two-year-olds aren’t big on grammar.

I met the family again today for a few family photos at Tanaka Farms in Irvine before doing couple photos of Sandra and Colin. Also there was Declan’s girlfriend and her family. I had heard about Declan and Abigail (the gf), but had not seen them in action. It was a-may-zing. Abigail and Declan gave each other a big hug when they met, and then Declan says “Abby, look at my shoes” (which had become really muddy). Abigail looks down, and in her best concerned voice proclaims “Ohhhhh nooooooo.” It was awesome.

Here’s a self-portrait of me in Abby’s stormy eyes.

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Medical (Un)Professionals

Location: my studio. Subject: female portraits

As part of my ongoing 100 portraits project, my friends Laurie and Robin stopped by Friday night to pose. My regular 9-5 has been crazy stressful over the last week, so spending an evening with this delightful duo was a welcome respite.

Robin is an all-star RN, and Laurie is a physical therapist working on her doctorate. Both are intelligent, consummate professionals. As a best friend team, they’re animated and funny and have the best stories. Our session started with the wounded Robin nursing a busted knee cap, and ended up with me in a motorcycle helmet having a PVC pipe swung at my head while Laurie photographed. Yes, we had fun. :)

I got two of the best portraits so far in my project, which I’ll have to share with you later. In the meantime, enjoy these other ones from the session.

Thanks ladies!

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Section 8 at House of Blues

Location: House of Blues Anaheim. Subject: Section 8 band

I’m not sure how I forgot to put these up, but I got the chance to do some back stage and on stage work for my cousin’s band (Section 8 ) at the House of Blues back in February. The energy of being on stage was just awesome.

As it turns out, the timing for this post is pretty good. Section 8 is playing their second show on one of the Dana Point Wharf music cruises this Saturday. Myself and like a million other people will be onboard having a good time. You should come out too! Details and tickets are here.

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Double the Fun

Location: Hart Park and Carbon Canyon. Subject: baby, teen, and family photography.

This is a double post for two shoots I recently did. The first is little Emma (who just turned 1) and her mom Paula. The second is the Rivera family and their little man Noah (who’s going on 6 months).

Now that I’ve shot a few 1-year-olds, it’s become apparent to me that the brain really starts moving around then. I chased Emma around for almost 2 hours and she smiled for me maybe 6 times. The rest of the time she was exploring, but you could tell that it was more than exploring. She was making connections between things. It was really cool to see. She didn’t have time for the camera guy; she was figuring out how gravity got the fruit from the trees overhead so that she could put them in her mouth when her mom wasn’t looking.

Enjoy, si’l vous plait.

Notice that she had no trouble smiling for mom, though. ;)

Emma loved her sunglasses; it was so much fun to watch her scrunch up her nose and lips to try and keep them on her face, even when we intentionally put them on her upside down. I have a shot of her in my aviators as well, which is just fantastic.

I’ve known mom Heather for about a decade, and dad Ray for about half of that. Both are great people, and they recently rounded out their family with their handsome little Noah, who complements their lovely daughter Bella. Bella’s friend and honorary sister–Alex–joined us for our fun day on the lake.

I *love* this next photo. It’s about as classic a family portrait as you can get: dad messing around with his son, mom’s bemused expression, and the older daughter trying to ignore the chaos around her.

On the left: flowers from the bird/butterfuly park; on the right: two great kids.

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Khmer New Year 2010

Location: Riverside. Subject: Cambodian New Year festival, monks, celebrants, dancers.

I was recently given the opportunity to photograph the Cambodian (Khmer) New Year festivities at a large Buddhist temple in San Bernardino. It was my first editorial type job, so I was a little nervous. And, while I think i could have done a better job in capturing all of the festivities, the people and events were so vibrant that it was hard to take a bad picture.

The morning saw events of a religious significance, as the attendees donated money to the temple’s monks and in turn received blessings. The food was blessed, and after recognition of some distinguished guests, the afternoon was filled with wonderful music and some really impressive traditional dance performances.

Please enjoy the shots. While viewing the larger versions (click to pop), you can find more detailed explanations at the bottom of each photo.

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Random Jazz: 12/29/09

Location: Orange, CA, Mission San Juan Capistrano, my studio. Subject: family and children photography, architecture, female portraits.

Another post with random photos for you. The first set comes from my good friend Declan (“Danger”) and his mom/dad Becky and Trevor (who in my head I just accidentally called “Decky, Beclan and Trevor”). They’re now expecting child numero dos, which is what the “+1″ is all about. The last photo is my favorite; while we were shooting someone started up a power tool; apparently, it concerned him greatly. :)

The second set is from a short trip I took to Mission San Juan Capistrano. I wish that a) there had been fewer people, and b) that it wasn’t so overcast, as this made for flat lighting that wasn’t too interesting. I’ll need to go back on a brighter day.

Finally, we have some studio-esque poses of my long-time friend Kristin Schult. She’s on her way to being a superstar Christian speaker, so we took some shots that hopefully will end up on her upcoming website. I think the photos look quite lovely, don’t you? (Ignoring me in the last photo, of course.) These were shot with a fairly simple setup: 2 Canon 580EX II speedlights in Apollo softboxes to the front of her, and a naked 430EX speedlight in the back against some black seemless paper for a little rim lighting.

Click the pics for low-calorie bigger versions.

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