Versaille France

 

Versaille France europe palace castle travel is beauty landscape photography architecture photographer
Photography by: LaVonne Grady

So amazing and beautiful the Palace of Versaille.  I love coming especially for the gardens.  We wondered around so many different mazes of the gardens by foot and by golf cart.  The golf cart was a fun little adventure and it made sure that you stayed on course.  If you didn’t, the cart stalled.  So many times it stalled on me and I had to reverse it.  It was quite embarrassing.  But eventually I got the hang of it.

There are so many little spots to hang out in the gardens and see spectacular fountains and a water show.  You can also ngo for a canoe rides.  We decided to take that cart wherever it would take us.  Versaille is a quaint little city.  You can shop and have a drink along the city streets of the Palace.  We had a great time meeting cool people and hanging out at the local pubs.

 

An American Girl In Paris

Paris France Europe travel photography cityscape wanderer landscape churches
Photography by: LaVonne Grady

 

I was super excited about Paris.  Paris is one of my favorite cities in Europe.  I was there about 15 years ago and back then I took a lot of film and I took a lot of photos.  I still have those prints and negatives somewhere around.  Although I didn’t get to do any countryside this time around, I still love being in one of my favorite cities in the world.  I stumbled upon the Chanel show at the Grand Palais.  I ate at some great Cafés.  One of my favorite days was hanging out on the Seine having wine eating Jambonwiches.  Coming back from Versaille we were surprised by an outdoor cafe with a DJ playing amazing tunes that we started to dance.  What else can you expect exiting a train station in Paris?  Summer in Paris was surreal and I can’t wait to be able to go again.

 

 

London Calling

London Europe travel photography adventure wanderlust United Kingdom city landscape
LaVonne Grady Photography Travel

This summer my sister took me on a wonderful Eurpean excursion.  I was able to revisit London and see the sights.  I love to walk around cities to really feel the energy of my surroundings.  I’m always searching for the local vibe to haunt.  As I’m taking everything in, I feel compelled to want to capture every single moment.  These moments don’t last long so I was enjoying photographing every single moment.

My sister had to work part of it so we didn’t get a chance to hang out that much in London.  We stayed at the W in Leicester Square near China Town.  At first I was a little bummed out because I thought it was the Times Square of London.  Yes it is the Time Square of London, but we couldn’t have been more centrally located to get around, especially if your walking.  Everything touristy is very close.  I Ubered to Notting Hill, which isn’t that far away either.

Nothing beats traveling.  Although I wish I was able to see more I did have an amazing stay in London and I can’t wait to go back and do some countryside.  Check out the portfolio page for more images.

Graduation

Graduation photography portraits in Santa Monica mountains fashion beauty lifestyle
LaVonne Grady Photography Graduation Portraits

 

This wonderful young lady was such a pleasure shooting with.  I’ve known Sarah for awhile and have gotten very fond of this wonderful woman.  She brightens up your day with her amazing humor and chill sensibility.  She was a natural even though she didn’t think so.   I love how she took direction and went with the flow.  That to me is where you get some great pictures.  I hope the best for Sarah and till the next photo shoot.

I find the best way to get people comfortable is:

1. Tell them it’s just test shots. So just move around and go with the flow for awhile.  This is a great tactic for them to not feel that they are on.  Once you get the shot you can show them that they are doing fantastic.

2.  Talk to them and ask about their week.  Having open conversation allows people to loosen up even more.  Once you build the repertoire, they build confidence.

3.  Let them move freely for a moment so they understand that it’s not always some kind of stiff pose, but to tell a story.

4.  It’s easier when you know the person.

 

Sing Along With Tara Lea

 

Portraits singer songwriter photography
LaVonne Grady Photography

I met Tara Lea working with a local boutiques photos for their website.  A talented up and coming singer who has such a great voice and a talent for writing her own music.  I was very happy and excited to work with her.  She was a natural at taking photos.  There is nothing better than having a natural model.  Thanks again for such a fun experience and a great location.  Santa Monica Mountains have giving me such great joy in photographing people.  No wonder this is the place where films are made.

Speed Limit 40

Thousand Oaks Ventura county
Speed Limit 40

The cool thing about doing photo shoots are the locations.  Each location is definitely a learning curve.  This particular one was one of the funniest ones that I have been on.  I would say their were potential dangers looming.  One of our encounters was this spot in particular.  These weeds are serious weapons when they are dry.  They have the most insane prickly ends.  They were stuck to my tires, the soles of my shoes, my handbag, whatever it managed to attach itself to.  I told the model, DO NOT step down barefoot.  This would mean a 911 call for sure.  Another incident was the horses, beautiful but, potential danger ( see portfolio page ).  One of the horses thought that her finger was a carrot.  We learned palms down and if they get a finger, squeeze mouth.  Duly noted I might say.  Lastly, remember to look both ways before crossing.  We almost got hit by cars so many times.  Just two giggly girls having way to much fun.

Cross Creek

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My friend and I decided that we needed a really good mountain climb.  This trail is one of the many amazing trails in Malibu.  The views span from the Conejo Valley to the Malibu beaches. 

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This view of the ocean was just spectacular.  Once I’m up there I just want to keep going until I reach the shore, but time wasn’t on my side neither was the weather.  This particular time of the year you must start real early and bring plenty of water for hydration.  It gets hot and dry.

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Malibu Canyon road is one of the highways that takes you from the valley to the ocean.  An easy commute and a beautiful one. After a really good rainy season it reminds me of Hawaii.   Being such a dry arid region, it’s incredible when everything is green and lush, considering,  Los Angeles is a chaparral, which is just another form of a desert

  A SoCal girl living in a hiking world. Enjoying life in the mountains of Los Angeles California.  Blessed to be in such a beautiful place.

Paramount Ranch

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One of my passions is the love of photography another one is hiking.  I live in southern California, where there is a mecca of trails up and down this state.  But for a large city like Los Angeles there are great hikes in the back of your yard so to speak. 

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My friend and I decided to do a little adventure of our own and check out something that we have never been on.  Paramount Ranch is amazing.  Funny how I lived within 10 miles and never been there.  It’s almost like saying I live in Anaheim and never been to Disneyland.  A little embarrassing.  Well I got to do both of my favorite things this day and I sure had a lot fun with my partner in crime.  Shooting photos with this lady till we’re 95.

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More photos on the homepage. 
Photo cred myself and Maryam Khorram.  Editing myself. 

Beach Days

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This past year has been a journey of the unexpected and growth.  When you lose something that was never beneficial or healthy it hurts.  But, what you gain is a whole new perspective on life and what you really want out of it. 

So whenever you go through hard times the best way to get through it is to be open to it.  Embracing a difficult journey is the only way to get the healing.  You get a chance to grow from it and do things differently and react differently.  Maturity is staying calm, being positive, and be a loving human being.  Everything works itself out eventually.