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Tim Wheaton Photography |  Southern California Natural Light Photographer bio picture

they call me... tim

i know i should use capital letters, but i am not a fan of what it does to the letter
"I", in most cases. if i had to decide between a tree that grew time
and a tree that grew money, i would honestly have to sit and think about which
to pick the fruit from. i do not eat fruit. nope. ask me again and i'll tell
you the same. i don't eat fruit and i don't eat seafood. i like to think i am
not "picky" because i knock out whole food groups at a time. i've
been told i have a dry sense of humor. i've also been told i look like howie
mandel. i'm not sure if that is a compliment. i am uber-blessed to have a wife
who "deals with me"... though she may run into eye trouble one day
for how much she rolls her eyes at my antics.

i love to take photos. i love what they capture of my life and your lives. and then i
love to take those moments and "paint" on them... to reflect some of
the emotion that is already there in a unique way.

add this page to your bookmarks. i will continue to show sneak previews of what i am working
on as well as session summaries. you will also find random promotions and
discounts, as well as sporadic views into my and my family's life.


vanessa & jordan | seven degrees | laguna beach, ca

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i seem to be quite the fortunate one in the weddings i get to be part of. vanessa and i have known each other for a great number of years. her stepdad is an amazing nature and wildlife photographer, you can see his work here if you like. Mike has had a booth at the Sawdust Festival for decades now, and when I used to work for family friends at their booth, at the age of 17 or thereabouts, a lot of the local Laguna kids loved to hang out and chat with me as they passed their time there during the summer. vanessa and her brother, vince, would hang out and talk with me a lot back then. anyway, very long story short, i have remained friends with her parents over all these years and could not have been happier when her mom told me she was engaged. fast forward a bit, and there i was, another wedding with an old friend… another wedding i was sure i would cry during. let’s just get into the photos, shall we?

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one of vanessa’s cousins is currently deployed and unable to make the wedding. so, someone very industrious, blew up this photo of him to have him in attendance anyway. amazing!

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vanessa and her brother are very close and she displayed one of the most selfless acts at a wedding i’ve seen from a bride yet. vince and his wife didn’t get to have a first dance at their recent wedding. so, vanessa carved out the time for them to share one, in front of so many family members and friends, at her own wedding. yeah…i cried during this part, too.

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a few people showing off some pretty stellar moves at this wedding, i tell ya!

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and, yes, the shot below is real. he did a real … um…. whatever you call this. some sort of back flippy thing. whatever it was, we all scored it a 10.0

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to the end of a beautiful night. they are actually living out on the east coast, so they had this wedding out here for the west coast people and vanessa’s family members/friends and then they did it all over again on the east coast after that. now, that is what i call sharing the love. i was so happy to be there for even one of the two weddings. and to meet jordan and his family.

i wish you both, sincerely, the most amazing life journey together. from the stories i heard told at your wedding, and the way you both were with one another, i can tell there is no shortage of love between you both and i have no doubts that will sustain you throughout. thanks again for allowing me to be such a big part of your day. it was so fantastic to be there!

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dré & zac | wedding | mission viejo, ca

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oh, hello there. this post is a perfect reunion for my blog with all of you. not only because i enjoyed this wedding day thoroughly… well let me just list the reasons, that might be easier. i’ve known this groom since the day he was born. literally. i visited him (and his parents, of course) the day he was born in the hospital. i played a part in his first ever spoken word (we won’t get into that very long story). i’ve known his father and his uncles and his father’s father for (this is going to hurt to do this math)… 30 years now. yep. 30. don’t think about that too long, okay? so, to say it was an honor to be a part of his wedding day, is a bit of an understatement. in my first email back to people who inquire about hiring me as a wedding photographer, i usually tell them how much i enjoy weddings and telling the story of that day… so on and so on. and i think most people may read that and think: “oh, man… here comes the spiel…”. but i really mean it. i am not ashamed (too much) to admit that i cry at a lot of the weddings i photograph. i definitely did at this one.

it’s so awesome to have this completely tangible and evidential proof of how life evolves and how some good people can come to be in this world. i can’t say i’ve witnessed much of dré’s life, but i’ve seen a good amount of what’s helped zac grow into the man that he is now. he is most definitely one of those people that makes everyone who’s been a part of his life very proud. it was clear to see that day that dré is in that same boat. i couldn’t have been happier to see all of the love that surrounds these two.

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a sweet little moment with dré giving a first look of her gown to all of her bridesmaids, et al:

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it was then onto the los rios district for the couple’s ‘first look’. not only did we find a cool little spot for it, they invited their bridal party and families to come and bear witness to that once-in-a-lifetime moment of the day.

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the “let me see how you look”  pirouette:

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these two are the perfect compliment to one another in so many ways. being goofy and lighthearted is definitely one of those.

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“cheesy laugh moment” completely perfected.

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they got married in zac’s dad’s church, mountain view church. zac’s dad just happened to be the one to marry them, also. he is a fairly well known (and awesome) pastor/officiant in the area.

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zac is a cramazing dancer. cramazing. should i go ahead and ™ that word right now? crazy and amazing rolled into one. so, you’ll see a little of that here… as much as one can make out from still photos. 

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i love this photo. i feel like i’ve always noticed a palpable admiration between these two cousins. i feel like this single moment captures that:

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another one for the wall (if i do say so, myself)… unquestionable and complete love between father and son:

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this was the brief moment during the cake cutting that you thought it may just be normal… sweet… mellow… sealed with a small kiss and a crowd of people who wanted more action to loudly boooooooooo the couple. this moment in this photo… and then, all of that changed:

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did i only say zac is an amazing — oops… i mean cramazing dancer?! well… it’s kind of a rodarmel family thing. his sister is something to behold as well:

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father and daughter burning their shoes up on the dance floor:

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to not be outdone by other dancers in the family, here is another of zac’s uncles leaving it all out on the dancefloor:

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a fantastic night… a beautiful wedding on a truly perfect day. zac and dré have mentored couples for a while now and it’s so clear to see why. they will continue to guide and serve as fated examples of love between two for a lifetime. i am so grateful to have been able to be there for their big day. i cannot even say how much i wish the best upon the two of you and your family in the years, decades and generations to come.

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allee and mike | engaged | san juan capistrano, california

engagement-southern-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-001from the day that i had my first phone call with allee to discuss the particulars of this session, i knew all of the “business” surrounding my work for their wedding would not only be something i’d enjoy, but probably one of those weddings that i’d be proud to be a part of. when the three of us met for their engagement session, i knew i was right. we all got along wonderfully. we laughed a lot, their nervousness about photos dissipated before my eyes and i came away with one of my favorite engagements sessions in recent times.

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engagement-southern-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-017we decided on a wardrobe change in this exact spot. mike ran back to the car and i took the opportunity to photograph allee for a minute or two. i love these and love when she is looking away, the difference and true smile on her face as she sees her fiancee returning to us.

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we were headed back to our cars to drive to one last area. i stopped as i turned and saw this little perfect spot. i may have stood there for 5-10 seconds, possibly weirding them out a little bit, before saying: “let’s shoot here for just a minute or two”. not uncommon for me at all and sometimes it takes a plan for a shoot into a new direction. which i’m totally okay with. and images like these next ones make me keep being okay with it.

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engagement-southern-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-030this is not my normal ‘closing image’ for a post… some may even feel this has the feel or look of an outtake. but, this is one of those completely natural and real moments. unforced. and this is also a great reminder for me, as well, of how people who can be kind of unsure at first, maybe a bit hesitant, can open up during the course of a brief photo session. allow themselves to speak openly and plainly with me, allow their true selves to be photographed and captured.

engagement-southern-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-031thanks again for a fun day, to both of you! i hope the coming months pass quickly as they lead to what will most certainly be a beautiful wedding day. i can’t wait to see you both later this year and see how fancy you both look on your wedding day!

2013: A Photographical Year In Review | Orange County Wedding, Maternity, Concert, Portrait Photographer

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this was an interesting year for me, in many ways. the business took some new turns and my normal 9-5 job of 13 plus years came to an end during the summer. i found myself working a lot more with people this year thank last. my concert photography pulled back quite a bit. i found myself back at the salton sea with amanda for one final shoot to make it a trilogy (because, people love trilogies, right?). i photographed more families this year than i probably have in the past two or three combined. i had some great maternity sessions, worked with some fantastic seniors and even worked with a few more “models who aren’t models”. with the turns of this year behind me, and what i can actually see on the horizon for 2014, i go into the new year with a bundle of excitement to see how it all comes to pass.

with no more words… here are some of my favorite frames from this past year:

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tim-wheaton-best-southern-california-photographer 059i’ll finish up with one more, an embodiment of how off-beat the year was. this photo ended up on betabrand’s delivery van up in the bay area this year. i’m forever grateful to them and to ryan stasik of umphrey’s mcgee for helping me create this:

Ryan Stasikhappy new year, everyone! i hope it is a memorable (for good things!) year for all of you. a big thank you to all of my clients from 2013 and to those in 2014: i can’t wait!

 

 

shelter run with the pet rescue center | 12.11.13

the-pet-rescue-center-oc-animal-shelter-tim-wheaton-001as many of you know, i do not work as a full-time photographer. i have a weekday (and sometimes weekend) job as well, working as the office manager as well as handling the client services and marketing/social media for alicia pet care center in mission viejo. our animal hospital is unique, in that it functions as the temporary home for an animal rescue as well, founded by the lead veterinarian here and his wife, (who happen to be my brother and his wife) called the pet rescue center. staff of the prc will go to local animal shelters to rescue at-risk animals, saving many of them, even at the 11th hour, from possible and likely euthanasia. an adoption to a loving home is then overseen by the staff, as these animals find what is commonly referred to as their forever home.

casey (director of operations) and blythe (co-founder & executive director) asked me to go along with them on what would possibly be their last shelter run of 2013 to photograph the journey. i’d never been to a shelter of this size before… so saying the cliché of it being an “eye-opening experience” isn’t just lip service. it really was. these photos definitely tell the story… some of them, even two weeks later, still make me well up with tears a little bit.

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the outstretched paws always got me. it really made it feel all the more like a prison-type experience on some level.

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this little dog on the right was so cute and lovable. if you started to pet it, it would stand up and you could just tell how loving it would be in someone’s home. unfortunately, it was “unavailable” for us to rescue that day (if dogs have just come in, there is a certain time period they need to be there — in case it is found as a stray, to give the owners time to re-claim it, etc.).

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if it wasn’t a paw, sometimes it was a nose or face pressed through bars or under a door to just smell or see outside a little better.

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this struck me as almost comical, in a very sad way. this dog was relinquished by their owner, who said the dog was ‘too old for them to take care of any longer’. a 5 year old dog. of course, as a toy poodle, it may just be that the owners liked having a young, small dog and never really wanted or never thought about the fact that dogs don’t stay young forever. very sad.

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the paws. the paws, i tell you!

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the-pet-rescue-center-oc-animal-shelter-tim-wheaton-024believe it or not, after all the sad… there is some happy. here are some of the animals whose lives were made better… whose chances for survival just went from sometimes a zero to now 100%.

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the-pet-rescue-center-oc-animal-shelter-tim-wheaton-030amidst all of the day, i reserve one last image that just levels me, even today. none of the animals quite hit me like the pitbulls. some of them there were such good looking dogs. and almost each one of them, when approached, were so gentle and loving. which, still, doesn’t surprise me… but makes me sad for a moment when i imagine how many people would be surprised by that, or would just choose to not believe me. when i told my brother the next day how sad i got about the pitbulls, he said to me: “it’s because there’s little to no hope for them”. and that was partially it. that, paired with my knowledge and experience with pitbulls at the pet rescue center. some of the pitbulls that have been up for adoption with the pet rescue center have been such dear and friendly pooches. there’s even one there right now who is just the biggest ball of love. but, she’s been up for adoption for quite some time…possibly just because of her breed. and i get it. we’ve all heard different stories about pitbulls. but, you know what? ever heard a story about a human doing something wrong or harmful or downright evil? yet, dogs still love us. and they always give us second chances upon second chances. and that’s man’s best friend. 

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jordan family | family photography | orange county, ca

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i haven’t photographed these two in like 5 years, i think it is. i’ve known them for even longer than that. casey has worked for my brother for years, starting at the original animal hospital that he owned, going with the move to the now Alicia Pet Care Center. she now is the director of operations of The Pet Rescue Center. she has a tremendous heart for animals and music is pretty much the only other thing that really reaches into her soul. her daughter is completely following both of those paths in her life.

when casey and i originally talked about her shoot, we bantered back and forth about the options. it was the usual suspects for this area: the beach… the woods… etc. when she said she would love to do it in her home and do it more as like a slice of life session, i was thrilled. YES! count me in! so, here’s a little sample of what we got up to:

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blDSC_1166-1then we decided to really let loose and have some fun.

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blDSC_1225-1i told the two of them about a photo i had done of myself years ago during a trip to the philippines. we gathered the appropriate necessary props and i went through a few lessons of the best way to achieve “maximum lift-off”, and we spent the next few minutes creating some extra fun.

blDSC_1260-1so these are some of their adopted animals. it happens when you work at Alicia Pet Care Center… you just can’t help but adopt some of the animals that come through.

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blDSC_1378-1as always to be expected with these two: i had a ball taking your photos… both of you! thanks for stepping just even a tiny bit out of the box and for sharing some of your day with me!

brandon | class of 2014 | san juan capistrano senior portrait photographer

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and here is the other half of the senior cousin’s session. are you scratching your head? wondering “other half, what?” okay… so, catch up a little and click here to go to brandon’s cousin elijah’s post. recap on the backstory: brandon’s (and elijah’s, also) mom went to my high school. my older brothers were in classes with brandon’s mom and i knew her mainly because of one of my brothers dating a fellow cheerleader… you know the story, i won’t bore you. anyhow, brandon is a senior along with his cousin (and, i believe, another of their cousins as well). brandon was on the CIF champion volleyball team there last year, that’s actually coached by a very good friend of mine that i used to be in a band with — another long story i will save you from. brandon and elijah both came for their session at the same time, and without further ado, here are some of my favorite images of brandon from that day:

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blDSC_6240-4here’s brandon with that big championship ring (when did they start giving championship rings to high school teams?! that is so cool!!!)

blDSC_6049-2and here is one i had in elijah’s post also… the two cousins together:

blDSC_6302-3brandon: it was great meeting you and seeing another side of this immense and amazing family you are a part of. i’ve since read some great words about you from some of your family and loved ones, and it just solidifies my strong belief that your grandparents (and maybe beyond them, as well) have passed on some amazing genes and really built a loving, strong and solid foundation to our society. you will definitely find success in your life, as you have the tools and the know-how to reach the goals you set before yourself. only the best to you, brandon!

rachel | newport beach | senior portrait photographer

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rachel is my wife’s cousin and i was elated when her mom contacted me about doing senior photos of her. it was a little later in the school year, these were not going to be for yearbook (clearly). but, she not only got to use one for her graduation announcements, but these were some fancy portraits of rachel right at one of the biggest transitional times in her life. – look out… here comes one of my soapboxes – Yes, every student has their photos done as a senior. And, hey, they even maybe get a little more special treatment than with previous years. someone gets out a backdrop… they get to wear two different shirts. and wow! you get to actually put your hands under your chin for these photos?! get OUT! craziness ensues! i’ve been there. i was a senior once. not maybe a good one… but i was one. so, even if you have gotten those done, how about some photos that really show you off? that encapsulate this incredible launchpad of time in your life. that big transitional junction to adulthood. maybe you’re not even moving out and going to a big school somewhere in a completely different part of the country. but, this is a monumental time in life and i love the idea of having some fantastic portraits of that… for the parents… for the senior when they are even further along in their life… i would love, say, a little over 10 years from now to pull out some cool photos like these of me and show them to my kids and say: “this is me when i was a senior in high school!” and for them to page through them, bright-eyed. and maybe however many years later in their lives, for them to stumble on them again, and page through them with an even different outlook. this is what photographs mean to me. this is why i encourage people so much to not disregard photos or their importance… to not cheat themselves out of good and proper documentation of events and occasions and milestones. /soapbox rant 

so we headed out to a spot that we kind of talked about, hoping it would work for what we had in mind, be as awesome as it looked, and that we could even get to it, since i had only spotted it from the road and hadn’t actually tried to walk to it at any point. fortunately, it was all of the above.

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newport-beach-california-senior-portrait-tim-wheaton-021thanks again to rachel and mer mom for coming south a little for the photos. it was fun spending time with both of you and getting to know you a little better, rachel! i hope college is an amazing experience for you and i know your family (not just immediate, but the cousins and so on) are super proud of you!

 

elijah | class of 2014 | san juan capistrano senior portrait photographer

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so, there’s some history to this session. i went to school with elijah’s mom. my older brothers were in classes with his aunts at that same high school. elijah is a senior at a school that kind of split off from my alma mater (i don’t know or understand the whole story behind that. i’m sure some of the story of it could be used in a WB show, though!). i actually did family portraits of elijah and his family a few years back. so, it was fun going to this session and seeing his two younger siblings a bit older than the last time i saw them. also, elijah signed up to be a senior rep of mine, alongside his cousin (whose blog post is coming shortly, too) brandon. they are classmates and both are sports stars at their school.

without too much further storyline, here are some of my favorite images of elijah from the day:

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blDSC_6269-4and here are the cousins together:

blDSC_6302-3congratulations, elijah, as you get closer and closer to your graduation day. you have such a great support system within your family alone, i will not be surprised at all to hear about how successful you are after high school.

jamie & ryan | the french estate | orange, ca

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so, now that we have their engagement shoot up on the blog and viewable, you’re ready to peruse their wedding day photos. when jamie told me her wedding was going to be at the french estate in orange, i admitted i’d never heard of it before. well, now i know if i ever meet with a bride-to-be before they have settled on their location, i will definitely recommend this lovely venue.

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the-french-estate-orange-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-012after spending time with the girls at the hotel while they got ready, we packed into cars and drove a little bit to the French Estate.

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The girls headed to their “bridal room”, and I removed Jamie’s dress from the room for a  couple of detail photos.

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the-french-estate-orange-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-027the estate had some fantastic photo opportunities, especially for this ‘you can’t see me’ first look they did:

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the-french-estate-orange-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-081a lot of times i will do my ring detail photos early in the day. i may do one or two more during the reception, but not always. for their wedding, everything was done late at night with the rings.

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the-french-estate-orange-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-083here’s one last photo that i love of these two, from earlier in the day:

the-french-estate-orange-california-wedding-tim-wheaton-085ryan & jamie: again, thank you for entrusting me with the most important documentation of your big wedding day. it was such a beautiful day, so cool to see how much your friends and families love you. i hope you love these and the rest of your photos!

let me send out a special thank you to my second photographer for the day, becki of becki cloud photography.

vendor roll call:

venue:  the french estate, orange, ca

cake:  heidelberg pastry shop, laguna hills

floral arrangement:  art with nature

wedding dress:  blue by enzoani

photo booth:  karen with flash fanatic photo booth

dj:  rick with black tie events

make-up artist:  samantha chamberlin of champions hair salon, lake forest

hair:  ashley carroll of champions hair salon, lake forest