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Category: Portrait
Congrats to Jolene on her upcoming graduation from California State University, Fullerton.  I remember her being one of the only local girl skaters and being pretty gnarly too (my sister being another one, who actually taught me how to skate).  That was more than ten years ago, back when it was even more uncommon to see a girl skateboarding street at the park.  She definitely showed the guys that she was just as gnarly and most of the times gnarlier and wasn’t going to let any girly girl stereotypes define her.  Of course, looking at her you would never imagine her being someone who would let sprained ankles or bruised up legs deter her.  Don’t let the pretty blonde locks and blue eyes fool you.  Even though she’s not actively street skateboarding today, she’s still intensely committed to whatever she does.  In this case, her college education.  I’m stoked to see her graduating and to know she is thinking how she can utilize her Earth Science degree to better our lives and our world.  She’s one smart cookie and I wish the best to Jolene on her future endeavors. 
And for all of you interested in the technical and photographic side of things:
I used the Sony 90mm f2.8 lens for this shoot and it kicked butt with the back light! I did some light color correcting and some added contrast in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.  These were all natural light with some of the portraits utilizing a silver reflector to give the eyes a bit of a catch light and also to add a bit of light to the face.  The golden tone of the ground around us also acted as a natural reflector while the late afternoon sun gave me a nice backlight/rimlight glow.  The second and third image were shot into the direction of the low sun and there is a bit of flare that you may notice.  It is slightly purple and adds a little bit of blur and haze which I happened to like a lot and I’m stoked whenI can add a bit of flare to some of my photos.  One unpleasant surprise I discovered was that the Sony a6000 does not do well with dealing with direct sunlight.  I noticed some really bad sensor banding that I had never seen before, even though I shoot a lot into the sun.  Maybe it was more apparent with the 90mm lens.  A few of the images I couldn’t use.  Time to get the a7rii!.
fullerton graduation photo at hiltscher park in black dress
fullerton graduation photo at hiltscher park that is rustic
fullerton graduation photo in cap and red dress at hiltscher park in fullerton by Joseph Barber photography
fullerton graduation photo in cap and red dress at hiltscher park in natural light
fullerton graduation photo at hiltscher park in fullerton by Joseph Barber professional photography
fullerton graduation photo at hiltscher park in fullerton by Joseph Barber professional photography
fullerton graduation photo in cap and gown at hiltscher park in natural light

Melanie Poppy Fields

So we had to go see for ourselves.

The golden Poppy of our golden state with ‘Melanie-Poppy’, the prettiest poppy of them all.  I wasn’t surprised to arrive at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore with hundreds of other visitors armed with cameras and selfie-sticks (this is Southern California after-all, crowds and traffic awaits you wherever you may go).  The hills were definitely not as lush with the poppy’s as I had seen on the internet.  I also didn’t do too much hiking to discover what else might lie beyond the next peak either.   Plus, I’m sure quite a number of the poppy’s had been trampled.  🙁  They are on the endangered plant list so I hope we don’t love them to death, or rather extinction.


natural light portrait photograph of model at Lake Elsinore Poppy fields and california sunset

natural light portrait photograph of model at Lake Elsinore Poppy fields and california sunset

natural light portrait photograph of model at Lake Elsinore Poppy fields and california sunset

natural light portrait photograph of model at Lake Elsinore Poppy fields

natural light portrait photograph of model at Lake Elsinore Poppy fields and california sunset


Mrs. Pretty in Pink herself makes pink look prettier than ever. Mrs. Elizabeth and I had been planning a photoshoot for some time and we finally decided to hit up a few places along Melrose, one of them being the famous pink Paul Smith wall in West Hollywood. I don’t even think Hollywood was ready for this magnitude of pink. ‘)

By the way, Elizabeth is an incredibly talented graphic designer who creates those snazzy and witty cards at Papyrus. If you’re not a fan of their greetings card already, go check them out next time you’re in the card shop.

Plus, she even offered to make my photography watermark for me, which can be seen on these images. I’m super stoked on both the pics and the signature! Can’t wait to shoot again! More pics to come too!

Message me about scheduling your photoshoot!  🙂













The gorgeous Melanie joined me for some fun on the Newport Beach pier last weekend.  We both had in mind lots of the color blue and also trying to capture the long lines of the pier.   The sun was the classic mid day sun that was harsh and overhead, but since it is late in the Fall, the sun was lower in the sky and a little easier to work with.  We tried some backlit portraits like the one below which gave a really nice rim light to her hair.  I exposed for Melanie’s face which caused the background to blow out in the camera RAW, but I brought back the color and exposure in Adobe Lightroom.  The reflection in her eyes was from the overhead sun’s light reflecting off the white concrete of the surface of the pier and front lighting her.  It also gave a nice catch light, if you will, to her eyes.  Because it was so bright outside I had Melanie close her eyes until I was ready to take the shot.  I think the image below, my favorite, has the perfect amount of squint and beauty.

We also tried some front lit poses facing towards the sun.  I put the lifeguard headquarters behind her to add more depth to the image rather than blue sky or random houses and palm trees. The image would be perfect for an Oakley sunglasses ad.  🙂

I’ve been working on a few things with my photography as of late:  Working with the color blue which is so prevalent in my landscape work and in my wardrobe for some reason.  I guess I just love the color blue.  Melanie also came up with the idea about doing some monochrome photos, so I will be taking that idea and combining it with blue.  Also I have been practicing some Brenzier portrait panoramas.  I took some of Melanie under the pier and they turned out about 75%.  Photoshop had a hard time piecing some of the images together so that’s something I need to work on.

I’ve been reading a lot more about lighting and photography.  Ansel Adam’s 3 book series is incredible.  It’s very technical, but you can learn a lot.  It goes to show how much he knew light and photography and how that kind of detailed knowledge can translate into creating beautiful imagery.  Roberto Valenzuela‘s Picture Perfect books are a wealth of help and insight for anyone, especially one who does wedding photography.  I am currently going through Picture Perfect Practice and all of the mini practice sessions as well as rereading the chapters on posing your subjects.  I also bought Picture Perfect Lighting off of Amazon and have been reading that book voraciously.  The lighting tips are invaluable and have already helped me so much in bringing up my image quality.  As a photographer, we have to be experts on light and be able to notice it and then how to work with it creatively in a way to bring to life the vision of our art.

Well that’s all for now!

Message me if you are interested in doing a photoshoot with me.








I’ve been reading a lot more on lighting and on photographic technique, especially from Ansel Adam’s classic series of books and also from the inspirational and very informative Roberto Valenzuela . If you are a photographer his Picture Perfect books are excellent in breaking photography into key elements.

Anyways, here’s my most recent portrait taken yesterday at Back Bay, Newport Beach, California with Matthew.

I saw the chainlink fence casting a shadow and felt it would be perfect in conveying the type of badass character and mood for this portrait.
Let me know what you think. Like, comment, share 🙂








Leonardo Dicaprio’s doppelganger and future city planner, Ryan.  Glad we got to spend some time in the studio working experimenting with different angles, poses, and lighting.  Pretty stoked that we got a few keepers from the session. We also finished up the session with some fun natural light portraits down by Newport Pier.  Who knew yellow doors and black suits would find each other in Newport?  🙂

1_20160826_DSC03392_Ryan Portraits_Joe Renaissance photography_Medium

5_20160826_DSC03604_Ryan Portraits_Joe Renaissance photography_Medium

3_20160826_DSC03487_Ryan Portraits_Joe Renaissance photography_Medium

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So two weeks ago, I posted on my Facebook an opportunity for anyone to come and volunteer their time and face so I could work on some new photography ideas and techniques.  Ms. Whitney  was the first one to hit me up!  We decided to go with a more classic 1920s look. This was our first shot at it and I’m pretty happy how they turned out given it was something completely new. Plus, I am pretty novice when it comes to studio lighting, but I kept things simple with a one light setup and a black ground. Let’s keep shooting!


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balboa newport beach portrait photographer

orange county portrait photographer

Congrats Grad!

Congrats to Kureha who graduated today from LBCC in Nutrition! (by the way, if you or anyone you know needs a Nutritionist/Dietician, send me a message and I can get you connected with Ms. Kureha).

Yesterday, during the photoshoot, Kureha and I made sure to practice her walk where she would be accepting her diploma, and of course tossing the cap afterwards (I guess they don’t allow that anymore?? Since it’s too dangerous or whatever…). Read More

Dapper & Dazzling

Hundreds of dapper dudes with their dazzling damsels all followed by their doting parents and photographers all crammed the relatively small sculpture garden. I had been there 2 hours before the madness had filled the park, so I could make sure to have the best location with the best lighting and back drop for their prom pics. At first, it was just a handful of prom kids and their photographers circulating through the garden, but once it hit 4pm, the place began to look like a red carpet premier.Read More

About Me
Wedding & Landscape photographer based in Orange County, California. Lover of Color, Nature, & Carrot Juice
My Location
Newport Beach, CA
Phone: +1.949.531.8405 Email: JosephBarberPhotography@gmail.com
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