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Category Archives: Portrait

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Meeting a Master Coach

When we got an urgent email requesting headshots - the same day! - we had no idea who we’d be working with. Much to our surprise, it turned out to be Sean Smith, the premier breakthrough coach, a master at helping people to achieve their full potential. It seems Sean needed the images for a book he’s about to have published (way to go Sean!)

For most of the shots, we chose a plain white background (also known as ‘high key’), thereby allowing him the most flexibility for future use…whether on the back of a hard cover book jacket, a press release, or his business cards or Web site.

For a little fun and variety, we chose to shoot the last one outside, in the soft evening light.

Afterwards, Sean’s family (Cybil, McKenna and Ecksley) came over and helped to sort through the raw files, selecting 6 for final polishing and use. Meeting Sean and his family was a real treat. They were so friendly and upbeat; living, breathing examples of the positive principles Sean teaches in his classes. We thoroughly enjoyed working with them, and look forward to a future opportunity to shoot the entire family together.

Best of luck with your new book Sean! We’re certain we’ll see it at the top of the Best Seller’s list here very soon! - Peggy and Steve

For more information on Sean Smith and his coaching services, check out, or call 805-433-5601.

Steven Roosa Teaches Intermediate Photography Class

[caption id="attachment_456" align="alignnone" width="416" caption="Steven discusses ‘panning’."]Steven discusses ‘panning’.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_455" align="alignnone" width="429" caption="One of Steven's inventions. By Darrel Priebe."]One of Steven's inventions. By Darrel Priebe.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_454" align="alignnone" width="462" caption="Draggin the shutter. By Darrel Priebe. "]Draggin the shutter. By Darrel Priebe. [/caption]
Steven's favorite Canon camera.
Steven’s favorite Canon camera.


Those of you who know Steven, know how eager he is to share his knowledge and passion for photography with anyone interested. On April 15th, he once again got that chance. Although Steven is a regular at the Thousand Oaks Camera Club; serving on the Board of Directors, teaching beginning photography to its members, and regularly serving as a critique judge, this was the first time he’s had a chance to teach an intermediate-level class. Attendance criteria for the students including having a good grasp of the basics: ISO, shutter speed, and depth of field, as well as a working knowledge of how to use their cameras. The first half of the 2 ½ hour class consisted of a slide show, illustrating the more advanced topics being discussed. Steven then gave a hands-on demonstration, including an introduction to intermediate PhotoShop functionality. The last half hour was an in depth question and answer session, with Steven fielding all level of questions from attendees.

Plans for a future session are already in the works. Check back here often for further details.

For more information on the Thousand Oaks Digital Photography Group, go to

Added May 6, 2009: A news story on Steven’s session was run in the Ventura County Star. To see it for yourself, check out

The Natural

In our line of work, we get to meet lots of models, both the amateur-kind and the pro-kind.

Despite their status, you always find some who are good, some who are great, and some who are…well…let’s just say they need a little help. Every now and then though, we come across someone who is, what I like to call, a natural. Someone who has never modeled before, but just seems to take to the camera, like a fish to water.

Meet Anju - The Natural.

[caption id="attachment_413" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Anju Strikes a Pose"]Anju Strikes a Pose[/caption]

We spent about three hours with Anju on Saturday, against a variety of back drops and under several different lighting conditions. We began by seating Anju in front of the Virtual Background machine, facing our soft box. Steven spent a lot of time explaining the different types of lighting equipment in our studio, and what each one does. He then talked to Anju about the types of effects he was trying to create, and about basic modeling. For the first hour or so, he talked her though the poses, helping her to understand what he was asking her to do, and why. After a set and costume change, I invited Anju into our office and showed her a series of high fashion shots taken of another model with our ring flash, and explained a little bit about each one. After about 10 minutes of semi-coaching, we shut up and turned her loose, and Bingo! A model was born!

[caption id="attachment_414" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Look Out Giselle! "]Look Out Giselle! [/caption]

This was just the tip of the iceburg, mind you. By the end of the day, Anju was striking poses all on her own, feeling for the light, sensing where to move and how.  Stay tuned, as more of those images will be making their way here soon.

Thank you for a fabulous shoot, Anju. We can’t wait to get you in front of the lens again. Soon! - Peggy and Steven

Fear Me

Okay…so most pictures need a caption or title to provide meaning. Some however, simply do not. I my opinion, this image fits squarely into the latter category.

Doesn’t the expression on my kitty’s precious little face say it all?

[caption id="attachment_408" align="alignnone" width="506" caption=""Baby" - Photo by Peggy Roosa"]"Baby" - Photo by Peggy Roosa[/caption]

Steven Roosa to Teach at TO Camera Club

For those of you who might not know, Steven is a regular judge and speaker at the Thousand Oaks Personal Computer Club’s Camera Special Interest Group. This group of avid enthusiasts meet at the Thousand Oaks Library on the first Monday of every month to discuss all things photography- related. It is a great forum for beginners and serious amateurs alike to make friends and advance their skills, while having a great time. You can check out all the cool and fascinating things they have going on for yourself at 


[caption id="attachment_379" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="Steven Roosa"]Steven Roosa[/caption]


This evening Steven will be teaching Intermediate Portraiture, covering the subjects of composition, available lighting, and fill flash. Afterwards, he’ll also be the guest judge of the evening, critiquing the group’s Beginning, Intermediate, and Advance photography competitions. The meeting starts at 6pm, so please feel free to drop by.

If you can’t make it tonight, Steven will be teaching the group Intermediate DSLR on April the 15th. So go ahead and mark your calendars now!

Sandstone Sports Center

I guess it’s just natural to assume that because we shoot kids (with a camera - of course!), that we also do sports photography. Afterall, sports and kids do go together like peanut butter and jelly. Yet few folks outside of the photographic community really appreciate the difference in skill set and equipment needed to produce really good action shots.

[caption id="attachment_308" align="alignnone" width="451" caption="Run Jakie, Run!"]Run Jakie, Run![/caption] [caption id="attachment_309" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="What an AMAZING shot!"]What an AMAZING shot![/caption]

Lucky for us, Steven seems to be good at anything he tries. I guess after 30+ years of practice, he should be! :)

[caption id="attachment_310" align="alignnone" width="435" caption="Soooo cute!"]Soooo cute![/caption]

Of course, being portrait photographers at heart, we couldn’t end this blog without a sport-related portrait shot…could we?  - Peggy and Steven

CIPPA’s 2008 New Artist of the Year!

Peggy and I are members of the Channel Islands Professional Photographer’s Association, a fabulous group of local professional photographers. We joined last year, right before taking over the Professional Photographers of California’s ProPhotoWest magazine, and at that time never dreamed what a tremendous impact this group would have on our personal and professional lives.

Not only are these some of the warmest and kindest people you could ever want to meet, but they are also some of the very best photographers in the state.  So it is no small feat to walk away at the end of the year with any type of award at all. And yet, I’m proud to announce that at our year-end gala on Thursday night, Peggy did just that: She was named CIPPA’s 2008 New Artist of the Year.

Here’s a quick look at the images that earned her this prestigeous honor: 

[caption id="attachment_321" align="alignnone" width="438" caption="Night Guartdian New Orleans Cemetary"]Night Guartdian New Orleans Cemetary[/caption] [caption id="attachment_322" align="alignnone" width="438" caption="Three Sisters in the French Quarter"]Three Sisters in the French Quarter[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_320" align="alignnone" width="438" caption="Mia Bella"]Mia Bella[/caption]

The first two images were taken during our last trip to New Orleans. The Lamborhini was taken at the Santa Barbara beach, after a day of shooting wild animals (with cameras, of course!) at that city’s beautiful zoo. She certainly has come a very long way.

Way to go Baby! I’m so very, very proud of you! - Steve

Sandstone Attends International Photographic Convention

THOUSAND OAKS, CA Steven and Peggy Roosa, of Sandstone Photography in Thousand Oaks, recently attended Imaging USA, one of the largest conventions (and tradeshows) designed exclusively for photography and imaging professionals. Over 7,500 photographers and vendors attended this event January 11-13 in Phoenix, Ariz.

“In today’s aggressive business market, I feel that I need every advantage to keep my business as a leader in our market. The education and networking that occurs at Imaging USA has become my edge.” commented Dennis Craft, 2008-09 PPA President.

Increasing the breadth of knowledge available, Imaging USA co-located with the Sport and Event Photography Conference (SEPCON), the Commercial Photography Conference, and the Evidence Photographers International Council’s EPIC School. By combining the resources of these four events, organizers provided the industry’s most diverse forum for photographic education.

With over 90 combined programs designed to improve artistic and business success, Imaging USA and its co-located events helped attendees increase their knowledge and skills in all photography specialties. These programs focused on topics from photographic techniques to the latest advancements in digital imaging, along with critical business education. Imaging USA also featured the Imaging Expo, a tradeshow with over 600 booths, highlighting the latest in photographic equipment, supplies, and services from the industry’s top vendors. In addition, PPA’s International Print Exhibition displayed over 2,500 award-winning photographs.

Imaging USA has established itself as the first major photographic event of the year. It began in 1884 as the annual convention and tradeshow for Professional Photographers of America and is the longest running national photographic convention, expo and image exhibition in the United States. In 2006, Imaging USA welcomed Adobe as an official sponsor of the Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for Photographers track, a sponsorship that continues today. In 2008, a new Business First educational track was added, sponsored by WHCC. For more information, visit



So Happy Together…

When Ed and Nancy came to us looking for holiday prints for Christmas gifts, little did we know their portrait session would also double as a commemoration of their sixtieth wedding anniversary. Can you believe it? S-I-X-T-Y years together. Woe!

[caption id="attachment_280" align="alignnone" width="426" caption="They DO look happy together."]They DO look happy together.[/caption]

In our opinion, they don’t look old enough to have been married that length of time. And did you notice how happy they look together?

[caption id="attachment_281" align="alignnone" width="436" caption="Say 'Cheeze"!"]Say 'Cheeze"![/caption]


[caption id="attachment_282" align="alignnone" width="434" caption="Smile Pretty..."]Smile Pretty...[/caption]

Congratulations Ed and Nancy! Here’s wishing you many, many more happy years of wedded bliss. - Steven and Peggy

Chasing Their Dreams

Cindie and Andy are dear friends of ours, who have (sadly) decided it’s time to pursue a life together outside of California, and (sadly), away from us. Although many of us tried to convince them otherwise, it seems they have their minds made up. So, Steven and I decided the very least we could do is document this fun-loving couple frolicking on the beach, one last time.


Although we already miss them terribly, we have these beautiful photos to help keep their memories fresh for us; especially during those times when all the email, phone calls, and text messaging in the world just won’t cut it.


And it’s not like we’re wanting for photos. For the past 9 years, Cindie has been Steven’s muse, posing for more of his award-winning work than we can count. Yet, there’s something about these beach shots that speaks to us. Maybe it’s the way they’re looking at each other. There’s no doubt they’re deeply in love!


Don’t believe us? Just take a look for yourself…


[caption id="attachment_228" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="So In Love"]So In Love[/caption] [caption id="attachment_223" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="California Dreamin"]California Dreamin[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_226" align="alignnone" width="326" caption="Lovin the Coastline "]Lovin the Coastline [/caption] [caption id="attachment_227" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="...and Lovin each Other"]...and Lovin each Other[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_225" align="alignnone" width="340" caption="In It Knee Deep"]In It Knee Deep[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_224" align="alignnone" width="334" caption="Off to Find Their New Lives..."]Off to Find Their New Lives...[/caption]




Hurry back you guys! We miss you already! - Peg and Steve (& Jarett too)