Category Archives: {2012}

Vultures in the OC {Personal}

Have you ever heard that we have vultures in the OC? It’s true.

One Sunday morning I was driving down Alton headed to the freeway for my morning shoot and I noticed 8 or 9 vultures sun bathing with their wings spread perched fencing.  This wasn’t any typical fence, it belong to the Musick Jail (The Farm) back side on Alton and Irvine Center Drive.

I drove by them and then turned around to photograph them. Normally I’ve seen them in the sky but not all perched.

I got out and started photographing.

The only sad thing, I didn’t have my telephoto lens with me. I was shooting with my portrait lens made for up close and personal.

I got slightly intimidated by them. 8 or 9 of them and only me.
If you ever seen them in person, you know they are big with huge wing spans.

The first time I saw a vulture was miles away in Costa Rica in 2006.
Back then, I was on a mission to capture at least one good shot as I thought it was a Central America thing.
This one below was circling the patio I was sitting on. I swear we made eye contact and this photo proves it!

When I was in Peru in 2008, I saw anther one.
This time it was a little ere as I took the photo through the barbwire.

So yes we have Turkey Vultures here in Orange County.

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

Mississippi Roast {Recipe}

My sister Julia made Mississippi Roast for my birthday this year. So I thought I would give it a whirl and make it for myself for Christmas. All it takes is 5 ingredients and 8 hours of cooking.

Mississippi Roast ingredients:

  1. Chuck roast
  2. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (envelope not bottle)
  3. McCormick Au Jus mix (envelope not bottle)
  4. One stick of butter
  5. 5 Pepperoncini Peppers (you buy them in a jar)


1.  Put the roast in the crock pot

2.  I rubbed some Lawry’s Garlic Salt and Lawry’s Seasoning Salt in

3.  Sprinkle Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing on top

4.  Sprinkle McCormick Au Jus mix on top

5.  Put a stick of butter on top

6.  Put about 5 Pepperoncini Peppers on top

Do NOT add water or anything else!

7.  Turn on crock pot on low

8. Cook for about 8 hours
If you have any animals, they will love the smell as much as mine did!
When it’s all done the seasoning and juices will blend together.
I took out the peppers and drained the little bit of greese and it was ready to serve!
Hope you enjoyed this and feel free to pass it along! Bon Appetit
Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

Photographing Places While On Vacation {Tips}

There may be a number of reasons why we travel to places. Personally at this moment it’s the ruins or remote places that require hiking or backpacking that I tent to go to. I will save Paris, Italy and Spain for when I’m older. Maybe for you it might be enjoying good weather, good food, known areas, historical landmarks, nature, or maybe it’s just to see family or friends. Whatever the reason, let me provide 8 tips I wish someone had shared me.





Tip #1 : include what you can, highlight want to you want to show off!

Take this photo of Machu Picchu. I knew before I went that I wanted capture a photograph that has never been taken or one I’ve never seen. So when I arrived at this spot and witnessed with my eyes, I knew I had to capture it. Just seeing all of the layers of this magical location amazed me! When I took this, I knew I wanted to include the people, the hill at the top right and the hut on the bottom right. By including these objects it helped to add depth I wanted to bring out in the photograph.









Tip #2: be playful!

This photograph was a sign that I took Downtown Riverside as I was walking around. It captured texture, messages and the artistic flare the artist intended. Instead of taking the photo straight on, I backed up, went to the left and tilted my camera to get this angle. So be a little playful! Try new angles. Stand back and get anther perspective. Some of the best photographs around are the ones that were taken by being playful!




Tip #3: use the rule of thirds. This is a guide which applies to the process of composing visual images such as paintings, photographs and designs. The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.

While I was at Yosemite National Park I spotted a coyote! She was with her pack when I saw them crossing the road. I was driving so I stopped, jumped out and started shooting. I had to rush back in my car because she came so close it scared me. I thought I might be lunch to them!



Tip #4: include yourself in the photos!

Here I was at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I pointed my camera at me and took a shot. I quickly looked at the photo and made some adjustments and retook the photo. In fact I took four more until I was happy with this one. So include yourself and check the photos out before you take anther step to the next location.






Tip #5: shoot it before you eat it!

Take the photo before you eat it! How many times while out on vacation did you ate something and then said I wish I took a photograph of it? I have several times! Now I photograph it and then eat it.







Tip #6: use a tripod and long shutter speed!

When I went to Peru I took my tripod. I knew I wanted to capture some night shots. This type of photograph works when you have your camera steady (tripod or camera resting on something) and using a long shutter speed. For this photo I used a 20 second shutter speed. I wanted to capture the headlights of the cars driving by while freezing the people in place.






Tip #7: look at your destination prior to going!

Before going to Peru I did my homework! I looked at each city and found photos I wanted to capture myself like this one. Just like above I used a little bit of a longer exposure to keep the photograph light but the uniqueness of this photograph is all the photos I’ve seen were yellow. Cusco lights are yellow. Just a little white balancing brought a image to life allowing your eyes to focus on the beauty and not yellow hue.


Tip #8: take video!

I am super guilty for not taking many videos on my trips. Videos add more than beautiful photographs. I actually just found this video as I was researching photographs for this post. When I viewed the video, it brought back the sound and visual images that triggered the memories of the smell and excitement of the gushing waterfalls. It was like reliving it over again. What an awesome experience videos create!

Hope you enjoyed the tips!

Stay tuned in as next week I conclude photographing tips for Events!

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

Photographing People While On Vacation {Tips}

While on vacation or during a gateway photographing people are an important part of documenting your experience. But to many people travel is all about  strange and exotic locations. Don’t forget it’s also the people who live in these locations that often bring out the “strange and exotic” to the location.

Sometimes it’s not always the locals who add this element to a location, the visitors can often put in their experience that helps to bring out the locations.





I photographed this lady in India at the Qutub Minar. She acted like a tour guide
though she wasn’t. At times I witnessed her taking peoples camera’s to be sure she captured them at them at the worlds tallest minaret. Nice act of kindness. Here she decided to automatically pose in front of the camera. I could not resist as it was a beautiful contrast between her skin, saree and the stone.




Awana Kancha





While in Peru we made a quick stop at Awana Kancha.
The young lady was giving us an example of traditional Peruvian weaving.
Here I found myself in love with the natural light the shinning on this girl.

Not all of your photographs have to have eye contact. Some of the finest photos
do not have eye contact.




While I was in Seattle, WA I went to the Woodland Park Zoo. A place I quickly fell in love with!

Here I noticed a lady getting closer to the window and the tiger who also was getting close to the window. This photograph happened in a matter of seconds. If I didn’t have my camera ready, I would of never been able to capture what seems like a lady touching the lions nose. This is a sight you do not get to see regardless if  you have 10 inches of glass in front of you shielding the danger.








This photograph of a boy was in the oldest market in Old Delhi knows as
Chandni Chowk in the Naya Bazar, in India.

This boy was just sitting watching all the people walking up and down the street. We made eye contact and I held up my camera and said photo. He seemed surprised why someone would want his photograph, but he nodded his head saying yes.

In some places around the world it’s custom to provide a few coins when photographing people. I’ve seen this in Costa Rica, Peru and India. I usually carry coins just for this reason.







In Peru I was traveling by train headed to Machu Picchu. I was doing my typical photographing out the window while on this journey. We made a few stops along way. While the train was slowing down, I notice a lady that I captured from my window seat. Her eyes, smile, hat and flowers is what made me drawn to her. A few of my friends said she looks scary. But for me, I wish I got off the train to learn more about her story, her life.






One weekend I decided to take a nature walk down to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. At the end of my walk I saw a local artist (very talented artist) painting. So I got my camera out of my bag and photographed him. I tried to get him in the same surroundings he was painting but the angles were not right. So I went around the right side of him and captured what you see here.

This type of photograph I love capturing, people working in their working environment.







This last photograph was anther from India at the Qutub Minar. Photographing children is always fun as you never know what you are going to get.

Here this little girl was playing running around while her mom was working on one of the ruins. This little girl reminded me of the Coppertone girl. Just the look on her face and the way her clothing was hanging, it was a cute innocent pose.


So on your next journey, be sure to pause and look at the people around you. You might be surprised the wonderful images you might want to capture. The more times you stop look and listen, you will become more aware and start capturing some great memories.

If you are interested or know of anyone interested in my photography services, please fill out the New Client Registration Form.

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

Travel Photography {Tips}

Going on vacation or just a weekend getaway is something we all look forward too. Usually we carry our cameras to record the event but when we get home the pictures could turn out some what disappointing.

Have you ever looked through travel magazines or books and envy the photographer who took them? There is no doubt that travel photography is one of the most popular genre of photography.

Can you admit that your camera sits collecting dust between trips? Why this is the case? It’s because we don’t think about photographing our own surroundings. We take our familiar surroundings for granted, it doesn’t inspire us as we see it daily. Here are some local examples of walk ways, flowers and an entrance to a home I’ve taken.

  like this walk way downtown

   flowers from the beach

anthonylujanphotography-travelphotographyl20080512_013   like this beautiful entrance

Once we go outside our familiar surroundings everything looks fresh and the impact of seeing something different inspires us to photograph it. When we travel, we like to document our travels through photographs, mainly to show others. Also when traveling, people are usually accompanied by family and friends and it gives us a chance to photograph them, which we rarely seem to have time to do at home.

Travel photography isn’t just about photographing places and the people you are with, but rather photographing the people who live their and make up the destination .

Over the next three weeks I will be providing travel photography tips that are in three sections to help you photograph your next vacation or getaway. These sections are:

taken in Peru

   taken in India

   taken in Temecula

So please stay tuned in as next week photography tip is People!

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

Pumpkin Hunting at Tanaka Farms in Irvine, CA

Today I went pumpkin hunting with my Sister Julia and my nephews Justin and Tristan. We met up at Tanaka Farms in Irivne. At first I thought this was a small unknown location. I quickly found out lots of people knew of this place. Today the weather warm and the sun was out with no clouds in the sky. It was an awesome day!

Thanks guys for allowing me to join you and take part of your pumpkin picking day.

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel

The Mraz “Love Tour 2012” Experience @ the Hollywood Bowl

I went to my first concert at the Hollywood Bowl last Friday 10/5/2012. I always wanted to see Jason Mraz in concert and this was a perfect venue to finally go to!

Tina, Christina, Julie and I hanging out on the green prior to going into the concert.

Opening act was mega star Christina Perri! She was amazing. Right after the concert I purchased her new CD called Lovestrong.

Her new album rocks!

Jason is an awesome singer/songwriter who is amazing live. His sassy sways and hypnotic sounds intoxicate you.
I have to admit I know all the words to his songs. From day one he sold me. Yeah I might have a crush! But with his
singing skills, who doesn’t?

I had no idea the Hollywood Bowl fit so many people. I had to photograph part of it with my panoramic camera.
Just think we had several level more above us.

Here’s a few videos I took from the concert. I had to share what a talent this super star is!Comes with a warning!! Please ignore the 38 year old man (me) singing. I couldn’t help it!

Hope you enjoyed watching the short and long version of these videos. he’s amazing!

Flickr – My Favorite, Most Interesting and Popular Photographs

I had to share some of my favorite, most interesting and popular photographs on my Flickr account!

#1: Jennifer Hudson

Long Beach Pride on Main Stage Sunday Night…we love you Jennifer!!!
taken 5/20/2007

#3: Balboa Pier, California
Balboa Pier, California
Taken @ Balboa Pier, California
I love this shot! It turned out beautiful. Got this idea from one of the people on Flickr. Thanks!
taken 1/9/2007

#4: Heliconius Sara @ The La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Heliconius Sara @ The La Paz Waterfall Gardens

taken 9/9/2006


Los Angeles Gay Pride Festival.
taken 6/10/2007

#10: Now legal

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 my friends legally got hitched. They are now part of history as California allows same-sex marriage. This is the legal ceremony, but the really party/wedding is taking place on August 17 where I’m privileged to photograph.  Same-sex marriage in California.
taken 6/17/2008

#18: Beckham vs. Beckham

Beckham vs. Beckham
The face off between Father and Son. Who will win?? Beckham’s youngest son.
taken 3/22/2008

#23: Mr. Bacardi

Long Beach Pride
taken 5/20/2007

#25: New Years @ Queen Mary

New Years @ Queen Mary
Long Beach, California
Photo taken across the marina along side Seaport Village on New Years Eve.
taken 12/31/2006

#33: African Lion & Lady

African Lion & Lady
Woodland Park Zoo located in Seattle, Washington.
taken 1/27/2007

#53: African Lion – peek-a-boo

African Lion - peek-a-boo
Los Angeles Zoo, Southern California
taken 12/31/2006

Hope you enjoyed viewing them! It brings back some great moments!

Rusty & Roxy 1/16/2012 {Pet}

Today I had a fun photography session with Rusty and Roxy. I needed a couple of models for my new setup. So I wanted to share some cute photos from our shoot today.

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles County
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Newborn | Children | Pet | Travel