Introducing Our Conejo Mini-Session Portraits Only $100

We have been getting a lot of calls lately from past clients who would like to update their family portrait. Since the holidays are a time when families are gathering together, it’s often a great time to schedule a portrait session.

To encourage easy scheduling, we have designed our “Conejo Valley Mini-Session Portrait”. We are reserving a number of Saturdays and Sundays this Fall to do these portraits at several select locations, and you will have a choice of what area best fits your desires.

The Halperin Family at the Mission Door location:

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In the mornings, we will do the Lakeside scene at the Westlake Lake, and in the afternoon, we will do the Mission Door scene, and the Rustic Conejo scene, both done in the Dos Vientos area of the Valley.

The Walter Family at the Rustic Conejo location:

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 The Grobstein Family at the Westlake Lake location:

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The cost for a Mini-Session is just $100, and that includes:

  • A 30 min. portrait sitting with multiple groupings
  • A 7 inch Gift Portrait framed in an easel-back frame
  • $75 in credit with the studio toward additional purchases

The dates and times are limited, so call the studio soon for more information:

805-367-8100

P.S. If you have an idea of a “custom” location like your home, or the beach, or someplace exotic, let us know, and we will apply this special package toward that sitting.

Looking Forward to Summer?

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Most portrait artists would probably get nervous about doing a portrait of a family of six with two horses and a dog, but it seems to make me rise to the occasion.  Maybe I’m just one of those who works best under pressure?

Don’t you think that Shelley Deady did a wonderful job of styling her family’s clothes…I take no credit at all. Of course, she’s done this a number of times before, so she obviously knows what she’s doing.

Summer is a great time for doing a family portrait, and I’m always up for a new challenge!

Bring it on…make me sweat…it will be worth it!

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Two Lovely Young Ladies!

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I had such a fun time creating portraits with these two little ladies!

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Their mom has been a client for quite a number of years, and knew just how to dress the girls for some wonderful portraits together as well as by themselves.

 

It’s always exciting for me to have so many options to explore in the portrait locations as well as in wardrobe…and it will result in some beautiful portraits for the walls of their home for years to come.

 

If you’ve been holding off on having your family’s portrait created for the first time, or you’re thinking about updating your portrait, there’s no better time than now.  

 

I know, you’ve heard that many times, but it’s really true, isn’t it?

 

Mark

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Watching Families Grow Up…And Celebrating It!

The Berg Family

Michael and Tricia Berg just moved to a wonderful new home in the hills above Thousand Oaks, and updated their portrait just right before Christmas 2013. The last time we did their portrait at the Westlake Inn, and Tricia could hold Sophia in her arms! Don’t you just love Sophia and Francesca’s bright dresses?

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I love to create portraits that really are a living legacy to the things you hold dear.    I can think of no greater compliment than to hear that my portraits still make people smile, decades after I’ve created them.

Don’t let this year slip by without capturing this beautiful season of your life.

Get in touch with us today!

 

Los Angeles and Ventura Counties  (805) 367-8100

Orange and San Diego Counties   (949) 515-5140

 

 

 

 

A new approach to classic portraiture

The Olewiler Siblings, Mark Brandes

When April asked me to create a portrait her siblings, I envisioned an updated approach to my classic portraiture.

It occurred to me that our family has countless fun and spontaneous images, but what about the other parts of their personalities?  I wanted to create a significant portrait – one that becomes more valuable through the years.  The Olewiler siblings are strong minded, competitive, and individually successful.   Part of that is because their common bond of those values were shaped when they were very young children.

For me, I can think of no better way to embody these elusive visual statements than with a classic approach.

Many of our past clients agree.  When we created their first portraits, it told the beautiful story of younger lives, as their individual personalities were still emerging.  These new portraits are sort of like bookends, that show where life has taken them.

What about you and your family? Who are you becoming?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a significant portrait of this stage in your family’s story?   Let’s explore what that might look like, and create something uniquely you.  Call me today at (805) 367-8100.

 

 

Why I Love Portraiture

I’ve always loved to find what is beautiful and noble in people I meet, and it’s been fundamental to my success as a portrait artist all these years. Early on, I created this portrait of April and myself, in hopes of showing the beauty of our relationship – as artists and as lovers.

This summer, we went to Uganda, and I photographed dirt-poor coffee farmers who were filled with hope for a better future. I especially love this one, because the father is dying of aids, and is passionate about teaching his sons how to carry on when he is gone.

I love classic portraiture, because it brings a level of increased meaning and value to the work.

I especially love the holiday season – in part because so many people come in for their portraits – formal, elegant, relaxed or urban. I continue to really enjoy creating elegant, classic portraits because they show that some things are worth slowing down and taking time to do.  That there are moments worth remembering for a long time.

I’m honored that so many new – and past – clients continue to trust me to create works of art they will enjoy for many years to come.

If you’re thinking of having a holiday portrait made, please call soon. While my creative energy seems endless, your time is running out. (805) 390-7513 or 949-515-5140. You can email me anytime at markbrandes@brandesportrait.com.

Wonderful afternoon at Chestnut Hill!

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Earlier this month, we had such a great afternoon photographing several young riders at the beautiful Chestnut Hills Equestrian Center where Shane Wireman is the owner/trainer.  Thanks to everyone who made it such a great day!  Each of the girls were so different from one another.  It was fun to do some images in their  traditional show clothes and others like this one of Faith DiMaria, in an outfit that totally captured her personality.

We’re starting to take sign ups for the San Diego Hunter Jumper Association’s Showcase Book.  Faith was one of the first people to be photographed for it.  If you’re in the association and want to know more, please email me at brandes.mark@gmail.com.

What I did on my summer vacation!

 

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Earlier this summer I went to camp! Actually, I was a counselor at a camp at Irvine Lake, here in Orange County that was sponsored by the Teen Leadership Foundation… www.teenleadershipfoundation.com. The Teen Leadership Camps are focused on teen age foster kids who live locally.

The majority of the counselors at the camp were from Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa (April and I actually attend the Rock Harbor in Mission Viejo). All of the Rock Harbor churches have a pretty young congregation… I think the average age is about 30 or so. Needless to say, I was about double the age of most of the counselors at the camp!

I had the time of my life! I felt like I was in college again. I was partnered with a 13 year old young man named Abe, who lives in a group home in Santa Ana, and we really hit it off. Of course, it was more like a black kid going to camp with some random white grandpa type…but hey, I did the high-ropes course and the zip line like a champ.

Abe and I slept in a bunkhouse with about 20 other guys…just like in jr. high! I was willing to take the top bunk, but Abe wanted it. Considering how warm it was, I’m glad he ended up there, and he slept like you would expect for a teen. Given the amount of candy he brought with him, I was amazed! Seriously, there’s a 7-11 store somewhere in Santa Ana that had to place a double order of Skittles after Abe hit them up.

At the end of the weekend, we were all pretty exhausted. Everybody gave out a lot of hugs, and yes, there were a few tears shed…oh, wait, maybe that was just me.

Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of countries on short-term mission trips…Russia, Cuba, Peru and most recently, Uganda. You would think that my heart would break for all the people in those foreign countries, but you know, by the end of this camp weekend, I was wrecked. And it happened just 15 miles from my home!

My heart breaks for these foster kids who never ever deserved to end up in the place they’ve landed. Right now, I’m excited about getting approved through Olive Crest to mentor Abe. If you want to join on an adventure that could break your heart too, then check out www.teenleadershipfoundation.com . Call me if you want more info.

Looks like Kentucky!

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Today I delivered this portrait of Lindah Miles and her three daughters, and I think it’s such a gorgeous equestrian portrait. The girls are triplets, but fraternal triplets, and so much fun to work with.

We actually did this portrait at Ivy Gate Farm, which is Mary Morrison’s barn down in San Juan Capistrano. We found just the right spot on the property to do the portrait, and it really feels like you’re in The South, and not the south of Orange County!

What a pleasure it is to capture such lovely ladies and horses in an art piece they will love for decades.

Ahhh, Seal Beach :-)

Seal Beach Pier in Winter
Last year, we lived for a few months just around the corner from the sand in Seal Beach. It was terribly romantic for April and me, and it was a pretty incredible experience for me as an artist as well. The crowded, urban nature of the pier, the weekend beach-goers with their umbrellas, picnic lunches and even the big berm they put up every winter to keep the storms out – they’re all beautiful elements that tell the story of both the beach and the people who love it.

Maybe it’s because of my fond memories, but it’s definitely become my favorite beach to create our client’s portraits. Besides…it gives us a chance to debate over going to The Abbey or Beachwood BBQ for dinner afterwards ( they’re both GREAT).

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If it’s time to update your portrait, let’s meet in Seal for your portrait … maybe you’ll be seduced by this happy beach town as much as I am.
Mark

Call the studio at 949-515-5140 in OC or 805-367-8100 in Ventura County.