Do You Want to Know How to Photograph Fireworks?

Fireworks are spectacular and appear for just moments.  Many people shy away from trying to photograph them because they feel it is too difficult or they would not be able to end up with anything good.   I say, go for it!  It's a lot of fun and you might end up with some fabulous photos!

Many of you will be attending Independence Day celebrations - of course, these parties always culminate in a spectacular fireworks display.  Here are some fireworks photography tips to help you get the best fireworks photos ever!


Here's what you'll need: 

1. A camera that allows you to shoot in "Shutter Priority" or "Bulb"
2. A tripod
3. A cable release to trigger your camera
4. Plenty of memory and charged batteries

If you are using a Point and Shoot camera, see if your camera has a "Fireworks Scene" mode and put it on the tripod. Fire the camera right after the rockets fire. 

If you are using a DSLR, attach your camera to your tripod. Set your camera to "Manual Focus" and set the lens to "Infinity". Set your mode to “S” or Shutter or "Tv" and set your exposure between 1 and 2 seconds at ISO 200. Use your cable release to fire the camera immediately following the rocket launch. Cable release helps reduce vibrations. You can shoot in either JPG or RAW, however RAW files will let you adjust the exposure a little easier afterwards in software to get your ideal image.

You can also experiment using "Bulb" setting for those DLSRs that include it. If you cannot find the "Bulb" setting in your Mode Dial, set your camera to "Manual Mode" (M) and slow the shutter speed all the way down to make the Bulb appear; this forces the shutter to remain open for as long as you leave the shutter release Open. Set your Aperture to f4 and your ISO around 200. If you want to brighten your pictures, raise the ISO to 400 or so. Click the shutter when you hear the rockets fire and let go of your shutter as soon as the burst is over.

If your camera includes Live View, try using it so that you can enjoy the show too!

Happy Shooting!

Categorized In: california photographer | fireworks photography | newport beach photographer | orange county photographer | portrait photography

Angie's Senior Portrait Session at the Beach

We love photographing high school seniors!  This is such an exciting time in life, embarking on a voyage of independence, new adventures, and unlimited possibilities.  This special time of life flies by so quickly, so it is our goal to create memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.  We love to meet with our seniors and plan their sessions to include the things that are most important to them.

Angie lives in the desert, but her absolute favorite place to be is at the beach.  So we took her to our favorite beach nearby and created a fun,  playful session.

We couldn't have picked a more beautiful day!  I don't know who had more fun - us, or Angie, or quite possibly, Mom!

We're pretty sure Angie will remember this day for a long time to come - and she now has a beautiful album so she can enjoy the photos any time she wants!

With college coming up fast, Angie doesn't know it now, but she will look back upon this time as one of the most carefree of her life!



Categorized In: newport beach photographer | portrait photography | senior photographer | senior portraits

Welcoming 2013 with Hugs and Kisses

Hugs, kisses, love - the joy of time spent with loved ones.  We are so lucky to have a job where these are the experiences we share with our clients every day!  We spent 2012 photographing a variety of sessions, from babies to families to couples and everything in between.  What other way to welcome the new year than with fond memories of the year passed?  

If we had room to post all of our favorites, this blog would go on for days.  So we sifted through our photographs from 2012 and chose a sampling of our favorite shots taken outdoors and in, sure to be inspiration for sessions to come. 












Categorized In: arangetram photography | childrens portrait photographer | family portrait photographer | family portraits | headshots | portrait photography

The Artist

  • Published January 16th, 2012 by Andrea Bidwell
  • 1 Comment

How lucky we are!  We get to work with the most wonderful people!  We recently had a fabulous time creating some gorgeous portraits for Sujata.

The beautiful and talented Sujata came back to see us after much too long an absence!  We first met her family when she brought her tiny daughter to us for a photography session. Now, two more daughters and years later, we had the opportunity to photograph her and her husband again.  Although we have continued to photograph the family over the years, after they moved to Dallas, Texas, the photo opportunities were few and far between.


I am pretty sure not a day has passed for Sujata since we last met - she still looks as young and gorgeous as ever!  She is radiant, and it is extremely difficult to believe she is the mother of college-aged children! 


After raising three delightful girls, she now has some time to explore her own talents as an oil painter and is currently taking art classes.

Over the past few years, she has been perfecting her craft. Her artistic talent blows us away. For one of her assignments, she needed a headshot and, while searching for a photographer in Dallas, her husband said, "You already know who will give you the best headshot!" So off to California they came, and chose Prasad Photography to do the honors!


In addition to a headshot we photographed the beautiful couple. They are a striking pair, so young at heart, charming, stylish, creative... there are not enough wonderful words to describe them! 



Categorized In: california portrait photographer | couple portraits | headshots | newport beach couples photography | newport beach headshot photographer | orange county portrait photographer | portrait photography | portraits

It's Not Bollywood!

This past summer has been a very busy one here at Prasad Photography!  One of the things that has kept us happily clicking away was photographing portraits for 9 young ladies, each performing their individual Arangetram or dance debut performance.  The arangetram (literally, "ascending the stage") is a rite of passage, the culmination of an odyssey that took each of these girls from student to graduate under the direction of guru Ramya Harishankar of the Arpana School of Dance in Irvine, California.  Each dancer's performance consisted of two plus hours of the elaborate, graceful and highly technical Bharata Natyam form of dance.



Mitali was the first of this group to perform her Arangetram.  Traveling from San Diego to Irvine for classes, hers (and her mom's!) is an example of the kind of dedication it takes to succeed as a Bharata Natyam dancer.


Like the other girls, Preethi is passionate about dance and also multi-talented.  She enjoys learning carnatic music as well as designing in multi-media.

Leena was the youngest of the group, an eighth grader, yet extremely accomplished.  She is also a talented musician in both voice and piano, having won several regional competitions.


It's Not Bollywood


Many of you are familiar with Bollywood (have you seen "So You Think You Can Dance"?) - but unlike the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, the Indian film industry that regularly stages elaborate choreography in exotic locales, 

Bharata Natyam is one of the most famous Indian classical dance forms. Originating in temples in South India for centuries, it is now one of the most widely-performed dance styles in the world.




Nikita is a talented singer, performing with the Irvine High School Chorale, and her other activities include Youth Action Team and Red Cross Club.




Viva is quite the all-around dancer, having studied ballet, tap, hip hop and jazz - and she was president of the Hawaiian dancing club in high school to boot!


Adorned in brightly colored costumes, headdress, makeup, jewelry and a pleated skirt that unfolds into a fan, the Bharata Nayam dancers perform with bright-eyed enthusiasm, their side-to-side neck and eye movements, hand positions, balanced still postures and instantaneous morphing among characters dramatizing ancient tales.





Sheila is another all-around talented girl, playing tennis for junior varsity, as well as painting, training vocal carnatic music, and many other pursuits.

Among her many pursuits, Pavan is a very talented painter as well as an accomplished sitar player.

Tara loves the fine arts and is an award winning classical piano player, having won many competitions.  She is also an honor student and is an active volunteer for Kids Who Care Foundation along with her many activities.

Sumona teaches Bollywood, yoga and meditation, as well as ESL and is an inspiration to many.



Keeping Traditions Alive


It has been so much fun photographing these beautiful young women who are actively keeping alive the honored traditions of their culture.  Ramya was there at every photo session helping the dancers perfect their poses, some of which were very difficult (these girls were able to get their bodies into some very challenging poses!).  Hair and makeup was done by Saru Janahan, who was always there with a smiling face and ready to jump in and help. Over the past few months, we have enjoyed getting to know all of them and to work with them individually.  Each of them is so accomplished - with many other talents in addition to their mastery of dance.  They are truly inspiring!


Here is a video showing some of amazing images of these girls.  Enjoy!




Categorized In: arangetram photography | dance photography | indian photographer | newport beach photographer | performing arts photography | portrait photography

Thanksgiving at the Prasads!

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time to relax, enjoy delicious food, and spend quality time with the family.

Or, in our case, run around like chickens with our heads cut off, scarf down food before one of the many dogs in attendance could help themselves to it, and try with all our might not to strangle said family! 

There were people and children underfoot, dogs frolicking inside the house and out, and delectable food and wine being enjoyed by all.

Yes, all.

It's not that we didn't enjoy our Thanksgiving experience, because we did. Thoroughly!


However, for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to conclude our feast with a photo session. In theory, this was actually a wonderful idea. It was the first time 4 out of 5 of our combined children, their spouses and all 8 grandchildren had been in the same county since the summer. We figured it might be our only opportunity for months (years?) to come so we took advantage.

We rounded up the entire family and piled them upstairs into the studio for our photo session. It wasn’t just a bit muddled, it was utter chaos! The studio was swarming with lively adults and playful children. Trying to create a setup that worked with all these people was quite the chore. But with only minimal pushing, shoving and  hollering, we made it happen! And we ended up with a beautiful family photo that we will treasure for the rest of our days. In all its craziness, our Thanksgiving was amazing and we are truly thankful for our family and the time we spent together.


Categorized In: california family portrait photographer | family photographer | family portrait photographer | newport beach photographer | orange county family photographer | portrait photography