Thursday, January 31, 2019

When I Realized My Job is Important

When I realized my job was important

A few years back I saw one of those memes (viral photos with a message), and it said that there was a day when it was the last time you played outside as kids. I laughed to myself for a second and then thought about it again, and it resonated with me deeply. There literally was a final day when I played outside with all the neighborhood kids. I spent a majority of my free time from age 6 to 15 playing outside, whether it was sports, biking, or exploring. Back in my days, there wasn’t the monopoly of the internet and video games to confine us to our household prisons. We actually enjoyed doing competitive activities, and there was a joy to that which cannot be replicated.

Back to the meme- I tried to remember when may have been the last time we all had a final football game or rode our bikes over a mound of dirt, dangerously avoiding a crash that would again split my knees open, and I couldn’t think of the that very last day. I’m not even sure why there was a final day- maybe school took over, or I began driving and playing outside was no longer cool, or girls, or who knows. But I began thinking how much I would have treasured having photos or videos of the final day. It would have been priceless. I wish our parents were in touch enough to have grouped funds together and paid a few thousand dollars to record a few hours of us running down, shoving one another, running past with the confidence that we had in those moments. Those would have been so much more satisfying to look at instead of the posed photos we took each year with our sporting teams. It would have been ridiculous back then if my parents had offered to pay even a few hundred dollars, but I would have cherished those photos and videos so much more now. They would have been incorporated into my priceless possessions.

This got me thinking to what I’m doing for others today, photographing and filming their special occasions with their loved ones, and I realized there are at least a dozen cases, which I can think of off the top of my head, where I have photographed or filmed the very last photos or video footage of a loved one. We’re all aware people pass, especially those of an older age. But we often don’t think it would be a sitting candid captured by a photographer at a wedding, or a cinematographer films their final dance at a bar mitzvah, or even just a final photo of a stroll back up to a car after a family shoot at the beach. But I'm responsible for creating those final preservations.

I’m intentionally not posting any photos in this post because I don’t want to remind anyone of a loss in case they’re reading this. My goal was a self-acknowledgement that what I do, and we as photographers and cinematographers do, is extremely important. As humans we thrive on love, and we cherish memories of moments, and those moments can be captured through photos and video, and they often initiate different emotions. What I try to do whenever possible is to capture my time with loved ones, and just overload with photos and video. And the ones that I actually do cherish more than others, I plan to print and just leave around my home, as constant reminders of memories with people that I love.

Your memory preserver,
Arash Tebbi

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Beautiful Landscape- Bella Collina Wedding

Yes, yes, I know, I haven't updated the blog in a while- but so much has been going on!

We're coming back from our hiatus strong. We've had a rather rainy fall-winter season in Southern California these past few years, and 2018 hasn't been different. After another stormy Friday, we awoke on a Saturday morning to rain again in San Diego. As we loaded up our gear and headed to Bella Collina in San Clemente, the weather magically cleared and we were welcomed to sunshine and a beautiful background, which allowed for drone shots and formals.

Details by Haleh covered the make up, sofreh, and wedding planning/day of coordination. She helped make the day move smoothly and allowed us to get our shots.

The bridal party was also energetic and animated and helped execute the fun shots flawlessly.

Here's is their trailer from the day, with entertainment provided by DJ Taraneh.

Niku and Colin's Wedding Trailer - Bella Collina- San Clemente from Rugger Productions on Vimeo.

We're always pleased to do weddings in the Orange County area and look forward to the next one! Here are also a couple from this couple's engagement shoot with us in La Jolla!

If you have any questions regarding this wedding, like how many photos we delivered, what the full video looks like, or anything else, feel free to email us:


Arash Tebbi

Monday, January 8, 2018

Maderas Golf Course Wedding- One of San Diego's best wedding venues

There's lots of amazing golf courses in San Diego. I even got married at one.

But our recent wedding at the Maderas Golf Resort made us fall in love with the entire venue and staff. Obviously we're a bit biased because we evaluate a venue based on the lighting and options for photography and filming. With Maderas, we had a beautiful bridge. Even though we had to get some shots midday, we were equipped for high speed sync so it just added to the mood. The wedding was a "fusion wedding," with the bride being Armenian and the groom being Persian. It was a great mixture as it brought certain traditions and customs from both to combine into one joyous celebration.

Just like any golf course, we had to work around the golfers, but there were enough places around to keep moving until another one opened up. We were also shooting at the last weekend of the year, which is one of their busiest days.

They have a huge ballroom and a wonderful outside area for the ceremony and cocktail hour. If you're thinking of a place to get married, definitely give this venue a chance!

Watch our wedding film shot completely at the Maderas Golf Club

Christina and Kia's Wedding- Madera's Golf Course from Rugger Productions on Vimeo.

And here's a review from our bride in case you wanted to see it from the client's perspective.

If you have any questions regarding wedding photography or cinematography, send us an email and I will get back to you personally!

Arash Tebbi- Owner

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Wedding deals more crazy than bit coin madness- what Rugger is offering new for the year!

Happy New Year!

If you're reading this, you survived the crazy year of 2017. And if you were one of the lucky one to get engaged, or you're about to get engaged, or have a bestie who is having a wedding this year, make sure to have them check out what Rugger is offering!

Here's a short 1 minute commercial briefly touching upon the 5 main points, and we'll go over in more detail below.

San Diego Wedding Photography & Film- The best incentives in existence from Rugger Productions on Vimeo.

So what's all that mean? Are we really giving a 4K 65 inch LG Oled TV away? Have we gone nuts?
We haven't- and yes, our top cinematography package consists of 8K filming and 4K delivery, and what's the point of having the best quality video if you don't watch it on 2017 best reviewed 4K TV? Well, we're going to make sure we have you covered in that area.

We're also creating unique, 1 minute romantic black and white films with our upper tier packages, whether you go with a photo or video package. These are custom made, shot in 4K films graded in black and white by one of her expert colorists.

Our Elite Membership- you can purchase at any time during any photoshoot, and it includes 1 year of printed photos, in ANY size, delivered to you monthly, and 2 photoshoots for any occasion- birthday, anniversary, boudoir, party, or commercial. If you book this with your wedding package, you get 50% off. But imagine, getting a photo of your choosing delivered to you each month!

And how about an engagement with every shoot, photo or video? Why not? It gives you practice for the big day, and you'll have some photos/video prior to your big day!

Last but not least, it wasn't a typo- photos edits and delivered within 7 business day! Films delivered within 14 business days! Why do you have to wait? We have a dedicated preparer that prepares the raw files the night of the wedding so that I can begin editing the morning after.

What else is there that we didn't mention?

We also have the only 100 page photo book for our highest photography package option. Yes- 100 pages!
We retouch a select number of your images and also offer the black and white versions complimentary.
We have exclusive locations in San Diego available for engagements, pre-wedding, and trash the dress shoots.

If you're interested in the locations of the weddings in the commercial above, here's a list:
Downtown, San Diego
Downtown, Chicago
La Jolla Shores
Fazelli Cellars
Maderas Golf Resort
St. Regis Monarch

Have any questions? Send us an email, and I will personally answer it within a day.

Arash Tebbi- owner

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wedding Cinematography San Diego- now with 4K 10 bit and 12 bit raw, but what does that mean?

Earlier this year, we got a badass camera that shoots slow motion 4K and 10 bit, which yields some amazing results.

Here's a short clip from Cape Rey in Carlsbad:

Here's another teaser from a two location which started at La Valenica in La Jolla, and ended at the Grand Hyatt in downtown, San Diego.

And another two parter where the bride got ready at the presidential suite in the US Grant and had the ceremony and reception at Coasterra.

Now the gorgeous quality was shot in 4K and uploaded in regular HD. To see 4K samples, we'd be happy to show you it in person on a 4K monitor. But aside from capturing this in full 4K quality, the quality could be even better and more "cinematic". How? Well, we could shoot it in raw. That's always been an option, but typically out of the budget for most couples, as shooting on multiple REDS or Arris in raw would put the costs over $15,000, with multiple shooters and the 3 films we deliver on average. But now there's another solution:

Our recently acquired Canon C200!

We'll now be able to shoot in 4K slow motion in raw, and at a more reasonable rate for our wedding couples. The GH5 still offers 10bit Vlog for 4K, and coupled with the C200, we have endless opportunities to shoot the highest quality video for our clients. This allows us to color grade with the most flexibility and deliver with the least loss of degradation.

Want to talk more about the various options for capturing your wedding? Shoot us an email or call us!

Arash Tebbi

We're also offering a new option for filming 360 virtual reality with live streaming- on top of that, our new 360 camera shoots in 8K so that it displays in pristine 4K!!! To find out more about adding 360 degree filming to your wedding!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Stormy New York Engagement to a 4 day Orange County Indian Wedding

During the fall wedding season, I flew to New York for our first ever NYC engagement session, where our bride and groom were completing their medical school residency. Upon arriving, I was relieved that the weather was clear and warm. I incorrectly thought the engagement shoot, 2 days later, would be similar. #epicfail
The morning of the engagement shoot, it was apparent there was a storm that had landed overnight, and predicted more rain and heavier winds. When I met with out couple at 7am, we decided to change wardrobe slightly just to withstand the possible wetness that would follow. We each had umbrellas in hand, and for the first time in my life, I wrapped myself in a poncho.
What I originally thought was going to be a difficult and challenging day, proved to be one of the better engagements I’ve had the privlidge of capturing. First off, the storm was a blessing in disguise. The heavy rain, although making it difficult to navigate around central park where we started, also helped keep the tourists away.
We were able to roam around the park and briefly do some creative shots when the rain would subside. After central park, we went to the street and subway to get some key New York looking shots. Overall, it was a success.

A few months later, I had mentally and physically prepared to shoot 4 days straight for my first ever multi-day Indian wedding. The location would range from Diamond Bar to Orange County, which would ultimately be 1-1.5 hours from my home. It was more beneficial to me to be able to go home to back up the data after each night, and get a good night’s sleep in my own bed before the next day. We shot both at the groom’s parent’s house and at the bride’s house they had rented, as her entire family had come from the east coast.

Indian weddings span across multiple days because of the various types of traditional ceremonies that must take place. Since this was a traditional Sikh wedding, there were multiple traditional aspects to the 4 days, ranging from the Sangeet to the mehndi. Because of the various traditions associated with each, and our couple's slight divergence from some of these, I'll skip the specific details.

Some things that are important to at least put into perspective for those unfamiliar with multi-day weddings is first off, the bride has to have her make up done by around 5:30-6am on the ceremony day. This means we as photographers/cinematographers arrive before that to capture her finishing up. There are also lots of smaller traditions, where if you're not prepared, you'll completely miss. One such thing is the bride's family attempting to steal the groom's shoes after the ceremony. If after the exceptionally long ceremony you feel you can catch a break, you're wrong. An intense "fight to the death" or capture of the shoes erupts unexpectedly.

I took over 10,000 photos during the 4 days. If I wasn't in tip top shape physically, I would not have made it to the end. If I had not prepared mentally, I would have missed key moments. And if I didn't have such a large appetite for Indian food, I would have been severely disappointed by all of the delicious options offered several times a day.

Have questions about your upcoming wedding? Send me an email!

Photographer & Cinematographer

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The virgin subject- 7 things to know before your first photoshoot

You're finally ready to book your first photoshoot ever in life. How do you prepare? What do you need to know to maximize your results? Is it normal to be nervous? Once you have your photos and are ready to post them, what hashtags do you use? Will Kanye West ever make it back to normal?

1. Choosing the type of shoot you want to do - headshots, portraits, glamor, boudoir, fashion, commercial, alternative art

You've taken the selfies when out with your friends, and the snapchat filters have been kind to you, but you know you like the professional look when photographers have taken your photo at events like weddings. You've thought about doing a shoot for yourself for a while, and you're finally ready to take the leap. So where do you start?

First things first, what is your goal? Do you need headshots for your business cards? Do you want some flattering photos for Tinder? Is this something special for a special someone, like a boyfriend or husband? You've gone to the spa before and received massages to feel better, so is it that crazy to think about doing a glamor shoot to have some beautiful photos of yourself at this moment in your life?

These are all questions you need to honestly ask yourself before proceeding. You won't be able to do every single type of shoot in one day, so you'll have to choose, and then choose your photographer based on that. The one thing to remember is that there is no wrong path to take. You're a paying customer, and you're in control of the direction you want to take. If you've dreamt of doing a fashion shoot, then plan a fashion themed shoot. If you want to dress sexy, or perhaps strip down to your favorite lingerie set and do a glamor or boudoir shoot, then plan on that. Do what will excite you, and ultimately make you happy. The photos will last you forever (if you don't delete them, and you back them up). I know people who have gone through plastic surgery, and they return, often citing it as addicting. I believe photoshoots can be the same, and if you have the right photographer, it'll also be a lot more fulfilling (and less expensive) than plastic surgery. You're preserving yourself at a moment in time. #treatyourselfnow

2. Choosing your photographer - pay someone professional, avoid the perv in the basement

There's few excuses as to not doing your due diligence and selecting the right photographer for the job. Yes, a professional photoshoot can run you anywhere from $300 to $7500. If the person on craigslist who doesn't have a website is charging $37.50, there might be something wrong. You're sacrificing not only quality, but also the experience. It's hard to explain in detail what "the experience" is unless you've had a bad one to compare it to. We spend ample time before a shoot planning the concepts, finding samples, and preparing our subjects, along with having the proofs of the photos ready within 24 hours after the shoot. With certain shoots, we bring wine, and with others we may grab a beer. You won't go thirsty or get hungry with us. On top of that, you want to feel safe that you're in a professional environment and your photographer isn't hitting on you or being inappropriate in general. Review their Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook reviews to get a sense of what their past clients have said about them. Find someone whose work excites you and leaves you anticipating your own shoot. This isn't a trip to the dentist, and you shouldn't be dreading any part of it. #getexcited

3. Hair and Make Up- Can you really do it yourself, be honest?

I recommend a make up artist and hair stylist for our glamor, boudoir, commercial, and fashion sessions. It is included in our packages, but yes, it does cost extra. Yes, in most cases, they will make you look better, and leave you with less to stress about it. It's all part of the experience. You can go to the top massage parlor and ask if you can bring your own lotion to use on yourself. But why? I've also worked with people who are extremely talented with make-up, and have done a terrific job applying their own. On the other hand, I've done commercial shoots where the person wanted to save money, so they opted for doing their own hair and it was a mess. So take a step back, and honestly ask yourself if you can handle it on your own, or if you would prefer a professional to take care of that for you. #pamperyourself

4. Selecting your wardrobe- should I bring everything black I own?

For most shoots, we do recommend bringing multiple outfits. You may bring 5 and we may only use 2-3. If you bring 2, and one doesn't seem to work, then we're stuck with 1 look for a 3 hour shoot you booked. Bring variety. Colors are ok. Don't be scared of wearing colors. I would say to avoid neon yellow/green, and stripes in general. But wear your clothes beforehand and make sure they fit well, and more importantly, you feel confident in them. Props are also absolutely great, as they help a photo appear more natural. Scarfs, purses, hats, glasses, jacket, and anything else you can hold or carry would serve as a wonderful prop. #propsforyou

5. Poses aka practicing that "making love to the camera" face.

If you've hired an experienced photographer, they will guide you through the poses. It's their job. They shouldn't be looking down at their phones looking for poses either. You don't see a chef at a 5 star restaurant going through recipes for every dish he's making. This all goes back to the experience you're getting. It's also ok to go through some photos on Instagram/Pinterest and see what kind of plooks you like. You can offer ideas, and it's great to be involved. Just don't go overkill by selecting 823 photos from Pinterest and forcing your photographer to try to nail them all. That takes away from creativity and destroys the natural progression of a shoot. #ducklipsok

6. Do I opt for indoor or outdoor- aka will the sun make me melt?

This goes back to both the concepts you wanted, and what the photographer you like offers. Headshots, for example, can be done indoor in a studio or in the comfort of your office, or outdoors with some natural lighting. It's a matter of preference. On the other hand, for something like a glamor or boudoir shoot, you'd want to shoot indoors only, so it's private. Your photographer would recommend a hotel or airBNB that would work. Avoid doing the shoot at your own home because it takes away from the whole "experience." When you want to celebrate with a special meal, you don't want them bringing it to you. You want the experience of going to a restaurant, having everything served to you, having your drink refilled without you asking, with your favorite music playing in the background. #theatmospherecounts

7. What do I do after the shoot- I hate waiting.

You did your shoot, and you feel it went well. Did you ask your photographer how long it takes to view the proofs? Hopefully it won't be more than a few days. In most cases, you'll select your favorites to edit/retouch once you do view them. A photographer that is offering all of the photos from the shoot as the main package in 99% of cases isn't editing and retouching the photos. We have basic packages that we give 5 digitals to you after you've selected your favorites, and more extravagant packages with prints and albums that come with 120 digitals. These are obviously things you should find out before. Once you do have your photos, and you're happy with the results, feel free to post them on social media. Just don't add a filter and don't use the app's editing to edit the photo. Here's another restaurant analogy- you don't order lamb and lobster (you're hungry) and then ask for the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and hummus because you think that mixture will give it flavor. The chef has already prepared it. Finally, give your photographer credit. It's just nice etiquette. You don't have to do it for every single photo, although if you're putting 40 hashtags, you can probably tag your photographer too. I promise you they'll love you more for it. #appreciate

Have any other questions before booking your first photoshoot? Feel free to email me directly and I'll be happy to offer you guidance. And feel free to email me if you'd like to set up your first shoot ever in life with us (or even if it's not your first one).

Your eager and enthusiastic San Diegan photographer,

Arash Tebbi
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