Orange County family photographer

Holiday Family Photoshoot | Los Angeles, Ca.

It’s not that they are easy to look at. It’s not that their two daughters are absolutely adorable. And it definitely has nothing to do with the fact that Gene is a fellow countryman and we’ve shared some screen time together back in the day. If it’s not all that, than what is it you may ask? What is it about the Farbers that made their holiday photoshoot one of my all time favorites to date? The answer may not be as complicated as I am making it out to be. It’s actually quite simple and here is why. I haven’t seen Gene for about 10 years. We’ve been keeping tabs on each other via social media, but outside of that not much face time has happened in the past decade or so. So when I did reach out to him and suggested this little project, his response was an instant “yes!” As if to say, “hey buddy, where have you been all this time?” You see where I’m going with this? If not, let me go explain a bit further.

The drive up to Los Angeles was as annoying as expected. Traffic followed by more traffic, and then some more traffic. As always I got to my location early. Maybe even too early. Expecting the typical, “hey I’m here, I’ll see you guys when you come out” treatment, I let Gene know that I’m ready to rock. This is where the unusual happened. And this is what set the tone for the whole shoot. Not even a minute after I sent the text, I got a response from Gene saying: “hey, what car are you driving? Where are you parked? I’m out here looking for you.” We spotted each other shortly after that exchange and to my surprise Gene invited me into his home to meet the family. What a genius move! Unusual but nevertheless genius! Not even a minute later I had a glass of wine in my hand and we were catching up on old times like two combat buddies who haven’t seen each other in years. Thirty minutes after we were hiking up towards Debs Pond and I began clicking my shutter.

Portrait of a beautiful young girl in a pink sweater leaning on her mother's leg.
Family portrait taken outdoors at Debs Pond in Los Angeles, Ca.
A man and with his wife and kids posing for a family portrait in Los Angeles, Ca.
A family of 5 squatting down for a portrait at the end of their photoshoot in Los Angeles County.
young girl in a sweater jumping off a bench at a park
cute curly hair girl in a grey sweater standing on top of a brown bench
a man in a brown leather jacket sitting down on a bench with his two young daughters
Gene Farber smiling with his young daughter making a goofy face
pretty girl in a pink sweater
Mother and daughter portrait taken outdoors at Debs Pond.
Portrait of a young girl taken by Orange County family photographer, Venya Manzyuk.
Young girl smiling for a portrait during a family photoshoot in East Los Angeles, Ca.
Adorable child portrait taken outside in beautiful light by a family photographer, Venya Manzyuk.
Gene Farber and his family at Debs Pond.
two young sisters standing next to each other spreading their arms

So the moral of the story is this boys and girls. It doesn’t matter how photogenic you may or may not be. It doesn’t matter how cute your kids are. If the the energy between you and the photographer isn’t established then the photos will reflect that. Gene, being the pro that he is, knew that! He knew that the right thing to do was to sit down and chat for a bit. He knew that having a drink together was going to relax us and lower the anxiety down. I imagine he knew that partially because he is in the biz, but also because that’s how he would have loved to be treated himself. A good heart goes a long way in this world. And that’s exactly what the Farbers possess. And if for some odd reason you don’t believe me, then let these photos prove you wrong.


So the best advice I can give in regards to what to wear for you photoshoot is this: Don’t stick out like a sore thumb! This is what I mean by that — no matter what the location is please dress in away that complements it. If you're at the beach, pick colors that work with the sand and the water. If you’re in the woods, pick colors that match the surrounding trees, grass, etc.. Another huge thing to remember is to not wear restrictive clothing. Always wear something comfortable. Don’t let your clothes dictate what you can’t and can do during your photoshoot. If you need to sit down, hug, throw your kid up in the air, or roll around your clothes needs to allow you to do that! And lastly, you can always go on Instagram or Google and type in the location you’re thinking of and see what other families wore to their sessions.


This session was photographed on a Canon RF28-70mm F2 L USM Lens and a Canon EOS-R body. All photos were edited individually in Adobe Lightroom Classic. No presets were used.