Lukas & Suzy International Wedding Photographers » Lukas & Suzy VanDyke Photography Blog

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  • WELCOME!

    Welcome to the blog! If the banner doesn't make it obvious enough I'll just spill the beans and let you know that we are a full time husband and wife wedding photography team. We love life, God, weddings, and if you slide over our names to the left you'll note a few other things we love.

    We are based out of Los Angeles, and when I say that, I mean our studio is right in the smack dab center of downtown. However, if you start browsing through the blog history you will soon note that we shoot weddings all over the country and world. We put a lot into making our images so I hope you enjoy checking some of them out!

    If you're up for having a great time at your wedding, and our photos have the look you are going for, then feel free to shoot us a note and we would love to chat some more!

    - Lukas and Suzy VanDyke

Mark & Jenna: Wedding

Two weekends in a row it decided to rain on Saturday. But two weekends in a row it didn’t daunt the beautiful brides. Last Saturday I got to spend the day with Mark and Jenna. They had originally planned a garden wedding, but the rain ended up moving us all inside. In the end I don’t think it really mattered. They got to spend time with their friends and family, they got to love each other. Now they are happily married! You guys were so sweet the entire day. It was a pleasure to be there!

Check out the Storybook Slideshow!

November 10, 2010 - 12:54 pm

Lukas VanDyke Fine Art Photography» Blog Archive » Mark & Jenna: Underwater (Post Wedding Fairytale Sessions) - […] blast when it comes to spending time with you guys! First for your engagement photos, then for your wedding and now a fairytale underwater session! Now that we have the complete collection it might be time […]

A Guide to the Los Angeles Fabric District

I think I have admitted before that I like to sew on occasions. I can’t do anything much fancier than sew in a line. And my lines aren’t always straight. But it’s a useful skill when it comes to making curtains, table clothes, photography backdrops and bean bags. Anyway, Suzy and I spent most of the day today shopping for some of the final supplies for our wedding reception coming up. Part of that was going to the LA fabric district to purchase some fabric for table clothes. As I was about to leave I thought of how much fun going down there is, but how daunting it could be for someone who has never been. So I decided to bring my camera and create a quick guide to navigating the LA fabric district.

One might ask me why drive down to LA instead of going next door to Jo-Ann’s fabric. The answer is in LA you have ten times the selection and get the same thing for $3 a yard that costs $7-12 a yard at a local store. That, and well, it’s just a lot of fun!


First off I would recommend bringing cash. Bring just the amount you want to spend plus some for parking and lunch. I would also advise to dress down a little bit. The prices can be lower depending on what you wear.

Second, you have to drive there. As we all know LA has a lot of traffic. But a little known secret is that between 10:45am and 1:45 pm all those cars are parked somewhere and not on the freeway. When I plan to go I usually plan to leave around 10:45am in order to have a good enough time to slide in and out traffic free.  In reality it only takes me 21 min to get there from my house. That’s half the time it takes to get an In-n-Out burger in the drive-through during lunchtime.

To get there you want to get on the 110 freeway and exit 9th street. Head south on 9th for exactly 1 mile and then turn left on Maple.

After you turn on Maple you will see this entrance to a parking structure. 305. E. 9th Street. Los Angeles. The price changes every so often, but it’s usually your best deal for security. Today it was $4. Pull up onto the roof and pay the attendant. He will direct you where to park.

This parking lot is also a cool spot for engagement photos.  =). Once you secure your car you will want to take the elevator down to the first floor.

There are  dozens of different shops all over the place. but I would recommend you start at the $1 shop on the north east corner of Maple and 9th. It’s a great place to purchase any cheap filler fabric you need and find some other cool prints. You won’t find anything  much cheaper than $1 a yard.  Everything here is equivalent to the $3.99-$4.99 a yard fabric at Jo-Anns.

After you check out the dollar store I would start to shop around till you find exactly the pattern and type of fabric you are looking for. The owner of each store will hover over you as soon as you enter. So once you find something you like ask the price. He will probably say something like “Normally $4.99 but for you $4 a yard. You might be a better bargainer than me, but I have yet to get anyone below the second number they give me. However, once you find what you want you can be assured there will be 20 other stores with the exact same thing. At this point you just keep going store to store, find the roll and ask the price. Tell the owner what the other guy quoted you for the same thing and see if he will beat it.
Often they won’t beat the other price, and will just tell you their fabric is higher quality. Remember that it’s not and just move on to the next store.

On our particular excursion today we found a print we wanted. The guy at the first store told me $3.50 a yard. The guy at the second store told me $5, but he could match the other guy at $3.50. The third guy said $5.99 and I was cheating him if I paid less. Then we came to the below store and met Frank. He gave it to us for $3 a yard and we were happy. In fact if you want to save some time I would just go talk to Frank in the first place. It’s on 432 East 9th Street. Suite 4.  He even let me take his photo. If you go, tell him the guy with the big camera sent you. =)

Well that was that. Now we have an even larger pile of party supplies, some sewing to do, and a little more excitement as we finish planning our reception next week!

March 11, 2010 - 10:46 pm

sister Casebolt - I have had all of those same experiences down in the fabric district! But mine came over half a dozen trips down there and I wouldn’t have been able to duplicate my experienses unless I read this article, so thanks!! Go Frank, haha!

March 12, 2010 - 9:20 am

Sarah - Cool! I’ll have to go by and check Frank’s fabric out next time I get to go down to the fabric district! :)

March 13, 2010 - 11:46 pm

bethany - ah, very helpful! i actually made my very first trip last month for fabric for runners… just hopped into michael levines and then popped back out. easy, but what you described above probabbblyy would have saved us money, huh?

March 20, 2010 - 10:39 pm

tina m. - i have to say, whether you go down town to buy fabric, shoes, dresses, toys, clothes or whatever; this little article is MOST helpful and very true! the flower supply shops offer great selection at even better prices. to those of you planning a wedding, a trip down here is sooooo worth it. :-)

March 22, 2010 - 8:09 pm

Lukas VanDyke Fine Art Photography» Blog Archive » Lukas & Suzy: Our Wedding Reception - […] on the wall, cabinate covers, and piller/post wraps in the L.A. Fabric district. Here’s a link to the […]

September 8, 2010 - 10:15 am

Lukas VanDyke Fine Art Photography» Blog Archive » Old to New: a re-upholstered chair - […] in the house, so it sat in the garage for a few weeks. But last week I finally had a the chance to get some fabric and re-upholster it! Maybe I should have watched a Youtube video on how to do it before I started. […]

My Love Hate Relationship

When I was in Jr. High I knew I needed a computer. So I found a man who built them. I offered to work for him doing yard work for each piece of the computer as he assembled it. First the case, then the mother board, then the harddrive etc. I worked for one piece at a time till I had a basic machine. I brought it home and started manipulating images with windows 3.11 and MS paint.

My computer didn’t have any way to connect to the internet, but the next piece I was working to buy was a 2400bps modem. (For you non computer people out there that’s about 1/40th the speed of your iPhone’s connection). I started telling my friends that soon I would be able to send them an email. Half of them weren’t really sure what email was and the other half didn’t really care. But I was excited.

Eventually I got my first modem, and signed up for a free dial up email service (Juno), and started sending email. I think it had to be one of the most exciting things about my first year in High School. I loved it. I rushed home everyday to hear that wonderful dial up sound and wait for something to download. And then there it was. The email noise, and a  real message. Sometimes I even got 2 or 3 messages and I couldn’t wait to reply to them! I LOVED it!

Now here I am 15 years later. My heart still skips a little beat with anticipation every time I hear the email noise. I still pull my iPhone out of my pocket every 10 min to check my mail. In fact I get so many wonderful messages from so many people it’s still often one of the highlights of each day.

But with all that love comes the the downside. The downside is the volume of email, and the time it takes to reply to so many. Ten hours a week typing emails isn’t really all that bad, but I guess it’s just the commitment. The fact that if one day I decided I wanted to stop writing emails I couldn’t. So many lovely people out there waiting for replies just can’t be ignored, and I guess that’s where the hate comes in. I love each and every email, and all the happy faces behind them. But I hate the commitment and the volume of the process.

So let’s do a toast to the wonderful invention of email, and try to forget that it won’t go away even if we want it to.


I was digging through my trunk of random keep sakes looking for an old AOL disk to post. But I think I threw them all away and all I could find was my favorite floppy disk from HS. I remember the days when I could fit my entire photo collection on one of these disks. Now it won’t even hold one photo. =)

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