Monday, April 30, 2007

K&D: Sad Pizza, Happy Blogs

The time has arrived, for this week’s Kiss and Diss…for the good, the bad, and the ugly…

This week’s DISS goes to my Los Angeles Lakers. You see, I love the Lakers. Looooove the Lakers. It’s a young team with so much budding talent--and coupled with the fact that Kobe Bryant is seriously the sickest player in the NBA--that there was no excuse to lose to the Phoenix Suns last night…except, well, Nash’s phenomenal performance. JD and I went to a local pizza parlor to watch the game, but we ended up commiserating over a half vegetarian, half meat-lovers pizza. It was a sad Sunday afternoon for us.

This week’s KISS goes to two wonderful people:
*Rhonda, from Our Wedding Plus, hosts a wedding planning blog for brides. She’s decided to invite guest bloggers to contribute to the blog as well to provide tips from industry professionals. She asked me to be the wedding photography blogger, so you can check out my first write-up HERE
*The last KISS of the week, goes to Brock Martin of Infidesign. Brock is not only one of the sweetest, professional, and bestest (don’t worry, I make up words all the time!) person to work with, he’s extra amazing because he’s putting the finishing touches on a new and cool CUSTOM BLOG for me! Yaaaaay! The blog will be debuting within the next week or so…and I’m totally excited for everyone to see it! ;)

Happy Monday!


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Brittney and Ryan : Engagement

If you’d ask Ryan what the truest way to a woman’s heart would be, he’d probably reply: With a scalpel.

Brittney saw Ryan during their first few weeks of medical school and was excited to know they were seated within close proximity of each other. Although never making an outright move, she was interested in Ryan from the moment she saw him, but was completely smitten after he offered her his seat in a crowded bar late one night. However, it wasn’t until the following January when Ryan realized he possessed a tool that changed the course of their lives together.

They were assigned to be partners one cold afternoon for a class project. With their scalpels, they had to shave a portion of each other’s arm skin. Brittney completed the task with just enough ease and execution to exude confidence, but Ryan wasn’t as smooth. Or maybe it was all part of his plan. As Ryan gently scraped her skin, it broke and began to lightly bleed. He apologized…and then offered to take her to dinner to make up for his mistake. Although he might not have been smooth with the scalpel, his actions were smoother than a baby's bottom! ;)

It’s funny how such a small tool brought two people together. The scalpel, with its thin razor and technical precision abilities, carved out a path for Brittney and Ryan to forever traverse. I'm honored to be documenting their special day.

They’ll be wed in June and they have beautiful wedding planned at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. I can’t wait!

Here are a few of my favorites…

To see more of their engagement, CLICK HERE for a slideshow!

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Carlie and Gabriel : Engagement

When we first met, we clicked. Like a lock and key.

I fell in love with Gabriel and Carlie from the moment we met. Like long-time friends, we chatted about their careers, their wedding, and life. During our initial consultation, as Carlie animatedly described the Betsy Johnson dress she was planning to wear for their engagement shoot, Gabriel held her hand and stared at her like it was the first time he’d ever seen such a beautiful girl. A loving gaze, a hearty laugh at all the appropriate times. They’re perfect for each other.

As Gabriel and I spoke business and planned the logistics of the wedding day, Carlie listened to us, but focused on Gabriel’s every word. She’d intently follow his sentences—as if being strung along on an invisible string—and listened to him as if it was the first time she’d ever heard such eloquence. A loving gaze, a hearty laugh at all the appropriate times. They’re perfect for each other.

We met yesterday for their engagement shoot. I can’t put into words how flawlessly the day flowed. Carlie and Gabriel were like models in front of the camera—positioning themselves in the best light, curving their bodies into each other at the right angle, laughing gorgeously—so we spent most the evening just having a ball. Just as the engagement session was about to conclude, Carlie asked me, Do you think you’d mind photographing us at the beach…we want to get soaking wet! They didn’t have to ask twice!

Here are a few of my favorites…

To see more of their engagement session, CLICK HERE for their slideshow!

A special thanks to Dane Sanders for passing along this wedding to me! Dane, who's an awesome photographer (and a totally amazing pastor) will be marrying them...and then later join me in the photography fun for their reception! :)

Be sure to check back later for their slideshow!! ;)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

They're Made for Walkin'

You’re not wearing those again, are you?

JD asked this question, but already knew the answer. Yes. Yes, I was wearing my orange suede cowboy boots to my engagement session today. And? And JD hates those boots—he hates them with a hate reserved usually for puppy-kickers and Milli Vanilli. I, however, have worn the same boots to almost every shoot and love them. I love them for their tackiness, for their originality, and for their splash. They were a gift from my mother when she visited Italy and while I disliked them initially, they’ve grown on me.

I think the boots are ingenious. They are perfect for all types of terrain and ideal when I shoot on the beach because I don’t have to worry about sand creeping into the crevices of my toes. Ingenious!

Today, while on the shoot, my couple decided to splash around in the chilly water. Not wanting to miss each moment, I debated soaking them entirely. Just as I was going to submerge them, Carli (my future bride), screamed Noooo!. Apparently, she likes my style…and my orange suede boots.

So, it appears that JD will have to continue to see me don my chic shoes for a bit longer. They’re covered in sand and slightly wet, but they’re still alive and kickin’. And when JD asks why I’m still wearing them to engagement shoots, I’ll obnoxiously reply, “Because they’re made for walkin’…and that’s just what I’ll do…I’m gonna walk all over you!”


Monday, April 23, 2007

Lisa and Eric : Wedding

So, are you ready for the kiss? That seemed to be the million dollar question of the day. Lisa and Eric saved their first kiss for their wedding and the big day had finally arrived. While Lisa finished dressing, her friends doted upon her every need, so the only thing for her to do was see herself in the mirror for the first time as a bride. Upon first glance, she apprehensively sucked in her breath and covered her highly-glossed lips with a petite hand. Oh my goodness, she whispered, I look like a Mexican Barbie! Everyone laughed hysterically and ushered her away from the mirror. So, are you ready for the kiss? With her eyes cast down, a smile crept onto her lips and she said, Yes, I’m ready…I’ve waited my entire life for this moment and it’s finally here.

I have very few words for this special couple. I felt so connected to their lives and love, as did everyone who witnessed their tearful ceremony. Their entire lives were spent walking along crooked paths, leading them ultimately to each other. Their families firmly believed they were mismatches—the typical apple and orange argument—but as they said their personal vows, their love rippled throughout the church sanctuary, proving their nay-sayers wrong.

And their first kiss? Magical. I cried behind my lens. I really, really cried. Two sincere and hopeful lives became one in that beautiful moment and I was honored to be able to document it for them.

Here are a few of my favorites…

After the ceremony, we headed to Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden for their wedding pictures, but saved a good amount of energy for their bumpin' reception! ;)

If you’d like to see more of their wedding, CLICK HERE for a slideshow!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Joe Photo Fashion

I saw him from a distance, his blond hair shimmering in the sun. As he drew closer, there was no denying it was him. Dressed to the nines in a tailored black suit, a perfectly-knotted, orange silk tie, and a white dress shirt (complete with orange accent-stitching, and silver cuff links), he offered a radiant smile. The kind of smile that belongs on a Colgate commercial. I, on the other hand, returned a smile that looked like it belonged to the 4th grader who forgot how to spell ‘pig’ during a spelling bee.

We embraced as soon as we were close enough and exchanged pleasantries. Joe Photo has been a photographer I’ve admired for quite a long time. I’m not quite sure how we initially met—perhaps via [b]ecker, or at a party Rita hosted—but he’s always been genuine and truly kind. We were both at St. John’s to photograph weddings, so it gave us a few minutes to catch up and chat. I, however, couldn’t help but feel foolish standing next to him. Foolish and unfashionable.

Jessica Claire has referred to Joe to as the best-dressed straight man she’s ever met. And, really, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, that’s all I could think about as the sun shone down on his perfectly pressed suit. And his Colgate smile. I really try to put forth an effort looking professional and presentable while I photograph a wedding, but comfort does play a lethal role in choosing a proper outfit (I’m on my feet for 8-10 hours…how cute can one really look?!). I thought I found a middle ground…that is, of course, until I saw Joe. His outfit was so nice that I felt the urge to stick my hand out and say, Alms…alms…alms for the tacky-and-unfashionable-photographers-of-America…alms…

It wasn’t until I read his blog—and saw the following pictures he photographed for David August—that I felt there was still a modicum of vogue-hope left for me:

*You can click here to see his complete post and pictures*

Although this blog entry has been more jest than anything else—and slightly exaggerated…I mean, the sun wasn’t solely shining on his perfect suit…but the Colgate smile…that’s totally true—I really feel like he raised the bar for me. I’ve always dressed nicely to weddings, but I’m going to try to be a little more feminine and classy. I suppose that’s what makes Joe an industry leader…his unique ability to encourage change without saying a word.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Totally Feelin' Blu

So, I woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning….my face on the Blu Domain Blog!?!

Although I was reluctant and totally didn’t feel cool enough to be on their blog, I accepted the interview and had so much fun! A special thanks to Kailee and the amazing team at Blu…to be given a shout-out from such an awesome group of people was totally undeserved, but appreciated from the bottom of my heart.

If you want to read the article in its entirety, CLICK HERE!

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Zack Arias and the One Light Workshop

I have a new cell phone. And the alarm choices are horrific at best. The least painful of them all sounds like a pelican being choked by a snake. Have I heard a pelican being choked by a snake? Well, no. But I’m quite sure my alarm sounds like its audio twin.

At 5:25am on Tuesday morning, the pelican choked wildly. I rolled out of bed and into the shower. Shortly thereafter, my good friend Trista and I made our way to San Diego for Zack Arias’ seminar, the One Light Workshop. I was quite excited to meet Zack because he’s so incredibly talented and his style is unique…and he’s completely down-to-earth. Upon seeing him, he struck me as the quintessential photojournalist of my imagination—an aged newsie cap worn backward, an indie rock t-shirt, and a five-inch beard. He’s the kind of guy that can travel the world with a backpack, a camera, and a detached flash.

When we arrived at Sara France’s home, Zack greeted me warmly and made me feel extraordinarily welcomed during our initial introduction. And just when I thought he couldn’t get better, his slight accent made him near perfection. I mean, how can you not like a guy who pronounces “umbrella” as uhmmbrella, and says things like, This here picture is so sharp I can shave!

The entire day was spent learning more about photography, off-camera flash usage, and thinking outside of the box. The seminar was amazing and I’d recommend it to anyone interested. And even if you’re not interested, you should go just to meet Zack. He’s genuine, professional, slightly self-deprecating, and just a plain good person…all the things that’d make you wanna be his friend.

Here are a few shots from the workshop…

Because there was only one light source, the class only had two opportunities to work with it. The rest of the time was spent watching Zack work his magic. I shot a lot using only available light and was amazed at how fabulous the Canon 5D and the 85mm, 1.8 lens sucked in the ambient light. This shot was taken at 9pm on a nearly black street. While Zack was working with flash, this is the image I produced...but I had to hold my breath and not move the slightest! (1.8, 1600, 1/20)

At the end of the night, the class broke into groups and had to figure everything out on our own in setting up a lighting situation. Our group was fortunate to work with Shannon again (a budding musical artist in Los Angeles), but I have to admit it was really hard making my pictures look as cool as Zack's!! :)

At around midnight or so, we decided to take a group picture...unbeknownst to us, Sara has a timer on her lawn sprinklers...set to midnight or so. Here's a series pictures taken from Melissa Jill's blog...

DURING (isn't Pepper Nix's face just hilarious?!?)