Monday, December 31, 2007

Brooke and Nick - Wedding

I mentioned that Brooke and Nick have known each other for ages (from their engagement session). I got a chance to know them even better at their wedding! The videographer did this cute interview of each about how they met, how he proposed, etc. It turns out that Brooke turned Nick down in 8th grade, and decided to date his friend instead. Luckily, that 8th grade relationship didn't turn out to be too serious, and they started dating in high school. At the reception, they had an adorable table of memories, including a giant picture of them from prom. Too cute!

Some of my favorite images from the day:

Apparently Brooke insisted that she was going to wear flip flops under her dress from day 1

Right before heading to the ceremony location (I love how you can see that nervous anticipation on her face):

Brooke stopped to talk parents on her way back down the aisle
My favorite part of every wedding is right after the ceremony - the congratulations, the tears, the happiness. I have tons of pictures of people hugging and congratulating each!
The grooms nephew - the ringbearer. Adorable!

Congratulations to both, best wishes for a happy life together!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Brooke and Nick - Engagement

I met Brooke and Nick at La Jolla cove last week for engagement pics. Nick is in the army, and flew in the day before for a whirlwind of his birthday (which was the same day as the engagement session), Christmas activities, and then his wedding tomorrow! I have felt like my holiday period has been crazy - I can't imagine what his has been like.

This shoot was also the first using my beautiful new Canon camera! I only had a 50 1.8 and a 70-200 2.8 (rented) for the day, so I had to be creative. I can't wait to acquire a couple more primes for my new baby - the shots out of the 50 were gorgeous!

Some of my favorites from the shoot:

After the engagement session, I did family portraits - the last time as a family before their little girl got married. Pictures to follow!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

First, I have to let everyone know - I made the switch! Last Friday, after I received my bonus, I went out and bought a beautiful new Canon 5d. And then my wonderful husband gave me a new speedlite and 50mm lens for Christmas! So now i've got a nice set up. I'll have to rent lenses for a while for events, but not such a biggie, because now I have a gorgeous camera.

Christmas eve is a tradition that has (thankfully) mellowed as we have gotten older. My husband has two brothers and three stepbrothers, 3 older, 2 younger. The old Xmas eve ALWAYS involved a keg and Pass Out. And gift opening, but this was all secondary pre-children. Now two of his stepbrothers have kids, so gifts have become the center of things. And while we brought the keg back this year, there was more screaming children and less alcohol (for which my body thanks me today). Different, but nice. Because I just can't drink up the way I used to when I was 19.

Some pictures of the chillens last night (taken with my new setup:

Did anyone see the pictures from the photographer, Jill Greenberg, that took away kids lollipops and then photoshopped the kids faces to be all red and contorted from crying? This kid wouldn't need any of that photoshopping - he makes the weirdest faces. (if you haven't seen the pics, you can check them out at her site,, under "End Times")

Friday, December 21, 2007

Family Portraits - The Lass Family

I'm all about getting anyone to let me photograph them - it improves my skills, lets me try out new things. So I was thrilled when my sister in law asked me and my husband to take family pictures! The kids (my nephews through marriage and more marriage), Gavin and Spencer, are absolutely adorable camera hams. I had so much fun working with them, even though it was impossible to keep them still or in one place for more than twenty seconds at a time. While Steve, my husband's stepbrother, doesn't really like the camera much (an understatement, trust me), it was so cute to see him and Elicia interacting. They dated since high school, and have been married for years, and they just have this level of comfort around them.

The kids ran out to get their dad (who was searching for a parking space), and then ran back to get to us. I think they just like running.


Gavin, who is a little more shy:

A shot of my hubby in action.

When you see Gavin and Spencer's parents, you can see how the kids look so different. Its a running joke in the family that they each have one kid.

I've done some other family sessions like this and have attended a few kids birthdays, but i'm SO behind in blogging. Oh yeah, and I have a bunch more weddings to blog too. So hopefully I will be able to catch up over the slower (yeah right) holiday season.

Hope all are well, and that you have a merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Decision Time

I've been seriously debating whether I want to stay with Nikon or switch over to Canon over the last month. I need to upgrade my body regardless, and it will cost about the same either way. All I have for my Nikon in terms of lenses that I would like to keep are the 18-200 (which, while awesome with versitility, isn't entirely giving me what I need) and a 50 1.8. The 50 1.8 was only $100 - and the corresponding Canon lens is only $70. And generally, good Canon lenses are slightly cheaper than good Nikon lenses. Since I have so little invested in the way of high end lenses, it really won't add up to much (if anything) extra over time.

Pros of Canon: better color, cheaper lenses, better performance at high ISOs.

Pros of Nikon: sharper lenses, I know the system and have always used them.

I rented a 5D and 70-200, which is what I am thinking of upgrading to, just to try it out. I think that I might need to do so again - I freaked out because a bunch of my family portrait session pictures today were out of focus, but later found out its because someone screwed with the diopter and I never thought to check that when I started shooting with the rental (luckily, I brought my other camera too, so I have plenty of pictures that are good). So i'm not sold on Canon... just yet.

Its hard to break away from what you know (Nikon - or being a lawyer) and enter a new world (Canon - or being a photographer). But change seems to be the underlying theme of my blog - change is what I am going for in my life. So I think it might time to change my camera system too. We'll see...

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Nerve!

Finally, for the first time ever... wedding pictures! I finally have worked up enough courage to show my work to the viewing public.

This is from the third wedding that I second shot (I swear I will catch the others up). Susanna and Ben knew each other since elementary school - and were even on the same page of their elementary yearbook! (which they had framed at the reception entrance) Lifelong friends, they decided to give dating a chance just a year ago. Apparently they knew it was right from the beginning. I can't believe that they planned the wedding in just two months - it was beautiful!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

On the Road Again...

Finally back from vacation and have had time to breathe (but not download all of my pics from the Carribean yet).
Today I went to a workshop at the local Calumet photo entitled The Art and Business of Wedding Photography. For all those new to the business, I highly recommend it. The speaker (who was an awesome photog, by the way) went over tons of general business and pricing stuff - stuff that you can figure out on your own (I mean, hello, i'd like to believe my $120k law degree bought me some common sense), but its nice to have it all laid out. There were only 3 people there, so we got some one on one assistance and critique on work, got to share personal stories, discussed photography and ways to branch both into and out of weddings. I learned so much helpful stuff that I intend to implement. And the instructor told me that she thought I had enough good stuff to make a great album from one of my weddings! So... thats my next project. Time to step into the album world and explore. Leather Craftsman... here I come!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


(all I ever wanted - please don't tell me i'm alone with knowing that song)

I am SO READY for my vacation! I'm finally going to have the time to coordinate a plan of attack. Because its time to start seizing the bull by the horns :-) Time to make something of myself.. since I am the only one who can help myself.

I'll be sure to post pictures when I come back in a week and a half. Until then, au revoir!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Everyone Has Their Story

In our lifetimes, our choices shape who we are. Yet sometimes we want to break free from those choices. This is where I am now. This is where my story begins.

I am a lawyer by trade. I don't particularly like it (although, admittedly, I do occasionally find some validation, and I'm told that I'm very good at it). I desire to break free like few can imagine. I paint a pretty picture to outsiders about what its like, how interesting and fun my work can be - things that are all true for some. But I am not sure that its true for me.

I find myself freaking out over the insignificant bumps in life, and think 'I didn't used to be like this.' I am constantly stressed, breaking out, hair falling out, gaining and losing weight according to the cyclical stress of my job. My inner creative side has been suppressed - almost like living life in muted black and whites instead of vivid color. Mind you, black and white is beautiful and classic, but without an occasional glimmer of something more vibrant, it's not satisfying.

Even though I have made choices that have made me what I am today - not just a lawyer, but also a neurotic highly driven perfectionist who is afraid to fail - I am taking steps to break away. Taking steps to put myself out there for failure. I realize that when I have a camera in my hand, when I make pictures of the world in the way I see it, I am happy. There is no place where this is more true than in wedding photography. I love experiencing happiness with others, sharing in something special, feeling like I have new best friends for the day. There is still stress (what if I screw up the lasting impression from someones dream wedding?), but its the kind that drives me to do my best, as opposed to the kind that makes me cower in my office and surf wedding photography websites instead of working, dreaming that I can achieve that sort of success one day as a photographer. But its so very difficult to break away from the giant safety net of my success in law.

I am taking steps to cut away that safety net and transition to a brighter world. There may be baby steps with the occasional giant leaps, but I'm committed to this journey. I hope everyone can come along with me.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wildfires and Hiking

A few weeks ago - the weekend before the giant fires broke out and ravaged much of the San Diego area - my husband, Brandon, and I went hiking out near Julian. We hiked up a ridge where you could see reminders of the 2003 Cedar fire - burnt stumps, large swaths of black up the hillsides in the distance, the blackend underside of dead limbs contrasting with the bright sun-bleached topsides, all contrasting with the cloudless blue sky. We spoke about how sad it was that much of the landscape was just starting to recover even though four years had elapsed. And then, two days later, we had to evacuate our house, because it was in a new fiery path. Luckily, our house survived with absolutely no damage (the fire didn't even come that close because the wind direction changed) other than being covered in a ridiculous amount of ash.

As I look at the pictures I took on the trail - I finally just got a chance to upload them - I can't help but wonder what the area looks like now. Hopefully it escaped further harm. But more importantly, the pictures of burned treetops and stumps serves as a reminder that we're not in control of the potentially devastating forces of nature.