Friday, June 27, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

I LOVE summer... and not because of everyone's usual reasons (you know, sun, warm weather, vacations - although those aren't too bad either). It's purely because summer means the return of So You Think You Can Dance, the ONLY tv show that I really 'can't miss.'

I've had a favorite out of the gates every season. First season - Ashle (unusual, I know), second was Benji (who I literally ran into in the grove), third was by FAR Danny - the most gorgeous dancer ever. And i've watched certain dances by them over and over. And even voted, since the show brings out my inner teenager.

But, this season of SYTYCD has been disappointing thus far - no one to root for... until last night.

Last night was finally the first time that I really found a dance that I connected to and could really watch over and over. The group dance was quirky and intriguing (except the sucking the thumb part... I could have done without that, which was a little creepy). AND i'm totally obsessed with the song (The Dance, by Charlotte Martin). AND i've decided that I totally love Mark. I mean, he had some pretty cool dances before, but was totally channeling Johnny Depp creepiness (in a good way) last night - and I love it! So the point... i've finally got my favorite show on tv back. YAAYAYAYAYAY!

(and now, when I don't return emails or calls on Wednesday and Thursday nights.. you know why!))

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Erin and Dan: Wedding Teaser

Another wedding shot with Emily... And one of the most lighthearted weddings ever! The bride as an ice cream truck went by the Thursday Club during the ceremony for the second time:

More to come later this week. For now, some sleep!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Katie and Kevin: Wedding Teaser

Married beneath the old oak tree....

Too hot in my offfice to edit more now (the thermometer says over 100 in here!). Thanks to Emily for bringing me along!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Nikki and Adrian - Wedding

Nikki and Adrian have the sort of fairy tale meeting that almost makes you wonder if they made it up. Adrian saw a really cute girl while out surfing. As he was paddling back into shore, he saw her also emerging from the water. He struck up a conversation, asking for her number... but then realized that his wetsuit didn't have a special 'pen and paper' pocket for hot surfer chicks. But, thinking quickly, Adrian came up with a plan - he carved Nikki's phone number into the wax on his surfboard. He called, they started dating, and discovered a mutual love of many things - surfing, the outdoors, each other.

Their relationship is clearly a passionate one, as gathered by the obliquely referenced by BOTH groomsmen as 'the pancake incident.' But, eight years later, they made their way to the Mission Beach Woman's Club to join their lives together underneath a homemade wedding arch overlooking the ocean where they had met and fell in love. The wedding was short and emotional, the reception was filled with sun and laughter, making for a beautiful day.

Emily, thank you so much for bringing me along to shoot with you. Adrian and Nikki - thanks for being so amazingly awesome and "spunky" (to quote Emily).

I met up with the guys at Paradise Point to do some quick portraits of the groom and groomsmen. Within seconds, I was in stitches - they were THAT funny.

See? Spunky.

I had three pictures jumping pictures in succession - each with someone else high in the air. Don't they look like fun?
Nikki and Adrian's first look

One of the groomsmen, Dave, warned me before that he was a crier... so I made sure to watch for it during the ceremony!


The toasts and slideshow were both hilarious...

The telling of 'the pancake incident'!

Adrian and Nikki, I hope you had a wonderful honeymoon, and again Emily, thanks so much for bringing me along!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jasmine* @ SD PUG

Last night I attended the San Diego PUG (short for pictage user group) to hear the fabulous Jasmine Star speak about branding. To start, she gave us some background on her journey into photography, then sternly lectured us about building our brand.

Jasmine is my biggest inspiration – not because of her totally ferouche photos, but because we have such a similar path and roots. Much like myself, she grew up in a not-so-great neighborhood (her: East L.A.; me: the intersection of Compton, the LBC and Dominguez Hills). We were both taught that you make yourself. We both are overachievers, working hard to get into the same law school. From there, our paths diverge – she was miserable in law school, and found a way to leave, thereafter building an incredible business (with a fabulous brand). I loved law school, and relish the incredible friendships I made. But now, I, too, am on the path to leave law and embrace my passion for photography and build my own business.

The biggest take-away I derived from Jasmine's talk about branding is to figure out who we are, and then condense that into a brand. She challenged each of us to come up with five words that describe us. After drawing a blank for a second, a zillion things came into my head. I am talkative and outgoing, with a sarcastic sense of humor. Once people get to know me, I either annoy them or dazzle them with my vivid personality. I am an academic at heart – I love learning, new ideas. I am an avid reader. I am an obsessive-compulsive control-freak overachiever who has a hard time letting go or delegating. I am a perfectionist. I am occasionally stubborn, self-centered and rarely admit I am wrong. I am all or never. I am afraid of failure. (as you can probably see, I am also longwinded and a rambler). Yeah, so not five words.

Clearly, I know who I am, what I am. What I don't know is how to translate that to paper, to a logo, to a brand. But it's time to start doing it. So… look out for the complete branding, coming soon!

Also, a special thanks to Jeff and Erin Youngren who arrange to have Jasmine come and speak at the meeting. And Jasmine - good luck on the Free to Succeed Tour! Hopefully speaking in front of the 85+ people prepared you for what await!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bad blogger!

I am a bad blogger. In fact, i'm so bad, I just gave myself a slap on the hand (ow!). But, the upside is that i'm not as on top of my blog as usual because: (1) i've had a bunch of client meetings lately; (2) i've been going to a bunch of networking events (tonight: seeing Jasmine Star speak at the San Diego Pictage PUG meeting!); and (3) i've been shooting ALL the time. Every weekend, sometimes both days.

The biggest upside - when all those other blogs run out of things to blog in the winter, I will still have a bunch of new things to show. Sometimes, being a bad blogger is good...

For reals though, a bunch of fabulous pictures from Nikki and Adrian's wedding to come tomorrow! AND I just bought the newest Totally Rad Actions - TRA2: the revenge - so i'm having SOOO much fun playing with these images.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nikki and Adrian - Wedding Teaser

A couple of weeks ago, I shot the fabulous wedding of Nikki and Adrian with Emily. The couple was awesome, and their bridal party... well, lets just say they were lots of fun.

A teaser:

More to come later in the week after I recover from my marathon wedding weekend!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Jill and Seth - Wedding

A couple of weeks ago, I shot a wedding with the incredibly talented Aaron. The couple, Jill and Seth, were married at the Immaculata at USD and had their reception at Paradise Point. The day was a scortcher - one of the few days where its over 90 degrees on the coast! But the two handled the heat (and her stifling dress) with grace, and didn't let it slow them down.

The junior groomsman, handing out programs:

Nervous anticipation before the ceremony started:

Immaculata is gorgeous and so grand... love it!
The look Seth gave Jill during the ceremony... simply melted my heart.

My favorite sequence:

Right after the ceremony:

Some details of the flowers:

I don't know exactly what it is about this photograph, but this moment of Jill relaxing before portraits with her new husband totally grabs me... she looks so serene:
Some relaxed portraits around the resort. Seth was such a gentleman, and helped Jill haul around her heavy dress!

Something different - a fun cake shot!
The bridesmaids were all super emotional during the speeches and slideshow:

Getting ready for their first dance:

Had some fun with some slow shutter speed action:

I had to cut so many photographs that I was in love with... but if you meet with me, I will be sure to show all of my favorites!
Finally, Jill and Seth (and Aaron) were awesome... but the best part of the whole day was that I kept running into friends and fellow photographers MA5EN and Melissa all day long! Not only did they shoot a wedding at the same resort, their bride was getting ready two rooms down from ours AND the reception was in the adjoining room to ours! Such a small world...