Boy, was I excited to get back to shooting! In case some of you didn't know I took January off to focus on my life and where I wanted this business to go. I didn't book any shoots for that month, but have a few lined up in the next couple months.
My first shoot for 2010 was a real treat! Baby Kellen was born recently in January, and his mother had contacted me way back in October to let me know she'd be interested in a newborn shoot. Talk about taking action! She also has the most adorable, talkative, curly-haired toddler known to mankind - Keilani. Oh, Keilani... you are too cute for words.
What do I do when I'm home sick wishing I were outside with the rest of the world? I look at photo blogs, I follow up on the news, I check out new gadgets I want to buy but cannot afford, I watch Saka sleep and wonder if he's always this lazy when I'm gone, and of course I tinker with my photos. I finally got around to my Seattle photos from last weekend, and here are just a few shots I played with. The colors you see in these photos are LEGIT. I usually mess around with saturation or contrast a tad, but in celebration of Seattle's granola lifestyle I decided to be more organic with this post. The weekend ended up being more of a relaxing, quality-time-with-my-girls weekend than a photography-filled weekend. This indeed was a very much enjoyed weekend.
PS. I LOVE SEATTLE!
Green Lake (taken with my point and shoot! Straight out of camera, no editing. Pretty sweet what those lil suckers can do). The rest are with the DSLR.
Post Alley @ Pike's Place where the clam chowder was OFF THE HOOOOK!
The seafood guy hollered, "Take me back to San Francisco with ya!" Um, no thanks. But let me take a picture of your hand. Cool. Thanks.
All the fresh fruit and veggies... YUM!
I want to come back for their tulip festival!
"I LOVE HONEY!!" -Judy as she samples them
High contrasty photos...convert them to BW tends to fix the problem. :-)
And finally I was playing around with bracketing so I can then play around with HDR in Photoshop. I tried it in Photomatix, but I just don't see myself doing enough HDR to invest in the software. This is my result. The clouds are kinda neat, but I think I need to invest in a tripod and a better lens to get the image to be more crisp.
Haiti. I'm not a news blog, nor am I an accurate source of the situation in Haiti. All I'm here to do is express my own thoughts, concerns, condolences, and prayers. In the past 48 hours I have read and witnessed tremendous distress and desperate conditions that I can only in my wildest imaginations truly understand what the people of Haiti are going through. In times like these I'm reminded of the goodness and pureness in many of those who are desperate to help in any way they can. They step aside from their personal and professional lives and make helping others who are suffering a priority. Then there are those who don't have the luxury of dropping everything and flying to Haiti to help, so they reach into their pockets and donate what they can.
Finally, there are those (yes, they're out there, I've seen it) who are cynics of those who want to help and believe that texting "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross or publicly lifting prayers are mere ways of coaxing one's ego. Cynic, I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry that you cannot see the good in others. I feel sorry that you have the ability to turn something good into something bad. I feel sorry that you are ignorant enough to believe that everyone who prays or donates to efforts does so to coax their ego.
I prayed. I'm still praying. I texted "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10. I'm still donating in other ways. Does this make me feel like a better person? Can I move on with my day now knowing I've done my good deed? No. No, I did not pat myself on the back. No, I did not do these things to make myself feel better. I do these things because I truly believe all humans have a connection whether it be with my immediate family beside me or with a person on the other side of the world. I do it because I fear one day I'll be that person in the middle of mother nature's worst praying that someone out there wants to help me. I do these things because it needs to be done.
I've been meaning to get to these photos for a while. Then the holidays and life got in the way, but alas I've got the photos from the portrait swap I did back in November with my very own wedding photographer Marielle Hayes, her assistant and friend Sarah, and our friend Lynn. It was a great experience getting a bunch of photographers together and learning how to shoot each other and how to best use our environment. It was FREEZING for starters, so the most important lesson I learned was to keep my hands warm and steady! Marielle photographed us for our wedding, so it was pretty awesome having HER behind the lens this time. I'd say she did a mighty fine job. :-)
Looking at my photos from this session, I think I need to upgrade the 50mm f1.8 to the f1.4. There's no excuse. I'm trying to figure out what equipment I need next. Any recommendations?
Here are some from the session. Thank you, ladies, for such a great time!
Lynn, great outfit choice! Our time shopping together was priceless, and next time we're gonna pick some items other than gray and black! =P
This photo came out a tad blurry, but Lynn looks so cute in it I had to post it.
This one's for you, Heink!
Sarah, it was so nice meeting you! You're so easy to get along with that I really hope we get to work together again. Great pick on that rusty truck!
My favorite shot of you. You're so pretty!
This is her "ok enough of me photos. Can I grab my camera??" look.
And finally, Marielle, thanks for this portrait swap idea. It was so much fun, and you're work is such an inspiration to me. Not only are you an amazing photographer, you're an amazing person who's love for her work and for life is transparent to everyone who meets you. Thanks again for being the best wedding photographer a bride can ever ask for!
You're ridiculously gorgeous. Seriously.
Marielle just knows how to rock the poses. It helps she was a runner up for Miss Nevada! I think YOU should have won. C'mon, seriously?
One of my best friends Hanh met her boyfriend almost 15 years ago when we all attended the same middle school. They weren't "going out" at the time, just friends, and they remained friends throughout middle school and for most of high school until... Fast forward to our senior year when Hanh decided to call Don to see how things were going, since they both went to different high schools. There was no rhyme or reason for the call, it was just that inclination to reach out to an old friend. I call it fate. Their connection was instant! If you met Hanh, you would understand how easy it is to become her best friend, let alone want to be her boyfriend. I recall a moment in PE when we were 12, and Hanh came up to me and asked me, "Hey, you want to be my friend? Like, big sister little sister type of friends?" Isn't youth so innocent and sweet? We have been bffs ever since!
Don and Hanh continued to date all through our senior year going to each other's school proms and homecoming dances, wearing ridiculous matching outfits for Sadie Hawkins, making plans for prospective colleges... and then there was college. Don went off to Berkeley (Go Bears!) while Hanh remained 400 miles away in Orange County. And still, they remained together. Today, we are four years out of college, and Don decided it was time. It was time to do what every man must do for the woman he loves. It was time to buy the bling.
Don called me one sunny day as I was strolling down Chestnut in the Marina and told me he wanted to propose to Hanh. I nearly caused a stranger to call the ambulance! I screamed so loud and jumped up and down, laughing and smiling ear to ear, yelling, "OH MY GOSH! AHHH! CONGRATULATIONS!" Geez, you'd think I was getting proposed to...again. So we worked it out so that Mark and I would go to Disneyland with them to document where he would propose in the most creative, endearing, entertaining way I've ever seen. My brother-in-law Chris and our touristy cousin Copy ended up going as well, which made it even less suspicious to Hanh. Chris has been filming and editing small videos for fun and decided to film and edit a mini movie of Don's proposal to Hanh. He did an AMAZING job, and I can honestly say I can see a videographer partner in him one day soon... *hint hint* ;-)
Here's the awesome Chris Sithi video. Ladies, you might wanna grab a tissue.
**Edited note: Hanh is also a photographer in Orange County, so I felt extra pressured to get legit photos for her! Check out her amazing work! Hanh Nguyen Photography
Our first ride when we got there had to be Space Mountain! And that would be Chris bottom left. He's single, ladies! Doesn't this picture make you SOOO interested? =P
As we skip happily.
Me: "Hey, Hanh. Can we go back to the New Orleans area? I just want to take pictures of the lights. Again. Yea..." (this is where the characature artist awaited our arrival at 7:30pm)
Hanh: "Sure! But let me take (a billion) photos of the purple castle."
Hanh: "$64 for a sketch? NO, babe. That's a lot." Don: "$64??? Suuuuure. Why not? Let's do this."
With this smile you'd think she knew what was up. But Hanh just smiles A LOT!
Waiting... waiting... the artist was making sure this was PERFECT. Don looks nervous.
No seriously, to the old lady who blurted "OH ARE THEY ENGAGED?!" Shhhhh!
Behind the scenes the painting was coming along quite nicely...
And then the artist tells them she's done, and that she would like the HUGE crowd to step back so Hanh can take a look at the painting...and this is where her world changed in a matter of seconds.
The ring! OooooOOoh... ahhHHhHhhhh...
The newly engaged couple!
What now after all the applause, screaming, cheering, and hugs? TEACUP RIDE!!! That's them in the middle blur. I knew I'd barf, so I opted out. I'm smart.
Big sister, little sister
Chris: "THEY JUST GOT ENGAGED!" to everyone we passed.
And buttons provided by Disney staff to prove it!
Thank you to Mark, Copy, Chris and especially to Don and Hanh for the most memorable Disneyland trip I've ever had! Special thank you to Chris who made such an awesome video collage. Mere photos do not suffice the emotions expressed that day. Cheers to my Sithi productions partner!
(this looks like film. I like it!)
Once again, congratulations, Don and Hanh! You two make the most loving, giving, hospitable, and down right fun couple we know. We are so blessed to be part of this engagement and more importantly part of your lives.
I'm going to end with this photo Hanh asked me to take of old people slow dancing. One day that'll be you guys!