Monday, March 31, 2008

The WPPI Experience...Continued

Sharing some photos from the convention. Nothing fancy-just good old snap shots of what it's like.

The Product & Vendor Booths:

The WPPI Experience...

Only being there will let you feel what it's really like, but for a little peak inside the world of WPPI read on. I say into the "world" of WPPI because for me it did feel like a whole different world. I mean I think the figure I heard was "over 10,000 photographers" were there! Talk about unreal! I am usually one out of a very few with an SLR in hand at the events I go to, whether in public or semi-private. To see 9 out of every 10 people walking by you with a camera and badge swinging from their neck is just a tad different than the norm. And let me tell you these fellow photographers weren't walking by any means, they were practically running to get to the next lecture, seminar or master class. I kept thinking the first day arrived, "what are they in such a hurry for?" I found out as soon as I attended the open forum of "young guns" that night. I think it started at around 7:30pm and went on and on and on. Seriously. It was way too cool! Young, successful artists sharing the secrets & logic behind their successes! And from that moment on I realized why everybody was rushing around-nobody wanted to miss a thing!

Here are the names of photographers that spoke that night:

Ryan Schembri
Jesh de Rox
Jim Garner
Catherine Hall
Gene Higa
David Jay
Mike Larson
JB & DeEtte Sallee
Jose Villa
Lori Nordstrom
John Solano

I'm sure you can google each of them and find their work. You know I'd love to summarize all the good ideas & thoughts I heard, but basically one motto stood out to me throughout EVERY speaker I heard...and it was TO BE UNIQUE-DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT-STAND OUT & TAKE RISKS!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


" Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry." ~Lyman Abbott

I wanted to share this one from the shoot with my daughter the other day. As soon as I reviewed the images I had this photo manipulation in mind for the photo. The first one is the original photo that my idea formed from. And the story goes like this-

My son was watching the photo shoot and my daughter wanted him to stop whatever it was he was doing when she stared him down as you see in the photo. I am so glad I captured the look on her face at that moment because as all of you with teens out there know-this look is the typical "Mad at the World" or "Stop Bugging Me" look we all can do without on most days. This day I didn't mind her being a little mad!

"The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough." ~Bede Jarrett do you get a manipulation like this? Well, it's a lot of playing around in your favorite editing program. I knew I was going to use some of the cloud photos from my "Heaven's Above" blog, but didn't know which one until they were each tried one by one. I went with one that had both a dark side and a brighter blue side to it. I don't know why I picked it, it just looked good to me. My edit of the original photo already had extra noise added in to make it a bit more interesting and kind of deep. Sometimes I add noise to give extra interest to a photo. Normally photographers try to reduce the noise in their photos, which is at most times true for me too, but in some cases, usually when doing artist manipulations-adding noise is the better choice. I next added an adjustment layer to my existing layer (the original photo), positioning it just right. I then duplicated that layer and erased the clouds and sky from her face giving it the effect you see. I also tweaked the opacity on the second layer so that there was a bit of both layers (photos) present in my final piece. I think I added in some contrast and adjusted the hue on this as well. If you haven't tried this type of photo-reworking-do so! You may just find you love it like I do!

Anyhow, I loved the daughter? I'm not so sure...I can say she didn't seem to hate it as she sometimes feels about my digital creations.

This brings up a topic to mention...what about ethics and photo manipulation? Is it unethical to alter photos in this way? Here's some interesting reading on the subject of digital manipulation and ethics if you're interested.

Also, I see your watching my posts closely...leave a comment now and then and let me know what you think-especially about my photo manipulations like this one...after all they are one of my favorite things! :)

Take this to bed with you tonight and wake with it in your head every morning-I dare you!

"If you're angry at a loved one, hug that person. And mean it. You may not want to hug - which is all the more reason to do so. It's hard to stay angry when someone shows they love you, and that's precisely what happens when we hug each other." ~Walter Anderson,
The Confidence Course, 1997

You see...there is a message to find in every image created, there is something to be learned in every struggle we go through, something to be gained in every emotion-if you are willing to embrace it!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Congratulations Carlos & Sueng-Hae!

I wish you two NEWLYWEDS lots of romantic fun on your honeymoon in Hawaii next week! Sleep in late together, drink some fruity concoctions all day long, hit up the Luau's at night and squeeze in a little outdoor fun too!

Thank you for choosing me to help capture the memories of your beautiful wedding was an honor I'll always cherish. Your thoughtful thank you note and trust in me for this most important day means more than words can say. This is why I love what I do!

Taking my blog readers back to last was a beautiful, gorgeous, glorious and sunny day. Sunny being the most important part of that last see I visited the garden where the wonderful Sueng-Hae & Carlos were getting married at a couple months back. I remember Sueng-Hae being just a tad worried about rain. It's known to drizzle some in March-even here in the mostly always sunny filled state of California. You can imagine my happiness on the morning of the wedding when I knew the weather was going to be one less concern for my bride-to-be.

The campus of Caltec College where the wedding and reception took place was a photographer's dream shooting location...from the gorgeous structures, open archways, ponds, statues & phenomenal the enormous olive trees that filled the walkways...these are just a taste of the photographs taken that day.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My daughter

Once in a while there is a cooperative teen around my's not often, but earlier this week it happened and I took advantage of the chance to photograph my beautiful little girl!

Thanks for enduring my photo attack Brit!


Aren't I fortunate to have such a fun & adorable model available to me? I sure think so...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

small things...BIG DREAMS

I think I mentioned the awesome wedding I photographed the other day, here is a small taste of some of the littlest details.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So true...

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. ~Ansel Adams

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


This past Saturday I had the opportunity to shoot a super romantic wedding for an old friend and her sweetheart. The wedding was in the garden at Caltec College in Pasadena, Ca. I was accompanied by my sister who assisted me the entire 14 hour day!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you Stef for all your hard work on Saturday-lugging around my equipment, making sure everybody looked their best (no hair out of place) and for simply being the best sis around. It was great working with you...I'll always cherish experiencing doing a wedding with you! By the way...I just looked through the photos you took and they look fabulous...your attention to detail and the time you took to get the photos just right-especially with minimal lighting conditions really show. And to think you achieved all this with a CANON! Ha!

What's the saying..."A good photographer will capture a great photograph no matter what camera they shoot with." Unknown Author.

I agree.

I took this photograph of my sister at the reception on Saturday...I just love it!

I will be posting a few photos from this wedding in the coming days.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm Back!!!

WPPI was the place to be last was my first time attending and I was blown away with new ideas and information on wedding & portrait photography. I can't wait to sit down and sort through the piles of information I received and put it to use in my daily work. I knew it would be a week to remember when on the first day I got to Vegas I went to check into the hotel and they were out of the standard rooms...I was upgraded to a suite for the entire trip (photo of my sweet room included above)!

I have to thank my friend Joe for giving me the gift of knowledge about WPPI a few months back. He was such a big help in showing me around and I was able to meet some phenomenal photographers through him and his friend Frank (an orange county Master of Photography). I've included a photo of Joe viewing an Album's Inc. Album up close at one of evening parties.

I wanted to say hello to a friend I met at the convention...hey Nisha! Nisha and I had a lot in common and had a great time looking over everything at the trade show all day on Tuesday. We'll be getting together soon since she's just a hop, skip and jump away in San Francisco. The last photo on here is us at the trade show together...the photo was taken by Hanson Fong himself (Nisha is his studio manager).

I got to speak with Hanson for a while and get some inspiration for wedding photography and specifically was intrigued by his ideas on posing techniques and on striving to photograph people (in particular-women) in a way that flatters them. Simple changes in posing make a huge difference!

There is so much more to share about this exciting I'll be including WPPI tidbits throughout my posts in the coming weeks!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Nature Finale! (Maybe)

Whew! Are you as tired as I am? It's been a journey this week...I haven't shot this much of one thing-ever! I'm finding I kind of like it...

I think we all should take a fresh look at the things around us and appreciate the wonders they are...including the wonders we are!

I would go into detail on each of these, but I'm on my way to Vegas for the annual wedding & portrait convention. I hope to be able to share with you all the great things I learn while I'm there...and put them into practice in the coming months.

Beauty is all around nature, animals and people...all you have to do is be open to finding it!

Enjoy your week! :)

Nature Part 4 (The Heavens Above)

The past few days I focused in on some small things in nature...this time I'm expanding to some of the largest wonders of nature...

Shall we start with the sky & clouds and the enormity of it? It's awesome when you think of it...the size alone. The shapes of the clouds is a whole different subject.

I decided to shoot the sky & clouds when I went outside today to do one of the days many mundane tasks and I was practically knocked over with the amazing beauty all over the sky above me-in every direction! This first one was taken of the sky and clouds above my very own home.

Then I went to an area about 5 minutes from home where I knew there were mountains and greenery surrounding. I was able to get the next few shots there. I really like this one b/c the clouds
seem endless the
way they are
climbing towards
the sky.

This next group of photos are a little more dark in contrast which gives
them a mysterious and spooky feel to them.

There were so many more great cloud photos-I just can't share them all today. Maybe I'll share them another day. Come back tomorrow and see the finale of my nature expedition!

I think there is rain on the did I guess?!

My manipulation for this series...

"It's a Stormy World"

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nature Part 3 (Why Do We Make Wishes?)

WOW...nature is blowing my mind at the moment. I go out thinking I'm going to shoot a great landscape photograph of trees & sky or something and I end up with dandelions! Who would have thought? I've always wondered why the dandelion is a trigger for making wishes. It happens the instant we see one. We're almost born to use them as a tool for wishing. And whenever you put a child near a dandelion you are bound to find them blowing wishes into the air.

Why are they so fascinating? I don't know. I really don't, but they are something special. The texture of the soft ball that we use for wishing is light & feathery...the green stems grow long & high. This first photo was taken by a meadow near my home. I walk there often and it is usually so well maintained I cannot get photo opportunities such as this.

The following three I found interesting b/c the background actually helped isolate the dandelion making it stand out even more.

The white against the green is
just the right contrast to give
the dandelion a "look at me" effect.

I like the curve in the stem
of the last one for some reason.
It's odd how the smallest things draw us in.

I couldn't decide whether to post the color or black and white version of this one so I did both.

I'm hoping you're enjoying our walk through nature. I know I am! My desire is to get you looking at small things in a BIG way. No matter how busy we are each day it is important to take the time to find our own joys and share them with the world. Be happy...the weekend is finally here!!!