Friday, August 28, 2009

Trevor's 36th Birthday Party

Celebrated the hubby's birthday at Buca di Beppo's for some yummy family style Italian food and then proceeded over to Jillian's for bowling all at Universal Citywalk.

Thanks to everyone that came out!  We had a blast.  There were about 40 of us.  I tried to get portraits of all the party goers, but was too busy enjoying the night that I didn't get a chance.  I sometimes get caught up in photographing an event that I don't actually get to experience it.  That night I tried to balance it and I think I succeeded.  

Happy birthday Trevor!  xoxo  This is my new favorite photo of you.  :D


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo

I am a little behind in posting this since the Nisei Week Japanese Festival was a couple of weeks ago.  On the bright side, this post does bring me a lot closer to being caught up.  Yay!

I am a huge fan of Japanese culture.  From the food to the fashion, I love it all!  So, the hubby and I took the subway into Little Tokyo to take part in the festivities.  I went armed with my Canon 40D and Canon 50mm f/1.8.

I had never been to Little Tokyo before.  It seems to take up just a little area in Downtown LA and within that little area it is packed with quaint little shops, restaurants and the lovely Japanese American National Museum.  There were many people having fun in the summer sun.  First, we watched a kimono fashion show.  I knew I was in the right place when I saw that one of the models was a dog.  :D

Also, I was pleased to see that there were many people there armed with their cameras.  I saw one gentleman that looked to be shooting with a Hasselblad 503CWD SLR.  I wanted to ask him about it, but chickened out.  I am hoping one day I won't be so shy when it comes to talking to other photographers.  I just know I am missing out on valuable info and meeting new people.  I find so far that photographers are some of the most helpful and generous people. Not sure what I am afraid of.

After checking out the booths outside we headed inside to the air-conditioned Japanese American National Museum.  As soon as we stepped inside I could hear and feel the welcoming beat of Taiko drumming.  They were already well in to their set and there was a sizeable crowd so we decided to walk around first.  The museum is filled with many old and intriguing photos depicting the early years of Japanese immigrants settling in America.  I found my self staring for awhile at some of the photos with wonderment.  I put myself in their shoes and imagined what it must have been like starting a life in a whole new world faced with so many adversities.  If you are ever in the area I recommend visiting this place.

In one part of the exhibit there is this stereoscope you could try out.  My favorite stereo card depicted Japanese farmers in a field.  One of these days I need to get in to stereoscopic photography, but that's a whole other blog.

Our next stop was the Kokeshi exhibit.  I really wish I could have taken photos of these wonderful wooden dolls but photography was prohibited.  A lot of them were modern versions created by artists of today.  They were all inspiring and I now want to make one of my own.  When I get around to it you know I'll be taking pictures and posting it here!

We then sat down in the front row to catch the next Taiko performance. Before the next show they had people come up and do the Bon Odori traditional dance.  People of all ages went up to dance while an instructor helped the ones who had never done it before by giving out instructions.

Up next was the group "Progressive Taiko."  I have seen a few performances of Taiko before but this group has to be my favorite so far.  They were young, fun, cute, full of energy and have a modern approach while at the same time honoring the traditions of Taiko.

We then concluded the day with a sushi dinner.  I wanted to make it a full day of Japanese fun by watching Ponyo, but opted for going home and relaxing by editing photos instead.

Since my interest in photography re-ignited I have gone to places and done things I might have just skipped out on otherwise. Sometimes I go to things just to photograph the event and find myself learning so much more about the city, the people and culture that the initial impetus of gaining photography experience becomes the unexpected bonus.

If you read this far I thank you.  Please to enjoy the slideshow of my visit to Little Tokyo.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Griffith Park Shoot

My sister-in-law S. Krystal wanted some photos done of the family with her and her son Finn.  Between all of us our family is huge so we just kept it small and limited it to my sister Stephanie, S. Krystal's brother Trevor who is also my hubby, my sister's fiancĂ©e Cari and Cari's sister Tara.  Did you get all that?  :D

I wanted to take advantage of the remaining afternoon light and the Golden Hour in Griffith Park.  But, we had a bit of a late start since people were coming from Ventura and Orange County to converge in Los Angeles County. We all live so far from each other it is a bit hard for all of us to get together on a regular basis.  One of the aspects of photography I very much adore is that it can bring people together.

So, we finally get there.  The park was so crowded it was a bit hard to find a good spot.  Once we did the bees decided they wanted in on the action and wanted their portraits taken.  Thankfully, no one got stung and many fun pictures were had.  I didn't get nearly all the photos I wanted which suits me just fine because now we will just have to get together to do this all over again.

As time went on we ended up chasing the light.  Something about running after the sunlight with people you love on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in a not so beautiful park makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Olga & Mark

Last year, my sister's co-worker asked if I could do a little photo shoot for her along with her boyfriend and 2 year old daughter at the Fullerton Arboretum. I was pleasantly surprised. I guess she had seen some of my photos on Flickr and liked them.

At this time, I did not even have my first DSLR for long. I jumped at the opportunity with a bit of trepidation and a ton of excitement. In my limited experience as a photographer I have learned that just going out there and shooting and shooting and shooting is one of the best ways to learn. Just do it! Still, I couldn't help thinking in the back of my mind that I was going to mess this up big time and that my hobby would no longer be fun for me.

I was SO wrong! I had the best time. They were such a delight to photograph and I learned alot from the experience. I could feel it in my heart and in the very depths of my soul I wanted to do more of this kind of thing.

A few months later they contacted me once again, and to my surprise, asked me to photograph their wedding! I couldn't believe it. I asked them if they were sure and reminded them that I am a total amateur and had never photographed a wedding before. Even after reminding them of these facts they still wanted me to shoot it. Crazy!

After much research online, asking advice from fellow experienced photogs, doing a couple shoots here and there I felt as ready as I ever would be. The day came and went. I was spent but it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Sure, looking back on it I wish I had done a few things differently, but all in all I am very happy with the photos. Most important of all I hope Olga and Mark enjoy the photos for years to come.

Thanks Olga and Mark for believing in me! You guys are so perfect for each other and I am one lucky girl to have shared your special day with you guys.


Trial and error

Stayed up way to late trying to upload a flash gallery on to my server. I think I uploaded it okay, but how to put it on Blogger. Is that even possible? I'll do more research when I get home from the day job.

It's kind of funny that all the effort I have been putting in to making a website has actually prevented me from taking and sharing photos.

A web designer I am not. But, I have been learning alot on the way and that's the most important thing.

I sleepily trudge on...

Monday, August 24, 2009

First post

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet.

Here goes nothing....