Month: May 2011

  • What Do You Take It For Granted?

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    As it is Memorial Day, it is a time for us to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.  I am glad that we have these times that we set aside to remind us but I also feel sad at how many things we take for granted.  I know I am guilty of this as I am sure we all are.  First I do want to acknowledge all those who put their lives on the line to serve us all.  I know we often complain or are unhappy about things in our country and things are definitely far from perfect but overall I have to say that for most of us we are very fortunate to live here. 


    I posted up this picture because I have tried to make it a point to appreciate this view.  I actually was fortunate enough to grow up with this and yet, for most of my life, I never really thought much about it.  It was well….the view out of our window.  It was not until our home burned down in the Oakland Hills Fire that I realized how I missed it.  Occasionally during the years that it took for us to rebuild I would drive up and just sit in the rubble or construction and soak it in.  Also as this is my folks family home it reminds me of my parents.  I lost my Mom a number of years ago but we are just coming up on the first anniversary of my Dad’s passing.  At the request of my Dad, my wife and I moved in with him soon after we lost my Mom.  There were a lot of blessings from that but there were also a lot of challenges.  My joke was that I realized how patient my Mom was and she must have been a saint to deal with my Dad.  But he had his good qualities too and in this past year it has helped me to appreciate those too.  Let’s all take a moment from time to time to remember and appreciate all those things that we often overlook.  Hopefully everyone had a good weekend and made some memories that will last for a long time. 

  • Celia & Winson | San Francisco Wedding Photographer | Engagement Session Slideshow


    <Click On Image To See Slideshow>

    So as I mentioned in a previous post Celia & Winson were fun to work with on their engagement session.  We went to a few locations and just spent time shooting different things and just getting to know one another better.  I think the worse thing about the day was just all the SF traffic, especially since we were headed up towards Twin Peaks and they were doing some sort of road work and we were just stuck there for awhile. 

    It was so funny because Winson would have problems relaxing his face from time to time so I would just crack up because Celia would then grab his face and squeeze and shake it.  They were also troopers since they were willing to walk into the water at Ocean Beach.  Although it was relatively warm that day the water was still freezing.  But I didn’t make my couple do something I would not so I was walking in there with them, although, Winson got the better deal since he got to clutch onto Celia and I had to clutch onto my camera and try not to fall down.  Bri was great as my assistant for the day except for the fact that he whimped out and stayed where it was dry.  Ha ha…

    So here is a little slideshow of Celia & Winson’s adventure around the city.  I am really looking forward to their wedding later this year. 

  • Superman or Clark Kent | Fremont Family Portrait Photographer

    Well I have to say I am probably more like Clark Kent than Superman, so when I recently spent some time shooting family portraits for Jaclyn’s family I was in a bit of a dilemma.  We decided tomeet at Jaclyn’s place but the problem was there was not enough room in her apartment to really get a good shot.  So we walked around a little and found that her complex had a pretty nice clubhouse that we could use.  Now my only problem is that I thought it would be nice to use the couch for a semiformal looking family portrait but my problem was that it was facing away from the window.  So aside from the fact that I did not want to rearrange the furniture the other problem would be if I turned the couch around then I would have a much less appealing background and since like I said I am not  Superman I could not just turn the whole building around either.  So one issue is if I shoot with the window behind them it means if I don’t do anything else to the image, I would end upwith mostly a big white thing behind them. So this is one of those instances where the use of lighting helped to create the image that we had in mind. 


    So the goal in this was to provide a nice family portrait.  Being that there was a nice window it was of course preferred to get some of the view out the window since it was fairly pleasing with the pool and landscape but at the same time there were some guys standing out there that we wanted to blur out, blow out, in general remove fromthe equation.  I also did not want thisto look overdone in a sense I wanted it to still look like we used some nice window light even though it was not possible for us to do so.  Once I figured out how to expose what was outside the window the way I wanted, my next step was to light the family.  I managed this by using a small octobox and umbrella.  So I looked at the image and thought it looked okay but to me one thing still bothered me, those white window frames going up looked so plain and there was sort of this dark area between the couch and the window.  What was the solution?  I added one more flash with a gel to warm it up and shot it through a plant to give it some warmth and texture.  So in the image it might look like there was some sort of sunlight coming through a window but in reality it was pretty much all created using small flash units. 


    So in the end it was fulfilling to come up with this solution but really the most important thing that day was I got to meet Jaclyn and her family and provide them with the images they were asking for.  They were all so nice and good natured that I almost felt like I had known them for awhile. I love photography and my passion continues to grow constantly but really what I enjoy the most is the interaction I get to have with my clients.  I guess that is why I focus on wedding and portrait photography.  My thanks to Jaclyn and her family it had been a long day up to that point but I truly enjoyed our time together and they actually helped to reinvigorate me for the rest of the evening. 


    Here is the image I was describing.

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    Here are a few of the other images from the day.


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  • Celia & Winson | San Francisco Engagement Photographer | Preview

    The other day I went out with Celia & Winson to shoot their Engagement Session.  I must say that they are great weather people because we had actually scheduled for theweekend before but they watched the forecast and looked at the sky and figuredit was not going to be good.  I thoughtit looked fine in the morning but sure enough by the time it came to when wewere supposed to shoot it was looking pretty gloomy.  So by waiting a week we were greeted by abeautiful day. 


    I had met Celia & Winson once before and we had a niceconversation then but really we had not spent much time together.  So as usual it was nice to go out for anengagement session since it really is a great time to get to know one anotherand get some nice photos of them in a more casual manner.  I have to say that Celia & Winson arepretty fun loving and their interactions are quite enjoyable to watch.  We started out at their old high school asthat was were they met and eventually ended up on the beach.  Where they were great sports since eventhough the day was warm the water was freezing


    Needless to say it was a good day and makes me think that their wedding will be one celebration I am glad I will not have to miss.

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