Friday, February 26, 2010

February 2010 LA Shoot This! Event - Headshots

I helped my photographer friend, Joelle, out at a photograhy group "photo shoot". The group was "Los Angeles Photography Group - LA Shoot This!" and can be found on facebook. The theme of the photo shoot was "Headshots". I wasn't a photographer for this event. I just wanted to help set up and organize things. I also took a few "behind the scenes"/paparazzi type pictures too. I absolutely love headshots and while I can use some practice on doing better headshots, I can only handle them in small doses.

After the group photo shoot, we headed off to dinner at Subway. Our original dinner plans flopped because the cafe we wanted to go to, was small and it was busy that it couldn't fit a group of 15 people. It could have fit the group if it wasn't busy, but we thought that it would be less busy and we guessed wrong.

All in all, it was still a good day for me.

Day 13 of 365 Project:

This is Joelle

Union Station Downtown Los Angeles

I went to Union Station this afternoon to check out the lighting and do some test shots. A fellow photographer also suggested that I spoke to the security guard that worked there to let him know about a photo session that I would be doing there at a later date. All is well with the security guard! I have an engagement session planned for next Saturday, March 6th.

I had never been to Union Station before despite living in the Los Angeles area all my life. I had seen photographs from other photographers who did sessions here before, but seeing this place in person was really cool! The rain stopped long enough so I could take a walk outside the property for some shots. It
was really nice and scenic. However, I failed at acting like a tourist and taking a picture of the main entrance of Union Station.

The below picture is actually more for myself; to show myself what I can do. It's really not meant for other people, but I want to remember this a year from now and see improvements that I've made. I'm pretty sure my interest, style and improvements will change for the better in about six months or more. I took a test shot of this wall with the flash on. The area was somewhat dark with orange/amber overhead lights. I'm happy with the way the picture came out. I had the flash pointed up towards the ceiling for this shot. I had the flash towards the corner where the wall met the ceiling for another shot, but the flash reflected off those metal things surrounding the colorful tiles. I didn't like that one. I think it would have been ok for the less shiny objects.

Day 12 of 365 Project:

Lunar New Year Postage Stamps

I went to the post office today to get some postage stamps and mail some stuff off to people. I had been wanting to get some Lunar New Year postage stamps for awhile, so I got a sheet of them. The Lunar New Year is a two week celebration for many Asian cultures. I'm not exactly sure when the post office starts "selling" these types of postage stamps, but I know that these stamps are temporary and tomorrow will be the last day that the post office will stop "selling" them because this Sunday will be the last day of the two week Lunar New Year celebration before the Asian people return to normal life.

Day 11 of
365 Project:

P.S. I took several photos with the flash at different settings. The photo here was the only one that came out ok out of the several, but at the same time, it still doesn't look ok to me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I took Kiko outside to take some test shots with the external flash on the camera. I just wanted to see what the picture(s) looked like, even though I didn't get any good pictures of Kiko that were worth sharing. It wasn't that I took terrible photos, but I didn't bribe her with any doggie treats, so she was being camera shy and looked away.

I gave up, trying to take Kiko's photos, so I went to
my mailbox to pick up my mail and take some pictures of the flowers that were growing around the base of the mailbox post. I turned around to find Kiko sunbathing on the driveway. I did take two pictures, one with flash and one without, and I wanted to see the difference. After all, this was taken mid-day with the harshest sunlight. They both looked the same to me becasue she was too far away for the flash to matter? I did notice a difference when I was closer to her and the flash was used, but of course, we were in the shade.

Sunbathing is something that Kiko enjoys doing. Today was a perfect day for her to sunbathe because it was sunny with the highest temperature of 70 degrees.

Day 10 of 365 Project:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sleepy Head

With all the help that I've been getting from other photographers on the external flash, I'm getting the hang of it. I was actually quite scared of it at first because I was really confused on how to use it. I'm now finding it fun to experiment and play around with the settings just to see what kind of results I get.

Luckily, I have a "willing model" who won't argue with me about taking test shots. I took one of Kiko, getting ready to sleep. I don't know if I should call this napping, but she sleeps a lot at what seems like 15 hours a day, everyday, and sleeping seems to be one of her favorite things to do. It's like she's a cat trapped in a dog's body. She's three and a half years old now, so she's not old enough to be considered a "senior dog". She's clearly not an active dog with the amount of sleep she likes to get in.

Day 9 of
365 Project:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lunch With Leilani

I had lunch with my dear friend, Leilani, and her little two year old girl, Amari, and we met at The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I haven't seen Leilani and her family since mid-December when she was at my birthday party. It's always nice to have friends to talk about different things because we had a nice long conversation going during lunch. The restaurant was just outside the mall and we took a stroll inside the mall before she had to pick up her son from school where our long conversation continued.

Day 8 of 365 Project:

Monday, February 22, 2010

External Flash Unit

I recently got an external flash unit for my camera. I actually already had this before this past weekend, but didn't bother to bring it with me to the event yesterday. The chart on the back of the unit threw me off and the instruction manual didn't help either. I practiced using the flash on stuff indoors at home based on the chart, but because it threw me off and I didn't understand it too clearly, my pictures came out blurry. So I didn't bother to bring the flash with me to the event yesterday because I was afraid of making my pictures look terrible and I wanted to leave with some decent pictures.

With some help from my photographer friends, I'm less confused. Thanks, guys!!! By all means, this does not mean that I can do a wedding at an indoor venue tomorrow. I still need to practice using it, but let's hope that no one wants to hire me before I'm ready - you'll see photos in the next few weeks while I practice with the flash. For now, I'm quite comfortable with outdoor weddings and outdoor photo sessions.

Day 7 of 365 project:

The main reason for getting the flash out and working with it now...was because someone left a comment about my bridal show pictures. The comment wasn't terrible and I realize those pictures aren't great (I didn't get paid to take those pictures)...but seriously, I need to stop being so afraid of an external flash unit, so I can learn how to use it correctly and eventually use it for serious clients.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bridal Fair Fashion Show - Yorba Linda, CA

I attended a bridal fair/festival today and volunteered my time, photographing the wedding fashion show. It was held at the Richard Nixon Library Museum in Yorba Linda, CA. The event was small and there weren't that many vendors (with booths/tables) there, but it was still a great event to attend, especially for us industry people to network. What was even better, was that all proceeds from the admission/attendance fees also went to "Make-A-Wish" Foundation.

There were two fashion shows during the event: 12pm and 2pm. However, the 12pm show was the one to be at because
Christine Devine from Fox 11 was the celebrity emcee!

Day 6 of
365 Project:

I wasn't starstruck. I never really watched the news, so I didn't know who she was. It was still neat that a "famous" person made an appearance though.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This is Dave. We are not married, but we are together as boyfriend/girlfriend. We have been together for nine years now. This picture was taken tonight after dinner and a movie.

Day 5 of 365 project:

The movie that we saw was "Shutter Island" starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. It was an interesting movie. I would recommend watching it.

On another note, I created a blog on The blog on WordPress is strictly for portraits and wedding clients while this one on blogspot is for personal photography stuff. If you're a blogger with a blogspot, you can still add the link to your reading list.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dog Toys

Some of the things that my dog, Kiko, enjoys doing are sleeping all day, chase after other small animals (like squirrels, rabbits, lizards and cats) and chasing balls/toys. Here is one of the dog toys that she has. As you can see, one of her missions is to destroy her toys by tearing off the ears, legs, arms and sometimes the nose too. She has never caught a squirrel or rabbit (they are too fast for her), but she has caught a lizard in her mouth before. I make sure that I keep an eye on her when she does, so that the poor lizard can escape alive and unhurt.

Day 4 of 365 Project:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

L.A. SMUG February 2010 Meeting: Lawrence Chan

I attended a SMUG meeting this evening at The Global Cafe in Studio City, CA. A SMUG is a place where a photographer can learn, teach and meet up with other photographers who share the same passion. It's also how photographers can tell others or discover what's happening in each other's world. SMUGs are a great way to connect with other photographers and add a few weapons to their creative arsenal.

The topic of the evening was "Marketing Techniques" (including social media) for part time and full time photographers and the presentation speaker was Lawrence Chan from
Tofurious. It was an interesting seminar and I learned quite a bit. Thanks, Lawrence, for the presentation!

Day 3 of
365 Project:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I've decided that I will try the 365 project where a photographer shares only ONE photo a day for a whole year. It doesn't matter if the photographer took one, ten or one hundred photos in a day. The photographer can only share one photo a day. 365 days = 365 photos. The project will be for my hobby type photos and they'll be shared on the same blog as the photos that I take from workshops, weddings, and other client photo sessions. I don't think I can stop myself from sharing links to the rest of the photos that were taken during a workshop, wedding, or portraits session. I also don't think if I can handle managing two blogs: one for the project and one for photography workshops, weddings and other client photo sessions. The main purpose of me doing the 365 project is because it's possible for me to go for many days, weeks, or months without doing a photo session or wedding for someone, so forcing myself to bring my camera out and take pictures everyday, will force me to practice. Without constant practice, I can't get better and improve. Between the beginning of December 2009 and the middle of this month, I went through a dry spell and was also stuck in a rut. That's sad.

I'm making today as the first day to start the 365 project...just because. While most people who do this project starts on January 1st or on another day that has a significant meaning, I'm not going to wait until a day that has any meaning to me, to start. So, without further ado...

Day 1: Meet Kiko

Kiko is my dog. She was rescued and adopted two and a half years ago, and she is about three and a half years old. Her exact breed is unknown because she is mixed with several different breeds. I have asked around and no one knows, but matter does that make? She loves the family that she is with and she's happy! She is very smart and well-behaved most of the time.

6th Street Bridge and River

I met up with a fellow photographer to take photos of the Sixth Street Bridge in Downtown Los Angeles earlier this evening. Usually, architectural photography wasn't (and still isn't) my forte, but based on the photos I had seen from other photographers, I was inspired to photograph this magnificant structure. For more information about this bridge, click here.

You can more from this photo set:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy New Year & More

First, I'd like to say: Happy very belated "regular" new year!

Today is Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is also the first day of the Lunar New Year!

Gong Hay Fat Choi

The Lunar New Year is a two week event full of celebrations and festivities. It's a big event among the many Asian cultures. This weekend started off the celebrations, and I went to the Hsi Lai Temple (prounounced "She Lie") in Hacienda Heights, CA, which was one of the locations where one could find festivals at. Hsi Lai Temple is one of the largest Buddhist Temples found in the U.S...and outside any Asian countries.

More photos from the Lunar New Year Festivities at Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple:

The Lunar New Year doesn't fall on the same day of the year every year. It's weird like that. 2010 is also the year of the Tiger. Roar! There are twelve animals in the Chinese astrology. People who are born in the year of The Tiger can find their characteristics by clicking here. To find what animal year you were born on, click here.