Marisa’s maternity shoot in a milk bath

Marisa is one of the best make-up artists I’ve worked with. Together, we’ve done some pretty cool shoots. She’s an amazing help beyond her make-up artistry since she offers suggestions from the moment I tell her what we’ll be shooting such as clothing tips and prop ideas. When she asked me to do her maternity photos for her second pregnancy, I jumped at the “shot” to do it for her. I knew she would have a unique idea but her idea of doing a milk bath shoot was quite different. 

I’ve been asked to do a few interesting photo sessions. One time I was asked to climb a tree, another time I had to balance at the bow of a yacht for a wedding photo. Anything for that perfect shot, and this time would be a challenge too. We started with the easy ones where I simply had to kneel next to the bath tub or stand to the side. But to actually capture the milk bath and the subject’s entire body, I was going to have to stand along the edge of the tub over Marisa’s feet. 

I made sure that this was as safe as possible for both me and especially Marisa. I made sure there were no wet spots on the edges of tub and I stepped slowly and carefully while leaning against the wall and distributing my weight evenly. It wasn’t a circus act or anything like that but it did require some thought before stepping up there. In the end, all went well and Marisa just got back to me after seeing the edited photos. She loved them! 

 

My article in Concert Guide Live on Wyatt Blair

Concert Guide Live article
Screenshot of my article in CGL magazine

Every once in a while, I’m asked to write, in addition to shooting for Concert Guide Live. They have a section called Tales from the Photo Pit where we do a review from the photographer’s point of view. I add comments about the lighting, the stage, best angles to shoot from and about the venue – in addition to stuff about the band.

You can check out the article I wrote about Wyatt Blair at the Wayfarer here. But I wanted to mention a few things that i don’t say in the article. First, I was asked to write only a few days before the show. It may seem weird but I’m scared to death of writing articles. This is a blog – and it’s about my photography so it’s different. Writing about concerts is just more difficult, at least for me. Maybe it just takes time, or maybe it’s just not my thing, but I was pretty nervous about it.

Then again, I don’t shy away from things that I fear. Like Miyamoto Musashi, the 17th century legendary samurai and author of A Book of Five Rings said – “Do what you fear most”.

It would be great if I could get some feedback on my article. Please don’t hesitate to give me some constructive criticism! I’m looking to improve, not for a pat on the back… although a pat on the back is still appreciated!

Tomorrow’s 2nd OC Photography Enthusiast Meeting

I’m excited about hosting my 2nd photography meeting tomorrow which will be held at the same location, Irvine Park in Orange. Laura will be joining us again as our model for the evening but I’ve also asked attendees to feel free to bring their own friend or family member. Everyone has a family member that’s constantly taking selfies and would be so like, awesome as your model/subject. The weather is set to be a sunny 77° and the sun will set after 7pm. We get started at 5pm sharp.

Laura with flowers in hairThe theme for tomorrow is closeup face shots. Getting a closeup face shot gives you a more intimate connection with your subject. When taking shots like this, you can have the person’s entire head in the frame but you can also “cut off” the top of their head to get even closer. The subject doesn’t need to be looking into the camera. Having them look away will result in a more candid-looking image.

girl with white beanieOne of the most important rules for face photos is to get the sharpest focus on the eye closest to you since your brain is wired to look at that eye first. Another “rule” is to make sure you have space in front of the person’s face if they’re looking to the side. If there’s no space, it just looks weird because it looks like they’re up against a wall.

I hope to see some new “faces” tomorrow and looking forward to growing our group in number and knowledge!

The Philippines – Part 1

El Nido sunset

This is the view that I was presented with when we finally came to a rest in El Nido. We arrived in Puerto Princesa in the morning, then drove 6 hours to El Nido and after going from hotel to hotel looking for a vacancy, we found a spot that would do for the night. It was a short walk from the beach (actually a few steps) and here I was. There’s islands like this everywhere and the next day we were going on an “island-hopping” tour to go see a bunch of them.

Boats in El Nido

Here’s another shot a few moments later…

Tricycles

In the Philippines, most people don’t have a car. If you do have one, you won’t necessarily get places faster since traffic can be worse, much worse than a Friday on the 405 fwy in Los Angeles. So if you need to go a short distance, the easiest way is to ask a tricycle driver to take you! Tricycles are a motorcycle with a sidecar. You can fit up to 3 people, maybe more. In Palawan, they customize their tricycles to make them look like a car in the front.

Tricycle closeup

Tricycle no smoking

There are “no smoking” signs everywhere but I thought this one was pretty funny! I wonder if it lights up?

 

Photography and train tracks

There’s many “tricks” that can be used in photography to make a shot stand out. You can use “S” curves, the rule of thirds, or converging lines. Railroad tracks are a great example of converging lines and they’re very popular with people that want outdoor portraits. Converging lines in a scene seem to draw the viewer’s eyes to the subject.

Here’s a shot taken in Lake Forest with Mark and Sonia’s family…

Sonia Mark family

1st Photography Meetup – January 2016

I hosted my first photography meetup here in Orange County! It was a very small group but overall, we were very happy with the people we met and the shots we took. I want to do this every month and watch the group grow and grow. My goal is to help amateur photographers, models and stylists get better at their work. Below are a few of my own shots.

Laura Laura in peaceful meditation Laura with flower Jasmine