Take a peek

My first photo posting is up on my other blog - The Paper Stylist. Please feel free to take a peek over there.


Return to my First Love

Old Camera "Canon FTb" 1971
{Image from Flickr user Mihoko Ozaki}

I received my first SLR camera when I was 15 years old. My dad was cleaning out his closet when I saw his Canon FTb still in its original box. I begged him to let me have it and he obliged. The poor man didn't realize it was the end of my would-be medical career and the beginning of a long love affair with photography. From that point forward, I immersed myself in photo classes. I took classes in my high school and through the gifted program. I became a photographer for the school newspaper and literary magazine. I was also fortunate enough to have had some of my photographs exhibited in Student Art Shows. Photography was the vehicle of self-expression that sustained me through my painfully awkward teenage years and kept me out of trouble.

{A Contact Sheet of my work circa 2000}

While in college, I decided to switch majors from biology to art. I wrestled with being a graphic design or photography major. In the end, I chose graphic design. I didn't choose it because I loved it more, but because I knew that it was something I could do without getting quite so emotionally involved. My 20s were a time when I struggled to find my own voice and balance what I wanted for myself and the expectations of my family. At that time, photography was a deeply personal form of expression and escape. I'm also chagrined to admit that it was way for me to meet guys. What guy is going to say no to a cute girl asking him to model for her? My ploy wasn't all that clever. I learned that it only brought me narcissists that were in love with themselves. Oh well! At least I had some fun;)

what i shoot with - No.2 - YashicaMat
{Photo by Flickr user RonJe}

It was also during that time, that photography became the way I experienced life. Minute and magnificent moments have been captured by my different cameras. Photography was a constant in my life until the Summer of 2006. My Nikon D70 and all of its accompanying lenses were stolen. It was a blow and I was inconsolable. I took it as a sign that I was no longer meant to be a photographer. I took a sabbatical from photography... or so I thought.

Casio Exilim EX-Z1080 10MP Digital Camera with 3x Anti-Shake Optical Zoom (Black) 01 Front
Throughout my break, I still took photos, only I used a point-and-shoot camera. It was an challenging and humbling experience. It forced me to really focus on composition and lighting. It was also a reminder that my camera is merely a tool. It was still up to me to decide what is captured and how it is lit. It came to a point where the poor little point-and-shoot couldn't keep up with me. I finally bought a digital SLR last summer.

In the year since that purchase, I've been photographing as though my life depended on it. In some ways, my life does depend on it. The more I shoot, the more I realize how much I'd missed it. In the midst of this rediscovery, my best friend Cicely and my dear photographer friends Pamela and Neleh have been insisting that I consider shooting professionally. I'm ashamed to admit that I've been shying them off for months with the excuse that I'm only shooting "for fun". After the last couple of months of shooting, I have to admit they were right. I take my work too seriously for it to be simply just "for fun".

My photography is now a part of my professional repertoire. I am in the process of finding my specific style and niche. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I am NOT getting into wedding photography. I shot a few weddings in the past and am convinced that it is definitely not the best avenue for my creativity. I have much love and respect for people in that industry, but I know it is not the best fit for me. For now, I'll be shooting a lot of portfolio work in order to better refine my style. I look forward to displaying that work alongside my design projects on The Paper Stylist blog.

It's feels good to know that my first love never left me; it just took a seat on the sidelines.

A Delectable Afternoon

Sepetember 13, 2009
If you've been reading my blog, you know that Pamela is my creative partner-in-crime. In the last two months, we have been happily photographing a variety of events and have been networking as much as possible. After shooting Joella's dinner party, we became friends with Michael Kay of Kitchen 12000. When we received the email inviting us to shoot Yelp's Sweet September Elite Party, we were delighted. The Sweet September Elite Party is a shindig strictly for Elite Yelpers.

The event was held at the Los Angeles Meeting & Event Center. There were several other photographers at the event. As such, Pamela and I coordinated with one another to ensure we had more well-rounded coverage of the event. Since Pamela's forte is shooting people and atmosphere shots, she photographed the servers, make-up artists, and overall party. I covered the food and its preparation.

Here are the passed hors d'oeuvres
Crustless Pizza shooters - Buffalo Mozzarella Balls in Tomato and Tomatillo Bases

Chicken Breast Cubes with Thai Peanut Sauce

Grilled Pear with Sour Cranberry Reduction and Feta Crumbles

Smashed potato medley in filo shells with red onion marmalade and queso fresco

Seared Tuna topped with Seaweed Salad and Tobiko in Filo Shells

Open-faced ciabatta rounds topped with Asian Pulled Pork topped with Mango Cole Slaw

Citrus Soy Marinated Baby Portobello Mushroom caps filled with a 3 cheese blend topped with truffle oil
Yogurt Blend topped with Pop Rocks

Blueberry, Acai, and Mangosteen Juice with candied Ginger

Since this was Yelp-sponsored event, there was some awesome swag.
Yelp Special Edition lunchboxes

Kitchen 12000 had favors made-up to look like illegal paraphernalia. They were filled with oregano, sugar, and syringes filled with pomegranate syrup

Choclates from Essential Chocolate Desserts

Here's some photos of the Kitchen 12000 crew in action.

A few photo ops with Dawson from Yelp L.A.
Here are the awesome event vendors:


Kitchen 12000

Essential Chocolate Desserts

L.A. Meeting & Event Center

Floral Fields

DJ – Armando Jovel

Lillian Vicky, Makeup Artist – lillianvicky@yahoo.com


High Dollar Celebration

September 5, 2009

Ordinarily, Rob and I love to eat at hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Whenever we have an occasion to celebrate, we usually head to one of our faves. This year for Rob's birthday we decided to venture outside our bubble and into the not-so-new Americana at Brand shopping center in Glendale. It's new to us.

For dinner, Rob selected


The interiors were modern with a sophisticated sense of humor. Then again, what would you expect from Philip Starke?

The birthday boy relaxes at the sushi bar.

Rob's beer

My delicious cocktail - Katsuya Fresh
An inspirited apéritif of hand crushed English cucumber kissed
w/ vodka, sake & freshly squeezed lime juice

Special Katsuya Roll

Spider Roll

A Katsuya Specialty - Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna

Hamachi Collar

Spanish Mackerel Sashimi

Hamachi Sashimi

This was only part of what we ordered. Some of the items just didn't photograph well.

Instead of cupcakes, we got

Creampuffs and Eclairs

Who says you can't put candles in creampuffs and eclairs?


Long-awaited Homecoming

September 1, 2009

After an extended stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Brooklyn finally came home. She still has a long road ahead of her, but we're all happy that she's home. I dropped in for a visit and a brief photo session.

She slept with her momma (my cousin) Jasmine.


She also slept in her crib.

She opened her eyes for a little while...
... but she did more sleeping than anything else.


Look at the teeny, tiny toes.

Even though, she's got an East Coast name, Brooklyn tried to rep the "Westsiiide".

She gave us a look that reminded us that she's most definitely Jasmine's daughter. (Her momma has a facial expression just like this one.)