introducing kimberly...
this photo-set isn't from a new photo session. it's from one i have made sometime ago that i haven't blogged. we shot nearly all day that day, at the pool, in laguna beach, and by the beach. kimberly changed her outfit several times for a variety of looks. it was by far one of the longest session i had attempted up to then.

kimberly was a 2005 miss vietnam little saigon contestant. she was easy to work with as she go through her poses without much input from me. these are a few of my favorite photos from that session, one from each setting.
the first two photos (top and left) were taken in kimberly's backyard. it was around noon and the sky was brightly overcast. on this occassion, i made rare use of a reflector. a reflector is my fill of choice, however, more often than not, i find myself taking photos without an assistant and as consequent without a reflector.

we spent a good portion of the afternoon in the back of the house. kimberly was in blue by the pool. then she was in white by the flowers. then she was in white in front of the pool. sometime between the house and the late afternooon in laguna beach, we break for lunch at plums.

the third photo in thumbnail was taken between the small boutiques and shops in laguna. by the time we hit the beach, the sun had broken through the fog and clouds and glowed mesmerized gold, no fill required :)!!!

photographers' best light...


a traditional wedding

vietnamese style!!!

wedding day

i'm finally getting around to blogging the wedding day photos of a couple dear friends. it will be one year ago this april.

sarah & jeff's wedding
april 2007
rancho las lomas


an engagement session digitally re-processed.

the beautiful background (bokeh) in these photos were rendered by one of my favorite lens, the nikkor 85mm f1.4. little direction was given by me during this engagement session. the couple was very comfortable in front of the camera, and they knew exactly how they wanted to present themselves in front of it.

the lighting on some parts of the csu long beach campus was excellent. it was the engagement session of a hundred kisses. check out the slideshow "kiss me" on margin's right in their honor.

that's it. see you soon on the next blog entry.

now going to bed ;)


road unpaved

i'm two weeks behind with my blogging. here we go.

a few weeks ago, i had the good fortune of contacted by "m". m asked if i would take headshots for some of her actresses participating in a for-television pilot.

i was a bit anxious the night before. i was supposed to be in granada hills the following saturday afternoon, but when i was getting ready to go to bed at 1:30 am, i had neither address nor schedule information.

sometime during my sleep the email came. for breakfast in the morning i had coffee, an email, a place to go to and a time to be there. anxiousness became excitement.

the good thing about having my parents in the oc is being able to stay with them on short notice. it makes my mom happy. i can count it as a visit with them. everyone wins. the bad thing is sometime i wake up the next day without a clean shirt or warm clothes to wear. on these occassions, the benefits of recyling seem quite clear :)

granada hills wasn't going to be a short drive. i stopped for an iced-coffee in westminster for wake-up insurance. unfortunately insurance expired too soon. i dozed off soon after...

if i had been more alert, i wouldn't have missed the turn, and if i hadn't missed the turn, i would have made it to the location on time. ok, no big deal. i would be just a little late, but then...surprise!!! the road ended. a couple blocks from where the address were, the road ended. there was road on this side. there was road on the other side, but for a good 30 yards or so in between there was no paved road.

easy grasshopper...think!
#1: range rovers are practical!!
#2: gps save time if not photo sessions!!!

"there is no spoon!" doh, there is no road! the road here must have buckled. the broken asphalt were probably carried away by the strong current that buckled it and by subsequent clean-up effort. what was left was a highly uneven dirt road with a deep gouge in the middle of it.

worry #1: the low clearance of my car won't make it.
worry #2: i will get stranded in the middle of the dirt road.
worry #3: worse yet, i can make it to the other side, but won't be able to make it back.

i drove a couple car lengths onto the precarious surface. my car's taut suspension refused to yield to the hostile terrain. like tip-toeing on eggs-shells, car and i made our way slowly to the other side.

finally, i had arrived. i met with m and with j. they were wonderfully nice as were the cast and crew. the large backyard of the house is on a hill. a stone stairway graced the hillside leading to a tennis court below. i rubbed my eyes. inside the tennis court there were two large living and breathing llamas, two llamas on centre court.

i had a great time photographing the cast, mostly headshots, and some group photos that could be used for the dvd cover later.

time flew, it was time for me to go. and then she came up and asked for her photos to be taken. i'm brazilian she said. i ended my day photographing this beauty in the backyard and on the hillside steps. the sun was setting. everything glowed golden...

the end.

sunset at eucalyptus grove

if streets were ever aptly named, this one definitely qualifies. follow westbound i8 on the southern border of mission bay in san diego until it turns into sunset cliffs blvd. and you get exactly that, tall sheer cliffs perching high above where water meets land plunging steeply into the pacific, providing for a good mile of vantage point from which to watch the sunset from.

Eucalyptus Grovedriving through ocean beach on the two lanes road was like driving through a vintage california surf-culture documentary. the kind of film we used to watch when i was in high-school during pe. when it rained outside. ob is kinda hippy. bohemian a colleague from work described it. strangely, it felt like familiar territory.
Catching the Sunset
there was a reason i came this way. i was looking for an apartment for possible future rental. my lease on my tiny studio will be up soon. it would already be 6 mos. i'm ready for a new pad.

i must have missed the turn. i will have to look for it on the way back. for now, lets see where the road goes. past the unstable-sheer-cliff warning signs, past the million dollars mansions the road climbs moderately for about a hundred yards then turns right into a dirt parking lot. i have arrived at sunset cliffs park, the end of the road.

come to sunset cliff park when the sun set to witness an amazing view. even without a compass one can be certain the park faces directly west as the sun goes down at near the middle of one's field of view, straight out the pacific. and when you get here, take out the camera and take a few snapshots because when you return home and you want to remember it again and again you could.

the end!