Jan 18, 2015

Resolutions, and such

I know it's a bit late, but Happy New Year everyone!

It's been a slow start for us into 2015. We've been traveling during the holidays, and are just easing our way back into the swing of things. Hard to believe half of January has gone!

December started with a bit of rain, and the promise of a storm. Before it hit, we found ourselves arriving in Taiwan, greeted by family, friends, and even more family. We spent the majority of the month there, a little island York and I still call home. Our grandparents live there. And aunts and uncles and cousins.

People often ask why and how we travel with a toddler—and we've been traveling around the world with Nick since he was an infant. Well, it's important to us for him to be there. To share this experience with him. We simply accept that things aren't going to go perfectly smoothly, and we do our best to manage. And, between the multiple inconveniences and meltdowns that we must endure, we might end up with some good photos. I'll bet someday he'll look back and appreciate that we took him along.

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During our visit, we took a mini trip with York's family and extended family to Hualien. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, all but a few showed up at the train station one early morning for a 3-day weekend getaway to one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan.

The trip was short, filled with activities, somewhat stressful, but overall a success. And, most importantly, memorable.

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I'm not much of a resolutions-making person. I don't remember the last time I actually kept/completed one. Still, I think goals are a good thing. For 2015, I'll start with somewhat modest ones.

To start, I'd like to take more photos of this guy. And I'd like to start shooting with all of my cameras. I'd like for our family to spend more quality, not quantity, time together. And last, and probably the most ambitious, I want to learn something new.


And that's it! A short list to start the year. What are your 2015 resolutions?

Dec 29, 2014

michelle & jon

i can't even begin to tell you how excited i am to share this shoot.

i've known michelle for 15+ years. you may have heard me mention her here and there. she's pretty much a sister to me, but so much more. michelle is the best friend. she is someone i can always count on. the first person i call when i have good, or bad, news. she threw me the best baby shower ever. then took me on a babymoon before nick was born. she is nick's godmother, and she adores him. when our sitter cancels on us, michelle never hesitates to offer us her help. for nick's birthday, she made all these adorable cookies as favors. it'd be impossible to tell you how amazing michelle is. and i have lots of amazing people in my life.

michelle is getting married next year, and she has asked me to be her matron of honor. michelle is a very good friend, meaning, i'm sure, she could've asked anyone's whose life she's touched, and they wouldn't hesitate to say yes. so of course, i'm terribly honored to be in her wedding.

this means i won't be able to shoot her wedding for her, but i really wanted to do something special for michelle. i don't bake or plan parties as well as she does, so i asked to take her bridal portraits. this is a tradition more commonly seen in asia, for the bride and groom to get into full wedding gear, before their wedding, and have their portraits taken. although the idea was a little odd, michelle and jon were game. (ah, i can probably write a whole other post about what a great friend jon is, too. but the long story short, i've known him almost as long as i've known michelle. if i had to describe him in one word, i'd say goofy. to add a couple more, generous, kind, and pretty much one of the nicest guys i know.)

we chose to do the shoot at san francisco city hall. jon's sister, christine, came along to assist. i was glad to have the help, she suggested poses and often shouted directions for me when i was being too quiet. michelle's dress is from jeremys, and her shoes were borrowed from our friend soerha. her bouquet is made by a new, tiny flower shop named flora on college avenue in the oakland, with not-so-clear instruction from me, but they did a great job regardless. we spent an hour in michelle's bathroom trying to get fake lashes on her—michelle doesn't usually wear makeup, and i'm terrible at putting it on other people—we were off to a good start. (and now i can add floral designer, makeup artist to my résumé. ;)

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the light at city hall is amazing! you will probably hear me say this often. i'm going to recommend all future clients to elope so i can go back and shoot in this beautiful space often! okay, i'm kidding. sort of.

michelle and jon aren't used to having their photos taken, and i get the sense they didn't love to, but for me, they tried. and it was hard work! but we got some amazing shots. when the shoot ended, all of us were able to relax a little. then this happened.

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i don't remember the last time i laughed this hard during a shoot. we pretty much took over one of the 4th floor balconies, and things got even sillier.

<3 these guys.

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San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl
San Francisco, CA 94102

vivian will be michelle and jon's wedding photographer, stay tuned to her blog for more on their wedding next summer!

Dec 15, 2014

tang family

hayley and ryan are good friends of ours. this is the third year in a row that they've asked me to take their family photos. (thanks guys!) that weekend, hayley's parents happened to be in town and i was happy to be able to capture a few shots of them with their grandkids.

while i prefer more natural, candid moments, with these sessions, most people need a little bit of direction. which is probably why i really enjoyed taking hayley and ryan's photos. they always look comfortable and natural, and their smiles are infectious. they make it look easy. of course, it also doesn't hurt that their kids are adorable.

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University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA