Tuesday, August 30, 2011


It's been a while since my last update. Many things have been keeping me busy, although mostly it's been work related. I wish I could say that it was photography related, but it was not. I work a regular day job that keeps me busy.

I haven't been completely neglecting my photography. I was part of a Photog Shootout event a few months back and here are some photos.

Aside from that, I've been having some fun photographing Hammer Improv events just for practice. Here are some photos from those events.

I hope to do some more photography related things soon. In the meantime, feel free to check out the rest of the photos on my website.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

LA SMUG Meeting

Last Thursday, I attended the LA SMUG meeting in Studio City. This month's presenter was Art Suwansang and his presentation was regarding Lightroom 3. Lots of people have been talking about the new features with this latest release and I was interested in finding out more. The last time I had tried Lightroom was with the first version and I didn't particularly like it. Lightroom has matured quite a bit since its inception and has since emerged into a fairly robust utility for not only processing photographs, but organizing as well.  It has not replaced Photoshop in terms of advanced editing capability, but has since been focused towards photography and streamlining workflow for photographers.  The presentation has given me a new outlook towards Lightroom and has perhaps motivated me to give it another shot.  Although prior to that, I'm considering re-organizing my file structure to better organize my photos. I've been a bit lazy and haven't been paying too much attention in keeping them sorted, labeled and tagged properly so I think I'll take on that task first before jumping into Lightroom.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

SoCal Photog Shootout Lady Gaga Meets Desperate Housewives

The title pretty much says it all. This event was held last Sunday at an incredible location. The house was so awesome, it was no surprise that it had been featured in magazines. My decision to attend this event was actually last minute and luckily there were still tickets available. I hadn't taken pictures in a long time. Well, the shots from the Hammer Improv don't really count since that was just for fun and I was watching the show. The last shootout I attended was with the LA Shoot This! people at UCLA.

The weather was perfect. It had been so hot the past week that I was worried about heat, but by Sunday, it had dropped 10 degrees and was pretty nice. I showed up a bit early to get a decent parking space and so that I wouldn't be rushing or anything. I was a little apprehensive about the shoot since my main lens which is an 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 isn't very useful when indoors and in low light. I did have a 50mm f/1.8 which I brought along just in case and luckily I did.

As with previous SoCal Photog Shootout Events that I've been at, procedures were the same. Break up into groups with leaders and split up to tackle various topics. The first group I was at was lead by the incredible Matt Saville. I say incredible because he is. He knows light and knows how to get fantastic pictures without having to bring tons of gear. We shot in this room which was pretty much all in red. Red walls, red furniture and it was dark. I had to crank the ISO up and switched to my 50mm because my other lens just couldn't handle it. Matt was able to show us how to use the light coming in from across the hall and pose the model in order to get the shots we wanted.  Here's a couple of shots from that room with our model Trina Miller. And remember, no extra lighting. just the overhead lights plus the light from across the hallway.

The next group was with Michelle Cunningham. She talked to us about posing and communicating with the model. In order to generate ideas and not wait for the model to come up with something, we were given phrases or words to define the type of shot. Each us took turns setting up various shots based on the phrases were given. It was a fun exercise in order to think fast and keep flowing. Here are some shots with our model Anna Good.

The next group was regarding bad lighting and how to make the most of it. This was lead by Garrett Davis who was able to show us tips and tricks when dealing with harsh light or not enough light since sometimes, you just have to make do. We were outside in bright sunlight as well as indoors with not very much light. Here's our model Ashley Johnson for some photos.

Next up was the group with Jeff Almquist and he talked about composition. You can have a good model and good lighting, but it's the composition that completes the photo. We were outside once again for this group, but were focused more with composing the shots and I think with the knowledge gained from Garret about dealing with the harsh light, we got some pretty good photos. Here's some with our model Heather Skelton.

Moving to our next group inside, we met up with Hanssie Trainor. She's a great photographer and also one of the leaders of the SoCal Photog Shootout along with Matt. Her topic of discussion was regarding posing awkward people. However, her model, Kaylie Wilson, was anything but awkward. Kaylie pretty much a natural in front of the camera and didn't really need much direction as she went from position to position leaving us to merely snap away frantically. Maybe it was Hanssie's plan after all. We'll never know. :) I must admit that a great majority of my photos were of Kaylie. It was hard to take a bad picture of her so in my gallery, that's what you'll see most. Here are some shots.

The last group for the day was with Verone Pangilinan. He's actually a magazine photographer who demonstrated the amazing capabilities of using strobes outdoors in order to get amazing, magazine quality shots. Each of us were giving a couple of minutes to work with the model and use his lights on the balcony. The results were incredible. Since I personally either shoot with natural light or use an on-camera flash, the results were almost night and day. Here are some shots with our model Lauren Neilson.

We didn't have much time with this group because we were running late so we didn't get a chance to shoot inside the side room. But overall, it was pretty good. After this last group, it was off to dinner. We all ended up at Lomeli's Italian Restaurant just a couple of miles away where we spent the rest of the evening talking about various photography topics and just relaxing before heading back home. It was another great event by SoCal Photog Shootout and I'm fortunate to have been able to attend as these events normally sellout quickly.

Rest of the photos are here.

And here's the list of credits.
"Monica's Castle" as seen in Robb Report: http://robbreportcollection.com/family-style
2259 Ladera Vista Drive, Fullerton Ca. 92831

Anna Good
Ashley Johnson
Trina Miller
Heather Skelton
Kaylie Wilson
Lauren Neilson

Michelle Cunningham – www.milaphotography.com
Heather Skelton – www.thesoundoflace.blogspot.com

Makeup -
Tianna DeGuire – www. Tiannadeguire.com
Mona Malaki

Hair -
Kylee Heath – www.kyleeheath.com
Diego Ortega - http://DiegoOrtega.net/

Friday, August 27, 2010


Well folks... or the maybe one or two people who stop by every now and then to read this blog. A few things have happened over the past few weeks and this blog has been sorely neglected somewhat.

So this is a long winded post. You have been warned! :)
First off, I've gotten a job so at least I have something to pay the bills with. If you haven't noticed, I haven't really done any shooting lately either. However, this weekend I will be attending a SoCal Photog Shootout event so stay tuned from the results of that.

In the meanwhile, here's some non-photography related stuff I'm gonna post about simply because I want to. :) It can't be all about photography right? A little variety makes this blog more fun! Around the time of my last blog post, I discovered The Guild. It's an awesome web series about MMO Gamers created by the very talented Felicia Day. I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you're not a gamer. They're already on Season 4 and you can find seasons 1 to 3 on their website as well as on their channel on youtube. Season 4 is only available on MSN video at the moment. But seriously, check it out. And if you like them, buy their DVDs or even on iTunes. From there, I discovered another web series called The Legend of Neil. It's a spoof on Zelda that was created by Sandeep Parikh. Check that out and they're in Season 3 now. By the way Neil is NOT suitable for younger audiences. You have been warned.

As a side note, check out the 2 music videos from the Guild. Do You Wanna Date My Avatar and Game On. You will not regret it. Promise.

Now, you may be thinking, what led to all this watching of web series online. Well, I'll tell you the story. I was going through netflix one night and was looking for something to stream online. I discovered a movie called The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. Also an awesome movie. When that finished, it recommended the Guild as something that I might like. Netflix had seasons 1-3 available for streaming and I watched it all nonstop. Before you say, wow that's a long time. No. It wasn't. Each episode is about 6-8 minutes. So each season was about an hour and a half.

And then I discovered Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. Another awesome web creation. This was created by the great Josh Whedon starring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, and Nathan Fillion. It's a musical. Watch it. Love it. Get the DVD.

So at this point, you're thinking, why all this narrative? This leads up to how I discovered an improv group called Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em: Improv Comedy or just Hammer Improv. Since some Guild folks such as Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh and Jeff Lewis were in it, along with Tony Janning from Legend of Neil, I decided to go watch some of their recorded shows that were on ustream. Watch them here. I liked it so much that last night, I went to one of their performances. Best. Night. Ever. I was also able to meet Sandeep, Jeff, Tony, Tara, and Brooke after the show. So yeah, it was an awesome night.

Now for the photography part. I forgot my camera. Boo. BUT, I had my cell phone. Yay! (or Yay?) Took what I could given the circumstances.  Here are a few shots.

Rest of the photos are here

Also, I need to thank Troy Butcher who was nice enough to take some shots of me with his camera and email them to me. So the 4 pictures at the beginning of the album with Tara, Sandeep, Brooke and Tony were all from Troy. Too bad, I didn't think of it sooner and Jeff had already left. So, the lesson is, never forget your camera. Or the lesson could be, some people are nice enough to help ya.

Ok, that's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Taking a break

I've been a little dormant with regards to photography lately. As most or some or all of you may know, I don't do this for a living and although I've entertained the idea of doing this fulltime, at the moment, its not something that's feasible.

For the current moment, I've been more focused on working on Microsoft Certifications in order to help me get a job. I have several years working in IT, but the job market is a bit tougher so some additional certification can always help. The past few weeks have been mostly self-study via the Microsoft training kit.

Anyway, I hope to find a job soon and then go back into photography when time permits.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LA Shoot This! Star Wars Theme

It was a Sunday afternoon.. with scattered clouds and moderately cool temperatures, as we gathered on the grass at UCLA. A small group of photographers with LA Shoot This! had gathered for a Star Wars themed photo shoot.  Joelle Leder, the founder and leader, had organized this event. We had several Star Wars characters from the 501st Legion who were dressed up in authentic costumes ranging from Storm Troopers to Darth Vader himself. In addition, we had Amanda Goraleski, Lindsey Cloud, Sarah Hathaway and Alex Cranmer as models to incorporate into some photos. Chris Diset, Doug McNamee and Kerry Garrison were also there to lend assistance.

This was a fairly casual event, although I did hear some grumblings that it was a bit disorganized since photographers were just taking models to shoot with no defined grouping. As a result, most photographers simply wandered around and took shots as they could. I did a fair bit of wandering around as well. It was amazing to see the 501st Legion. I spoke to the person who was wearing the Darth Vader costume and he told me how originally, when he bought the costume, it was around $800 dollars. He then modified it to be the exact replica of Darth Vader in Episode 3 which made the costume now worth over $4000 dollars. He had worn the Darth Vader costume the previous night as well as he conducted the Pasadena POPs orchestra as they played the Imperial March. Not that many people have that time of dedication and time to put into making these intricate costumes. It was truly an honor to have a photo shoot with these guys. They were very professional and easy to work with. The location at UCLA gave us a more futuristic look since in contrast to the rest of the campus, these buildings were not made of brick, but rather grey concrete.

In addition to those mentioned, the following also deserve credit.
Sponsors -
Canvas on Demand - http://CanvasOnDemand.com/
FolioMojo - http://FolioMojo.com/
ProPhotoBlogs - http://www.ProPhotoBlogs.com/
ShootQ - http://web.shootq.com/
KISS Wedding Books - http://www.kissweddingbooks.com/

Makeup - Doris Lei
Hair - Amanda Goraleski
Here are some shots from the shoot:

 Group photo by Joelle Leder...

The rest of the photos are located here.

LA Smugmug Meeting

Last Thursday was the one year anniversary of the LA SMUG (SmugMug Users Group). The speaker was Garrett Delph who co-owns ShootDotEdit and is the leader of the the San Diego SMUG. The topic of the night was regarding 2nd shooters. How to become a better 2nd shooter as well as how to determine if someone is a good 2nd shooter. It was a very informative meeting. Garrett shared his experiences in his many years of photography and gave tips on planning and working with 2nd shooters during a wedding. Afterward, some photographers and I went to Bob's Big Boy for a late dinner.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cowboy Casanova - SoCal Photog Shootout

Last Friday, I was able to attend the SoCal Photog Shootout Event that was themed "Cowboy Cassanova". It was bright and sunny afternoon. A long drive where I was from and even farther for others. The location was TCR Ranch in Temecula. It was actually quite warm while we were in the sun however, once in the shade, it got cold really quickly. Fortunately, I had a jacket with me to keep up with the rapid changing temperatures. Like other shootout events, we were quickly divided into groups, with each group being led by a photographers teaching different topics. Gavin and Erin Wade discussed the fine art of white balance and manual shooting. Matt Saville talked about harsh lighting and how to deal with it. We did have some pretty harsh lighting that afternoon so it was great to have hands on in dealing with the light. Yvonne LeBrun talked about posing and working with the models along with Teale Landstedt. Dana Grant talked about making friends with your clients. And Derek and Sarah Frenzel discussed composition and posing. For each group we had various models. They were: Allyson Hoehl, Ashley Gregory, Crystal Leland, Kristin Keating and Eryne Shan. Hair Accessories by: Heather Lynn Wilging Molina. Hair and Makeup by: Melody Rachunok, Brandie Bedell, and Kacee Geoffroy. Dinner was catered by the Taco Guy and afterwards, Rob "Ninja" Nicholson, gave us a talk regarding observation and planning strategies in order to achieve better business success. It was a great event and I really learned a lot.

more photos here

Friday, April 23, 2010

OC SMUG Meeting

Last night, I attended the OC SMUG Meeting. It's a monthly meeting sponsored by SmugMug that encourages photographers to get together and learn about various topics. There are SMUGs in various locations across the country. You can find one near you here. They employ various guest speakers every month to talk about a certain topic. Last night was regarding how to market to your target audience. The speaker was Lawrence Chan which is a photographer as well as a marketing consultant for Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine (Spring Summer 2010). It was a very enlightening talk and really gave us an idea of how to better market ourselves to our customers through transparency and leveraging social media. Afterward, as usual, some photographers and I went to grab some food and talk about various topics. I really enjoy these meetings since you get to meet  people with similar interests and get more insight into the photography industry. We also found out that the OC SMUG now has a new leader. Congrats to Hanssie Trainor will be taking over from Jasmine Star. You can also join the Facebook group for the OC SMUG here. As usual, all SMUG meetings are free and open to all so if you're interested, find out one thats happening near you and stop on by. There will be one next week in Riverside and it will be featuring Rob Nicholson. For more information about that go to this website. The leader of the Riverside SMUG is David Wolf. He's a great guy and works in SmugMug customization so if you have a SmugMug site and want to make it look awesome, he's the guy to contact.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Talkshop with Gavin and Erin Wade

Last Sunday, I attended an incredible workshop by Gavin and Erin Wade. I learned so much from all different aspects of photography, from technical to marketing and everything in between. Gavin and Erin were very helpful in answering all our questions regardless of how simple or complicated it may be. There was also a quick photo shoot with Priscilla and Drew at a great location setup by Gianna SanFilippo. She was also gave us a short talk regarding vendor relationships and a little insight into what Wedding coordinators do. In addition, Paul Von Rieter gave us a brief look into SEO and how to make our blogs more efficient. Here are a couple of images from the photoshoot. Some of the other vendors were:

Decor and Accessories: Chic Celebrations and Tuvalu Home
Floral Arrangements: Desdemonia Gilbert
Bridal Gown: Vera Wang via One Night Affair

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cypress College Photo Expo

Yesterday, I attended the Cypress College Photo Expo. It was a small expo that had only a few tables. I believe the main draw for the Expo were the speakers. Starting a noon, there were various speakers and workshops going on.

I had a good time listening to the speakers. Also had a great learning experience talking with Doug and Henry from Tiltnshift.com regarding lighting. They're workshop was so packed there was a line outside.

Since this was the first expo that the college has held, I'm sure future ones will be just as good or even better.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tonight at USC

They had Grant Imahara from Mythbusters as a guest speaker. It was great. He talked about his background in special effects as well as what he did on Mythbusters. I stayed around at the end and was able to get a picture with him... actually I was the ONLY person who stayed around to get a picture with him.... lol

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back from Hawaii

I was in Hawaii for a week on vacation and had a great time. It did rain a bit while I was there so it limited some things that could be done. I came back with a slight sunburn, but overall, it was great.

Took a few shots while I was there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Boudoir Workshop

Last night, I was able to attend a Boudoir Workshop held by Doug and Henry of Tiltnshift. It was a great shoot and I learned a lot of about lighting and posing a model. Our model was Tori Bell from Florida. She was great to work with and was very good in taking directions for poses as well as just posing on her own. This allowed us to focus a bit more on shooting as well as looking at the lighting options during each pose.

This was different from other shoots since the lighting was completely controlled in a studio environment. I shot everything with a 50mm f/1.8 lens since my other lens which is a 18-200mm doesn't shoot very well in low light.

The results turned out very well and some of the photos are up. Due to the nature of the shoot, I chose not to post up the nude photos publicly.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

SoCal Photog Shootout

Last Thursday, I was privileged enough to participate in a Wedding Shootout in Pasadena. It started at 1pm and finished around 8:30pm. A long workshop to say the least. I had a great time. Shot close to 3000 pictures, although the final collection was only 93 pictures. Many shots were duplicates.

It was truly a great learning experience. One casualty however was that my SB-600 flash unit burned out. So I have to save up to buy a replacement. For now, the onboard flash will have to do.

I still have a workshop to go to on Monday and hopefully, that will not require to have a flash. One of the bad things about being unemployed is that I just can't go out and buy equipment as needed. In addition to the flash, one of my camera batteries also went bad.

Event Coordinator: Amanda Auer, In the Now Weddings
The Hair, Make-up and Stylist Team: Kacee Geoffroy, Alisha Baijournas and Michelle Cunningham
The Videographer: Nick of Crafthouse Productions
The Engagement Rotation: Models, Sarah and Derek, who are actually photographers.  Lead Photographers: Gavin and Erin Wade
The Details Rotation: Brian Khang, Lead Photographer.
The Paper Details : Alli Wells Studios.
The Getting Ready Rotation: With model Ashley and makeup artist Becca, lead by Matthew Saville. Dresses from Mariposa Bridal Boutique in Anaheim
The Bridal Portraits Rotation: Jenn King, a model and a photographer and leader Wai Reyes
The Florist: Honey & Poppies
The Ceremony: The models – Kacee, Erik,Joanna, Shane, Mike, Tim, Sam and Mackenzie. Lead Photographer: Garrett Davis
The Romantics: Models: Ashley and Sean, Lead Photographer: Cean One
The Caterer: Jay’s Catering
The Cake: Fancy That! Cupcakes (909)524-1864
 Rest of the Photos are here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Post Processing

I decided to re-process some of my older pictures that I took a few years back. I've learned a lot more regarding post processing and I was able to make the pictures that I thought were already good, even better.

Attempting to also re-organize the galleries on Smugmug in order to show the updated pictures.

One week to go before the SoCal Photog Shootout workshop. Hopefully, the news of rain will fall through. Although I think being indoors wouldn't be that bad.

On a side note, I returned the Canon gear that I borrowed because I realized that it really affects my workflow dealing with Canon raw files and editing. Also the camera battery was bad. I should be mastering my own equipment anyway.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I was able to borrow a Canon 5D from a friend as well as a 70-200mm lens w/o IS.

This weekend, I'm going to be borrowing a Nikon 24-70 lens from another friend.

All this means is that I'll be dual wielding at my workshops this month. This also means that I gotta learn how to use a Canon 5D by then since I'm primarily shoot with a Nikon D300.

I have some time to learn and practice at least. :)

Friday, January 29, 2010


It's been a while since I've updated. Work has gotten too hectic, but no longer. Today was my last day at work.

Hopefully, I should have more time to do some shoots. I was at the OC Smugmug Meeting last night and won free registration to a Wedding Photoshoot Workshop that's being held in a couple of weeks. That should be a great experience. I've also registered for a boudoir workshop.

It should be a great February.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Work has been keeping me away from photography lately.

Merry Christmas Everyone and have a great New Years!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Last night, I attended the October LA SmugMug meeting with speaker Kathy Rappaport. She went over the business aspect of Photography and I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information. There were many things to be considered. From business plans to taxation, bookkeeping to business licenses. It was truly an eye opening experience. Looks like I have a bit more to study up on.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Star Wars in Concert

Last night, I had a chance to go to see Star Wars in Concert. They wouldn't allow pro cameras so I only brought my point and shoot camera. Best experience EVER! So many props and stuff to see PLUS the actual concert. It was so awesome!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lots of progess today.

I did some fine tuning of my website and it looks like most of it is functioning like it should. I also updated my portfolio page and it's now part of the flash slideshow on the front page.


Looks like I'm done with in the initial customization for my SmugMug site as well as this blog. Will make some more changes tomorrow. Took a lot more work than I expected, but I think it's worth it to learn exactly how to make improvements myself instead of hiring someone to to do it for me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Blog

I finally set up a blog and also in the middle of customizing my SmugMug website. I believe it was time that I became more serious with my photography in hopes to eventually start my own business one of these days.