'm currently nestled in the green hills of Del Mar, California and the skies are so blue I want to take a gulp. I'm at the Engage Conference and I'm loving every minute of it. It's a place where wedding professionals gather to collect inspiration, trade ideas, and challenge each other to think BIGGER.
There's also bubbly drinks involved, but that's a whole other post.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of shooting a wedding in Malibu with Meg Perotti. I blogged about the experience here, but on this Tuesday I'm truly honored to have photographed a wedding with a peer and experience a wedding day from an entirely different perspective: a second shooter.
Mandy chose to wear a beautiful Maggie Sottero wedding wedding and it looked beautiful on the beach in Malibu...
Mandy smiled the entire day and not a single detail was overlooked...
One of the perks of being a second shooter is capturing images I from an entirely different angle...I'm usually at the front of the altar on wedding days, so watching the bride descend the aisle was particularly cool for me...and the awesome light was helpful, too!
There's something about the way Travis loves Mandy...wholefully. Like, fully with his whole heart. Of course I made up that word, but it's befitting, so let's it slide, eh? This photo is my favorite from the session...
One of the best things as a second shooter is the ability to do things differently. As Meg and I were shooting, we used similar fixed lenses, but our settings were very different, according to the type of picture we wanted to take. Case in point: f/1.2 400 ISO 1/80. It was quite dark on the beach after sunset, but we pushed forward and made the best of the hazey beach light.
To Happily Ever After...
Memorial Day 2011
y father and his little sister hid in a delapidated shack for an entire year. His mother instructed them in spanish to never open the door or else the Department of Immigration would take them away and send them back to Mexico. So they hid. My father taught himself english--mostly through reruns of I Love Lucy--while my grandmother illegally worked in a Los Angeles sweat shop. He became the translator for the family and finally enrolled in public school a couple years later.
Francisco Alejandro Guerrero Juarez de Monserat raised his hand during morning roll call and his teacher changed his name to Francis Juarez.
As illegal immigrants, his family stayed under the radar until my father enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. If he made it home from Vietnam, he'd be granted citizenship. A few years later, he recited the Pledge of Allegiance and was given a small American flag.
My father keeps an American flag waving in front of his house still to this day. He fought with pride for this country, as did thousands of others. For those who devoted and gave their lives for my freedom, thank you. I love this country for giving an immigrant a chance at living life and creating ways for his children to dream. Out loud.
Happy Memorial Day!
Friday Randomness : Web Edition
wish I could define more who I am and stuff them into a few distinct words. I'm random, have a peculiar sense of humor, and am intrigued with life's banalities. I have a pretty good memory, so things I find on the web stick with me much longer than most. Which is pretty gnarly considering I'm on the web all.day.long. I also use periods in the middle of sentences to show how cool I am. Here's a few things I've found on the web (a few with some help with friends) as a sneak peek into things that have found a place in my brain. And sometimes my heart.
Dear Noah. Letterpress card. Most of my friends know I'm obsessed with stationary and letterpress. You wanna make me swoon and be BFFs? Get me some paper and soon you and I will be wearing matching necklaces, each wearing the other part of the half-heart. Awwww. Evan Hunt sent me a link to this Dear Noah letterpress card from etsy and I wanted to crawl through the internet and chest bump him.
Book Smarts One day I hope I'm cool enough to read enough books to comprise an entire library that looks like a test parttern. This is so dorkily cool I can't even bear it.
Parents Shouldn't Text.com Mom and Dad, please ignore this entire section and don't click on this link. Late one night a few weeks ago, I stumbled across this site and spent hours crying from laughter. JD was sound asleep next to me and I used my pillow to stifle my outbursts. Most of it is entirely inappropriate, so please don't judge me.
Symmetry Like most photographers, I derive inspiration from visual stimulation. However, when visual stimulants create emotional reactions, I walk away deeper. Wider. Lighter. This video was so moving and left me breathless.
DIY Shower Curtain Now here's the most perfect way for my creative side to meet my clean side. Ahem. This DIY Shower Curtain from Poketo is perfect for the doodler, the artist, or the person who simply likes to draw crazy things in the shower. I may or may not be one of those three types of people.
Mommy Won't Kill You Kate Douthwright posted this video on my Facebook wall and it was so cute I had to watch it twice. Okay, more than twice, but who's counting?!
Awkward Family Photos.com Okay, so this site never gets old me. And that right there? Simply proves I haven't matured since junior high. But, really, what other website assures you that there are other families weirder than your own?!
"This is a photo of my brother and I playing "Trouble." Some buy travel-sized board games for traveling, others have them for extended lonesome periods of time in the washroom."
Not every idea is a "slam dunk."
He doesn't like his picture taken before his first cup of coffee, but made an exception today because I promised Polo I'd pitch the photo for a cover of Rolling Stone.
Far Away From Aspen
don't particularly think they were different. Sure, my father spoke with a heavy accent and my mother still embraced her East LA hippie ways, but they were pretty average parents. Or at least I assumed so in the spectrum of parents at Parent/Teacher Night my freshman year of high school. We arrived as a family, but I somehow managed to slip away from the pack before they talked to my teachers.
I sat in the quad and watched from a distance as my parents looked lost and overwhelmed, my father pushing a stroller and my mom's thick red hair pulled back in a bun. I looked away and pretended not to see. Unlike other kids who might have been embarrassed by what their parents did or said, I was embarrassed of who my parents were.
Writing this makes my fingers ache.
For so long, I wanted to crawl out of my brown skin and be someone else. Belong elsewhere. A place I spent years imagining from all the books I read, complete with boarding schools, a vacation home in Aspen, and LL Bean catalogues. A place where our dented family van didn't quite fit.
Later that night my father stood in front of my bedroom door and asked what he did wrong. He asked why I didn't want to stand at his side when teachers proffered glowing words for his daughter's work. He said his father was a drunk and disappeared from his life and explained he was doing his best without really knowing how fathers act.
I think back to this moment. Often. If I could turn back time, I'd slap the 14-year-old in the quad and tell her to walk upright next to her immigrant father and hippie mother. Little did I realize long rides in our dented family van shaped who I became and the destiny of my life. Far away from Aspen.