Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fun With Grandma

We drove up to Coyote Point Marina yesterday, took a nice hike in the sun, and had an improvised photo session with Grandma and the kids.  The morning winter light is amazing; the portraits I took with my DSLR, and the landscapes are from my iPhone.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Bokeh Galore

Eucalyptus Street in San Carlos is a magical place this time of year.  There are inflatable Santas ten feet tall, there are Nativity scenes, there are reindeer pulling sleighs, huge blown glass ornaments, snowflakes, Grinches, glowing gift boxes, bows and angels and elves and glitter, and there are hundreds upon thousands string lights adorning every house and tree and car.  It's a very good photo opportunity for one's Holiday family portraits...if, of course, your kids are willing to stand still for even a second instead of running amok, trying to destroy the place.

We left the baby at home so that Johnny could enjoy some Christmas spirit, but I only managed to take one proper photo of him.  I compensated with capturing the amazing bokeh!  Merry Christmas, peeps!

Monday, December 8, 2014

At Santa's House

I love Christmas but when it comes to decoration, I keep it simple.  A stocking or two under the mantelpiece, a small living tree, a dozen ornaments in classic red and gold...and that's pretty much it.  But life is interesting because people are different, and there's a family in our neighborhood who's literally obsessed with holiday lights.  We went to their house last year to take the photos for our Christmas cards and we returned again yesterday for more bokeh and glitter and toddler fun.  Most of the portraits here are fuzzy on the focus - I was tired and the light was fading fast, and I was not able to keep up with the speed Johnny was running around.  Still, seeing the way his face lit up when we got there made up for all my technical failings.

P.S.  This is Johnny's NO face.  I get that face every time I try to photograph him...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Family Affair

Today I share a photo collection of my lovely friends N&J, who also happen to be my most loyal customers so far.  This is the fifth time I take their family portraits, and every session seems to include one more kid than the previous!  And let me tell you, getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time is the best kind of practice I need for my craft.  Luckily, they are all very photogenic and good looking, so the fun is always greater than the work.  Thanks, guys, for sharing your happiness with me, and letting me try and capture it!

P.S.  The next session will be exclusively for goofy faces and poses.  You rock at it!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Santa's Little Helpers

'Tis the season, my friends!

I started it off with an amazing photo session of these two beauties, and I can't be more happy with the results.  First of all, they are - evidently - gorgeous.  Secondly, they were in their element, which means in the process of driving their Mamma nuts trying to get them ready for the shoot.  And finally, the winter morning light was just perfect, bright yet filtered, giving these awesome contrasts to everything.  So my only job was to show up, point my camera at them, and click! Sure, I danced around them, laughed with them, and I used a few tricks to coerce them to pose, but all this was just part of the fun.

Enjoy and do let me know if you desire a Holiday-themed portraits of you and your loved ones!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Under the Sea

This weekend we traveled to one of my most favorite places on Earth - the Monterey Bay, and we finally visited the Aquarium.  You might wonder why are there almost no images of my kids, husband, Mom or father-in-law, even though they all came in tow.   Well, it's quite simple really.  The baby stayed outside with my mom and John Sr. and they walked down on Cannery Row to the Fishermen's Wharf, and once inside, I practically lost sight of Johnny and John not 15 minutes in.  It was crowded, noisy, hot, and dark in the Aquarium, and if it wasn't for Johnny's flashing shoes, John would have lost track of him too...  Besides, there are way too many photo of my children in this blog already :)

At any rate, we had fun.  The turtles, sharks, octopus, and the rest of the sea-life were amazing!  I quite enjoyed the jellyfish and the schools of silver fish swimming in circles in the elaborate Aquarium tunnel tanks.  

Photography-wise, this was one of the most challenging environments to shoot in.  Not that I was really set up for achieving some sort of award-winning perfection, but I wanted to do justice to the lovely ocean occupants.  For the most part the exhibit rooms were too dim to focus properly, and the fish were moving too fast to use slower shooting speed.  Flash was not allowed - and was useless anyways because it would have thrown terrible reflections off the tank walls, but there was no room for a tripod either, as it was a tourist-packed Saturday morning.  And cranking the ISO helped some, at the cost of way too much noise... 

Considering that all of these are hand-held and that I used my kit lens, however, I should say I did pretty darn well.  Enjoy!

P.S.  You gotta love the new statue at the city wharf with Steinbeck perched on top!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Gang

I really ought to hire someone to take a proper family portrait of us, but until then these should do.


Thursday, October 30, 2014


Freelensing + Fall = some serious visual excitement!  

Freelensing is the method of detaching the lens from the camera body and shooting by using your feet as a vario, and tilting the lens to find a focus point.  It's really fun, and I want to give all the credit to my fellow photographer Alex for inspiring me to try it out!  The shallow depth of field is insane, and the overall effect is almost like a tilt-shift.  I present you my first experiments with this technique, and boy, do I love the bokeh and the flares in these!  

Taken in my back yard this morning, just before the weather turned overcast.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Julian is almost two and a half months old, and he's already used to having my camera in his face.  He is still a very serious baby...until he smiles, and then the whole world brightens up!

These were taken on an overcast day, and I really like the filtered quality of the light.

Guest star: Shelby (and Grandma assisting in the background with holding up the baby)!