Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jon and Christina are ENGAGED!

Okay...earlier I could barely contain myself because two friends of mine were about to get engaged. I know for me, I've been dreaming about the day I get proposed to since I was in preschool, but to be a part of someone else's 

I had a very general idea about the plans that would unfold today, but when I got to Pines Park in Dana became real. All of Jon's family was there a whole an hour and a half ahead of time setting up the table for them and it was sooo romantic!

The table was beautifully set up and was complete with sparkling cider and a "Reserved" sign....elegantly designed in black and white. 

Everyone was so excited and anxious for the proposal to happen and we all met on the beach down below to assemble the the right moment, all their family and friends would hold up signs (specially crafted by Jon and his dad) spelling out the letters to say "will you marry me?" How cute is that? Jon definitely took a LOT of time and put a lot of thought into planning the perfect proposal for Christina...and it paid off. It ran seamlessly and you can see the surprise and joy on Christina's face when it happened....dream come true in the making. 

I don't know about you, but I live for moments like that...when dreams become life to the full. me chills.

Jon and Christina's friends...they definitely have a sense of humor. After Christina had seen the signs...they decided it would be funny to change the words around. Good thing Christina was too busy being proposed to...

Funny Sidenote: When the moment came to pull the ring out of his jacket (where he'd secretly kept it all day)...Jon had some pocket issues. He described it as a panicky "where's my pocket?!!!!!!" moment...but luckily...he found his pocket and the ring...and it was all worth it in the end. Just a fun story to tell the grandkids eh Jonny?

It ended up being a brilliant day and I feel so alive after it all. I am completely head over heels in love with love...and I'm so happy to have spent the day with Jon, Christina, and their friends and family. Congrats!!!!

Thanks to everyone who helped out with this Stealth Operation today!


EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I'm excited and nervous and I can't sit still so I think I'm gonna go run for a bit. Today I shoot the first of (hopefully) many stealth operations. Unfortunately I can't talk too much about it because it would give it away....but I have to tell someone how EXCITED I am!!!!! I was watching "Love, Actually" last night (I adore that movie) and I can't get enough of the first line "Love...Actually....Is....Everywhere." The movie shows different loves in such a real way and it made me even more excited to be able to witness real live love today.....and take it captive. (side note: I don't think this coffee is helping my already excited jitters....I'm definitely going running now) Anyways....stay tuned for the results of today...not sure whether I'll be blogging them, but we'll see...I just might ;) 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tim and Chelsea's "Will You"

So...a couple months ago, Tim emailed me inquiring about a possible wedding photography excursion in June. As it turns out, a mutual friend of ours, Barri Brown, suggested he consider using me for his wedding photographer. And I love the reason she suggested he contact me....our interest in missions. I had just come back from a 7 month long excursion abroad with YWAM doing missional photography and these two lovely people have a special heart for fact, they specifically wanted someone to help capture their heart for other cultures in their wedding pictures. 

Tim and Chelsea's story is way cute and it turns out, that despite Chelsea's international upbringing....they met at college....UC Davis to be exact. Their end goal is to live in Africa!!!! How cool is that?! She wants to do medical missions as a Physician's Assistant and he wants to do work in wildlife preservation and education. They're too cute together and it was so fun going to the Santa Ana Zoo and hanging out with them this afternoon! Tim had worked there for a long time, so it was nice getting the official tour and inside information about all the cute animals on exhibit!

These were my favorites...loved those orange flowers on the fence!
Tim took us to see his Eagle Scout project he did for the Zoo...this awesome Tiki bar complete with Bamboo and thatched roof! He's had quite the history with the Zoo and it was fun to see him so excited about coming back and showing Chelsea a part of himself.

Tim and Chelsea....I had a lot of fun with you two! It was so cool to see how in love you two are...and how much fun you have without even trying! It was a good beautiful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rain Rain Stay and Play....and then come back another day

I love love love it when it rains. I think it's somewhat of a commodity since I live in Socal, but still....I love it. I love the scent of rain before it comes and I love it even more after it rains. I love how everything looks cleaner and greener after it rains. And I love falling asleep in my warm bed listening to the rain pelt the roof of my house. 

Thank you for Rain last night!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Tree Hunting

Thanks again for everyone who voted for the bio pictures! Someone brought it to my attention that it's not an easy thing to figure out how to comment on my blog entries's how you do it... at the end of each post there's a link that says the number of comments for the blog entry. If you click on it, another window will pop up and show the other comments. At the bottom of that window there will be a place for you to leave a comment of your own. Fill it in and it will ask you how you want to be identified. If you don't have a blogger account or a google email address, you can be identified by your website or your name or as an anonymous person. I'd love to know who you are so please use your name as your identity :). 

And for all of you who comment voted yesterday, I decided to go with Option 1...partly because I was partial to that one and you guys all confirmed my choice :). Thanks for your participation!

So this the crack of dawn...Christopher and I set out to Peltzer Pines to wait in line for a Christmas tree. Now, you're probably thinking we're crazy going out at 6am in November to pick out a Christmas tree...but little did you's a family tradition for the Irvine Akamine family. BUT, this year my parents had to be a conference and couldn't be there....and was Coffee Bean Hazelnut Lattes, Christopher, and me in line behind 30 other people at 6:30am this morning. We stood/sat/wandered in line for a couple hours and got we figured this would be a great opportunity to take fun pictures for the holidays. (We're Christmas fiends...) 

It was a bit chilly in Socal this morning...
There were more people than trees...I think...the line was LOOONG. Good thing we were there earlier. Christopher wanted to make sure we got a tree so he "borrowed my tripod"...just kidding.
Then we couldn't find the tree we liked.... and got a bit lost
Then we found it and posed with the receipt....yeah...we're avid Christmas tree hunters...that's our baby right behind us...and in two weeks, it'll be in our house! Hooray for Christmas!

After posing with our tree for a while, we all started to wonder what the Christmas trees must be thinking with all these people walking around, trampling them, and gawking at them. These next pictures are our attempt to speak for the Ferngully (spelling?) for Christmas trees...I know...we're odd people. But try to understand...

We had a ton of fun being weird, finding our tree, dressing like emo indie woodsmen hollister models, and celebrating the birth of our savior 32 days early :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Drug Deals and Glamour

I showed the bio section of my website to my teacher Professor Shalat and he had some very good and slightly flattering advice. He said "how am I supposed to know you're the photographer? You could just be a model....where's pictures of you with your camera?" Good point...and thank you. So yesterday I found myself in downtown Santa Ana on 4th and Main in an alley waiting for a friend, Troy Grover. As I was waiting...I definitely saw a guy drive through in a spiffy looking convertible (I'm car retarded.....what's the brand with the two racing flags?)....and stop next to another guy on a bike. They were looking around suspiciously to make sure no one was watching...and I quickly caught on that they didn't want me i pretended to be super interested in photographing my shoes.....which isn't usually too far from the truth ;). Yes...drug deals...but hey, the location is worth it :). I love love love the old and worn buildings with caged windows and dumpsters everywhere...

Oh yeah...I forgot to tell you the reason I was sitting in an alley in Santa Ana watching a drug deal...I was getting pictures taken for my bio pages on my website. So there's some good ones Troy took and I'm trying to decide which ONE to put on the first page of my bio....

So...cast your votes people!

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4
Option 5
Option 6
Thanks for your input! :) And hey!....those of you who followed and commented when I was gone last're more than welcome to comment and follow even though I'm not having crazy adventures abroad. I'm definitely having crazy adventures of a different kind here in Irvine...and I'd love to include you in the craziness!

Peace for Now

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Hey ya'all (that's for you Betsy) and exciting news! Check out (yes, it's still under construction...I'm working on it daily...) and on the first page after you enter the site, there's a "hidden" it and be curious...I dare you!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

El Fuego Yup...everything is on fire....first in Santa Barbara...and now in Orange County. It's wierd watching the coverage on the never seems real. Even with an evacuee living in my house (Christopher) still doesn't seem real. I guess it isn't real until it happens to me? Who knows...I just know that there are a lot of people displaced at the moment....lots of stress in the air...and I'm sure this is the last straw for many people after living the past couple months in complete recession and depression. I've had more friends get laid off than I've ever experienced. Life is changing. Life is temporal. Things are not forever. I know I probably have no idea what I'm talking about, but it seems to me that the things that really matter in life--the things we should be paying more attention to--are the things that aren't affected by our economy, and those things that cannot be burned or ruined by any natural disaster.

What to do now? Trust. Okay but seriously.... . Trust. Alright. Peace.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time Suckers

After spending the whole day in front of  the computer, I've come to the sad realization computer is a time sucker. For real! I sat down and 7 hours FLEW by. And  what do I actually do for 7 hours on the computer? I work....on photos...and design the website (keep your fingers crossed for a launch date that's sooner rather than later)....emails....and who knows what else. It doesn't help that half my friends are scattered on pretty much every continent...

I've come to the conclusion today...that re-prioritizing should be a priority as soon as possible if I'm ever going to be able to keep track of my days...since my current priorities seem to be times suckers.....and if I continue on this track...I will be 40 before you know it. Sad day.

Friends on different continents: I love you and miss you more than you know!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jodi and Mike's "I Doooo"

Mike and Jodi....before today I knew them only as faithful It's a Grind customers....but after spending the day with them as they tied the knot, I feel like I'm part of their family now. Not only did I get to capture all the big moments of the day like the  traditional Jewish ceremony (complete with the breaking of the glass and the "MAZAL TOV!'') but I also had the privilege of capturing the small ones too ( like sharing in Jodi's "getting ready party.")

The wedding and the reception were held at Fleming's Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach, and, thanks to Christina Glenn, the event flowed seamlessly, the rooms were elegantly decorated and the food was GOOD. So thanks, Christina and the amazing private dining staff, for making Jodi and Mike's day special! 

Okay...I just have to say that this pretty BEAUTIFUL and Mike is one lucky duck to have her as his wife :)
Classic beauty....through and through
I couldn't help myself....I loved the shoes!
One of the coolest things about their day was the emphasis they, and their whole family, put on the marriage contract. To most, the signing of the contract is just a formality that needs to get done before the party...but I loved how the symbolism of their promise is so important to them. Their contract was written in Hebrew and in English and it required the signatures of the bride, the groom, the rabbi, and two witnesses. Take a look at this thing! Beautiful....I want one at my wedding.
Sisterly love.... 

Their cake was made by Layer Cake Bakery in Irvine...and it was so simple and elegant.  
A big part of Mike and Jodi's lives revolve around their nieces and nephews....and two pretty ladies definitely played their part today. Vivian and Mia were both good sports as they got their nails and hair done....and even a little make up.  
At the end of the day...all that really family.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Daniel and Heather's "Will You" Continued

The first part of these pictures were eaten up so quickly I had to put more up....if not for Daniel and Heather to smile at.....for those friends of theirs who cannot be in Irvine for the premiere showing of their ENGAGEMENT pictures. So....another quick run through...
In the Press Room again.....Daniel was stumped by the questions the paparazzi was asking about why the Angel's lost...he said it had something to do with the weather patterns and the Aurora Borealis casting light waves inconsistent with what the Angels were used to seeing on the field...therefore causing them to lose...unfortunate turn of events if you ask me...

Warm-up batting cages....for all the warming up....
The famous bats....Heather drooled a little she didn't....but almost....

I love this shot...even though it's not really engagement-ish. I just love how his promise is made in Christ and his ring holding the place of his wedding ring is evident of this choice :)....Go God.

Aw....he's all grown up...
Look at the lovely lady soon to be called Mrs. Orduna.... :)

Aaaaaaaand....the ball's hit into deep left field. The angels run....they leap....and they catch the ball right as it's about to leave the stadium! Incredible! Did you see the height of that leap into the back wall! ....way to go kids...

The famous coach's stoic stare into the depths of the game....

Aaaaaand the runner on third goes for the steal...and SLIDES INTO HOME!!!!!

Team Orduna...

We had a wonderful day at the ballpark celebrating the engagement of these two wonderful people. I've had questions about how we got in, where the lights were, who we had connections with, etc. And the answer to all that is Manny. Daniel did most of the legwork, but long story short, all he did was ask, pay, meet Manny at the offices, and have fun EVERYWHERE in the stadium! Manny was so cool and he even gave us a great VIP tour of the press room, the clubhouses, suites, the field, and....basically everywhere! There were no stadium lights on though....for those who were wondering. All we needed was the beautiful ambient light...
"Welcome and thanks for stopping by my blog! I've discovered recently that, in addition to photography, writing is a passion of mine and I've loved including you all in my personal journey this past year. So please feel free to read about my adventures, comment often, and enjoy my photos!"     - Kate Noelle | International Wedding & Portrait Photographer |