Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pageant of the Masters-Media Night

In the beginning of June, Christopher and I had the unique opportunity to join our friend Ernie Castello, a news reporter with OC Skyline, at the Pageant of the Masters Media Night. My dad used to take his Choirs from Santa Ana High School to the Pageant for years and years, but I, personally, had never gone. Since I'd heard great things about this art pageant, I was stoked to have the opportunity to go. Media night is a night at the beginning of summer when everyone from the media (eg television channels, newspapers, journals, magazines, etc.) could come and get a preview of what would happen throughout the summer. There were a few artists' work displayed with demonstrations in their medium of art, wine and chocolate tasting by the Ritz Carlton, a grand tour of the behind the scenes studios, and a preview of a few of the famous pieces on stage, followed by an after-party complete with yummy foods, wines, and desserts at Tivoli Terrace! It was definitely a packed evening and I am so glad I got to attend, and shoot along with the esteemed members of Associated Press and other VIP members of the press! Here's just a few shots from the evening...

Our name tags... (we're such nerds...)

Artists' live demonstrations of their medium...

Mini workshops on how to do the different featured mediums at home... this one is print making. They demonstrated how to roll out the ink and create custom prints...

Here's a shot of the artists finishing up some of the backdrops that are being used this summer in the pageant. These artists are GOOD... let me tell you! So talented to be able to recreate masterpieces so flawlessly!

Christopher, being the excellent teacher he is, spent some time learning about print making and asking a bunch of questions on how he could use this in his classroom to educate students in this fine art... he's so good! :) I love the expression on this kid's face... he's thinking "who is this guy?"

The pageant is famous for recreating fine-art masterpieces in real-life size. So they recreate the paintings and they incorporate live people posed to look like the original painting... it's fascinating to watch the process of the backdrops being created, the props placed, the people's faces being painted, the costumes, and the lighting.... it's a tedious, but spectacular display of art! Here's some shots of the makeup design on mannequins....

And then recreated every time the pageant goes on stage... but on a real person... it's looks unnecessarily unreal right now, but just wait to see what it looks like in the painting... So COOL!

Here's some shots of the full pieces

It was so fun to meet and shoot with so many people from the press and it was so inspiring seeing so many artists using their talents to create the pageant! I hope you have a chance to check it out this summer... it will be an experience you won't want to miss!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Photo Date 1: Balboa au Ralph Lauren

In the past year, I've definitely seen a lot through the lens of my camera, but I've forgotten to document me in the world I so earnestly want to photograph. As one can imagine, it takes quite  bit of energy and tactfulness to take decent self portraits and I just haven't given it any thought or consideration until Christopher sat me down and said, "something's missing from our relationship." As alarmed as I was to hear that, I was even more confused. He continued, " we have no pictures of us." I breathed a sigh of relief and we began discussing what we could do to rectify the situation. We came up with the brilliant idea of "Photo Dates."

Basically we set a date each week/every other week to do self portraits of ourselves and of each other. This way, we get pictures of us as times goes on, and we both get practice in themes, styles of photography, lighting, and posing. For me, this is a good outlet and an excellent opportunity to experiment and learn more with no pressure. For Christopher, this is probably the best way to improve all around. We decided that when we set a Photo Date, we will also set a theme/style of the date. From there we researched images within the theme/style and studied poses, lighting, and post processing techniques to get the desired look we wanted.

This past week was our first one... kind of a test run. Christopher took most of the responsibility for this one as I was super packed in my work load. We decided to go with a classy preppy look and researched Ralph Lauren ads for our references. Here's what we came up with....

Christopher found the place, posed, and took this one...

Self timer self portrait...

Self timer self portrait again...

Christopher took these of me...

And this one is definitely my favorite of his shots... he posed and captured this one... I was IMPRESSED!

So anyways, I just wanted to share this with you all because it was so fun and a good diversion from work. There's some big news dropping soon... stay tuned!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Funky Town

I suppose you could say I've been in a funk for the past couple weeks. I usually consider myself a person with a killer mental edge... I can take on stress, I can take on unpredictability, I can take on curve balls God tosses my way... for the most part. But lately I've allowed seemingly little things to get the best of me and pile on top of each other. May and June have been my busiest months and I've put work above family and friends, and I've felt the stretch in my relationships for sure. My room is a mess (anyone who knows me knows I can't think straight when things are messy). It's been difficult this year financially... as it is with most entrepreneurs in their first year... I've allowed it to get the best of me at times.  And, I went through a phase of a  week or two when I was convinced either my Dad, Christopher, or I would die at an early age of some unpreventable and unforeseen tragedy... I think it partly has to do with a tragic happening in a fellow photographer's life recently. I was convinced it was going to be reality and it terrified me that I had no control over it. But then God spoke very clearly one night as I was reading through some scriptures. I had been reading through Isaiah and it was kind of depressing reading about the wrath of God upon the Israelites and neighboring countries.... didn't make my anxiety any better. Before I blew out my candles for the evening, I had the urge to flip through Psalms and Psalm 91 caught my eye. (Side Note: This normally doesn't happen to me. I'm usually the person more likely to doubt God's ability to speak directly through scripture at coincidental times. He definitely has the ability, I just don't encounter Him in this sort of way too often.) It read as follows:

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. [I totally haven't been trusting Him] For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. [Scuse me... are you talking to me? Haha...] He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. [OKAY... Thanks for reminding me SPECIFICALLY] Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will  conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation." (Psalm 91, NLT)

So yeah... He nailed that one! I love hate it when He speaks to me like this because on one hand, I feel like a complete idiot, but on the other, I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing Him and recognizing His voice. It was so reassuring to hear from Him that He's a GOOD God. The old testament is chalk full of times when God pours his wrath on people, but it's also full of His faithfulness and goodness. Even, at times, he showed his faithfulness and goodness in times when He also poured his wrath out on the people. I'll never understand the complexity of why He does what He does, but I do know that My God is GOOD. I really have to forcibly remind myself of this fact... He is Good. He is Good. He is Good. Because I'm denser than dirt sometimes... I forget how Good He is even when the sun's shining, the flowers are all in bloom, and birds are chirping contentedly...

Thank you for reminding me. Thank you for having patience with me. Thank you for being so creative in how you show me you love me and that I'll always be taken care of.

Here's just a few shots from my 4th of July weekend, just another way He has shown me recently how Good He is. The 4th was a Uber relaxing day and miraculously, I got to do everything I needed to that day... and got to spend some quality BBQing time with family, friends, my sister Melissa, and Christopher.

Christopher took the picture of me... pretty good eh? That's my bestest 2nd shooter for ya!

I absolutely adore this picture of my sister... she's so silly :)

Aaand I really like this series of pictures....  the 2nd was totally unplanned and definitely gives you a little picture of Christopher's new favorite thing to do... give me wet willies. He thinks he's SOO FUNNY.

Happy belated Independence Day... and remember... don't be like me. Remember everyday that just because we have our independence and freedom doesn't mean we don't need Him. Being in relationship with Him and seeking him to be our shelter and trusting Him even with the hard things (like our money) give us the freedom to give back and rest deeply in the fact that He is good and has our back ALWAYS.

Peace Out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tim and Chelsea's "I Do"

Chelsea and Tim are now husband and wife. Crazy! It seems like just yesterday when I met them and we took engagement pictures at the Santa Ana Zoo. On the day of the wedding, I met up with Chelsea as she was getting her hair done and I noticed how relaxed she was. Normally brides have the jitters on the morning of, when they realize they're getting married in T-minus ___ minutes. Chelsea was just all smiles... excited to be finally be marrying her prince. 

During the process of meeting Tim and Chelsea, planning the day, and finally shooting the event, I noticed something very unique about this couple.... the way Tim and Chelsea related to one another. He is her Prince. She is his Princess. I noticed this in the way she carries herself when she's with him, and the way they designed their wedding day. She had the long flowy dress and beautiful handmade headpiece. There was love and a royal feel to the ceremony. There was a sword with a golden hilt. I love that. Every girl dreams of having a man who will see her as his Princess. Not in the sense of her getting everything she wants, but in a way that shows his upmost respect for her, his pride in her, his regard for her beauty and dainty-ness, and her allowing him to seek out her love continually. I was honored to have shared in experiencing the day they promised devotion to each other forever... and I was honored to have witnessed the princess being swept away by her prince.

The ceremony took place within the doors of  Lighthouse Coastal Community Church, and the super cool reception was held at the Santa Ana Zoo. Something super cool about their wedding was how many people were involved in the day. Chelsea's friend Veronica Fish made all the girls' jewelry, and her friend Beth Brady of Lilian Ray Designs made her beautifully jeweled head piece. Their friend Fran Tracy acted as Florist and did a beautiful job on the flowers, and probably the coolest, was Kent Yamaguchi (Director) of the Santa Ana Zoo! Many thanks to Country Garden Caterers for the lovely international-tasting dinner, and to Tim's Uncle Ed Bryant who made some STUNNING wedding bands for the two of them! That's right... he MADE THEM! And last but not least, thank you SO MUCH to Mr. Christopher and to Jack Ratana for being the best and most supportive 2nd Shooters/friends ever! I seriously have so much fun shooting with you two!
"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 |