hello, osaka.

Again, a very quick update. I should really be asleep, but I’m so wired right now. I haven’t been to Japan in something like 11 years and now that I’m here… wow.

I wish I could come here all the time. I knew I loved Japan, but I guess I had forgotten just how much. I desperately wish I could spend more time here. Being here is also making me miss my Japanese class even more. I’m so looking forward to that starting back up again.

Prior to the flight tomorrow, I’ll be going for okonomiyaki, which is a traditional Osaka dish. My dad has never had it before, so it should be fun to take him there. I was also heartily amused and proud that I managed to get through immigration whilst talking to the guy in Japanese. I also managed to find out where to buy tickets for the bus and get the convenience store employee to heat up my sandwich before I left. It’s extremely validating to know that I actually can use this language I have been studying so passionately for so long, and it’s just inspiring me to work harder and learn all that I can. Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to come back for a much longer trip.

I only managed to take a couple of photos before my CF card filled up — guess I forgot to clear it in Shanghai (whoops). The first was overlooking an area filled with b-boys. I’m not really sure why that spot in particular seems to be b-boy central, but it was entertaining to watch them briefly. And the second is just a little shot of our view from the hotel using a tiltshift lens.


Alright. I’m out. Oyasuminasai!

Just a quick update before I go to bed.

My grand Chinese adventure is coming to a close. I am back in Shanghai after spending a week in Changzhou and tomorrow evening, I fly to Osaka for less than 24 hours, then back to California. The trip has been quite a whirlwind. I’ve unfortunately spent a good 90% of it sick and consequently have been sneezing and coughing and gagging my way all over China. Still, I’ve managed to pack quite a lot of exploring and photo taking into the amount of time I’ve had here. It’s been amazing. I wish I had been healthier so I could have maybe appreciated it a little bit more, but nonetheless, I feel so incredibly lucky and happy that I’ve had the opportunity to do this. It has been an all around phenomenal experience and I can’t wait to write a bit more about it and share more photos. Hopefully I’ll have a chance for a small post in Osaka, as well as a larger one back in the US. Until then, good night!

summer days, drifting away.

So, school has been out for a while. Why is it that I haven’t posted since late May?

I have been taking photos. I have been wanting to post them. I just haven’t done it. School really took it out of me this year, and I guess I’ve needed some time to recuperate and breathe. But let’s be honest — two months is more than enough. So here I go. Let’s make a post.

As I mentioned, school was really rather hectic this year, but I made it and I am extremely proud to say that I got A’s on all of my finals and maintained my 4.0 GPA throughout the year. I even did well at my new Japanese school — aced that final, and got third place in the speech contest. With all of that hard work done, I’m actually really excited to be going into my senior year. A little apprehensive still, I suppose, but definitely excited. Time to go out with a bang.

But enough about school. What have I been doing this summer? Let’s see…

I went to Katy’s graduation party…


I took Noel’s headshots in Griffith Park…

I’ve hung out with my friends in the valley…

Wandered around Little Tokyo with Emily…

Went to the beach…

Practiced using studio lighting…

Drove up to Big Bear with my mom, Chris’s family, and the dogs…


On the 4th of July, Kira texted me and said she’d be visiting from Minnesota for a grand total of 48 hours, so I met up with her in West Hollywood the next day…

And now? Now I’m in Shanghai!


I still can’t really believe I’m here. I fly back to California the second week of August, but until then, I’ll be exploring China, taking lots of photos and eating tons of food. Once I’m home, I’ll be scheduling shoots and getting back to my regular posting. To help me get back into the habit of blogging, I’ll be posting trip updates and photos throughout the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out!

Hope you all are having a lovely summer! Zàijiàn!

chris – sneak peek.

I so badly would like to put up my full posts, but this is better than nothing. And hey, school is almost over, which means lots more time to take care of these things! Even with school and finals going, I thought I’d take a minute between taking chemistry notes and writing a poem based on The Pit and the Pendulum to give you all a sneak peek of my awesome senior portrait session with Chris (and his dog, Mindy!).

I have a fairly long story to go with this photoshoot, but that will come later. I hope you enjoy this little preview!

fiona – sneak peek.

It is late, and I have to get up early tomorrow. But I haven’t posted in a really long time, and I’ve needed to. Several posts that I need to write and put up, but school has been crazy and finals are imminent.

That being said, I really wanted to share with all of you a little peek at what’s to come. If you follow me on twitter, you probably know that I just shot my first senior photo session on Sunday. Really excited to post those. But last month, I had a super fun little fashion/editorial kind of shoot with Fiona modeling and Kelsey doing makeup and styling. Details on that soon, I hope. For now, enjoy these two shots from that awesome day.


watson & mindy – happy 1st birthday!

Yesterday was Watson and Mindy‘s 1st birthday! We wanted to celebrate this red-letter day right, so we threw them a party. Call us crazy, but I have to say: it was pretty awesome. There were pink (Mindy) and green (Watson) decorations, doggy-themed desserts, and even a cake for the dogs! Enjoy these photos of our ridiculous tribute to the best puppies ever.

Poop cupcake anyone?


The doggy cake consisted of over 5 pounds of meat (ground beef and lamb) with mashed potato frosting. Mmm… tasty…

Watson knew there was food being prepared…

… but was unamused when told he had to wait to eat it.

The cake looked awesome, as did the decorations.



Mindy and family!


Cake time!





And finally, a quick picture my mom took of me and my puppy. I love him so much. I can’t believe he’s already a year old! I am so very much looking forward to celebrating many, many more years of Watson.

keep calm & drink tea – the tea gardens.

School has been so completely insane. I have a few exciting posts I would like to put up, but I’ve been so lacking in time. I take my last two midterms today and then I will be done with school until January. I have so much to say about all of that, but for now, let’s talk about The Tea Gardens.

The first word that comes to mind when I think of this place is “warmth”. It just has such a warm and comforting vibe. Such charm and whimsy from the moment you walk in the door. Then, of course, there’s the tea. I love, love, love tea. There are so many different kinds with so many different flavors. From the light and refreshing iced teas, to the rich and soothing hot teas, The Tea Gardens really succeeds at providing something for every mood and every taste.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to take a few photos for their brand new catering menu. It was a very quick shoot with very little prep time, but I think we pulled it off.

This is their boxed lunch, which gives you the option of a sandwich, wrap, or salad, with a side of fresh fruit and a scone. They opted for the egg salad sandwich for the shoot, which happens to be a favorite of mine.

Next is their dessert gift wrap, which you can add on to any box of their tasty desserts.

Lastly, their scone box, which you can get with an assortment, or choose any two types of their scones.

Such a fun little shoot. I love opportunities like this. Last weekend, I went back for Clare‘s birthday party (I got croissant french toast, which was awesome) and got to take a look at the new catering menu. It’s so much fun to see your work in print. Such an amazing and satisfying feeling.

Speaking of print…

The holidays are fast approaching, and with it, a new year. What better gift to give than my Puppies! 2012 wall calendar? It’s full of fluffy cuteness, and 10% of the profits go to ACT V Rescue & Rehabilitation. There are some other totally adorable puppy products here, and my art prints can be found here. After you get a calendar or print, you should go get some tea and croissant french toast (oh my goodness it was so good).

Thank you, Tea Gardens, for this totally fun shoot and all the tasty food and drink! See you again soon!

The Tea Gardens
www.theteagardens.com
Santa Clarita, CA

trials, tribulations, etc.

My calendar was pulled off of CafePress yesterday. Now, there’s no reason to panic. I have already fixed the problem and gotten the calendar back online. It is available here, and you should totally check it out. And tell all your friends. And all of their friends. And all of the random people you meet on the street. Because… well… puppies.

The reason why it got taken down is quite fascinating, really. As you can see in the mosaic in my previous post, there is a photo of the adorable Darby facing off with a dreaded Dalek. It’s really one of my favorite photos that I have taken. CafePress, however, did not like it so much. Their Content Usage Policy says that “NO pictures or photographs of products (such as toys). Even if you own a product, trademark laws may still prohibit you from selling merchandise that features pictures of it. For example, you cannot take a picture of your Barbie and sell Barbie merchandise with that picture.” Clearly, I am not taking a photo of my Dalek and using it to sell Doctor Who merchandise. I am selling a puppy calendar, which happened to contain a photo of a Dalek threatening to exterminate a puppy**. It really isn’t copyright infringement, nor am I trying to offend the fine people of Doctor Who in any way. However, CafePress just has a blanket policy that no photographs of products can be used.

So, there you have it. No more Dalek. Too bad, so sad. I have shifted things around so that my Watson can be featured prominently on the November page. All other pages remain intact. Also, don’t forget to check out the other puppy products here and my art prints here. Have a great week, and keep an eye on the blog. Photos from my session with Clare are coming soon!


**No puppies were exterminated in the making of this calendar

puppies 2012.

Hey everyone!

I am very excited to announce the launch of my 2012 ‘Puppies!’ wall calendar! I have been working on this project for close to a year now and I am so happy that it is finally done. The calendar features thirteen adorable rescued puppies, six of which were our foster puppies at one time. This calendar would make a great gift to a friend or family member, or even to yourself! 10% of the profits from each calendar sale will go to ACT V Rescue & Rehabilitation, which is the rescue we did all of our foster work for. Plus, the world is going to end in 2012 anyway, so you might as well get your fix of puppy photos now.

Special thanks to Ben, Mark, Darlene, Vicki, and ACT V for their help in making this project possible! Thanks also to all of my wonderful puppy models, of course. I hope you all like the calendar!

Check out the calendar here. For some more cute puppy products, click here. Also, don’t forget to check out my art print shop!

doctor watson.

So, speaking of puppies…

I really feel the need to talk about my Watson for a bit. I spend approximately 420% of my time every day thinking about him. He’s been such a weird and wonderful thing to watch. And when I say thing, I really do mean thing. Some of you may recognize this photo of the three little orphans about a week after they came to us as fuzzy, wiggling worms.

He then proceeded to grow…


And grow…


And grow!



While he has been growing, so has my adoration of him (cue studio audience ‘awww’). I don’t know how to explain the joy I feel when I come downstairs in the morning to be greeted by my Watson. My day hasn’t started right unless I’ve had a couple of minutes to sit down on the floor with my (over 50 pound) puppy in my lap. He rides with me in the car on my way to school and is sitting in the backseat waiting for me when my mom comes to pick me up. He just makes life good.

I’ve been spending some time taking him to the park nearby to work with him on modeling paying attention to me even when there’s lots of other stuff going on around us. Lately, I’ve been combining that with some photo time, because he quite frankly has become a truly handsome specimen of a dog.



This next one is really just an outtake… but I’m sharing it with you all because it makes me laugh every time I look at it. Watson is generally such a zen dog. Curious, but not spastic… well, that’s a lie, but you get my drift. However, there was a game of catch going on behind my head while I was taking these photos and at one point, he apparently just couldn’t take sitting still and watching it anymore.

The last few are a bit more personal. Their main purpose is to provide more puppy-filled fodder for my profile picture on facebook, and are therefore not really my best work. They mean a lot to me, though. They are really a perfect display of why I love photography. These are moments, captured. Frozen in time forever. These are all moments I find myself in several times a day with my dog, and now they have been documented. Just the way they should be.




I kinda, sorta love him.

Okay. I’ll stop obsessing over my dog now. Thanks for reading. =]