sarah’s sweet 16.

A little while back, Sarah contacted me about getting her headshots done before she auditioned for a production of Les Misérables. Shortly after our headshot session, she and her mother got back in touch with me to ask if I could photograph Sarah’s Sweet 16. They told me a bit about how the event would go down, and I was hooked. It sounded so exciting, which turned out to be a serious underestimate.

I arrived in time to snap a few shots of the birthday girl getting ready, and shortly after, the guests and the party bus arrived.





After a quick headcount and itinerary check, everyone loaded onto the bus and we were off to Downtown Disney! But it wasn’t just a tedious, hour-long drive down to Anaheim. It was bright lights, glow sticks, and dance music.






As soon as we got to Downtown Disney, we headed to House of Blues for dinner.





Cake time, followed directly by a shopping spree!



The night ended with everybody back on the bus, staring at cell phones and falling asleep. I had some incriminating photos of the chaperons falling asleep too, but I seem to have misplaced them.


It was a pretty amazing and unforgettable night. I hope you had a great time, Sarah, and thanks for having me and my camera tag along!

Don’t forget to check out more from this event on my facebook page. And speaking of my facebook page, I have just recently reached 100 likes! Thank you so much for your support, everyone — I really appreciate it. Also, there’s just 30 days left of my summer session discount. Schedule now and get 10% off your shoot! Offer ends May 31st, so don’t miss out!

annie & greg – reception.

After my couple’s portrait session with Annie and Greg in Camarillo, I could not wait to photograph their reception at the Valencia Hills Clubhouse. The evening was so full of love and laughs, and I had an amazing time capturing it. It was a simple and beautiful event–flowers, candles, good food, good music, and good people.

I arrived a bit early to help set up and snap a few details.



How sweet are these baby photos of the bride and groom?

Just before the guests started to arrive, I pulled Annie and Greg aside for a few shots. They looked really incredible. What a gorgeous pair.






Cake time!



I really love these shots. Annie and Greg looked so happy dancing together, and the father-daughter dance was adorable.


As things began to wrap up, we went outside for a few more shots of just the two of them. They kept looking at each other and just smiling. What a great way to end the night.

Check out a few more images from the evening here.

nihon, daisuki.

I may have already mentioned my love for Japan… but seriously. I love Japan. 14 hours was not nearly enough time there. My dad and I woke up as soon as we could and ran out of the hotel to find some food. We made our way to Ajinoya, as was recommended we do. I have to say, it was a fantastic recommendation. I ordered for the both of us (okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and onion omelet). Japanese food is my favorite, and this place was absolutely amazing. We ate way too much and then headed back to pack up our stuff and go to the airport. It was a bittersweet farewell. I was so happy to be going home, but… Japan. I love, love, love Japan. And I cannot wait to go back.

I took as many photos as I could while I was there, and a bunch of them have been uploaded to my facebook page. Check them out, and don’t forget to hit that like button!




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!

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

baked mussels & green tea pound cake.

Just a quick food post, because I was looking through some of my photos from earlier this year and these two made me hungry.

I like to make dinner for my family on occasion. There was a time when the plan was for me to do it once a week, but that has never completely worked out. Still, cooking is one of my favorite things to do (aside from eating). This past February, I cooked several meals, including this one.

The main dish was Japanese baked mussels. This is one of my absolute favorite dishes. I order them so much, our favorite sushi chef puts them into the oven the second he sees me walk in the door. That being the case, it seemed obvious that I learn how to make them myself. I first made an aioli with garlic, egg, powdered horseradish, fresh lemon juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil. Just before spreading the aioli onto the mussels, I added a bit of half and half, Sriracha, and tobiko. The mussels were laid out on a foil lined baking pan, sauced, and broiled. 15 minutes or so later, dinner was served.

They turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I served them alongside miso soup, a seaweed and cucumber salad, and some spicy edamame.

For dessert, I made a green tea pound cake using this recipe. It didn’t turn out quite how I expected, but was still pretty good. A dollop of sour cream and some black lava salt completed the dish.

Nothing like pretty food that tastes good, too.
More food posts, and several other posts, coming soon!

corner table.

For my 16th birthday last month, my parents took me to Corner Table. Like many of the restaurants we favor, they pride themselves on using fresh, local ingredients to craft a unique and ever changing menu. This, however, was something special. We ordered the prix fixe and were provided with some of the most delicious dishes ever to reach my table.
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