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!

concentration part ii.

“A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” –Ansel Adams

It is easy to simply look at a photo as you would anything else. Ansel Adadms captured breathtaking black-and-white landscape images—you do not have to look into one of his photos to be impressed. Beautiful photos are often beautiful at a glance. Looking into a photo is more complicated.

The artistic and technical mastery of the Mona Lisa is clear—you look at it, and you know. However, it is her smile that people have been so intrigued by all this time. It is haunting, as it is not the blank slate-expression of many portraits of the Renaissance, nor is it a full-blown, toothy smile. It is small, delicate, and mysterious. That seemingly minute detail is what is found when a piece of art is looked into. Looking into and seeing that kind of detail in a photo is just as important as it is in a painting.

When I am focusing on those details, it has a huge effect on how I choose to capture things. Depending on what that detail is, I may choose to compose my shot so it is more subtle—a treat for the viewer who really looks. Other times, it is the main focus of the image and I really try to get up close and personal with it.

This is an assignment from my Advanced Digital Photography class. Check out my photos from the class here.

Hey everyone!

I am so excited to be graduating this year. Come mid-June, I will be free from the shackles of high school. While the idea of going into hibernation until it’s time to go to college is vaguely appealing, I actually would love to have a productive summer.

So… want to do a photoshoot?

I would love to start getting my summer schedule sorted, so please feel free to contact me about your portraits, headshots, or wedding. If you’re a Class of 2014 kid, let’s get your senior photos done!

Schedule your summer session with me by May 31st and you’ll get 10% off your shoot!

Don’t need photos this summer, but would be interested in modeling for me? I am always looking for people to work with on my creative projects, so drop me a line.

Let’s have a great summer, guys!

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.

sarah’s sweet 16 – sneak peek.

No time for a full post this week — between schoolwork, cleaning, and campus tours, I’m totally swamped — but I still wanted to share a little something.

At the beginning of March, I got to photograph Sarah’s awesome sweet 16 party. Thirty girls got on a party bus, ate dinner at the House of Blues, and went shopping in Downtown Disney. It was a pretty amazing event and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to document it. I’ll get more photos up in the not-too-distant future, but for now, check out this video I put together!

Hope everyone’s having a great week!

concentration part i.

I mentioned a while ago that I am taking Advanced Digital Photography this semester. I thought it would be fun to share my work from the class as I go. The photos won’t always be my best, but you will (hopefully) be able to see as I learn and grow throughout the semester. This kind of work is very different from what I’m used to–or rather, what I’ve gotten used to. Prior to my work being primarily portraiture, I did a lot more of the get-down-on-the-ground-and-try-to-make-a-leaf-look-interesting kind of work. I’d be hard-pressed to call it “fine art”, because I was 11 and just learning how to operate a camera. Still, I did a lot more artistic and creative work, even in Minnesota. It was my hobby as much as it was a way to develop my technique. I guess as I have gotten busier with school and as photography has become more like a job, I gradually phased out that kind of work. I miss it. And as out-of-my-element as I feel in the class, I am glad it is forcing me to get back to my roots. I really think it will help me develop my technique overall. Plus, maybe now I’ll find the time to go on photo-walks again.

In each unit, we have four photo assignments, each with a different focus. At the end of the unit, we look at a quote and discuss what the author meant by it. I will be posting my photos to my facebook page, along with their titles and the focus that the assignment called for. Here, I’ll be posting the quote and my response to it.

The first unit was called Concentration Part I. Enjoy!

“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.” –Dorothea Lange

This quote from Dorothea Lange is, in some ways, the very essence of photography. There are two ways that the quote may be perceived. The first is a very simple look at the importance of technique. A photo that tells us “nothing more than what we see” would be a very straight-on shot of a generally boring and every-day object, like a cup of water. A photo that proves what our eyes don’t permit us to see would look at that same object from a completely different and unexpected angle.

The second way one could interpret the quote is a bit more complex. A photographer has a chance of capturing even the most fleeting of moments—an expression that quickly passes over someone’s face, the tension in the muscles of a dancer mid-grand jeté. Someone that is simply watching one of these events will never be able to train their eyes to see that kind of detail on their own.

Lange is best known for her intensely moving work from the Great Depression. The amount of depth and emotion in her portraits from that time is truly stunning. That emotion is only somewhat visible with the naked eye. However, a photo captures that moment and allows the eye to study it fully.

See my photos from the class here!

hello, seattle.

Between trips, I forget just how much I love this city. It has one of the best atmospheres of any city I’ve ever been in. Maybe it’s the smell of the rain, which is intoxicating to me. Maybe it’s that I was born there. Regardless, getting to drive up for a visit this winter was a blast.

The actual drive was hectic. The weather was not agreeable at all, but we made it through. It was my first long road trip where I actually spent a good chunk of time driving. After driving straight through Oregon to Seattle in the pouring rain, I pretty much feel like I can take on anything.

I spent a lot of the trip exploring with my aunt, Maiya. We drove, bused, and walked all over the place.




When we weren’t exploring, we were probably on campus at the UW, studying and drinking lattes.



After such a great trip, I hated to leave… but I have to say, flying home on Virgin America was awesome.



During my visit I had a wonderful portrait session with the adorable 2-year-old Erica! There will be a full post on that later, but enjoy the sneak peek, and make sure to check out the rest of the photos from my trip on my facebook page.

shakespeare.

One of my most missed things about Minnesota is my acting class. It was an escape from my day to day life to a safe place. My classmates were my family. I learned so much with them and from them. Our second year was focused on Shakespeare, and I fell so completely in love. I can still perform the sonnet and monologues I learned in a heartbeat. I could probably still do my scene as well, but I had the most amazing scene partner in Heather, and I would hate to do it with anyone but her.

I am taking British Literature, and last semester, I got to do something creative for my final project. We were instructed to choose one of the several periods that we had studied, conduct some research, and present our findings in our own way. I decided to focus my project on the Elizabethan era. I created a presentation to include the info I had found on the art, music, food, and clothing of the era. However, I also set up a photoshoot. With the help of my friend Seth, I staged and photographed scenes from Shakespeare’s works. I had a lot of fun with this project, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. So was my teacher, apparently, as I got 100%!

Here are a couple of the photos from the project. Enjoy!


Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?


Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of
infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me
on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred
in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung
those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where
be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your
flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on
a roar?

annie & greg.

I’ve known Annie from theatre since I was 10 years old. During fall of last year, I got to take her headshots. Last month, I was lucky enough to get to take some gorgeous photos of her and her husband.

Annie and Greg tied the knot at a private ceremony in December, but they still wanted a few photos together for their reception. So, we arranged for a shoot near one of their favorite spots: a climbing rock in Camarillo. We arrived at the rock just as the sun was rising over the water. It was ridiculously cold and windy, so we only managed a few shots before we had to move on to another location. Before we left, we got to see a whale, a pod of dolphins, and a couple of sea lions. I wasn’t able to get any photos of them, but it was a pretty awesome sight.



After we left the rock, we wandered around Point Mugu State Park.


Finally, we went into town for a few whimsical urban shots. And hey, check out those rings. Gorgeous, no?


I’ll be uploading photos from their reception as well, but make sure to check out a few more of my favorite shots from this session on my facebook page.

under the sea.

My mom tells this story of taking me as a little kid to see The Little Mermaid in theaters. I had watched it countless times at home and had always loved it. But for some reason, that day in the theater, I completely melted down. Ursula scared all the sense and composure out of me. To this day, none of us know why that happened. Ursula is now my favorite Disney villain, and life under the sea is totally fascinating to me. So, when the offer came to go on one final field trip as a high school student, I was thrilled; we were going to Aquarium of the Pacific.

I do still have one problem with aquatic life, and therefore aquariums. Looking at the various tanks of fish, I start recalling what I have eaten, and wondering if the things I haven’t eaten would taste good sliced up and put over rice. Seriously. Being a sushi addict in front of a tank full of Yellowtail is dangerous. Other than that, an aquarium is one of my favorite places to be.



I really love taking pictures of jellyfish. These were so tiny, I had to use the macro attachment for my Lensbaby.

My love for jellyfish pales in comparison to my love for penguins. The day of the field trip, I was wearing one of my three penguin hats. I follow Avery, one of the Aquarium penguins, on twitter. I really, really, really love penguins.



This was such a fun day. Make sure to check out the rest of my aquarium photos on my facebook page.

I am starting my last semester of high school today. I’ve got an intensely heavy workload, but I’m so excited. I got straight A’s this past semester, so I just have to stay focused and do it one more time. Also, I’m taking Advanced Digital Photography, and I plan to post my photos from the assignments. Keep an eye out!