Friday, October 31, 2008 your

hello everyone.

this week has to be the most emotional rollercoaster of a week i've had in years. i just heard of 2 deaths in the last 6 hours. one of my clients' (whom we consider a new friend) father passed. and i just heard 20 minutes ago, that my uncle passed away. may they both rest in peace. i believe they are in a better, happier place. 

as some of you know, i also teach elementary school. and this week, alone, we had a threat at our school (i won't go into too much details, to protect the identities of children and teachers) and a teacher of ours got sent to the emergency room, possibly due to stress. 

it's a clich├ę. but one that is true. life is short. love one another. tell them you love them now. 

i remember my uncle, more so early memories, of a younger man. a quiet, soft spoken one. i didn't see him for many years, but was oh so happy that he attended our wedding last year. it was a joy to my dad, and to the rest of our clan, to be altogether. to be enjoying each other. to be in the moment of what it means to be a "family." to be a family, doesn't mean Brady Bunch-happy-all-the-time-we're-getting-along type. to me, a family is something real. it's the ups, the downs, the heartaches, the laughter, the celebrations, the commemoration, the feuds, and the apologies. sometimes, apologies...unsaid. we get together because we were destined to be connected. even though it might not make sense. but it does, to US.

i'm not just saying this as a photographer. take photographs of the ones you love. the ones that we take for granted. at every event. at every celebration. at every get together. even if it's a funeral. document your life and loved ones, when they are still here. these photographs---you cannot put a price on them when they're gone. priceless.

love one another. even if you are mad at them. or might not have the heart to forgive/or apologize. let them know you still acknowledge them. we are not alone in this life. we are all connected. 

love to all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 be 15, again

i was instantly brought back to my teenage years, shooting lola's quincea├▒era last sat. 

being 15, although j. would probably argue, wasn't that long ago, for me. when i was a teenager, i was considered a "geek." nowadays, the term "geek" means someone who is a know-it-all about one particular thing, like "computer geek" or "star trek geek." but back in the days, "geek" meant what i guess "dork" means today. a part of me is still that geeky kid. i still sing loudly, with the windows down. i still love Hello Kitty. i still am in love with Johnny Depp. i still like to dance in the aisles of Rite Aid or Walgreens to the "soft hits" played over the loudspeaker late at night (j. hates when i do that. but i know that he secretly loves it...).

so, i totally "got" what lola was going through all day at her quince.  the fussing, the running around, the shying away from my camera (although i hope she got used to me shooting every step she made!), being uncomfortable in a dress and heels, the tears, the laughter with friends, cousins, family, and being surrounded by the craziness and loveliness of...being in a big family. j. mentioned that it reminded him of our wedding. imagine that....but she definitely handled herself like a young lady (unlike myself, being that age). very cool teenager.

lola is loved by 7 brothers and 2 sisters. she's the baby. we could tell this affair was coordinated, put together, and executed with love and affection. and her mother was so hospitable and sweet. she asked if we ate, or wanted any refreshments. we felt right at home!

above is a sneak peek to what's to come. still editing through some pix. stay tuned for the slideshow!

thank you Ravelo family, for your hospitality, kindness, laughter, and....fajitas!

Monday, October 27, 2008

martin album pages

love the pix of this wedding. simple. classic love. or click here

12:45 a.m.: taking a moment

wanted to post this because i love how "in the moment" they are. 
that's what it says on my iMac. in 15 min., the computer voice generated lady will tell me that it's "1 o'clock" and i will start to feel regretful for what i am doing right now. which is depriving myself sleep. 

i just got finished doing a rough version of a couple's wedding and i am hyper excited. i get in the zone when either editing or designing an album. sometimes just looking the at pictures i've taken the night before, gets me gassed (in a good way). i love what i do. i wish there were more hours in the day to do it. 

for my blog stalkers there, and you know who you are, this one is for you. thanks for being out there, reading my entries, even though it baffles j. why i would stay up and not choose sleep to blog. he doesn't understand it. it's something i need to do. it's my outlet of expression, both visual and literal, that i need to feel connected. alive. accomplished. in the moment. 

(well, at least it keeps me from being a major road-rager, driving in traffic)

so, when i wake up tomorrow, to start another day, i have to remind myself that this is living. living life well.  taking the time to appreciate what i'm doing, and the people that we do it for, who are truly amazing, and wonderful, and we are humbled to be at their service. 

ok, i think i'm ready to hit the hay! 

keep entries comin' blog design...and new newsletter...stay with me, now....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

karey & eddie's slideshow

or click here to see it in it's own window (full screen!) or copy and paste this link:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

karey & eddie: a sneak peek

the event took place at the bride's mother's home.
the flowers were different shades of white. very elegant and classy.
i'm so proud to say the hubby, j., took these great cake pix! what can i say? he's inspired by sweets! mary lou, a family friend, made this wonderful, beach-inspired masterpiece!

there they are! a moment of laughter!
they are so in love. they adore each other.
there's eddie again, making her laugh. making US laugh! makes our job so much easier!
this cute flower girl was dodging me all day. but i was able to catch this great shot!
this boy was such a good sport. i love the starfish theme. LOVE IT!

i vow to....make you laugh. for the rest of your life.

the moment we met karey and eddie, we knew this was going to be a fun, relaxed wedding. we knew that we would have a great time shooting their wedding. they had a disclaimer, that they were not "picture people." generally when people tell me that, i usually prepare myself by anticipating that the couple will feel uncomfortable in front of the camera and that they will not a lot of direction and guidance in composing a natural shot. my goal of the day, is really to capture the moment and capture the personality of the couple. we try to make them feel relaxed, and find the laughter or humor in a stressful situation, which weddings can be. but, this time, it wasn't the case. 

from the moment we arrived at the ceremony site, they were in good spirits-surrounded by loved ones. and so....relaxed. i thought, this is what it's all about. they must be meant for each other. karey and eddie found love, like meg ryan and tom hanks did on  the movie, "You've Got Mail"(j. always brings that up!). they found love online. the power of the internet! (and i guess fate and cupid had something to do with it!)  they couldn't stop hugging, kissing and laughing. oh...she loves to laugh...and he loves to make her laugh. 

karey and eddie are genuine people. they welcomed us in their home as part for the family, and we felt right at home. their friends and family were warm and down-to-earth. and...they are genuinely happy. they talk about each other, like they are each other's air they breathe. karey's speech included talking about being so lucky to have found love again through eddie. and eddie spoke to one of the guests about being so excited to marry karey, he knew this time, this love was real (ok...i paraphrase. but he said something along those lines). 

we wanted to stay and have more tacos and beer, but i wanted to get home and upload these pictures and relive the whole wedding all over again. so if you want to see more pictures from their event, check back later! you don't want to miss it!

thank you, karey and eddie for your hospitality and generosity. oh...and laughter. it reminds me why i married j. 

laughter is truly the best medicine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

salsa, tacos, and a plastic donkey

Bravo Tumbao Dance Company provided the free salsa lessons, and the exciting dance exposition (see slideshow for more pix of their dancing!)

This is Fred!!! 

Tierra y Libertad provided the ballet folklorico performances. Colorful, energetic...beautiful. See more in the slideshow!

j. and i got married last year, in south pasadena's Holy Family Catholic Church. that church holds significance, because it was the church that inspired j. to renew his faith, get baptized and confirmed, and he says, it also inspired him to "upgrade" (i hate the word "settle down") and propose to me. (j. and i had known each other for 11 years before we got married. we were 'babies' when we met). we absolutely love this church. the community is welcoming and warm. you really feel like small-towny there. the church, of course, is beautiful and reminiscent of the churches i attended while i was young, with the smell of old missalettes, incense, and old wood, not like the new, spacious, marble-esque, cold modern churches popping up around los angeles.

we recently moved 22 miles away, to covina, and miss our parish. we don't get to go as often as we should. so we were jazzed that we were able to volunteer our photography services and donate a bingo prize (a $250 valued session) this weekend at the parish festival. we were especially excited when we were told they needed someone to man the photo booth, and take pictures of kids and families on top of a burro (donkey). so i brought my digital SLR and powered up my batteries because i was excited to shoot a real live burro. i've seen them rented for birthday parties, before, but never was upfront, close and personal to one.

when we got to the photo booth, we saw a donkey all right. a plastic rental donkey. our lil' booth looked lonely, with our white tent, polaroid camera, and "Fred" (we named him!). we thought, ok, we really need to pump it up and encourage some kids and parents to take pictures at our booth. it was only 5 tickets. so everyone that passed by, we sold Fred like he was the next best thing since...the cow. it didn't take but 5 min., that we had our first customers. much to our surprise, we had steady business for at least 3 hours! Fred was a hit! who knew? 

we had so much fun, meeting new and old friends. it made us miss our church more. we really need to go at least 1x a month and attend mass here. 

the entertainment was great! folklorico (Tierra y Libertad), salsa lessons (Bravo Tumbao), and a salsa band (Latin Sol). who could ask for anything more! i love the dancing pictures, especially, because you can see the joy and fun in a dancer's face. it's so exhilarating to watch and even more fun to photograph! i'll post more pix about the excellent salsa band, Latin Sol, on my next blog entry. they were sooooo good! their music made you want to shake that thang! there's nothing like LIVE music!!! see pix of them in the slideshow!

thank you to Juan Jimenez, the entertainment coordinator, for being such a cool guy, even though Fred was worked like a horse (we didn't know we couldn't put kids on Fred! yikes! busted!).  we would also like to thank Barbara Wagner, the event coordinator, for giving us such a cool, fun job! we hope to have the opportunity again!

above are some pictures of the event! click here to view the slideshow!

(if you would like to have additional info on any of the groups above, please let me know!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kajukenbo Studio: Softball Game

johnny's martial arts studio. check out their site:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

can't rain on this parade!

j. just recently joined a martial arts studio called Bunda's Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute. he joined because he has always wanted to learn a martial art, and also get back in shape. unfortunately, since we got married, even though our life has gotten busier and more prosperous, we have been getting out of shape in the process! so he thought he'd take that step to exercise. he absolutely loves going to the  classes 3 times a week.

we attended the annual "Ohana Picnic" this sat. now, you'd think the forecast of rain all sat. would stop this bunch. as you can see with the pictures (and the slideshow), that this was not the case. it was definitely a fun-loving spirit among the members. "Ohana" means "family" in hawaiian, and this was absolutely a family affair. husbands, wives, and children are members of this studio. they were all so friendly, and seemed to be having a great time, even with the gloomy weather looming overhead. 

the craziest thing was the softball game in the rain, no less!! this was j.'s first time playing softball, and he did really well. his team won! yay! check out the slideshow. there's lots of action shots! here are just SOME of the pix i liked. too many to choose from. 

also, if you're looking for a martial arts/self defense class, check out the studio! they take all ages! 

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

a good cry

so...i stayed home sick today. dr. j.'s order (my hubby), i'm not allowed to work in the office or go on the computer. i'm supposed to be in bed.  resting. 

so here i am.

anyway, i was watching this week's "biggest loser," and it was so good. it's all about family teams, losing weight together. i know it sounds corny, but i got hooked on this show because of the back stories. because you know me, and loving to "talkstory." 

there was this one father-daughter team that had to decide who was going to be eliminated and who was going to stay and compete (they had to be eliminated because they lost the least amount of weight that week). it was so sad, because naturally, i thought, the dad has got to go. he has a lot of health issues, that would hurt his team, and he has some physical ailments that need treatment. i thought, decision was so clear cut. but when the daughter started listing all the reason why HE should stay, i was a water fountain of tears. bawling and grabbing tissue from the box. she told him that if he didn't get guidance and professional attention, he was going to die. that he needed to be here the most. but this is the line that got me, she said that she wanted to get married, and that she wanted her dad to walk her down that aisle. i was a mess. (hey, i'm a sucker for weddings! that's why i'm a wedding photographer!).

at least i can say now, my sinus are a lot more clearer. sometimes you just need a good cry. even if it's about total strangers.

now i feel like taking a walk, and baking some skinless, boneless chicken.