Thursday, April 30, 2009

photo tips by g.

often times, people ask me my opinion about photography or ask photo-related questions. in this age of digital, more and more people are interested in learning more about DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Relfex) cameras. one question that i get from most are, "i want to get an digital SLR camera. what kind will help me take awesome photos?" well, the answer is....none. no camera or gadget will take "awesome" photos. you are the one, the one behind the lens, that can make that photo the best that it can be. if this is your first time buying a camera that is not a phone or a point-and-shoot, here are some suggestions:

1) information is key. you are making a big ticket item purchase. so get your information from someone who knows about cameras. do not go to Best Buy or Target or Cost Co to inquire about cameras. your local camera shop, will know more about different brands of cameras, and will be able to answer your questions and suggest brands and models to meet you needs.

2) i am very big on educating oneself about new products, especially electronics. read up on camera models online or in photo magazines. reviews are also informative.

3) this is a must!! after you buy your camera, make a commitment to learn it outside of "auto" (if it has this setting). if you have difficulty following your manual, (do not throw it away! put it in a safe place for reference) take a workshop or class to learn how to use the features of your camera. you will have bought an expensive "point & shoot" camera, if you don't use the other features of the camera.

4) shoot, shoot, shoot. practice makes perfect. it's digital, so you're not wasting money on processing and developing. join a Flickr group or join a MeetUp group. there's a plethora of free advice and critique, and thousands of enthusiasts, like you, learning from one another.

if you have any other photography-related questions, please post a comment on our site! your question may be featured on our blog in future entries! happy shooting!

Monday, April 20, 2009

car show

when we're not shooting portraits or weddings, we like to check out local events. because we're so busy, we usually do not get to partake in what our community has to offer. 

as much as i like taking pictures of people, for some odd reason, i love taking photographs at car shows. i think it's because i like shiny things, and colorful things. at car shows, you find all of the above. a car is somewhat like a person, in that it has curves, and shiny accessories. i understand why guys love their cars as much as their women. duh. 

i don't know what any part of the car is. so don't ask me. all i know is i absolutely love chrome. it's like the accessories on a beautiful woman. ooooo....shiiiinny.   

it was fun hanging out at the car show, and cool of the participants to let us be spectators and admire all the sweet cars. check out your local car show. you'll see what i mean.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Clean Paws

this weekend was a warm, and activity-filled. i will post pix from the weekend this week. but until then, i thought i'd post some pix of my baby, Popo, who is 2 and a half years old. whilst people share pix of their children, since we don't have any children, we have Popo. he's the apple of our eye, and is always giving us unconditional love. 

here he is, right after the groomers gave him his monthly bath. our puppy is so spoiled, his groomers come to my parents' house (aka "grandparents") every month. i wish i had that treatment!  i thought it was so cute that he had a purple bow, that said "i love my owner." we have a great mobile grooming service, called "Clean Paws" and they serve Los Angeles and San Bernardino. They are great, and the price is right! (909) 592-0120

tell them Popo Spiller sent ya!

From Drop Box

Friday, April 10, 2009

guest book

we got married about 2 years ago. it seems like yesterday. i still feel like a newlywed. at times, i feel i haven't quite stepped into my wifely duties, but it's on my list of to-do's, for sure. 

when we got married, since it was a big affair, (i was the only girl, and first child to get married in my family) i wanted to make sure that i remembered everyone that attended. so i had a few things in place. on our RSVP postcards, we had everyone write their best marital advice. from there, we chose the most memorable, unique, funny, etc., and printed them on candles, which were to be 1 of 2 favors we were handing out. i saved all the postcards and kept them in a keepsake box, so we can reminisce later by reading all our well wishes. another way to remember all our guests, was having assigned photographers (my bridesmaids, and maids of honor) to take fun, informal pictures of each family. i like these instead of the table group pictures or whole group formals because you can actually see everyone. the last thing we did was to hire an awesome videographer. we asked our videographer to take some time before dinner to walk around and ask our guests to record their well wishes. we watch our wedding DVD at least once a year and we are still touched by the sentiments and laugh at some funny moments. 

another cute idea, which we did not incorporate in our wedding, but wish i did, was having a personalized, custom guest book. instead of having your guests sign a picture framed mat, guests can sign your guest book with all the wonderful engagement images from our session. you can leave some pages blank, put personalized questions on the pages, or simply have lines drawn and have a traditional guest book (for addresses). here is ronald and kathy's sample guest book. this is a rough sample, but it will give you an idea. click here to view on a separate window.

i love cute ideas that incorporate photos! if you have a cute idea, leave a comment and let us know! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

cool film

if i feature other photographers on my blog, it is because i respect and admire what they are doing. in this line of work, you have to continue to be inspired, and push yourself to improve as an artist. my passion is photography, since i picked up my parents' 110mm viewfinder at 12 years old. so, even if i was not in the business, i was still be experimenting with my photography, learning techniques, and striving to do better.

below is a cool film shot entirely with a camera, by Engaged Films. the new digital SLR cameras are coming out with high quality video. so it's an exciting time for photography. i thought i'd share with you a cool concept for an engagement session. i thought the idea was inspiring. not to mention the setting and couple are very sexy...oh, by the way, the song, "show you my love" was written and performed by our wedding videographer, Mike Schmid, who has moved on to bigger and better things, like playing on tour with Miley Cyrus and producing his own albums. you can find more of his tunes on iTunes! i love his music and i'm so proud to say that i "knew him when."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

life lesson #3: most fears are in your head (i mean, MY head)

had my first insulin appointment today. well, it was a training on how to inject myself with insulin. if you've read enough of these posts, you know that i'm the biggest scaredy cat/biggest baby when it comes to any type of discomfort. that discomfort translates to pain with me. i think it all started with my oral surgeon and his mission to pull my wisdom teeth with hardly any anesthesia and a jackhammer.please read this post to update you on my phobia of dentists, needles, and the hospital, in general.

anyway, i woke up, with courage, and a positive outlook, knowing that i would have to be injecting a 2 inch needle in me. j. went to my appointment with me, assuring me that it was going to be ok. well, more like giving me the "coach pep talk," like "don't be a baby," and " it's no big deal" kind of motivational talk. nope. didn't work. but i kept thinking, it's for your own health, possibly for your own baby. God willing. 

so the training went ok. we watched a video, and then the nurse showed us how to prepare the syringe and inject the site (aka, my belly). the good thing was that i didn't have to inject it right then and there. the pharmacist ordered me to have one dose, before bedtime. the bad thing was, was that all day i was thinking about that syringe. this skinny, long needle, to be poked into me at an approximate 90 degree angle. it didn't help that j. kept making these pokes to my stomach, with a closed fist, like he was an ER doctor, injecting a dose of adrenaline. not encouraging. 

right after watching "Dancing with the Stars," j. suggested i inject the insulin now, before he goes to sleep. he agreed to do it for the first couple times, until i was used to it, and ready to inject myself. he looked nervous, too. not good. i said, "let's wait until after we watch Heroes, yeah?" he looked at me, seeing right through my stalling tactics, but let me watch my favorite t.v. show, anyway. 

soon it was over. we prepared the syringe, just like the nurse taught us. reading and rereading the directions. i started to get more nervous, and could feel the tears come, but i held back, because well...i felt so dumb crying about something that i have to do. everyday. for a while. i decided to not think anymore, and trust in j. to do it correctly. i trusted the nurses when they told me that it wasn't going to hurt as much as my daily blood sugar finger pricking. i took a deep breath.

j. told me to lay down on the sofa, and relax. popo, my 2 year old chihuahua, immediately jumped on my stomach. j. scolded him and popo quickly jumped off, with me, feeling myself, let go, and thinking, "it's all in your head." i lay there, looking at the t.v., not remembering what i was watching. anticipating the pinch of the needle. i squeezed a section of my abdomen, and closed my eyes. i peered my eyes open, waiting for j. to just "do it already," and he had already walked to the kitchen to dispose of the syringe. he had already injected me. i felt like i had run a marathon and won the gold medal (well, without the sore muscles and achy feet). i was so proud of myself for going through it. then, i felt dumb for worrying about that stupid needle all day. maybe there's hope for me, yet.

so, if you know someone that's going through this, rest assured, take it from me, i wouldn't lie about it. injecting insulin is not as painful as  you might think. i'm glad that i made the right decision for me, taking care of my health, and possibly for my future baby (God willing).

here's a pic of my beloved popo. the apple of my eye....the cutest dog ever (who is also receiving his shot tomorrow...shhhhhhh, it's our secret!)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

thank you for the prayers

as some of you may know, my father was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer). he has been undergoing chemotherapy since dec. and it has been a struggle for him, as well as for my mom, and family. we prayed hard, asked others to pray, too, and hoped for a strong recovery. we also did not expect him to be eligible to get on the transplant list. it was a surprise, a good one, at first. until my father decided that he did not want to receive a transplant. he had his reasons. i feel that i have to respect his reasons. but that's me. i hate to see him suffer. 

last night, i was happy to hear that his doctor reported that his test results have been improving. he doesn't have to go through chemo, at least for now. that is good news. i have to think that our prayers (and yours) have helped him endure and improve his health.

so...thank you.

here's a fave pic of my parents.