Anniversary 240

October 7th, 2011

5 years ago, my dreams came true and I married the love of my life.


For our anniversary, we took a trip up north to Napa, the city and a few other places.  We flew up there and drove back in a 240SX, one that we bought up there.  This would make this the 6th 240SX we’ve bought!  Between eating amazing food, hanging with good friends and buying another 240, I’d say this trip was one of our most memorable trips ever!

If you are new to my blog, and don’t know the significance of the 240SX & me + Benson, rather than explaining, read this past article.  Reading this article brings back so many memories…like ducking from cops in Irwindale so we could get cool photos at a warehouse.  Ahhh memories!!!!!

Here are some photos from our trip:

The San Jose airport is the coolest airport compared to all the SoCal ones!

Remnants of Ryan’s scotch

my husband is a photographer-in-training but he just doesn’t know it yet

me and Benson finally getting a taste of Thomas Keller’s famous fried chicken.  At Addendum in Yountville, CA

 a chateau cat…one of my favorite shots from this trip!

there is something romantic about us driving home in our new 240SX.  I think we’re the only couple that can say 240 and romantic in the same sentence…

I just finished up a super fun photo shoot with a local make-up & fashion blogger.  Photos coming up soon 🙂

Warm it up

September 27th, 2011

With my fall Christmas card sessions coming up, I challenged myself with a surprise photo shoot to help me warm up.  Friends came over with short notice, brought over their newborn to my surprise and my godson just happened to be there.  This all formulated a challenge. ” The 15-minute photo shoot challenge”.  How many great moments can I capture in my messy house, with hardly any good light?  Plenty when you have adorable subjects!  Here is Jaden (my godson) and his new baby brother Damon:



Happy Kids

September 16th, 2011

As I was shooting photos at a baby shower this past weekend, I had an epiphany: I really enjoy shooting photos of kids.  I mean, I always knew that, but it became so apparent when  I reviewed all my photos from the day.  The ones of the kids really shined.   I was so inspired by that experience that I grabbed  my video buddy Marc and pitched a new project: Seriously build our children’s portrait portfolio (his video portfolio, and my photo portfolio).  He obliged (when has he ever told me no?).

So the email went out to my friends & family: a free Christmas Card Photoshoot of your kids!  3 shoots, all in the month of October.  Within a few hours, we had our 3 families who gladly obliged.  I’m over the moon about it and really think this is the jump start I need for my new photography business.

Thanks to my inspirations:

Glassy Eyes

September 12th, 2011

Last weekend I shot photos at an indoor birthday party.  I’ve been trying to challenge myself by shooting in doors a lot lately.  I quickly discovered that my Tamron 28-75 2.8 is for outdoors only.  The Sigma 30mm 1.4 was a star for indoor pictures.  I want to skip all these non-Canon lenses and get some Canon L-series ones, but I vowed to learn all the ins and outs of these guys first.  How can you be a good photographer if you don’t learn how to appreciate things?  Its like drifting…learning on a 100hp crap car will make you a better driver in the long run.

Also this weekend I learned how to work with the crowd, and get them to pivot or look towards the angles & light I wanted them to.  Its hard to approach a total stranger and take their photo, and its even more difficult to boss them around so you can get them to move to the right light.  Usually I’d be the one pivoting around, but when you’re in a house with  limited space, you can only move so much.  I’m still struggling with getting tack sharp photos off the Sigma…its like hit or miss.  Its a work in progress…

Here are a couple of my favorite shots from the day:

Ethan has the glassiest eyes I’ve ever shot:


Happy 1st Birthday Ethan Hiro!

Exploring options

September 8th, 2011

“Exploring options” has come up a few times for just counting yesterday and this morning.  The finance headhunter calls.  The recruiter calls.   At lunch with a friend, my “options” with my up-and-coming photography business and Drifting Pretty.  I guess you could say I have a lot of options right now.  Its a good thing, but the uncertainty of it all is a little nerve racking.  I’m at a crossroads.

I was sitting in the drive-thru yesterday, thinking about options…  reading emails, and a good friend forwarded me a link.  I usually delete those, but this friend doesn’t send me much ever, so I checked it out.  It ended up being a fantastic read.  It very much rang home with the options stuff!   It was titled “The 10 things I’ve learned.”  It was an essay, and was listing out the top 10 things he’s learned in life.  The ones that really hit home for me were these:

  • You can only work for people that you like
  • Some people are toxic, avoid them.
  • less is not necessarily more
  • how you live changes your brain
  • doubt is better than certainty
  • tell the truth

Check it out .  Maybe this too can help you with your “options.”

I haven’t had a chance to download the photos from this weekend’s project.  So for now, I’ll leave you with my favorite shot from my work’s “Team Building” day out.  We spent an entire workday at Downtown Disney & K1 Speed.  How fun is that!?


September 7th, 2011

Do you remember back in the day when they would do dedications on the radio?  I rarely hear it nowadays.  But as this song showed up on my Pandora queue…it sparked a memory.  Here is my dedication, going out to the love of my life Benson <3.


Destiny’s Child – Cater 2 U


Tomorrow: weekend project pics!!!


September 2nd, 2011

As a friend and I sat at Ten Rens last night wedding planning, we got to talking about photography.  I was telling her about my business plans and the wedding I’m shooting next year.  She blurted out: “I wish I could go shoot with you at that wedding.”  I paused and realized I wasn’t too surprised to hear that.  It was the second time that happened this month.  I’m surrounded by people into taking photos, who are completely down to come with to a photoshoot and second shoot.  Its an awesome thing to have friends with similar interests.  I feel this dejavu, just before I started Drifting Pretty, gals kept saying, “I wish I could go drive with you…”  I proceeded to give them ” a ride”  shotgun at the track, founded Drifting Pretty and a year later they were sitting in the driver’s seat rockin’ it out on the race track.  All this starts with me getting into the driver’s seat and telling people I’ll give them a ride.

The University of the Internet
At last the final long weekend is here.  I am giving myself a photo assignment:  backlighting.  I think backlit shots are so pretty!  I don’t do these enough!  A backlit shot will make a person glow, similar to this shot of my pretty daughter Kristy <3

I’m shooting a kid’s birthday party, indoors.  That will be a pretty fun challenge as well.  Backlighting and indoor natural light shots.  Check!!!!  What is YOUR assignment this weekend?


September 1st, 2011

I was walking back with the usual lunch group from work.  I asked them, “who are your idols?”  They looked at me and thought, and thought and thought.  One told me he’s too old to have Idols and the other said “I don’t know.”

Just the night before I was answering questions via email for a magazine article that’s being done on Drifting Pretty.  I was asked, “who do you idolize and why?”  That was easy peasy to answer, with no hesitation.  I guess the question I have, is: does everyone need an Idol?  Do you have to be a certain age?  To me, you have an idol when you are driven to do something.  I think we all are driven, but possibly in spurts or at different times in our lives.  Who to YOU idolize?

My idols

Danica Patrick.  A name synonymous with women in racing.  From the looks of this picture, she just looks like another pretty face, but you would never guess she is a Indy & Nascar driver, who is in it to win it.  She’s outspoken, sees the playing field as level (no special “she’s a good driver for a chick” handicaps), and capitalizes on her empire.  She can do hot photoshoots for sports illustrated or be a spokesperson for Tissot watches and godaddy but when it comes down to it…she is a driver.  She does it all, because she can.  Why not do that Sports Illustrated photo shoot.  There are no rules!  If anyone has earned it, she has.

Jasmine Star.  She is one of the most sought after wedding photographers in this country.  She quit UCLA Law to pursue photography.  She had no formal training (except from the university of the internet) and in just a few years, she quickly became an icon in the industry.  Jasmine does workshops (like the photo above) to teach aspiring photographers (AND current pros) while still running her photography business.  She took a risk, made her own unique brand and is making a difference in the photo community.

Both these women who I idolize are strong, driven and are out there making it.  I still have so many things I want to do with taking Drifting Pretty to the next level and even starting my own photography business.  You have got to idolize someone to help get you there.

See you at the finish line ladies!!



August 31st, 2011

Do you ever have those moments when you look at something of yours and you get all gaga about it?  Like “OMG my car looks so hot” or “OMG these shoes are the cats meow”?  I have those moments pretty much every time I take pictures of Elise.  Gaga moment #1,432,125:  Elise at the beach this past weekend

Have a wonderful week…and go take a pic of your kid(s)/car(s)/hot shoes!

Photographing at the pool

August 30th, 2011

I wish I could be driving at the track (but in cool weather).  Instead, I’m settling for a summer of taking pictures, waiting for the weather to let up so I can have a nice, cool time at the track.  I miss you drifting…

Photog at the Pool
Taking some shots of the kids in the pool was a fantastic lesson on how different aperture can impact how water droplets look in the shot.  When I shot with a wide open apterture at F1.4, the water droplets looked more true to what the human eye sees.  When I closed down to an F10, the water droplets looked more like firework sparks.  Nerd tech talk (feel free to skip down):  I shot these with the Canon 50mm 1.4 on a crop sensor Canon T2i, which has proven to be a challenge lately.  I’m so in love with shooting with the 30mm lens that I don’t give Mr. 50 any love.  Shooting with the 50mm is forcing me to learn as if I was shooting full frame with a 78mm lens.  Its cool!

Anyway, when I said photographing at the pool, you probably didn’t think it was going to look like this one!  Here are some shots of Elise & one of her best buds, Ethan.  Or in Japanese, here are some shots of Harumi & Hiroshi <3.  The mixed up asian kids of the future.  Harumi: 1/4 Scottish, 1/4 Japanese, 1/2 Chinese.  Hiroshi: 1/2 Japanese 1/2 Filipino.  Mixed unite!

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