Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Maternity Photo Session in the Gardens

This past summer, I had the opportunity to photograph the gorgeous mama, Lucy Han and her lovely family at the Huntington Library & Gardens in San Marino, California. She recently gave birth to another beautiful baby boy and keeps busy with her own business, Beauty by Lucy Han. Her make-up, hair and eyelash extension skills are amazing, and I can attest to that! She has a great, big heart and somehow manages to also work full-time as a social worker. How does she do it? I'd like to ask her the same question. Lucy and her family made it easy for me to photograph them, and her darling little boy is going be a heartbreaker one day...!

Recently, I've been getting back into doing photo sessions and rediscovering why I enjoy it so much. After having my own family, the chance to photograph other families through capturing special moments and expressions has come with new meaning. I am thankful for the people who have entrusted me with that opportunity and have encouraged me to continue with my photography, especially during the times I second guess myself. We usually are our own worst critiques when we allow fear and self-doubt to cloud our judgement-- and that is the beauty of having optimistic people in our lives that can see beyond our own near-sightedness. Nevertheless, there is always room for growth and opportunities to learn throughout.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's "Fall" in Sunny SoCal!

 I suppose it is now an annual tradition for our family to go apple picking in Oak Glen, California. : ) Even though it is technically "Fall" in Southern California, it certainly doesn't feel like it! It was 100+ degrees back at home, which made the 10 degree cooler difference here feel like a relief. The last time we were here there were no more apples to pick, so this time we made an effort to come earlier (mid-September). The orchard was filled with the amazing scent of fresh apples, and a cool breeze came by every so often to relieve us of the heat. I guess this is as good as Autumn gets around here!
Our favorite apple cider donuts from Snow-line happen to also be the only ones we've tried : P
Now that it's October and the weather is still close to the 90s, I'm beginning to wonder if we indeed only have one season each year....

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alaskan Adventures

Munching on a glacier chip
Glacier Margarita
 Fuzzy sea otters
 This rock could have been Part II of Hitchcock's Birds
 Spotted: Mama Moose and Bebe Moose off the side of the road
This summer has definitely been one full of traveling, in which we are very thankful for. Mike received an opportunity to visit Anchorage, Alaska for a last minute trip, so naturally Lil J and I tagged along. We were still recovering from our trip to France and didn't have much time to do research for things to do or eat in Alaska, but the wonderful Husband decided to do a bit of research ahead of time. We were there for less than a week, so there wasn't too much we were able to accomplish within that timespan, but it gave us a good sample of what to expect the next time we return to this beautiful state. The air was incredibly crisp and unbelievably clean to our SoCal lungs. I met a local on the plane ride that told me her trip to Seattle, WA was painful to her lungs-- I wouldn't want to know what she thought of the air down here in Los Angeles. The drive up to see the glaciers was nothing less than dreamy and full of floating glaciers, all-American mountains and lush marshlands. My camera was literally on stand-by the entire time in the car and I shot away like the trigger-happy Asian tourist that I am. It was the type of scenery that inspires one to bust out "America, The Beautiful."  I was actually quite surprised to see so much greenery! I guess you could say I had the stereotypical image that Alaska primarily consisted of ice lands. And no, we did not come across any polar bears or penguins : ).

One of our highest recommendations would be the Surprise Glacier Cruise in Whittier. They provide you with an option to purchase the salmon & prime rib buffet during this 5.5 hour tour, which would be wise since it is a rather long journey (it also includes dessert!). We also went on a self-guided walking tour on the glaciers itself, without the proper hiking gear - though I must say my moto boots didn't let me down! Little J however, ended up losing his new boot, which I frantically searched for half a hour and then gave up because it was no where to be seen. I guess you learn to deal with loss of material possessions when kids are involved. We were also hoping to see the sleigh-drawn Huskies, but unfortunately they were closed for the day by the time we arrived. But we did end up seeing more animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which houses injured and orphaned wildlife. Little J got to pet his first reindeer (and then we bought some reindeer sausages back...), met a sleepy bear and herds of buffalo and elk. It definitely wasn't your typical "zoo."

Visiting scenic locations give me a newfound appreciation for nature and God's stunning creation. Often times we get caught up with the city life-- what to eat, drink, where to shop, things to do, that we lose sight of what's actually in front of us. We become bored too easily and need constant stimulation from our surroundings, and then our children end up mimicking our restlessness. People in Alaska seemed to live such simple lives, but appeared to be content. I don't think we even came across a shopping mall while we were in Anchorage, let alone a memorable eatery; but the point is that the distractions were taken away and we were able to revel in the simplistic beauty of creation, momentarily forgetting about the trivial things we often stress and worry about.