Tag Archives: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

(s)mitten

Tucked against the foothills of the San Bernadino National Forest, Redlands is a hidden gem sprinkled with independent coffee roasters, vibrant wall murals, a striking juxtaposition of trees (pine and palm alike) and a charming small town vibe. This is where Lauren and I found ourselves on a recent Sunday, there to accompany a pretty rad couple on their wedding day. We had such an amazing time photographing Mel and Danny’s quite perfect ceremony and reception at the Mitten Building, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to join in celebrating their love.

 

Here are a few favorites to share:
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Be cool and pop over here to stay up to date with Lauren’s beautiful work.

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Nuts and Bolts

I think an affinity for beautiful cars kind of comes with the territory when you have a brother who’s brain contains a mighty wealth of automobile knowledge gleaned from years of Top Gear, Formula One racing, all things Aston Martin, and early mornings spent at Cars and Coffee. While I can’t attest to a thorough understanding of car culture myself, I do get a bit of a thrill whenever I spot a fancy schmancy car on the road. With that said, my brother’s involvement with the Dana Point Concours d’Elegance for the past two years has been a treat! Here are some pictures from this years’ festivities…
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Dana Point Concours d’Elegance @ The St. Regis Monarch Beach

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Danielle | Graduation

Danielle is the type of person who inspires everyone around her to recognize the beauty that surrounds us. I think this is partly due to her newly acquired college degree in English with an Art History minor, but I also think that this is just how God made her. As we chatted our way through San Juan Capistrano’s Los Rios district, “Dano” expressed to me her deep, unwavering, and warmfuzzies-creating love for the smell of horse manure. Yeah, I said it. But her explanation makes perfect sense: she grew up around horses and whenever she smells this otherwise unsavory scent, her mind quickly jumps to memories of childhood and her heart swells with expectancy, anticipating an encounter with her favorite animal. School just can’t teach you to experience the world in this way…only God can.

Time spent with Dano is always soaked in passionate conversation and the sharing of interests and experiences. She and I share a particular love of France, having both studied abroad there, and whenever we get together we tend to hover somewhere between English and French with a few stereotypically French hand gestures thrown in for good measure. I love that.

I am so excited to share in celebrating Danielle’s graduation from UCI. I have had the privilege of watching her develop in both her studies and her character over the past several years, and I am truly amazed by this woman. She has an immeasurable heart for Christ, an unending wealth of literary knowledge, and the type of spunk and passion that is going to leave an amazing impact on the people she meets in the coming years.

Dano, you are beautiful. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you up in Portland. You’re going to love every last perfectly overcast minute of it!

Danielle Graduation Portraits Orange County

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I cannot adequately express how much joy it brings me to bless my friends and family with photography. I have come to the realization that this is how I love people. In this life, God gifts us with certain talents, aptitudes, and passions. We can choose to use these for our own benefit, sure, but how much greater it is to share our giftings with others.

How are you sharing your gifts??

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Just another hunting lodge

Like many French castles, Château de Vincennes was originally constructed in the 14th century to serve as a hunting lodge for the monarchy. Louis VII was the first to reside there, and after centuries of royal weddings, deaths, wars, executions, and even a brief stint as the site of Vincenne’s porcelain manufacturing, this château is now an austere reminder of France’s armed forces and military defense.

Being in the presence of such deep and enduring history is almost more than my brain can comprehend. I find myself at a loss, struck dumb by the thought of just how much happened here, how many people lived and died here, and how miniscule my life is in comparison. When this castle was first constructed, society’s greatest worries revolved around avoiding the plague and living under an oppressive monarchy. As I strolled the grounds, I think my concerns were no more significant than choosing the best Instagram filter.

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p.s. for anyone who is curious/interested/aware…only one post remaining in my Paris par arrondissement series. I’m not sure who’s been following along, but if you have been…we’re almost there!

Cinco de S’mores

What’s Cinco de Mayo without s’mores? Right? Okay, maybe it isn’t traditional, but that’s what ours looked like this year…

In short, Instagram the pretty lights, cook s’mores, eat s’mores, repeat. Oh, also, celebrate Kevin‘s birth! Huzzah!

Cinco de Mayo backyard s'more fest

Cinco de Mayo backyard s'more fest

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Atalia

If on any given day you were to ask me what my favorite season is my immediate response would be any one that allows me to layer with knitwear and drink copious amounts of tea whilst enjoying the comforting sound of rain washing the earth clean. I have a particular aversion to warmer temperatures [a] because I hate warm-weather clothes, [b] because I hate sweating unless I’m exercising, and [c] because I just like to be cozy, okayyy? But this past weekend I came to terms with the onset of spring in Southern California (which really means the abrupt jump from somewhat cooler temperatures right into 80-degree weather). Normally I’d bemoan this region’s complete lack of seasons and fall prone to a posture of complaint. (Why can’t the world just work the way I want it to?? < Clearly I need to enroll in Learning To Be Thankful: 101). Instead, I saw springtime in a new light thanks to my friend Atalia asking me to take her graduation pictures. Suddenly, I realized that spring is a season that promises change. College graduation is probably one of the most monumental events in the life of a young person because it represents the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another. A chapter which holds unseen adventures and open-ended questions. Much like springtime, it leads into a season of new growth and fresh starts. This is exactly the season Atalia is quickly approaching.

If you ask anybody who knows her, the general consensus is that Atalia. Is. Cool. She’s generous, inclusive, an all-around joy to spend time with, and so caring – I’ve yet to meet anybody who plans better or more thoughtful birthday celebrations than she. So when she asked me if I’d be available to take some portraits for her that was obviously a no-brainer. What I hadn’t anticipated, though, was an opportunity to learn more about her childhood and the events that led to her coming to the states about 3 years ago. I’d heard bits and pieces of her upbringing as the daughter of parents who were literally circus performers in Australia (uhm, cool), but these bits and pieces had never been lined up into a cohesive story. And I’m all about learning people’s stories. So when Atalia’s mom, Tamalyn, joined us for the session I was so excited to hear Atalia’s story from her mother’s point of view.

Basically, it’s the classic case of a daughter realizing she wants to run away and “join the town”. Well, that’s Atalia’s version of it. By the age of seven she’d come to realize with a great amount of certainty that the circus was not were her aspirations lied, and that she’d rather try something else and see where that led. So her parents invested in a diligent homeschooling routine and Atalia developed a great amount of discipline towards her studies. This ultimately led to her leaving Australia to attend community college in Southern California. This was her first time ever experiencing class with other students, and she was understandably, well, terrified. But Atalia hails from parents who trapeze, ride elephants, and breathe fire (actually, I have no idea what their circus acts included…but these seem appropriate and I’m just going to roll with it). Fear is certainly not something that could stop her from excelling. And excel she has. Not only did Atalia finish out her community college education with acceptance to Chapman University, she has now completed her undergrad without hardly breaking a sweat as far as I’m concerned and will be heading to Oxford in the fall to begin a Master’s program. Atalia may have been terrified of the trapeze as a seven-year-old, but she has soared to heights of a different kind using the same values of bravery, determination, and discipline that her parents taught her in the circus.

That’s something to celebrate.

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I love the next picture because it captures on one hand how fun Atalia is, and on the other, how musical she is. When I first met her she had her ukelele in tow, along with the members of her ukelele band…the Eff Ukes. It doesn’t really get any better than that.

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This next set of pictures is really special because these adorable children are part of the family that has been hosting Atalia during her time here. I could tell immediately that Atalia has a special bond with these kids, both of whom she has known for their entire lives.

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Uhm, excuse me, cute overload!

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Atalia, you light up so much with these kids!!!

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These last three may not be of Atalia or related in any way to her upcoming graduation……but how could I not share??

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Atalia, it has been an absolute joy to get to know you over the past few years! I cannot express enough how much I know you mean to the people in your life. Everywhere you go, you add so much love and laughter (with that quick wit of yours!). I am so excited to see how life unfolds for you at Oxford! The Brits are lucky to have you!!

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Paris: 9eme et 10eme arrondissements

Well, I still have Paris pictures to share with you, interwebs. Is it improper blogging etiquette to be posting pictures that are, at this point, 6 months old? It could be. I set a goal for myself to post about each beautiful Parisian district, though, and post I shall.

We’ve made our way to the 9th arrondissement. This is probably one of the busiest and most hectic areas of Paris. With a total nineteen metro stations, a world-renowned Opera house, and the flagship location of France’s largest department store, the 9th is a swirl of consumerism and commerce. Boulevard Haussmann, made famous by Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings, cuts boldly through this district and bears the hallmarks of Louis-Napoléon’s desire for order and cleanliness. While researching Parisian architectural history I often came across criticisms of Baron Haussmann’s aggressive changes to the city, which many argued were oppressive and socially destructive. While I personally tend to appreciate the modernity that came along with this restructuring, I have to admit that I can understand why critics feel this way whenever I find myself in the 9th. I usually feel rushed and have to just put my head down and brave the crowds and cars to navigate those streets. Just like Caillebotte’s painting, umbrellas are a welcome means of protecting one’s own personal bubble during the rainy season.

…But then there’s the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette…

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Below are glimpses of time we spent in the 10th. Given the above images, it’s hard to believe these pictures were all taken during the same season. On the day we ventured to the Canal St-Martin Paris was unseasonably (actually, uncomfortably) warm…but days later it was freezing and rainy.

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The Canal St-Martin was originally ordered for construction by Napoleon I in 1802 as a means of bringing fresh water into a city that was increasingly falling prey to dysentery and horrible sanitation. When it was finally completed in 1825 (and funded by a new tax on wine, might I add), the canal was also used to transport grain and supplies. Canal St-Martin isn’t used for much these days. In fact, half of it is covered by the Boulevard Jules-Ferry. What remains is a tranquil, albeit obscure, corner of the city.

I hope to visit the canal again when I return to Paris, but just so I can try a certain restaurant my friend later told me about. It is called Pink Flamingo (uhm, cute!) and you can order a pizza to be delivered to you as you picnic on the canal. How do the waiters know where to find you? Pink balloons. Done and done.

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