Julina and Lloyd Maternity at Home Session

Last Saturday I had so much fun photographing this cozy casual in home maternity session.   Meet Julina and Lloyd.  These highschool sweethearts fell in love 14 years ago and woke up one morning last year and decided to tie the knot that same day.  It’s been just the two of them for so long, but not for much longer.  In just a few weeks this awesome twosome is going to become a family with the addition of a cute Vietnapino/Flipnamese baby boy.  Check out the beautiful photos!






















Thank you Julina and Lloyd for welcoming me into your home to capture this short lived but special time in your lives.   You two were beautiful to photograph and will be amazing parents to baby Filip!

30 self portraits in 30 days

Hey guys, it’s been a while huh? I’ve been busy with a very special life project. Not ready to announce it yet so I’m keeping mum for now =)

For now, I wanted to share some work that been hiding deep in the abyss of my hard drive. It’s about time these pics saw the light of day!

Last August I gave myself a photo challenge to take 30 self portraits in 30 days.  Everyday I set up my camera, tripod, and remote in order to take my picture of myself in a different way. I had a blast creating new lighting set ups and exploring my town for different shots. Most are SLR pics, but a few are iPhone shots. For anybody thinking about doing it… just do it!  It was crazy crash course in lighting and photography.

You bet by the end the month I was so sick of taking my selfe.  There’s only so many ways to picture my face.  Man I definetely have an appreciation for all those selfie artists out there.

Hope you enjoy!


1) First hair flipping selfie in my livingroom. The background is a wood painting I made.



2) Me trapped in a phone.  Inspired by phone selfies



3) My favorite hat (now lost on an airplane somewhere.)


4) A purple door at the Children’s Discovery Museum.


5) My little buddy Jack and I.


7) On top of the world at Almeden Quicksilver


8) Soaking in the window light


9) Oh hello there, just wearing some red lipstick.


10) Feeling light as a…


11) Catch me at the dive bar with a vodka tonic in hand


12) Three quarters view


13) Thinking about the sound of music here



14) I had to include a mirror shot of course!



15) Sometimes I wander around empty rooftop parking lots.


16) But I prefer to wander around heavily wooded areas.


17) Nighttime portrait



18) Trying to be sexy without the sex


19) Who hasn’t eaten ramen like this before?




20) Just a brick wall at sunset



21) It’s a complete coincidence that my eyeshadow matched my drink here.  That the famous Shark Tank.



22) Somewhere under the 280 freeway



23)   It’s all about the light. In this case it was nearby wall sconce.



24) Cheers! my dear.  Let’s drink!


25)  Livingroom portrait under a wall tree.


26) I REALLY liked pink back then.


27) Rocking out. Yes I like puns.


28) Trying to make out with my dog



29) This is what I look like when I’m shy, which is most of the time.


29)  In camera double exposure!

30selfies-230) iPhone shot down by the creek.

Morning Shoot with the lovely Shhivika

This post is embarrassingly overdue.  Sorry Shhivika, I was withholding these pics while waiting for the donut you owe me.  Just kidding!  Completely my fault for the lag.

A while back I got the chance to meet up with fellow photographer Shhivika Chuahan (shhivikachauhan.com.)  She’s a fantastically creative and inspirational photographer that recently transplanted from NYC.   I was drawn to her photography style because of her stunning light and whimsical perspective play.  She has some lovely inspirational words on her blog as well. Definetely go check out her website when you get a chance.

She was lovely in person too!  I enjoyed conversing and drinking hot chocolate with her and watching the sunrise in the wee hours of our early morning shoot.  I hope you and your kiddos are doing okay girl!

In addition to being gorgeous she took some ahhh-mazing pictures of me on her blog.   My jaw dropped when I saw them. Go check them out!









Beer Tasting Date Night

Need a fun date night in idea?  Whether you’re with friends or want to get foodie with your significant other, how about switching up that chic bottle of wine for some gold ol’ bottle of beer?  Or better yet, multiple bottles of beer.

For the husbands birthday (a few months ago)  we had a beer tasting night in.  After driving to Bev’Mo and  having fun reading labels for an hour we settled on 5 different big boy bottles of beer from around the world.   To keep thing simple we turned to our local Thai take out place for all the food.  Because Thai food has so many flavor profiles from refreshingly light to spicy citrus to earthy richness, it was easy to match beers up with courses.

Here are the pairings:

  • Chang Light Lager with Spring Rolls.  What a better way to start off a Thai themed night than with a popular Thai beer.  Chang was easy and crisp with a little bit of bitter – a perfect match to the refreshing veggie spring rolls.  If I had to choose one beer for the night, this beer would be a good blank slate beer choice to allow the whole shebang of bold Thai flavors to stand out.
  • Oak Town Brown Ale with Chicken Satay.  The malty flavors of brown ale are a classic pairing with the nuttiness of Chicken Satay with peanut sauce. I picked up this beer because it was crafted locally in Oakland–cheers to local drinking! Like the city it was named after Oaktown was B-O-L-D and unapologetic.   Dark brown, roasted flavors, and drank more like a stout — this beer ended up being way too heavy for the Chicken Satay pairing.   I felt fuller from the beer than the chicken.  Good beer, but not a good food pairing.
  • Stone Ruination IPA with Spicy Red Pork Curry.    I’m not a fan of IPAs in general, but this combo worked because it was like pitting two heavyweights in a ring.  The heavy punch of the IPA perfectly paired with the bold heat of the curry.
  • Pilsner with Thai grilled salmon.  Ah pilsner, if you’ve only had one beer in your life chances are it was a pilsner type (think budweiser.)   Pilsners are great with fatty fish so we chose a German pilsner just for the sake of going around the world.   Our verdict: will skip the german pisner next time.
  • Wychcraft Blonde Ale with Pad Thai.  Holy crap this was a good pairing.  I’m not sure if it’s because Pad Thai is one of my favorite foods and probably goes with anything or if it’s because I happen to be a huge big blonde ale fan; but this combination was heavenly.   I’ll definetely buy this beer again.

Beer tasting date night in was the perfect compromise between being fancy and relaxing at home silliness.  At the end I was so freaking drunk and happy.  On tasting beer.  I’ll be the first to tell you that I barely know my malts from my hops.  I’m not a connoisseur by any means but I would  like to be. And hey if I’m going to learn about something new it might as well be beer.  In the future,  I shall assign myself beer homework. Yes siree.

Want to host your own beer tasting night? Check out this excellent beer tasting guide as a starting point to plan your menu.

Cheers! =)






Disclaimer. No dogs were intoxicated during the taking of these pictures.  =)

iPhonegraphy: LA Marathon Edition

I FINALLY DID IT!  I ran a my first full marathon!

I’ve trained 4 times before.  And I’ve failed 4 times.  I had every excuse under the sun:  knee injury, deadlines, new puppy, you name it. Once even I gave up training because I wanted to sit on my butt and eat chicken wings.

But it finally happened at the Asics LA Marathon on Sunday March 9th.

I take that back.  It didn’t just happen. This time around I worked my butt off for it.

After months of long runs and carb loading (pasta diet is the best diet ever btw) I lined up with 21,828 runners to begin a 26.2 mile trek.  From the start I channeled my marathon spirit animal: the tortoise.  It didn’t matter how long it took, my only goal was to finish.

Taking it slow and steady I was able to soak much of the LA scenery as the course winded from Dodger Stadium down to the Pacific Ocean.  Even with all the awesome neighborhoods, the best sights were the people.  A few other characters along the way:

  • Runner in a Aztec warrior costume.  Wearing sandals too.
  • The pro speed walker who was passing up runners left and right (me included.)
  • Group of grandmas, wearing too much makeup and neon fanny packs, supporting each other to the finish line.
  • Little kids holding up signs way too big for them to cheer runners on.
  • Firefighters using fire hoses to cool off runners in the 81 degree weather.
  • Teen wearing a shirt that said: “I run this race for someone who can’t.”

As the hours passed I lost all interest in the surroundings as switched my attention to convincing my feet to move forward. Miles 20-24 were hard. My feet were saying, ‘ouch what the hell.’  My brain was thinking, ‘it would be wise to stop now.’  My heart shouted, ‘don’t listen to those other two and keep going.’

When I finally saw the ocean around the 25 mile mark, I don’t what came over me but I cried. And I cried hard.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put down in words the crazy emotional wave that came over me upon realizing that this crazy life goal of mine was about to be checked off my bucket list.  The feeling that I could do anything I set my mind to.  Believing I was unstoppable.  Yeah it was a beautiful feeling.

Still crying, I picked up my pace to cross the finish line. My time was an hour and a half more than I anticipated but I didn’t care. I finished. I could now call myself a marathon runner. =)


left to right, top to bottom:

  1. A stranger salutes during the singing of the Star Spangled banner at Dodger Stadium
  2. Palm trees: The view above me for much of the race.
  3. Running by the beautiful Disney Building
  4. I’m in Hollywood baby!
  5. Getting some motivation from local cheerleaders in front of Mann’s Chinese theatre.
  6. Running on the Walk of Fame
  7. Lots of great street art everywhere
  8. My shiny medal
  9. Relaxing at the beach post marathon. Can’t feel my feet anymore at this point.

Not pictured: My post marathon meal, a bacon wrapped hot dog.

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