Monday, December 28, 2009

Angelo, Isaiah and Liz

Did a portrait shoot of my Bro-in-law Jerry's kids the weekend before Christmas. They're such good looking kids! Isaiah (middle) really wasn't all into it at first (I guess it was that pent up teenage angst). After he saw the results though he was much happier and started to enjoy the session.

I tried to stay away from the usual portraits of happy kids smiling into the camera. I also wanted to try to give it a bit of an edge, to make it different, and to capture, subtly, the personalities of the kids. Thus the shot was done in front of a wooden garage door. Veronica thought of using a ladder as a prop and I thought it was a good idea.

The sun was coming in from camera left. I had the light set up at camera right. I set up a medium softbox on a lightstand just a few feet to the right aiming down at about a 45 degree angle and fired off a few frames. POP

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Flowers for Mommy

I really haven't had much time to post anything lately. Trying to complete so many jobs from previous sessions before Christmas. But believe me, I'm not complaining. I'm happy that I'm busy!!!

I did take the time earlier this week though to relax and bring my little brat to the park. While there, he saw some flowers and decided to pick some for his Mom. I knew they wouldn't survive before she got home so I thought I should just take a picture. Click...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Emily & Carla

Shot a portrait session last Sunday for Blanca and her beautiful family. This is her 2 beautiful daughters Emily and Carla with their dogs Luke and Leia (yes just like in Star Wars).

This photo may be a bit misleading seeing how calm the dogs look but they were far from it. It took forever to wrangle them into a halfway decent position. They just wanted to play. It was fun though.

There was rain scheduled to arrive on that day but luckily we were spared. It's been a wet Friday and it looks like the weekend will be more of the same. I'm not complaining though. We definitely need it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Did Emma's Quince a week after the Cinderella shot. It was a great Quince with a very entertaining Mariachi group that played for most of the day, even at the church ceremony.

We took this shot after the ceremony and before the party, on the church grounds. I tried to keep from doing a cliche Quince shot but I loved this little corner and couldn't resist.

We set the shot up pretty quickly though. All it took was for us to assemble the softbox, adjust the light, bring her into position, and bang out some shots. If only I had a wider angle lens. I really wanted to bring more elements of the gate into the shot as well as a lamp that was hanging directly above her. Well maybe on the next quince...

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Took a shot of Ben from the side of a bank building in East LA the other day. It was an awesome wall but was in a not-so-awesome neighborhood.

Lately I've been seeing more and more opportunities in less-than-stellar areas of town than anywhere else. I always wonder what people would think if I took out some camera equipment complete with lighting, reflectors and stuff and started doing a portrait shoot.

Hmmm... Maybe not a so good an idea...

Monday, November 23, 2009


Did a Quince portrait session of Emma at the Old LA Zoo. She was so beautiful and the dress was incredible! For Emma and her Mom it was the 1st time that they ever came here. We had a blast!!! I love this location! There's so many elements that can be used to get some great shots. It makes for a great session.

Veronica had an idea of doing like a Cinderella shot with one of Emma's shoes being left on the stairs while she ran up away from it. I figured, OK so I started with metering the scene with a light meter. Then I used a strobe to brighten the shoe.

Once we did that we were ready. I focused on the shoe and had her run up the stairs a couple of times until I got what I envisioned.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Brandon & Kiana

After what seemed like forever, we finally made it back to San Diego to visit. We were also able to do a shoot of my very close friend Junior and his kids Brandon and Kiana. Should I even call them kids any more? Brandon's getting ready to graduate from high school and Kiana's in 10th grade. Wow how time flies!!!

We really didn't get much time to do a complete shoot but the location was a beautiful place. I saw how the light from the sunset was playing against the water and, through the shoot, really wanted to incorporate that element into some of the shots.

Close to the end of the shoot I had to use it before it all went dark. I figured it would be perfect as a backdrop and had the kids set up close to the shore while Junior held the flash up. The sun also added an element of also being a edge/fill light.

As soon as everybody was ready and I had the ripples framed just right I started firing away. Click

Friday, November 13, 2009


It's unbelievable how much technology has evolved. The handheld games these kids play nowadays are amazing! With touch screens, built-in cameras, high res graphics, stereo sound, ability to play music, etc it's incredible how complex these things have become!

When I was growing up the most popular handheld game was Coleco Electronic Quarterback. That came out when I was in 8th grade! All it had was a screen with 3 rows of red LEDs. You had to maneuver your man... er... LED through the oncoming LEDs with these big buttons until you made a touchdown. Such a simple game but man was it addicting!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I was reminded the other day while watching my son climbing up a slide that perseverance is the key to success. No matter how many times you slip you've got to keep going.

The older I get the more I forget the little things that I learned growing up. My kids keep me grounded though. I am finally beginning to learn from them as much as they're learning from me.

This is another image that I ran through the LR3 beta. The more I use it the more I'm really enjoying it. It processes images beautifully and really tones down the amount of noise without taking out very much detail. It's still buggy and I do have problems with the speed through my machine but maybe an updated release will take care of that problem.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Did a shoot of my better half Veronica yesterday. With all my tantrums and emotional ineptitude it's amazing that she's still with me! For that, and more, I love you baby!!!

I really wanted to experiment with shallow depth of field for a portrait for quite some time now. I also wanted to figure out a lighting scheme that would accentuate the feel of the shot. So I figured I would light it so that the subject would have a warmth while giving a coolness to the background.

And this is what I came up with.

The lighting setup is as follows: 1 580EXII 1/2 CTS gelled in medium softbox @ 1/64 above camera. Silver reflector below camera. Camera WB set @ 3500. I metered the scene with a Sekonic L358 & triggered the strobes with Pocket Wizard PWIIs.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Reef

Every time I look at this it makes me remember all the aquariums that my brother had in his room. He had a Baja tank setup that was awesome! It was filled with leatherback groupers, garibaldis, morays, and a bunch of other stuff!

Oh and the tank of piranhas! Now that was a conversation piece. One of them actually bit off a chunk of this guys finger! He put his finger on its mouth to see what it would do and SNAP! All because he didn't believe that they were piranha.

Those were fun days...

Monday, November 2, 2009


Went to the Aquarium of the Pacific over the weekend with the family. My wife got the tickets for free at her employee health fair. Still paid for parking though but that wasn't bad considering we saved $74.00!

I know that everyone tends to shoot the jellyfish but I couldn't help it. When the light from the aquarium hit them in a particular way they looked as if they were glowing, so surreal, so otherworldly! I had to take a shot, so I waited until at least one of them crossed my viewfinder... and then... Click!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall in LA

I wish that fall in LA was as colorful as the Midwest. With all their beautiful colors and the wonderful changes of the 4 seasons.

Then we'd have to deal with rain and snow. And can you imagine the traffic it would cause! It's bad enough already! Never mind...

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Suspense

I took my son to the Doctors today for his 4 year checkup and he ended up getting 6 shots! He did great though and didn't cry. He wanted to go to the mall that was right beside the clinic to do some toy store window shopping.

While we were walking over there we saw some bushes that had spider webs with some dew on them. He told me to take a picture... so I did.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Cooler weather has finally hit us here in SoCal. It's about time! That nice crisp feeling in the air is what I love about Autumn.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pine Cones

Remember the days when you were fascinated by the simple things in life (like pine cones). The older we get the harder it seems for us to enjoy anything without buying into something.

Makes me think about how much we've changed...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just... BREATH!

Just... BREATH! Something that I should remember when the days, or weeks, get challenging. If only I could cruise along quietly and easily like this guy. Without a care in the world. Just enjoying myself.

That's not gonna happen though. Not in this lifetime. With a family to support and bills to pay this world that we live in is never smooth sailing. I'm trying to do all this while starting my own little business.

When I was part of the machine I thought that I knew how to handle it all. Why should it be a problem for me to have my own business? I was already working for somebody else and they were squeezing the life out of me! Why not put all that energy into working for myself. After all, I just have to manage more carefully.

Boy was I wrong! Sure I understand the management part of it, but the most important part, "Sales and Marketing", is completely foreign to me. I never tried to do that sort of stuff. So now I'm going through all this blindly, learning step by step, one at a time, mistake after mistake, success after success.

Hopefully one day I'll look back at this time and think, "What was I thinking?", and laugh at myself, but right now it's still a BIG BIG challenge for me.

Then again... would I really enjoy life without challenges? I think not!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spin Cycle

Went to the LA County Fair for the 1st time over the weekend and in my opinion, it was okay to say the least. It was big, but if they're using that as a reason to charge more than the other 2 fairs in SoCal than it's definitely not worth it!

Just my opinion, but it's all about content to me!

My New Blog!

WOW! Never thought that I would start a blog. Well here goes. I know that the title says DAILY but I seriously doubt that that'll happen. I know at least I'll have something to post once a week.

To start it all off, here is my 1st image. Shot was taken at the LA Zoo and MAN was it crowded! But one thing for sure, it was a lot better than the LA County Fair! But that's another story (and photo).