Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Pier

Wishing everybody a most beautiful, safe, and a very Merry Christmas!!! And yes that is a Christmas tree at the end of the pier!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Drive

Went to the Mata household in Lancaster over the weekend for a family photo session for Meno and Betty and had a great time!

We figured we could do some fun shots inside Meno's old Ford pickup with the whole family involved. While shooting I figured it would be fun to make it look like a movie and pretend that they were driving somewhere. So we set up the lighting and popped a couple. The 2 kids to the left were good actors because what they're actually looking at is just a plain brick wall. I got lucky with the smallest.

For all the photo geeks out there I shot at ISO 400 @ 1/60 f/5.6 25mm. 3 lights were used: 1 Bowens GM500 set @ f5.6 w/medium softbox camera right, 1 580EXII gelled w/full CTO, set @ ¼ camera left, and 1 580EX gelled w/full CTO, set @ 1/16 camera right behind the truck.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Little Angel

Jessica… all those years of battling cancer are over now. Your pain and suffering the treatments, the long hospital stays, and the days of not knowing are all over.

Even though I had but a brief moment with you, I learned a lot. I learned about how truly beautiful you were inside and out, about how wonderfully charming and intoxicating your personality was, about how incredibly positive and powerful your attitude and ambition were, and how beautiful a smile you had.

But the one thing I learned most from you is how little I should complain and how meaningless my problems were. I learned how blessed I am and how I should cherish my life. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to meet you. Now I know that I can honestly say that I have truly met and captured an angel!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Over the weekend we went to a baby shower for our good friend Sandy. Wow! This was the 2nd baby shower in 2 weeks for us! We couldn’t stay for long but we had fun nonetheless.

Before we left, I saw the light from the quickly setting sun coming through the hedges. Ever the photographer, I didn’t want to waste it, so I asked Sandy if I could get a quick grab shot of her. She agreed and I quickly posed her and took one shot.

I have seen so many new births lately it made me realize that the cycle of life continues on regardless of the chaos of the world around us. I truly believe that the passing away of one soul is the new beginning of another and instead of mourning the doom and gloom of the world and the death of so many, I am celebrating the birth of a new life, a new beginning, and a hope for a better world for all of us. And with the birth of a new generation there is always hope and a chance for a happy and prosperous new future.

So for this Thanksgiving, that’s what I’m thankful for! Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Over the weekend I had the opportunity to photograph my bro Vinnie ( doin some djing for a Quince. Man is he awesome! While shootin I noticed how cool the red uplighting that he had set up around the room looked. I looked at one of the walls and I figured it would be a great light for a photo of a couple. Better yet, of the parents!

Later on that night I asked if I could have a few minutes to photograph them against the wall and tried my best to explain how it was going to turn out. They said “Yeah sure!” not really understanding what I was going to do or how it was going to turn out.

So I brought them to the spot and set up their pose and... click. One shot, one minute, and it was my last image of the night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Instead of writing something of my own I thought I'd just add a few quotes that I found on the web:

If my heart can become pure and simple, like that of a child, I
think there probably can be no greater happiness than this. ~ Kitaro Nishida

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.
~ Angela Schwindt

Loving a baby is a circular business, a kind of feedback loop. The more you give the more you get and the more you get the more you feel like giving.
~ Penelope Leach

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~ Walt Streightiff

Don't forget that compared to a grownup person every baby is a genius.
~ May Sarton

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for. ~ Anonymous

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blue Angels

Watching the Blue Angels this weekend reminded me so much about my childhood. Remembering when they came into town every year and hearing the rumble and roar of the jet engines while flying really low overhead (low enough to see every rivet) would really get us excited about the show!

Once the gates would open, we would ride our bikes over to Miramar, cruise to the show, and stay there all day. I never thought that I would ever leave the neighborhood and that I would be here every year to watch them.

Now I’m older… much older. I’ve got a wife, kids, and even a grandchild. And I also live far away from my hometown. So I brought my kids this year to see them. It made me feel good seeing that they got as excited as I did when I was a kid. I’m so glad some things never change!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Just last week Veronica and I came by to visit Jessica at the hospital. She went in to have surgery to remove a malignant tumor from the right side of her jaw. Because of this, they had to remove a good portion of her jawbone as well.

As I sat there looking at all those tubes and machines attached to her trying to figure out what to say, I couldn't help but think about how many countless number of times she's been here before and how many battles she's already had to overcome. All these years of pain and suffering that she’s had to endure at such a young age really made me realize how petty my problems were compared to hers. It also made me realize just how delicate and precious life really is.

Granted, I’ve known a number of people that have suffered and passed away because of illness. But to see somebody at such a young age that hasn’t even begun to live her life really depresses me, especially when I know that her only wish was that she would be able to graduate from high school with her class.

But I know she’s a fighter. I know that she’ll see another day. After all, at the end of our visit, when I told her to get better soon because I need to take more photos of her, she looked at me, smiled, and gave me a thumbs up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Liz. Ben’s closest cousin. They’re inseparable! This year they had a chance to attend the same school together. It didn’t happen though. Ben went on to another school. When Liz found out, she was furious! But after her 1st day, she was fine.

These are the times that I love photographing the kids the most, when they still have their innocence, when life hasn’t had a chance to taint their lives, when they can smile because they feel like it. Even though they may not want to, I know that when they grow up they’ll appreciate it. And the older they get, the more they’ll appreciate it, and so will their grandkids, and their grandkids grandkids…

That’s the magic of photography. To be able to freeze time and capture that moment forever. And the best part about it, you can share…

Monday, August 29, 2011

Little Miss Sunshine

Had a great time being back in San Diego for the weekend. While there we had an opportunity to photograph my niece Jada. This is an outfit that she wanted to be photographed in for the session. It looks like an outfit for a beauty pageant talent show.

AVM Photography

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kris & Wes

"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity." - Henry Van Dyke

AVM Photography

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kindred Spirits

Kindred spirits… I heard this throughout the speeches that were given for Kristin and Wes. I never really understood what that meant.

All I saw were a couple, who shared the same passions, enjoyed the same activities, expressed the same thoughts and ideas, and definitely were totally in love with each other.

But there was also something else special about them. Something I couldn’t really explain or describe.

So I went online, looked it up, and found this in the Urban Dictionary:

‘Kindred Spirits are two people that make a special connection by sharing a bond that has joined them by the means of an experience that has drawn them together on a higher level of consciousness. This connection can be from the same experience at the same time or two separate experiences similar in nature.’

‘A higher level of consciousness’. At first I didn’t understand. But, because of these two, I do now!

AVM Photography

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why I'm In Trouble

Why I’m in trouble:

Because I left my dad in the store and went on my own adventure.

Because I touch everything I see… especially when it’s glass.

Because I broke some toys and they weren’t mine. They were my dad’s.

Because I told my dad that I didn’t do it… and I did.

Because I did all this in one day…

But after all that my dad still says he loves me. hehehe…

AVM Photography

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Last Tuesday, my son Ben achieved his goal of becoming a black belt in Nippon Kenpo. It took him 6 years to do but he did it. To say that I am proud of him is an understatement.

Granted, it wasn’t easy. There were plenty of times that we battled with him to go. There were plenty of times that even we didn’t want to go. But we couldn’t quit and neither could he. We’d tell him, “Quitting is always easy, but you’ll never get anywhere doing that.” We’d also say, “You have to finish what you start.” So eventually he did go, and so did we.

When he first started, we did it so he could learn about commitment and discipline. But he’s learned more than just that. He’s also learned self-confidence, leadership, and has also developed a never-give-up attitude.

All these skills he’s learned so far. And he’s still learning! Wow!!! Did I already say how proud I am of him? 

Lighting info: 1 Bowens GM 500 camera right @ f13 powered by Vagabond Mini Lithium and triggered by PWIIs.

AVM Photography

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


We had a great Senior Portrait session with Kris last weekend. What an awesome family he has! They’re so supportive and caring, especially his mom. No wonder he has such a good head on his shoulders.

He’s now ready to embark on the next journey. For Kris, I know that next journey is moving him up! Congratulations Kris!

AVM Photography

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Not long ago we had the opportunity to photograph Jessica for her post-Quince session. Jessica is the strongest and bravest young woman that I’ve ever met!

When you look into her eyes, you can see that she's lived a lot for someone so young. When she is asked about her life she never hesitates to share the experiences that have shaped her. Life is precious and the world is ours for the taking. Ask her and you'll know that you have not lived until you see the world through her eyes.

Veronica met Jessica through her work at the hospital. She volunteered us for this after Jessica’s mother mentioned that she wasn’t at all satisfied with the photos she received from the photographer she hired for the event. Knowing how precious time, photos, and especially life are to her and her family, how could I refuse?

AVM Photography

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

R & J

Ralph and Josie. You know a couple so long that you still remember when they first met, when they first started dating, when they got married, when they had their kids.

But you move on and maybe live somewhere else. You lose contact. You don’t see them often. You don’t hear from them very much.

Then you get this chance, a chance to capture them, to capture their family, to capture a time in their lives, to capture another memory. Would you say no?

Of course not! And I’m soo glad I didn’t!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And now faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians. 13:4-13

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Dawn

My niece Julia…

Photographing her over the weekend for her Senior Portraits made me realize just how fast time flies. I still remember when she was a baby, starting to walk, the Christmases, birthdays, 4th of Julys (or should I say 2nd of Julys), and watching her play softball.

Now I see a mature, confident, ambitious, young woman about to begin another chapter in her life and ready to tackle the world.

Man how time flies!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Dream

When I was single I had these dreams of a woman in the distance. I could never touch her, or see her face but I always had a strong pulling, a feeling, a sense of love and emotion for her.

But once I woke up from all those dreams I was alone again.

Then I met Veronica.

Now when I have those dreams, I no longer see a woman in the distance with a blank face. I see her. When I wake up I'm no longer alone. I awake beside her. I could touch her. I could feel her. I could kiss her. Now I'm living with the dream.

Happy Valentines Day Babe. I love you!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pvt. M.

Bobby... my oldest. This past weekend we were able to see his BHO (Battle Hand Over) ceremony for the Army National Guard in Las Vegas. He made such an adult decision to join and is now so proud and honored to be able to serve and protect his country.

Funny thing is though, when I see him, I still see my hyperactive little boy with me chasing after him. I also still see him dancing and singing at the high school auditorium. Or playing basketball… or even hanging out with his friends.

Oh my little boy… Wow! He’s all grown up now!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Miguel & Vanessa

A gesture…a smile… a laugh… a moment… chemistry. What is it that we see that makes us think that, guess that, realize that two people were meant for each other? Ever the observer, I watch and listen, hoping to see that wonderful moment… to hear that laugh… that shared gaze… that kiss… that chemistry… Click…

Congratulations Miguel & Vanessa and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your celebration.