Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Big Three Five!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Today I turn 35.  Boy…doesn’t that sound like a big number?  It sure look like it is as I’m typing this out.  I remember when I was in elementary school, there was this city day camp I used to participate in during summer.  And we had counselors that were around 16 or 17 years old.  At that time, I used to think that 16 or 17 was SOOOO old.  But before the blink of an eye, I’m now double that age I used to think was old and then some.

I am not one of those astonishing people that’s accomplished note worthy, life changing things in my short 35 years of life.  I know I still have tons to learn and living life itself is a never ending string of lessons one needs to learn.  But I do have a few things I’ve picked up on so far in life.  This is a list of things I felt I’ve personally experienced and I’m by no means telling you to agree or disagree with me.  So if you’d like to partake in my wisdom sharing, continue reading! :)

  • Fear The Sun – I am a huge opponent of the sun.  I guess that’s why I love living in Seattle, where 3/4 of the year is cloudy.  I whole heartedly believe that one of the keys to stay looking young is to stay out of the sun.  Now, I love a good summer day.  And during a summer like the one we just had this year, when I know I’ll be in the sun (and that means even being out for a 15 minute dog walk) I slab on the sun screen.  You’ll never find me sunbathing and I also drink plenty of water to make sure I stay hydrated.  When I go out without sun screen, I literally fear of melting my skin off…is that bad?  Maybe I’m a little obsessed but hey…I feel like it’s working so far!
  • A Few Good Friends – I was never a popular person in high school and I never wanted to be.  Throughout high school and college, I’ve always had the same handful of friends beside me who have walked through the ups and downs of life with me.  And some time in my late 20′s, I realized that having a few good friends is more important than having a ton of acquaintances.  We all live busy lives, some have kids, but we never let our individual lives compromise our friendship of almost 20 years.  We make sure to take time out to hang out, just us girls, away from our kids and husbands, at least once a month.  It takes dedication to maintain good friendships and I’m glad that my group of friends as a whole values it as much as I do.
  •  I Love Drama – Don’t we all love drama?  I used to go about relationships in the wrong way I think, especially in my 20′s.  I used to think that drama in a relationship is necessary and back then, I used to think drama usually equaled to fights that ended in tears.  And true, sometimes fights are healthy for a relationship.  But when I met my husband, Chris, I wanted that drama!  What I didn’t realize was drama, to me, is an act of overwhelming emotion.  And that emotion didn’t need to be anger that resulted in tears.  After meeting Chris, that emotion usually manifested itself in the form of ROTF laughter.  And this ROTF laughter happens on a daily basis.  When girls usually say their ideal trait in a partner is sense of humor, I always think they are also innately searching for that “drama” in their life.  And this type of drama is OH SO HEALTHY!
  • Whole Foods – No not the market, but real whole, organic foods (and it also can be from Whole Foods!!!).  In the last year or so, I’ve slowly moved to an all organic, grass fed, pastured meats and eggs , low carb and no added sugar diet.  I’ve had certain health issues all my life, from dairy allergies to yo yo weight changes and I’ve never really focused on health until I was in my 30′s.  In my teens and 20′s, weight was the key thing.  It was never an issue of health.  Changing my diet has vastly improved my muscle aches, skin, mood, and energy levels that I’ll never go back to an average American diet again.  I will definitely have “treat” meals here and there, especially when we’re out with friends.  But in my normal day to day life, I say no to processed, packaged, and fast foods and it has made me a happier person and have accepted my weight as long as I’m healthy.  Which brings me to my next point:
  • Weight No More – I’ve fought weight issues all of my life.  And my problems started at the age of 8 or 9 years old when my parents and I moved to the US where I indulged in processed foods and moved less because I didn’t understand English and had very few friend from the move.  I’ve had minor eating issues in college where I maintained a very low calorie diet and ran 5 miles per day to get to my magic number of 110 lbs.  I don’t really know when the coin flipped, but all of a sudden in my 30′s, I wasn’t concerned about weight anymore.  I think somewhere along the way, I learned self acceptance and self love.  Being in a loving relationship where my husband saw my true self, a self I didn’t even see, helped me realize that I needed to live life healthily, love and nourish myself with good whole foods and the acceptance eventually came.  This is one of the most important key things I’ve learned about myself which also brings me to my next point:
  • Boudoir For All – If you follow my photography blog, you know that I LOVE doing boudoir photography for other girls.  These photo shoots help empower women and I truly believe that.  All women are beautiful, in all shapes and sizes and I think everyone should take an opportunity to do one.  We always complain about how we’re never skinny enough but we’re only 25, 35, 37, 40 once.  And 10 years from 25, 35, 37, or 40, you’ll look back at your regular photos and realize how great you did look.  Which was why I decided to do a boudoir shoot with my husband.  I am not perfect by any means and of course I have areas of my body that I’d love to hide.  But doing this and experiencing something like this was something I wanted and needed.  Maybe at the age of 45 I’ll look back and realize that at the age of 45, I feel even better than when I was at 35.  But there’s no doubting the fact that on the day that I did this shoot, I felt totally accepted of myself and 100% beautiful.  And that’s something priceless.

I’ve never done anything like this before because I am not one to really post that many photos of myself on this blog.  It is for my clients after all!  So today, I bring you a few photos of me taken by my husband in the comfort of our own home.  Thanks for staying for this long as I rambled on and enjoy!

And because this is the cutest thing…I leave you with Chewy!

Seattle Family Photography | The Harris Family

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Today we bring you Julie, Alex, Nev, and Ryker:

 

Seattle Portrait Photography | Tiffany+Fam | I Am Style-Ish

Friday, November 8th, 2013

I remember when I first came upon Tiffany’s blog.  It was about three years ago and I had just gotten married.  Bored with my job and also wanting to start my own photography business, I went online searching for Seattle wedding photographers for inspiration.  But somewhere amongst my Google searches, I came upon Tiff’s blog and instantly started to follow her.  I didn’t know it at the time, but soon came to found out that in addition to being a wedding photographer with her husband, Jared, she was (and still is) a very popular fashion blogger in the fashion internet community.  Now with their first daughter, Layla, welcomed to their family, they do not photograph weddings any more but Tiffany is still a very active blogger.  I love visiting her OOTDs (outfit of the days for those not in the know :) ))) and she was actually the person that inspired me to purchase my first Chanel bag through a second hand retailer.  Tiffany has a shoe collection to die for and lots of vintage designer bags passed down from her mom.  I strive to be like her in every way possible!  I am so thankful for Tiff and Jared for opening their doors to Chris and I, allowing us to photograph their cute, adorable family.  Check them out!  And also check Tiffany out on her blog!  

 

Seattle Engagement Photography | Courtney+Zac | Pike Place Market and Washington Arboretum

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Love is moving across the country for someone because you can’t live without them.  Courtney+Zac are both from the East coast and when Zac was offered a job here in Rain City, Courtney followed after graduating from school.  Now that’s what I call love!  They wanted to take engagement photos in Seattle before their wedding next year back home across the country and although we will not be their wedding photographers, we’re so glad we got to meet them and got to spend the morning with them around beautiful Seattle.  They are shy, funny, daring, laughable, and adorable all at once.  Just check them out and see for yourselves!

There’s more photos in Courtney+Zac’s  slideshow below.  If you are on an iPhone or an iPhone, click HERE.

 

 

Seattle Wedding Photography | Nichole+Tim | St. Ignatius Chapel and Pioneer Square

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

When the first words out of the groom’s mouth during his wedding day is, “TWO-CHAINSSSS!!!” you know it was going to be a good day.  As photographers, on a wedding day we spend about twelve hours on our feet and it can sure be tiring.  But being with Nichole+Tim, they made us forget about our aching feet.  Nichole+Tim just wanted to have fun on their wedding day…and they weren’t kidding.  When we saw that each of the banquet tables at their reception housed two Costco sized bottles of liquor, we knew this party was going down!  Oh…and did we mention the Costco sized wine buffet off to the side in case people ran out of alcohol at their tables?

Weddings are supposed to be fun and Nichole+Tim proved this to be the case.  I’ve known Nichole for years!  In fact, Chris and Nichole worked together when he purchased my engagement ring and Nichole actually remembered the day he took a long lunch to get it.  So it was even more special for us to photograph their special day for them.  We’ve never had such a crazy time with them and their wedding party, walking around Pioneer Square yelling at the top of our lungs.  Just check them out!

There’s more photos in Nichole+Tim’s  slideshow below.  If you are on an iPhone or an iPhone, click HERE.

 

Seattle Wedding Photography | Linh+Celso | Olive 8 and Sculpture Park

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

One of the best perks about being a wedding photographer is having the opportunity to meet so many different kinds of people from many backgrounds.  It’s fun to learn about each individual couple, how they met, how they became engaged, as well as where they came from.  So when we met Linh+Celso, we were so excited to find out that they wanted to incorporate as many of their cultural traditions as possible in their wedding.

Me — being from Mainland China and growing up in the States since I was 8 — I did not really know what all goes into a traditional Chinese wedding.  Of course different parts of China have their own different traditions, but the tea ceremony is very widely practiced, and it is a symbol of paying respect to the couples’ parents, grandparents and other family members that have been a part of their lives up to this point.  It was so nice to be a part of that, and be able to capture that in photos.  Mix this with some fun groom games here and a lion dance there, and this absolutely becomes one of the most anticipated weddings we wanted to blog to date.  Judge for yourself!  Enjoy Linh+Celso’s wedding sneak peek below!

There’s more photos in Linh+Celso’s  slideshow below.  If you are on an iPhone or an iPhone, click HERE.

 

Seattle Portrait Photography | Olivia+Family (6 Months Later)

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Ever since I set up a little home studio, I’ve been really into shooting kids.  When Cynthia contacted us about taking Olivia’s 6 month photos, I was ecstatic to shoot her in the comfort of my studio.  Cynthia+Bryce are the type of parents who love to document their kids’ different stages of growth.  And thank God for that because I feel it is so important to capture photos of children more frequently than your standard milestones–birthdays and holidays–because they grow and change so fast.  It’s not only important for the parents but for the children as well.  I personally don’t have a lot of pictures of myself as a baby (hardly any actually) because my parents in China were poor and couldn’t afford a camera or have professional photos taken.  Parents nowadays are extremely lucky to have an abundance of resources to make sure these memories are captured.

Just look at this cute family!  We shot Olivia at three weeks old and just in a mere 6 months, she looks like a totally different little person.  It’s such a joy to see her grow into her own self and I hope I get to be there to preserve more of her memories in the future.

 

Seattle Engagement Photography | Jamie+Khiem | University of Washington and Washington Arboretum

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

I love working with couples that are high school sweethearts.  Usually, these couples have been together for so long, they are so in tune with one another.  They can just look at the other person and immediately know what the other is thinking.  Jamie+Khiem are no different.  They knew each other in high school but didn’t start dating until their senior year.  They then went to the University of Washington together, which held significance for both of them and that’s why they picked it as their first shooting location.

Jamie is quiet, shy, and sweet.  But a totally classy lady.  There’s actually 10 years that separate Jamie and me, but I feel like she’s one of the most mature ladies I’ve met at her age.  She’s just one of those gals that seem like she’ll stay calm, cool, and collected through anything.  And those are the type of gals I love working with.  Khiem is one of the “laugh-iest” grooms I’ve ever worked with.  There’s no middle ground for Khiem.  If he smiles, he SMILES!  With ALL CAPS.  His face lights up every time we told him to smile and it’s such a great feeling we get behind the camera.  People like Khiem make ME smile behind my view finder and that’s something really special.  Check out their engagement session sneak peek for yourself.

Play the slideshow below for more of Jamie+Khiem.  If you are on an iPhone or an iPhone, click HERE.

Seattle Boudoir Photography | Hello Girl Friend…You Are Beautiful

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Whenever I mention the word “boudoir” to girls, I always see their eyes light up.  And just as fast their eyes light, they immediately dim.  Boudoir, for good reason, make girls nervous.  Heck, it makes ME nervous!  So I totally understand.  The thought of being in a room with only lingerie on can be daunting.  Add on top of that, a photographer pointing a large black lens in your face.  Horrific right?  But I can tell you one thing: most girls I’ve talked to have thought about getting a boudoir shoot done.  However, there’s usually a couple of things stopping them from truly doing it.  The major factor being how they view their own bodies. 

 Before I get into this, let me just say that this post isn’t to talk about body image nor am I going to make you change your minds about how you think you look.  I’ll speak to my own experiences a little bit, but this post is mainly to introduce you to the PROCESS of a boudoir shoot.  At the end of this post, my goal is for the girls reading this to think maybe boudoir as something not as daunting as it seems. 

 In my idealistic early 20’s, I had a vision for myself.  I knew I needed to be a certain size and I knew when I should get married to leave time to have two children.  The married and children thing, let’s not go into that in this post.   :)   But in my younger years, I remember feeling like I was never thin enough.  Now fast forward a decade later (OK…now you all know my age…grrrrrreat), when I stumble on pictures of myself in my 20’s, I think, “Wow, I looked pretty good back then!”  And I now know this will only continue throughout my years.  In my 40′s I’ll yearn for my 30′s, in my 50′s I’ll long for my 40′s and so on.

 Look, I’m a lot more mature than when I was in my 20’s.  But somewhere buried deep inside my self confidence is still a little bit of that 20 year old’s insecurity.  I know I’ll never be my ideal size, but I know for a fact that I can’t dwell on it.  Because before I know it, my 30’s is going to just pass me by while I’m spending it thinking about how I could look.  My goal this year is to put my insecurities aside and finally bite the nail to do a boudoir shoot for myself.  The thought of it still haunts me a little bit, but I’m ready to face the experience. 

 

And it is an experience.  When I do a boudoir shoot, I tend to talk about it as an experience for the woman.  I encourage my clients to not only look classy (and sexy) but also FEEL sexy from within.  Whether it’s getting hair and make-up professionally done before the shoot or going out and hunting for new lingerie or getting a facial and a massage the day before.  This is all a process in itself to help us not only look, but feel beautiful from within.  I don’t know about you but whenever I get my hair professional blow dried, I instantaneously feel 10 pounds thinner and prettier. 

 The process doesn’t end there and it’s not just your responsibility.  As a photographer, I’m responsible for making you feel at ease during the shoot.  If you don’t feel at ease, your guard comes (swooping noise) way up and you immediately lose confidence in yourself.  When I’m in a room with you at your most vulnerable, trust is a huge thing.  And trust me when I tell you that through tricks in lighting, posing, camera composition, and my skillful ninja maneuvering that I will make you look your best. 

The honest truth is we as women are so concerned with how we COULD look, we often forget how beautiful we DO look.  Let’s not waste time self criticizing for another 10 years before looking back and realizing how beautiful we truly were.  Let’s capture this moment, at your best, to cherish forever.  Boudoir sessions are one of my favorites to shoot because I feel that it EMPOWERS women. Whether you are a size 2 or a 22, you ARE beautiful.  Trust me and let me show you how stunning you can be.  Email me for more information on a Boudoir with Cindi session and if you’re interested (and brave), I might share my own boudoir pictures with you.

I Glove Sundays!

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I’ve been into fingerless gloves lately.  I’m not a normal glove wearer.  I actually have this really interesting condition where my hands are almost always warm.  Well, maybe it’s not a condition.  But whatever it is, I’m one of those lucky ones that always have warm hands.  Weird huh?  Or maybe I’m blessed.

The weather’s turned in Seattle in the last week.  It’s as if winter has finally come and the weather dropped into the 20′s…in the day time.  When it’s that cold and we’re out shooting, I tend to grasp my camera until my knuckles turn white!  I’m pretty sure doing this will eventually give me arthritis, but what the hay!  I love shooting…so I’ll risk it.  Fingerless gloves help with this though and I was able to found these cute gloves on Etsy.  They come all the way from Turkey!!!  That’s right, I’m an international shopper.  I love these so much, I GLOVE them!  Corny, I know.  But this is the best you’re gonna get out of me on a lazy Sunday afternoon.