Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wedding - Ren and Irene

Michael Katz Winery at Ruby Hall - Pleasanton, CA, Bay Area

I had to post these few shots from Ren and Irene’s rockstar wedding. Ren is Vaness’s very close cousin, so I had the good fortune of being invited to the wedding. One of the biggest things that I love about Vaness’s cousin Ren and his new wife Irene is the way they approach things in life – have fun. They do take it to a whole new level, but the point is, they really know how to make anyone feel comfortable around them and, of course, have a good time too...

Now, their wedding - I couldn’t resist taking pictures at – it was straight heat. They really had a beautiful wedding. I didn’t shoot a lot though, just a few here and there (kinda being an invitee)… check ‘em out!

Check out a bit of the cocktail hour! I really didn’t get to capture everything, but the Michael Katz Winery was major!

And check out their tables and reception area! Wow!

From left to right – Vaness, Emae, and their new sister (their brother Neremiah’s new wife) Ate Joy…

And here is Vaness’s family..

They had a REALLY good band, D’Groove (Bay Area Based). They did some really good covers, orginals, and were just plain talented. They SERIOUSLY rocked it..

Now this next moment is one that would probably exemplify exactly how they are – completely fun loving. They were enjoying a little fun variety show that their family and friends put on for them in the middle of the wedding. I was crazy crackin up (I didn’t take any pics though, cuz I was too busy laughing!)… I was just glad to catch this reaction from Ren and Irene!

Thank you sooo much Ren and Irene for inviting me to your wedding! Vaness and I had a greeaaat time!! Can’t wait to see you in January at our wedding!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jesse's 7th Birthday!

Party Playhouse - San Francisco, CA

This ‘lil guy is growin up so fast. Every single time I go home he gets taller, has a large vocabulary, and gets a lil more bold. He is such different child than me and my other bro Tristan ever were. When I was little, and even through grade school, when I was asked to describe myself, I would respond – “shy” – weird huh? Anyways.. just thought I would share a bit of from the festivities that was Jesse’s bday. This was the first one I actually have been to since he was born. I’m not a bad brother I swear! It was just cuz while I was in school I always had finals, and his bday lands two weeks after Thanksgiving and two weeks before Christmas break. It’s hard to get up to the bay when that is the timeframe! Well, enjoy this lil 2nd lil look into my family life :-)

Geordi, our family’s star bballer wins easy.

Bonnevie is a winner too!

Uncle Remy getting run over by Jesse!

Faith hopin’ to take her prizes home!

Jesse at the wack-a-mole...

Now, Tristan at the wack-a-mole tryin’ to show Jesse what’s up, haha!

Imagine the way this scene probably looked, me taking a picture of my dad taking a picture of my uncle Reimel taking video of the kids… confusing, but really funny if you were there..

Jesse at gift opening time…

A giant Millenium Falcon! Complete with battle stations, lights, sounds, action figures… That thing is amazingly huge – and way crazy big. Truly a Star Wars kid’s dream!

Thanks for following along with me in my last two posts showing my family!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanksgiving and Tristan's Birthday!

Grandma’s, Uncle Reimel’s, Espitus - San Francisco, CA

Thanksgiving – It means family. And this one is one that has a bit of symbolic relevance. It was the last one at my grandma’s house. After her passing, the house that has become a cornerstone memory of my childhood is now on the market for sale. I can’t say that I was particularly emotional about it though, maybe because the house was re-done a few years ago after a fire almost took the life of my grandma prematurely. I guess that’s why I really didn’t take a lot of time taking a ton of pictures (or any at all really)… Here is a little snapshot of the numbers my dad took..

All MY main memories were probably built in the house’s previous shell. Now, with the Technicolor painted walls a new white, the house plumbing in modern working order, the basement “cave of mystery and scary childhood darkness” remodeled into a bright garage and bedrooms, this place that was “grandma’s house” has kinda taken on a new meaning for me. But, the celebration is still the same – Thanksgiving means family. I was glad to take the drive up to the bay with my fiancĂ© Vaness and glad she was at least able to see where I grew up with all my cousins…. Another bit of relevance – this was my last Thanksgiving with my family as an unmarried son, cousin, nephew, and grandchild… weird and exciting at the same time… Here are my two bros in my portraiture attempts on my grandma’s famous steps.

Vaness and my mom sharing some sort of an a-ha moment..

Moving on to my Uncle Reimel’s that evening.. we had more food than we would even want to handle. It was a bit tiring just taking the food on – but once again our family time was full of laughter, food challenges, and - shall we say - some memorable quotes by my grandpa (you kinda had to be there)… Here’s some of that food (Turkey is in there somewhere)! Yum..

The dessert table, on the other hand, was a very rough experience. I think everyone in the household, despite the way too full stomachs, thought that a plate full of dessert was too hard to pass up. Major weight-gainage. And honestly, some major pain (with a dash of regret). Foreal. But, c’mon, if you didn’t gain weight eatin up with the fam on Thanksgiving, well – you have more discipline than me, that’s for sure.

Caitlin enjoying dessert by the plateload!

Jesse getting down on dessert too!!! Okay, okay – he was trying to steal my plate… Alright, alright, I just told him to hold it so that I can get him in trouble and frame him eating too much dessert..

Caitlin, Geordi, and Tristan still grubbin real late into the night!

Mom and Dad kinda wanted to “surprise” Tristan with a birthday dinner at Espetus… Uncle Reimel and family joined along with Grandma and Grandpa Galang… Now, if you have never been to a restaurant like Espetus, then I will first say – meat eaters, pay major attention. Brazillian skewer bbq brought to your table still on the skewer in a non-stop buffet of a variety of several different types of tasty cuts of beef, chicken, and pork complimented with a buffet table of different rice dishes, vegetables, and soups… Seriously! It is an amazing dining experience. We had a real good time and I was happy to celebrate with my bro.. you're an old man now!

And the place is pretty nice too!

Oh, man – lemme tell you, this guy has got it so good he don’t even know.. I’m not bitter, nope – not at all!! Jesse - when you grow up and read this in the future - I'll have to explain it to you..

Happy birthday Tristan!

And, happy biiiirrthdayyy tooooo me. Ha! Just kidding.

That was a real break. My last Thanksgiving as a “single guy”. But, I know my future Thanksgivings will just be more of the same. Memories and good times. And of course, family, family, family.... and way too much dessert!

Well it’s already been a few weeks, but Happy Thanksgiving to all!! I hope you all had a good one!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Collins Family

Point Loma Nazarene University - San Diego, CA

In my estimation and short experience, family portrait shoots take just as much energy and creativity as any other. You gotta be on your toes, quick thinking, and very fast so you can run after the kids! I first met Hamilton at our church at Ironman. Then at the Men's retreat this fall, Hamilton asked me if I could take his family portraits... It was definitely a fun experience and quite different from the weddings and events I normally shoot. Thankfully I had my Fiancee Vaness with me for moral support as well as Jasmine to come and shoot accompanied with Husband and expert reflector holder Adam.

I definitely had a lot of fun and having a sweet family and the cutest kids makes it a lot easier. Thanks Hamilton, Shannon, lil Hamilton, and Ayla! Enjoy!

Ayla!! Whata Cutie!! Definitely.

I told ya you have to be quick... She was a runner!

Ayla burying her face thinkin - "Aw man, mom and dad!!"

Lil' Hamilton decided to go 'Matrix' on me and sport this death defying jump over the stairs. Now he was definitely a runner (and jumper)..

If that doesn’t say daddy’s little girl, then I don’t know what does!

All the big smiles come out during playtime!

Thank you so much to the Collins family for having me (and my whole crew!) out with you… Hope you had fun!