Sunday, January 31, 2010


This is a spur of the moment thing, but I just want to jot it down so I do not forget.

This year, I would like to document a bachelor party (at least just the PG parts).

In the next few years, God willing, I'd also like to have the opportunity to photograph my 90+ year old grandmother who resides in Seoul. It would be very meaningful for me, and I hope it happens.

That is all for now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Commercial Shoot

I had the chance to shoot an Arabic class learning how to apply henna this past weekend. It is fun just to be able to get out there and work on something I enjoy on a regular basis.

Also had the chance to assist with and photograph an engagement session on Sunday. A weekend jam packed with photography assignments is pretty much a perfect weekend in my book. Simultaneously playing poker would be the only way it could have been better.

Every time I get an opportunity to shoot, I relish the chance to try something new and just learn. Now, if I could just find a hot dog and a bun... = )

I am hungry. My appetite for knowledge and improvement will never be quenched. The day I lose my drive is the day I die. And I can live with that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

First Outing

I shot a wedding as part of the team last night. Ultimately, I am not as interested in wedding photography like I am portrait or lifestyle work, but this is the opportunity that stands before me. And it is a good one. I want to seize it, and hopefully suck the marrow out of it.

It was a good experience, and I definitely left feeling challenged. I love that feeling. Occasionally feeling flustered is something I actually enjoy, which pretty much makes me a freak.

At some point I am going to start posting some more shots, mainly just to track my own progress. If I am not improving, I am essentially getting worse. That makes me want to get better each and every single day. There is always something I can work on. If I don't work on it, that is purely my loss.

The one thing about shooting events is that you need to find a nice comfortable pair of shoes. My feet hurt like hell after being on my feet for 10 hours.

I am glad that the team is fun. Life is so much more enjoyable when the people you work with are easy to get along with.

Like P. Diddy used to say when he was Puff Daddy, "Stay humble, stay low, blow like Hootie." It's very easy to stay humble when you're starting out, and I think remembering those early moments is a great way to stay that way.

With life and in photography, taking control of a situation is key. Of course you can't control everything, but being confident and taking charge of what is in your ability and realm to do so is crucial to success.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesdays and Thursdays

I love going to the studio. It's such a sanctuary from everything that goes on in other arenas of my life. The photography studio and the gym are my refuges.

I think my photography is improving, but I am far far away from where I want to be. Small steps forward are better than stagnation though.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

I don't know. I don't even know if I want to grow up.

I just know that I want to be the best I can be.

Not sure if that approach is optimal for success, but I've tried to do everything "by the book" before only to have things blow up in my face for no reason.

I enjoy cycling. I used to hate the idea of riding in place. You're not going anywhere. A net loss, right?

I don't think that way anymore. Even if I am not moving, pumping my legs is building up my strength and endurance. When the ground beneath me starts to move again, I'll be able to go harder and longer... stronger.

Friday, January 8, 2010

She's here

My new camera feels so good in my hands.

Unfortunately, I have to relearn everything. I don't know why Canon and Nikon have it in for each other so much. Sometimes I think they purposefully did things the exact opposite way out of spite.

For example, zooming a lens in on a Nikon would actually zoom the lens out on a Canon. The light meter is also in reverse. For a while I thought I had a faulty camera. Out of the box, all I could change was shutter speed. I resorted to taking the first photo with the camera in aperture priority mode. Oh, the shame...

I feel like a newborn. Can't do anything but cry, eat, crap, and sleep.

I was comfortable with my tricycle, but now I want to ride my nice shiny bicycle.

For the time being though, I am officially one of the people who annoy me the most: those who have nice gear they do not know how to fully use. You know, the kid with the most expensive basketball shoes that can't hit the side of a barn. The person with a performance vehicle that can't parallel park. The guy with professional golf clubs who can't hit the ball straight. You get my drift.

Anyway, I think I want to name my camera. I want to see what her disposition and personality is like first.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Photographer's Creed

My Camera

This is my camera. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My camera is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life.

My camera, without me, is useless. Without my camera, I am useless.

I must fire my camera true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will....

My camera and myself know that what counts is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My camera is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my camera clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

I'm not crazy. I do get really into things that I am passionate about though. = )

I recently watched a fascinating documentary on snipers, and I thought a lot of similarities could be drawn to photography.

One shot. One kill.

If I really want to grow as a photographer, I need to think of my camera as an extension of myself.

I am sitting at home waiting for my new camera body to arrive. Yet, I already know I love it. I guess this is what it feels like to be an expectant parent.

No, I'm not crazy.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fare thee well, Nikon.

My new 24-70mm 2.8 lens arrived today. It is a standard lens that many professional photographers use. It is good for weddings and photojournalism. I hope to pick up a 50mm 1.4 and a 70-200 mm 2.8 in the coming months. Then I can chill out for a little bit.

I can't believe how much all of this stuff costs. This is getting real expensive, real quick. I am fortunate to have a loving partner who doesn't make me feel guilty about pursuing my passions to the fullest extent possible. That in itself is priceless to me.

Unfortunately, my new 5D Mark II body has not made it yet. It will arrive at some point tomorrow. Not much I can do with the new lens but look at it, wondering what it will allow me to do. My new "glass" feels sturdy and looks great. In the end, I know it is not my gear, but the person who uses the gear that makes the picture.

Just holding my new lens in my hands provided enough confirmation that the workmanship and quality of my new gear far exceeds that of my first DSLR camera and equipment. This is the real deal.

A part of me feels a little bit of fear. Up until now, I could blame my shortcomings on my amateur gear. Now, I can't really say that anymore. I don't have top of the line gear, but I'm a short step down from it. This is where I need to step it up or essentially become the type of person I absolutely never want to become: the person whose gear greatly outmatches their capabilities and skills as a shooter.

Fear of failure has always driven me to dig down deep and perform to the highest God-given levels possible. I am about to find out just what I am capable of. I am allergic to failure. If I have to taste defeat, I will taste defeat. But you can bet your ass that I will do everything in my power to keep that from happening. There is some residual fear, as I wonder what if, just what if my best is not actually good enough.

I need to quit worrying about this kind of crap and just make things happen. I used to think that was my specialty, but lately, I am starting to think I just suppressed my fear better in the past. I didn't know any better. Now I know, and the world can be a scary place.

I consider myself a loyal person, but today, I officially have to let someone down gently.

Goodbye, Nikon. You've been a good friend.