Late yesterday, my “music informant” friend Michelle told me Sara B was rumored to be the surprise guest at Hotel Cafe, so with fingers crossed I grabbed my camera, jumped in the car, and we all headed to Hollywood.  We used to watch her perform at Hotel Cafe all the time, but now that she’s selling out shows and playing at bigger venues, I didn’t think I’d ever get to see her play at Hotel Cafe again.  I just love how small and intimate shows at Hotel Cafe are…150 people crowded around a modest stage in a dimly lit room…feels like it’s just you and the artist.  So when Sara stepped on stage along with Jay Nash, Joey Ryan, and Javier Dunn, I kind of wanted to kiss Michelle for being right.  Ok, just kidding, I didn’t really want to kiss you (well maybe). 😉

Each songwriter took turns playing one of their own songs, while the rest joined in and backed them up.  I call Sara B the queen of remixes because I’ve probably seen her perform about a half dozen times and I’ve never heard her play a song the same way twice.  She always changes it up, which keeps it interesting and makes her a great performer to see live.

Here’s Sara B singing Undertow

Jay Nash & Joey Ryan

Javier Dunn, Sara’s guitarist

Sara on a ukelele

Charles Gillingham, keyboardist from Counting Crows

The whole gang doing one last song

Here’s Sara singing Undertow

Also, love this song by Sara B & Ingrid Michaelson from the The Hotel Café presents… Winter Songs

I have some of the most awesome clients ever!  Two of them in particular got us a “backstage pass” to LAX and gave me the opportunity to photograph on the tarmac and in the engine of a plane.  How incredible is that?  You might be wondering how they pulled this off.  Well, Dee Dee & Jonathan both work for the “Luv” airline.  Dee Dee plans the company events, and Jonathan is the station manager for Southwest at the SF airport.  They actually met at a company party that Dee Dee planned!  So when coming up with ideas for their engagement session, they quickly knew they wanted to take pictures on one of their planes and they made it happen.

Dee Dee & Jonathan are two of the nicest people you could ever meet.  Even after we were done shooting, we spent a good half hour at LAX just chatting and chatting away.  And we probably could have gone on & on were it not for the fact that Jer & I had to get to worship practice.  Anyhow, I’m so glad they found me and I can’t wait to shoot their wedding at the end of this month!  Before I get to the pictures we shot at LAX, here are a few shots we grabbed at Manhattan Beach in the gorgeous morning light.  I love sunrise shoots!

I love how the sky is a soft bluish-purpleish-pink!

Now onto LAX!  Here is the plane as it’s pulling into the gate.

And here they are in the engine!

We even got to go in the cockpit!

A great big shout out to the wonderful Southwest crew at LAX!  They were all so friendly & accommodating, and they even shut down half the counter so we could shoot on the luggage belt.

Jer grabbed this picture of me getting the above shot.

Lastly, a shot of their lovely invitations.  Jonathan proposed to Dee Dee using post-it notes, so their invitation is spelled out on a little pad of post-its.  So cute!  Jonathan’s sister designed their invitations.  She is an amazing graphic designer whose work I actually came across about 2 yrs ago when I first started planning my own wedding.  Check out her work at

Yesterday we had some friends over to ring in the new year.  I set up a photo area in our garage and here is the silliness that ensued.

uhh….what’s going on?


Will’s star shot pose.

Maybe I should have gotten Will a tweezer for Christmas.

Daniel making sure the backdrop is level….it’s not.

Our hippie rockstar shot.

Here’s to the new year!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I have so much to share, but I’ve also been enjoying a little time off at home with friends & family.  Now that Jer and I are married and have our own place, it’s been fun hosting parties and having people over.  At first I wasn’t really into the idea of putting up lights, getting a tree, or decorating the house for Christmas.  But for some reason I had a sudden change of heart, and next thing I knew I was frantically running from store to store buying holiday decor at 50% off (sometimes procrastinating has its benefits).  Here are some pictures from our holiday festivities.

Christmas day we hosted a dinner for both our families.  Halfway through prepping dinner I suddenly thought, “What did I get myself into?  I’m in over my head!”  You see, I don’t really know how to cook.  I survived college making soup & noodles.  That’s about the only thing I know how to make, and now suddenly I’m throwing a dinner party?  What was I thinking?!  Thankfully my deviled eggs, mac & cheese, and green bean casserole didn’t turn out too bad…for my first attempts ever.  I do, however, need to get a new cheese grater because grating cheese with a $1 grater is no walk in the park.

The following night I was excited to have my former college roommates come over for our annual gift exchange.  Six years ago, the six of us moved into an apartment together at UCI and our little Christmas tradition began.  Since then, we’ve all moved and are scattered across the east & west coasts, but we still try to exchange gifts each Christmas (whether we can make it back to LA or not).  This year we decided to make our gifts, and wow, I am amazed at everyone’s craftiness!

But first, a few pictures of the food I made with my newfound cooking abilities….caprese, macaroni casserole, stuffing, & salmon.

Jer whipped up some cocktails for us.

The gifts

My gift to Kate – two original prints of LA & OC…to remind her of home since she lives in San Jose right now.

Janet crocheted this amazing blanket for me!

Jeremy seems to really like the blanket.  Mmm…can I get that back now?

Kate made Janet a personalized 2009 calendar.  Each month had pictures taken in that corresponding month in 2008.

Virginia made Viv some porcelain ice cream cones.  Virginia is an awesome designer in Brooklyn, and her porcelain paper plates have been featured on Design Sponge and Apartment Therapy.

Juli cross-stitched The Royal Tenenbaums for Virginia….

….and also hand-stitched this cute little dino.

I love Juli’s reaction to the terrarium she got from Viv.

All the roomies with our gifts.

Now all the roomies (plus honorary roomie Joyce) doing what I think are supposed to be reindeer antlers.

Finally, a great big THANK YOU to Adrienne Gunde for sending me these yummy cookies from Pinko Cookies!
And thanks for all your help this year!

Here are the engagement pictures from the gorgeous morning session at Crystal Cove I mentioned in my last post.  Leo and Rica are such a sweet couple and although it was early, I had a great time hanging out with them.  Definitely worth waking up at the crack of dawn for.

We took pictures around the Crystal Cove beach cottages…I had no idea these existed but they are so cute!  You can actually rent out these adorable beach front cottages for a couple of nights, and it was on one such stay with some friends that Leo and Rica first got together.  So this place holds a special meaning to them.

My favorite shot of the day!

I know Christi from way, way back when….we went to the same church when we were young.  I hadn’t seen her in years, and then one day I ran into her at a wedding I was shooting.  She had just gotten engaged and I remember checking out her gorgeous ring (I remember it because it’s kind of antique looking like mine….good choice, Michael!).  And then at our friend’s wedding, Jer and I ended up getting seated at the same table as Christi and Michael.  We got to talking and Michael is a pretty funny guy.  If my memory serves me right, when Michael first tried asking Christi out, he got denied!  But he didn’t let that get him down and he didn’t give up and now….well I guess you know how that story ends. 😉

Loving the orange wall we found!

I didn’t notice until after I had finished editing their engagement session, but I really like the colors they chose to wear.  The purple and red compliment each other nicely, and I love that the colors really stand out in the pictures and go well with all their surroundings!

We found this cool little art nook in Old Town.  I had no idea this was there and I’ve passed that alley so many times!  If you look closely, those circular things towards the top of the picture are magnifying glasses that are hanging as part of an art installation.

Another back alleyway led us to these wishing trees.  I had Christi and Michael write a wish and hang it on a tree.

Pasadena City Hall is gorgeous at night!

A few pictures from our trip to Seattle.  Our stay was too brief.  We’ll have to visit again sometime.

[Once again processed using Poladroid.]

Had fun celebrating Dan’s bday in Capital Hill.  Dan’s favorite place…The Elite!

WOW!  The Seattle Public Library is AMAZING!  All libraries should be as awesome as this one.