One of the perks of being a photographer is that when your subject is being treated like a VIP, you get to be treated like a VIP right along with them. Today was just such a day. Cara’s family has had season tickets to the Giants for ~30 years. That’s a big deal. Even more impressive is the fact that Cara’s family lives near Fresno and has to drive ~2.5 hours to the games. These are hard-core fans! One of the perks of being such a dedicated fan is that they let you into the stadium on an off day to get your senior portraits done. How cool is that!?
After some shots in and around AT&T Park, we went to the Legion of Honor for more shots, including some awesome shots with the Golden Gate Bridge as the background.
Cara is a natural beauty with a contagious smile. Models like this make my job easy!
Angel and Ivan’s daughter Fiona.
Another photo assignment I did for UCSF Medical Center. Helene is a breast cancer survivor. Part of her rehabilitation was taking hikes on the trails around Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. I featured Mt Tam in the background for these portraits.
This is another assignment I did for the UCSF Medical Center. Gina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 19. After the tumor and her right ovary were removed, she was declared cancer free. Life moved on and Gina got married. Then, when she was 31, a blood test showed the cancer had returned. Gina wanted to have a child some day, so she chose to delay cancer treatment long enough to freeze some of her eggs. Fortunately, the second growth was benign and, after she fully recovered, she moved forward with in vitro fertilization (IVF). The first two IVF tries were unsuccessful, but the third try resulted in her lovely daughter Samantha. Gina now wants to share her success story with other young people facing cancer. “I want women to know that cancer doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your desire to be a mother,” she says. “There are options.”
What’s better than the 4th of July? The 5th of July! Why? It’s my niece’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Georgie!
Major present for this birthday? A new bike! Despite only 1 candle on her cake, she is actually 3. I made the cake for her; the only requirement for the cake: it had to be pink.
I went to the Sonoma-Marin Fair today. The highlight of the fair (well, maybe not the highlight, but the event that got the most media coverage) was the “World’s Ugliest Dog Competition”. 29 dogs were there trying to win the coveted title of “World’s Ugliest Dog”. In the end, this year’s winner was Mugly, the dog that won the United Kingdom’s “Ugliest Dog” contest.
There were tons of TV crews and two (or possibly three) teams making movies there. One team was from the UK and were making a documentary on the contest. Another was making a film that had scenes (including the climax) that took place at a fictionalized version of the show. We were in the audience for the filming and were asked to clap, cheer, etc. So maybe you will see us on the silver screen!
Here are two of my personal favorite dogs from the contest: “Icky” and “Roman”.
My favorite niece (and my other favorite niece) in the studio for a quick portrait session. (No ice cream comes were harmed in the making of these pictures.)
Japanese Archery Master Kazuhisa Miyasaka.
Not the safest place to stand to take a photo, but he let me do it. In fact, he said it would be good practice for him. The philosophy behind Japanese Archery (also known as Kyudo) is that if you do everything the same every time, the arrow will hit the same spot every time. So there is a little ceremony you go through with specific steps before each round of shots. If he did everything the same and was concentrating properly, it shouldn’t matter if a crazy photographer was standing in front of him.
(I had a cunning idea to make it safer where he would not notch the arrow into the bow string. So even if his hand slipped, the string would come forward, but the arrow would not be pushed forward. I thought he bought into the idea. But when I moved away, he let the arrow fly, so I wasn’t as safe as I thought I was. I guess something was lost in translation. Oh well, I lived.)
Japanese archers shoot at very small targets from very long distances using arrows made from special eagle feathers. The bows require a lot of strength to pull back. It requires both a lot of strength and a lot of precision and delicacy. It really is impressive.
Kazuhisa runs the Uotoshi Ryokan in Yudanaka, Japan. It’s a great place to stay if you want a traditional Japanese ryokan experience. And he is happy to give guests a demonstration of Kyudo. It’s also a great place to see the Japanese Snow Monkeys. Highly recommended!
This is one of my favorite portraits. It has movement and action and drama. It also has a great story behind it.
Kristin was in a bad house fire. Everyone in the house got out safely, but the experience really affected her. She developed a fear of fire. To the point that she was afraid of any type of fire: campfires, candles, cigarette lighters.
Kristin decided to confront her fear and overcome it. So she took up Poi. Poi is a form of juggling where balls are attached to strings and are swung around the body. On fire.
I took this photo as part of an advertising campaign. The crew were nervous about her lighting these balls on fire in the studio. Fortunately, Kristin convinced the crew that it was perfectly safe and we got this shot. Something nicely poetic about someone who used to have a fear of fire convincing a bunch of stage hands to not be afraid of fire.