Category Archives: Personal

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Finally, some of my travel photos!

I never seem to get enough time to work on my own personal photos and since I’ve done quite a bit of travel this past year, I thought I’d share photos from the trip I took to France this past summer. The first stop on our road trip around France was Chartres Cathedral.  It was impressive, although we were proabably too jet-lagged to fully appreciate the gradiose cathedral that is considered one of the greatest achievements in the history of architecture.  Over the next several days we visited several châteaux in the Loire (specifically Chambord, Villardry, Azay-Le-Rideau, and Chenonceau). Chenonceau was definitely our favorite, but oddly, they closed during the most stunning hour of the day, so we snuck in, which was not an easy feat, as it’s surrounded by a moat (we nearly fell in, but that’s a story for another day!).

(this seemingly random photo of dogs is actually feeding time for the hunting dogs of Cheverny).

The next stop on our tour of southwestern France was Bordeaux and the World Heritage town of St. Emilion, a quaint town surrounded by vineyards originally planted by the Romans (and later developed into a full-scale wine producing region by monks).  An interesting history for sure, but the best part of the region was the food, which was hands down, the best food and wine I’ve ever had in my life (especially a 4-hour dinner we had at an inn called Hostellerie de Plaisance- mon dieu!).  Just thinking about it makes my stomach grumble a little!

After we left St. Emilion, we visited the Dordogne region, known for many things, including its charming midieval towns, outdoor markets, foie gras (yes, more food- can you tell we ate our way through France?), and prehistoric caves from 25,000 years ago.

After 10 days of driving through southwestern France, we headed back to Paris.  It’s hard to come up with something original to say about Paris, so I’ll just say that if you’re creatively inclined, Paris is such a hugely inspirational city- at least it was for me!

One of things I find most interesting about Paris is the interesting juxtaposition of the old and the super-modern.

…and yes, I almost got killed taking these last couple of shots!

Villa Esperanza Tournament of Hope

“There is only one of you in the world, just one.  And if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.” -Martha Graham

One of the things I love about my job is that I get introduced to so many fascinating people.  Earlier this year while doing a children’s portrait session, I was talking to the mom, Alex Paschal, and she was telling me about her work at a non-profit called Villa Esperanza Services.  Villa Esperanza is a charity that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities and vulnerable at-risk adults in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. They run quite a few programs, including educational services for children with autism and Down syndrome, adult vocational programs and programs for seniors living with developmental disabilities.

She had mentioned an upcoming silent auction and so I ended up donating a portrait session for Villa Esperanza’s 21st Annual Tournament of Hope.  Although I’m not sure how much my portrait session went for, I found out that the event raised a total of $165,000!  In this economy, that’s quite an accomplishment!

Lucy Arrives from Korea, LAX Airport

My sister (Tina) and her husband (Greg) had previously adopted 2 boys from Korea, so it was finally time for a girl!  I was thrilled to find out that their baby girl would be flying in to LAX and that I would be able to photograph the exciting day for them.  Because they had such short notice and my brother-in-law had to stay home with their 2 boys, Tina flew across the country alone to pick up Lucy, and my other sister and mom flew down from Seattle to meet Lucy for the first time, too.  It was so hard to photograph through my own tears! The moment she arrived was such an emotional moment, and it was tough to have to say goodbye to them just a few hours later, as they flew across the country to meet the rest of her new family.