Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Heart Lucy!

After we photographed SaraLeigh+Ryan's wedding, they were kind enough to provide us with our first Yelp review ever.  Within the review, they wrote:

"In addition to their attention to detail and artistic ability, they are an energetic and positive balance and such a pleasure to work with. Choose Cindi and Chris Photography and you'll be guaranteed to have your event documented in an artistic and balanced way. You might end up with a couple of friends as well. "

We were totally ecstatic about what they wrote, but what struck a chord to us was the last sentence.  As we try to set our foundation for our business, we really want to make sure we not only gain our customer base, but also make friends along our journey.  Last night, Chris and I went to dinner with Lucy and family.  This was actually our second time getting together after our shoot and we just couldn't get enough of the beautiful Lucy herself as well as her wonderful family members. 

That face just kills me!!!  I want one of those...if anyone sees one on sale, let me know!

I'd have to say, Lucy's the only girl that Chris can kiss without me feeling jealous! :)

Sophie and her steak.  :)  She was kind enough to share though!  :)

Lucy and her family are such fun people to hang around with, we're looking forward to another steak night at Perche No already!  :)  Like the restaurant's name...Perche No!!!  WHY NOT go for another 3 pound steak with some good people.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Couples Slideshow: Ali+Tyler

A typical Friday night nowadays consists of home cooked dinner, some red wine (this week it's boxed red wine.  I know...classy eh??), and photo editing.  And when it comes to photo editing on a Friday night, the photos themselves better be damn good ones to hold my attention.  And good photos usually comes with cute couples.  When it comes to cute couples, it doesn't get better than Ali+Tyler.  I'll let the slideshow speak for itself.  Enjoy!

Location: Marymoore Park; Redmond WA
Music: Count on Me - Bruno Mars

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Special Wedding - Wai+Tatsumi

Hello girls!  I've been missing from the bloggy world for a few days and I have a really good reason why.  I promise!  One of my best friends from high school got married last weekend and you may all know her as Wai of Wai+Tatsumi!  In typical Seattle fashion, it poured down rain the whole day.  But an hour before the ceremony started, the sun peeked through the clouds just a little bit.  At least it stopped raining for their ceremony, even through the venue was prepared and let the tent down. 

I was so happy and honored to have stood up there by Wai as her Matron of Honor.  Wai was my very FIRST friend I made in my high school where I started knowing almost no one.  We've been through some thick and thin times, and our friendship, I'm sure, will always stay strong.  I don't think I've ever seen her as happy as she is now.  Tatsumi is her perfect compliment...just like Chris and I and we couldn't be more happy for these two love birds.  We had our cameras on with us while we spent the day with the bride and groom, so I'd like to share some with you all.

It was a rainy Sunday, so the umbrellas at the salon defined the day

The groomsmen getting ready

Me being my cheesy shelf!

Tats wrote the sweetest vows.  I saw my husband tearing up in the audience

The first dance was to a New Kids On The Block song!

Congrats, Wai+Tats!  You guys are such cuties.  May you enjoy a happy life!  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Engagement - Shannon+Kevin

She seemed calm, cool, collected, and possessed the sweetest smile I've seen in a long time. He was nervous, talkative (probably due to his nerves), and a little worried about his hair. Together, Shannon+Kevin were both slightly shy infront of the camera, but it didn't take them long to get comfortable. The hubby and I met Shannon+Kevin early this year while we were shooting SaraLeigh+Ryan's wedding. Kevin and Ryan grew up as childhood friends, but school brought Kevin to Austin, where he met Shannon. It must be our gorgeous weather that attracted the couple to decide to make Seattle their home, but I'm sure glad they did. These two lovebirds are getting married in August and we can't be more excited and flattered that they've chosen us to share it with them as their photogs.

From getting stuck in a traffic jam, to getting lost on the way to Discovery Park, to talking endlessly about French pastries and cheap happy hours, we had so much fun with Shannon+Kevin, we sorta didn't want the day to end. But in the interest to not sound like we're weird and stalkerish, we'll just say this: Shannon+Kevin...we're so happy for you! And we can't wait for your special day.

Work it!!! 

Kevin was so nervous about the shoot, afraid that he won't look natural.  Now, just look at that smoldering face!  It's worth a million bucks!

For a complete slideshow, turn up your speakers and click below.

Location: Washington Park Arboretum, Discovery Park
Song: Love - Matt White

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blogiversary Winner and a Special Video

Good Monday evening everyone!  I am truly sorry for being a day late in announcing my one-year blogiversary giveaway winner.  But Chris and I were knee deep in photo editing and celebrating Mother's Day.  And before we knew it, Sunday just flew by.

Anyhoo...without further ado...the winner of my giveaway is:

JEN of Vintageglammz!!!
I'm not sure how Jen found me in this vast bloggy world but I'm sure glad she did.  She's such a sweet person and she always has such good insightful comments.  I know she reads every word of every blog and I'm thankful for that.  If Jen and I lived in the same city, we'd definitely be good girl friend.  But until we meet, mate...we'll have to stay in touch through this blog!  Congrats!!!  Check your email! :)

I mentioned above that the hubs and I hung out with our parents this whole weekend.  And in honor of Mother's Day...or just Parents Day in general...we'd like this share this video we specially made and played during our wedding.  We didn't just want to make a speech for our parents at our reception, we wanted to do something more special than that.  This video allowed us to show them, and our guests, how much they mean to us.  So...enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Counting Beans Till I Fell In Love

When I was young, I remember I'd draw all the time.  They weren't great drawings, of course, because I'm not a natural artist when it comes to drawing with my hands.  I'm just not.  My friends try to be nice and tell me I do fine, but I  know the truth...and I don't mind it.  And for the longest time, I thought I was a natural accountant.  Meticulous, analytical, ordered, name it.  But as I got older, get to know myself a little better, and start to not be afraid of failure and what other people thought of me as much, I started to accept that I am indeed not a good accountant.

Don't get me wrong, I do my job well.  I think I'm a hard worker and my parents have taught me great work ethics.  But I'm not a natural at crunching numbers.  In fact, most of the time when I open up an excel sheet, my mind goes blank for a second and my eyes go like this 0_0.  I know I need to focus hard to get my job done right and it's just what I've learned to adapt to for the last 10 years of my professional working career.

What I believe I'm truly good at is looking at the big picture.  I like to come up with ideas and put those ideas in place.  I vibe off of people and connect with them easily.  I LOVE spending time with people, catching up, getting to know about their lives.  And I think that's why I value the blogging world so much.  But it was not until recently that I realized what I've been doing all my professional life is not what I was meant to do.  I believe realizing this doesn't mean I'm going to quit, or that my last 10 years as an accountant was a waste.  I am thankful for my experience and will continue to stay in this career for as long as I need to.  I just came to terms with reality...and my true love.

My true love is photography and capturing moments in people's lives.  The energy and joy I get out of holding my camera with a couple that are in love is indescribable.  Well, I can't convey it in words, but for those that's reading this and also live their life for their passion, you know exactly how I feel.  :)  I went back to my very first post I blogged and this is a direct copy and paste:

"Photography is something I fell in love with after I met Chris. He’s an artsy accounting auditor which I didn’t think existed but apparently they do! I’m currently not very good at it but have invested in a great Canon 7D to start perfecting this skill. I will definitely be sharing with ya’ll some great pics if I get the chance to catch some."

Looking back at my year of blogging, I've come full circle I guess.  :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Second Home and an Award

I'm sure every one of us that work a full time job feels, sometimes at least, that our desk at work is our second home.  It sure feels that way to me, especially this week.  It's financial closing at work, which means long hours.  But I'm not complaining because my company and coworkers are awesome and as long as you're hanging out with people you like, it doesn't feel like work!

Yep...if we compared cubes to our homes, my cube would be a New York City studio!  It's small and my desk is the size of a typical door, but that's all the space I need right?  I'm efficient I guess!  :)

Lisa of Confessions of a Call Center Gal awarded me with the Versatile Bloggie Award today.  I'm very flattered and I think I'm supposed to state 7 things about myself.  You all know a lot about m e already, but I'll try my best to come up with something good:

1. I LOVE Chipotle and can eat it every night for dinner.  My order of choice: chicken salad with rice, black beans, mild and hot salsa, corn salsa, sour cream and guac!

2. I don't like the taste of mint!  Not real mint, but the artificial kind.  As such, I hate to chew gum.  But for brushing teeth, I prefer the mint toothpaste.  Weird, I know!

3. I was born left handed but was forced to become right handed when I was a kid.  Being a leftie in China was a no no!

4. Oftentimes with kids that are left handed, they stammered.  And so did I!  But it stopped after I moved to the US and learned English.

5. I baby talk to my cat and dog.  I know..sad right?

6. When I get nervous, my twitch is I peel the skin of my thumb.  It sounds gross, but most of the time I don't even know I'm doing it.

7. In the last 10 years of my life, I've moved more than 10 times to either different apartments or different cities.  It may seem I'm a commitment phobe when it comes to settling down, but that's not really the case.  It just so happens that I HAD to move for whatever reason.  :)

There!  Interesting?  No?  Hehe...either way, this was fun.  Thank you, Lisa for selecting me.  Have a wonderful hump day eve!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FAQ: Outdoor Lighting

Recently I've been getting a few questions regarding one of the most important aspects in And I'm going to try to address it the best way I know how here.  I still struggle with natural light and always have to remind myself to think about the use of light and light reflectors.  I'm going to go out on a limb to say that as soon as you start thinking about effectively using light when you're taking photos, you've elevated to the next level of photography...whatever that level might be.

I like to keep things simple, so lets just start by talking about THE one thing you should avoid when taking outdoor photos.  Yes...and that's right thing to avoid is direct sunlight.  What???  I's totally counter intuitive to what we've all been doing this whole time.  But I'm sure everyone's had that situation when using a point and shoot with have them stand...take the shot and find that your friends are totally black.  So...what do we do?  We instinctively tell them to turn around towards the sun while you run around them to take the shot.  They, naturally, squint because they're now facing the sun...but you've got them in the photo...nice and clear.  Right?

Well, if you really studied the photo, you'll not only notice that they're squinting, but you'll notice harsh shadows from their noses, eye sockets and lips on their faces caused from the sun beaming on them.  This is really something a lot of people struggle with and if you take away only one thing from this blog, let it be to always face your subjects away from the sun.  To avoid them becoming dark, do what is also counter intuitive to you.  And that is to use your flash...even though it's bright daylight.  On a point and shoot this is an easy way to avoid harsh lighting.    On a DSLR, you can also use your on camera pop-up flash but for serious photographers, consider a higher end hot shoe flash.

The optimal lighting, in my opinion, is a slightly overcast day, which is not a problem here at all in Seattle.  When the sun is behind clouds, the light from it is perfectly diffused, creating a HUGE shadowed area everywhere you go.  On these days, regardless of how you pose your subjects, there won't be any harsh shadows on their faces.
On a sunny day, if you can control your environment and subject, try to find a shaded area to position your subject.  Below Jill was standing in between two sculptures that created a nice area of shade but I made sure I positioned her close to the end of the sculptures, near where the sunlight would appear, so she gets enough light reflected back onto her.

This photo below is a perfect example of harsher sun.  If you look closely, you'll see that Josh is squinting just a little bit and there are some shadows on both of their faces.  Not only that, their skin is a little over exposed, washing both of them out slightly.
To solve this, we simply went on the other side of them and had them turn around towards us slightly.  During this time of day, the light was to our camera right, which is why Josh's forehead is still a little bit over exposed due to the sun since he was looking towards the right a little more than Karen was.  But Karen's face is perfectly shadow free and beautiful.  Also, the sunlight gave her hair a wonderful shine to it.
In the below photo, again, the sunlight was hitting us on our camera right.  We wanted to include the water in our picture, so we made sure we faced Karen away from the sun and Josh slightly side lit.  To help a bit more with lighting bouncing back onto them, we also used a reflector which I was holding while Chris took this shot.
Now with all that said, I do have to say one of the best times to shoot IN the sun would be an hour or two before sunset.  When the sun is back lit behind your subjects at this time creates such a romantic setting, it's much too hard to describe in this entry.  I'll do a separate special post about it at a later time.

I understand you can't always be in the shade or have it be an overcast day when you're taking photos.  But learning how to position your subjects in a strategic way can help take your photos up another level.  The next time you're out with friends, try incorporating the use of light and play around positioning and hopefully you'll see a difference in your pics!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Engagement Slideshow: Wai+Tats

Less than two weeks and counting until Wai+Tats tie the knot.  As their Matron of Honor, I'm super excited and also really giddy to be sharing their engagement slideshow with you all.  Make sure to have the music turned on while you're viewing!

Wai+Tats from Chris Jocson on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Saturday In The Park

Weekends are always treasured over here in my Simply Cindi life and when it's a weekend full of sunshine, you bet I'm going to take advantage of it.  This past Saturday, spring decided to peek through the rain clouds to show itself to the world.  The hubs and I, along with Jill and Justin (sister and brother-in-laws), decided we'd take a stroll in the park at the Washington Arboretum and Seattle's Sculpture Park.

Beautiful family eh?  Jill and her two older brothers.

I may be biased, but my hubby is the funniest man I know.  I'm literally the happiest girl on earth because he makes me laugh...hard...everyday!

I met Jill when she was 15 and now she's grown into a lovely young woman.  She's going to really go places and I'm excited to see that journey!

I've never met anyone as quiet as Justin.  But break that outer shell, and get a couple of shots in him, he'll end up screaming in your ear.  Along with Jill and Chris, he's one of the nicest people I know!  Runs in the family no? :)

Jill and Justin live together now, not too far from our house, and we're so glad that Justin's there to look after Jill as she completes her college career.

Everyone say, "AWWWWW"

Before I go on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I'd just like to remind everyone that I'm hosting a giveaway here.  I'd also like to shout out to my girl, Kim over at Anthroholic who's posted a special entry today about this giveaway.  For those that don't know, I started this blog partly because I was inspired by Kim.  Her blog was one of the first blogs EVER that I followed and she was one of the first people that truly made me take a better look at my own sense of style.  I loved how I got to sit down and see a glimpse of her life over in Chicago, while I was in my little condo in Seattle.  The blogging world has brought nothing but a level of happiness in my here's to blogging!  

Happy Sunday!