Tuesday, March 29, 2011

OOF (Out of Office)! Or...WOOF?

This week is a bit hectic for the husband and I as we're preparing for more photoshoots this weekend and just...well...trying to spend as much cuddle time as possible, so we're putting Chewy in charge!  He's currently busy ordering blinds for our house, but he'll be back in the office, back on duty, in no time.  The blog might be idle until I get back as Chewy do not have opposable thumbs, so typing is a little challenging for him, but rest assured.  We have plenty of good stuff for you when we return!  :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Simply Marketing...MOO Postcards

This post is perfectly timed...kinda accidentally...but perfect nonetheless.  A couple of weeks ago, Ami of AmisinLA asked me to guest post on her blog.  I finally was able to sit down to compose something up for her and last night, it went live!  :)  Check it out through the link above.

Ami asked me to specifically write about marketing, which I really don't know anything about other than some basics.  But I believe these basics is the foundation that's needed in order to build a successful business.  I think when it comes to getting your business started, there isn't anyone that's going to hold your hand and say, "OK...step one you do X, step two you do Y."  A lot of what Chris and I do as a couple is not prescribed in a recipe that results in a perfectly yummy dish called "success".  Most of what we do derives from imagining ourselves in our potential clients shoes.  If we were hunting for a photographer for our wedding, what would we want them to do...how would we want them to treat us?  We continue to build on that foundation and hopefully...after months of hard work...will result in some kind words spread around by our clients which...subsequently (cross fingers)...results in additional work.

With that said, I introduce you guys to our client post-contract-cards!  Get it?  Post cards???  Post contract cards???  OK..corny maybe.  But we decided to order these postcards from MOO.com for the use of sending to our clients after they've signed their contract.  It's a means to thank them for their business, but also to personally reach out to them to let them know that they can contact us any time with questions before their wedding.  It's a little marketing tool we came up with on the fly when we ordered our wedding "thank you" cards from MOO.com also.  Although it's not a direct marketing campaign to get new business, but it's a way to show appreciation to our current clients.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Introducing Lucy and Family

This past Sunday Chris and I were so lucky to have had the opportunity to photography baby Lucy and her family.  We knew about Lucy and her parents through Paul, a long time high school friend of mine from high school.  Paul's one of those guys that everyone loves.  He used to work at Washington Mutual and was my personal banker of sorts in college, looking after my bank accounts and advised me on better account management.  He would even sneak some money in my account when he noticed it was running low and I was at risk of an overdraft.  He's THAT thoughtful and when I mentioned to him that I wanted to photograph him and his girlfriend, Quyhn, he automatically thought of Lucy and her parents, who are related to Quyhn (Lucy's mom, Sophie, is Quyhn's sister). 

We've never met Sophie, her husband Joey, and Lucy before so we didn't know what to expect when we arrived at their house.  They were so gracious for us to start there because we knew for a baby, we needed to be in a comfortable environment where the baby will be safe and have space to spread out.  Lucy is one of the cutest babies I've ever met in my life!  I seriously wanted to sneak her in my shootsac and take her home with me because she was THAT adorable.  Sophie and Joey work in sync together and I could tell they were a great team.  Sophie was prepared with cute outfits and poses for the shoot, which is always appreciated by a photographer!  And Joey was there supporting Sophie and Lucy every step of the way.  We spent pretty much all Sunday afternoon with Lucy and Family and it was one of the best shoots we've had. 

Thank you, Sophie, Joey and Lucy for such a wonderful Sunday afternoon!  And thank you, Paul and Quyhn for hanging out afterwards and for dinner.  Oh...and introducing us to Hiroki!  We have a confession to make...we went there last night thinking they were open and wanted a slice of that green tea tiramisu...but they closed at 4 pm???  What the heck?  :)  Enjoy these pictures!

Uncle Paul was trying to steal Lucy's thunder by taking her bow!  Bad, bad Uncle Paul!

Look at those cute little mittens!

We were able to capture Lucy's first ROLL OVER on camera!  It was hilarious and I still chuckle when I think about it and look at these!

Uncle Paul and Auntie Quyhn, what a cute couple!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: Life's Little Treasures

When we first met, honestly, I wasn't sure what propelled me to continue to talk to you and get to know you, considering I thought you were one of the most boring people I've ever met.  But I'm glad I did because pretty soon after our first meeting and until now, you've made life so much more fun than I've ever imagined life could be.  We both know life is not easy, and we never expected it to me.  However, I can't help but admit how much more exciting it is living it with you.  You're an amazing partner, my best friend, and my confidant.  But today, I realized that one day, you'll be a great father.  Your smile through the lens when you photographed her today told me that you're more than ready to be a daddy.  And if she was your own daughter, you would do everything to guide her, protect her, and love her as you do her mommy.  One day we'll welcome our own little "Lucy" into our life and when that day comes, I know you'll be the best daddy...like you were destined to be.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Little Babies...

Introducing the new additions to our family!

Yep...we have new triplets!  We've been waiting for them for a lonnnnnnnnng time and can not wait to test these babies out.  Unfortunately, one of them will be separated from the rest of the two but don't worry, she's going to a wonderful home.

We were able to get a "bulk deal" by ordering three of these camera bodies, so Ami decided to have us order for her and we'll send her her little baby to her directly.  So, now may I introduce you to your West Coast wedding coverage team!  :)  Readers, if you are getting married or know of someone getting married, you know where to find us!  

Our first shoot with our new babies will be this Saturday with Stephanie.  In typical Seattle fashion, Saturday calls for rain but lets hope for some sunshine!  

Sneak Peak: Karen + Josh

She walks with a sexy swagger.  Like a classy woman should walk, but she tosses in a smidgen of swagger and a pinch of cute.  He walks alongside her, paying close attention to every single little movement.  As a man in love should walk.  Together, they're Karen + Josh.  A couple of co-workers that met on a project, and fell in love.  When I first met Karen + Josh, I thought they balanced each other well.  She, like myself, is the talker in the relationship.  She's warm, fun, and utterly charming and he's calm, subdued, and naturally kind.  He's the cool and collected compliment to her vibrant and vivacious nature, a recipe for a perfect pair.  

Karen + Josh met the Hubby and I at a cute little cafe in Seattle's Crown Hill neighborhood.  We decided to start off the afternoon chatting with them for a bit.  For couples that have never taken professional engagement pictures before, the whole experience can be a little nerve wracking.  Standing so close to one another in public, with onlookers can be weird.  And it can take couples a few shots before they start feeling comfortable and just "be in the moment".  But it didn't take long for these two to warm up, as told by these pictures.

Karen + Josh's wedding will take place this upcoming June.  They've kindly invited Chris and I to help photograph their special day and we just can not wait!  Karen gave us a sneak peak of her wedding dress and I won't lie, my heart fluttered a bit.  She's going to be such a beautiful bride!  In the meantime, enjoy these!

We asked the cafe barista to draw hearts in the lattes on a whim and they were kind enough to do that for us.  Cute eh?

Karen, you are FIERCE and beautiful.  Even when you "whip yo hea back and foeth!"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Paddy's Beef Stew

In the spirit of Saint Paddy's day, I decided to cook up some beef stew.  It is now 8:41 pm PST and it is still a-stewing.  When I decided to make the stew tonight and found a recipe for it online, I did not read it very carefully and did not anticipate to take like...three hours!  :)  But you know me and how I love slow cooking my meals, so I'm not complaining a bit at all.

While we have some time to chat, what's everyone doing for the weekend?  The Hubby and I have a busy couple of days ahead of us.  Saturday we have an engagement shoot with Karen, who's wedding I wrote about here.  I won't lie, I'm a little nervous about this shoot because we'll be attending and partly shooting at Karen's wedding this upcoming June, so this engagement shoot will be a first taste at what Chris and I can do for them.  I   hope we shoot some beautiful pics for this beautiful couple.  Sunday we have another shoot with my high school friend Paul and his girlfriend with her sister and her family.  Did you get that?  :)  Paul's girlfriend, Quynh has a sister that recently just had a baby.  Another baby shoot!  Yippy!

Warning: seriously delicious photos to come.  :)  Here's my beef stew...FINALLY!  I shot these photos at 9:10 pm!

Happy Saint Paddy's day, everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I remember the good old summer days, when it was Tuesday and during my lunch hour, I'd peruse the Anthro website for sale items to buy.  Then I'd get super excited to post what my purchases were for the week.  Those days and no more...for now that is...but I'm not complaining.  I still have a gift card burning in my pocket from the Hubby, so I'm not in need of clothing retail therapy at this point. 

This doesn't mean we haven't been spending little devils though!  This past weekend we bought this:
Our favorite furniture place, Cost Plus World Market had this floor model on sale for $175!  It's normally $250 but it was marked down because of some natural cracks in the wood that's hardly noticeable.  We decided to get it on the spot and OMG...what a difference a coffee table makes.  Our old table was the Ikea Ramvik table:
Although I love the modern, minimal shape and storage space, the glass top drove me nuts!  It was hard to keep clean and little crumbs of food and dust would always creep underneath the glass, into the wooden parts.  Which made me feel like the table surface was dirty.  Cleaning it was a pain because I'd have to lift up the whole glass top to wipe the crumbs off.  Our new table is easy to keep clean and the rustic style feels a lot more homey.  The Ikea table will be saved and used later for our photography studio!

Speaking of babies...err...photography...Chris and I have triplets on the way!  Three Canon 5D Mark II's!!!  It's enroute to Seattle from NYC right now as we speak.  We bought three of the cameras as one of them is for our friend Ami, who's using us to buy because then we got a small discount for buying three of these bad boys.  But I'M SUPER EXCITED!!!  You have no idea how long I've been waiting to get this camera.  We wanted to splurge on this for our wedding, but we ended up with the cheaper 7D, which is still a good camera, but no where compared to the 5D Mark II. 

Hmm...this picture doesn't do this camera justice because honestly, the body looks exactly like the 7D we already have...or even to any other Canon SLR.  But believe me when I say, this is a FULL FRAME CAMERA!  What's a full frame you ask?  Well, most of the Canon SLR's out there, other than the 1D and 5D professional series SLRs (that I know of) have a cropped sensor.  My 20D, for instance, have a 1:6 crop.  That means with my 50mm prime lens, my camera turns the 50mm into a 80mm lens (50 X 1.6).  I do not get the full use of the 50mm as it was intended due to the extra cropping.  Of course there's other aspects of this camera that's much greater than our current cameras, but the full frame aspect is what I'm most excited about.    

This now leads into some great news I've been waiting to tell everyone.  Chris and I have booked TWO WEDDINGS this summer!!!  I can not tell you how excited I am about this and I guess it was this excitement that helped us decide on getting professional SLRs.  We've received our contracts in the mail for these two weddings...one in July and one in August.  This is definitely a special time for me and the Hubby, so I thank you for all the support that each and every one of you've given us.  We definitely could not have had the momentum to keep doing what we love if we didn't know we already have such a dedicated fan base already.  I hope you all continue to come back on a daily basis to check in with out little life here in Seattle and we promise to keep striving at keeping everyone entertained.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: BFF

My best friend Jenny and I met in the 4th grade.  I remember that day so vividly.  It was in the morning and our teacher, Mrs. Reault announced to the class that we have a new student transferring from another nearby elementary school.  I'm not quite sure why Jenny transferred because there were only 3 elementary schools in the small college town we lived and each of them were probably just a few blocks away from one another.  But it turned out good for me because Jenny was Chinese!  The only other Chinese girl in our school. 

Mrs. Reault asked me to take Jenny outside into the hallway and get to know her for about 10 or 15 minutes and then reintroduce her to the class.  You see, Jenny was quiet and shy.  And who wouldn't be when they're the center of attention infront of complete strangers at the age of 10.  I believe Mrs. Reault thought Jenny didn't speak much English because she didn't speak much...period, and since we both spoke Chinese, it was easier for me to get to know her.  So into the hallway we went and being the shy little girl I was, it was quite an awkward 15 minutes.  I asked her a question, she'd answer it in one word.  And sadly, I didn't have much to report to the class.  But our classmates didn't seem to care because everyone just went onto their merry way and Mrs. Reault started her day teaching.

It wasn't until recess and lunch, Jenny and I started to hang out and got to know each other a little better.  Despite the fact that we were both Chinese, we actually spoke English to eachother and I was surprised to find that she had no accent, and her English was perfect.  It was the start of a beautiful friendship that lasts until this day.  A friendship 20 years in the making.

Jenny and I only lived in the same town for a little over 2 years.  After 6th grade, my family moved to Seattle because my dad graduated a little earlier than her dad in the Ph.D program since my dad was a little older.  After her dad graduated, she went off to Missourri, then graduated from college and lived in New Jersey, then moved Cincinatti, and went off to law school in Boston but now reside in New York City.  She's a big time lawyer now and during these 18 years or so that we've been physically apart, we have written countless pages of hand written letters to one another pre-email days.  And now, we email almost every other day. 

I'm not sure what the right formula was for Jenny and I to have kept in touch for so long.  Because I know I've lost touch with many people in my life, but Jenny and I will always be there for one another.  Both Jenny and I are extremely loyal people who value friendships as much as we do our families.  And I think we both hold on to that very first day we met as little girls, in a small town where we felt so different from the rest of the kids there.  We are not remotely as similar to one another as some of my girl friends that I have here in Seattle.  Actually, we are very different and we have different outlooks on life.  But what's best about our friendship is that life in the past 20 years has taken us to so many different places.  We've been through countless ups and downs, but we've never judged one another.  The unconditional love I feel from my family is felt from her as well, and I truly think of her as a sister.  In fact, I believe we're blood sisters and we've performed some blood sister ritual long distance (I was in Seattle, she was in Pullman and at a certain time we agreed to poke our fingers and put our blood on a piece of paper and mail it to one another), but she refuses to remember this!  We'll just leave it at....she's a sister from another motha! 

My visit with Chris to NYC in 2007...Chris met Jenny for the first time
Jenny and me at my wedding

Monday, March 14, 2011

The 17 Day Diet

I grew up eating rice all my life.  I remember when I was young, I'd sometimes just scoop up some rice and add soy sauce and sesame oil, mix it into the rice and call that a good meal.  I'm also a pasta and bread lover.  Italian food is in the running with Japanese food as my favorite cuisine and it was one of the hardest things to let go when the hubby and I decided that we'd try the new craze diet...The 17 Day Diet. 

A lot of critics of this diet have called it a fad and concluded that any weight loss where you only diet for 17 days is not going to give you the results you want.  But if one don't read into it more, one will be mislead.  The 17 Day Diet consists of actually FOUR 17 day cycles:

Days 1 – 17 are to “Accelerate” on a low carbohydrate diet that provides around 1200 calories.  Eat unlimited lean meat and no-starch vegetables, two fat-free plain yogurts and two low-sugar fruits, a bit of oil, green tea, and 64 ounces of water a day.  Typical for any low carb diet, fat-burning and fluid loss is favored during those days.

Days 18 – 34 are to “Activate” by calorie cycling (aka calorie shifting or calorie zigzagging), which means that the daily calorie intake cycles and recycles from low to high over the course of several days.  The goal is to trick the metabolism to prevent it from slowing down.  Two servings of whole grains are added to the above to raise the average calorie intake to 1500 a day.    

Days 35 – 51 are to “Achieve” good eating habits that last a lifetime.  This phase is the same as “Activate” except that lean meat is no longer unlimited and more grains and fruit are added, along with an optional serving of alcohol and a 100-calorie snack.  In other words, the low carb diet is 'Out' and a balanced low-calorie diet is 'In' sans the processed food.

Day 52 and on are to “Arrive” at a lifelong eating plan, which is a constant cycling through phases 1, 2 and 3 - until the weekends when you can splurge.  But don’t binge, says Dr. Mike, and if you gain more than 5 pounds, return immediately to phase 2.
The hubby and I just finished our first 17 days and much to my surprise, it was not hard at all for the first 15.  The last couple of days was hard not because I was craving carbs, but because I was getting so sick of chicken breast!  We're moving onto Cycle 2 tomorrow and we're super excited to be able to reintroduce other meats, carbs, and starches. 

So what were the results?  The hubby has lost 10 pounds and I didn't weigh myself but I know I've lost at least 5 lbs because my clothes feel different.  As much as losing weight is nice, but the main reason why I'm doing this is because I want to educate myself in healthy eating.  For years, I've been taught that meat was bad...that saturated fats are bad...and a low calorie diet consisting mostly of whole grains was the way to go.  I've tried that for years in the journey towards healthier eating and every time I restrict myself to those rules, I get so upset because I feel...well horrible!  I'm definitely not advocating an irresponsible high fat/fast food diet, but trust me when I say that saturated fats are not as evil as the public makes it seem.  Our brains consist of fat, and in order to feed it, we need fats in our diet.  Carefully choosing which fats to eat is more important to me at this point than a low calorie/high whole grains diet.  If anyone has Netflix Instant, a great documentary to watch is Fat Head.  This guy tries to debunk the Super Size Me guy...but towards the latter half of the movie, he gives some great information about saturated fats, heart disease and how carbs and sugar affects people differently, which may help you understand why carbs are the number one culprit in weight gain.

Now that I'm done ranting, you're probably wondering what I've been eating?  No?  Well, even if you're not wondering, I'll show you some pics anyway!

Turkey meatballs with home made tomato sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and roasted brussel sprouts

Pan fried cat fish lettuce tacos with mango salsa and cilantro

Cauliflower crust pizza!  Yes folks, this crust is made out of cauliflower!  Find the recipe here.

Roasted chicken breast with home made tzatziki sauce and strawberry field greens salad with blue cheese and home made honey mustard

Snack: roasted organic baby beets with organic tangelloes, shallots and blue cheese

Turkey meatballs with home made tzatziki sauce and mango salad

Turkey sausage egg scramble but two yolks and four egg whites

And there are much more that I didn't take pictures of but as you can see from these pictures, I'm not starving here.  In fact, I have not felt hungry on the first 17 days and it's because my blood sugar didn't rise and I didn't experience that "crash" I typically would if I ate a bowl of pasta or a sandwich and chips for lunch.  I also was more alert during the afternoon "lag" hours of 2-4 pm.  Needless to say, it was quite a great, but interesting cycle 1 period.  Now...onto cycle 2!  

More pics to come!