Apologies for going MIA on the blog friends! 2013 has been a wild year for us! As our year began to close I realized how much I had to catch up on... weddings, family portraits, and even personal family moments. Well, we hope you've had a wonderful holiday season with Christmas and New Years and "cheers" to good fortune and health for the upcoming year of 2014! One of the first things our family did in 2014 was retreat away to the beach (our home away from home) and being a father and photographer, I brought my camera along with me.
As a rule of thumb, I try to be very picky with where I bring my camera gear when it comes to family gatherings because I've learned over the past year that "he who holds the camera exists outside the moment"... we are physically present in tons of moments, capturing wonderful emotions. So usually I tend to leave the camera gear at home to play with the family... however, this time around I couldn't help but notice how BIG my kids were getting! This past December my son turned 2 and my daughter turned 3. We took a ride down to Huntington Beach and I got to capture these heart-melting moments that I will cherish forever!
Cheers to new adventures, loves, journeys, victories, & challenges in 2014!
Almost didn't make it out to this year's surf competition, luckily, a couple of friends were planning on heading out and "coerced" me to make the trip! This year I focused more on the crowd (seeing as how I've shot some surf sessions a few weeks ago *see earlier posts), the city, and just the feel of being around this dynamic event. Thanks so much to VANS for keeping it free for us enthusiasts!
A weekend of fresh air, plenty of breathing, and connecting with God. Naive as I am, I always thought that the mountains never got hot. Now before you judge me, I can't remember the last time I went up to the mountains in the summer time! Several weeks ago, the fam and I hitched a ride up to Twin Peaks, CA for a retreat with our beloved friends and their church. Once we got out of the car, I was amazed at how hot it was!
One great thing about the mountain was that there was little cell reception and the wi-fi provided by the retreat site was weak... Why is that great? Well, if we had been pampered with high speed wi-fi, strong "4g" cell reception, and a cool-blasting a/c (I didn't mention that the air conditioner was weak too?), then I would have probably spent remarkably less time with my friends and family and probably more time trying to find out what was going on in the world.
Ever realize how many car commercials try to sell us with vehicles that are constantly adventuring in these remote and wilderness like areas? It's like they know inwardly we crave for adventure, the wild, or something different than what's around us. Being outdoors felt eerily satisfying... even though whenever I go out on retreats like this, I always feel a sense of technology withdrawal... being able to walk around and sniff the fresh air, hear ambient silence, and see stars at night... it certainly was relaxing.
So here it is... my weekend summed up in pictures and 3 words - forest, sleep, and kids
My family and I have fallen into the ever-so-popular culture of "foodtruck-chasing". There's something about these mobile eateries that just astonish me! I'll be first to admit that my wife was the one who had always pushed me to go out and chase these trucks, but I was always hesitant. It wasn't until I was at a leadership conference last year where I was "forced" to eat from food trucks because that was all they had. I think the leader of the conference said it best when he described this food truck revolution when he said that, "Food trucks are successful because they bring the business TO the client [and not the other way around]." Welp... Here is my newfound addiction - I am a glorified grub-chaser, and I am thoroughly hooked on BurgerMonster and from the looks of it - SeoulSausage, check them out, eat their yummies and let me know what you think!
iphone 5!!! pictures below!
Took a morning to spend some time reading and thinking about life. Growing up in California, I always loved going to the beach to get some clarity. The ocean has always been the perfect place for me to unwind with God, breathe in fresh air, and just think. So whether through words said or written, pictures taken figurative and literally, I just needed some time to stretch out, pray, and think. Afterwards I walked around and enjoyed soaking in the surf and seeing these guys in action...
One of my favorites of the day (below), a man swimming alone out into open ocean. I felt very attached to this action, like in my life, constantly moving out into open uncertainty, sometimes grasping desperately for air or a chance to hold my head above the water... deep right?
Several weeks ago when I brought my family to Dana Point on my wife's birthday, we stumbled across this very chic cafe near Dana Point Harbor. "What a Dish Cafe" was the perfect place to have some serious downtime with my family over a flavorful breakfast, my wife and I tried different variations of eggs benedict that the cafe offered while my kids shared a sausage and pancake breakfast.
What I didn't expect after stepping into this place was that they share space with a somewhat similar small business called "It's All About the Cake", and they specialize in, you guessed it... cakes! Take a look into our experience at this very special small and local business and feel free to check them out on the links provided below! Cheers!
About a couple weeks ago, the family and I retreated over to Dana Point, California for my wife's birthday and a fun-filled morning of activities. From seeing a humpback whale to being chased by a super pod of dolphins, this was surely a day to remember!
This past Saturday my family and I got to see our friends Kian & Jen get married. Their wedding took place at Crossline Community Church in Laguna Hills. Their wedding consisted of a wide array of DIY decorations (our favorite)! What's even more awesome, is that our daughter had her first opportunity to be a part of a wedding as Kian & Jen's flower girl... Congrats Kian & Jen, you guys looked beautiful!
I've been looking forward to a photo safari in a long time. Today I had the opportunity to take some shots around Old Town Pasadena, California with another great photographer, Rachel Marie. Here are some of the pics from today's walk around.