January 27, 2011
Last weekend Cindi and I had the opportunity to shoot the Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP) Winter Reunion. There’s a lot I could say about the organization, but a lot of what I could tell you could probably be told better via the googletron … that is, except for a few key facts that may not be readily apparant:
- Non-profits are dope
- The community makes the world go round
- Children-sized business casual is so gosh-darned cute
I first got involved with the organization 2 years ago, when I helped teach a course on building your resume. Since then, the saga’s continued, and ACAP’s continued to build momentum. This year we were able to get a mentorship program developed and launched. Next year, they’ll probably take over a small unmapped Caribbean island. Big-ups to the kids, counselors, the board, and all volunteers that pay it forward, with ACAP or with any other community org.
And big-ups to the kids once more. They don’t have to participate in a program that requires you to step outside your comfort zone, give up a week of your summer and a Friday night in the winter, and challenge yourself to learn more about something as dry as corporate America. They choose to, when it would be much easier not to, and they have fun while doing it.
January 24, 2011
A little while ago, we shot a wedding. Less than a little while ago, we finished editing a chunk of the photos. And an even littler while ago, we got excited and smashed them into a slideshow to share more betterly. Unfortunately, I fail at video encoding, so the resulting playback quality isn’t quite on par with the actual images… but can’t you just feel the oh-so-warm-radiating-love behind the cold glow of your computer screen? I know I can.
Oh you crazy kids. Congrats again! SLIDESHOW HERE
PS, I’ll get more awesome with video soon. I promise.
January 23, 2011
One of my not-so-secret goals is to feel competent shooting at night. I’m not there yet, and haven’t worked up the courage to get around to really spending time practicing it yet.
One of my semi-secret goals is to not be seduced by my latest favorite toy store.
I happened to hang at said toy store over the weekend until it was past dark, so I inadvertently found myself out. At night. With my camera. I walked out the door and couldn’t resist the shadow of the needle. Here’s a couple randoms I snuck, along with one from the day.
January 18, 2011
Every kid remembers with fondness the times they got into the most trouble. I can clearly recall countless times I was scolded, lovingly spanked with a slipper, adoringly attacked with a hanger, or proudly obtained a pink handprint on my young ample posterior.
I especially remember I used to write on our pristine white walls. A lot. Despite constantly being told not to. One particular instance that stands out in my mind, is a 4ft x 3ft groundbreaking doodle I did at an early age I can barely remember much else at. It was an epic pencil on textured partition wall rendering of a whale-bunny who had swallowed an artist. The whale-bunny was drawn transparently, so as to show the artist sitting at his easel, painting a magnificent masterpiece that might one day come close to the awe-inspiring whale-bunny portrait. Waves crashed against the whale-bunny from all sides, yet it remained undeterred, and the nameless artist remained captive within the belly of the beast.
Being so young, I don’t remember why I drew whale-bunny, or what my motivation was. I can only guess that I was likely trying to make a statement about how capitalism steadfastly continues to encourage consumption and excess despite pressures of external forces which would otherwise suggest that redistribution of wealth in the free market economy is, or would soon be, much overdue. Regardless, I had enough time to finish my piece before my mom discovered me 2 steps back proudly admiring my work, pencil firmly within my triumphant grasp.
CHRISTOPHER! ANO BA YAN?! [CHRISTOPHER! WHAT IS THAT?!]
I was of course a brilliant kid, and I knew at this point that I couldn’t blame my brother. Because he was a baby, and because I was the one holding the pencil with lead smudges all over my mitts. Purely circumstantial, I know, and I weighed the cost of arguing as such, but I knew that in this court I would not be granted a fair trial. The judge was particularly harsh on art crimes, a fact I was aware of from witnessing judgement against prior offenses. Punishments which only grew harsher somehow, as if directly related in some way to the amount of weeks spent by the judgejuryexecutioner painstakingly erasing all markings from throughout the house (such a questionable past-time).
Resigned to my fate, I walked my mom through my piece, and explained all aspects. 1 min and 27 seconds of senseless childish muttering later, I had finished, and braced for impact. I fully expected my bowl cut to be knocked into a gravity defying pompadour.
To my surprise, this epic piece was very well received. Though my mom reiterated that I am under no circumstances allowed to draw on any surface in the house other than paper, she called my dad over to show him what I had done, beaming with more pride than I, myself — father of whale-bunny — had.
Utterly confused, I wandered off with my pencil, until my parents called me back over moments later. They sat me down on couch and placed a mysteriously acquired and lovingly cleaned off
2nd 5th/6th-hand chalkboard desk in front of me.
Go ahead. You draw.
Many artists wait years for the amount of free creative license and funding I received that day, but alas, I wasn’t able to recreate the success of whale-bunny. I tried, but it just didn’t work. I tried recreating whale-bunny in other situations. I tried crafting a social commentary piece on Eastern Bloc strategy as it related to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Nothing worked. My mom even asked me once why it was that I wasn’t able to do what I did on walls on paper or other sanctioned forms. I don’t really know, but there’s just something that happens in the journey from horizontal to vertical that makes a pit stop at awesome.
I started this post intending to draft a commentary on graffiti and it’s expansion from scrawled SharpieTM scribbles to homemade makeshift shoe polish drippy pens to aerosol fueled murals to sensational stickering to the art form’s proliferation in pop culture and presidential campaigns. It was going to be a brilliant piece of work, complimented by photos of my own work and studio. I have no doubt that it would’ve changed lives (perhaps saved some), and contributed to advancing legislation friendlier to art installations within public spaces. But alas, it’s lost in the ether due to a haphazard whale-bunny digression. I don’t know how I lost it. Maybe because I wrote this post down, rather than up.. on the wall.
January 16, 2011
Sara Leigh and Ryan threw the perfect wedding yesterday. When it comes to being down to earth, you won’t find another down-to-earthier pair than those two crazy kids. And it really showed in their day. Cindi and I had the privilege of chasing their shadows as the events unfolded, and it was so refreshing seeing two individuals focusing on what really counts (and not letting themselves become unnecessarily obsessed with form over substance). SLM+RJ didn’t sweat the small stuff, which I hope truly allowed them to take in the full experience of their wedding day that. much. more. The ceremony was small and intimate, the guests consisted only of the closest 20-or-so family and friends, and the reception was an elegant plated dinner (separated from the ceremony by an informal cocktail hour when everybody in attendance bumrushed a small bar across the street). And what was really awesome was having the chance to meet SLM+RJ’s guests, get to know some awesome folks, and be surrounded by the love and purest of warm fuzzy feelings. No, I won’t admit that happy tears welled up within the vicinity of my eyes while I listened to toasts. And yes, I am known to be somewhat of a magnificent liar.
I’ve never seen such a calm and poised bride quite like Sara Leigh, and as Ryan navigated through guests at dinner, it was evident that there you would not find a more gracious host. Absolutely dope individuals. And doper still together. Congratulations to the happy couple, from Chris and Cindi (yes, more love over on the Mrs.’ page)!
January 10, 2011
We have a staff meeting at work this week that calls for us to share some of our photos / videos from 2010 with the rest of the team. As I was digging through my pics this morning, I realized 3 things:
- I eat a lot of very very unhealthy delicious things
- My wife rocks
- I miss Hawaii
That list is sorted descending by number of pictures I have, not by level of awesome (yes, of course my wife rockin’ is #1 in awesome; though I do believe that the disproportionate amount of food-related images in my collection is due to the fact that my wife (a) shoots food too and (b) doesn’t let me shoot her often). /digress
We visited Hawaii for our Honeymoon last August/September, and because of the rush, catch-up, and well-earned relaxation time that we engulfed ourselves in upon our return, I didn’t have a chance to really look through the photos until today. Also, wow, I think I’m almost out of commas.
It was my first time ever in Hawaii, and it did not disappoint. I never really had much desire to visit the 808 state in the past; but now, I can’t wait to go back. I’d be a happy clam if I could make it back every year. And I will damn well try. Set unattainable stretch goals right?
What are my top 5 reasons for fiendin’ for some islands? Great, and interesting, question. Read the rest of this entry »
January 8, 2011
I had been hearing a lot about Volunteer Park lately. A wondrous land of mystery and intrigue that I had not yet been to, so today the Mrs. and I picked up some gear and checked it out.
That’s a cam my wife’s discretely hiding in her kung-fu grip. She recently picked up a new old camera body, and this was her real opportunity to reallly break it in. But just because she’s behind the camera, I didn’t let that stop me from making sure I caught her in front of mine.
We explored the grounds quite a bit, but didn’t hang around too long as it was fingernumbing cold. We did manage to pop by the Asian Art Museum
And nearby was a pretty epic water tower. I think it was inspired by Princess Fiona’s Far Far Away tower imprisonment from blockbuster documentary film “Shrek.” However, I wasn’t able to locate the commemorative ornamental plaque from which to confirm.
The water tower is actually pretty cool. I didn’t see any actual or implied water, but there is a pair of stairs that spiral up the inner tower wall. They meet at the penthouse suite, which is surrounded by the barred arched windows you see lining the outside. I can imagine this would make for some legit, and unique, pillars of light inside on a sunny day.
That pretty much rounded out our time at the park. We didn’t explore all of it, but plan on coming back in the future. After a nice day out and about, there’s nothing like coming home and playing ninja or teaching the cat how to breakdance. You know, typical all-american family stuff.
I snagged a ton of shots in the time we were at the park, which were mostly variations on the above. For the curious, I’ve stuck a few more behind the cut, because, well.. what the heck, why not? Keep going for more…
January 7, 2011
I love Fridays. And weekends. There are many reasons to, just one of which is breakfast.
Hi, my name is Jocson, and I’m an Eggslut.
During the weeks, I typically don’t have time to eat breakfast. Well, I guess I could have time, but then I’d have to get up earlier. But then I wouldn’t have sleep. In that case, this post would be about being a sleep slut not having enough sleep. And ‘sleep slut’ just doesn’t sound right to me…
I’m a straight up sucker for breakfast food. I’ll eat it anytime, anywhere. Hot or cold, if it’s in the breakfast category it’s on. Especially. If. It’s. Eggs. There’s nothing like waking up nice and rested on a Saturday morning at 2:00 PM… sauntering into the kitchen… and cobbling together a nice light meal…
And then dropping a motherfucking fried egg on it.
Pardon the expletive, but I just couldn’t find an epic enough adjective worthy of preceding ‘fried egg.’ I suppose I shouldn’t limit this discussion to breakfast. It’s really about the eggs. And they go on everything. Sprinkle some scramble on your toast, insert a fried egg in your burger, try soft eggs on pizza, crack one into your ramen as you just take it off boil, throw one in your ice cream before you drop in the hot fudge and whipped cream…
OK, maybe that last one was a little too far. But don’t rule out dessert entirely. Ever marry an egg custard flan and a cheesecake? Throw the batter for both together next time before cooking in a hot water bath next time, and you will meet one an ever-so-delicious love child.
I realize that by now I sound like a disgusting fatty, so I think it best to just end abruptly with a classy sammie…
…and some random light graffiti to offset the eggsesive (HA!) egg talk.
Please pass the Lipitor.
January 2, 2011
So Christmas and New Year’s Eve have come and gone, and I meant to post a holiday recap… buttttt I’m just way more excited about sharing something else:
Everybody has a hobby. And everybody that has a hobby has a friend or two that shares that same hobby. That friend they can discuss all the important and unimportant minutia of said hobby with, philosophize and pontificate with, and obsess over the unnecessary with. The friend that never ceases to amaze you with how much you want to throttle them because they just absolutely kick your ass in all respects at your own beloved hobby. For the purposes of this post, that hobby is photography, and my friend is Ami.
You may remember Ami from such blogs as ami’s in LA, such towns as Bremerton, Santa Monica / LA, or love teams such as Ami+Bryan. Or you may not remember her at all, because she is 2010’s best kept secret (in categories: Wedding & Portrait Photography and Best New Primetime Sitcom, Documentary, Variety Show, or Gospel-inspired infomercial) and poised to be 2011’s most slept on creative.
Ami and Bryan were in town for the holidays, and a couple days ago the rest of me and I had the opportunity to shoot with them. In addition to my wife and I scoring some awesome couples portraiture, 553 photos later my own cam was melting from the sheer hawtness they were helping me capture.
No joke, Ami is a beast at her craft. And I’m learning a lot from her. But forget the finer technical points behind exposure settings, lighting, and composition. I’m firmly convinced that some of the best lessons to be learned from Ami+Bryan stem from the love they exude. For each other and their respective crafts. There’s an artsy side of me fed by inspiration, harvested only from the fruits of love and passion, grown in the sparse tracts hidden in the gaps left between realism, mundanity, and the nightly news, and contagious like no other. I had a creative spark that was, for a long time, in a deep hibernation until awoken when I met my now-wife, and I’m reminded of that moment everytime I see analogous elements in the world around us. A day with Ami+Bryan is a healthy reminder that there’s more to the life experience than the daily grind and the pragmatic. There’s a much more important love movement to advance.
Aren’t they the cutest? They almost give us a run for our money:
That was a super long post with super too many pictures, but I almost never have so many shots I’m happy with in the same bunch. And we almost never have so much fun with folks we almost never see. We’re looking forward to shooting with you guys again, and more importantly just plain hanging out.