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san francisco

PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHERS

Making Things Happen

08.12.2009

This post is a day late, but not forgotten.

One year ago, my life changed. My photography life, that is.

I had just returned from a business trip in Denver from my full-time job where I had a lot of time to just think. Think about what I wanted to do in life. Ponder about what I wanted to accomplish. Reflect about what I loved.

I had been thinking a lot about photography. I had been thinking a lot about professional photography.

Last year, I attended a wonderful seminar that quite literally rocked my world. It gave me the inspiration and motivation to just do it. I’m talking about the Free to Succeed Tour with David Jay and Jasmine Star. I had heard about the tour from various photo blogs I had been reading…okay, more like stalking while I was in the midst of wedding planning. It was totally affordable and hitting San Francisco the week after I returned from my trip in Denver. Sold!

I ventured up to the Sheraton on Fisherman’s Wharf by myself. I found parking at the building I was familiar with (VERY expensive, but CHEAPER than the hotel parking!) and wandered into the hotel. I didn’t know anyone. I could hardly call myself a professional photographer. I had decided to pursue it, like, the day before, but of course, I wasn’t going to tell anyone that!

As I approached the conference rooms where the event would be held, I saw a sea of professional photographers. More like the OCEAN. And I didn’t know anyone. AT. ALL. I’ve always considered myself to be more on the shy side of the spectrum (those who know me well are probably thinking, “what are you talking about?”), so large groups of complete strangers basically freak me out, but in pursuit of furthering my dreams, I was going to stick it out. For better, or worse.

To pass some time, I headed to the restroom. (Great way for killing time! haha). While in the fancy schmancy ladies room, I met a friendly face who asked me if I was attending the seminar. Her name is Laura Lynne, photographer extraordinaire out of Sacramento! Laura, thanks for saying hello to me. Thanks for letting me sit next to you.

On our way back towards the crowd of photographers, I saw a familiar face. Why would I be recognizing anyone here? I was completely out of my element. Then I realized that I recognized her from her blog. I loved her blogging voice. Her stories, anecdotes, and not to mention awesome photos! It was none other than Jasmine Star. She was approaching us. She stopped to say hello to us. I was like, totally starstruck (yes, pun intended, used it a year ago too!) and hopefully I didn’t sound like a bumbling fool.

Whoa. This photographer just said, “Hi,” to me. Whoa.

Sitting down in the middle of room, I shuffled my papers and notebook around. I wanted to absorb every minute of this presentation. I don’t think I even really knew what it was going to be about exactly. Something photography related. To my left, sat Laura, new familiar face from the ladies room. To my right, a new friendly face sat down. She introduced herself as Lydia, also from the Sacramento area. We chatted during the break and found out that she was just starting out too. Phwew, I wasn’t alone.

I learned a TON that night. I also decided that it was what I wanted to do. Someway, somehow, I was going to be a professional photographer.

Let’s fast forward a year. Yes, a WHOLE YEAR. Never in my life would I think that I would be where I am now. While I still consider myself to be a fledgling amongst my friends and mentors in this industry, I feel incredibly blessed to be taking major leaps in the direction of my dreams.

And this post is inspired by wedding consulting diva and friend, Lara Casey, after reading her post on her new catchphrase, “Making Thing Happen.”

Here’s a little walk down memory lane…

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Check out this killer tour bus!

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With the lovely and hilarious, Jasmine Star. Oh, did I mention ghettofabulous?

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And with David Jay, CEO of Showitfast.com and Showit Sites (mine is coming soon!)

Check out my friend Lydia on yesterday’s AskDane.com episode:

Cheers to you Lydia, we met a year ago, and we’ve kept in touch!

PS. Today was my last day at my full-time job!

PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

Anytime: Miss M | The Sunset | The Cliff House | San Francisco

08.02.2009

This post is long overdue. But you know, I planned our wedding. Then I got married. Then went to Hawaii. Then moved to Texas. But enough about me, let’s get to the goods!

My friend and photographer pal, Rosaura Sandoval, set up a fun model shoot with her fabulous friend M. Her husband is in the military and stationed in Honduras. It has been a long time since they last saw each other. She wanted to surprise him with some photos, so she was up for just about anything. And let me tell you, she rocked this shoot out of the park!

I think she may have been born in the wrong decade, because she was totally exuding a forties pinup girl vibe. She even had a vintage swimsuit and pincurled her hair. She was a total natural and the camera’s best friend. We shot in a friend’s charming backyard in the Sunset district and at the Cliff House in San Francisco.

Now, don’t let those blue eyes fool you. M is no bored housewife waiting for her husband to return stateside. She is a helicopter pilot. Yes, she FLIES HELICOPTERS. I think I had to pick up my jaw up off the floor when she told us her occupation. I’ve never met a helicopter pilot before, let alone a female helicopter pilot. Go ahead girl!

M is the definition of awesome. I hope her hubby loves these photos!

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I will be in Washington, DC through Thursday. I’ll try to get back to your emails as soon as I can.

Happy Sunday!

To get in touch with me, CLICK HERE.

PERSONAL

Wedding Bells and Blogging

07.16.2009

It’s 1:07am. I get married in a little under 72 hours and what am I doing? Blogging. Gotta let my readers know that I haven’t melted off the planet! Or gone insane with wedding planning. In fact, I think I’ve been told, “You’re so calm” more than I ever have in my life. Let’s talk Saturday morning, it could be a totally different story.

Cent arrived yesterday with his brother. We applied and received our marriage license from the Alameda County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. It was an easier process than I had expected. About 30 mins and $84 dollars later we can officially get married. Make sure you bring a government issued ID as well as the decision about changing your name (if applicable). But other than that, we were in and out pretty quickly.

I finally met a handful of his close friends after hearing so much about them. This afternoon we went up to San Francisco and nearly froze off all our appendages. Considering that it was 100+ degrees in the East Bay yesterday, which meant 80+ in San Francisco, I figured that the weather would be pleasant in the city. I was wrong. I showed all the folks from Atlanta that California being a warm state isn’t necessarily the case.

I have a couple of fun sessions to blog coming up! About a month ago, I met up with my friend Rosie, and new friend Julie, for a fun little shoot where we played with light. Rosie’s friend, Maggie was our super awesome model. Here’s a little teaser:

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Contact Dallas wedding photographer Catie Ronquillo

Read the blog of Fort Worth Photographer Catie Ronquillo

PERSONAL

Bridal Bonanza Weekend: The Bachelorette Party

07.05.2009

We’re getting married in two weeks! Somehow, the sixteen months that we have been engaged has sped by faster than Speedy Gonzalez. Roadrunner speed perhaps? It’s quickly approaching and I thought that while I still have a sliver of downtime, I’d share some of the festivities!

Last weekend, my sister (and Maid of Honor) and my bridesmaids hosted my bachelorette party. Finally, all of them together in the same place at the same time.

See, I have some talent in choosing bridesmaids. Maggie, my best friend since high school and who I’ve known for almost 20 years (so weird to think that!) is a Lieutenant in the Air Force and was on assignment in Italy and Kuwait. Krystle, my BFF from college, the one who can finish my sentences and spontaneously dress in the same colors without consultation, lives in Southern California. Liz, who is like a big sister to me (even though she’s shorter, he he) is putting her law degree to work outside Fresno. Elana, my good friend who I met in Lyon, France while studying abroad, is local in San Francisco, but travels like a maniac for work. And finally my little sister, Stephanie, who just completed her first year in college. In other words, getting together casually wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.

But they all pulled it together and everyone made it out! Woo hoo!

To start off the day, we went to the Burke Williams Spa at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco. Oh. My. Goodness. Divine. That’s what it was. Freakin’ divine. It was so relaxing to sip on cucumber lemon water and sit in the Jacuzzi. We had a little seating area with some baked goodies and sparkling cider. Then it was time for the treatment. It was called Harmony.

Fantastic. Seriously.

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It was a combination of hot and cold stone massage, salt scrub, and tuning fork. Yes, tuning fork. I suppose it was to vibrate my body back into balance? I think my favorite part was putting on the robe that they had kept in the warmer during the treatment. Toasty!

After trying out the steam room…seriously steamy, drying out in the sauna…insta-sweat, and the mist room…too chilly, we headed over to the Cheesecake Factory, where I received my tasks, resulting in subsequent gifts. We feasted on a bevy of appetizers and of course a slice of cheesecake – Dulce de Leche to be precise!

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The entire night I had to wear a super classy plastic tiara and matching sash, with “Bride to Be” emblazoned across it.

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For dinner we went to E’ Tutto Qua, an Italian restaurant with delicious food and very friendly waiters, if you know what I mean. They made our dining experience quite memorable.

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Bridesmaid Elana with our very Italian waiter, Alessandro.

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With Bridesmaid Lt. Maggie and Bridesmaid Krystle!

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Dessert followed at Steps of Rome, which was accompanied by more friendly waiters. Here’s the waiter explaining something to me about the candlelit treat in front of me.

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I have to thank my wonderful sister and my super awesome bridesmaids for an amazingly fantabulous Bachelorette Party. Thanks ladies! You are simply the best!

ENGAGEMENT, PHOTOGRAPHY

Heidi & Blayne : Engaged | Ferry Building | The Embarcadero

07.01.2009

They knew that they would get married. They had talked about it. It was going to happen.

The question that remained was when.

As preparations for Christmas began, they set up their little tree. After an exhausting day of decorating, she was too pooped to move. When he called her into the other room to check out the tree, she almost didn’t budge. But something told her to get up and check it out.

Perched upon a branch of the little Christmas tree was something sparkly. Something that wasn’t an ornament she could recall. It was a ring. In that moment, he asked her to spend her life with him. Blayne proposed to Heidi. She said, “Yes!”

I had the esteemed honor of shooting Heidi and Blayne’s engagement session along the Embarcardero in San Francisco. Heidi and Blayne currently live and work in Hawaii, but both had short stints living in California. Heidi contacted me a few months ago about shooting their e-session while on a short vacation in Califonia. They thought it would be fun to get some urban shots in San Francisco, and so did I! Heidi and Blayne were great to work with! They even brought me some Chocolate Caramel covered Macadamia Nuts. Mmmm.

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Thank you Heidi and Blayne for a great session! And thanks for the chocolates from Hawaii! Happy planning!

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