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Photo Shoot of FYB London Handbag for Forbes

Published by in Modeling ·
Tags: fyblondonhandbagmodelphotoshootforbes

Dani and her business partner called us when they were driving from the East Coast to the airport. They urgently needed a headshot for a feature article in the Forbes magazine, as well as some product shots of their smart and innovative handbags. Since they needed the shots in a rush, I told them I am able to deliver awesome shots in just an hour.

So they flew to San Francisco and drove to my studio as soon as they got off the plane. We communicated the type of looks for the magazine and their website, took the shots and retouched the images on the fly. They were extremely satisfied with the shots. I am looking forward to seeing my work featured in the upcoming issue of Forbes magazine.
What's so innovative about their hand bags? They are designed with smart technologies including wireless charging pocket, fingerprint lock, RFID credit card protection, and distance alerts for theft prevention. I never imagined that a handbag can have so many features. It's not just a bag. It's a spy gadget!

For those who are interested in owning a FYB London handbag, check out their website.

8 Reasons Why Attending Photo Conferences is Beneficial

Published by in News ·
Tags: photoconferenceconventionworkshopwppiimagingusaphotographyeducation

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” This quote from Ronald E. Osborn explains why we photographers should never stop learning, and one of the quickest ways to sharpen our skills and rediscover our passion is by attending photography conferences.

We are so fortunate to live in a country that has many photography conferences to go to. There are major annual conventions for portrait and wedding photographers such as WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) and Imaging USA; PhotoPlus International Expo to discover the latest in photography, video and digital imaging; PMA International Convention and Trade Show to get a first-hand experience in the newest model of cameras, photo equipment, and digital imaging software. There are also many local conferences and workshops held by various organizations and renowned photographers by roadshows across the states to educate amateur and professional photographers.

Any photographer would agree that photography is beyond owning a nice camera and an ultra-sharp lens. It's about seeing the world through our eyes. We capture whatever that catches our attention or moves us, whether it's an extreme close-up of the blossom flower petals, the satisfying look of a child eating an ice cream bar, a majestic landscape painted in dramatic light, or intriguing patterns we encounter on the street. Photography is about our vision and passion captured on film or digitally.

There are many benefits to attend photography conferences. Below is a list of top seven reasons and tricks:

1. Attend workshops.
For those who just want to spend a day exploring the exhibits in major photo conventions, they can easily spend a day or two wandering from booth to booth to see the latest products. For the serious learners, attending the workshops is the best way to learn in short amount of time. I remember there was a time that I spent a whole semester at school to learn what I learned in two hours at a workshop.

Established professionals can learn from photography experts on the latest trends in shooting style, gain marketing insights, and tools for running a business. Amateurs can learn from renowned photographers on various topics such as choosing the right equipment, how to setup lighting by using flash and continuous light, effective ways in choosing your subject and background, etc. in short amount of time.

2. Touch and feel new toys.
Camera enthusiast can get a hand on experience with the latest photo equipment and technology, and ask representatives questions about products and features. While reading about the products online can be useful, there's nothing compared to the excitement in actually touching and playing with the new toys.

3. Get inspired (again).
Every time I attend a photography conference, I got so inspired that I wanted to try something new immediately. It could be a new marketing idea, developing a new style to shoot, or trying out a new trick to generate more income.

4. Meet new fellow photographers.
Almost all conference attendees are photographers and share the same enthusiasm. Don't be shy to introduce yourself and ask questions. Chances are the person you meet is already familiar with the camera on your bucket list and can give you honest opinions.

5. Win products from by listening to mini seminars.
Many companies reward those attendees who sat through the end of the presentation by raffle ticket drawings. I've personally won an Adobe software that worth $700 while learning some new tricks from the speaker.

6. Bring your camera and lenses to major photo conventions.
Camera makers showcase their latest products at major conventions such as Imaging USA and WPPI. They usually have onsite technicians who can fine tune your camera and lenses at no charge.

7. Do a quick walkthrough to find the best free seminars.
Many big brand companies such as Nikon, Canon, Adobe, etc. invite renowned photography leaders to speak on their specialty. The complimentary mini seminars are usually 30 minutes to an hour long throughout the entire convention. Take a quick walk through the expo hall and write down the seminars that interest you and go back when the time starts.

8. Buy stuff and save money
This is actually my biggest reason to go to a photo convention. You can always expect show specials and discounts when you buy from the exhibitors during the conventions. The savings alone usually paid for my travel expenses and considerably more.

Comp card for a modeling career

Published by in Modeling ·
Tags: compcardmodel.modelingagencyfashionphotozedcardtalent

Kelsey came in the studio for a modeling portfolio photo shoot. We begin with headshots in the studio then went outdoor for lifestyle looks in various outfits. I always feel blessed for running a photo studio in the Dogpatch neighborhood. There are countless textures and backgrounds right by the studio for awesome photo backdrops. I love to use the metal gate across the street, the evergreen trees on the sidewalk,  the 22nd Street Caltrain station on the back, and colorful walls in every block. Each element provides a unique backdrop that can be used for high fashion photo looks.  After the photo shoot, Kesley picked out several photos for the comp card. I then designed the comp card for her upcoming audition for modeling agencies. Kelsey's got the look and talent to be an awesome model. Hope to see her on the cover of Vogue magazine soon!

Comp cards are also called composite cards or Zed Cards. They are like business cards for models. Comp cards are essential for self-promotion and provide a higher opportunity for agencies to book the models. Clients browse through comp cards at model agencies for the look they want for commercial, runway, print ads, etc. Comp cards are printed on card stocks and are double-sided. A headshot is usually featured on the front, and 3-4 shots showing a good variety are featured in the back along with model's body weight and measurement. This is an important tool to get gigs and earn money.

Wedding Portraits Around the City

Published by in Weddings ·
Tags: weddingportraitsphotosanfranciscocityphotographer

Wedding portrait is a big thing in Asia and is quite different is style when compared to the U.S. Romantic wedding portraits are done way before the wedding day, and the couples would change into several attires provided by the portrait studio. The portrait studios in Asia are usually one stop shop that provides full services from makeup to flowers and outfits to transportation. For brides, it's their most beautiful moment in life and a dream come true. Hiring a portrait photographer who would bring out their beauty is often considered more important than hiring a photographer to capture the moments of the wedding day.

Queen and Jacob are getting married in Taiwan. Instead of taking their wedding portraits in Taiwan,  they wanted something different -something with a western touch. So they chose to take their wedding portraits in San Francisco as the backdrop. So we begin with a makeup session by Jessie Weng and drove to several scenic locations including Embarcadeo, City Hall, Pier 7, Palace of Fine Arts and Crissy field. Now they have some great shots with famous landmarks to display at their wedding in Taiwan.

Friends are Forever!

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: friendsflowersfriendshipfunphotowreaths

Nadya had a bright idea for her baby shower. She invited her best friends over to her house to draw flowers, then make flower wreaths, and then take a photo of everyone together with their flowers to create a photo as a lasting memory.

When Nadya hired me for the photo shoot and told me about the idea, a picture was illustrated in my head, as I tried to visualize how it could be done. First, we need a tall ceiling, then a ladder, then a white background and floor large enough for seven ladies to lay down. The most challenging part was the lighting. I decided to point my flash upward to the ceiling for a soft, broad light that would evenly illuminate everyone's face without cause shadow.

The result was just as we had visioned - beautiful ladies formed a circle surrounded by colorful flowers that represent everlasting friendship.

Modeling Portfolio for Alison

Published by in Modeling ·
Tags: modelmodelingportfoliofashionphotoshoot

Alison was noticed by two model scouts in separate occasions. Realizing that she has a potential to be a model, she came in our studio for a high fashion modeling portfolio.

She's amazing even as a beginner. Not at all camera shy, Alison knew her best angles and body movement. She will be meeting an agent at a modeling agency next week. I hope she get signed and paid for major gigs.

Lighting Workshop

Published by in News ·
Tags: photographyworkshoplightingphoto

It was rewarding to teach a basic lighting workshop to 20 photographers at my studio. What I learned back in college 20 years ago still applies today. The basic lighting techniques are so important that once you've learn the five basic ways to light your subjects, you can almost achieve any looks. The five basic lightings are broad, Rembrandt, butterfly, side, and rim.

On the top right photo, I was holding a magazine to demonstrate how the emulate the lighting from a magazine. And no, I wasn't holding a Playboy magazine.

Special thanks to Amy for being the model for the workshop. The photos above were some shots during the lighting demonstration. Click here to see the photos and notes from the workshop.

If you are interested in signing up for my next lighting workshop, please send me an email.

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