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  • Everyone has a blog nowadays.

    ...so THANK YOU for sparing a minute of your life and coming by to check out mine. It's truly an honor! Whether you're a friend, a photography buff, an old (or new!) client or a bride looking for a photographer - welcome and come back often. I'm happy to make your acquaintance.

    ~ Auey

    Most commonly asked question, "How do you pronounce your name?" Think Maui, without the M. Or, "It's Auey, like I have an owee." (boo boo, ouchie, auey ~ I'll be reduced to a scab soon).

Dipping my toes into Photo Fusion.

A couple of years back, the buzzword in the photography scene was “Photo Fusion.” Since all the new DSLR cameras were coming out with video functions, photographers had been trying to jump on this bandwagon of merging photography and video. It was being called Photo Fusion, I suppose out of the desire to market it as something new. But in hindsight, a rose smells just as sweet by any other name. Photo Fusion, simply put, is the art of mixing in video clips with photography to create a multimedia piece. There are different variations to this idea: some artists string together the photos in a stop-motion sequence to create the illusion of motion. Other photographers may add audio to their sequence of photos, to enhance the viewing experience. It’s all put together with video editing software such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere or iMovie.

The possibilities are endless.

Anyhoo. I am rather late to adopt to new technology. Despite my attraction to bright shiny new toys, I am conservative in my purchase of camera equipment and haven’t had the desire to upgrade my camera. I simply haven’t had the need to. My Nikon D700 has been my workhorse and has performed perfectly. But recent developments left me without a backup , and I decided to invest in a Nikon D800. And good lord, I LOVE this camera. Before I get into 1001 reasons why this is an amazing camera, the video function just simply blows me away. I’ve been shooting more video clips than ever.  I am piss-in-my-pants excited to begin exploration and push this baby to the limits. I’ve begun experimenting and here is my first ever Beloved session fusion slideshow. A little known fact about me is that I used to work in children’s television back in the 90s. And despite my educatio and work experience, I feel somewhat green at this at video production.  During my time, we shot on Betacam and edited on bulky U-Matic machines. Darn, I hope I’m not dating myself.   This relearning process has been so much fun.

I do hope you enjoy my first foray in the wonderful world of photo-fusion! Expect more from me in the future.

 

 

Photography and Video taken at Sutro Baths, San Francisco, with my beautiful July couple – Rita and Carson.

 

 

 

When Quirky and Cute Collide: Lucille + Dustin | San Francisco Wedding

I was excited to shoot Lucile and Dustin’s wedding last September 1. We had a great engagement session, and I just knew they would bring the same energy and quirkiness to their big day.
Lucille and Dustin are an awesome couple with a casual yin-yang dynamic. While Lucille’s a huggable little bundle of energy, Dustin has a serious and sedate vibe. Together, they just perfectly fit. I love how their eyes just light up around each other!

With 250 good friends and extended family members present, Lucille and Dustin exchanged vows at the St. Anne of the Sunset Church on Judah Street in downtown San Francisco. The ceremony went on longer than planned but everyone just rolled with the flow and had a great and goofy big time.

One of the many things I noticed was how everything fit with Lucille and Dustin’s personality: the wedding was friendly, do-it-yourself, and above all, practical! For instance, Lucille insisted on sweet little black dresses for her bridesmaids. Bridesmaid gowns are notorious for being “wear once only” frocks, so picking a style that her BFFs can wear to cocktail parties is so considerate and charming.

Lucille and Dustin’s practical nature extended to their reception: it was held in the church’s blinged-out basement! As a photographer, I secretly approved of this convenient location. As much as I love the challenges, I count my blessings every day I don’t have to lug my heavy equipment up to, say, the top floor of a castle without a working lift. (That’s never happened before, but hey, I can imagine it happening! That situation would be a nightmare.) When I don’t have to worry about logistics, I get to concentrate on capturing each exquisite moment of the wedding.
Speaking of exquisite things, let me mention how impressed I was with Lucille’s bridal gown. Despite her practical nature, she went all out with her attire and the results were jaw-dropping. Designer Edward Teng, based in the Philippines, designed Lucille’s beautiful hand-beaded gown with removable train. I know that the beadwork on these creations represent months of preparation and painstaking work, so it never leaves me in awe when I see the finished result.
The reception was great fun for everyone—the guests, family members, and most especially the couple. I’m not sure how often the reception area of the church gets used, but the wow did the wedding light up for the festivities. The children just took over the dance floor, and they had a lot of energy and funky dance moves. I love adore it when spontaneous moments like this get to happen!
Congratulations, Lucille and Dustin! Again, I’m so thankful and honored you chose me as your photographer. Have a happy life! xoxo Auey
Venue: St. Anne of the Sunset Parish, San Francisco
Hair and Make-up: Lela Nguyuen
DJ: Khader Yanni of Kyanni Productions
Floral Design: Bride and Friends
Special thanks to my associate photographer for the day, Jim Vetter and my lighting assistant TJ Tiu. You both rock!

Andy Warhol + The Factory | Infusion Lounge

The wedding industry’s top vendors took pause from the busy wedding season to attend a networking party at the Infusion Lounge last August 8. Put together by the Jutta Lammerts of A Day Like No Other, the party was a tribute to art icon Andy Warhol whose birthday was celebrated on August 6. So out came the models, decors and food all themed around the swinging 60s.

My favorite part of the day was a little fashion showcase we photographed before the party. Those go go boots were made for walking, so we did just that! Crowds stared as I went around the city with a few models in their 60s best. Add a bright red 1965 Ford Mustang and we definitely stopped traffic. Here are some of my favourites from the day.

Our 60s beauties Maria, Brittany and Ryann pose for the camera.  I love the nude lipstick, smokey eyes and false eyelashes, all courtesy of Belle by Marine. Belle did a fabulous job.

We visited our favorite smiling beefeater at Sir Francis Drake Hotel. He posed for us, without hesitation.
Our Andy Warhol lookalike stumbles upon Marilyn Monroe. A photo is definitely warranted!

I love the light-up pillars and  interiors of Infusion Lounge. The interiors were made extra special and the 60s experience even more believable, with the art installation by Marilee Talkington of Metamorpha Design, and a wall projection by Michael Loeb Photography. Definitely funkalicious. Yes, I  made that word up just now.

Gerberas and daisies in colourful water glasses, provided by the beautiful Orna Maymon of Ornamento.

Gwen of Gwen Connolly Designs custom designed the poster and all other graphic elements for the event.

Guests were treated to the signature cocktail of the evening, dubbed “The Triple Andy.” It was a magic mix of Triple 9 Vodka, Triple Sec, Lime Juice, Cranberry Juice and Redbull. Bring. It. Thanks, Nate!

Jerry of Portable Party DJ  provided the music and karaoke machine for the evening.

He’s one smart cookie! That’s Ray Richmond of Smartest Cookies, provider of our awesome customized Andy Warhol fortune cookies. My fortune: “I like boring things.” Dead-on accurate! 

And here I am in full silly sexiness (or sexy silliness?), channeling my inner model/gogo girl. I definitely was born in the wrong decade! Thanks Josh for snapping this!

 

Thanks for the fun evening! xo Auey

 

Getting to know Lucille and Dustin | Beloved Photos

There’s only one thing I needed to know about Lucille and Dustin and I was totally endeared to them. Their favorite date movie is “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. BOOM. That’s all I needed to know. Anyone who thinks a movie about an angry transexual punk from East Berlin is romantic (I do!) is all right in my books.

I’m totally addicted the process of getting to know my couples and the engagement session provides the perfect opportunity to do so. I met Lucille and Dustin at the Mountain View Cemetary, where we decided to have our engagement session on a cloudy God-given soft-box of a day.

With each shutter click, I was able to unravel the story of how they met (online), their first date (yogurt), their common interests (dogs) and everything imbetween. We laughed a lot. And I can’t wait to shoot their wedding on September 1.

Here are some of my favorites images from our session.

 

Vicks. Don’t ask.

Honeybun. Get it? Honey. Bun. Honeybun.

Here they are dressed in their “first date” digs. Love it!

Total edit failure. I couldn’t decide which image is the most fun, so I made a collage.

 

 

When Dr. Surfer Met Dr. Beauty Queen | The Unabridged Story of Rita and Carson


I met Rita at a memorable time and place: I was covering the Chinese New Year Parade in 2012, and she was on the Coke float! We didn’t have a lot of time to talk but we both laughed when we realized we lived five minutes away from each other!

Even if I didn’t meet Rita while chasing floats down Market Street, she would still be a memorable person. It’s not just that she’s a Stanford-educated former beauty queen, but she’s also a practicing medical doctor and an accomplished pianist. Some guys might be unnerved to approach a woman with her credentials, but not Carson. Carson may try to fool you with his “I’m just a surfer boy from a small town” shtick, but as a neurologist and an officer for the US Navy, he can probably patch you up after he kicks your ass.

As their photographer, I really loved learning about Rita and Carson’s gradual friendship and love. This is a relationship that has survived emergency room shenanigans, shared patients, and Carson’s active duty in Afghanistan.

Carson and Rita were first classmates at the University of California San Francisco Medical School (UCSF). Carson knew he had a lot of competition so he decided to wait them all out. It just took him, oh, eight years in the background and a casual friendship before Carson finally asked Rita out on a proper date. Wow. Ignoring each other for years really worked out!

When they finally tied the knot last July 6 at the Stanford Memorial Church, a crowd of 450 guests were at hand to witness the joining of these two amazing individuals. The reception was held at Mayflower Restaurant, where they had a traditional Chinese banquet and tea ceremony.

Among the many moments I loved included the classic saber arch, in which Carson’s  fellow officers held aloft their sabers. Carson and Rita were stopped by each guard and had to kiss before being allowed to pass through!

I also absolutely adored the unscripted moment when Rita’s mom and dad were put on the spot by their kids. They were asked to renew their wedding vows in front of one of the guests, who happens to be an ordained minister!

Like most weddings, the ceremony and reception schedule was very hectic for the bride and the groom, so at one point Rita and Carson stopped over at In-N-Out Burger for much needed energy. Skipping lunch is never a good idea on such a big day! The result of this impromptu moment is these memorable photos:

I swear on my children’s souls, In-N-Out Burger is not my secret corporate sponsor.

Carson is  such a multitalented person—he designed the menu and the invitations. He had to design the fondant cake too, when there were last-minute problems with the baker. Incidentally, cutting the wedding cake with a saber is also a military tradition. I know it surprised some guests when they saw Carson drawing out his sword!

Rita and Carson’s friends labored to arrange the beautiful flowers as a token of their love for the couple. You know, I never get tired of marveling at the little touches everyone contributes to make the day special.

When Rita and Carson’s wedding came to a close, I was glad to finally rest my feet. But I was also supremely satisfied to be part of such a memorable, joyous occasion. Some times my friends ask me, “Auey, how come you never get tired of shooting weddings?” And I always say, “How can I get tired of shooting weddings, when every couple is unique?” Weddings are just one facet of love’s infinite variety. Really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Carolyn - Rita is one of a kind, and we all loved meeting Carson recently too! Her Coca-Cola Scholars family is mighty proud of her!!

M o r e   i n f o