Turning 28

My 28th birthday was really wonderful.  It landed on a Thursday, so the weekend before my husband planned a trip for us to go to Hong Kong to celebrate.  Compared to mainland China, Hong Kong is like going on a little European holiday.  It was nice getting a little break from the craziness, eating great food, and drinking delicious wine.

On my actual birthday, the 3rd of April, I woke up at my normal time, 6:30.  Yes, it’s early.  However, I’ve gotten really used to it and I love being awake early with the whole day in front of me.  And I can drink my coffee slowly, watch the day begin from our 10th story apartment, have breakfast, and my fresh squeezed juice (normally carrot, apple and ginger these days).  When I knew my mom would be home from work, I gave her a call.  We chatted for about an hour.  After that, I began my day.

In the beginning, I had a lot of anxiety about coming out to China.  I wondered what I would do with my time, if I wasn’t working.  I worried about getting lonely, spending days mostly by myself.  I worried about Eliot, and his state of mind, working every day in a Chinese factory.  I worried about the stress it would put our relationship under.

But my time here in China, despite not working, is being very well spent.  I have focused my energy into learning Chinese, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as taking extra care of my body.  I exercise at least 5 days a week, and incorporate yoga into my routine as well.  In the afternoon, I normally go to the local market and pick up our fresh produce, and make a plan for dinner.  I might meet a friend for a walk, or grab a cup of coffee.  My mind is clearer than its ever been. Mentally I’m in a good place, physically I have never felt better in my own skin, and I’ve never felt closer to my husband and secure in our relationship.  This whole experience has proved to me to be very worthwhile.

Although I miss running my business, and meeting with clients, and making beautiful imagery, I am so grateful for this time.  I know it won’t always be like this, but I feel really fortunate for everything I have right now.  This is a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time, if ever.


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Engaged :: Aaron and Maria

Christmas 2013 we were lucky enough to spend it in Maui with my family again this year.  It turned into being the year of Hawaiian engagements, as we celebrated one of my cousins getting engaged this past summer, and two more got engaged before we left the islands.  There was a lot of celebrating.  My cousin Aaron is one of the funniest guys you’ve ever met, and his fiance Maria is the sweetest of all ::

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Married :: Dyana and Chris

Maybe one of my favorite parts about photographing weddings, is being able to see a couple at their absolute best.  It’s one of the happiest days of their lives, they’ve planned the entire day down to the last detail, and they both look absolutely gorgeous.  They are surrounded by the people that they love most in the whole world, and those people are shining so much light onto them.  You hear the stories of their lives, both as individuals and as a couple up to that point, and being there makes you feel like part of the story as well.  You can see the goodness in both the bride and the groom reflected on the faces of their loved ones and you hear it in the speeches of their best friends.  As an outsider, you learn of the ways these two people have impacted the lives of the guests, who are now there to stand with them on such an important day in their lives.

I clicked with these two from the first time we met.  I always felt like we were on the same page in terms of what they wanted out of their engagement and wedding photography.  I would write little suggestions and ideas of what I thought might work for them, and Dyana would write back with complete excitement and more of her own creative ideas to add onto it.  Photographing their day felt easy, because we were all riding the same wave.  I am beyond thrilled for these two and know that they share something amazing, and for one day, I got to be a part of it.


Best move I’ve ever seen performed by a groom.

Dyana and Chris added a film package to their wedding day coverage.  Many of the shots above were shot on 35mm and 120mm film.  There’s are a couple polaroid photos as well.

A special thanks to Xong Hang for helping me photograph Dyana and Chris’ wedding.  Her input and help was invaluable to me that day.  Many of the photos above are ones that she captured.

To see Chris and Dyana’s beautiful Engagement shoot visit here.

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