Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome Back! :)

I have always thought that the Monday after the long and stuff-your-mouth-until-you-can't-possibly-eat-anymore-take-a-nap-and-then-do-it-all-over-again Thanksgiving holiday is by far the most difficult day to come to work of the entire year! Seriously, after spending time with family and friends, eating gluttonous amounts of awesome food, laughing and relaxing for multiple just does not get any better than that!

So I hope that all of you had an SUH-WEET holiday break filled with tradition, appreciation and awesomness and I am hoping I can entertain you with a few pictures that I took of NYC on Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, I was unable to go downtown for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but I took some photos of the area afterward and then I headed north to Bryant Park to watch a few ice skaters! Brisa was at work all day, so I had time to play! :)

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This is our subway stop: Bergen Street and I have been wanting to take a few pictures of it to help us remember our time in Brooklyn. I really liked the individual frames that the columns created in the picture and how you see a fleeting glimpse of the little girl being lead by one of his parents out of the picture.

A ton of the streets were still blocked around 4pm as they were cleaning up the parade route and I snapped this picture of the gravitating factor of the parade, Macy's. On a similar note, Brisa and I checked out this massive Macy's last night and I will sum up my experience in two words: simply overwhelmed.

 Often, I shoot from my hip. Literally, as I have my camera in hand, I will just take shots (like the next 2) that look visually appealing to me without stopping and setting up the shot. Honestly, some of my favorite pictures of all time have been shot in this method (read: nobody has ever accused me of being a perfectionist). The other reason for shooting this way (to me), is so that you can capture people 100% candidly. Yes, it is a tad voyeuristic, but I love the results!

With the streets cleared from traffic, I had a blast playing in the middle of them!

A couple was sitting and I believe watching a video on their laptop in the Bryant Park area. Isn't technology crazy? Seriously, it stills blows my mind what it allows you to do and where. I set my camera on a tabletop and shot this from a bit of distance to get the reflection of the trees off of the table and I think it frames the couple quite well.

When Brisa and I were youngins, we traveled to NY to visit my sister for New Year's Eve which also documented my first ice skating experience. It took me, literally, an hour to circle the rink once at Central Park with Brisa propping me up the entire time. And it always brings a smile to my face

Miraculously, I never fell down (thanks to Brisa) like this guy (who seems to be rather enjoying himself)

2009 Thanksgiving Day in NY was absolutely beautiful!

And finally a little slow shutter speed action to get you in the Christmas spirit!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Week 8: One for the Road

Again, I have been terrible about blogging about my photos of the week for the "52 Weeks of Awesomeness"! For Week 8, the topic was "One for the Road" about signs, streets, traffic, etc. Well in Brooklyn, my main mode of transportation has been the subway system which absolutely rocks because it is incredibly convenient and efficient! Plus, I never need to worry about parking :) In case you (photographers) were wondering, why shoot this at f/16? At apertures f/16 and lower (higher number), you will see stars in your light sources. This is how I get dramatic lighting in nighttime and sunlight shots. Try it sometime and you'll be amazed! :)
So here is a picture from my subway stop and I added a little bit of graininess for some texture and to go for that gritty look. Hope you like it!

Photog Info:
Natural Light - Handheld
ISO 4000
SS 1/10
Canon 5DII
Sigma 50 f/1.4
Lightroom 3 Beta

For those of you interested in participating, PLEASE do! I would LOVE to see your pictures! So please comment and leave a link to your blog/photo gallery!

Here is the full list of 52 Weeks of Awesomeness!

Week 1 Free for All
Week 2 Introduction of yourself
Week 3 Show us your Hometown
Week 4 Water
Week 5 Sports (anything related, teams, players, equipment, etc,)
Week 6 Botanical
Week 7 ONE object shot at 5 different angels/distances
Week 8 One for the road (signs, streets, traffic, etc.)
Week 9 Objects that tell something about you
Week 10 Things that make your life easier
Week 11 Your favorite color
Week 12 Household items
Week 13 Foods
Week 14 Something Slimy
Week 15 Sun (sunlight, sunset, sunrise, etc)
Week 16 Emotions
Week 17 Something old
Week 18 What you do outside the world of photography
Week 19 Weather
Week 20 Emotional attachment (heirloom/special gift, ect.)
Week 21 Pets
Week 22 Things you couldn't live without
Week 23 Habits
Week 24 Fire (candle, fireplace, etc.)
Week 25 Scrapbooking (stash, room, lo's, etc)
Week 26 Textures
Week 27 Hands
Week 28 Shoes
Week 29 Favorite Jewerly
Week 30 Generations
Week 31 Hot
Week 32 Fill the Frame (close ups)
Week 33 A week in our lives
Week 34 Faith (what you believe)
Week 35 Dance (body in motion)
Week 36 Family & Friends
Week 37 SOOC...from that to this...before & afters
Week 38 Patriotic
Week 39 Object: straight up shots and then straight down shots
Week 40 Nighttime
Week 41 Something that gives you the feeling of warmth or cold
Week 42 Pictures of words
Week 43 Chores I hate
Week 44 Animals
Week 45 Music
Week 46 Reflections/Shadows
Week 47 Flowers
Week 48 Sleep
Week 49 Action Shots
Week 50 Wheels
Week 51 Wrapping (gifts, baby, foods, etc.)
Week 52 Guilty pleasures

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We can't say it enough...thank you. Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and prayers. Brandi and I feel incredibly blessed to be doing what we love and we could not do it without you! Thank you for your business, for your referrals and for speaking so wonderfully about us. We are incredibly grateful and we hope that you know how much we appreciate each and every one of you!

In honor of Thanksgiving in NY, unfortunately, I was unable to go to the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning, but here is a shot from earlier this evening of the cleanup effort for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Fire in Brooklyn

Today, I had an opportunity to put on my photojournalism pants and help document a fire that occurred not too far from my apartment. Here is one of the reasons why I always have my gear ready, just in case I need to grab it and go!

If any of you know members of these fire departments, I'll happily send them the high resolution pictures! Just let me know!

I was hoping to post this video like 8 hours ago, but due to some technical difficulties, here it is now. From what I have heard on the street, thankfully, nobody was injured. Many thanks to all of the tireless firefighters, police officers, paramedics and emergency service workers for their efforts in containing and extinguishing the fire. Lastly, many prayers to the victims of the fire. Regardless of who is at fault, everyone loses and so I hope that the community helps the victims recover in time to enjoy this holiday season.

Music by Cloverton -

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Smith Family by Chris!

I love my job. Seriously, for a couple hours at a time (or a whole day - @weddings), I have the opportunity to remove my clients from the rigors, stresses and hardships of their day-to-day lives and have them refocus on each other. How awesome is that? That is why I entitled my family portraits as "Joy Sessions" because it is nearly impossible to not be joyful during them! :)

Sara, Peter and their adorably cute daughter, Ada, were an incredibly fun family to photograph! With so much style and personality, they just evoked a tangible ambiance that made me feel like I was hanging out with the cool kids. You know what I mean?  We started off at their beautiful home and then walked around to a nearby park to finish off the session. I always like to include a few shots of just the parents because I often find that most couples do not have any great photos of each other after they get married and that makes me sad :( Nonetheless, the best part of their session was how Ada is only a few weeks younger than my oldest nephew and like I wrote in a previous post, I just love love playing and interacting with children that age now because it reminds me of my own family!

Thank you again so much for inviting me into your home to take pictures of your family! Hope you like them!

I am mixing things up a bit and showing you a little slideshow (2 minutes) I put together first and then some photos! Let me know what you think! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Houston, we have a problem...

...the Hsiehs are moving there! That's right, Brisa and I will be moving to Houston, Texas sometime in July 2010 and we are super excited about it! Brisa received an amazing opportunity at an awesome specialty clinic there and we'll be rockin it in Houston until at least 2013!

We're super pumped that we know so early where we are going next year so that we can make plans/accommodations and so that I can focus on building and developing La Brisa Photography! I can't wait to reach out to the Houston photography community and get plugged in once we arrive!

Brisa and I both thank all of you for your love, support and encouragement over the years with this business and more importantly, with our lives. We are deeply indebted to our family, friends and to our savior, Jesus Christ, for how you all have blessed us in so many ways! :)

With a target date in sight, that means I'll be shooting like crazy here in NYC/Brooklyn! So if you have any recommendations of places to photograph, please let me know. I definitely don't want to leave here with any regrets!

I'll leave you with this suh-WEET picture of us during our honeymoon when we both were ridiculous tan and happy because that's how we feel now (minus the tan part, obviously)!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jennifer & Phil - Engaged by Chris!

Before Kansas, I lived in Northern Virginia for nearly a year and worked at a corporate office in DC. I really hated the corporate workplace, but I absolutely LOVED LOVED the NOVA/DC/MD area! One of my favorite places anywhere is Great Falls National Park because it is absolutely gorgeous at anytime of the year (especially the Billy Goat Trail)! So when Jennifer and Philip wanted to do their engagement session in the DC area, I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot!

I had an absolute blast hanging out with Jennifer and Phil and seeing them interact with each other! They are adorably cute together and I could tangibly feel the connection between them. Plus, by marrying a police office, I do not think Jennifer will have any worries about feeling safe and protected with Phil next to her!

Thankfully, the weather was beautifully crisp and refreshing for their session and it gave me plenty of opportunities to experiment with a few things. Please check out the video at the end of this post for a different type of slideshow that I hope to offer all of my clients in the future!

You can view all of their pictures through their online gallery: Jennifer & Phil - Engaged!

Thank you both so much for putting up with my random whimsical thoughts and hanging out with me for your engagement session! Hope you like the pictures! Can't wait to see you again in February! :)

I think Phil earned an A+ for his ring selection...check out this BLING!

Time to get snuggily close

So totally random, we are taking pictures and minding our own business when two ginormous huskies come trotting by pulling a guy on a giant SCOOTER! Luckily, I have visual evidence so you do not think I am crazy! :)


Definitely had to include a shot with the Harley!

Please enjoy the slideshow/video with awesome music from Cloverton!