Saturday, February 28, 2009





Mana Poly Allstars are stars in our book.  In fact, the last collage below is my son's rockstar!  Thank you Kalani and Sepa for inviting us to da bomb concert! We are so grateful for your love and friendship.  You guys are the best!:) 
It had been a while since Dan and I attended a concert, so this night out was a treat as we got to sneak away from the kids to hang out.  I must say MPA band members are so genuine, down to earth, and talented gifted with music.  If you haven't listened to MPAs tracks, you are missing out. My favorite songs are, "ready and willing" and "nice it up".   MPA has come along way as they have fans across the U.S. and are recognized internationally.  This concert was jammed packed and the crowd was ready to jump on the stage.  I almost feared that Kalani was going to get attacked by some of the women in the front at one point.  Many of these band members are close friends and relatives which makes their show more meaningful for us.  I was so excited to take pictures of this event, and I must thank Maka for helpin a sistah out as he lent me some of his equipment to help capture some of these moments.  We were skankin' all night long!  

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pouha's & Kaufusi's



Again thank you Keiti and Sione for a fun night with you and your loved ones!  Happy Bday Sione, and I must say that after this stunt, its gonna be hard to out do your wife's suprise production:)  I also have to thank Tema and Sepa for assisting me with this event.  You gals rock, and none of this would of been possible without you two!

Party! Party! Party!



Sione & Keiti Pouha





Sione's VIP guests





Sione's BIG 3-0!




Finally, I've figured out how to post these pictures from Sione's 30th suprise bday party.  Keiti and Sione are the cutest couple, and I loved seeing the anticipation and excitement that Keiti had for Sione as she put this big bash together (without him knowing) - now that takes true talent.  The bash was celebrated at the Wells Fargo Building on the 23rd floor, and boy was it a view to die for of salt lake city!  Suprise party guests were Siones and Keiti's closest family members and friends.  Up until the moment Keiti and Sione entered the building we all stood (I was crouched down in a corner trying to get their shot walking up to the door) in suspense waiting for the que to say, "Suprise!".  You did a great job Keiti planning but more importantly showing the love you have for Sione on his big day!  Thank you for allowing me to part of your family's special day!  

My #1 baby model

Meet Lehua!  She is my ball of energy and keeps me on my toes each day. I'm amazed at how fast my lil' girl has matured and how she was able to talk in sentences at 1yrs old.  This is my my #1 model for baby portraits.... and she is definitely a girly girl.  Mind you she is surrounded by two older brothers which I thought for sure would influence some kind of tomboy-ness to surface from my baby->NOT.  Although she plays with boys toys, at the mere age of 1 she was already wrapped up into changing outfits, carrying her own lil' designer purse, and being the princess of the house!  I have a few shots lined up this weekend with newborns, babies, and a cute lil' boy flying all the way from California for some urban shots.  I'm way excited and can't wait to shoot these lil' ones.  I also found out about a competition for The Children's Place clothesline looking for a cute baby, so I'm going to enter with some of the photos taken this weekend.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wedding Photography

Jerry Ghionis, Bussick, Tucci, Bambi, all these names have more significance as I met and listened to their presentations at WPPI. I admire their work and will use their knowledge to find my own style. I loved that these photographers stepped outside of the traditional shots, and found art through contemporary, edgey, fashionable portraits. Who doesn't want to feel like a super model? And what better occassion than ones wedding to make them feel totally fabulous! Why wedding photography? Alot of my desires to specialize here stems from the fact that after spending a good chunk of "money that folds, and not jingles" on our wedding, a full fledged 3 day cultural celebration, our wedding photographer left us stranded. Yup, my husband and I have nothing to show for our wedding other than pictures that were snapped by other people. We have about 14 VHS videos though that our videographer provided. But who wants to watch hours and hours of footage....not me! I'm sure there is a way to print pictures from the video, but still....our photographer did us so wrong! So I plan to be that photographer that I should of had! What a special role photographers play as we get to participate in such a joyous event capturing, documenting, and using a journalistic approach to get real expressions of that day. I've participated in many weddings but always on the other end of things; floral, decor, planning, etc. I'm so excited for the weddings I have lined up with my sis L within the next few months! So here are a few pointers I picked up from WPPI about wedding photography:

-Be proactive but unobtrusive
-Learn to anticipate
-Capture the uninterrupted moments
-Get expected shots done early
-Consultation=chemistry with client, communication, expectations
-Know whats in your bag; BACKUPs
-Timing of posed portraits
-Stick to timeline
-Ceremony and traditions
-Money Shots
-Reception schedule
-See beyond what is there
-Be one with your assistant of 2nd shooter
-Lighting Techniques

I see that all photographers have a recognizable style, which is an important reason why clients choose them. I hope to find a consistent stylistic thread that becomes a catalyst for clients booking me. One sweet day!:)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Marketing 101

I figure since I want to specialize in weddings, I need to start taking pictures of rings.....Isn't that a beautiful ring? I have to give a shout out to my husband who provided this piece of work 8 years ago when we decided to get married. When we had initially gone ring shopping, I had picked just a small princess cut diamond because I wasn't trying to start out our marriage with debt and was pretty satisfied with just living on "love" alone. Then to my suprise at our engagement party, he suprised me with this sucker....I was in shock, and of course thought to myself, "he's got good taste and is definitely a keeper!" :) My husband is always so proud when he sees this ring. Funny thing is, to this day my mother in law still claims shes the one that picked out the ring...and they can go back and forth for days. However, I'm just grateful for this beauty! Thank you Hun.

Anyways, as I've reviewed my notes, there were quite a few workshops I attended related to Marketing that I will share in this blog. I attended the business institute which really helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As I've discovered this passion of photography, I learned that passion itself drives motivation which results in action. Think about it....if you are starting your own photography business, ask yourself why? As Mitche Graf asked, "is it the joy of being self employed and ability to dictate your own hours? is it the ability to dream your own dreams and reach your own stars? or is it the ability to "breathe life" into your own business creation and watch it grow and profit"....sometimes these answers can drive one to put everything on the line, and without the passion to back it up, it won't happen.

I must of sat in at least 7 different 2 hr sessions which revolved around marketing, selling, and pricing. However, some of the reoccurring themes I gathered was that as photographers we have a life outside of photography that needs to always be in sight. I really appreciated that because just getting started in this business I'm seeing just how easy it is to get too get so busy with photography. The time spent away from my family is so precious considering that I am already working full time during the week aside from photography. The bottom line was that we need to look for effective and innovative ways to create/take our businesses to the next level of sales and profitability so you can have the freedom to attain your own personal goals in life. Basically, effective marketing allows you to have a life outside of photography.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:
-Good marketing is not an expense; its an investment
-Know yourself and your priorities
-Know your clients, and understand them
-Be objective
-Broaden your reach and services
-What sets you apart from other photographers? or separate yourself visually
-Embrace Technology
-Building relations is key to building business
-Be the key connector for people
-What are you selling?
-Earning referrrals
-Stop trying to be perfect, start trying to be remarkable
-Place yourself in the path of your clients
-Let your photography speak for itself
-Viral marketing
-Creating partnerships & networking

For the sake of not writing a novel, those were a few key points made when marketing. Stay tuned for tomorrow!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Being Resourceful!

I don't know about you, but photoshop CS4 can get a bit daunting between understanding how to work all the different layers, masks, etc. So if you would like more help, join me in a 10 week free course which my friend Amy told me about. Thanks Amy!

Here are more details:
Here’s the website and a bit of info below:

CreativeTechs is kicking off a free, 10-week, worldwide, Photoshop course.
Jason Hoppe, our Adobe Certified Instructor, has designed a comprehensive course that covers Photoshop CS4 in detail. If you’ve been meaning to improve your Photoshop skills, now is the perfect opportunity:

Week 1, Feb 26 - Interface, Tools, and ShortcutsWeek 2, Mar 5 - Photoshop LayersWeek 3, Mar 12 - SelectionsWeek 4, Mar 19 - Advanced SelectionsWeek 5, Mar 26 - MasksWeek 6, Apr 2 - Pen Tool / Shape LayersWeek 7, Apr 9 -Drawing Tools / BrushesWeek 8, Apr 16 - RetouchingWeek 9, Apr 23 - Color Correction pt 1Week 10, Apr 29 - Color Correction pt 2

Want to enroll? Sign-up here: Free Photoshop CS4 Course Enrollment.
And yes, you can pass this offer along to friends, or even post it on your blog. Help spread the word. We need a minimum of 1,000 people enrolled to make this free class viable.
Read on for an extended Q&A, and to ask your own questions in the comments.
Q: What Time Do Classes Start?
A: That depends on where you live. People attend these workshops from all over the world. We start at 11AM Thursday mornings in Seattle. Here are the start times for time zones in the United States:
2PM - Eastern (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Florida)1PM - Central (Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas)12PM - Mountain (Denver, Phoenix)11AM - Pacific (Seattle, Los Angeles)10AM - Alaska9AM - Hawaii
For international participants, follow this link to see how 11AM in Seattle translates to around time zones around the world: What time is 11AM in Seattle?
For those of you that live in Utah...if you are interested in free photography workshops, Sepa signed me up for a few courses provided by pictureline. Isn't it great to know that there are people who love this line of work and are willing to share techniques and skills valuable to ones photography. I love it! Thats definitely paying it forward, which I hope one day to do. So check out pictureline and enroll for courses that may benefit you and your photog goals this year!
There is also another group here in Utah that provides free workshops. Thanks Kathy! You can check it out here:


How come I still feel like I just came home from WPPI! This convention had me so engulfed with photography. It was beyond amazing and so worth my time and money. I have a journal that is at least 300 pages and I was able to take enough notes to fill the entire 300 pages I am going to attempt to summarize here for those who can benefit or take some knowledge from it. I'm the kind of learner who will write everything down...even if the powerpoint is going to be sent, I still have to write things down just so it can register in my head. So for this next week, I will be posting summaries each day about what I learned at WPPI and hope that it can help others out, but at the same time keep me on pace with my photog plans and goals for this year!

B-day Boy!

I couldn't resist posting a few pixs of my super high energy son Alan, who is pretty much attached to my hip. He's so photogenic and loves to be in front of the camera...can u tell? Love you son!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Lehuanani and Alan!

Getting ready for a bday party for my babies!  While I was at WPPI, my Lehuanani turned 2 yrs old, and today is Alan's 5th bday!  So we are going to celebrate at Boondocks.  As my kids always say, "I love you to infinity!" 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

Finally I have touched Utah soil and am so happy to be home with my babies! Thank goodness I met and made a great friend Kathy on my trip home who made my flight here seem like a minute as we dived into conversations revolving around business, photography, family, goals, etc. "Networking is your networth".....I've been so blessed to meet some incredible people within this last week. However, my week away from my babies was pretty hard. I have never been away from them for more than 1 day, so a whole week was almost mere torture. My kids have grown so much within one week and I learned to appreciate them so much more upon my return. My daughter was talking more clearly and in complete sentences, my boys appeared to be so much more mature, and it was krazy to see how much they had grown within a week:) As soon as I got into the vehicle they were all squeeling in the car with excitement. Alan grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go, and at that moment I started crying. As a mother, I find myself constantly evaluating myself and the time I spend with my babies. I plan to make my weeks stay in Vegas work some magical things this year with my photography goals. If anything, its these people you see above who push and drive me to work hard so we can have the luxury of time to spend together as a family! I work hard to do my best, but my family makes me even better. My family is at the core of my inspiration and I am so lucky to have them in my life! Last night was so much fun as we all cuddled up in our bed singing, telling stories, and catching up on all the things I missed when I was gone! Its so great to be loved, and even at one point each of my babies were fighting kz they all wanted to sleep by mom. Gotta love being a mom! I needed to take a break from WPPI kz it was beyond overload, so give me some time to digest it all and I promise to have something posted about my wrap up and J* experience.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


j* is amazing! (Okay don't ever blog when you are completely drained and can't even keep your eyes open!) I promise more to come about my meeting with J* and my WPPI wrap up!


Can I just say I had an amazing day to spend time with those who made themselves available to me when I was first introduced to photography! Yeah, I remember when first getting into this industry, Jasmine Star, JD, and David Jay were considered like the "untouchables".... I almost made myself believe that I couldn't talk to them until I was at their level. One day I challenged that assumption, and J* proved me wrong time and time again as she was so quick to respond to my inquiries about beginning my photog journey. And her responses were not canned in anyway, which typically with busy people you can tend to expect...each response I received her was heartfelt and she was so sincere. And although, J* is able to share bits and pieces of JD, he is just as great! Then there's David Jay, who must of been having a good day as he was able to reach out to me as I have been preparing for my own personal website. He couldn't have reached out at a more perfect time! Sorry bout the pix! The last thing I wanted to do was take pictures while we hung out, so as I was leaving their room, I just got my lil' blackberry and shot away which does no justice whatsoever. Think about it, if you were in my shoes hanging out with these great people, the last thing you want to do is ruin it by taking pictures while conversating right! here is some pix from this experience with J* is another blog in itself! So I will share that most amazing experience tomorrow for sure!
Managing a blog when working a very tight schedule is so hard to do, but for those awaiting my next post - I can't help but feel compelled to share because I know there are many who wanted to be out here at WPPI, and for various reasons could not make it. Well if I haven't said it enough, WPPI has been the most amazing experience thus far! I can't stress enough just how important it is for us to realize the potential we have to reach out to others. Theres a saying that David J shared with me today and that was a quote by Tim Sanders - "Your network is your networth"....Its the people around us, the people we know, that we can share a part of ourselves with, thru our work. When we choose to understand anothers perspective, it allows our minds to expand. In this industry, we have to maximize our greatest asset which is ourselves! Think about it.....maximize who you are, be real, and others will appreciate it. David J, further reminded me that the most valuable thing we can take away from WPPI is getting to know others. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind of life that we forget to stop and really take time to "see" the beauties and freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis. Most of the workshops I've attended has focused on the this concept of networking and I've seen the return it has by making time to really get to know others beyond just photography. I've made wonderful friends out here and am saddened that it is almost over. I've learned that when real connections are made, real experiences are created and that memory is what lives on. This very same concept is what we need to do with our photography. Photography is more than just taking a picture! Its about capturing timeless emotions that will provide a treasured memory that you can't put a price tag on. WPPI has been nothing but days full of innovative ideas, and to end this blog tonight, as I spent time with David Jay catching up in his suite earlier today, he said something that I'll never forget. This was a quote his Dad shared with him, " Truly make your business about helping people, and you'll be successful". David Jay thank you for such a wonderful time today up in your schwanky suite! Also thanks JD for being there! J*, I'm taking your advice to heart! So I spent about two hours chatting with these great people about the future of this industry. As you can imagine I was pretty starstruck just being in their presence. They were so down to earth, eager to help, and just such wonderful people to be with. You wonder why they are so successful? They are modeling what this industry is and where its heading. The time I spent with them was seriously the icing on the cake!
Then as if my day couldn't get any better, my sis L came down from the high desserts and will be spending the rest of the week here with me! Its not often L and I get to really hang out like this due to our busy schedules as this is a treat which we are taking advantage of!

Monday, February 16, 2009

WPPI Family!

Charlie and Jennifer Maring - this couple has their A game on all the time. They rock!
These guys and gals are the best! They are from all over the world and are some of the fabulous friends I've gained out here:)

This is Yervant from Aussie! You have to check out his work!

Okay, so the first few days as I attended my classes, people were always referring to our conference group as a family, and I kind a laughed to myself because the word "family" has so much more significance and deeper meaning right.....I thought to myself, these people are not family! Well, now that I am 5 days into the WPPI conference, I now see a family forming through the many friendships I've established here. I really do consider these people as family only because I have created so many bonds with people who are eager to share and help a rookie out. I'm so glad I came out early to attend the Plus Classes, Business Institute, and All About Schools Institute because they were much more intimate, and worthwhile. These meetings really allowed me to be in an environment where I felt like my instructors were aware of my presence and took time to help me build upon my photography learning blocks.
Above are some pictures of people I've met while being the top is Charlie and Jennifer Maring. They are incredible! I honestly can say that the two days I spent with them has changed my life dramatically. They gave me so many tools to implement into my goals this year. These two are amazing and really took the time to help not only me but each of my classmates.
Picture #2 is some of the wonderful photographers I've met here. Many of us attended the Marings Plus course, and friendships were developed instantly from those two days. Coming as a newbie to WPPI, and by myself, really helped me to reach out and not be ashamed to ask questions, and connect with people all over the world. At first, I had my reservations because I was coming to this conference all by myself, and am so new to the world of photography. So thank you all: (L to R) Ginger, Beli, Robin, Dave, and Chung for hanging out at the Mock Wedding presentation. The 2 days spent with the same group of people in the Marings presentation really helped me to gain a sense of belonging. Each day, no matter where I went, its been so refreshing to see my buddies from the Plus course and have an instant connection. I don't know how else to explain it, but pretty much anyone that I've come in contact with is either willing to share, answer my questions, and tell me about their experience as a photographer which is a gold mine! I really do feel so blessed to be here, surrounded by the best of the best:) I have made some lifetime friends which I'm grateful for.
The third photo is Yervant. He is a prestige and well known wedding photographer from Australia. His work is da bomb! I love his style and although I towered over him, he was such a cute man to be around. He delivered a presentation in the businees institute which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Then last but not least, I have to share my "DJ" experience. So since I began following the blog of J* last year, I've grown very fond of David Jay's (DJ) work. I have yet to meet him in person but have viewed his many sites, adored his work and am obviously a huge fan. So last night after my husband and I came back from our Valentine's night out, I checked my blog and lo n behold I saw a comment from thee "DJ"! I had to take a double look, and then I even checked the links again to make sure my mind wasn't messin with me.....Dude, I was so star struck just seeing his name that I began screaming and my husband thought something was wrong. I then began to tell him that DJ was on my site and was giving it props on his website. What an honor DJ, that is all I have to say. So anyways, come to find out that we are staying in the same hotel, and I get to meet him and his team in person tomorrow! I am so psyched and can't even sleep because of having this opportunity. I would of never have thought that lil' ole me, wannabe photog, rookie of WPPI would meet DJ! All I can say is that we've been in contact since yesterday, and I'm stoked for tomorrow! I'm planning to meet J* there - Hollah!
So thanks to my WPPI family for everything! This conference seriously has gotten me so pumped about my goals, and projection of where I want my work to be within this next year. Learning from the best in the business is what it is all about! Listening to powerful and real experiences puts my dreams in reaching distance! I already know that my business plans wil make leaps this year if I apply the many things I've learned. Good Night!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Knowledge is POWER!

So here are some sample pictures from my first workshop with the Marings, and today was only day 1...we still have another full day with them tomorrow to learn even more! I know if I had the right lenses, and some software on my laptop I could really add the wow factor to these photos, but again these are raw and the only editing you see if cropping, and change of color. All these pictures are straight from my camera using existing lighting and no flash let me tell you about my day!

Where do I begin! From the moment I walked into my first intense workshop, Jennifer Maring greeted me with such a warm smile and welcome. Then her husband Charles walked in and was just as pleasant. I could already tell why they were so successful...and that was because they were so genuine, so personal, and they allow those qualities to spill over into their work. I thought to myself, are all photographers so nice??? and after spending 9 hours with 25 other photographers from all over the world, the answer is YES! I must of been the only one in the session, who was brand spankin new to all of this with my lil' D50 when many were rockin their Nikon D700s, Cannon 5D Mark II, and their googoogaga lenses! I absolutely loved every minute of it. I learned so much within this first session that I'm still trying to get my head wrapped around all of it. Although I was like the rookie in the most truest form of that word....these professional photographers were so willing to share and take time to help me understand my camera more intuitively. Then of course the Marings had an incredible presentation which was nothing but pure inspiration. They shared so many things from the start of their business, marketing strategies, photo techniques, etc... so here is a list of some of the things I learned today:

-Learned what the photography industry has done, and how it has evolved and continues to change.
-Using diversity to help your business flourish
-Motion picture quality with blends of video and stills
-Stimulation of clients and the impact stimulation can have on presentation
-Pricing: customizing price quotes for each client...not having an a la carte, or price list
-Making shoots a living experience
-Listening to clients and making an educated pitch
-How to make your work distinctive and of a higher standard
-Designing a website, showit sites
-Creating an experience for clients
-Capturing our clients life in its truest form
-Methods of capturing customized and personal images
-How to engage with clients when taking photos and not hide behind the camera
-Identifying what will make an image hit home for clients
-Learned how to use Lightroom, Aperture, Iview, Photoshop, Flash, NIK effects 2.0, InDesign, ICal, Final Cut Studio, Premier, etc....tons of software
-Learning how to set up a studio
-After consulation, identifying timeless emotions for shoot
-How to market your photos
-Learned about senior shoots
-Efficiency with workflow; workflow simplified
-Wedding workflow managment
-How to create albums: proof albums using Aperture, albums of kind using LuxArt
-Must have gear and lenses and why
-Lighting indoor and outdoor
-Marketing for todays generation: many like to carry their lives with them all the time
-Utilizing technology to gain an edge in market
-Looking for uninterrupted history when taking pictures
-Studio vs. Location shoots
-How to deliver final products and ways to reel clients in to see value of purchasing more
-Know when to turn down money if there is no chemistry between photographer and clients
-Giving incentives to clients and when to use with packages
-How to generate buzz and advertisement
-Importance of networking and building relationships with others in the industry
-How to seperate yourself from competitors
-Posing; how to pose fashionably, traditional, vintage, raw
-How to take good photos despite location, lighting +/-, and focusing on image
-Being aware of Action sets and avoiding novelty photos
-How to reduce workflow by working camera to your fullest
-Cannon 5D MII, learning how this camera and others like it are marking a revolution for the photography industry......

Okay as if that wasn't enough, but you can imagine I was taking notes like a madd woman....however, instead of being bothered by my writing cramp once the 8th hour rolled in, I could of cared less how much fingers/hand hurt because I wasn't going to miss one word of expertise being offered tonight. So I know alot of my pictures have noise but I tried! So the saying Knowledge is power comes to mind because even though I'm still new to much of this, the knowledge piece is really connecting the dots for me. I can't wait for my first wedding! The secrets and tricks of the trade I've picked up just within today has helped to identify what I can do to really set myself apart from my competitors. For anyone questioning WPPI, there is no way you can walk away from this convention without learning something new. I seriously feel and know this is going to be life changing for me as I apply the principles and skills I obtain here. Can you imagine photographing Donald Trumps wedding....which by the way their pictures were to die for! Jennifer and Charles Maring are a powerhouse couple who has the photography industry down to a tee! I am so loving this conference and can't wait to spend another full day with the Marings!