Wednesday, December 19, 2007

First International Photo Shoot

Today I did my first ever international photo shoot in Tokyo, Japan. Up until now, I have had very little experience with both fashion photography and working in a studio setting. Thanks to Stephanie (our model) and Mai (our makeup artist), I was able to practice both today.

Through Mai's help, we found a small studio in Tokyo - White Studio. This was very easy to get to - I only had to take 1 train with no transfers to get to the studio. Mai was very helpful - she even met me at the train station to make sure I didn't get lost. I am so glad I was able to find such a great makeup artist to work with in Japan.

I met Stephanie through Model Mayhem. She is a great model to work with. Great smile, very easy to work with, professional, and really tall!

As an added bonus, we were also able to have a hair stylist (Miho) come in to do Stepanie's hair so we could do 2 very different looks .

Our shoot took about 6 hours to do 2 different looks and overall, the results came out much better than I'd hoped. I consider myself very lucky to have found such talented people to work with in Japan, and I hope I will have the chance to work with them again in the future.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Grow Cube

Came across this Flash-based game tonight and before I knew it, I had lost several hours in it. Is it a game? A puzzle? Life simulation? Frighteningly addictive? You bet.

Apparently it's the latest in a series of games from this creator. Have to keep an eye on this one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cece and Clint's Wedding Video Online

About a year ago I purchased a Sony HDR-HC1 to use as a travel camcorder and also as a backup video camera whenever I shoot a wedding. I've never really put it through its paces until last weekend when I went to my cousin Cece's wedding last weekend. I wanted see how it would hold up shooting a wedding reception and a reception. I also wanted to experiment with compressing video for the web. You can see the results here or by clicking on the photo above:

Cece and Clint Wedding Highlights

Please note that this is heavily compressed for the web and the final widescreen DVD version will be much clearer.

I've also added a second page with some photos from the event. Please contact me if you would like full-size copies of these for printing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Photoshop Retouching Video

Found a really good video tutorial on Photoshop portrait retouching on YouTube:

I'm always on the lookout for video tutorials on photography, lighting, & Photoshop, so if anyone has any favorites that they've come across, let me know!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Congratulations Cece & Clint

My cousin Cece and her fiancee Clint got married at Keawalai Church yesterday, October 13th. Watching her walk down the aisle was truly a sight to behold, as well as seeing just about every other relative wielding a camera. I've never seen so many camcorders, camera phones and digital cameras in that church before. Simply amazing. ;-)

Congratulations Cece and Clint! Welcome to married life - you're gonna love it! :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

South Park Self Portrait

I haven't watched South Park in a long time, but at the college where I work, one of the instructors really admires the writing in episodes of South Park. He sometimes refers to particular episodes to illustrate ideas in class. This got me into watching the series again (can't believe they're on season 11 now).

I also came across a website that lets you create your own South Park characters. They just recently updated to version 2.1 and added a whole bunch of new clothing and props. You can kill a whole afternoon in your office by using it to create South Park versions of your co-workers. It's eerie how close you can get sometimes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Do it again, but better"

Poor Joanne. When were doing the ninja part of our action figure shoot a few months ago, I had her jumping up and down in front of a greenscreen over and over again in order to get the pose I was looking for. This shot is one of the results.

We were a little pressed for time, because she and her fiancee had an appointment to get to that evening. But she was a real trooper and kept going until we got some great action shots.
You can see more of our shoot at

In case you’re reading this Joanne, thank you again for being so patient with me during that shoot. I could not have done this shot without you.

Creating a photograph - a team effort

This is one of my favorite images of model Joanne. While it may appear to be very simple, it actually took a total of 5 people to create it. It's a great example of how having a great team can make a big difference in a photo shoot.

Last year, Joanne mentioned to me that she wanted to do a shot with her ao dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress. She referred me to the website of another photographer to show me the style she was interested in. She wanted to have the image to show movement, since the material of the ao dai is so light and airy.

One of the images on the site she referred me to was a shot of the model walking through a field of tall grass. When Joanne was here for a shoot last September, we thought of doing a shot in the sugar cane fields. We ran out of time to do the shoot that time, so we agreed to do it during our next shoot the following year.

I looked all over the island to find a suitable and easily accessible location to do the shoot. when the day of the shoot finally came, I was still not sure where the best location would be.

We setup a base location to do makeup and hair at the college where I work at. To do Joanne's makeup and hair, we hired 2 of the best: Jessica Waite was our makeup artist and Karli Benedict was our hairstylist.

While they were getting Joanne ready, my friend Jennifer of Unique Art Hawaii was scouting possible locations while driving to our location. When she got to our location, she mentioned she had found 2 possible sites.

We packed up everyone and all our gear into 2 cars and headed out to check out the sites. Location #2 that Jennifer found proved to be the perfect setting for the shoot. We setup a laptop to check our images, got out a reflector for Jennifer to bounce some fill light onto Joanne, and we started shooting..

We tried several different variations. In between takes, Karli and Jessica would touch up Joanne's makeup, brush hair out of her face, and offer suggestions on different poses and ideas.

The image above came after about 2 hours of shooting, and was one of the last shots we took. This is where everything came together - model's pose, flawless makeup, beautiful hair, soft lighting from the reflector, and the camera lens. And it showed great motion from the wind.

The entire experience reinforced to me the idea that a successful image comes not just from the photographer, but from the combined efforts of a great team.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Chase Jarvis Videos on iTunes

One of the photographers whose works I admire a lot is Chase Jarvis, a commercial photographer in Seattle, Washington.
I first learned about him through Strobist, and this video was what initially hooked me into his work:

What I like most about him is that he and his staff have produced several behind the scenes videos, which help photographers like myself learn more about the process of producing quality shots. To see more videos of this amazing photographer, go to the Apple iTunes store and do a search for Chase Jarvis - you can subscribe to his free video podcast there. Very inspirational work!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Model Shoot - Natalie

This image is from a test shoot I did with Natalie, a model I met through Model Mayhem. She is the first model that I have worked with who lives ON Maui. Up until I met her, the only models I’ve worked with flew in from the mainland.

Natalie is an amazing model to work with. She is punctual, imaginative, and very easy to get along with. She even brought her own set dressing from a local junkyard!

She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and has appeared in many TV series such as CSI & Heroes. You can also see her in the music video "Shores of California" by the Dresden Dolls:

See if you can spot her :-)

You can see more from our shoot together on her MM profile page and also here on my website.

We have a few more ideas that we're planning to work on together, and I'm really looking forward to working with her again.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Model Mayhem

I first heard about Model Mayhem from Candy (pictured above), one of the models I met at Rolando's workshop last year. At the time, I didn't know too much about it and didn't visit the site until just recently. Now I wish I knew about it before.

It's a great place to network with models, other photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists and wardrobe stylists. I've learned a lot from viewing the work of other photographers. Some of the work is mind-boggling, and inspires me to continually try to do better.

Through Model Mayhem, I've been able to meet a lot of new people, a few of which I've been lucky enough to work with.

I have a profile on their site, which you can view here.

A short introduction

Although I’ve done wedding photography for many years, my main focus was on creating wedding videos. You can see some of my wedding video work at

After attending a model photography workshop held by Rolando Gomez in Hana, Hawaii, I realized how much I really enjoyed the creative process of glamour/beauty photography.

Thanks mainly to the help of one of the models I met at the workshop, I have continued to learn and grow as a photographer by doing glamour/beauty photography. In the months since the workshop, I have learned so much more about lighting, posing, Photoshop, digital workflows etc. than I ever did before. Yet at the same time, I realize how much I still have to learn. What I learn in glamour/beauty photography also helps me be a better wedding photographer/videographer as well.

Please check out the galleries at to see the works I’ve helped to create. The images you see are the result of a team effort with very creative (and sometimes wacky) models, dedicated makeup artists, amazing hairstylists and resourceful assistants. I have had so much fun working with these people and have made many new friends along the way.

And awayyyyyyyyyyy we go (again)

A friend of mine recommended I switch over to using blogger to do my blog instead of struggling with iWeb. In time I'll be redoing my photography website, but for now, I'll be using blogger to do the blog section of it. Please be patient as I am still learning this.