I’ve had a problem with my back for some time – and only recently, I finally admitted that something was wrong and sought help from a chiropractor. It wasn’t a huge surprise to find out that I am in fact crooked! In all seriousness, to be the best artist I can be, I have to take better care of myself. My achievement of the week? Taking better care of me!
In the mean time, news from my studio:
I first “met” Photocomment editor and photographer, Tristan Hall, on Frederick Van Johnson‘s This Week in Photography podcast. This month, I am so honored to be featured in Photocomment magazine’s Pro Portfolio where I discuss with Tristan my life as a pro photographer. Read the interview to gain my insights into how to survive in our extremely competitive business.
An App On The Way
Shhh! In our hood of tech startups, people are hush hush about the next big thing they are working on. My busy elves at Catherine Hall Studios have been working on a new mobile app that will soon be available in the App Store. What is it? It is a photographer’s tool and we hope it will help you stay above the noise. Can you guess what it is? Tune in to find out more.
Canon Creative Asia Awards – 2 Wins!
The Canon Creative Asia Photography Awards | Photography Competition announced that two of my images are among their Top 25 in the Portrait – Individual Category. One of the images is from my Burning Man series, and the other from my Tasmania series. Whoopee! Check out the other finalists – it is quite an honor to be part of such an extraordinary group of images!
Recommended: Adobe Photoshop
Lightroom 3: Learn By Video
Digital Lightroom users will benefit tremendously from Mikkel Aaland and Tim Grey’s complete Lightroom 3 training program. It combines more than 10 hours of video instruction to teach you the basics of LR3, and image processing and management. With Mikkel and Tim’s expert tips and instruction, you’ll be a Lightroom expert yourself in no time.
I recently lost someone very close to me to cancer and this loss has been a lot more trying and complex than I could have ever imagined. Having to work through the grief and pain of loss has been quite trying. My achievement of the week? Starting to find relief and peace (I know its a long road) – and remembering the beauty in life and good times.
In the mean time, news from my studio:
Can You Spot Me On the Cover?
When I was asked to be a part of a photo shoot at WPPI in March, I didn’t know I would be on Rangefinder‘s cover! Michael Greenberg arranged the shoot for the Graphistudio‘s Day In The Life of WPPI 2011 book. Most of the other photographers were informed of the shoot – I did not hear of it until the night before. I was told to do something creative. Due to the late notice, I didn’t have any props and I decided to make a dress out of magazines that I have been published in. Very last minute, but a lot of fun!
Awesome Week in the Big Apple
It’s always fun to be in New York City and I wasted no time to catch up with clients, editors and friends, such as Adorama’s social media darling, Joel Meisels. Being based in the West Coast, I usually only talk to my East Coast friends online or on the phone. It was great getting facetime with people. I can’t wait to go back!
TWiP #192: On Lady Gaga & Copyright
In this episode of TWiP, Frederick Van Johnson, the “Godfather” Rick Sammon, Tyler Ginter and I discuss how Lady Gaga demands the rights to her concert photographs and copyright issues, the tragedy in Japan, and autofocus. Listen to our engaging banter and watch out for my tip on lighting and gear picks of the week: Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2.0 & HDR Efex Pro
Recommended: Nancy Liu Chin Designs
Nancy Liu Chin is one of the forefront leaders in the wedding floral design industry. Her designs are a blend of modern chic, contemporary elegance and whimsical details. Her creations embody a flirty, yet refined charm—bursting with luxurious colors and breathtaking beauty. In a nutshell, she is brilliant. I highly recommend her premier floral and event design studio in San Francisco to any bride-to-be. I recommend other partners and friends in my For Photographers and For Brides sections. Would you like to be included in our Recommended section? Please email your request to email@example.com.
This might seem a little off-topic, but did you know there are 39 trillion gallons of water in Lake Tahoe? That’s enough water to soak the entire state of California to a depth of 14.5 inches. I found out about this fun little fact through Tahoe Unveiled, a wonderful online resource for brides and grooms who want to have a dreamy wedding around the beautiful Lake Tahoe. I’m so fortunate to be one of few vendors for the blog and regularly provide unique tips to brides. Here, I give a few pointers on what you can do to ensure great wedding photographs. Thanks to the sweet Stephanie Anderson for calling me “Photographer Extraordinaire”!
It has been some time since my trip to Appalachia, but I have always appreciated how it showed me an unseen glimpse of American life. An interview with Paul Hagey of Streetwater, an exploratory crew of photojournalists who travel to exotic locations to capture amazing images, helped me revisit Appalachia and reflect on my interaction with a particular warm family. This pair of father and daughter taught me to never judge a book by its cover. Looking at the photograph again after some time, I can’t help but feel a little pride as an artist and a photographer. Because I tried to do them justice through my lens – and the entire experience taught me a little bit more about the world, the U.S. and more importantly, myself.
Read the full interview at Streetwater. The full text is also included below.
Streetwater interview with me on Jan. 28, 2011 What were the circumstances of that photograph?
I had done a lot of traveling and I felt like I had examined a myriad of countries and cultures, but I hadn’t really explored the U.S. What intrigued me about Appalachia is it feels so different, but at the same time, it’s in our country. I wanted to document an unseen glimpse of American life, and specifically, the struggle and hardship of the Appalachians. I was fortunate enough to receive a Julia Dean scholarship, which gave me the opportunity to explore this part of the United States through photography.
How’d you meet the father and daughter?When I got to Appalachia, I rented a beat-up Subaru and started exploring without much of a plan. The house was so eclectic and unique that I told myself, ‘I have to go in there and meet these people.’ So I got out of my car, walked up to the front porch and knocked on the door. I’m so grateful that the father and his daughter trusted me enough to let me into the house and photograph them. When I was leaving, the daughter told me, “I want you to have my stuffed animal.” It wasn’t like she had a lot, so I was really thankful for the gesture. The house itself was a physical display of their hardship.
Any cool aspects of the scene or experience?What really interested me about Appalachia were the opportunities for capturing the fullness of each character. There has been intense media obsession over Appalachia and the people here were not always portrayed in a positive light. So it was particularly challenging to get them to warm up and trust me to do them justice. Naturally, as they have been depicted as outcasts or as different from mainstream America, they were a little skeptical. However, we got to talking and I found that they were just genuine, normal folks who are trying to get by with everyday life — struggles, problems, happiness, boredom — just like the rest of us. And they were so nice and warm to me when they saw I was genuinely interested! As an artist, I learned how important intention was because you can’t really get anything authentic if your subject doesn’t trust you. You have to be culturally sensitive and try to break down those trust barriers.
Anything else you care to add…Don’t judge a book by its cover! Most of the shots I’ve loved and treasured have started with an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, like before I walked up to the door of the Appalachian house. It was uncomfortable. When you are in the vicinity of the house, you can be totally overwhelmed by the crowdedness of the place. There were farm animals everywhere, dogs, ‘Beware’ ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs, and plus, the imposing natural surroundings — all of a sudden, you are smothered under a heap of things. Yet, when I sat down and talked to these people, I started to relax as they were so kind and warm even though I’m an outsider; the daughter even gave me her only stuffed toy. Keep pushing your limits and get out of your comfort zone. It definitely broadened my point of view and as an artist, that’s how I improve and keep learning about the world.
Oh. My. God.
I don’t usually blush like a teenage girl. However, when you’ve been selected by a prestigious international brand to be in a short film alongside icons such as David Lynch, I think you are allowed to feel a little light-headed.
As part of its soon-to-be-released Exhibition Canvas Satin, Epson asked me to talk about my wedding photography and my relationship with its high-quality, premium canvas. The only wedding photographer worldwide to be featured, I was so honored at the recognition of my art and of Catherine Hall Studios.
And yes, I’m beyond thrilled at being showcased with famous artists and photographers, such as Lynch – epic director of Mulholland Drive and The Elephant Man – Greg Gorman, Art Wolfe and Vincent Versace. This is a great milestone for me as a photographer as well as for my San Francisco studio. I am lost for words.
Epson invited us to share our personal experiences with its signature-worthy papers, and everyone had nothing but wonderful praises for the brand that has consistently been a leader in the digital printing world.
Lynch: “The feel of this paper is incredible and the image that pops off is kind of a dream.”
Wolfe: “The overall quality and surface makes many of my prints feel more like paintings.”
In the film, I talked specifically about the Exhibition Canvas Satin, which is built on a polyester and cotton blend that is specially coated to produce vibrant colors as well as rich, deep blacks and tonal gradations. Easily stretched and coated to help achieve the best combination of image quality and archival display life, the heavy 21-mm canvases helped me produce finishing prints that captured the nuances of colors and gradations. This is so important for rendering the full character of my subject.
Epson will release the film very soon! I’m curious to see what you think about me all dolled up ;) Thanks, Dano Steinhardt of Epson for arranging this, and videographer Marc Vanocur and my hair/make-up stylist Armando Sarabia for making me look so good!
You might like to read a related post here.