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80′s Glam Rock Party w/ Photobooth Santa Barbara at Q’s
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This past weekend, our Photo Booth was hired for an amazing private 80′s Glam Rock Party at Q’s

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in downtown Santa Barbara. The party was thrown by the Queen of Theme parties, Vern Rodriguez. I’ve heard stories about her Prom Night Themed parties and the infamous Pirate Party that was on a boat out of the Santa Barbara Harbor!

This party was pretty amazing, with Hair stylists from 19 Blue for anyone wanting to give their bangs an extra shot of hairspray or if they wanted their hair as big as humanly possible. There were also face/body artists from Makeup by Tilley

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and Paiges Magical Facepainting
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for anyone wanting to finish off their KISS motif!

Q’s had full on 80′s jammin the whole time and the Photo Booth

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was pumping out hilarious pictures all night long. Everyone had so much fun!

Here are some pics from the night. You can also see more pics from the booth on the Photo Booth Santa Barbara Blog

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.

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Santa Barbara Portrait Photography for Holly Newman
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Holly was such a pleasure to work with and what a great wardrobe too! We could have shot for days! Holly wanted to update her portfolio and I had the honor of being her photographer! We ran around Santa Barbara, went to the harbor and wound up at the beach.

Here are some of my favs.

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Mission Wealth Management, LLC presents Carter Larsen – A Fundraiser for the Tea Fire Non-Profits
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I have the honor of covering a Fundraiser for the Tea Fire Non-Profits this weekend. Mission Wealth Management, LLC

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presents Carter Larsen
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at the Music Academy of the West
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in Montecito. The event will be Sunday, December 14, 2008, 3:00-5:00pm.

From the program:

We wish to thank the Santa Barbara Humane society

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and the American Red Cross Santa Barbara County Chapter
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(among many others) and the entire community of Santa barbara for all the support provided during and after the Tea Fire. It is great to see everyone come together in a time of need!

We would also like to thank, Carter Larsen for his generous support, the music Academy of the West for sharing their Hahn Hall as a perfect venue, Barlett, Pringle & Wolf, LLP

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., Charles Schwab
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and the Bank of Santa Barbara
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for supporting tonight’s event, Consilience wines
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and Season’s Catering
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, Ricky Mia Photography
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, the local media for spreading the word and for all of our valued clients who we appreciate ery much!

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

This is going to be a beautiful event for a wonderful cause. I had the opportunity to meet Carter Larsen and was able to shoot some images while he rehearsed.

Here are some favorites.

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Erin and Cameron – Engagement Session in Santa Barbara
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I had so much fun with Erin and Cameron the other weekend shooting their engagement session here in Santa Barbara. They’re such a great couple and they brought their dog along on the session! As usual, it was a beautiful day with an awesome sunset. They’re getting married next June at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion

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on the beach. It’s going to be a beautiful wedding!

Here are some favs from the session.

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Jayson and Michelle’s wedding at The Fossil Creek Ranch – Ada, Oklahoma
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Jayson and Michelle’s wedding was the second wedding I assisted David

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with while I was in Oklahoma. This was a really fun wedding with lots of laughing, crying, more laughing and… oh yeah, more laughing! The wedding ceremony was in the town of Ada, Oklahoma. Michelle was beautiful and Jayson was a stud. She didn’t know about it but Jayson planned a song to sing to her during the ceremony and he did an awesome job! Right after the ceremony, the whole wedding party jumped into a party trolley and headed to the reception, which was held at The Fossil Creek Ranch
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.

The Fossil Creek Ranch is a really cool converted barn. There was a tent for the reception of over 200 people and the place was beautiful. One fun fact from the wedding was that Blake Shelton

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was one of the groomsmen and he was also accompanied by Miranda Lambert
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. He gave one of the funniest speeches I’ve ever heard at a wedding and the whole place was cracking up! It was called… “Thanks a lot Michelle… by Blake Shelton”, it still makes me laugh, just to think about it!

Anyway, here are some of my favs.

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John and Paola’s wedding in New York at the Monteverde at Oldstone Manor
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So what can I say… John is now a married man and he married someone so amazingly wonderful, Paola. John and I go wayyyy back, before we were born. Our parents were friends first and then we grew up together. He is one of my very best friends and I’m so happy for both of them. This is an awesome thing for him but not so good for me… you know what kind of razzing I’m going to get (have been getting) now that he’s married!?!? I might be the last man standing in our group of friends… ouch!

Anyway, they had a beautiful wedding in upstate New York at the Monteverde at Oldstone Manor

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. It was a beautiful day and everything was perfect. Paola was an angel and John actually looked like a stud! I know I’m at weddings all the time and each and every one is amazing, but to be at a wedding where you know just about everyone there is another story. I saw friends and family that I haven’t seen in a long long time. We screwed around before, during and after the ceremony and then we started drinking! haha

My whole family, minus two who couldn’t make it, flew/drove out to the wedding and my cousin Carlo

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(NJ Wedding Photographer), my two brothers and I shot the wedding as “guests”. There were Filipino traditions intertwined in the ceremony and John asked me to be one of the cord sponsors
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so I had to put my camera down, but not for long. I really tried to stay out of the way of the hired photographers but if I didn’t and you’re reading this blog, sorry.

There are a bunch, but here are some of my favs!

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Fawni in the recording studio
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Stefanie and Gil were in Los Angeles recording this past week and we’ve been trying to get together before they go back to Vienna, Austria. I covered Stefanie and Gil’s wedding

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in Capri Italy back in May and that was the last time we all saw each other. They’ve been so busy but we had to make it happen somehow so when Stefanie said come to the studio, Melissa
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and I had to go. They are so awesome and it was so great to see them! I can’t say enough good things about Stefanie and Gil.

I’ve never been to a recording studio and I was in heaven with the wall to wall electronics! The mixing board alone was so cool, I was like a kid in a candy store. Anyway, here are a couple pics of Stefanie from my iphone.

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Cookie night!
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So, over the weekend I had dinner at my brother’s house and afterwards we decided to have a cookie project! I love love love snicker doodle cookies so all in a team effort, we made cookies! We also got creative and made chocolate chip snicker doodles, sweet tart snicker doodles (yeah, I know…. can you say Jordan’s brainchild!), marshmallow snicker doodles, oatmeal raisin snicker doodles and a few that were a combination of whatever was on the butcher block!

I must say though, Sande’s oatmeal raisin snicker doodles were pretty freakin awesome! Here are some favs that also prove that my brother can now say he baked cookies!

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Delta’s Jewel Van Valin celebrates passengers through art!
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I just got off the phone with a wonderful friend of mine, Jewel Van Valin, a flight attendant at Delta Airlines

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. I had blogged about how wonderful she is
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and of the wonderful things she does on her flghts back in July of 2007 and was so happy to hear of her progress with her plane art! Jewel has partnered with Project S.N.A.P
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and she was written up in the LA Times. From the article, great things are in the future for her!

I’ve run into her at the Maui airport since my flight with her and without fail, she has a smile on her face. I went back in the archives and pulled up a few more pictures of Jewel, isn’t she great!

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Here is a copy of the article, borrowed from the LA Times

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website.

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By Bob Pool
July 22, 2008
It didn’t take long for Jewel Van Valin’s cross-country art project to take off.

Passengers flying in the difficult days after 9/11 were anxious and irritable because of tightened security and fewer flight amenities. The Delta Airlines flight attendant wanted to do something about it.

So Van Valin reached back to an earlier time – her kindergarten years – and pulled out the Crayolas.

“I just put the mats on their trays and threw a crayon down, and the passengers immediately got it,” she said.

For six years, travelers on Van Valin’s planes have sketched their way over the continent and the Pacific, creating thousands of fanciful, vividly colored crayon drawings on the backs of beverage cart covers.

Van Valin has kept them all. And now she’s looking for a place for her unusual collection to land.

“Many of these are very good. They should be on display. A broader audience should see them. Behind every one of these pictures is a story,” she said.

Toward the end of each flight, Van Valin and other crew members tape passengers’ drawings to the aircraft’s bulkhead so everyone on board can see them. She also maintains a revolving display of the pictures in Delta’s employee lounge at Los Angeles International Airport.

But she’s still trying to find a permanent home for the artwork at LAX.

A few weeks ago, Delta staffers staged a guerrilla gallery in the terminal’s corridors, posting passenger drawings on walls and support columns between Gates 56 and 59. They took down the unauthorized artwork at day’s end, however, so it would not be confiscated and destroyed by airport officials.

Travelers’ reaction to the impromptu show was enthusiastic. The sketches helped brighten the attitudes of passengers soured by “the hassles of going through security,” said Ken Gomez, a flight attendant manager for the airline.

For Van Valin, the drawing project was an antidote to the fears and hassles of post-9/11 air travel.

“In the past, people would laugh and enjoy flying, but 9/11 changed a tremendous amount of things,” said the 54-year-old, a veteran of three decades of flying. “It’s not as fun now as it used to be.”

The idea for the artwork came to Van Valin as she distributed paper place mats to passengers when cutbacks had ended Delta’s use of linen tray cloths.

“The first gentleman I put down a paper mat for stared at it and then rolled his eyes,” she said. “The look on his face told me: ‘This needs a crayon.’ So the next week I came back with crayons. The passengers laughed and started drawing right away.”

As the sketches were completed, Van Valin posted them to the aircraft’s interior walls. When she ran out of tape, she used Band-Aids. Soon, as the plane sped along at 35,000 feet, passengers were moving about the cabin, checking out the pictures and commenting on subject matter and artistic style.

“They were interacting, talking to one another,” explaining what their drawings depicted, Van Valin said. “Crayons are nonthreatening. The pictures tell a lot about a person.”

Some passengers sign their pictures. Others write their phone numbers on the back when they learn that Van Valin keeps each sketch and displays many of them at the employee lounge. She even remembers which flight some were aboard and what seat they were in. She said passengers draw whatever strikes their fancy.

“This woman is an actual artist, Barbara Psimis of Florida,” she said, pointing to a delicately drawn koi on view at the Delta lounge.

“Tamara Weston, in her early teens, drew a boarding pass and a Delta plane. This psychedelic sunset was done by Jacquetta White; she was about 15,” Van Valin said.

A 78-year-old, Hansel Stripling, depicted God looking down from heaven on a Delta jetliner, Van Valin said. An elderly Chinese woman, Hong Pu, sketched a scene from her hometown village. Alice Choy, a fashion-design school graduate, drew a self-portrait depicting her in cap and gown, surrounded by flowers. A boy of about 13, Joe Conigliaro, was returning home from Disneyland, so he drew stick-figure depictions of Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters.

Passengers never forget Van Valin’s flight – or their artwork.

“Mine was a little doodle of Honolulu with lots of colorful buildings and the ocean around it,” recalled Julie Smith, a middle school math and science teacher who lives in Rancho Palos Verdes. “It was a flight to Maui. I set my book down and started doodling and pretty soon it was time to land.”

Smith, who is in her 40s, agreed that air travel is less enjoyable than it used to be. On her return flight from Hawaii, takeoff was delayed when someone found a suspicious backpack aboard the aircraft. “We went back to the gate, and they pretty much tore the plane’s bathrooms apart looking,” she said.

Leland Horn, an aerospace engineering manager from Colorado Springs, vividly remembers his flight with Van Valin several years ago. His drawing depicted a lighthouse and a bicycle, among other things.

“I’ve traveled all over the world and never had an experience quite like that one,” said Horn, 51. “When she handed us the crayons, we were kind of all looking at each other. She sort of in a teasing manner goaded us into participating. It only took 10 minutes before we were all drawing and we were busy until the descent into Salt Lake City. The time went by so fast it seemed we had just taken off from L.A. It was a good experience.”

All four members of Dan Lawrence’s family sketched their way over the Pacific on a Hawaii trip in April.

“It helped take your mind off the flight,” said Lawrence, a 44-year-old San Dimas graphic artist who drew a dragon for Van Valin.

Delta Airlines President Ed Bastian said he has seen some of the artworks and was impressed by the thought that went into them. “They were sharing times of joy and times of sadness,” he said.

Bastian said he “very much” supports the idea of the drawings being publicly displayed at LAX.

And that may be possible, according to officials of Los Angeles World Airports, the city department that operates LAX. Several past dust-ups over public art in the terminals forced the city to take a cautious approach to LAX displays, said airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles.

Airport officials said they are willing to work with Van Valin to create a gallery, but that there can be no more impromptu displays of what she calls “Just Plane Art.”

Taping pictures to the walls at LAX won’t fly.

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The Mia family vacation to Sedona, AZ!
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I just got back from our family vacation about a week ago. It was so awesome having everyone together in one place. My brother from Maryland came out with his family, the Santa Barbara Mia’s and my folks in Henderson all got together in Sedona, AZ. This was the first time for everyone to be in Sedona and we had a blast!

Five cameras (shocking huh?) and thousands of pictures later, I finally put something together for my blog! I’m going to try to briefly narrate our whole trip according to the pictures…… ready?

…awesome mountains, mountains, mountains everywhere, Javelina piglets dressed in funny clothes everywhere, Mom dressed the same way as the Javelinas hahaha, Ro being Ro, Ro and Rey being…. something, cool Indian ruins everywhere, Ben and Jordan being tourists, more awesome Indian ruins with a full family portrait in front of them taken on our Pink Jeep Tour… yes I said Pink Jeep, ruins framing Rey, Mom and Hip Hop Dad, Sande and Jordan at the Grand Canyon, Marcia and Ben at the Grand Canyon, Rachel capturing a “vision” at the Grand Canyon, “Indiana Ro” at The Grand Canyon!, way cool tree, Mom and Sarah toasting on our Train ride, Dad smooching Sande on the cheek, Ro and his narcolepsy with Jordan abusing dad, awesome ride on the train, group picture hanging off the train, Bald Eagle sighting as we whiz by on the train, cool skies under a bridge from the train, Happy Birthday Sande!, Golf-Golf-Golf, Dad after a 30ft put!?!, Ro’s awesome photography skills and finally brotherly love!

So there’s our trip in a nutshell!

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One last Sarah Happy Dance for the fun of it!

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Good food, good wine, good friends… good times!
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It’s always so much fun when we get together with Greg and Beth. Greg and my brother Rolando used to work together and have known each other through the years my brother and his family were in Europe. They all lived in Europe and now they’re all back here in Santa Barbara. Actually, Greg and Beth are only here part of the time which is a bummer, but we’ll take any time with them we can get. Aren’t Ro and Greg cute together! hahaha!

Like I said, good food, lots of wine, good people… great times!

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Matina’s Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara, CA
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I had a ton of fun shooting Matina’s Ponderosa High School

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Senior Portaits for her yesterday! She’s on vacation in Santa Barbara and wanted that Southern California feel to her shots so we ran around Santa Barbara and wound up at the beach.

Only in California do you run into a regular banjo and fiddle get together and a hoola hoop get together in the same day at the same park. Every Wednesday at 5pm, a group of people get together and have a kinda blue-grass jam session. People would show up walking or on a bicycle with their instruments, meet up with good friends and then just start jammin… way cool. On the other side of the park, every Wednesday at 5pm, people would show up and have a little picnic, pull out their hoops or spin balls and would just go to town! Again, way cool.

Matina did a little bit of everything yesterday, sat with the fiddlers, hula’d with the hula hoopers, played in the playground on the swings, ran in the surf, played with dogs on the beach, skateboarded, ate pizza and ice cream and was also a rockin model!

Here are some of my favs.

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Adriana & Michael’s wedding at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum
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What a great weekend, busy and fun! Friday started Adriana and Michael’s wedding weekend with a rehearsal at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum

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and a rehearsal dinner at El Paseo restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. Family, friends, great food and pitchers of Margaritas… what else do you need?

Karen and Craig

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drove up Friday night for the wedding and a great friends daughter also came along to shoot this wedding. Andriana loves photography and is really getting into it so I asked her if she wanted to come along and see what wedding photography’s all about, first hand. I was super happy she came along, she’s a doll and it was a pleasure having her there. I was also happy she was there because this wedding was a good size, 350+ guests and a wedding party of 20, awesome!

Everything was beautiful and everything went as planned, talk about awesome planning! Adriana was especially beautiful in her dress… the bead work was incredibly detailed. Her dad walked in and saw her for the first time in her dress and just stared. I did the same when I saw her too! The ceremony was held in the lower area of the museum, right in front of a vine covered trellis. All the bridesmaids started crying when Adriana started walking down the aisle. Michael also lost it the first time he saw her.

The dinner was served in the upper courtyard by Pure Joy Catering

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. The toasts and speeches started before dinner and I must say that the best man’s speech was one of the funniest speeches I’ve heard in a long long time! The food was amazing and everyone partied hard right to the end.

Michael surprised Adriana with a horse and carriage ride that took them from the museum to their suite at the Canary Hotel downtown. Here are some favs from the day.

The girls started their day out at Mishay Salon

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on De La Vina, catching up on celebrity gossip, getting their hair and make up done… the usual. Everyone was so nice and calm and they were having a blast.

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The guys on the other hand were having a blast in a different way. Jammin music, dancing and an open bar. On a side note, there was this incredible sand rail at the house that I couldn’t stop drooling over. This thing was amazing, polished aluminum everything, full electronics and an aluminum block Corvette engine that puts out around 500 horse…… ok sorry, back to the wedding!

We all had a blast at the wedding and it truly was an honor to be a part of such a special day for Adriana, Michael and both families… thank you so much!

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Dinner with the Katsiouleris family
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The Santa Barbara Mias had dinner with the Katsiouleris family tonight. We had the most incredible Greek feast and I’m still feeling 5 months pregnant and it’s been 6 hours since I had dinner! We always have so much fun with them and tonight was no different… as my sister in law puts it, “The circus is on fire!”.

Other than the great company and the amazing feast that Vivi put together, we had Greek coffee and I had my cup read

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to me! Bob is an old soul and in his infinite wisdom, read my future to me from the markings in my cup. Crazy stuff but I have to say it was super interesting!

Here are some favs from the night of us having some fun! Aren’t Ro and Bob so cute together!!

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Here’s a picture of Bob reading my cup!

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Here’s my cup! If anyone knows how to read cups, please take a look at this and if you can, I’d love to hear what you have to say!

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Santa Barbara Portrait Session
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I shot a portrait session over the weekend at Alice Keck Park

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for 3 girls that have been friends forever. Two of them are sisters and were visiting from San Francisco so they just wanted some portraits done. They found me that day and luckily I wasn’t shooting a wedding so off we went to the park.

Here are some of my favs.

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Sarah and Jordan’s Camp Kono play at Peabody Charter School
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Today, Sarah and Jordan, my precious niece and nephew had their Camp Kono

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play at the Peabody Charter School
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here in Santa Barbara. There were kids everywhere! They were all in their groups with orange camp shirts and caps. Each group did an awesome dance routine, too cute.

It was cool to see all of these parents in the audience waving to their kids, taking pictures and video taping. Check out the picture of that one crazy looking dad!!

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Santa Barbara Engagement Session with Adriana and Michael
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Last Friday, I had so much fun running around with Adriana and Michael shooting their engagement session! They’re getting married next month at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum

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. Awesome couple, beautiful venue, over 300 guests… I can’t wait!

Adriana is a true Santa Barbara local. I think she should run for mayor because everywhere we went, she knew someone! We started at their favorite restaurant, The Chase

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, where the waiter was such a ham. We also walked around Alice Keck Park where right across the street they were having a Summer Solistice
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event, too much fun.

Here are some favs.

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This image is Michael’s favorite image! He loved his old senior portrait so much that he wanted another made. Can you tell we were having fun?

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Stefanie and Gil’s wedding week continues…
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One thing so incredible about this wedding is that it wasn’t just the wedding that everyone came for. This was more like a family reunion that lasted for a week! Every day had activities planned and everyone had so much fun. One activity planned was Casino night. This was a casino night where everyone was dressed to the 9′s in their best tuxes and dresses. The first round was a roulette game that brought out the gambler in everyone. The second round was a poker playoff that turned into serious rivalry with serious “all in” bets being called every other round! Cigars, Prosecco, serious competition and tons of fun!

The winners from each game even had Stefanie and Gil’s wedding 2008 trophies given to them! Everyone looked amazing especially Stefanie in her Roberto Cavalli

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dress.

Here are some super fun pics!

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Stefanie and Gil’s Capri Italy Wedding part 2
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After the amazing civil Piazza wedding in Capri Town, everyone filtered their way back to the JK Capri for the Jewish Ceremony. This was a beautiful and touching private ceremony held by the pool.

Here are some favs.

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You never know who’s watching!
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I totally forgot about this picture but when I was shooting Mike Fine yesterday, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that this adorable little girl was fascinated by us and was watching from the other side of this huge water fountain. She’s so cute and I just had to post this picture of her. She had such a curious face but the second I turned my camera at her she gave me this face! It’s like she thought… “Doh! I’m busted!”

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Fireman/Model/Actor – Meet Mike Fine
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I was introduced to the greatest guy by my good friend Melissa

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. He’s a fireman but he’s done some modeling/acting in the past and he wanted to update his portfolio so Melissa sent him my way. We had a great afternoon shooting at the Santa Barbara Mission.

Raquel from Walter Claudio

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was with us taking care of hair and makeup, especially since the wind was really starting to pick up towards the end of the day. It was an absolute pleasure working with these two and Mike has completely inspired me to start working out again! haha!

Here are some of my favs.

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Portraits for Barb Jennings
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I had the honor of shooting a portrait session for Barb Jennings at her home here in Santa Barbara. Her property is so beautiful so we had fun running around shooting on the grounds.

Here are some of my favs.

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Santa Barbara Jeweler for Wedding Pearls
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Here’s a great resource for all of those brides to be out there or for anyone that loves jewelry! I’ve done some product photography for Ron Ziegler, a jeweler here in Santa Barbara. He specializes in pearls but also offers other jewelry along with custom jewelry.

His pricing is great because he doesn’t have huge overhead. He’s really nice and offers super personalized service. He mentioned to me that pricing can fall anywhere from $50 to $50,000. Here are a few of the pearl strands that I shot for his site. There are some really unique colors offered and I actually had a meeting with a bride and when she saw the copper colored pearls, she fell in love with them for her bridesmaids because they matched the accents on their dresses.

His site is currently under construction but you can contact Ron at 805-455-5526.

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Heather and Andy’s Engagement Session in Santa Ynez
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I had the honor of shooting Heather and Andy’s engagement session this past weekend at a few wineries in Santa Ynez. They’re getting married at a winery next summer so Santa Ynez was a perfect place for the shoot! Karen and Craig with KDC Photography

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, Heather, Andy and I all went up to Santa Ynez yesterday and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Too bad the grapes were super young but wineries are always beautiful places to visit.

I’m so happy for these guys and they’re such an incredible couple. Here are a few favs and their slide show. To view this slide show outside of the blog, go here

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