'Tis the Season for Holiday Portraits

'Tis also the reason that led me to expand my photography hobby into what it is today.  This month, last year, I was asked by my brother-in-law, James, to photograph their family portrait for their annual holiday greeting card.  I was more than flattered to be asked and beyond thrilled when they loved the photos.  Little did I know, that would the beginning of my second career.  It still feels very odd to call myself a photographer.  Frankly, I'm bashful at the title.  But every session and every happy client brings me closer to owning it.   As much as I tease my family for milking my free labor, I owe it to James and Phuong for being the first to trust in me.  

For this year's session, I wanted to do something different so I talked my sister into coming into the City (San Francisco) for a more urban adventure shoot.  This sounds easy enough but when you have two young children, getting the family ready and driving 45 minutes anywhere is not an easy feat, not to mention the kids aren't so keen on getting their pictures taken.   I started the session off with a pit stop at Berkeley's Ici ice cream shop.   I figured I'd woo the kids before putting them through the ringer later.  I also had an ulterior motive to photograph the family behind Ici's beautiful window display.  I love Ici's ice cream as much as I do their adorable shop.  This has to be a rare, rather, only time I was at Ici and didn't feel the need to eat any ice cream at all.

We then headed into the City.  I drive up and down California street quite often, usually on the prowl for a parking spot, but I've always made a mental note of the beautiful architecture and lighting along the way, so I knew this had to be the destination for the shoot.  The intersection of ideas and reality was a challenging photoshoot.  Not having control over the environment - traffic, bystanders, wind, you name it - definitely put me on the spot.  As I've said multiple times, it is these experiences that that teach me the most.  By the end of the day, I was was sun-burned, wind-burned, and downright exhausted.  But I couldn't contain my excitement to see the day's work.  Here are some of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did conceptualizing and photographing them.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Till next time, Ngoc.