September 20, 2008 Kenya , Travel

Our fist day in Kenya was incredible. We spent the day in the slums outside of Nairobi. We visited WEEP Centers which take women with AIDS who are on their death beds and get them anti-viral meds and food and once they're well enough they teach them to sew. They learn to make mosquito nets, school uniforms and a few other things. They sell those items and they're then able to buy food for their children, put them in school, pay their rent... basically live.

Many of the women have even saved enough money to buy other "homes" and have become landlords. These centers take people who have been ostracized and turn them into leaders in their community. Its amazing to see the joy on these womens' faces when they tell the story of how they came from nothing to where they are now.

Kenya is one of the most amazing places I've ever been... and the people are what make it. This first man I could have spent the whole day photographing.





















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[September 20, 2008] carrie@urbanbaby said:
just saw your tweet....these are incredible images, michael. what an amazing experience.
[September 20, 2008] Kelli said:
Oh wow, I LOVE these. It kinda makes me miss Africa. You've done an amazing job with these people.
[September 20, 2008] Eric Farewell said:
Amazing stuff brother... I'm truly looking forward to seeing more from your time there.
[September 20, 2008] Carl. said:
These are amazing!!! You're are doing such wonderful job on documenting the lives of these Kenyans.
[September 20, 2008] jeret said:
How cool is that.. awesome shots bro!!! you will have to tell me all about it when you get back.
[September 21, 2008] serena said:
wow....these are incredible images, michael. thank you for sharing.
[September 21, 2008] Helen (Dogeared) said:
These are awesome photos, Michael! It looks like you're having an amazing time, and I can't wait to see more photos - thanks for letting my travel vicariously ;-)
[September 21, 2008] Bonnie Berry said:
These are truly amazing. What wonderful work you are doing.
[September 21, 2008] Brian Khang said:
Dude totally awesome photos. Is someone getting a haircut in the background of one of the photos?
[September 21, 2008] Julie said:
these are simply beautiful. what a great experience and look at world outside the cozy us of a. keep these coming!
[September 21, 2008] Tiffany Aicklen said:
Wow . . . I'm in love. These are stunning. Can't wait to see more. I'm glad your there, can't wait to here all about it.
[November 10, 2008] Tim Halberg said:
dude... these images are AMAZING!!!! seriously, the faces, the detail everything!
[November 24, 2016] David said:
Hey there, You have done a great job. I'll definitely digg it and personally recommend to
September 15, 2008 Travel

Wrote a whole lot and it got erased when I uploaded the pictures. I don't have the energy to rewrite everything. Here are some images from my 1 day layover in London. I love it here. I wish I had more time.















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[September 15, 2008] carrie@urbanbaby said:
stunning images. those wide shots are incredible. and i LOVE how the curtain is pulled back slightly in those few that.
[September 15, 2008] echo said:
WOW...beautiful images! I see you made good use of your day layover! :D
[September 16, 2008] Mark Brooke said:
Nicely done my friend! can't wait to hear about it when your get back! be safe in the Africa.
[September 16, 2008] Helen (Dogeared) said:
Yay, you got to see Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace! And you got some awesome shots of them too - now I have something to aim for, when I move there in October :D Hope you enjoyed the day, and you should totally come back for a visit again :D
[September 16, 2008] Julie said:
That's so crazy awesome!! I'm so jealous! Julie
[September 17, 2008] sandie said:
I feel you on the blog that you type out all meaningful and quirky and then it is gets lost! Nice, all that energy. Well, my friend, these images don't need a big ol' fancy novel to go along. YOu rock!
[September 17, 2008] jeret said:
Man how fun is that... I love London
[September 19, 2008] Amanda Auer said:
I'm feeling very English.... I LOVE these!
[December 2, 2008] Cynthia Q. said:
Just found you via Jessica Claire's blog-LOVE your eye!
[December 2, 2008] Cynthia Q. said:
Just found you via Jessica Claire's blog-LOVE your eye!
September 14, 2008 Kenya , Travel
I'm at LAX right now waiting to board my flight to London. I'll fly from there and have about a day to hang out and then I'll hop on another flight to Nairobi, Kenya. I'll be there for about 10 days before heading home. I'm told I'll have internet access so I hope to be blogging images from the day every night before bed. I don't really know what to expect but I'm really excited. 

Cyndie will be answering emails while I'm away and Josh is in the studio working on images so we shouldn't get behind but bear with us during this time if we do.

Come back soon to see what I'm up to, and if you have any ideas for what I can do while I'm in London, let me know!
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[September 15, 2008] echo said:
Have fun Michael! Can't wait to see the beauty of Africa through your lense! It was great seeing you this past weekend. :)
[September 15, 2008] brad said:
Michael I missed why you're in Kenya? What the purpose for your trip?
[September 15, 2008] Helen (Dogeared) said:
Whaaaaat? Africa? Oh man alive, you are so lucky! London - where to start? And what do you like? Personally, I often go back to Greenwich, wander around there (if you get the DLR to Island Gardens, you can walk the Greenwich Foot Tunnel under the river to Greenwich on the other side), then around to the Naval College and over to the park and up to the Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian Line (where the GMT line used to me, it's actually been moved a little). I don't know exactly what keeps drawing me back there, but the Saturday market is awesome - shame you'll miss it! Covent Garden is great for individual shops and street acts. Trafalgar Square is good for people watching. If you want some culture, then I'd recommend the Natural History Museum - it's got a HUGE entrance hall by the huge dinosaur skeleton (see my post here - - and this was taken on the 2nd or 3rd floor, so you get a sense of height). It's got a giant whale, dinosaurs and all sorts. And it's free! (can take photos, but no tripods allowed). The courtyard fountains in the open area behind Somerset House are nice to see, and down by the River Thames too (so you can walk along the Embankment). And of course, see the Changing of the Guard at Horseguards Parade (4pm daily, but get there a bit early if you want a good spot for photos), and then the Houses of Parliament at Westminster. I like Green Park and St James' Park too, for landscape/people photos. There must be something you'd like in that list, lol. Shame you're not doing this in a month's time, I'll be living there then! Enjoy your trip!
[November 17, 2016] William said:
Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!
September 11, 2008 Weddings

To say that Katia and David had an amazing wedding would be an understatement. From the incredible venue, Casa Del Mar, in Santa Monica, to the dream team of vendors including Carolyn Chen coordinating and Elysium Productions handling the videography, this wedding was a dream to shoot.

The day started out about as well as it could have. Its always nice to show up to Jimmy Choo's (the vintage collection) and a Reem Acra.
























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[September 11, 2008] josh mccullock said:
whew! incredible stuff dude!
[September 15, 2008] Brian Khang said:
Great stuff Michael, Helen loves purple and I have a feeling our reception will look something like that.
[March 8, 2011] Karen Chiang said:
The shot with the stained glass in the background is fantastic! Great that it corresponded with their wedding colors too!

Yari and Edgar were married last month in one the most insane Cathedrals I've ever seen, St. Vincent's, right next to USC. After the ceremony we went and shot around downtown and finished up at MOMA. They had an AMAZING wedding coordinated by the incomparable Karli Tanner of Simply Mumtaz Events.

Here are a few of my favorites from the day!

















This was my favorite part of the day... Edgar serenaded Yari with the help of the Mariachis.



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[August 25, 2008] *B* said:
Wow, the detail shots of the church is amazing!
[August 25, 2008] Veronica A Barajas said:
She's beautiful!! Great pictures at the church. We are the rest of the photos. I heard Kazandra was a knock out.
[August 25, 2008] said:
That's a FABULOUS shot of the serenade!
[August 26, 2008] chipgillespie said:
Amazing wedding man! Beautiful church! It looks like you guys had a good time. I like the reflecting pond pics. What is the sculpture in a few of the shots that looks like a Cessna exploded??
[August 26, 2008] michael said:
@Chip... Hahahahaha. Like I said we finished shooting at MOMA... The Museum of Modern Art. So apparently that was art, haha.
[August 27, 2008] Edgar said:
WOW!!! That's what I have to say. The pictures are awsome. You were great my man. You captured every important moment. Thank you so much! - Edgar
[August 27, 2008] jeret said:
wow... very nice... great job boss
[August 28, 2008] Bob P. said:
[August 29, 2008] Jeremy Gilliam said:
These photos just absolutely glow with awesomeness!

I shot Grace and Phil's engagement session down in Santa Monica and found one of my new favorite spots. Check out the little white house. I felt like I was back in South Carolina. So sweet. Here are a few of my faves.















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[August 21, 2008] Platinum Weddings by Kerrie said:
I just love that green dress! And they make such an adorable couple:)
[August 21, 2008] Amanda Auer said:
Kerrie read my mind. I know maybe YOU don't care... but that green dress is to DIE for. I will say this, though: it's because of the porch and house that accompany it!! I love them, Michael. They're fantastic!!
[August 22, 2008] Katherine said:
I think that green dress is from J. Crew. I think that this entire set of photos is just amazing- and I would have totally thought that the house was from somewhere down south! Not California. :)
[August 22, 2008] *B* said:
Wow, you are such an amazing photographer! I now have a new idol!
[August 25, 2008] Brian Khang said:
Do I count 3 outfit changes? I love the lighting at that white house, awesome!
I'm back. "Busy" just can't describe the way things have been over the past few months. I think about blogging everyday but haven't found the time to do it until now. Even now there are other things I should probably be doing but whatever.

Last week I had a client make a HUGE print order and every single one of the prints they wanted in sepia. I was a little disappointed at first because sepia's not really my favorite thing. Here and there its okay but not every single picture. I worked and worked on those images... trying to find a sepia that I liked. Well, I finally did, and now I love it.

I know this is a departure for me and I'm sure I'm going to get some slack for doing this but I just thought it was fun and had a great feel to it.

Anyway, here they are. Wei and Herman we're married way back in May... I know, I'm soooooo behind. The wedding was at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, one of my favorite places.wh01.jpg wh02.jpg wh03.jpg wh04.jpg wh05.jpg wh06.jpg wh07.jpg wh08.jpg wh09.jpg wh10.jpg wh11.jpg

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[August 19, 2008] Amanda Auer said:
You sure did it. They're amazing! Looking forward to the season slowing a bit for you, so that you can blog more eye candy!! :) BTW- Ritz = fave of mine, too.
[August 19, 2008] Bob P. said:
These are beautiful!
[August 19, 2008] Platinum Weddings by Kerrie said:
These are all so timeless and elegant!
[August 19, 2008] joyful weddings & events said:
Beautiful! I was going to say exactly what Kerrie said: timeless!
[August 20, 2008] Brian Khang said:
This is the first time I think someone blogged all sepia photos. Great job!
[August 20, 2008] jeret said:
Wow... These look awesome great job...
[August 22, 2008] Katherine said:
I don't usually like sepia, either, but these are absolutely lovely.
[August 23, 2008] Evelyn said:
Those are nice.
[September 16, 2008] Tina said:
Those pictures are beautiful.. the bridal gown is beautiful too.. I'm wondering where is the bridal grown made from?
[November 30, 2008] Rodolfo Arpia said:
Dude, your images look good in any tone ;-)

A few weeks ago I shot Cort and Ashley's beautiful wedding at the St. Regis. It was an amazing day with awesome vendors. It was designed and coordinated by one of my favorite people, Kerrie Underhill, of Platinum Weddings by Kerrie.

I picked a ton to share today. Here are a "few" of my favorites.





Meet Benjamin. Apparently if you get a gigantic suite at the St. Regis you also get Benjamin. Benjamin informed Ashley that he was there to do whatever she needed. Whether that was getting scotch tape, pouring champagne, pressing clothes... whatever you might need. I need a Benjamin.


Florals by: The Spiraled Stem



Can't complain about finding a sweet red row boat on the beach!







I love their reactions while making their way through the crowd in the grand entrance!


Here's where I got carried away... All the amazing paper details were designed by Jocey Bella Invites.










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[August 4, 2008] jason groupp said:
Rockin' shots Man!!
[August 4, 2008] Platinum Weddings by Kerrie said:
Even more fabulous than I ever could have imagined! Thank you again for adding your amazing humor, smile, and easygoing nature to the day. We were so lucky to have you there capturing all the moments:)
[August 4, 2008] Ashley Allyn said:
Michael - we are thrilled with these photos! We can't thank you enough for capturing the day so beautifully, including all the little details. The pictures of Benjamin are priceless, and we really appreciate you risking your life to get those cactus shots! We're so excited to see the rest, too. Love, Ashley and Cort
[August 4, 2008] Akil Bennett said:
killer detail shots dude!
[August 4, 2008] Gloria N said:
Michael, I want a Benjamin too!! Wanna go half and share one, hahaha! No, really you did an awesome job! You totally rocked Ashley & Cort's DAY!
[August 5, 2008] Eric said:
Great shots... Yeah I'm keeping an on things over here!
[August 5, 2008] jeret said:
Awesome job my friend.. love the details
[August 7, 2008] DavidLee said:
these are flipping amazing man! I love the last one and the ones of them on the boat!! Stellar job bro!!
[August 8, 2008] Erin Youngren said:
that cake = stinkin' adorable actually everything about this wedding = stinkin' adorable!
[August 8, 2008] Evelyn said:
Those are great!
[August 22, 2008] Bernice said:
Ashley and Cort are dear friends of mine and I'm so glad you were there to capture the special day so beautifully. I'm so glad that with all the weddings you do you still get carried away and enjoy your job. These photographs are more beautiful than I can tell you. :)
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This was a really special wedding for me. I've know Brooke most of her life. Our families have been the best of friends for what seems like forever and we've become this homogenized group affectionately known as "the fam". All that to say, Brooke's like a little sister to me.

Trever started dating Brooke about 5 years ago and from the day I met him I just knew he'd be a perfect addition to the family. We hit it off immediately and over the past several years he's become one of my closest friends. I was a groomsmen in the wedding so I didn't shoot the whole thing but they asked if I'd take them out for some portraits after the ceremony.

These two are almost impossible to take a bad picture of. I still have a ton of images to go through from this wedding but I wanted to put a few up for them to see on their honeymoon.

I love you guys!
hoehnes001.jpg hoehnes002.jpg hoehnes003.jpg hoehnes004.jpg hoehnes005.jpg hoehnes006.jpg

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[July 24, 2008] Linhbergh said:
I love this set, it's absolutely cute. :)
[July 24, 2008] Amanda Auer said:
You have out done yourself again. I love these.
[July 24, 2008] Brandi said:
These are so lovely.. And wow they are one good looking couple!
[July 25, 2008] Helen (Dogeared) said:
They are a ridiculously good looking couple, it's true! These are beautiful photos of the happy couple and I hope they had a wonderful day to start their married life. All the best to them, for a long, happy and prosperous future together.
[July 26, 2008] zack said:
i love these two. and the wedding was wonderful as well. great job on the photo mike.
[July 27, 2008] Jenny Lee said:
So beautiful!! These pictures really capture their personality and love.
[July 28, 2008] Brittany Watkins said:
These pictures are so beautiful! Great job Michael!
[July 29, 2008] sarah k chen said:
michael, these are all so beautiful! congratulations to your dear friends!
[July 29, 2008] Tiffany Aicklen said:
Aahhhh! So beautiful! Great photos:)
[July 30, 2008] Jen said:
Wonderful portraits, Michael. Just lovely!
[July 30, 2008] Aaron said:
Hey the new blog looks great, the only thing is you can't text the text in the first blog entry at the top of the page because of the wood background. Images look great!!
[July 31, 2008] neal said:
Beautiful light! Those images are soo much fun. Nice work!
[August 18, 2008] cassandra said:
i am in love with these few photos ~ are there more that we can see somewhere? the bride's dress and bouquet are absolutely perfect and exactly what i've been looking for! any resources you could provide would be SO appreciated...
[October 30, 2008] Asther said:
She's definitely a beauty!
[January 27, 2010] Katy said:
Absolutely stunning images Michael!

Jill and Harry came from the UK to have their wedding at Jill's mom's beautiful home in Fullerton. It was coordinated by one of my favorite people to work with, Courtney Toney! The location was sweet, the flowers and details were awesome and the couple was amazing. This wedding was a dream to shoot. Anyone else having a rad backyard wedding give me a call! I loved it!



















jh19.JPG These are two of my favorite images from the entire day. It was just getting dark, and it was just about time to put the flash on when I noticed them. I had my 50 1.2 on and I shot these at ISO 3200 at f1.8 at an 80th of a second. I could have gotten a much cleaner file shooting with a flash but it wouldn't have the same feel. I just love these.


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[July 15, 2008] Lara @ Southern Weddings said:
This wedding is my favorite all week! AMAZING. I love love love this wedding! Killer images!
[July 16, 2008] carlie said:
those detail shots kick some serious bootay!! and his kicks are amazing!!!
[July 16, 2008] Anonymous said:
Oh my incredible is that??? These may be some of your best ever! Mom :)
[July 16, 2008] joyful weddings & events said: Love them! It was such a fantastic wedding to be a part of and I am so happy that we have your incredible pics!
[July 16, 2008] Matt said:
I would have to agree with mama Norwood... Some of your best work for sure. Sweet colors to work with and you nailed the detail shots. LOVE the ring shots!
[July 16, 2008] Natalie Williams said:
I love the details, such a great color combo! Your images never cease to amaze me!
[July 16, 2008] Amanda Auer said:
Wow, Michael. These are truly stunning! What a fun wedding to be a part of!!
[July 16, 2008] Jasmine* said:
Seriously beautiful, my friend!! So darn clean, sharp, and pretty!! :)
[July 30, 2008] Jen said:
Mike, you did so well capturing their personalities. The colors look amaaazing! Looks like such a fun the shots in front of the store!
[October 30, 2008] Asther said:
Yummy yummy details!