So I’ve been websiting it up lately, and I now officially have TWO websites!  (Three if you include this one and like, 10 if you count all the other ones I’ve started and left behind…)  Anyway, my professional photography site is:

www.steph-lee.com

and my personal blog, which is a continuation of this one, but better organized and more focused is:

http://facesplacesohmy.wordpress.com

Hope to see you there!

Not sure yet if I’ll still be posting life-stuff here or not, but right now I’m working on my portrait project website at www.steph-lee.com. It’s basically a collection of posts about the amazing people in my life in portraits, explanations, and interviews.  Let me know what you think!

I don’t know why it’s so incredibly difficult for me to figure out how to edit my pictures well.  I’ve been playing around with being more daring with the sharpening, contrast, and tone curve lately, and I think it’s helping.  But again, I’m not really sure.  I honestly feel like I can’t tell when I make a picture better or worse.  Je suis frustree!  Anyway, I added a lot of contrast, sharpening, lighting, and warming up of Phila’s pics…can someone give me some feedback?  Does it look over edited now?  Is this a hopeless cause?  These pics were really hard to work with for some reason…

Camera: Canon t2i

Lens: Canon 24-70mmL

Postprocessing:  Lightroom 3

When I start posting in my blog a lot, it usually means one of two things:

A)  My life has finally calmed down and things are not as hectic, so I have time to post

or

B)  I have a paper or project I have to work on, and I really don’t want to do it, so I’m procrastinating.

Today’s reason is number B.

I DON’T WANT TO WRITE ANOTHER PAPER!!!!!

*sigh*

So, this is what is distracting me in my room right now:

Distraction #1:  THERE IS A WASP IN MY ROOM!!!!!!!!  :(

Distraction #2:  My roses look like they’ve been lynched!  (Or that they’ve hung themselves…)

Distraction #3:  My flowers bloomed!!!  Soooo cuuuuute….

Okay, now I’m going to find something else to distract me…

Introducing one of my bffs of all times, May Chang (aka Princess May May):

May is hands down an incredibly amazing person.  I have truly enjoyed getting to know this thoughtful, elegant, gorgeous lady over the past five years, and she has proven to be a loyal, consistent friend throughout all of this time.  She lives in Long Island, NY, so we sadly don’t get to see each other very often, but I’ve been lucky to meet her a couple of times in Chicago over the past year, and we talk on the phone almost every week.

May is a part-time orchestra director at an elementary school and a private piano instructor.  She’s also a personal assistant to a really rich Chinese lady, and does things like go to Cancun with her on trips or take famous Chinese basketball players shopping…it’s sort of hard to explain, so I’ll just leave it at that.  Anyway, during her spring break, May came down to visit Chicago, so that was what brought me up north last week.  We had a fabulous time, and although we only got barely a day together, it was a wonderful, wonderful day.

May got a hotel room at The W on Lakeshore (a super awesome, trendy hotel) and we spent part of our day playing w/ all of the amenities and taking pictures.  We especially enjoyed the view of the lake and the bathroom window shutters!


We also had fun w/ the bathrobes (yeah, yeah, we’re dorks…)

Oooh la la!  Sexy princess!
As you can see, we had quite the fun time.  We also went to Chinatown to see Xiaoxiao, went to a Bridegroom Holy Week service at a Greek Orthodox Cathedral, shopped at H&M, and ran around in the rain getting soaking wet and taking taxis all over the place.
After a long, adventurous day, I hopped aboard the megabus to go home, soaking socks and dripping hair, but with a happy heart.
I <3 u, Princess May May!
Camera: Canon t2i
Lens: 24-70mmL
Post-processing:  Lightroom 3

I’ve been enjoying a very nice day of procrastinating a huge paper I have to write as soon as I get my butt to the library.   My boyfriend made me steak and eggs for breakfast, I made a delicious egg scrambler w/ avacado for lunch, and my geranium is going to bloom some flowers!  Plus, the sun came out after a crazy rain storm.  Will all the happiness be over as soon as I start this paper?  I’m about to find out…


Chicago’s Chinatown will always hold a special place in my heart.  My dad is from Hong Kong, and ever since we moved to the midwest when I was five, we would make an annual trip to Chicago to eat dim sum and then get baked goods at the bakery in Chinatown.

Since my first visit, Chinatown has grown a lot and has become a great place to live in the city.  Fortunately, I have several friends who live, or have lived, in Chinatown, so it’s been a great excuse to visit and hang out, go to the bakery, eat dim sum, and drink bubble tea.  Our favorite bubble tea places are Joyees and Saint Alps.  Mmm Mmm good!

Here are a few pics from my last visit when I visited my friend Xiaoxiao.  She lives in an awesome apartment in the heart of Chinatown (pics to come) and she works at Pui Tak Center, teaching at the elementary school there.  Here’s a picture of her school:

Here is my favorite bakery!

Xiaoxiao showed us an awesome restaurant called Gourmet Foods Inc. w/ super authentic Chinese food for really cheap!

*sigh*  I love Chinatown.


**Click photos to see larger pic.

Camera: Canon t2i

Lens: 24-70mmL

Postprocessing: Lightroom 3

And life is good…

Orthodox know how to fast, but they also sure know how to party!  After our lovely (and long–11:30pm-2am) Pascha service , we had quite the party to break the fast and celebrate our risen Lord.  Sausage, meatballs, cheese, ice cream, white russians, wine, vodka, cheesy mashed potatoes with bacon, pie, cheesecake, etc etc yum yum yum! It was an exciting time.  Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera, so no pics, but I did shoot a pic of my morning bacon and eggs (and avacado!), my favorite breakfast of all time.  We get our bacon, eggs, and milk (which I poured after shooting the pic) from an amish farm nearby (which I have pics of that I need to post), and it’s absolutely delish.

Well, before I get my week started, I will end this post with the paschal troparion that we proclaim over and over each year at Pascha:

Christ is risen from the dead,

Trampling down death by death,

And upon those in the tombs

Bestowing life!

Happy (belated) easter, everyone!  :)

Introducing…Phila Lee:

Oddly enough, Phila was one of the first people I met my freshman year of college, seven years ago, but we didn’t become “real” friends until 2 years after graduation. We first met orientation weekend on an organized group trip into the city. He told me that his name was Phila, but that I could call him 멋진 오빠 (mut-jin op-ba) which in Korean means something along the lines of “cool, attractive guy.”  :) Even though we weren’t close in college, I knew he was a good guy when my college post office accidentally put my debit card into his mailbox (we both have the same last name, so our mailboxes were right next to each other) and he made it a point to tell me and give it to me.

Fast forward five years later, and through being roommates with one of my best friends back when we lived in Chicago, I finally got to know Phila more. I found Phila to be not only a trustworthy guy, but also a great story teller, and not to mention a very helpful love doctor. Phila always has a good story up his sleeve–whether it was about his father who went blind because an acupuncturist in South Korea poked him in the eyeball with his needles, or when he moved to NYC from Korea as a pre-teen and got into so much trouble trying to defend himself in a rough neighborhood that he broke his arm in a fight and his host family had to send him back to Korea, to when he got into an accidental run-in with the Chinese mafia when he lived in Chinatown, Chicago.

Since then, Phila moved to LA and now works in some company doing something that sounds boring, but we keep in touch and as you can see, we got to meet up last weekend when he made a trip out to visit Chicago! We had a great time, and I found out that he is also a great model. I’m planning on taking a trip to California next month, so hopefully you’ll see more of Phila soon. For now, enjoy the pics!


Camera: Canon t2i

Lens: 24-70mmL

And blog neglect ensues…

But only 3 more weeks of crazy hectic school/work life before the school portion will be over!  Whoohoo!!  I must admit, I am not very eager or enthused about school anymore, and sometimes I worry that after all this time and money, I’m not going to even go into/like this field. I think the problem is that my main interest is counseling, not social work, so this hasn’t really been the education I was hoping for.  But that’s what I get for studying social work instead of counseling…

The good news is, it’s Good Friday, and Sunday is Pascha!  Almost exactly a year ago I was chrismated and baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church, and it’s crazy to think it’s already been a year. I’ve barely scratched the surface as to what it means to live as an Orthodox Christian, but one thing I’ve learned–I am not a “great Christian” at all like I used to (foolishly) think. Don’t even ask me about my lenten experience…  But maybe starting with God’s mercy is where it needs to begin.  (Thank goodness for His mercy.) And I guess if anything, this brings me back to the realization that it’s not all about me in the first place…

The other good news is, I got to go to Chicago last weekend, and I had the most incredible time I’ve probably had since this 2011 year began. It was SUCH a breath of fresh air and truly a gift to get to visit with a number of incredible friends including:

Xiaoxiao

Holly (taken w/ my brand new [awesome] Samsung Galaxy Pad)

Anna (taken w/ her nephew right before we hit the road to Chicago…it was very sunny…he really was happy…)

Phila (Who agreed to a photo shoot, so if you want more of this handsome hunk, keep your eye out for the soon-to-come Phila blog post)

and last but not least, May (more of May to come, too)

I stayed at my childhood friends, Drew and Zach’s place in Wicker Park, but unfortunately, didn’t get any pictures of them.  :( Hopefully next time!

Well, enough daydreaming about Chicago for now.  Back to poopey papers…

Be sure to check back soon for more Chicago daydreaming with me!

Camera: Canon t2i

Lens: 24-70mmL

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