Archives for posts with tag: portraits

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 ❤ u, Princess May May!
Camera: Canon t2i
Lens: 24-70mmL
Post-processing:  Lightroom 3

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:


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

Ack!  Blog neglect!  School has gotten the best of me yet again, but the busiest part is over, and now I just need to stay strong until the end of the semester.  I was more or less offered an internship that I really want last week, so I’m looking forward to getting into the practice side of this work soon!  I’ll be taking the summer off to work and travel, and then will do the internship fall-spring to complete my MSW.  Woohoo!

In other news, it’s getting nice outside, finally, and you know what that means–back to taking pictures again!  Hannah officially graduated from high school, and her party is this weekend, so we had to do another shoot and finalize some portraits to give out at the party.  It was really rushed at the end, so I didn’t get the shots just the way I wanted them, but I’m satisfied enough with them that I don’t feel horribly embarrassed about local people seeing them as the final product.  I’m such a perfectionist, it’s hard to accept my work.  Well, here are a few for you!



I took these pictures last fall on a whim when I stopped by my friend Lonnell’s house to drop off something. He was home with his son and asked if I’d shoot a few pics of the two of them together. I had about 10 minutes before having to be somewhere, so we ran into the yard and took a few quick shots. This spontaneous photo shoot turned out to be my most memorable shoot thus far. Capturing the beautiful interactions between Lonnell and his son, London, was such an incredible moment to be a part of. I felt like I was a part of capturing something that was far deeper than aesthetic beauty–something invisible and intangible, yet nonetheless capturable in a photograph.  This is the kind of photography I hope to be able to continue doing, and get better at.






Camera: Canon t2i

Lens: 24-70 2.8L

Postprocessing: None

Since I’m not out and about taking many pictures in this cold weather, I’m trying to devote my small amounts of free time to learning more about postprocessing.  I finally got CS5, but I have no clue how to use it, so for now I’m stuck in Lightroom.  I still feel like I spent endless amounts of time editing, when, in the end, my picture doesn’t look much better, and maybe even worse. But, my photos are not turning out as horrendously ugly as they were when I first started, so I must be getting somewhere…

Anyway, these are some shots of my friend, Julia, that I took soon after I bought my camera less than a year ago.  Nothing fancy, we were just having a fun time out in the rainy streets enjoying Logan Square, my old neighborhood in Chicago.

Camera: Canon t2i

Lens: 24-70 2.4L

Postprocessing: Lightroom 3

Autumn has officially come to an end, and now it’s snowy and cold outside!  I’ve been in finals mode for the past week and a half with still another week to go.  Ahhh!  ‘Tis the life of a student, I suppose. Thankfully, only one more semester of this, and I’ll be finished w/ classes!  (Then a two semester internship to graduate.)  I have every intention of living a more balanced and disciplined life next semester, so hopefully this will mean more regular blog posting…

Well, time to work on another paper, so I will close with a picture of my little Elizabeth (Rick‘s sister) enjoying our last moments of autumn.

Camera: Canon t2i; 24-70mmL

Software: Lightroom 3

I’ve been playing around some with portrait/family type photography lately, and it’s been fun.  I love working with people one-on-one or two-on-one.  I know it’s kind of a generic genre of photography to get into, but I am in this for the relationships and collaboration, after all.  Here are some that turned out nicely of a girl named Adrienne.  She has a beautiful smile and was super fun to shoot.








I haven’t edited them at all yet, and I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way I can take out that pole in the background of some of them.  Any ideas?


Camera: Canon t2i; 24-70L

Spent the weekend at a funeral, so I didn’t get too festive this halloween, but I did get a snapshot of Rick’s adorable little sister before she went and made the trick or treat rounds.  Isn’t she precious?!?


Camera: Canon t2i; 24-70L

When it comes to photography, people are definitely my favorite subject because, well, I love people!  This is my very first “model,” Hannah.  I used to babysit her back in the day, but now she’s all grown up!  She’s growing into such a beautiful young lady, isn’t she?




Keep your eye out for more of Hannah, because I’ve officially hired her as my model. (I’ll be paying her in awesome senior pictures.)


Camera: Canon t2i; 24-70mm L



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