Photography, Design and other artsy things.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Giving is Awesome Portrait Winner

I know I said I'd announce a winner on Christmas eve but I was without internet for a few days and the blog I had scheduled to post didn't cooperate. So here I am, a little late, but I do have a winner. First off, I wanted to say how incredibly humbling it was to have many of you nominate special people in your lives. It's so nice to know people out there are paying attention to my little labor of love and have given me this opportunity to give something back.

Thank you to everyone who sent a submission. I had a hard time going through all the amazing stories and trying to narrow it down to one recipient. There was one story though, as soon as I read it, I instantly felt a connection. Reminded me of how strong women can be, but how easily they can lose themselves once life hits. Here is a tiny excerpt from the nomination email I received.

"April's husband, Ivan, is an Iraq war veteran. Ivan has never seen his children being born. While April was giving birth to her oldest boy, Ivan was deployed to Japan to serve for the marines. When April was having their second child, Ivan was in Iraq fighting The War on Terror. Finally when his third and last baby boy was being born, Ivan was on his way home from his second deployment in Afghanistan and missed the birth by only 8 hours. Talk about bad timing!

After serving for so long, Ivan came home to April wounded. Not the wounded that can heal with bandages and medicine, but the kind of wound that happens when you see so much death and sadness in such a short period of time. Ivan has Post Traumatic Syndrome resulting from his experiences. As a result of Ivan's sickens, April is the sole breadwinner. But she never complains.

She goes without so that her children won't want for anything. She never lets you know that she hurts, needs, or wants. She is too much of a giver to do that. She is always there to listen, lend a helping hand, and make you pancakes in the morning when your boyfriend cheats on you. But now, with 3 children under the age of 5 and a husband who constantly needs emotional and medical attention, she gets overwhelmed...

This story is the same as my parents story except my father was lucky to have come back from Vietnam with a newfound outlook on life and along with my Mother, was able to provide for us. I, as well as the rest of our family, realize how lucky we were to get my father back in one piece - mind and body - but we recognize some families aren't that fortunate. So April's story struck a chord. I can't wait to meet April and help her feel empowered at this point in her life. A special thanks to Marisa for nominating this very special woman. xoxo

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Evette : Darling

Evette is one of those girls - you know, the kind you always want to be around; the kind that can talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything; the kind that can light up an entire room. She has an infectious smile and laugh that its hard to be unhappy in her presence. I just don't think it's possible.

I've been finding it incredibly difficult to just plop a bunch of images into a blog post without giving readers a backstory about the connections I have with the people I'm capturing. If all of my words get to be overwhelming, let me know in the comments section.

Two years ago, Steven and I were lucky enough to be present while my dear friend Evette vowed her life to an amazing man amidst the picturesque Olawalu Plantation in Maui. It was the most beautiful day and I knew then that her and her husband were bound to have an incredibly fulfilling life together. When she told me they were expecting, my heart skipped a beat. They are the first in our circle of friends to welcome a yummy little cutie into the world and I'm beyond thrilled for them.

I had visions of something natural, ethereal, rich and open. I didn't really know any location that fit the bill, and according to Grant (Evette's husband), I'd have to move to Iowa to find it. We stumbled on this piece of land that ended up working out fabulously. Thanks Evette for braving the cold weather, laying, kneeling, and leaning on command. Also, hair and makeup was done by Lauren so a special thanks goes out to her. And Grant, I know you're probably not reading this, but thanks for holding all our stuff and being a patient hubby. I can't wait for baby A's arrival!

My favorite shot of the day. I love the craziness of the tree framing her!

Isn't she absolutely gorgeous? And look how a little speck of light is shining on her belly!


The Jenkins Family : Whenever

I've known Monique since 1996. Yes, I'm getting old. We recently reconnected and she needed some family portraits for their Christmas cards so scheduled a 30-minute session. I usually only capture couples in love but with the holiday season, I was approached several times for family photography. I think I'll just limit this to the holiday season. We'll see.

Anyway, I loved this family because they reminded me so much of my own. The kids were full of energy and really fun to be around. At one point, the little girls told me they loved me and they thought I was so cool. Score. Little A is definitely all boy. Such a rambunctious, carefree little boy. I found myself following him around just because all his expressions were hilarious.

Love the dynamic between a Mom and her son. Monique, he has your lips!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jackie, Peter & Gracie : Whenever

This is my dear cousin Jackie and her little family. I know she is dying to see a few images because she is just as impatient as I am. Plus, she already sent me a text telling me. So I'll save the song and dance story and just move on to some pictures.

I love all the bows and hats Gracie donned for the shoot. As you know, I'm a hat girl.

I know this picture is all wrong - not in focus really, parents weren't really ready, ear hanging out of the hat - but just look at that happy little face!

Jackie asked if I would take a few of her and Peter alone. You know I made them sit and lay down. Here's a few.

I love this shot.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The gift of giving...

It's the little things, the tiny unexpected gifts you get when you're feeling down and out. I'm not talking about tangible things. I'm talking about the words of encouragement you get from people you'd least expect. The other day, I was feeling completely overwhelmed, and yes, I'm openly admitting I tend to be a little dramatic. Anyway, I got an email from an old friend. A friend I hadn't talked to in years. She said she was recently questioning what she was doing with her life and stumbled on my blog from a friend of a friend via facebook. She said she was inspired by my passion. She said she often gets lost in life and work to even remember what its like to have a passion for something, anything, and thanks for reminding her to follow the heart.

I don't know about you, but I consider this unexpected email a gift. A gift from someone unaware that they were giving me something so meaningful. Sometimes you just need a little nudge from someone to remind you you're alive. Sometimes you need to know someone else notices how hard you're working. Sometimes you need to know your life is appreciated.

This got me to think about the upcoming holiday season and giving. What's important during the holidays? What can I give people that that they don't already have? And then I received an email about this awesome cause and I knew it was the perfect way for me to give back.

You know someone. You know someone who's had a rough year, experienced a tragedy, is struggling to make ends meet, is raising kids alone or while holding down more than one job, or just has extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who can't afford custom photography or better yet, thinks they don't deserve it but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a reminder of their family's spirit, love, and beauty. You know someone. I guarantee it.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography -- $500 worth, to be exact. Whether it's canvas or albums, prints to put in their wallet, or a slideshow to watch and giggle over, it's in your power to give them a meaningful gift they deserve this holiday season.

Oh, and the best part? The person who nominates the winner receives a complimentary session worth $250. What better reason to show some love could there possibly be?

The rules:

+ You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments for a two-million-dollar-vacation-home in Paris does not qualify as sincere financial need.)

+ The nominee must reside in California, Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Tell me who you know, what they're experiencing, and why they deserve this gift. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.

+ You must e-mail me the full story : alicia (@)

The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve - pending enough nominations - so get nominating! I can't wait to read all of your entries!

Open your heart to someone this holiday season. And thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.



Jessica, Frank & AJ : Whenever

This little family is the sweetest ever. When we found out their desired location was unavailable the morning of our session, they were super patient and open to ideas. We ended up going to Balboa Lake and it was packed. Like, nonsense style. I've never seen that many people at a park in the morning! We found a small nook of the park less populated and played there. Yes, we played. AJ wanted nothing to do with my camera. Wherever I was, he wanted to make sure his back was facing me. We had to coerce looks and smiles by letting him throw balls at me. Nice. But really, it was the cutest thing ever. I love little boys. And Steven will probably roll his eyes when I say this but I'm praying whenever we have babies, we have some boys. ;)

For these, we let him throw leaves at me instead of balls.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trisha & Jeff : Married

When I saw her name in my inbox, I nearly flipped, Oh my goodness, she's emailing me? I had contacted Paola of Just Chic Events months ago to help out with my own wedding but unfortunately she didn't have our date available. I was completely bummed but hoped that one day we'd figure out a way to work together. Seeing her name again made me super anxious to open her email. Boy, was I in for a treat.

Trisha and Jeff were having an intimate wedding and they wanted to bring me on board to capture their day. I was honored to spend their wedding day following them around as they completely floated around the entire night. Trisha was beyond thrilled to have married the man of her dreams and she couldn't wipe the smile off her face if you paid her. It was so sweet to witness and she doesn't know this, but seeing her so happy totally put all my wedding planning in perspective. There I go, relating everything to my own wedding. Sorry, I'm in a wedding state of mind!

Thank you Trisha and Jeff for welcoming me into your family and totally making me feel like part of the party. Thanks also to Paola for sending this beautiful couple my way.

And last but not least, a special thanks to Heidi Ryder for helping out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A quick note...

Hey all, I know this week has been dedicated to familia de Landin, but I have lots of photography related things to share. I will be away from the office (my computer tucked away in a tiny little corner that I guess I can call my office!) until Monday, December 8. Then I shall be blogging some fantasticness!

Trisha & Jeff : Married

Jessica, Frank & AJ : Whenever

More soon!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grabbin' life.

I remember like it was yesterday. My college graduation brunch. I had it all written down, a tribute speech to every person who helped me through my long journey of finishing college. I thought about this speech for a long time, I wanted each individual to know how critical of a role they played in helping me complete something I never thought I could.

Every time I got to my little brother, I got extremely emotional - you know, lump in my throat and tear-filled eyes kind of emotional. You see, he's not little, he's 21. And he's probably about a foot taller than me. And his dreams, well, they aren't little at all. They are higher than the clouds in the sky, and the most important part of it all, he goes after them.

I've admired his ability to take life into his own hands and create his own happiness since we were young. He's always been able to take risks and always goes after his dreams. Whether he knows it or not, he's the one who taught me to believe in myself even if people doubt me, even if they think I'll never make anything of myself if I go down the path less followed. He was wise for his age, and still is, but no matter what happened in our lives, he lived by the as-long-as-I'm-doing-something-I-love, my-life-will-be-fruitful policy. I wanted to thank him for this inspiration, I wanted to be sure to tell him because it was something I hadn't said before.

So I am not surprised when I saw this article written in The Bull Magazine featuring my insanely talented "little brother". Music has always been his vice and I'm happy to report, he's living his life doing something he loves. I'm so incredibly proud of him, his accomplishments, and most of all, his passion and commitment. I remember when he was 14 he told us all he wanted to rap, he wanted to perform. He's actually following that dream and doing something about it. Still to this day, I find this beyond inspirational and it pushes me to seek my own happiness in life. So, thank you Edward, I'm proud to be your big sis.

Feel free to check out his band, Mind Your Instrument. Holler!

Well hello you : My Wedding

After receiving several emails from lovely readers asking how my own wedding planning is coming along, I realized I've been slacking in our wedding updates and on my own personal thoughts! Sometimes I feel like people don't really want to read, they just want to see pretty pictures but it's nice to know our wedding interests some of you. I decided I'm going to make this post a smorgasbord of my thoughts, emotions and plans. Hey, it's my blog!

If you couldn't already tell, it's been a busy couple of weeks for me. I'm so thrilled to be a part of the wedding and photography industry. I've met some of the most amazing people ever and I know this is just the beginning. I can't wait to see what the future holds for me and The Modern Type. I've been pouring my heart and soul into this little puppy and I see it growing every single day. I often find myself stopping for a second to make sure it's all real and acknowledge how blessed I've been.

One of the biggest blessings is my future husband, Steven. He has been so supportive of my quest to pursue something that makes me happy, something that makes me love love even more than I already do. Even when I'm slacking in the wedding planning department and I breakdown inside of Starbucks out of sheer panic that I'm not doing enough, he's there to let me know it's okay and our day will come together and be beautiful.

Another huge blessing is my dear parents. They have been uber supportive with my photography life. Even though my mom still struggles with the concept of photojournalism, "why aren't they looking at your camera?" and my dad gets uncomfortable knowing I shoot boudoir, they have been there every step of the way cheering me on. She makes it a point to verbally comment on every single post I make and it warms my heart she is paying such close attention. My dad is there to drive me to Samy's camera to rent equipment any day of the week so I don't have to go by myself. Love them.

Back to the task at hand, our wedding! We've come a long way since my last update. We just hit the 6 month mark and from what I hear, this means the big day is getting closer and it's supposed to be crunch time! In no particular order, here are the things we've accomplished lately:

+ Ordered our wedding bands! And 20% off to boot. Thanks!
+ Booked a photobooth. Cannot wait to see all the silly faces my aunts and uncles are capable of!
+ Booked our dj! He did my maid of honors wedding as well as another good friend's wedding recently. Steven fell in love with him because he played Guster and O.A.R songs. He's such a music junkie but I love it because I never have to make cd's.
+ I finally narrowed down my colors and picked bridesmaid dresses!!!!!!!! This took forever and I'm thrilled with my choice! Can't wait to see all my lovelies rockin' the dress!
+ We had our tasting and loved all our food choices. I'm praying I actually have a few minutes at our wedding to chow down and enjoy.
+ Attended a Catholic retreat for engaged couples in Santa Barbara. Completely reconnected with one another and met some other awesome engaged couples too!
+ Asked all of our attendants to share in our day.
+ Picked readers for our mass, we have to ask them next!

We still have so much left to do and I can't wait until May 23. I just started designing our wedding invitations. I'm so excited because I've designed several wedding invites for other people but now it's my turn to have my name in pretty fonts all big across the page. I have the concept in my head and I wish it'd just spill out onto my computer screen faster! I can't wait to share what they look like once finished. You'll have to wait 5 months to find out!

Next up: asking our readers, picking a suit for the groom, flower girl dresses, our engagement shoot (super nervous about being on the other side of the lens!), registering, and hopefully making a wedding website. I bought the domain name eons ago but haven't gotten around to it. Is it too late for that?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Angela & Bud : Engaged

They complement each other. They, of course, compliment each other - you know the "hey you look really good in that black dress" kinda thing. But more importantly, they complement each other. Angela is the sweet voice of their relationship and Bud lovingly accommodates her wishes. They just flow together with such ease it's so amazing to watch.

I couldn't be happier for the two of them on their upcoming wedding and I'm honored to capture the festivities for them. They are such a beautiful couple, inside and out. If they look sweet in their pictures, multiply that by 100 and that's how these two are in real life. Plus they are absolutely amazing parents to an incredibly handsome little boy.

Angela and Bud, I had such a great afternoon with you. Thank you for welcoming me into your home and trusting me during such an important part of your lives. See you soon!

When we concluded the session, Tyler was awake from his nap so we took a few shots with him. Introducing Tyler.