Category Archives: Shoot

Raucous Fun with Born Ruffians

if ever there was a doubt about the joys music brings people, just attend a born ruffians show. fans packed my favorite LA venue, the troubadour, at maximum capacity on monday as they sang along. i couldn’t stop smiling as i moved through the crowd.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

i was really looking forward to hearing some classics since i’ve never seen them live before but their latest album, birthmarks, is pretty damn good.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

luke’s voice in particular sounded even better live– it just rang with such clarity and an unique, soothing twang. you could tell the band enjoyed themselves that night. there’s something inherently whimsical about their music that makes me daydream for days.

after the show, i stepped out on santa monica blvd and walked to my car under the light rain and twinkling streetlights. i live for these magical moments.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

check out more photos i shot of the show up on prefix. supporting bands include moon king and avid dancer.

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stab at design: header & watermark

look, i’m a design noob.

if you were to sit me down in illustrator, i would probably glare at you with confusion and ask for a custard donut instead. i’m a photoshop/lightroom kinda gal.

with that said, mad respect for designers. i’ve just spent the past few hours scouring custom fonts and messing around in illustrator. working with designers for over a year at my agency job inspired me though so i figured i’d give designing a new website header and watermark a stab. i ended up going with #2 below for the header. originally, i just had plain italic text which is the iteration shown in the bottom window. i can’t believe the time that goes into design even for the simplest item.

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 10.07.57 PM

also played around with watermarks. i’ve developed an affinity towards brackets. i guess that’s fitting since i bracket almost way too much when shooting. here’s a photo of janelle monae at coachella last weekend with the new watermark.


besides the novice design frenzy, there’s a lot to catch up on this blog. since my last post, i’ve shot both phoenix and postal service in pomona (separate dates). also covered coachella weekend two for brooklynvegan.

since getting back on monday from coachella, i’ve been really sick with a fever and respiratory infection. thankfully, the fever is gone now but i’m still feeling pretty rough. the doc took swabs of my throat but since it’s viral, basically it was like, “sorry girl, deal with it. antibiotics won’t do anything unless it’s a bacterial infection.” okay, maybe my doctor didn’t say that exactly but i was feeling pretty desperate to speed up the recovery process considering the mounds of work to be done. let’s just say that the recipe for being miserable would probably contain working on multiple deadlines with a fever. i was also annoyed with wasting 2 hours at urgent care to find out my body is stupid and will just have to tough it out. whatever, virus. you’re the worst. no, actually — whoever played that obnoxious game on their phone with the sound on in the hospital waiting room is probably the worst. seriously, are you that clueless? put that shit on mute, man.

on that note, going to grab some sleep before a full day tomorrow. my inbox terrifies me.

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Food Porn: Eat Well LA Shoot

i had so much fun shooting these food photos of eat well LA recently for gilt city. i’m pretty happy with how they turned out. i mean, i was basically drooling. if you live in LA, this meal delivery service is worth checking out. for a busy person, this is far healthier than picking up fast food or microwaving a frozen burrito. or, if you’re like me and fail at cooking pasta (nobody told me linguine has a longer cooking time than spaghetti), this is a cheaper option than eating out every day.

eat well LA

eat well LA

eat well LA

eat well LA

the salad was one of the freshest and tastiest i’ve had. the beats added a nice texture and sweetness.

eat well LA

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The Thermals: LA Gig, New Album, Vinyl Reissues

shooting a band that you last saw while in high school* can really make a person feel old. while i did experience a tinge of age induced panic at their recent LA show at the echoplex, the thermals quickly pushed that aside with an euphoric, nostalgic high. something about those frenzied guitar hooks, steady baselines and crashing cymbals dissolves the bullshit around you. these are the songs that you shout out while driving, in the shower, while cooking, whenthefuckever.

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

last month, the thermals reissued limited edition, colored vinyl of their classic discography on sub pop recordsmore parts per millionfuckin’ a, and the body, the blood, the machine —  all three albums still hold up and are definitely worth their replay value. they also have a new record, desperate ground, out april 16th but you can actually buy the album now on saddle creek records and you’ll be able to download it instantly before the release date. they’ll also ship it from their online store right when you buy it.

when i heard my old favorites at the echoplex show last month, i couldn’t help but close my eyes and just smile even after all these years. whenever i had a bad day or felt like someone tried to crush my spirit, the thermals’ video for “a pillar of salt” cheered me up. it picked me right up and i felt ready to conquer the world and just wreck havoc. we’re young only once, after all. we shouldn’t be afraid to take risks even if it means potential failure. their songs charge you up to be different and take action for what you believe in. this is not meek music. this is music that makes you want to speak up, do something, and live.

i covered their los angeles show for prefix. you can see more photos here. so much crowd surfing madness. :]

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

the thermals @ echoplex, LA 3/18/13

*one of my favorites was probably when they played with cursive and chin up chin up. such a good lineup. i caught the san francisco show at the fillmore, i believe.

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darwin deez @ the echo

FACT: it’s impossible to attend a darwin deez show without cracking a smile.

could be those mid-set dance routines and those quirky but sweet lyrics– they’re just what you need on a friday night after a looooonnng week.

usually i walk to the echo since it’s in my neighborhood but *le gasp* it was raining in los angeles that night. when i got there, it was clear that the show was definitely sold out. the entry line at the echo stretched out to the bridge.

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

thankfully, i was the first person in the guest list line so i got a proper spot near the stage. check out the full gallery up on prefix.

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

darwin deez @ the echo, LA 3/8/13

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Cold War Kids @ KCRW’s Berkeley Street Studio

KCRW puts on these private, intimate studio sessions at Apogee Berkeley Street Studio. I nearly bursted with joy when I covered Local Natives back in December in the small space. A few days ago, Cold War Kids dropped by the studio to preview tracks off their upcoming album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. Like everyone and their mom, I’ve been in love with them since hearing the dangerous rattling of maracas at the start of “We Used To Vacation” and those oh so soulful vocals.

Check out my photos and recap of the night over at Prefix Magazine. :]

Cold War Kids @ KCRW's Berkeley Street Studio, Santa Monica

I can’t get their latest single, “Miracle Mile” out of my head. It’s so hopeful and wild.

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How February Tried to Destroy Me + Gordon Ramsay Food Porn

february – you wild beast, you’ve tried to maul me but i’ve cracked my whip, hustled and tamed you. unless you have some secret attack saved for the remaining days of your reign, i’d say i’ve won this round.

phew. ok, this month has definitely been busy. between shoots, breaking up with an asshole days before valentine’s day, and working ridiculous hours at the producer job, i’ve been going slightly crazy. thankfully, le tigre’s discography helped me shred through everything in my path. despite the obstacles, it’s been a very good month and i’ve set plans in motion to tick a few items off my bucket list. for one, i finally signed up for upright citizens brigade improv/sketch comedy classes! after the two month class, there will be a graduation show so i hope you guys can come out and see me make a fool of myself. the performance is on sunday, april 21 at 1:30pm at upright citizens brigade theatre. if you’re going to the second weekend of coachella, you will sadly miss me being idiotic on stage. that’s alright, i’m sure if we’re friends you get plenty of that on a regular basis. >:3

oh, and in other news, i licensed one of my music photos for apple outdoor ads in the UK and japan! can’t go into too much detail but i’m very stoked about that.

of the features i’ve shot this month for gilt city, gordon ramsay’s restaurant at the grove, fat cow, was one of my favorites. executive chef, mathew woolf prepared stunning dishes including grilled shrimp with bacon habanero marmalade, root beer glazed short rib, and malt chocolate pot au crème. oh my gawd. voilà, some obligatory food porn:

fat cow

fat cow
i absolutely love shooting food but it can be challenging. for interior/exterior shots, i typically bring a tripod and remote to shoot with a low shutter speed. that way i can capture the vibrant activity of the space in a low light, nighttime setting. also, the slow shutter speed means any type of movement will be blurred which is perfect for masking diner’s faces. after all, you don’t ever want to feature someone without a release form or disturb a patron.

fat cow

i was slightly intimidated shooting this particular restaurant since it was in a very crowded space and i knew curious eyes watched as i worked. the grove is a busy outdoor shopping center. though i’m a pretty shy person in some situations, when it comes to work and photography, you just have to zone out all the distractions and focus on the task at hand. usually i get so excited about the food (chefs are fucking genius artists) and creating a good image that i naturally lose consciousness of anything else.

food porn aside, another gilt shoot i really enjoyed this month was xtend barre. i can already sense my asian metabolism betraying me these days so if i ever get myself to exercise on a regular basis, i think i’d do barre classes. i mean, what girl doesn’t want to pretend they’re a ballerina while getting fit? the people that run xtend barre on melrose were extremely friendly and nice so i’d definitely recommend them if you’re in the area.


besides these shoots for gilt, i’m now the house photographer for a monthly comedy series in los angeles called super serious show. i’ll write another post for that because man, it’s just a little too silly to follow up behind barre and food photos.

work at the digital media agency has been grueling because we’re in the final stretch of launching a redesigned app for a major hair product line on multiple mobile platforms. there have been late nights and countless spreadsheets. generally though, it’s been a busy but incredible month.

so yeah, K.O. february. you’ve swung some punches out of left field but you’re a fool if you think you can take me down. whenever i’m stressed or presented challenges, i think of these lyrics by le tigre:

and if you ever wanna try your hand at forcing my suicide just know i’ve only begun
and if you ever wanna try your hand at forcing my suicide come on and try to kill me off!

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Bar*Food: Whiskey Lovers, Rejoice!

So Valentine’s Day is coming up. If your lover likes drinking, this would probably be a great place to go. Hell, if you’re single, you could probably Bukowski it up with their 24 handcrafted specialty beers and um…200 whiskey selections they have in stock.


I shot this cool gastropub called Bar*Food in west LA for a feature running on Gilt City.  Their wall of decorative taps was particularly memorable and I always love shooting food/drinks. It’s times like these that I wish my body could properly process alcohol without throwing a hissy fit.



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