Samantha Photography Blog Blog Wed, 16 Nov 2011 04:00:13 +0000 en hourly 1 operation fitness… Mon, 14 Nov 2011 01:24:03 +0000 admin Whoah! What’s going on here is what I’m sure you’re asking when you read the title of my blog. This has nothing to do with my photography, but it’s got everything to do with me personally.

I am by no means an expert when it comes to nutrition, exercise and dieting but ever since I picked up the camera and started shooting professionally 3 years ago, I have pretty much abandoned my routine fitness schedule altogether. I kept on making excuses for myself and like everyone else, continued to pay my monthly fee at the gym that I would visit once a month if I’m lucky. After my move to the beautiful city of Chicago 4 weeks ago, one of my many goals was to get back into fitness and stop making excuses. It’s true that I am petite (joke was, I weigh 100 lbs. soaking wet, true to a certain extent) and people would ask me why I need to work out when I seem to be in a great shape. Seeming to be in great shape and feeling like I’m in a great shape are two different things. After joining pinterest and seeing so many motivational quotes, I am motivated to get back into shape. This is a very personal project for myself: Operation Fitness.

It’s about me trying to find that balance between my personal life, professional life (as a full time teacher and a part time photographer) and everything else life-related. It’s meant to encourage me to focus on what matters most to me. So far I’ve been working out 3 times a week (30 minutes on the treadmill or  stair climber (ugh, how boring I know!), 10-15 minutes with free weights and abdominal workout). It comes to about 45 minutes of me spending time to focus on just me!  Here are some photos of my progress the past 2 weeks.

Wish me luck and I will try to post every two weeks to not over expose my bare belly to the world!

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Eric-West Aurora High School Senior Portrait-Chicago, IL Tue, 04 Oct 2011 01:06:44 +0000 admin This was probably one of the funnest senior portrait sessions I did with my clients. This is Eric and I think he is amazingly sweet, smart and very down to earth. After college I asked him where he would like to live. He said somewhere out in the country with a huge piece of land far away from everything and enjoying life in quietness and solitude. For being such an athlete (he plays volleyball and football), he definitely has a keen sense of style when it comes to clothes. I had a lot of fun trying to coordinate his outfits with him. Thanks again Eric for choosing me as your photographer and for being such a photogenic subject:) Good luck in all that you do!

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Koi-Chinese-Thai-Sushi Reveal party-evanston, il Thu, 22 Sep 2011 02:09:41 +0000 admin I had the honor of covering Koi‘s reveal party last Thursday up in Evanston, IL. The food and atmosphere was amazing! Guests were honored with a complimentary endless array of authentic fine Chinese cuisine and to-die for sushi! not to mention the company of the gracious hostess and host, Mr. and Mrs. Bing Chen (the proud owners of Chens in Chicago and Koi) as well as the lovely sound of a live harp. It was a feast of delicious food topped with scrumptious mix beverages in a very classy and richly decorated atmosphere. Congratulations again Sandy and Bing for being so successful in doing what you both love doing. I wish you both much success in all that you do.



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megan’s prom-aurora christian high school Sun, 18 Sep 2011 00:55:30 +0000 admin I know I am going backwards with my blog. I realize that I cannot blog all of my sessions due to the lack of time, but I just have to post this session from last spring’s prom. They are such a cute couple and it made me wish that I can go to prom as an adult:) For my latest sessions, please visit my Facebook Page!

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what to wear for a fall photo shoot Thu, 08 Sep 2011 22:19:35 +0000 admin I know I should be blogging all the weddings and senior portraits that I am behind on, but those will come later when I have more breathing room. In the mean time,while trying to help my sisters figuring out how to dress their children for their family portrait session that I am taking for them (the joy of having a sister as a photographer!), a thought popped into my head. My little sister thought they should all wear white and khakis. I thought, okay, do you normally  wear things like that together? No she said. So I said,”just coordinate your styles so they match. Everyone wearing the same colors will look unnatural!” I am a JCrew, GAP and Anthropologie girl at heart but when I am feeling adventurous, I go to Zara and H&M for something fun and trendy. Here are some snapshots of JCrew and GAP ads I found online. In the end, it’s all about comfort of course, but I hope this will guide my clients and future clients in some way when it comes to coordinating their outfits.

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final post from my road trip to the west coast Tue, 09 Aug 2011 20:27:29 +0000 admin Sorry for the long post, but it’s been awhile:)

On our way to LA from Austin, we drove through some serious weather including a dust storm in Arizona that made national news the next morning. I remembered trying to capture it with my 50 mm that I had and silently hoping that my companion would slow down just a bit for me to document this interesting phenomenon. After Randy drop me off in LA, he headed up north to San Francisco solo. I missed his road rage rants for about a week.

I had an amazing time in LA! My hosts treated me like I was family. I got to meet some long time Flickr friends, Jenn and her lovely daughter and very talented husband Pramin being one of them. They had me staying over at their place for a couple of nights with amazing conversations over coffee, food and everything else in between. Then I went to Santa Monica to stay with my good friend Rachel for the duration of my trip in LA. We biked and walked everywhere and life was good in Santa Monica. While Rachel played her beach volleyball, I would hang out at the beach and take photos of everything around me. When she works during the day, I roamed around Santa Monica and took photos of people and sited a celebrity (some famous skateboarder?) and of course I took a photo of myself with interesting random strangers too. We went out at night, ate (you have to try The Yard where the head chef is from the t.v show Top Chef), drink coffee and did some cultural stuff. She also took me to Venice Beach  where every corner is a picture in itself. I can honestly hang out there all week and get some great photos! Sometime in the middle of the week I went up to Ojai to visit another dear flickr friend Betina and her famous author husband, Richard La Plante. It was a day of nothing but seeing mother nature at one of her finest. Everywhere I walked on their property, I was getting a 360 degree view of the mountains! If being in heaven felt that great then I guess I was there for a day. We had amazing conversations over wine and beer and I felt nothing but peace and serenity.

Come later in the week…I took a train up to Emeryville then to San Francisco for the rest of the weekend to meet up with Randy. While he was at work, I got lost in San Francisco’s China Town with my travel book courtesy of my friend Jenn, my iPhone and 5 D MKII and met up with another good friend of mine, Nor of Naw Design over coffee. Randy and I did the usual stuff that we did in Austin…coffee, food, walked around the different neighborhoods of San Francisco and photography and the whole thing again for the rest of the weekend. We also visited Sausalito and walked around Lands End.

I don’t regret not going to Uganda for my humanitarian work and I am  grateful that I had the opportunity that I did to do something a bit different and out of the norm for myself. I met so many interesting people along the way and with each new relationship that I built, I learn more and more about the world and myself. Thank you everyone for following my trip:)

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go west…my first road trip Fri, 08 Jul 2011 20:19:06 +0000 admin My blog posting is long over due. I have been working on the photos from Paris during my spring break and wanted to post the images on my blog before the academic year ends, but that got put aside by other obligations. I thought things would slow down for Samantha Photography, but if I’m not editing, I’m shooting and before I know it, June arrived and July is here.

As far as my summer vacation goes, I didn’t go to Uganda as planned for a plethora of reasons, but was invited to go on a road trip, destination San Francisco and stopping over Austin, Texas. It was an amazing experience. The drive from Chicago to Austin was uneventful. But once we got into Austin, the fun began. I never ate as much as I’ve been the past 3 weeks.

Our stay in Austin was composed of eating at some of Randy’s favorite places (the list was pretty extensive), tasting high-calorie food from trailer trucks, visiting local coffee houses, eating more food, spending our free time drooling over homes we wish we can all have, eating again, swimming in the cool water of Barton Springs 3 days in a row, site-seeing gorgeous Austin’s downtown area, visiting the gorgeous campus of the University of Texas, engaging in gear talk, taking photos of food and of each other and all of this was done with amazing company of course.

Our drive to California was interesting. I didn’t realize how big Texas was until we had to drive through it. We got caught in rainstorm and dust storm and lived to tell our tales. In between our drive, stopping at a Starbucks is a must because one of us just had to have a Starbucks ice coffee venti. We got off the high way to take photos of things we thought were interesting too. To see some of those photos, please visit my Facebook page. In the mean time, here are some snapshots of the first half of my road trip.

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Samantha Photography Senior High School Portfolio Building Photo shoot-Batavia/Aurora, IL Tue, 12 Apr 2011 03:08:16 +0000 admin Last Sunday I hosted my first senior high school portfolio building photo shoot with some fellow photographer friends whom I’ve met through Facebook and through other friends and acquaintances. I love meeting new photographer friends and enjoy sharing my love for photographing senior high school clients. So when people started asking me how I got into senior high school portraiture, I told them that I got lucky. I coached cheerleading at the middle school where I teach and so when one of my former cheerleaders asked me to be her  senior portrait photographer, a new door opened itself up to me and before I knew it, I started photographing senior high school students. I know that it is not an easy market to get into unless you have a strong portfolio so I wanted to share the opportunity to photograph senior high school students with some of my fellow photographer friends from the area. The weather was amazing and we had just the perfect amount of photographers for the 3 hired models. There was supposed to be a MUA to do the models hair and make up, but it didn’t work out that way so I did retouches on the girls’ make up. Because everyone is so gorgeous anyways, there was not much work to be done at my end. I was completely exhausted after the photo shoot that I came home and pretty much passed out. When I woke up this morning, I was greeted with a pleasant surprise of amazing images captured by everyone at the photo shoot. It is such a humbling experience to be shooting side by side with fellow photographer friends and as always, I’m learning and growing with my photography.To see the behind the scene shots please visit Samantha Photography’s page on Facebook.

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my self portrait work featured Wed, 23 Mar 2011 02:59:52 +0000 admin I received a request by Andrew Gibson asking if he can use one of my self portraits for his blog featuring images taken with EOS cameras. I agreed and little did I know that my self portrait would be featured among so many great talents all using Canon EOS cameras. I am humbled and embarrassed that my self portrait would be chosen amongst so many other amazing images. It has been awhile since I’ve done any self portraits, but this image taken last February represented me quite well…always looking back.  There are times I wish I don’t waste so much time looking back.

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Dupage PADS-Taste Of Hope 2011-Chef Uniting to End Homelessness-Glen Ellyn, IL Sun, 20 Mar 2011 14:15:41 +0000 admin Thank you for all the Facebook “likes” in the original blog post, but I apologize for accidentally deleting the original blog post. Note to self: please don’t work past 3:00 a.m.

I had the honor of being a part of Dupage PADS Taste of Hope 2011 at the lovely Abbington Distinctive Banquets. I was going there as a guest to join my friend Trisha and Amaury Rosado of Chef Amaury, but got hired to be the event photographer at the last minute. Being surrounded by amazing people all gathered for one amazing cause with an abundance of delicious food and great wine I was immersed in my own element. Here is a description of the event from Dupage PADS’ website:

“A Taste of Hope” returns for the fifth year as we mark the 25th anniversary of DuPage PADS.

This special event offers our guests the luxury of having dinner from 25 different restaurants in one evening. Leading area restaurants will serve samples of their signature dishes to raise funds for the programs and services of DuPage PADS. Music, auctions, and a unique raffle will round out an evening of delicious dining.

Chef Amaury Rosado of Chef Amaury’s Epicurean Affair will return as the Honorary Chair for the event, and Dave Savini, CBS 2 Chicago’s investigative reporter, will be the emcee and auctioneer.

This is a great opportunity for local businesses and restaurants to connect with the community. Sponsorship opportunities are available!

This event supports DuPage PADS, a non-profit agency committed to end homelessness in DuPage County by providing safe and hospitable housing solutions, support, and employment options for men, women, and children who are homeless.

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