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Friday, December 28, 2012

Year in Review

There is so much to be grateful for... So, I wanted to go back in time this year and pick a few pictures from earlier blogs and talk about life a little.
I am grateful for starting my 2012 working, just as I am grateful for the amazing work I received at the end of it and at the beginning of 2013. I started the year by shooting the still photography for a short film called "Heaven". Those of you who follow this blog frequently, yo know that one my first loves in photography is shooting the movie sets. So this was a great gig.
Than I got the news from my hometown, that a friend of mine passed away. Just like that. Reminding me how precious is every single moment is. You may be down, you may have the blues, you may feel miserable... But you are alive and still have the ability to kick butt. Always remember that. Pick yourself up. Get help if necessary. But never give up. Never. I am grateful to have known Behçet Türkekul, I am proud that I could call him a friend and I know he is well taken care of wherever he may be now. That week, I decided to share couple of videos of Behçet, who was a successful musician in Turkey. Here is the one he sings a Phil Collins song in a mash up with a song from an old folk poet.
Then I talked about the portraits and gave a few examples of my work. I love doing portraits and this year was the year of fantastic collaborations with lovely and talented people.
The wedding blogs started early this year. And that is another thing that I am grateful for. My wedding photography business is growing and I am loving every single moment of it. It definitely has its challenges, but the rewards are absolutely wonderful. Look at this photograph of Sarah and Jonathan in Dana Point. And you'll know what I'm talking about.
I had the tremendous pleasure to help welcome the new member of the Wexler family by photographing Corey and Bruce in Malibu, during Corey's last few weeks of pregnancy. Those little tiny beings that loving couples bring to life, are yet another reason to be thankful for this miracle called life.
Speaking of which, March 3rd of last year marked the first year of life of my lovely daughter. I cannot even start to express my gratitude for her presence in my life, all the ways that she already changed it for the better and all the ways she will continue to do so.
I am absolutely, definitely thankful for Rakı. Enough said.
I love taking pictures of the moon and I don't do it enough. But I was thankful to catch this one.
An engagement session that went very very creative... This is what I always try to tell my clients. Let's use different themes and concepts and let's do something out of the ordinary!
Here is probably one of my favorite photographs of the year. An attempt to forced perspective on the day there was a visible solar eclipse in the northern part of the Golden State, we did not get to see it, but it gave me an opportunity to get creative and I am grateful for that!
The month of June was busy in weddings... Tremendous thanks for that! I wish all the health and happiness to Kelly & Bret, to Stephanie & Andrew, to Ke'Shae & Julio and Brittany & Brad.. But I have to tell you, I like this simple uplifting blog best.
We took Vivienne for her 2nd camping trip last summer. And I'm grateful for this opportunity to share yet another picture of my little peanut.
I was also thankful that I had the opportunity to witness and document history... The last flight of Endeavor...
I was grateful that I could take my family back to my home country almost 4 years after our previous trip... This time, I wasn't only with my wife, but also my daughter. Bliss. I was incredibly happy and thankful for being able to take photographs such as this one. Vivienne never got to meet her maternal grand mother, but she was able to wet her grandpa just fine, thank you very much! I should also mention how grateful I am for all my great friends in Turkey who welcomed us and Vivienne warmly and lovingly.
We had an incredibly fun family day out to pick up our pumpkins for Halloween this year. We went to Underwood Family Farms. Jennifer and Vivienne were obviously with me. We also had the lovely company of our very good friend Megan, mother of Vivienne's best friend David. We are grateful for the presence of the Flowers family in our life. We also had Uncle Joe and Aunt Jen with us. Both Joe and Jen are very important to me. Joe is like a brother and Jen is my partner in crime when it comes to photography. She is a fantastic wedding photographer as well and I love working with her. But when it comes down to it, it all boils down to the frame below:
Well, I should also re-post the photograph of the pumpkins we carved... Because they are awesome.
I love life. And I am grateful for what I have and what life will bring me in the future as well. This picture of the hummingbird playing in the open air should do it for this blog and for the year. The only way is up... Always. I love you all, and I am very grateful for your company. Thank you so much for following!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A very short one this week... I am grateful for this busy season and the presence of my family and my friends. Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for following. I am grateful for your support as well!

I shot this billboard on La Brea. I like the art and I like the artist.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Finding John Smith

A while back, I had the pleasure to work on a film my wife shot in Iowa. This film is now available for purchase and it is a fantastic stocking stuffer! It is called "Finding John Smith" and it is the story of an Iraqui girl who comes to US in order to find her father with the help of two American television journalists. Here are a few picks, the poster and the link to purchase the film if you are interested!
Most of the cast and crew...
The height difference is never an issue for a talented and resourceful make-up artist.
The story of the film starting in Iraq, this is only appropriate...
Here is the official poster.
If you would like to purchase the film, here is the link!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Loren and Aaron's Wedding

I have another photograph-heavy wedding blog for you this week. I had the pleasure to spend last week's rainy Saturday night with a lovely couple and their friends and family.
When Loren told me that the wedding was going to be at the old Campanile restaurant I got excited for a couple of reasons: first, it was ridiculously close to where I live compared to the usual hour+ drives, second it was a challenging location and a gorgeous building, right next to La Brea Bakery.
As the locale was in transition between two restaurants (different owners, different chefs, different designs), the lighting provided certain challenges to push me to get creative and to use many different settings. The following are samples of different white balance, aperture, f-stop settings. I kept the ISO at 800 for the most part, but the rest had to fluctuate. One could keep the setting same with flash being constantly on, but that is definitely not my story-telling style, and quite honestly, this is more fun, more creative and way more diverse!
It's about time we meet Loren and Aaron, right?
This was such an intimate wedding. There were no dancing, no bouquet toss. It was just like a big hang out. The energy of the room was just warm and pleasant and inviting. I really enjoyed the company of the people present.
The sister of the groom sang a beautiful song for the couple.
Then came the incredibly animated (father of the bride), emotional (sister of the bride) and passionate (best man) speeches and toastes...
Then, as usual, I went nuts on the cake.
Loren and Aaron, thank you for the opportunity to document your wonderful night! I wish you a happy, healthy and properous life with one-another!