Inspiration | Strength in Failure by David duChemin

Famed humanitarian photographer, David duChemin speaks about his experience falling off a 20-30ft wall in Italy.  I first heard of him when Junshien bought me the awesome book, Within the Frame.  David's words resonated with me, and beyond that book reading his blog, he continues to be an inspiration both for photography and for life.  A passage from one of his recent blog posts:

There’s deep strength in failure. It’s a gift to fall down and get up. Coddle a child and don’t let him eat a little dirt or lick the occasional frog and that child never develops the kind of immune system that keeps him strong. It’s the same with our character. Failure builds immunity, gives us strength, makes us familiar with the actual possibilities that come from risk and robs our fears of the power that comes from the unknown. The more you fail, and learn from those lessons, the less frightening future failures appear.

Here David rests in his hospital bed as he heals from multiple fractures in his lower body.  Others who've fallen from that same wall have died, so he's grateful for his life and that he is not paralyzed.

Inspiration | Heroes by Alec Vanderboom

History fascinates me. If I pick my favorite subject, World War II ranks at the top.  I can't explain my interest in the subject, but I find myself drawn to movies or books dedicated to this war.   Maybe I love to learn about WWII because all the older people I love to talk to and get to know are from that era.  Most of the men had been in the war and most of the women had been in love with a man who was in the war.  When my friend, Gabe, lent me Band of Brothers in college, I sat in my lab, working on my project watching the whole series through in one sitting.  Band of Brothers is a mini-series about the 101st airborne, and it includes a historical interpretation of the actual events of the 101st airborne along with documentary interviews of the men in the 101st.

I've watched the series several times.

And I have been amazed to see these pictures form Alec Vanderboom, photographer genius, of some men of the 101st visiting sites of WWII.  Check out his blog when you get a chance.

All these images are from Alec... not me!

Inspiration | My cousin's wedding by Anna Kuperberg

I attended a wedding as a guest, for the first time this year.... I enjoyed sitting down, actually listening to the ceremony, eating slowly and talking to people.  Usually I'm on my feet all day and running around furiously to get the shot.  I sat in my seat, refusing to be "that guest" who gets in the photographer's way or is in all the shots.  I love both sides of weddings... I couldn't say which I loved more.

Flashback to this morning...

I finished an edit for Junshien at about 4am this morning, uploaded the project and fell fast asleep.  Woke up at 9:30am and headed to Milipitas with my mom and sister to pick up my sister's wedding dress.  When we got home, I scarfed down a shrimp cup of noodles and proceeded to ask my mom about my cousin, Mark's, wedding tonight.  I only knew three things about this wedding.  1. It was in San Francisco  2.  We were leaving at 3:30pm  3.  It was being photographed by Anna Kuperberg (woot woot!).  I was lost for words when I discovered it was also at the Bently Reserve, a venue I've always wanted to shoot at.

I squealed all morning to my sisters about how excited I was to see Anna in action.  I pictured in my mind interacting with Anna... You might think a professional talking to a professional; I was thinking more like a crazed, bopper fan asking a Jonas Brother to touch his hand.  I felt oddly nervous to be in her "presence".  (The last time I felt this way was when I saw Sarah Rhoads at WPPI.  I literally ran away from Sarah, nervous because I admire her so much.)

The wedding was beautiful.  My cousin and his wife, Jen, did a beautiful job.  And I wanted to cry during the ceremony, but remembering I was wearing liquid eyeliner, I refrained.  Everything classy, unique and wonderful!  There was pinkberry for dessert.  Muni-styled escort cards. A birdcage veil.  Open bar.  Tasty food.  Wonderful!

Anna Kuperberg is genius.  I have no words... she's just genius!

During our family pictures, in order to get my six (all age 4 and under) nieces and nephews to engage the camera, Anna asked them each their name, put her shoe on her head and asked each one if they thought she looked funny.  Genius.

Drool.  There's nothing more I can say... because I have no words... She's genius!!

(below: pictures of my cousin Mark and his wife, Jen, from their engagement session in Tahoe)

Here's my camera phone picture of the light fixture during the wedding tonight...  Oh tonight was a great night to enjoy being a guest and marvel at the genius who is Anna Kuperberg

Inspiration | "Our miracle baby" by Jonathan Canlas

My sister-in-law once asked me if I would shoot her baby's birth story.  She never asked me again, but I've been thinking about it ever since.  I'm really excited if I can be there, since I've never been able to be at the hospital for the birth of anyone.  I'm even more excited to capture the little moments during the whole event.  I've pictured all the different things I would want to capture, but Joanthan Canlas wonderfully captures these moments for the birth of his own son...

Check it out

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/14536641 w=700&h=400]