Category: Travel

La Jolla Shores is a popular beach for tourists and locals because it provides one of the most beautiful stretch of beaches in Southern California. With fine sand and relatively slow sloping shorelines, one can walk a good distance into the ocean and just be waist deep in water. Surfs are mild in some spots which also makes for a long ride to shore on a boogie board. My kids loved it here during our short visit. While the water was a cool 60° F, having a body suit helps. After boogie boarding, there is always something to entertain my little curious scientists. Sea life like the sand crabs are one of them. Easy to spot because they make tiny spouts of water as the water recedes back. They just dig in and filter them out. Plus who could resist building monuments of sand castles to fill the time? I wish I could put down my camera and join in on the fun but someone’s gotta make meaningful memories, right?

August was that time again for my annual trek up to San Luis Obispo where family and friends took time to get away. We came right in time for Thursday’s farmers market where Higuera Street is closed off for people to roam freely to enjoying food, fun and entertainment. And as usual, I brought my camera for the occasion because there’s always something interesting going on. I got to chat with a nice old gentleman, “Uncle Sol” as he’s known, who plays the fiddle in and around town. He showed me a photograph (the one he’s holding in his hands) that won him 1st place in a photo contest. A delightful man who entertained me with some of his tunes. While there we stopped by the famous BubbleGum Alley right on Higuera between Broad and Garden. The kids were either amazed or disgusted or both.

It was great to work with Erica España of Twine Events and Nancy Teasley of Oak & the Owl who helped design this most awe-inspiring wedding. This time up in beautiful Santa Barbara’s San Ysidro Ranch. Nancy’s floral designs and candle lanterns were absolutely breathtaking. Nestled in the Montecito foothills of Southern California’s wine country, San Ysidro Ranch with it’s quaint architecture and its sculpted landscape makes me think of a tranquil French village. One of the most beautiful locations I’ve shot by far. Their ceremony was at the romantic Santa Barbara Courthouse Mural Room. It adds a touch of mood and the murals make any wedding feel truly historic.

See it on Style Me Pretty. And see the gorgeous post on Oak and the Owl.

Vendors for this wedding:

Ceremony Venue- Santa Barbara Courthouse

Reception Venue- San Ysidro Ranch
Getting Ready Venue- Canary Hotel
Photography- Desi Baytan Photography
Coordinator- Erica España of Twine Events
Floral designs, lanterns and candles- Nancy Teasley of Oak and the Owl
Stationery- Amber Moon of Pitbulls and Posies
Linens- La Tavola Linen
Hair and Makeup- Team Hair and Makeup
Calligraphy- Katrina Centeno of Maison du Papier
Officiant- Santa Barbara Wedding Minister
Brides Dress: Custom Alvina Valenta
Bridesmaid Dresses- JCrew
Custom Dress Alterations-
Sofreh Aghd design by Bride

I love nature. I photograph it any chance I get. Being in Southern California we really don’t get a lot of snow except in the mountains. But still, it hasn’t snowed often enough there either. So on this particular day, I got a treat while visiting Mt. Baldy to see snow, I snapped a few rolls with my GA645. Craving fulfilled.

I brought along my newly acquired Fuji GA645 to a recent engagement shoot at Venice Beach. I really wanted to know what this thing can do and to see the results of its much hyped about sharp lens. I tell ya, I was blown away. What I love about this camera is that it’s a medium format point & shoot. Large negative for a such a small camera. It’s auto everything, auto exposure, auto focus, auto winder, with even a very useful built-in flash. It’s a fantastic street photography camera. It’s a breeze to approach people with because it’s got a relatively unobtrusive lens yet it can capture with sharp details. Plus, it’s a rangefinder so it’s easy to hand hold under low lighting. It’s fun to use to say the least but it’s gonna come in handy in dark murky ball rooms or dance halls. Sweet!

A mini summer getaway to San Luis Obispo with family and friends was a little bit short for my taste.  Time flies when you’re having fun I guess. Besides, this wasn’t just a vacation, I brought along my Contax 645 and a handful of film to make things a little interesting. What I didn’t expect was a project would blossom out from this trip. On the first day, I walked the streets of down town at the peak of the San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market (I intentionally scheduled our trip to start on a Thursday). There was so much to soak in, the sights, the sound, the smell of food and the faces! Interesting, diverse, and all walks of life right in front of me and my camera.  So I began asking complete strangers for a quick five second portrait everywhere I went.  This town has one of the most charming and delightful people I’ve met to say the least. Not one single person said “no” to my request.

Having fun with my Olympus OM-2 film camera. These were taken at La Jolla Cove ‘s Children’s Pool where all ages can enjoy fun in the sun and snorkeling with the seals. This kid friendly beach offers a place to explore and witness nature and sea creatures native to California’s coasts. “This is the best day ever” says my 7 year old.


New to my blog is a travel section where I showcase places of natural beauty and places that inspire me.  Click image to view. Thanks for looking.

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