Archive for December, 2010

December 30, 2010

2010 has been an amazing ride. With so many ups and downs in life, I felt like I was literally on a real life roller coaster. Everything that has happened these past few years I’ve tried to learn and grow from. No matter how bad things got, things always somehow worked itself out. 2010 just seemed to work itself out in all the right ways…

The loss of some important and amazing people in my life, geting laid off from an amazing job… it’s been a tough few years. I was in a downward spiral that seemed impossible to recover from. Getting back into photography made me appreciate all the subtle beauties of what life had to offer. Sure I still have some hang ups and there will always be bumps in the road but how can you truly appreciate what is good in life if you don’t have the bad to compare it to?

I think we all nurture issues that prevent us from being successful. Whether it’s self-doubt, fear, or embarrassment; whether it’s life, love, or work, we need to get over whatever it is that prevents us from moving on and being happy and successful. I use the word nurture because I think a lot of the issues we harbor are issues that we don’t want to let go or get over. So we nurture them and let them grow so that we will always have an excuse as to why we didn’t do something we should have done so long ago. Having these issues and problems will always enable us to say, “Well, I wasn’t able to accomplish this because of that” instead of facing the possibility of failing or being embarrassed. It’s a scapegoat for life that we need to eliminate for good!

I have two things to share with you:

A passage by Paulo Coelho (of The Alchemist fame) called Closing Cycles. If you’re stuck in a rut and hung up on particular issues that prevent you from advancing in life, love, or work (usually it’s all three at the same time), then I think it’s a great read for you.

Closing Cycles by Paulo Coelho

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.” Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

There’s good reason every quote I’ve featured on my blog is by Paulo… he’s a genius. However, no matter how wise his words, they are useless if we don’t act on them. Hopefully his words resonate with you and you’re able to make changes that positively affect your life.

The second thing I want to share with you is a video of my homegirl Chauntal Lewis. I met Chauntal on a shoot earlier this year with Ja and was immediately in awe of her infectious positivity, energy, and beauty. If she doesn’t inspire you, then I have no idea who or what will.

She is an amazing spirit and her words and presence are always uplifting. And because no blog post is complete without a photo, here’s a shot of us at the LA Destroyers party.

nike 20101209 0028 Heres To 2011

I know EVERYBODY says that each new year is gonna be THE year for whatever it is they have planned. But on the real, let’s make it happen folks! Challenge yourself always, push the boundaries of what you’re capable of, set realistic/attainable/measurable goals and last, but not least, rid yourself of all things and people that prevent you from moving on and being successful! Here’s to 2011 everybody!

Much love!


December 29, 2010

aaronxreno 01 Aarons First Snow!

I hope y’all had an amazing Christmas Holiday! I went up to the Bay to see my sisters and their families for the holidays. Here are a few shots of my nephew Aaron and his first experience with snow! The boy would not stop making snowballs and licking them. When he gets older, I will have to warn him of staying away from the yellow snow.

aaronxreno 02 Aarons First Snow!

aaronxreno 03 Aarons First Snow!

December 23, 2010

covet Do Not Covet Your Ideas

From the most excellent book, “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be” by Paul Arden.

No one likes the kid who covers up their answers. I remember letting kids next to me cheat off my exams throughout school from elementary to high school. Not so much during college though… cause I was the one trying to cheat off others! I kinda sucked at college. Well, the academics part at least. Too bad they didn’t give out grades for socializing or going to the gym!

December 22, 2010

ja bev Ja + Bev

December 21, 2010

ali sh Ali Wong @ Punchline Comedy Club

Quick plug for a friend that is very near and dear to my heart, Ali Wong.

If you’re in San Francisco this weekend, DO NOT miss out on her show. She’s headlining at the Punchline Comedy Club on Sunday and Monday. If you’ve seen an Ali Wong show before, then you know she brings it! If you laughed your ass off like I know you did, then share this post with all your friends and make sure they go!

Act now and as an added bonus… anyone who shows up and says hi to me will get a free hug, maybe even two! (I give good hugs).

Follow her on Twitter at @aliwong3000

She recently visited from NYC and we met up for lunch. Can you believe we each had a bowl of noodles for a grand total of $6?! Gotta love Koreatown!

Here’s a quick shot of her after our super bargain lunch date.

ali dec2010 sfshow Ali Wong @ Punchline Comedy Club

December 20, 2010

Holy moly it’s almost Christmas! That means my favorite holiday movies are on rotation… Love Actually, The Holiday, Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas.. you know, all the good stuff! I know they’re not the typical Christmas movies in the traditional sense but hey, that’s what I watch every year come this time…

More and more this past year, I have been straying from photography as inspiration and more towards movies and music videos because a.) it helps me better visualize my storyline when shooting and b.) I find that looking at other photographers get me too distracted… there are too many good ones out there and I need to define my own style! That’s not to say that I am not inspired by photography or other photographers though.

One scene each from The Holiday and Love Actually. I bet you anything that most of you have experienced both of these situations at some point in your lives. I know these are sappy but hey, I’m in the business of capturing love!

Happy Holidays!

ps. How gorgeous is Keira? Jesus!

December 13, 2010

ej bday EJs Bday

Everyone should celebrate a birthday like this at least once in their life. If you were in attendance, then you know exactly what I mean. This wasn’t just a birthday, it was a an extravagant and classy ball. Blessed to have been able to document it.

December 09, 2010

casey preview Casey Sneak Peek

December 09, 2010

beatrock combined 520 Beatrock Music: One Year Anniversary

My boy Fatgums is having a one year anniversary party for his label, Beatrock Music. I’ve written about him before but I don’t think he truly receives all the shine he deserves. I’m talking international type shinin’.

I don’t wanna dive into his amazing and inspiring journey of graffiti x design x djing x UCLA Med Schoolin’ x and now record label owner but just know that this dude truly is the epitome of someone who follows his heart and his dreams.


I’ve shot a few things for him in the past that we’ve turned into shirts and posters. He’s also used some of those photos for the flyers to promote the anniversary shows:

If y’all are free this Friday (LBC) and Saturday (SFC), go check them out and show your support. And if you can’t, just make sure you hit up Beatrock’s site for a ton of free music, full-length albums, clothing, accessories, videos, and more.

As my boy Fatgums always says, “Support independent hip-hop!”

December 08, 2010

Everything that happens once may never happen again. Everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.