Bethanie & Netania Chapman University 2019 Graduation Portraits | Orange, CA

Back in January of this year, I got a Facebook message from my friend Bethanie who I haven’t talked to ever since I graduated college. It was an inquiry for a graduation session for her and her sister Netania since they will be graduating Chapman University in May. I didn’t know Bethanie was pursuing her masters at Chapman until she mentioned it to me! I first met Bethanie at UCR where we were both part of AACF (Asian American Christian Fellowship). Then post-grad happened and we’ve been living vicariously through each other’s Instagram Stories haha. Netania is getting her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science with a minor in Psychology while Bethanie is getting her Master of Science degree in Health and Strategic Communication. Congratulations to both Bethanie and Netania!

Before our session began, I wanted to test the lighting so I took a single shot on my camera. I heard a second delay shutter and I thought to myself “this can’t be good”. I looked through the viewfinder and find that I can’t see anything through the lens. It was pitch black! I remove the lens from my camera body and find that the mirror is not in the right place. It is completely upwards when it is supposed to be down in a diagonal position. I try to put it down back to it’s original place, but it won’t stay in place and goes upwards. The mirror won’t stay down! Panicking, I call my friend Daniel who’s also a photographer to see what I should do in this situation. After trying a few things, Daniel suggested to hold the shutter button on my camera. When I did, I heard the normal shutter sound. I check to see if it is now working properly and it worked! My camera was back to it’s normal condition. At that moment I experienced a photographer’s worse nightmare. I hope none of you photographers have to go through that situation. But I’m so happy that it all worked out in the end. Even though our shoot was delayed by 30 minutes, we made up for it in the end.

Can I just say how spot on Netania’s facial expression is to Pikachu?! Also that is one of the best and creative graduation caps that I’ve seen.

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After our photoshoot, we went to go eat kbbq and I got to catch up with Bethanie since I haven’t seen her in 3 years! As you can imagine there was a lot of catching up as well as a lot of reminiscing of our UCR days. I just want to thank Bethanie and Netania for choosing me as their photographer for this special occasion. I am still doing graduation sessions for the month of May and June. If you want to book a graduation portrait session with me, please click here.

Tommy's Proposal to Rianna | Skyspace In Los Angeles, CA

About 2 months ago, I got a text from my good friend Tommy asking if I could be his photographer for his proposal to his girlfriend (now fiancé) Rianna. I was really excited when I heard the news since I was wondering (as many of his friends were) when he was going to propose to Rianna. Fast forward to 2 days before the proposal, Tommy called me personally to go over the final details for the big day! It's been a long and arduous 2 month process for Tommy in preparing for the proposal. He originally wanted to do the proposal at a helipad in Downtown but eventually decided to go with Skyspace since it's pretty difficult to get a hold of the managers for these buildings that have a helipad in them. I knew of one helipad that was accessible but we would have to sneak up and didn't want to risk it in the end (maybe next time!). Skyspace holds special importance to both of them since the restaurant on the 71st floor was one of the first places that they went to for their first date. 

This was my first time at Skyspace and I have to say that the 360 degree view from the top was amazing. We had a little private section on the 69th floor all to ourselves for 30 minutes. It took a while to get to the top but luckily I arrived a little bit earlier than Tommy and Rianna in order to scout the location for a bit and set up my camera. To be honest I was a little nervous at first since a proposal is the 2nd most important thing next to weddings which means I couldn't miss a single shot. As I was nervously waiting I saw Tommy and Rianna open the door. Rianna called out my name asking what I was doing here. At this point I think she knew what was going to happen in the next few minutes... 

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I met Rianna a few years ago when I was attending Venice Santa Monica FM Church. We didn't officially meet at the time but I knew of her and I saw her in the church. I met Tommy during my freshman year of college back at UCR when we were both attending Asian American Christian Fellowship. It's been 3 years since we both graduated and we both have grown a lot since then.

I could already tell from how they both interacted with each other and the amount of chemistry that they had that Rianna was "the one" for Tommy. I will always be amazed of how God works in mysterious ways. I remember a few years ago when Tommy told me that he was going to attend PCJC Family Camp which is an annual conference for all of our FM churches in the PCJC. I was surprised that he was going since he goes to a difference church than our sister churches. At the time God was calling him to be a staff at the conference and that's when he met Rianna. And as they say "the rest is history"

I felt really honored being the official photographer and among the few (the rest were strangers) to witness my friend Tommy propose to his now fiancé Rianna. Congratulations to the both of you guys and I can't wait for what God has in store as you guys start a new chapter in your lives.