Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Crafting the Light….beyond natural light.

November 1st, 2014 Comments off

We perceive light in slants, rays, patches of brightness that illuminate textures and surfaces. When Dawn caresses the land with her golden fingertips, the earth awakens. By day, a world basked in natural sunlight is one where colors glow richer and truer. In a beam of sun slanting through window blinds at dusk, a hundred specks of dust come alive, swirling in a unique pattern of dance, a world that remained invisible in the absence of light. By night, the dull yellow of a street lamp can alter colors far from their original shade. Shadows elongate along dark pavement, and sometimes, even the familiar faces of friends can appear ghastly.

Photographers always stress the importance of light. We aim to use natural lighting when possible as it makes for richer, unaltered photos, but the wrong kind of weather or environment can cause light to be too dull or harsh, therefore making or breaking a shot in the hands of the inexperienced. When Mother Nature doesn’t feel like being generous with her infinite beauty, our team adds professional lighting to save the scene.

The photo below was taken at The Mountain Terrace in Woodside, home of giant, rich redwoods, creating a perfect opportunity to stage a fantastical forest scene. Some natural light does filter through the dense canopy. The picture was taken in the daytime when the most light could be captured for the area, but it is still too dark to highlight the facial expressions of the bride and groom.

Many details of the textured redwood trunks are also lost at the center focal point of the image. By applying a simple artificial light from the right, the natural sunlight from above becomes balanced. Skin tones glow healthy instead of appearing dull; the bride’s white dress, veil, and even hair ornament become prominent instead of receding into the background; and—more importantly—the joy on her face can be seen. Shooting the trees at an upward angle also shows off the filtration of sunlight through the forest and gives the bright green leaves a lacey effect—a balance of soft edges to the steadfastness and strength of the redwood trunks.

Natural light photo

professional light photo

Introducing Julie Dorst, Bay Area Fashion Designer

March 21st, 2013 Comments off

Most of us could recall something specific in youth that fueled our passions and inspired what we love today. Maybe it was a future mechanic picking up a toy tool set, a programmer absentmindedly tapping at the keyboard like a piano, or an artist doodling with crayons on paper.

For Julie Dorst, it all started with a lambswool jacket, the comforting look and feel of which gave her joy and comfort when she wore it. Since she was young, Julie knew she had a knack for fashion. Like any artist, things that people don’t normally give a second glance at would call out to her. She loved the feel of soft textures. Bold prints inspired her to piece together different colors and see how they complemented each other. Before long, she developed an affinity to the chic and stylish. Fueled with a desire to share her sense of fashion with modern women, Julie became a designer and launched her clothing line on the internet, recently introducing her Fall 2013 collection.

Julie Dorst Fashion

Julie’s brand is captured in classic silhouettes, timeless colors, and modern prints. Best of all, it’s made in the USA. Whether women are at work or around town, Julie wants to inspire comfort and confidence with her clothing line.

We love the opportunity to shoot all the photographs for her website, www.juliedorst.com. Julie’s Fall line boasts the rich, earthy, and bold colors of an autumn harvest, and we had fun contrasting this against a canvas of nature’s own colors. Here’s what Julie has to say about her passion and how it all started:

“The Julie Dorst brand is a culmination of my lifelong love for fashion
and the entrepreneurial bug I caught while counseling start-up companies
as a lawyer in the Silicon Valley. As a child I had an affinity for anything
soft or blue, and my adoration for texture and color along with my favorite
lambswool jacket (an updated version of which I still wear today!) became
the foundation for what has now become my brand. Based in California,
where a woman’s busy day can require her to look stylish in a variety of
circumstances, my clothing line is inspired by the idea that wherever she is,
a woman should look fabulous and feel great. If any of you women are like
me, I know I have a much better day when I’m wearing the right outfit!”

To browse Julie’s collection or for information on how to purchase any of the outfits that may catch your eye, head on over to Julie’s website!

Julie Dorst Fashion

Julie Dorst Fashion

SunPower solar panels, from sunlight to studio light

January 28th, 2012 1 comment

When we decided to renovate the studio, we wanted to create a cozy, inviting space with lots of natural light and elegant furnishings. But we weren’t just thinking about the inside environment; we wanted to do something good for the outside environment, too.

That’s why on top of all the other renovations we made to our studio—literally—are 28 SunPower solar panels. They are the most efficient panels in the business, and will help us save money and cut way down on greenhouse gas emissions.

SunPower Solar Panels above our studio

I don’t want to bore you with too many numbers, but this is pretty impressive: the panels will offset our power costs by $300 a month. Over the next twenty-five years, we’ll save a whopping $92,000.

But the environmental benefits are even more amazing. By installing those 28 solar panels, we’re saving the equivalent of driving a car 354,000 miles. We’re saving the amount of CO² produced by 3,400 trees. Imagine if a family that never recycled anything started recycling all their cans and bottles and paper. Twenty-five years later, they have saved 98,400 pounds of solid waste from ending up in landfills. That’s the equivalent of how much energy we’re saving!

With all the lights and equipment we need to use, photography shoots can suck up a lot of energy. But we believe creating a beautiful photograph shouldn’t come at the expense of the natural environment. The new solar panels help us give back to the planet while bringing our power bill down—a real win-win!

We decided to go with SunPower because they have been around for over 25 years and offer the most efficient solar panels on the planet. They’re so efficient that they even generate power on cloudy days! The panels sit low over the roof, and their sleek design makes them barely noticeable. We don’t have to put in any extra effort at all. And whenever I want to see something that will make me smile, I can just pull up the SunPower app on my iPad to see how much energy we’re saving.

Come visit our newly renovated studio to see all the improvements we’ve made, inside and out!

Photography Studio Renovated! Happy New Year!!!

December 31st, 2011 Comments off

As we say goodbye to 2011, we also say goodbye to the headache of renovating our photography
studio. We spent 3 months dealing with the fine white dust from the drywall, the teeth-shattering jackhammering, and the noise from dawn till dusk. Renovation is super stressful, especially if, like me, you’re someone who is meticulous about the tiniest details: light, color, the shape of the tiles, design, ambiance, and on and on.

But the good news is that our studio renovation is finally complete! Champagne all around, please! Happy New Year!!!

Photographer of the Year

We decided to go through the remodeling process because we wanted to be able use the studio as an elegant backdrop in photos. Renovation of this proportion usually takes 6 months, but we
completed a majority of it in just under 3 months because we are utilizing the space as a studio and can’t have such a long downtime. We had to be extremely creative in making the renovations in sections.

We did all the interior design ourselves, and we’re so please with how it turned out! The studio used to be really dark, but now light pours in from skylights and windows. Glass doors open onto the yard, creating a flow between indoor/outdoor living space.

We created more light by adding 7 new skylights, and a bunch of new windows. We also installed at least 60+ new light fixtures into the studio, most of which are LED (energy efficient and non-toxic).

The interior has a wedding theme with a glamorous, contemporary, warm and extremely sexy feel. The furniture is modern and cozy, the perfect place for couples who are getting married to get comfortable, have some wine and cheese, and chat with us about their plans.

The fireplace is elongated, see-through and set into beautifully curved tiles, bordered by wood. The other side has a large black granite surround, sitting on a sensual red wall. The see-through fireplace is fun because it’s essentially 2 fireplaces in one.

The salon also received a facelift with new light fixtures, glass French doors and new flooring.

With its beautiful lighting, flowing design, comfortable furnishings and elegant touches throughout the space, visitors tell us the new studio has the feel of a high-end lounge.

Reception Room

Crystal Light Panels

Wedding Albums atop a see through fireplace


Capture The Love Studio

Album Spread

designHERimage Salon by Tiffany Chiang

Engagement Session in San Francisco | Photo • Cinema for Becca & Jed

August 9th, 2011 Comments off

So exhilarating is the experience of getting to know two people in love. We felt very blessed photographing Jed & Becca’s engagement session in San Francisco and San Jose. The photos are possibly one of our best so far. We strive for unique photos every time and it makes us super delighted.

Oh, about the best shot, here it is. Thoughts?

Photographer for the Engagement Session in San Francisco

And here are the others shot in San Jose’s HIstorical Park, beach, Palace of Fine Art, etc. So MUCH fun! At the end of it all, Jed, Becca and I had a blast. They also decided that they also wanted us to be their wedding videographer. It’ll be fun doing photography and videography / cinematography in the Stanford Memorial Church in Palo Alto and the San Mateo County History Museum. Can’t wait!!!

Photographer for the Engagement Session in San Jose

Engagement Session in San Jose

trytpch of love


Engagement photography in San Francisco

Engagement Session at Palace of Fine Art

Engagement Session at Palace of Fine Art

Engagement Session at the beach in SF