Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congratulations to the Men's US Soccer Team!

A big congratulations to the Men's US Soccer Team for coming so close to winning the Confederation's Cup on Sunday. They battled huge odds to beat the number one team in the world, Spain, to make the finals. This is the first FIFA final game that the US has ever played and they had to face a huge nemesis, Brazil, who they have defeated only once in 15 games. They came out on fire and went up 2-0 at half. Brazil showed its strength and finesse in the second half, scoring 3 goals against the US to win the final, 3-2. What an exciting game to watch! The US team should be proud of their accomplishments. They beat the number one team in the world and played Brazil (5th in the world) to the bitter end. I know that they must feel heartbroken, letting this one get away. But, they should have a new confidence in themselves and new respect from the world that they can build on for World Cup 2010, which is less than 1 year away!

In the summer of 2006, we were embedded with the Men's US team at there practice facility in Raleigh, NC for 5 days. The goal was to make portraits of the players that would be shown throughout the broadcast of World Cup 2006. It was such an amazing experience, especially for me since I love world soccer and still play on 2 teams in the bay area. Getting to know many of the US players was such a pleasure. We were humbled by how real they were as people and how accepting of us they were even though we were with them 24/7. Some of the players from that team are still the anchors of this current US squad. Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Tim Howard and are just a few of the players that you will hear a lot about with the buildup of World Cup 2010. We wish them the best going forward and we hope that we can be there with them again in 2010!

Here are just a few photographs from our journey with them in 2006:

To see more images click HERE.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lakers Bring Home the Trophy

We had the privilege of photographing stills of the Lakers and the Magic for ABC/ESPN's coverage of the NBA Finals. We met both teams in Los Angeles and photographed the top 7 players from each team with the Larry O'Brien trophy. We had a great time capturing their emotions as they saw the trophy for the first time before the series began. It was also a pleasure working with Valerie from ESPN and being a part of such a creative team. Thank you to Rick Chapman, once again, for leading the crew and to everyone involved with this creative project. We had a blast.

Congratulations to the Lakers!

Here are some of the stills and video from our journey:

Here are a few outtakes from our time with the trophy:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Florence and Bryan - The Mountain Winery

We just had the privilege of photographing Florence and Bryan's wedding. As you can see, these two warm and friendly people are very much in love. We started the day by documenting them getting ready at their home in San Jose. Florence was just beautiful and so was the light! What a dream to walk into a light filled room where the bride is getting ready.

We left their home and headed to the beautifully decorated ceremony and reception site at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga. What an amazing location! There is a huge outdoor amphitheater and so many little nooks and crannies for portraits. It was another photographers dream come true for us. They were just amazing to photograph and they gave us a good hour of their time for portraits before the ceremony. It couldn't have been better and we were inspired all day.

Their ceremony was just as lovely. You could see their affection for each other as they gazed into each others eyes in awe of this time in their lives. It was beautiful.

We were able to catch another 20 minutes with them after the ceremony as the light was just perfect. We had scouted an area in the vineyards nearby and drove there for a few end of day portraits. We were so happy that they gave us this time... For us, it is one of the best moments to capture a couples love and we stress to them that they will thank us later! We gave them a moment to take a break from the somewhat chaotic day and take it all in. This allowed them to just be with each other and we were able to make some beautiful portraits during this quiet time alone.

We all left the vineyard satisfied that we had taken that time and headed back to the reception, which was full of surprises. Unbeknownst to the bride and groom, they had prepared a few games for them to play. The first was one in which Florence was blindfolded and several of the men were all lined up in a row (along with Bryan). Florence then had to feel the backsides of all the men and choose which one was Bryan. Needless to say, there was a lot of laughing, hooting and hollering and a little helpful coaching by some of the children. Florence picked Bryan's backside correctly and they moved onto the next game. This was another game that brought out a lot of crowd cheering. A sugar cube was placed down the front of Florence's dress and Bryan was told that he had to fish it out without the use of his hands. There was a lot of snickering and encouraging outbursts by the guests as Bryan successfully completed his challenge. The final game was very similar to the first, except that Bryan would be blindfolded. They lined up several of the women, including Florence, and asked him to identify his bride by feeling all of the ladies hands. The giggling continued as Bryan felt each and every hand and with the children's helpful coaching, finally chose his new bride's hand correctly. The dancing continued throughout the evening and we ended our time with them by taking portraits of everyone with what we call our "Visual Guestbook". We bring a backdrop and studio lighting and set up a somewhat formal portaiture area for all of the guests to come by and have casual, fun portraits taken for a visual record of who was there to witness their amazing day.

After giving our best to the bride and groom, we left the site completely satisfied and inspired. We wish Florence and Bryan a long, happy life together! Thank you for the great memories.

Here is the slideshow from this wonderful wedding:

Click HERE for another link to the slideshow.