Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lily Chan Photography

You may have noticed that it's been a while since my last post. Did I fall off the face of the earth? Contract gangrene of the fingertips? Get really, really lazy? No, no, and maybe a little. The truth is that I've taken on a new project, one that has eaten up what precious little free time I have. I've decided to start my own business: Lily Chan Photography.

I've always loved taking pictures. I got my first camera when I was 11. It was a blue plastic point-and-click from K-Mart that used 110 film. Remember those? These days, I shoot with the humble but perfectly serviceable Canon Rebel XS outfitted with a 50mm 1.4 lens. One day, I hope to graduate to the Canon 5D Mark II (or even III). I say "one day" and not "next week" because the 5DM2 doesn't come cheap. It costs the same amount as several pairs of Loubotins. Or a large Louis bag. Or 850 Coffee Bean chai tea lattes (note to self: stop buying chai tea lattes from Coffee Bean). Vince, if you're reading this, don't freak out - I promise I won't dip into the kids' college fund to pay for it. Instead, I'm hoping that my new business will take off enough for me to finance the new toy. Or, if that doesn't work, I'll sell myself on the corner of Hollywood and Vince. There's gotta be a market for aging moms of two, right? KIDDING.

So, like I was saying, I have always loved photography. I loved it so much that I chose it as an area of concentration in my studies as an art student at UCLA. I lived, breathed, slept, and ate photography until the day I received my diploma. And once I got it, guess what happened? I'd become so sick of it that I tossed my enlarger into a dumpster the week after graduation. But then, Benjamin was born, and with him, so was a renewed love of photography. Sure, I'd take snapshots between college and kids, but it felt different now. There is something so special about shooting children. I think it has to do with the fact that they change so damn fast. Those chubby cheeks and gummy smiles are there so briefly, soon to be replaced by skinned knees and gangly limbs, which then metamorphose into broken curfews, cheap Wet 'n' Wild kohl eyeliner, and a bad attitude.

Until recently, my portfolio consisted largely of shots of my own kids. As adorable as I think they are, I realized that in order to successfully market a family photography business, I would need pictures of families. Other people's families. Luckily, my good friends Clara and Eddie agreed to be my first Lily Chan Photography clients. We met at a local park, and I snapped away for about an hour.

My first official LCP session was so much fun! Still, it was not without its challenges. For one thing, it was as hot as hell and the light happened to be super harsh that afternoon. What happened to June Gloom? And then there were environmental concerns, mainly phantom puddles of peed-on grass to skirt like squishy landmines. At one point, I flopped my whole body down in the grass only to realize that I was in a giant puddle of-- I don't even want to think about it. Luckily, the resulting shot was pretty durned cute (above, top left).

All in all, I would say the shoot was a grand kickoff to the start of Lily Chan Photography. Many thanks to Clara, Eddie, and baby Brady for being such a pleasure to work with! I have a few more gigs coming up, so keep an eye out for those pics soon. I'm also in the process of getting a website up, but until then, I'll have to harangue my blog readers with LCP crap here. Right now, I'm running a grand opening special that I'm calling the Dirty 30. Why "dirty"? Because it's rhymes with "thirty" - DUH! Anyway, here's the Dirty 30 in a nutshell: you get a 30-minute session, an online gallery for proofing, and 5 digital negatives to keep for $50. Steal!! See the fine print below* for more details. If you have more questions or want to book me for a shoot, then contact me. Thanks, and stay tuned! Viva LCP!

*The fine print: The Dirty 30 is a limited time offer. To take advantage of it, your session must be scheduled before the end of July. I have a limited number of spaces available. Once all slots are filled, the offer will end. The Dirty 30 includes one 30-minute session at an outdoor location of your choice within 5 miles of Playa Vista (90094). If you are interested in setting up a slightly different package (such as a longer session, an indoor shoot, or a location outside of the 5 mile radius), let me know and we'll work something out. Email for details and booking. Thanks!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

She's Got Style, She's Got Grace, She's a Winner...


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bento Blahs

You may have noticed that it's been a long time since my last bento post. You know why? It's because I'd been hit by a serious case of the bento blahs. It seemed that almost every bento I packed included a PBNFSM (Peanut Butter Nutella and Flaxseed Meal) sandwich. BOOORING! Thankfully, I discovered a new way to get some grains into the Boo's bento boxes: onigiri, AKA, rice squished together into a little ball (or fun shape) to be picked up with bare hands and popped into the mouth. I'd included plain onigiri in Benjamin's bento before, but they were met with little enthusiasm. I decided to add some flavor by quickly frying the sides in a mix of olive oil, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce, which he seemed to like. I'm sure the cute heart shapes appealed to him, too.

Benjamin liked the savory onigiri so much, I put a sweet spin on things and made some strawberry-flavored ones. I did this by making a ball-shaped onigiri, creating a little divot in the center with my fingers, spooning in a bit of strawberry preserves, and reshaping it.

He didn't seem terribly excited about the strawberry onigiri, so I made some with Nutella filling instead. I first tried it with plain Nutella, and when that went over well, I mixed in some flaxseed meal to give it some more nutritional oomph. I was worried that the texture of the flaxseed meal would turn him off, but Benjamin didn't seem to notice. His Nutella and flaxseed meal onigiri bento came back looking like this:

Mmmm! I don't know if you can tell, but it appears that he ate through the onigiri until he got to all the chocolate stuff. Smart kid, that Benjamin! Unfortunately, those smarts were stumped by...

I'm assuming that note was not written by Benjamin himself, but was dictated to his teacher Ms. Gisele. The kid is smart, but not that smart! Even so, I was surprised to receive that note. I mean, the kid can do this...

...but he can't figure out how to use his lunchbox? I'd like to think that the reason why is because he is driven witless by his excitement to eat the delicious lunch his mama packed him!