Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Findings::: Danceoff!!



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If we were on the dance floor, and I were a stereotype, I would definitely be "white chick dancing." (No offense)
Whereas in life I may be many things, one of the things I am NOT is very well coordinated, and half of my dance moves are an intentional joke. Have you seen that scene in the movie "Hitch" where Kevin James teaches Will Smith how do dance? Yeah, I could have been the choreographer. Even at weddings I have a tradition to dance, because the fact that I look ridiculous doesn't mean that it's not fun. It's some of the most fun I have at a wedding!

In fact, it always makes me think back to Alex&Danielle's wedding. Click here and scroll down to read about my most ridiculous wedding dancing experience. I still laugh every time I think about it.


And while I would love to one day be a fantastic dancer, I have to admit that I don't really spend much time practicing. I like the idea of dance to be fun and spontaneous, not rehearsed.
So when I do break out a few dance moves (like this crazy dance I did in between editing over a year ago) it ends up looking a little something like this.




And I will leave you with what I would one day love to look like on the dance floor.
My good friend Josh Newton shared this on Facebook earlier this week, and I had to pass it on.




Happy Friday! (Don't forget to dance the night away! ;)





Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mariana&Bruno::: Engagement



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I met Bruno&Mariana about three years ago. They were dating, and were both studying fine cuisine. I was just starting to get more serious about photography. Fast forward to two months ago, and they are working at the famous restaurant "El Bulli" with world-reknown chef Ferran AdriĆ”. I was knee-deep in the photography season craziness.

Mariana came to church with her mom one day, and while having a conversation with her mom I mentioned that I was a photographer. I showed her a couple photos on my iPhone, and she quickly called her bride-to-be daughter to come see some of the photos. They both were really taken with my work, but had unfortunately just finished booking the photographer for their Brazil wedding. A real shame, since I would have loved to go to Brazil! ;) They were both bummed that there was nothing they could do about it, and then we started talking and decided to do an engagement session! So we met soon afterwards and walked around some of Bilbao's most popular places, including the Guggenheim museum and the the narrow stone-paved streets downtown. We had a fantastic time, and I like to think we got some pretty fun photos too!

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Congratulations guys! I think I will dance a little samba in your honor! ;)



Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Findings::: BIRDS!!


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Every time I run into someone who is admittedly afraid of birds, I laugh a little on the inside. In my mind they are usually placed in the same category as those people who don't like ice cream because it's too cold. I can understand being afraid of dogs that can bite you, or animals that can trample on you, but birds don't even let you come close to them! I really don't think an imminent bird attack is something to be worried about.

In fact, I am not sure what Alfred Hitchcock was thinking when he decided to make a scary movie about birds, because I personally think they are hilarious. And to further prove my point, I did a little research, and here's what the internet had to show for it.

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Happy Friday! Don't let the weekend fly on by! (Oh, the pun...)




Monday, September 19, 2011

Celebrating 2 Amazing Years Together!!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I live my life by a well thought-out series of ideas. I try to run my business in the same way. One of these ideas, both on the personal and professional level, is that I really believe in investing in people. Time and time again I have seen how each time that I have gone out on a limb and taken a chance with someone, usually in situations where it would have been easier to just say no, it has come back and helped me out in the long run.


But it's not some kind of a business strategy, I don't do in hopes that it will have a boomerang effect and come back to benefit me in some way. No, in my heart it's as simple as this: when I was starting out people invested in me. People answered my questions, took the time to explain, and were always encouraging. To this day I still have a set of more experienced photographers that are still investing in me in that way, and it only makes sense that I would fall right into place and do the same for those that are starting out and in need of a mentor.


I am happy to email, iChat, or have Skype hangouts with anyone wanting a little encouragement or guidance. I allow aspiring photographers to assist me during shoots, edit together, or brainstorm with me. Coffe in hand? Even better!


I've been thinking about all of this lately, and it's at a perfect time too! September marks the second anniversary of Adina Noel Photography, and I am super excited to see where these first years have taken me and where the next will continue to lead me! If someone had told me two years ago that I would be traveling internationally, spending a whole summer living solely off of my skill, and meeting some of the nicest most fun people along the way, I would have thought they were crazy!


So in the spirit of celebrating, in the spirit of thankfulness, and of investing in people... I want to take a moment and thank every person that took the time to invest in a quirky little photographer from Spain.


First and foremost, a big thanks goes out to Jake Preedin. He gave me my first big break by letting me be his second shooter at a wedding in Aberdeen, Scotland. Other than introducing me to the happy world of wedding photography (which I quickly fell in love with, and is now the focus of my business) he also taught me how much having an upbeat fun attitude towards everything can influence a photo shoot.


Second in line would be the one, the amazing, the super tall, Josh Newton! I can NOT think of his full name without my brain going ".com!" at the end, but I will always be thankful for the shooting opportunities, the hang outs, and for the excuse to visit sunny California. More importantly, Josh taught me what confidence looks like and how it affects your wedding day. Great lesson!


Every time I think "Josh" the next thing that pops into my mind is "Montana". Clearly, Josh doesn't live in Montana, but his best friend/former roommate is called Montana. He is also the master of everything creative. From him I learned to always exercise my creativity, to see light, shadow, and everything around me differently. Every time I take a pinhole shot, I remember Montana. Also every time I see an awesome beard. Just sayin'...


Richelle Dante, a.k.a. "The Baby Whisperer", thanks for an awesome visit, for teaching me to always smile through a shoot (especially when everything goes wrong), introducing me to the magic of The Magic Kindgom, and making sure I got the "Californian Food Experience". You also helped me to learn to value my time, my skill, and put a price on it. One of the hardest things to do in this industry! And I am still jealous of your lovely red chandelier!


Axier Martinez, was my instructor during a short photography course I took when starting out. This man deserves a medal for being able to get me to understand image resolution and for letting me test drive the 24-70 2.8 before making my decision to buy. "Eskerrik Asko!" ;)


Andrew Smith: helpful from day one, he has always been a good friend to me, has helped me get out of a mess or two, and I owe him big time. The importance of friendship and networking continues to show itself through this friendship. Andrew, there is a check in the mail for a "Gajillion Dollars" worth of consulting fees, I swear...

To Tyler Gould and Sid Ceaser, for the many many conversations it took to get me to understand and dare to start using Off Camera Flash. You guys are rockstars! :)

Charity Klicka, thank you for letting me be a mentor to you. For letting me give back, helping me grow and learn more about this crazy crazy thing that is the study of light. Also, my stomach thanks you for the lovely Mac'N'Cheese care package! :)


Tim King, Jason Kirby, and Ryan Lum: Thanks for taking me on some of the most intense, hilarious, and memorable 24 hours of my life. You guys inspire me to continue to live life to the fullest, take exceptional photos, and to never EVER let a "hiccup" get in the way of having a great time!


Cassie Jones: I can not tell you how blessed my life has been in the past couple of months, just to be able to count on you for prayer, encouragement, and a good laugh or two. You taught me to have faith in me. Priceless.


To my amazing Showiteers, for being a second family to me. For helping me out with the technical, the creative, and letting me vent from time to time. I am so glad to have "found" you, and can not wait to move to San Diego and start hanging out!


To my second shooters Ghill and Amber, for your hard work and dedication. I have loved rocking out weddings with you!


To my lovely assistants, Peio, Karis, and Anna. For helping me carry stuff around, being mobile light stands, and mostly for keeping me sane in every situation. You are worth your weight in gold!


To my models and clients: You guys are amazing! Seriously, I can not thank you enough for always allowing my creativity to go wild, trusting me with the results, and being an absolute pleasure to be around. You all make me look good.

Family and friends: You know who you are. God has blessed me with each and every single one of you. You inspire me, encourage me, let me use you as guinea pigs, and always keep me grounded. I love you guys!


And last but not least, I'd like to thank all the airlines for unknowingly letting me sneak all my exceedingly-over-the-carry-on-weight-limit gear on board! Got home safe and sound!


It might seem that I am thanking everyone, but seriously, it has been a team effort to get to this day. So YAY for us!! Can't wait to be celebrating a couple more years together! :D

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Personal::: Back to School, Being Selfish, & Moonlighting as Spiderman!



It is 2:16am. I am tired. I am not getting anything productive done. Why am I still up?

Lately I've been thinking that perhaps I am pushing myself too hard. I have a day job, and it does not involve a single click of a camera. Nope. For any of you who didn't know, I am an English teacher during the day and your friendly neighborhood spiderman at night. Oh, wait... substitute the word "spiderman" for "photographer".

Clearly, I need more sleep.

As I am finishing up the wedding season, I can see how for a while now the three words that send shivers down the spines of the young and old equally have already started to sound increasingly loud, until inevitably becoming quite deafening. "Back. To. School."

I think I hated the idea as a child, and I will admit that I probably hate it even more as an adult.
Kinda bad when you're the teacher, huh? The issue for me right now is that all of my work, my busiest two times of the year, are happening at the exact same time. It's a little bit hectic. And I'm starting to think that it might be a little too much. Which is quite a statement to come from a potential workaholic.
Of course, this has been a particularly stressful week for me, both in my business and personal life..

I won't go into details, but instead say that a situation came up this week where I was challenged both as an entrepreneur and on a personal level. I do not like confrontation. I find that the older I get the less I am interested in drama. It's funny to me how many times we all tend to make small situations into something huge. We overreact, we are hurt, and sometimes we even cause the hurt... and without even necessarily knowing it at the time, it seems like more often than not it's all pretty much just for the sake of drama. Well, none for me thankyaverymuch!

Through this situation I found that even though I wanted to crawl under my desk and hide, it was instead time for me to stand out into the open and put my foot down for what I believed was the right thing to do. Not just for me, but I believe in everyone's best interest as being the solution to many of life's problems. If I hate it when people act selfishly, I should probably at least do my part and make sure that I am not doing the exact same thing myself.

In taking care of this situation I found that I was learning how to say no. I have spent so much time trying to keep everybody happy that I forgot one of the very first words that I ever learned how to say! Isn't that ridiculous?

So if you are going to leave today and take any of these middle-of-the-night-ramblings with you... hold on to this: Pace yourself. Act lovingly. Don't be a drama queen. Put other people first. But every once in a while do remember to decide when you need to put your foot down. What is really going to make a difference? What are you really not willing to compromise? Then, put yourself first. Choose to say no. Because sometimes on the journey towards learning to love others, you find that you also need to first learn to love yourself. If you would tell a friend to take a break, you need to allow yourself to do the same. You can't keep going if you're passed out from exhaustion.
Take a minute, breathe... you'll be much better because of it. And who knows? You might even sleep better at night!

Well, I really just felt like writing a little tonight. I hope some of this actually made sense.
If it doesn't, well... I blame it on Spiderman. I probably should have stopped right then and there!

Good night.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Findings::: Harry Potter!!



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Earlier this week I found myself having to do a lot of editing one evening. Sometimes I just feel the need to be in complete silence, other times I actually need noise. I need music or a good movie to carry me through. I found my sister watching Harry Potter and decided to join her while I edit. I like Harry Potter. It's funny, and the special effects are usually interesting and unusual things. Different from the mental picture I had of things, that's for sure. It isn't the first time I have edited to Harry Potter. In fact, last summer I watched Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix while editing Julie&Ryan's wedding. Now, please don't ask me what happened in the movie because I got pr-etty into my editing and by the time I looked up the credits were rolling... I'm not even kidding.

Anyway, in honor of that, and of the Harry Potter movie marathon I've claimed for three years that I am going to have (to catch up on the last 3 movies) I decided to that what this week's Friday Findings needed was for me to bring a little Potter love!

And you know when there's a blockbuster out there, there's always a few people who take it a little too far.

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And when there's a few people who take it too far, there's also another small amount of people who force other's to also take it too far!

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Have yourselves a magical Friday! ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Baptism:: Kevin&Chabeli




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I got my gear and went out to brave the heat. This must have been the hottest day of the year so far. The chapel was only a few blocks away from my house, so the most logical thing would be for me to walk there. As soon as I found the street and noticed the number I knew it would be quite a walk to get there. Also, it was all entirely uphill. As I slowly made it up the hill I saw the large crowd gathered in front of the building. I knew I was in the right place. The display of colors and patterns made me smile. I immediately felt like Cameroon must be a beautiful country to photograph. I was there to shoot a brother and sister, Kevin and Chabeli, as they were going to be baptized. Everyone was happy and high-fiving them.

As the ceremony came to an end and I was starting to mingle with the guests and take pictures, was when I realized just how short I am. It really didn't help that all the women there were wearing gorgeous dresses and equally amazing shoes. There I am, wearing dress pants and flats, sweating, and did I mention feeling short? Yeah. Feeling very very short.

The reception included african food, singing, and dancing. Several friends poked fun at me for thinking food was way too spicy, and I was given a ride back home by my client's bodyguards!
All in all, it was definitely a very memorable night! :)

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Congrats Kevin&Chabeli!
(Don't do anything "photo-girl" wouldn't do! ;)


Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Findings::: Photographers Gone Wild!!





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If there is something that us photographers are guilty of being addicted to, other than taking photos, is gear. We strive to have every lens, camera bag, and accessory imaginable to man. We dream of having an unlimited amount of money to spend at B&H and of the gorgeous results that we could get by using every possible angle and the proper use of all of those super fun new toys. And the danger of this is that we if ever did reach out dream, we would end up looking like this:


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I had a hard time picking just a few photos for this post because there were simply too many photos to choose from. Fortunately I found this video to go along with this post. You can laugh or you can be embarrassed know you've put yourself and your camera in situations like these before. Whatever you do, may it all be in good fun.





Have a picture perfect friday!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fun::: Euskal Encounter!



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I had a plan. I was going to spend 4 hours there. I had visited a few times, but I'd actually never participated. I was hesitant when I walked through the doors, with my MacBook Pro safely in my backpack, comfy sweatshirt, and a bottle of water. "In and out" was what I muttered under my breath. I spent 3 days there.

A couple days earlier I got a call from my older brother, Nick. He had planned on going to the annual Euskal Encounter (basically a computer freak convention) and just found out that he wouldn't be able make it because of his work schedule. He hated the idea of wasting the whole ticket away, so he wanted to know if I would like to go hang out for a bit and take advantage of the crazy fast internet speed. "Since you are always clogging up our internet at home by uploading those HUGE photos of yours, I thought you could get them all up into your online galleries in minutes!" It sounded like a good idea, so I picked up a few things and was on my way.

A long story short, it took me roughly 1 hour to figure out how to get on the internet, 4 hours to get on the events download server, and about 30 seconds upload time for each 20MB image. I walked around with my camera in between spells of frustration and took pictures of the sights. Some of these people were worthy of being on The Big Bang Theory. (At the very least, most of them were admittedly fans of the show). I met a small group of Mac guys among a sea of PC-filled stations and they helped me out a so much! All in all I spent 3 days getting all kinds of work done, hanging out, writing up blogs, and learning a lot about computers. But the environment is what kills me. They don't sleep, they survive on energy drinks, pizza, and snacks. Their skin is subtly tinted by the light bouncing off from their gigantic display, as their eyes squint from focusing on whatever quest, mission, or layer they are currently working on. I could go on and on about these intriguing new "species" but I figure what better than a few photos
to give you an idea of what it's like...

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In case there's a carpal tunnel emergency?

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So nice to see Grey's Anatomy on a screen, instead of anime, youtube, sci-fi...

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I'm going back next year, but I am bringing more supplies!! ;)