Dec 31, 2011

A happy new year

Well this year has flown! I am excited to see what next year brings, especially on the travel front. It has been much too long since our last trip out of the city, so J and I scratched the itch by booking tickets to New Orleans in February (not during Mardi Gras sadly). Would really love and appreciate any recommendations for must-sees.

The gif below might take a while to load. Wait for it... :)

Photos courtesy of the very awesome Justin Lee.

Thank you all for your readership this year! Hoping for bigger and better in 2012.

Dec 29, 2011

Sleeping space

It's been a slow week on the blogosphere it seems. I've been waiting on film scans to come back and with each day, keep hoping it will so I will have nice blog fodder. Unfortunately, this has made me slack in creating new stuff. And it's not that I haven't tried! Today, I walked around Central Park for a good fifteen minutes as my fingers numbed by the second. I gave up on any shooting there.

I did, however, pull out the polaroid back for the Contax and actually got around to scanning the result.

This duvet cover was a huge sale score at West Elm. :)

Dec 27, 2011

Afternoon tea

Tea time is so much better with this charming tea infuser and this elegant caddy from Bellocq. Today I'm sipping No. 45, White Wolf - a delightful blend of organic white peony, cedar, juniper, and mint. Satsumas and cookies baked by mom complete the scene.

The embarrassingly sloppy behind the scenes. I'm too short for this shit. Yes, I had to drag in a step ladder.

Dec 26, 2011

Contax glamour shots

This weekend felt like it both dragged and flew by. Very bizarre. J and I spent all of yesterday indoors; we ordered Chinese food, drank champagne, and watched Netflix. Riveting stuff, I know. I've really been slacking on taking my camera with me around the city. The iPhone has made me lazy like that. Anyway, I wanted a few pictures I could use for "About Me" pages or the like, so I had J take these of me wielding the Contax. I also snuck in this picture of my new "wine" colored cloche. It's almost too cute for me.

P.S. The lovely Ilona Joy interviewed me for her blog a few weeks back - check out the post here!

Dec 23, 2011

Happy friday and holidays

This silk shirt I never wear turned out to be a nice festive backdrop for this little holiday message card of sorts. And how thrilled am I to have poppies this time of year!

Have a good one! I'll be back next week.

Dec 21, 2011


The only upside of rainy days in the city is taking dreamy out of focus iPhone shots... What I really needed to do here was stand right in the middle of the street, but I was getting enough stares as it was on the corner. ;) I just can never pass up the opportunity to bokeh the great buildings of this city.

Many of you have figured out how to do this, but in case you still want to know how to create iPhone bokeh, there are two methods that are pretty much the same idea. The quick and dirty method is to compose your scene, focus on your hand close-up (sometimes I use the tip of umbrella when it's raining...) and quickly take away your hand and press the shutter before the iPhone has a chance to refocus.

The other is to use the iPhone's AE/AF lock. For this, I will try to focus closely on something around the same exposure as the scene, then hold down that part of the screen for a second or two. You'll then see "AE/AF lock" pop up on your screen. Then bokeh away! Fun fun.

Dec 20, 2011

6th and B

I know I've shared my love for the community gardens of the East Village a handful of times on here already, but here I am, going at it again. Back in early November, I passed by the garden on the 6th and B, aptly named "6th and B Garden", and shot a few frames of Portra 400. I really enjoy the mix of grungy East Village-ness and pretty greenery and florals. I'm sure it would have looked like a different beast during prime gardening season.

Dec 18, 2011

Bellocq tea atelier

Words alone cannot express how beautiful BELLOCQ Tea Atelier is. Fortunately, the very skilled Anna Williams has already captured some of its beauty (the photos on the website). In fact, it was her photos in an issue of Communication Arts that made me buy that issue. I was merely flipping through it but was so inspired by those few shots, I had to have it on hand. Ever since Nicole blogged about BELLOCQ, I felt even more compelled to go. Since the BELLOCQ showroom is only open Friday and Saturday and it's a slight trek to Greenpoint from here, laziness got the best of me and I only just visited it yesterday.

Right now, the showroom is decked out in gorgeous holiday lights and pearly strings. But really, everything about this place makes me swoon. I seriously need more of this in my life. These pictures barely begin to do it justice.

Of course the light in the back room was just beyond perfect for portraits - amazing diffused light coming in three directions plus great darker backdrops for some shadow and contours.

Hey you out of town photographers, this is a MUST visit for your next time in New York.

Dec 16, 2011

Shades of grey

I don't know why I don't shoot more black and white film (I guess the easy answer is that I can always make my color film black and white but not vice versa). But I always love the results, especially when it comes to portraits. Some dapper looking guests from last month's City Hall wedding. :)

Hoping to shoot more personal "work" this weekend. Have a good one!

Dec 15, 2011

My kinfolk contribution

As some of you may have seen, the latest issue of the beautiful Kinfolk came out on Monday. It is available in print and for the iPad. I am ridiculously thrilled to have been a part of this issue and to have my work alongside other artists whom I have looked up to for many years. Working with The Jewels of New York and stylist Andrew Stewart was seriously a dream. We spent almost the whole day at Diana's place in the lovely Brooklyn Heights neighborhood with a ton of precious props (another post to come on that). After the linens were ironed some dozen+ times (thank you, Andrew) and props were moved to and fro, and we took a break to order some good old NY pizza, we were more than pleased with the final shots. I couldn't have asked for a better shooting experience.

I have only seen screenshots from the iPad so far, but am eagerly awaiting to see it in print. Here are some of the other selects from the day. I shot a mix of film (Portra 400) and digital.

I hope you'll pick up a copy - it'd make a lovely gift too. :)

Dec 14, 2011

Peering in

I wanted to share one frame from an October wedding for its cozy and intimate mood. Sometimes it's great to just shut off the flash during the reception and let 'er go at a super high ISO.

Dec 13, 2011

Birthday dinner #1

On the night of my birthday, J and I took the short trip down to wd~50 in the Lower East Side for a molecular gastronomy treat. We both agree that we really like the idea of the place because no one else in this city is doing anything like it, but we also agree that some dishes definitely just work better than others. Some of these flavor combinations just didn't quiite hit the right notes for me. Nonetheless, dinner was anything but boring or routine-feeling and I enjoyed the creativity (maybe almost more so than the food itself).

Highlights for me included the foie-lafel (witty, no?), sweet shrimp (those miso threads were stellar), monkfish, and apricot dessert. See the full spread below!

Dec 12, 2011

Gratuitous dark floral studies

I couldn't help myself. They are just so stunning. The color gradient in the red petals is especially beautiful to me. I also love the way the petals curl out like welcoming arms at the edges. Call me the crazy ranunculus lady. :P

Dec 9, 2011


One of the many perks of shooting for Serious Eats is that we get to visit popular places in the off-hour. On the dreary and wet Wednesday of this week, we headed to Vandaag for some drinking and shooting. While I was waiting for the drinks, I snapped these of the interior. The place felt dark and cozy, and the gray day made these shots feel black and white appropriate.

I especially loved the rolled up newspapers on the bar and the shape of these dining chairs.

I have enjoyed coming here for drinks (fantastic beer list and cocktails!) a number of times. The place just felt so different mid-day and I quite loved it.

And thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! They were very much appreciated. :)

Dec 8, 2011


As much as I bemoan getting older, there's no stopping my birthday from coming and going. 23 was a beautifully turbulent year (yes, I'm laying on the drama pretty thick). The months leading up to my exit from the corporate world were rough. There was so much uncertainty and doubt about whether I could succeed in this industry (not that the doubt has completely disappeared now). My birthday usually turns me into a grumpy pessimist and grumpy overall, because I reflect and wonder what the hell I've accomplished in the past year. This year, I'm going to look forward and embrace what's to come.

J got me this beautiful (and man is it beautiful!) 27'' iMac because he knew I needed a computer that didn't take a full minute to render an edit. Yes, I am spoiled and incredibly lucky. The funny thing about these photos is that they make my desk look neat and uncluttered, but what you don't see is the floor and the tables to the left and right where I've discarded all of the junk that was on my desk. ;)

Coffee, flowers, inspiring photography books... these things will, of course, always have a place on my desk.

Well, I'm off to enjoy the day!

Dec 6, 2011

Chicago's botanical garden

The nice thing about Chicago's botanic garden (and zoo which is nearby) is that they are free to the public. In NYC, not so much!

Yes this is a long overdue post. I forgot I had a bunch of Chicago film that I haven't blogged yet. I'm dying for an excuse to shoot more film and really the best excuse is to travel somewhere new. Heck, I'd even take upstate New York. Ok, done whining. I know if I reallllly wanted to blow off some rolls, I could easily do it in my "backyard" that is the East Village.

Dec 5, 2011

Kelly on the high line

When scrapbook design extraordinaire, Kelly, asked me if I could shoot some lifestyle-y portraits for her, I couldn't be happier to oblige. I first met Kelly a little while back at La Colombe where we geeked out over film cameras and the like. She's incredibly nice, has a fantastic smile, and makes the best funny faces. It appears she travels an enviable amount, too.

We popped into Ronnybrook at the Chelsea Market for this final shot. Thanks, Kelly, for having me!

Dec 1, 2011

Quiet morning at Peels

Finally got to check out Peels on an early Sunday morning last weekend. I opted to build my own biscuit with cheddar, scrambled eggs and sausage. As you can see from the picture, I had to pretty much knife and fork it. Good thing even the biscuit on its own was delicious. I was satiated for hours after this seemingly paltry meal (normally my appetite is roaring to go pretty quickly after most meals :P).

Of course, it's a super photogenic spot. I can see why many bloggers and photographers who aren't based in NY flock here when they do visit the city.

Nov 30, 2011

Kat & Tommy | City Hall Wedding

I wanted to share a few scenes from Kat and Tommy's intimate City Hall wedding last week. This is picture heavy so I'll keep the text to a minimum. :)

Below - outside City Hall waiting for rides to Long Island City.

These guys traveled in ultimate style in the trunk. I couldn't help but share this picture. They were really great sports!

And finally, the lovely newlyweds.

The city is incredibly beautiful when you get away from it. I had to stop myself from making almost every picture black and white. I'm just really in that kind of mood.

The whole event is here. Thank you to Kat & Tommy for having me - it was a pleasure!

Nov 29, 2011

The prettiest punch

I got to shoot some of the prettiest punch I have ever seen for this article in Serious Eats. Below are a few different versions and edits from the ones in the slideshow. I am accustomed to shooting in portrait orientation for the blog, but have to switch gears when it comes to Serious Eats slideshows, where landscape shots work best.

1) Rosemary, Baby! from Prime Meats; 2) The Queequeg from The Drink; and 3) Sailor's Punch from Slightly Oliver. I want those scallop-edged bowls! And that blue trunk!

All were dangerously drinkable.

Nov 28, 2011

Gramercy tavern fall tastings

Here's a little blurb from J about our Thanksgiving Eve dinner.

This was actually my first time at Gramercy Tavern. I guess that makes it one of the few restaurants Alice has managed to go to that I haven't. Obviously there was no way I was about to let that stand.

It's an interesting place. We've had most of our more formal meals at more overtly French restaurants, but Gramercy Tavern is in the New American tradition. There's a more overt emphasis on seasonality and perhaps somewhat less complex arrangements. It's an interesting contrast, and an enjoyable experience for planting me firmly in autumn.

The restaurant offers a prix fixe and two tasting menus, one standard and one "vegetable" (emphatically not vegetarian!). We decided to order both tastings. The food was broadly at a very high level, but within that there were a number of highlights.

The lobster salad from the autumn tasting was exquisite; the lobster itself was delightfully textured, while the creamy sunchoke puree harmonized perfectly with the flavor of the lobster itself. Among other accompaniments, little potato chips offered a thoroughly enjoyable texture contrast.

The sunchoke soup was vegetable tasting was similar. It was emphatically vegetable focused but not at all vegetarian, featuring substantial chunks of lobster. It's also lovely to see a dish that meaningfully uses a typical luxury ingredient in a firmly supporting rather than starring role.

The last savory course of special note was the spinach fettuccine on the vegetable tasting, and greatly outshone the corresponding dish on the autumn tasting. The intensity of flavor of the mushrooms was shocking. It was pure earthy, mushroomy goodness.

The desserts were just lovely. Alice's pear dessert was very well-balanced, while I found my deconstructed apple pie (with apple pie ice cream!) satisfying my apple pie craving perfectly.

(Thanks, J. I'll echo the sentiment that my pear dessert almost went down in my books as one of my favorite desserts - ironically, it was the poached pear itself I didn't care for that much. The rest was divine, as I like my desserts both crunchy and creamy in texture.)

Nov 27, 2011

His and hers: makeshift studio edition

Anyone who has visited the apartment has probably heard me complain about the awkward space on the left side of our living room. It's a fair sized space but I haven't been able to figure out what to put there (though I thought it might house a full-sized bar pretty well ;P). For some reason, watching The September Issue inspired us to get a little background stand and shoot in front of it for kicks.

I haven't done one of these his/her looks in ages, so it was the perfect prop to get us wanting to shoot again. Here's what we actually wore today - minus the mustache (c/o Ashley!) and kitteh.

Obviously our white muslin background could use some ironing... and I eventually want to get some colored backdrops for moodier shots. I'm just terrified of the background looking like those hideous ones used reserved for elementary school portraits.

I think we'll leave the stand set up there for now. I want to collect some fun props, and whoever comes by the apartment will be forced to take a photobooth style portrait there. :)

Nov 23, 2011

Two years ago...

Before I shot RAW and before I had a full-frame camera, I baked this apple pie for Thanksgiving. Apparently I took these at 1/25s hand held (whyy?) with my Rebel XTi.

Move along... nothing to see here.

Last year, J and I had a glorious French meal at Adour (thank god I've learned better white balance since that post) the night before Thanksgiving. We decided to keep up that tradition (or I guess, make it a tradition), so we'll be heading to another great restaurant tonight that I've been really wanting to return to. I like to call it stretching out the ole stomach muscles for the next day. Stay tuned for that - I've realized food posts have been majorly lacking on here and that makes me sad! A big part of it is that I just haven't taken the 5D into restaurants lately, and I'm never happy enough with, say, x100 pictures to post them here. (First world problems, I know.)

This is getting too text heavy, but I'll leave it with this: this year, I'm especially thankful to have the opportunity to pursue my dreams of becoming a successful photographer. It sounds so corny in writing, but it's just something I shouldn't take for granted. And of course, thanks to all of you who continue to follow my adventures on lingered upon. :)

Nov 22, 2011

Friends on film

Sometimes I have a pesky bit of film left over on client shoot rolls and end up begging my friends to pose for me. Nicole was in my hood once when I desperately wanted to finish off some film, and she graciously came over and let me shoot her. The last shot is from a jewelry lookbook shoot I recently did for a very talented friend who will hopefully launch her line soon. :)

All Portra 400.

Nov 21, 2011

A short update

I'm going to be bogged down editing for a bit these next few days and attempting (for the 23434th time) to finally organize my disturbingly unorganized files and shoot folders on my drives. For now, here's a little look at these insanely cute girls from a City Hall wedding today (here, we're at a pier in Long Island City). Glittered flats and magenta skirts - obviously I couldn't get enough of these two!

Nov 18, 2011

Avedon vs. the ranunculi

Avedon: Heyyy what're those purple balls doing in my prime spot on the windowsill?? I must go investigate... Maybe they're edible!

Avedon: Hmph, oh well. These purple balls suck! Move them!

Does this post make me a crazy cat lady? Yikes. I better stop this dialogue while I'm ahead. Happy weekend!

Nov 17, 2011

Sara + Mike | A Jersey City Engagement

I had the pleasure of shooting Sara and Mike's engagement session in Jersey City last month. I was introduced to them through the adorable Erin - you've seen her on the blog before! ;)

All shot on Fuji Pro 400H.

I can't explain why but this last shot is probably my favorite. There is something odd and whimsical about it. His hands in front, hers in back. Their expressions.

Nov 16, 2011

Old world luxe

I swooned hard over this 18th century French "hotel" exhibit at the MET. Turns out hotel in that context just meant a private house.

The black and white doesn't really do it justice but you can still make out some of the ornate details. I wish I could have stepped past the velvet ropes and walked around the room!

Nov 15, 2011

For the love of negative space

Here are two more shots from last month's trip to Chicago.

Above: Ektar 100 | Below: Fuji Pro 400H.

Empty beaches are always so photogenic. I am dying to plan another trip somewhere, but it's funny (and terrible) how I now think of traveling primarily as extended photo walks. Everything else (the food, culture, etc. of the place) comes second. I definitely want to escape to warmth come February when the winter starts to really drag on us over here. Currently eyeing Costa Rica...

Nov 14, 2011

A good sunday...

Means spending the afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with black and white film. Unfortunately said film was only ISO 100 so I was pretty restricted in where I could comfortably shoot. Everything here is shot at f1.2 with Fuji Acros 100.

I always forget how awesome black and white film is until I pick it up again.

Nov 13, 2011

Out with the old...

In with the new shiny blog layout! I've had the same layout for this blog from the very first post, so I was long overdue for a change to a less amateur-looking blog. I hope you'll enjoy this cleaner look (yay, sans serifs) and larger photo size (perhaps a little TOO large in some of the single vertical shots... oops). Once again, as both design and code are involved, I have J to thank for all of this brilliance. Can you believe he friggin' DREW the header? In Illustrator? With the pen tool? And he's never used the pen tool ever before that? I guess some of just have it in our blood. I won't even show you the hideous thing I was resorting to use as my header before this one... The pen tool and I don't get along very much at all.

ETA: Please do not view this in Internet Explorer. It looks like crap.

Nov 11, 2011

Earlier this week

Shot at Whitehall in the West Village on Wednesday, a new restaurant with another interior that hits all the right notes for me - industrial and sleek with hints of rustic/woodsy-ness. See the full look + slideshow here. Why yes, I got to sample all of those dishes you see there. It's a tough job, I know.

Above, oysters with smoked bacon and Worcestershire dressing. Below, the talented team - pastry chef Ryan Butler, bar manager John McCarthy, and chef Chris Rendell.

And with that, happy weekend, all!

Nov 10, 2011

New 'do

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have seen that I got me a serious fringe with my latest haircut a week ago. I definitely haven't had bangs this short since the first grade and it's amazing how much they can change your look. I'm still having trouble recognizing myself in the mirror.

I popped the +1 close-up filter on my 50mm and did an arm-length selfie here. To address a comment on my last self-portrait post about how I manage to focus properly: actually, whenever I try these, at least four out of five shots are focused on my nose, hair, mouth, etc. Getting it right on the eyes (especially at f1.2) is just trial and error.

Donning my current choice red: NARS lipstick in Joyous Red. :)

Nov 9, 2011

Solange + Andre

Just wanted to share a few film shots from Solange & Andre's Brooklyn lovely no-frills, cozy wedding a few weeks ago. The reception took place at The Farm on Adderley, another one of those restaurants where I would love to go when empty and photograph all the little details and mismatching chairs.

There's a mix of Kodak Portra 160 and Fuji 400H here.

As a side note, I'll be making some changes to the blog hopefully soon, so if you come by and things look broken and all out of place, you'll know why. One of those changes is going to be to post larger pictures, so I'm making my collages bigger nowadays. You can click here for the bigger version of this one.

Nov 8, 2011


I was over at The Drink yesterday to shoot some things for Serious Eats and normally I don't go crazy and take pictures of interiors and other details, but when I stepped foot into this bar, every heartstring was tugged to the max. Seriously, could this place be up my alley/aesthetic any more? I snuck these shots in while we were waiting for the real subjects to be ready. The angle of the late afternoon light was just so perfect, I completely geeked out over there. I haven't been this excited about a post in a while!

Note the awesome ceiling of tea-stained maps. Of course, the outdoor garden was just as charming as the inside. Swoon.

Nov 7, 2011


On Saturday night, I took the tram to Roosevelt Island for the first time. It's a very quick ride but the view from the back of the tram was not something you get to see every day (well, unless this is part of your daily commute I guess), especially as a downtowner. I later found out that tourists like to ride the tram back and forth and take a zillion photos heh heh.
Snapped these glittering views with the iPhone.

Nov 4, 2011

Fall cocktails

Would love to be sipping on one of these gems from Gramercy Tavern (shot here for Serious Eats) tonight. Below is the Concord Crush and the Fall Classic. It's nice to be able to see the pretty colors of these cocktails in natural light. We never really get to see that!

I recently discovered another fall (ish) favorite - the Pan American Clipper which has got something like apple brandy, lime, grenadine and an absinthe rinse. What's your drink of choice?

Nov 3, 2011

Our nook

I wouldn't exactly call our apartment "done" yet (though, is it really ever??) but I did want to share this little nook at the end of our entryway hallway. I had lofty dreams of a big plush bench here and tons of coffee table books and flowers and artwork, but this will do too. It's getting there! This awesome bench is from The Upper Rust (a haven for antiquey goods and props, not to mention three blocks from the apartment), and I believe it was made from a beer barrel.

These two NYC watercolor sketches are from the talented Suhita of Sketch Away. When we were all cooped up inside on the day of Irene's supposed rampage, I went on an blog surfing binge and came across her work, which I immediately HAD to have. J is all about getting original artwork, so we got these created for us. They were remakes of this and this, both of which are super affordable prints. Suhita mentioned that the cool thing about these two was that they were sketched from the same place in the city. All it required was a turn of the head.

The third sketch is by the awesome Charrow. We came across her work at the Joe Coffee on 13th and were instantly smitten. This particular print is called "Hydrant Jungle" (you must see it up close as it is terribly cute).

P.S. The only downside to this nook is it actually doesn't get much natural light at all. This was shot at an exposure of eight seconds (ISO 400, f5.6). :P

Nov 2, 2011

Around and about millenium park

On Kodak Ektar 100. Some wild colors here. Here was my first time trying this film and I pretty much just overexposed the hell out of it. It would be fun to play with it again, but I should learn how to best expose it.

The "Bean," of course, was oodles of fun (and dizziness/nausea after a bit...).

It was a gorgeous sunny, windy autumn day that day.

Nov 1, 2011


Lone espresso cup on the window sill at Intelligentsia (of course we had to seek out decent coffee) in Chicago.

Oct 31, 2011

Revisiting the self-portrait

I've been dying to shoot more portraits (I think our new Richard Avedon coffee table book is definitely contributing to my itch) but I just don't get much human interaction during the weekday when I'm working at home, so I settled for the next best thing and attempted some moodier portraits on myself, tripod set, remote in hand.

Damn, expressions are hard. I can really appreciate a good portrait now, having tried to convey different expressions and failing. I realized that generally, when I don't smile in my portraits, I come off as a smug bitch. And smiling is no bueno either, so I end up with the same half-amused barely there smirk in every shot. And these days, I just want to make everything black and white. Maybe it's because of the rapidly approaching winter...

Oct 30, 2011

A quintessential nyc engagement

Laura and John hailed all the way from Dublin for this little engagement session in the city, as engagement sessions are not really a thing over there. They wanted to hit up Central Park and Times Square, and although we New Yorkers usually avoid Times Square like the plague, it was surprisingly fun to shoot among the hoards of people. Below are some of the selects from both locations. All digital this time!

Be sure to take note of Laura's adorable tights. :)

Moseying on over to Times Square...

Oct 28, 2011

For the love of succulents

Such a cool word to say and such a great plant. This little pot from the Brooklyn Flea makes me happy. I'd like a whole sill of them. Also, I love using the close-up filters on my 50mm for shots like this. Instantly macro-fied!

There's snow in the forecast for tomorrow. Apparently we had like two days of autumn this year. Not OK. >:[