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.