Monday, 8 December 2014

2nd Annual UofT Korea Day

This past weekend I was invited back by my Korean professor to shoot the second annual University of Toronto Korea Day.  I was beyond touched that he had thought of me and excited to gain more experience shooting events.
This year's event focused on the blending of traditional and contemporary Korean culture, starting with a classical segment featuring the multi-talented Ms Grace Lee and the Korean Canadian Symphony orchestra.

Gayageum in traditional hanbok

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

There's no place (that tastes) like home

Warming: this post may make you hungry
After my last post on Ottawa, I realized that I never really did a post on Toronto.
Since moving here, I've gone back about once a month --  three times so far.  I noticed that aside from my friends and family (which I miss very much of course), the second most-missed thing is definitely the food.  Naturally, it annoys my parents I'm not home for meals but honestly, after 4 weeks of not eating Toronto food, my To-Eat list is pretty long considering I'm only back for 2 days each time.
First on the list is a pricier craving:

I'm drooling right now, all over my keyboard
This is the amaaaazing Golden Curry from Linda Modern Thai.  I first tried this during the Toronto Summerlicious event and literally went back the week after.  On top of the delicious golden curry sauce itself, the crispy beef is unbelievable - thin crispy outside and soft succulent inside.  Linda Modern Thai is a fancier restaurant so not so much an every-day thing, but makes a good place for a night out.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Other Side: Fur Vest Pairings

Hi everyone!  This is my second attempt at doing a fashion post.  Thank you so much for the warm reception to my first try.  As I said, wine red is one of my favourite colours, so it's no surprise it appears again in today's post:

H&M Wine Red Cardigan
Zara Kids Fur Vest (see below for link)
Banana Republic Waist Belt
Club Monaco Pants
Call It Spring Booties (see below for link)
The fur vest is something I never thought I'd ever have in my wardrobe, but I'm trying to continue my summer goal of being more adventurous in terms of fashion.  With the colder weather, it's even more tempting to just cozy up in sweats all day.  Again, much like the mustard skirt, the courage to try something new came from one of my blogger-idols, Wendy's Lookbook.

There are a lot of fur vest options in stores this season but this one caught my eye because of the shorter hairs (versus some fur items have extremely long hairs).  I also appreciated the lower price (coming from the kid's section) so I didn't have to break the bank to try something new.

Zara Fur Vest
Also, since my winter down jacket is still in Toronto, I've been layering this over all sweaters and under my peacoat to stay warm.
I'd also like to point out the booties I'm wearing with this outfit.  They're not too noticeable because my pants are covering the cute design.  

Call It Spring Booties
They come in 3 colours: this soft grey, a rich burgundy, and classic black.  They looked so similar to the Nine West booties I saw on Jean of ExtraPetite but at a much more affordable price.  Plus, now they're on sale with plenty of sizes still available.

We tried to take more photos for this shoot but the wind was crazy so most of the photos are just of my hair flying all over my face.

I did also try a more casual pairing, please excuse the grainy cellphone pic:
J Crew Sweater
Zara Kids Fur Vest
Banana Republic Waist Belt
LOFT Black Skinny Jeans
däv Rain boots from The Bay
I've worn both outfits to work and both received compliments but which outfit do you like better?
Thanks for reading!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Exploring in the rain

So after being in Ottawa for a little over two months, I finally did some exploring around the city.
I don't know why but I decided to go at night, and oh it was also raining.  I know, I'm brilliant.
But it somehow still worked out, because I really like streetlamps and I think the buildings look cooler with shadows.

it's like a bouquet

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Other Side: DIY Halloween Minion Costumes

Hello everyone!  This is a part 2 of the Halloween photoshoot focusing on the DIY aspect of the costumes (please excuse some cellphone photos).  When Bonnie and I were discussing our costumes plans, we decided I would be the one to put everything together since she's busy with school.  It was definitely a greater challenge to not only try to put together a quality-looking costume on a budget, but to have everything duplicated.  I definitely feel like I lucked out when it came to finding some of the pieces I needed.

Here's the finished product again:

From this picture we can pretty much see everything that I needed:

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Photoshoot: Halloween Happenings

As promised in my last post, this one is jam-packed with photos of costumes!  Gonna jump right into it as there are a buttload of photos.
I was part of a trio from Despicable Me as pictured below:

The fear in our eyes is real
My friend Bonnie and I love Despicable Me and Minions, evidenced by these McDonald toys we diligently collected (even though we got weird looks for still buying Happy Meals at our age):

Thursday, 30 October 2014

New Perspectives

Hello everyone! Apologies for the lack of post last week.  I've feeling a bit under the weather for a while and it has since escalated to a high fever the past few days.  On the plus side, I seem to be recovering now and am looking forward to going back to Toronto for the Halloween weekend.

I keep talking about "going back to Toronto" but I haven't really talked about where I am now -- mostly because (I shamefully admit) I haven't really taken many photos in my new location.
I'm currently working and living in Ottawa, Canada's capital city.  And there's a couple of reasons why I haven't really gone shooting around Ottawa, the first reason being this:

Sailboats on the Rideau Canal
That's me there on that red boat.
Kidding!  I wish.  I have no boats :(

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Other Side: Wine Red Outfits on Instagram

Hello everyone! As alluded to in my previous post, today's post is focused on my favourite colour: burgundy (or wine red, whatever you want to call it).  I own multiple items in this colour, including a scarf, shoes, and a skirt which are not in this post.
First on the list is my trench coat from last post's Brick Works photoshoot:

Awkward smile
I haven't really done any "fashion-focused" post so I wanted to try to share the different facets of my style, all featuring an item of this colour.  Trench coats in general are just really classic and always make you look put together.  I picked up this one from Banana Republic last year, despite already owning a trench coat (also pictured in this post), I fell in love with the colour and the elegance of the longer length. Every time I put it on, it's a more sophisticated feel, as opposed to being comfy in a sweatshirt or feeling powerful in a leather jacket.

The next outfit is this lace dress, perfect for date night.

Friday, 10 October 2014

TBT: Photoshoot at Brick Works

I realize that based on my last couple of posts crying for summer may make it seem like I don't like autumn, which is not the case at all.  I love many aspects of autumn, especially all the colours.  Wine red or burgundy is my favourite and autumn in my opinion is the best season suited for it.  From my profile photo, you can sort of see the sleeves of my wine red trench coat (though it looks a bit lighter in that picture).

Another realization I had recently is that I tend to post on Thursdays, which might explain why I've been doing a lot of #throwbacks (or maybe I'm just a nostalgic person.)  But this post is a true throwback, not to like last week or a few months ago, these photos are from 2013 whoo!

So back in Oct of 2013, Anita and I visited Evergreen Brick Works, a former quarry and industrial site located in the Don River valley (source: Wikipedia).  We had heard great things about it being a awesome place to take photos, so she with her Nikon and me with my Canon and then both of us with our most unlikely of friendships went off on this fantastical journey together.

I knew Anita was going to bring her camera so I strategically only brought my 50mm portrait lens and just used whichever camera would give me the shot that I wanted.

Here's one of Anita I took using her Nikon:

Bright red scarf pops so nicely
It was cold and I was fumbling already since I was wearing gloves so I didn't even try to play with the settings on her camera, but from the end products, there are some pretty noticeable differences between the photos from the two cameras.  Here's one from my Canon:

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Indian Summer in Montreal

All my wishful thinking came true! My last two posts saying "summer come back" seem to have worked (hashtag 'longlivesummer') and with perfect timing too.  I took a weekend trip to Montreal to visit Crystal and see what's up, as I've only been there twice before.  I have zero summer clothes on me as it was end of September and I had been wearing thicker layers already the week before, so my outfit in this post was generously donated to me by Crystal.  For those of you who don't know, the title of this post, "Indian Summer" refers to an unseasonable warm couple of days in autumn (just saved you a Google search, you're welcome :P)

Also, a quick note, there are a lot of photos in this post so I've kept some of them in a more thumbnail-y size, but you can, as always, click to enlarge :)

We wanted to head to Chinatown to grab some lunch.  Little did I know that my camera would be springing into action pretty much right away.

Place des Arts subway station

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Other Side: Throwback to Summer

If you couldn't tell from my this post and my last one, I'm in complete denial that summer is over.
This summer was exciting for multiple reasons: 1) I started the blog in May so I was eager to plan a lot of summer shoots, 2) I started working so I had some pocket money to blow on cute summer clothes, and 3) come on man, it's summer! whooohoooo school's out (in my case, for good! haha)

I haven't done a 'The Other Side' post in a while so I thought it'd be a good time now, while I'm being forced into this colder weather, to reminisce of happier, warmer times.

May: Distillery District

Little green door
I asked my dad to take this photo for me (multiple tries, just to get the shot I wanted) but unfortunately, while it's exactly what I had in mind, it's slightly blurry.  Dad refuses to wear his glasses (except when reading) and my legs were killing me from trying to maintain that squatting position.  So this is what I ended up with, which is fine as long as you don't try to CSI-zoom-enhance on it :P

June: Kingston Mills, Bike Trail, Urban Safari

Friday, 19 September 2014

TBT: Summertime Sadness - Royal Botanical Gardens

Hi everyone! Day 4 in the new city and it is getting chillier each day... Regret not packing more sweaters and super regret forgetting my gloves back home.  This increasingly autumn-y weather seems to justify making today's post a throwback Thursday, back to the last trip of the summer.  It was another multi-family excursion but just a day trip this time.  We hit up Royal Botanical Gardens as well as the City of Waterfalls (Google it and be surprised, it's not Niagara).  I dressed very comfy, ready to run and jump and climb and crawl, getting all up in nature's face.  Hope you enjoy the photos!

Starting off with my favourite shot of the trip

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Beauty in Motion - Pt 2

I know it's not really "tomorrow" relative to my last post but I've been so tired lately (I know, more excuses :( I'm sorry!)  I've been going through a lot of stuff, including packing for an upcoming move (more on this later!)
Without further delay, here are the second set of photos from the dance rehearsal.

Below: the super passionate and kawaii Yui from Japan!

Cute when resting

Friday, 5 September 2014

Beauty in Motion

Quick note: this post was supposed to have more photos but editing took waaay too long so a part 2 featuring a different dancer will be posted tomorrow!

Hello everyone!  I know I seem to have been slowing down as of late, the last couple of posts more than a few weeks apart.  Today's post goes a bit into the reason behind my infrequency -- namely, an after-work activity that is taking up what I used to use as photo + blogging time.

Beautiful, artistic, lean, limber, elegant, technical

So much respect for ballet dancers - some real intense stuff!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Beautiful Bruce Peninsula

Hello everyone!  Many apologies for the long hiatus.  I've been really caught up with some extra curricular activities.  On the plus side, I've also been fortunate enough to capture some gorgeous dancers on my camera (oops, I've revealed too much!) so I'm pretty darn excited for all the things I have planned.

Just going to jump right to the photos of this post. Little recap since it's been a good while since I last posted.
These photos are from a multi-family trip to the Bruce Peninsula (the same trip as the last post featuring the dogs).

My lovely ladies of the trip:

Tina & my hand-picked prop of the day
Sitting pretty at Flowerpot Island

My cousin Crystal 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Dog Days

Hello everyone!  Many apologies for the lack of posts these past two weeks.  Things have been pretty hectic lately but I'm trying to remind myself not to let laziness or procrastination get in the way of this photo journal.  I have lots of plans for future posts so I definitely can't fall behind!

Last weekend was a long weekend, and so we took a multi-family trip to the Bruce Peninsula (parents got the brilliant idea after seeing my photos from the week prior -- I was like, "uhh, I was just there? we're going again? okay...")  The good thing though was we stayed for much longer and got to visit different places, which resulted in hundreds of photos I have yet to properly sort through (but I will!  I pinky promise).

In the meantime!  Please enjoy these photos of our canine friends :)

Two dazzling beauties here:

Pure white husky

Fluffy fluff - yes, I'm pretty sure that's the official name

Additionally, I ran into the cutest couple while waiting for our ferry.  Read about their story below:

Friday, 25 July 2014

Photoshoot: Flowerpot Island

As you may have already known from my Instagram, I recently went to Flowerpot Island.  We took a ferry departing from Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula and stayed on the island for around 3 hours.  We knew the drive there would take at least 4 hours (not including the frequent stops along the way) so we wanted to make the most out of it.

Outfit #1 while buying ferry tickets

Monday, 21 July 2014

Instant Grammification

Good news everyone! (in my best Professor Farnsworth voice)

Canon's resting pose
I'm now on Instagram!  Yes, I've finally, somewhat reluctantly, hopped on the hashtag bandwagon after realizing my Facebook was becoming cluttered with mobile photo uploads.  So, I got myself a shiny new Instagram so I can instantly gram to my heart's desire (is this not how this works? how any of this works?)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Other Side: Clover Field

I've been missing my dear friend Bonnie for a while now.  She's currently working in a different city, 3,800km away from me.  I still think back on the days when she was only 380 seconds away, when I could just knock on her door and bother her any time I wanted.  So here is my tribute to Bonnie and her fondness of clovers.  Cheers!

Thinking of you 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

TBT: Under My Umbrella

This post was supposed to be all about this little guy and of course his equally adorable owner, Miss Anita.

Nose touch
Just as I was about to press "publish", I suddenly remembered a similar set of photos from the earlier days.
Gonna keep this post short and sweet, but hope you enjoy the photos below!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Thursday, 26 June 2014

TBT: Philosophical Shopping in Art Museums

Kind of a sequel to my previous post, today's post has more photos featuring the creative decor of certain stores, Club Monaco being one of the previously mentioned ones.  The "bird" and "tree" are actually not from Club Monaco, but from Call It Spring, reason being that I wanted to save the Club Monaco photos for today's post.  I wanted to use these photos for a Philosophies - Part 2, two thousand words of wisdom captured in the photos below:

Mirrors on the wall
Cages and wings
If a picture = 1 thousand words, 2 pictures = 2 thousand yes?  Math seems to check out.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Shopping Shenanigans: Summer Fashion Trends

Thank you everyone for the overwhelmingly positive feedback on my last two posts! 

I had/still have a lot of reservations when it comes to posting photos of myself so it really means a lot to me to have such great support for this project.  I'll have to try to remember to dress nicer more often so I can have more photos for The Other Side.

For today's post, I wanted to go back to one of my most comfortable themes - Shopping Shenanigans.
If I don't travel outside of the city, two of my common places to hang out with my friends is either at a park (enjoying the sun) or at a mall (enjoying the sights).  I'm a pretty visual person so being at a mall isn't just for the simple purpose of buying things, but to also appreciate the pieces in the display windows.  I definitely consider clothing, shoes, bags and jewellery to be pieces of art; its design and execution is a result of someone's creative vision, the same way a painting or a sculpture comes to life.  Furthermore, clothes aren't just thrown onto hangers or mannequins; how things are paired together is a creative process as well.  I like the feeling of wandering the mall as it's also a way for me to gain insight to the current fashion trends while getting some light exercise, which wouldn't be the case if I were just browsing Pinterest (all I would get is carpal tunnel...)

Long strapless dress from Jacob
I'm loving the maxi trend!  This would be perfect for a cruise or a trip to Cuba.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Other Side: Mustard Skirt for Practical Purposes

As mentioned in yesterday's post, today's will be featuring the photos from the Mustard Skirt photo shoot (see below).
This set of photos was actually taken the same day as Carlie's park and blossoms set, just a couple hours after and at a different location.

Featuring this skirt
(in case you've forgotten)

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Other Side: A Moral Dilemma

Occasionally, when I have very specific ideas for the content of a photo, I'll end up on the wrong side of the camera.

Buffalo Military Park and Marina, NY

Thursday, 12 June 2014

TBT: Roots

Warning: lots of lame plant-related puns below 

Even before Anita and I decided to play dress up, I had a budding interest in photography.  One of the two things I mainly took photos of were the flowers in and around the house.  My mom's pretty into gardening, so along with all her roses and tulips, she planted the idea of photography in my brain.  

My earliest ones are what I like to call the "Windows Desktop Background" Series:

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Thank you to everyone for your wonderful feedback regarding my last post!  I was filled with mixed emotions, mostly a blend of happiness and embarrassment, with a smidgen of pride.
Pride as an emotion has pretty negative connotations, but it's because most people think of hubris, which actually refers to being overly prideful and arrogant for no reason (think source of Shakespearean heroes' downfalls).  Pride on the other hand, is a basic human emotion that is even displayed by young children.  It is natural and yet so misunderstood.  Though I know this now, it was not always the case.

Pride is/was a difficult for me to admit.  Growing up,‎ I always felt like pride was only warranted if someone else was proud of me first, or else it'd be called arrogance.  There is definitely some cultural influence, as most Eastern cultures highly value being humble and humility as great virtues.  For me, this meant that I had to do well on an objective measure, such as a test or an exam, and then I'd be praised based on whatever number I achieved.  Although I tried to go along with this game plan, part of me knew it alone would never be enough, and as I got older, I began to see that my own creations, rather than some intangible achievement, was what brings me true happiness.  And sure enough, when I look at what I've created, my photos, my writings, and other artwork (I also draw, maybe I'll share those in a later post), I can't help but smile and in a way that I've only recently understood as pride.

And so, as part of me accepting and acknowledging pride in my work, as well as the noticeable issue with my last, Super-Post, I've added various galleries to this blog to feature my different types of photos.  They are on the top bar for easy navigation and will be more populated as time goes by (takes longer than I expected!)  It'll also serve as a nice timeline to see the progress I'm making, as the photos are captioned with the corresponding dates and locations.

I hope you'll check them out and continue to check back for more!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Kingston Mills Scenery

Brace yourself: This post has 4x as many photos as usual.

In the past, scenery has always been my least favourite thing to shoot.  No matter how beautiful it looks to my eyes, I've never managed to accurately translate what I see on to a photo.  I've tried and tried and have always been disappointed, and it only takes so many disappointments to become discouraged.  And to be honest, portrait shots seem to be more rewarding, since you can physically see a person's happiness and hear their thanks.  That's why even if I find a good landscape, it'll always just become background to a model.

This weekend, we were taking a family trip out of the city and naturally I brought my camera along.  It was about 2/3rds into the long stretch of the highway when we stopped for some gas, and heading back on pointed us towards the setting sun.  I'm not sure what I was thinking given my track record, but I picked up my camera anyway and snapped up a few shots, this one being my favourite:

Thursday, 5 June 2014

TBT: Gratitude

I decided to do another throwback Thursday post to thank someone very important to me as well as to my photography journey.  It's almost blasphemous that I haven't mentioned her yet but I wanted to make sure the post I write does her justice.

Here is a shot of the cutie in question:


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Photoshoot: White Umbrella and Pink Blossoms

My meeting with Mr Moth was actually quite critical in my photography journey.  I went home that and excitedly recounted the story to whoever would listen (sometimes more than once, but in my defense, the second time I had visual aids).  That was when I realized that in addition to taking photos, I love to tell the stories that go along with them.  And so the moth story really strengthened my desire to start a blog.

The next day, I had planned a photoshoot session with Carlie, who happened to be back from Waterloo that weekend.  Humbled by my encounter with Mr Moth, I told myself to try my best but not to expect too much too soon, especially since I had never photographed Carlie before.  It's always a little more daunting when you don't know what your model is going to be like, because they can really set the tone for the shoot.  Luckily for me, Carlie was very enthusiastic.  Not everyone is gifted with the model gene like Amanda, but I really appreciated how receptive Carlie was to my suggestions, and I left that day with approximately 100 or so shots from the short span of an hour.

Classic Carlie, so elegant yet casual

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Park Day

Shortly following the successful shopping outing, I called up my friend and neighbour Laurel, who recently came back from Waterloo, to hang out.  I felt empowered with a new sense of motivation and was eager to get more photos.

Unfortunately, not everything always goes as planned.  It was a lazy, sunny day, and both Laurel and I were in whatever shorts and t-shirt we found lying around the house.  We headed to the park to sit and catch up and naturally gravitated to the swings, and then the see-saw (we're grown adults, we can sit on whatever we want).

I snapped up this shot:

Look at this cutie patootie

Thursday, 29 May 2014

TBT: Philosophies

So apparently there's this thing called "Throwback Thursday" that's "trending" around the internet these days, so here goes my attempt at being "hip" and "keeping up with the times" (am I doing it right?  I'm cool, I swear.)

From the inception of the idea to formally publicize a collection of my work, large portions of my time has been spent meticulously reviewing and editing photos, carefully picking just the right ones for my inaugural album.  I soon realized I didn't have enough recent photos that I liked and browsed through older albums to see if there was anything salvageable. 

There were three that jumped out at me:

Nava and his Colgate commercial worthy smile

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Shopping Shenanigans at UO and f21

A few days after the game, I made plans to head downtown to hang out with a couple of friends and shop around a bit.  Heading out the door, I made sure to pack my fully charged camera, hoping to get some good shots to add to my collection.  Many of us haven't seen each other in a while due to finals and such, so it was difficult to remember to take photos when we were busy catching up.

Luckily for me, Patrick, our resident male model, tried on this smashing faux leather jacket at Forever21.

Blue steel
How could I not take a photo?  Unfortunately, I was laughing too hard and so it did blur a bit.  Will have to work on maintaining professional composure in the future.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Back in the game

About a month ago, I went to my first ever baseball game (go Blue Jays!)  It was a lot of fun and highly dramatic, but given my easily excitable nature, not very good for my health.  The stressful anticipation with each pitch and swing, it's really too much for me to bear!  And the closeness of the game that night -- just thinking about it is raising my blood pressure again, yeesh.  If I were a full-time sports fan, I would die 20 years earlier from all the stress for sure.

Anyway, when we got there, it was around 7ish.  The sun was setting, giving way to these glowing shots of Amanda:

Showing support for our home team with a Blue Jays tank :)
Look at that glow!

First steps

The last time I had a blog was probably back in the 6th(?) grade, when xanga was so cool and everyone had one.  This one will be different for a very specific reason: photos.  The photos I post here will be of my very own (how exciting!)  In fact, I created this blog just to document my photography stories.  I recently uploaded my very first album onto Facebook (the same photos will be here in later posts), when I realized that I had a lot more to say about my photos than the little caption space would allow.  So here I am!  I have a history of being rather inconsistent with journal-keeping, but I'm hoping this entry is the first step towards a multitude of changes: new blog, new goals, new me (oh god, the cheesiness).  If you're reading this, thanks for joining me on my journey towards better photography!