April 2013 Newsletter

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Hey everyone, it's Spring!  Woo-hoo!  I completely understand that I am a weather-wimp but I am ready for some warmer weather.  And with the arrival of Spring comes…..GIANTS BASEBALL!!!  That's right baby, the defending World Series Champions have been my team since I was a little guy growing up in the Bay Area.  I have so many memories growing up as a Giants fan: cold windy games at Candlestick, Dave Dravecky, Will the Thrill, Candy Maldonado, Robby Thompson, Big Daddy, ditching class at San Francisco State to see a day game by myself, buying bleacher tickets and sitting in the first row behind the Giant’s dugout.  Spring Training.  Oh…and two World Series championships in the past three years!  Come on guys, let's do it again!  And one last thing…..BEAT L.A.!!!!

We're very excited about all of our destination weddings this year, especially for the opportunity coming up in the end of April to shoot our dear friend Kristen's wedding in Kansas to her fiancé Chris.  Kristen is the sweetest person in the world and we're so excited to be a part of her wedding.

Besides all this travel for work, we're excited to be spending a weekend in mid-April in Lake Tahoe.  March was so busy for us (we did not have a weekend off!) so we're very much in need of some R&R and a little cross country skiing.  Shawna thinks she can make a better snowball than me.  She'll find out how good I am.

The San Diego Italian Film Festival has several movies being screened in the month of April. We've seen so many amazing films put on by the SDIFF so be sure to check out some of the films they're presenting:

Todd and Carolina
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There's an old saying in business to never mix business and family, but I couldn't miss the opportunity to shoot my cousin Todd's wedding in Miami.  Todd and Carolina are very special and I couldn't leave it to someone else to capture their wedding.  I actually think it made the wedding that much more fun to shoot knowing I was doing this for my family: for my cousin and his beautiful wife of course, but also for my aunt and uncle who I love more than anything! I asked Todd and Carolina to answer a few questions for me to include in the newsletter, and here's what they had to say:

Describe your dream vacation.

Todd~ I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the dream vacation for both Carolina and myself is traveling to Europe.  Our most desired destinations have always been Italy, France, and Spain.  Simply having the ability to live in those countries and experience the food and culture just as a native would is our dream. One day.

Carolina~ Probably Italy.  It's romantic, scenic, full of history, and great food and vino!  I would love to wake up everyday and have a beautiful espresso, walk around the city, learn Italian, eat lots of pasta/pizza and indulge in gelato & wine all day long!  Haha!!  That's honestly what I would want to do all day every single day!

What is something you absolutely love about your husband/wife that you want the whole world to know?

Todd~ I consider Carolina the most capable woman that I know.  There are very few things that she can't do.  She'll always figure it out.

Carolina~ No matter what happens, he always finds the good in any given situation.  He can make me laugh in seconds, and he literally does every single day.  He is so down to earth, and has the ability to relate to people from all walks of life.  He is able to make friends with everyone, even if they don't speak English!  He is also the most loving person I've ever met.

Describe your husband/wife in 5 words.

Todd~ Passionate with boundless potential.

Carolina~ Handsome, Hilarious, Hardworking, Caring, Genuine, Amazing

Can you remember where you were the moment you knew you wanted to be married to the other person?

Todd~ I was in Manhattan.  Carolina and I had been living together for about a year.  There wasn't a light-bulb-went-off-in-my-head type of moment.  There wasn't one particular thing she said or did that convinced me that she was who I wanted to marry.  But through all the years that we were together, my love for her continued to grow and I loved our lives together.  The bond that we developed together kept reinforcing itself and building until, ultimately, I knew that I could not live my life without her.

Carolina~ I was in Grenada and he was in NY.  We were talking via "Skype".  Todd had just recently taken the first part of his licensing exam for medical school (USMLE Step 1) and it usually takes about 3 weeks to get the results.  The results of this exam pretty much determines: 1) What kind of doctor you will become, and 2) What type of residency you end up getting.  We were talking about the different scenarios of what would happen to our lives if he were to pass vs. if he didn't pass.  And,  I said out loud,  "Well if you don't pass, and we have to get jobs outside of the US...I don't care...I'll pack my bags and go wherever you go"     I just knew that I couldn't live without him in my life.....  That was definitely the first time I knew I wanted to marry him.

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years, 10 years?

Todd~ Attending physicians with a family in a warm climate.  100% Carolina said the same thing.

Carolina~ In 5 years: We will hopefully be done with residency and all medical exams for a while!!  Maybe have a baby or even two!  Hopefully living somewhere warm, sunny, and close to the water.  I want to travel often & have lots of family gatherings at our house.  In 10 years: More traveling, less work! Haha!  Kid #3?  Who knows!!

Check out Todd and Carolina’s Wedding!

NY Times One in 8 Million

A few years back I attended a workshop on photojournalism and learned about the New York Times One in Eight Million project. What I love most about photography is how a photo can tell a story. A person could look at a photograph and interpret all sorts of things about what is happening in the photo. I love in this project that the New York Times put combined audio storytelling and photos - it's really powerful to listen to the subject speaking while looking at photos that show the story being told. Take a look for yourself!

New York Times: One in Eight Million

The Art of Steve Lawrence

On Saturday April 13th, local artist Steve Lawrence will be hosting a one day art show of his work at the Park Boulevard Artworks building.  In addition to the 40+ new paintings in his gallery, Steve will be presenting about 40 more in the open studio.  The show will take place from 2-5pm at 4411 Park Boulevard, San Diego 92116.

Even if you are not in the market to buy art, come to see the paintings and meet the artist. Note that prices in both the gallery and the studio have been reduced for this one day showing. All gallery paintings are 15% off the listed price and the studio paintings have been reduced by 25%.

About Steve:

During the turbulence of the 1960s and 70s, young Steve Lawrence struggled to voice both personal and societal conflicts. Steve knew that meeting mere day-to-day expectations contributed to his feelings of frustration and his sense of being lost in the maze of those times. He tried writing about his feelings both in poetry and lengthy imaginative narratives. But it was painting that lifted him out of his quagmire. At first the paintings reflected the things around him, but soon his images became abstract.

When Steve graduated from Carnegie he went to San Francisco. There he joined a group of artists that established a center for the visual and performing arts named Project Artaud. Four decades later it still serves the arts and the community. Eventually, Steve had to give up his studio, which led to a 40-year career in nonprofit organizations helping children, their families and others

Steve retired from his nonprofit work in March of 2010. Retirement was a life-changing event that led this once emerging artist back to his artwork and he has re-emerged as the painter he once was. Since then he has established a studio in the Park Blvd. Artworks Building in San Diego where the exhibit of his work will Have a final showing of at least 80 paintings on Saturday, April 13,2013.

Steve's artist statement says, in part:

My art is and always has been abstract in nature. Even if there is a suggestion of landscape or another image I hope that the viewer will discover what their imagination creates. Painting is both a creative struggle and a satisfying experience. For me it is a way to master those feelings and manifest what words cannot express.

Guess the Photographer

The answer to last month's head game was….."Notre Dame".  Good job, Bethel and Courtney!

For this month - tell us the name of the person who photographed this famous image (he coined the phrase "The Decisive Moment"):

Homemade Granola Bars

I’ve had cinnamon raisin bagels in my cabinet now going on week three. There is not one sign of mold and they look as fresh as the day I got them. This made me wonder, “Why aren’t they going bad?”

I looked at the ingredients and realized more than half were mystery additives and preservatives. While these might not do much harm in small doses, when eaten in excess these ingredients can harm us. I began looking closer at what was in my kitchen, almost everything had these ingredients!  My “healthy” cereal, Trader Joe's granola bars, pasta sauce, salad dressing (which even said “all natural”), and even in almond milk.  This one is going to bum out a lot of people, those Goldfish crackers (even the “natural” ones) that every single human being loves….are a GMO product. That did it. The smiley goldfish cracker face has fooled me long enough.

I decided to do something about this. I will make everything I can from scratch, using whole ingredients that are not processed. I decided to start with something my family eats a lot of…granola bars.

I followed the recipe from My Humble Kitchen using it as a base for my granola bars. Diana's blog is amazing! I wanna hang out with her on her farm and feed chickens and stir soups all day.

If you want to make these follow her recipe. Mine came out amazing and I’ll tell you some specific reasons why I think so:

Ingredients: I used crushed almonds, dates, chocolate, some random trail mix I had, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and you can even throw in some milled flaxseed for fiber which would be a healthy addition without much affect to the flavor.

Fat of choice: She gives you an option to use butter, olive oil or coconut oil. Usually I would use coconut oil because it is incredibly good for you but she mentions that they are more likely to fall apart. So I used half butter and half EVOO.

I was really afraid of them falling apart because so many people said they had that experience. So I added just a little extra oil and honey.

Flour to Fat ratio? My first batch only filled up a third of the pan so I doubled the recipe and made another large batch.  I somehow got distracted and could not remember if I added the flour, so I added more flour, maybe even more than was called for ( I just dumped a bunch in) and then added more oil in case it was too much flour. It was probably going to be a disaster but they surprisingly ended up being the best ones. I’d love someone else to experiment with this to see how flour and fat affect the bars.

Spices: A key ingredient she doesn't mention but I think makes them so much better. I used pumpkin pie spice (a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg pretty much). Experiment with spices, maybe even make them savory and use rosemary or sage with pine nuts.

Parchment or Buttered Pan: Use the parchment, I can almost guarantee they would stick and be a mess without them. Also use a little but of the parchment to flatten them down before you put them in the oven. Everything else was sticking to them.

Baking Time: I had mine in the oven about 40 minutes (it says only 20 minutes). (I forgot about them when someone came to the door) but they were fine. When they are hot out of the oven they will still be mushy, don’t let this scare you they will get harder as they cool.

Success! The family loves them and the kids are sometimes a tough crowd. Also this makes a lot of granola bars for much cheaper than if you bought boxes of them.

Enjoy and please share your own recipes!

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