Being interviewed by Cindy Matalucci for Wine Wednesdays

As I mentioned in my newsletter… oh yes, I have a newsletter and judging by the feedback I’m getting, it’s pretty amazing. No biggy. :D… But I digress.

So anyways, I mentioned in that “famous” newsletter that I was interviewed by my friend Cindy. She’s the creator and host of The Pulse, a local TV show that caters to everything San Diego. They talk about up-and-coming companies, people doing important and interesting stuff in our gorgeous city as well as a bunch of other stuff. They’re great. Love’em.

In the age of the podcast where raw honesty and openness is the law of the land, they are venturing into a new thing: doing long form interviews of interesting people in a slightly less polished version of their show. It’s pretty great I gotta say… I mean, I was on it after all. HA! ;)

Jokes aside, seeing myself on TV was cringe worthy for sure. It’s awkward, I look/was nervous and I have to live up to the invitation. After all, they are doing a whole episode about me and I HAVE to be interesting… otherwise, why am I on? Sooo, no pressure.

I relaxed after a while… there WAS wine involved. In the end, I think I did not embarrass myself. Pfffiu!

Watch it here

The Pulse Wine Wednesdays Episode 3 with local entrepreneur Antoine Didienne. Cindy & Antoine talk about Antoine moving here from France, making the transition in his career to a professional photographer, and the truth about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Antoine Didienne of 147Photos is an award winning wedding and family documentary photographer.

Antoine wrote a thing about a thing on a website.

I won’t bore you with a lengthy piece about a piece I wrote on a different website. I would appreciate it if you read it though (you can also click the picture). I am proud of it.

Full disclosure, I am a member and a sponsor of IFMA San Diego (IFMA being in the International Facilities Manager Association) that’s why my logo appears there… but I was very fortunate to be chosen to be the photographer at Mel and Steve’s wedding. They are a great couple and we got some amazing photos together.

Don’t believe me? Fine, I’ll prove it to you. Click that link to watch a photofilm of their wedding.

Mel and Steve

Mel and Steve

The wedding of Mélanie and Steve was a small affaire as they wanted to keep it a small personal event to the people closes to them but it’s a small affaire to me. I care about the couples I work with and this one was no different. It was a beautiful wedding and it could have been with a nicer bride and groom.

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Why I shot this family party with my (new) Fujinon 23mm f1.4

Making the decision

I had just bought a new lens, the fantastic Fujinon 23mm f1.4 to pair it with my X-T2 and I was anxious to try it, so I decided to bring it to the family reunion I was shooting. I usually shoot with zooms because they afford me some added invisibility than when I shoot with prime but I own an X100s (already paired with a 23mm prime lens) and I absolutely love this camera. Using the X100s, I discovered the 23mm (a 35mm in full frame) was my absolute favorite focal length. 

Watching Sadie pass
Coming in


I quickly found out that the 1.4 that although the focal length and aperture was perfect for interiors (especially at night), it is also imperative to have a lightning fast auto-focus and very quick fingers as people at parties move a lot. Thank god I had updated the software the day before. I was expecting to have a lot of rejects because I shot a lot between 1.4 and 2 but found that the X-T2 had helped me nail almost every shot. That was an excellent problem to have. 

I had so much fun shooting with this lens. it helped me get deeper shadows and better highlights than with my zoom lenses and found the lens fast, sharp and crisp. It was everything I was hoping for.

Brenda is dancing

A different kind of zooming

Photographers often say that they "make pictures" instead of "taking pictures" because making implicitly mean that you are creating something rather than grabbing it (i.e. taking photos). I used to think it was a pompous way of phrasing the act of photographing but I have come around to the formulation because 1). words matter and have meanings and 2). I found that the 23mm f1.4 was making me more creative because I had to work harder for the photos... I was "making" the picture rather than feeling that I was "taking" it... like I do when I use a zoom. It shifted my frame of mind for all the right reasons. 

Generally speaking, I like to shoot pretty wide to give context and story to the photo but I also will shoot pretty tight on my subject when their expression is just too good. Shooting with a 23 made me feel like I was getting in people's faces more than I'd like if I want to remain invisible to my subjects but on the other hand, the members of the family saw me as one of the guests rather than seeing me as a photographer... it had its advantages. I was visible but not paid too much attention to and it gave me an added on intimacy with the family I usually don't get otherwise... something to remember. 

This family reunion is a lot fun
a girl and her dog

Covering My Ass

99% of the time, I will 2 use Fuji cameras with 2 Fuji zoom lenses. Call me typical but I cover my bases with the exclentissimo 16-55mm and 50-140m. I found that shooting with the 23mm the entire time felt completely natural to me and after a while forgot I had a bag full of lenses. Again, the "lack" of options made me more creative.

The only time I switched lenses was for the family portrait and found myself quickly switching back to the 23 black beauty after it was done. Grrraaaoor... I was quickly falling in love. Portraits, wide shots, actions shots, I was getting it all without a problem.

What I thought was going to be a challenge was proving to be a delight and something that felt like an extension of me... All 7.7.7. (cue the slot machine sounds) 

the Luz family reunion

What are the different styles of wedding photography?

What are the different styles of wedding photography?

Hiring a wedding photographer is a tough thing. I mean, you’re making a judgment call on who to hire based on someone’s past work and it’s not something you really get to appreciate and enjoy the day of the wedding. You hire this person to have kind of a prominent role at your wedding because apart from your friends and family, the photographer is the person you might interact with the most. So, it’s important.

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You edit your photos THIS much!?

You edit your photos THIS much!?

So much of my experience as a photographer is connected to my need to connect to others in order to feel my most human self. When I started to travel and live in other countries for substantial amounts of time I realized that if I wanted to soak it all in, if I wanted to learn from cultures foreign to my own and especially if I was going to learn the local language and lingo, I was going to have to open myself up completely.

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