Life is Beautiful

A View of a Leaf in its "Golden Years" - Los Angeles Fine Art Photographer

Some of you may already know that I have a crazy obsession/appreciation with lives that have passed their, in common views, "prime time" (see here and here).  This explains my collection of dry leaves, tree barks and flowers that's fallen from their stems.  While majority (if not all) of the world celebrates the birth of a baby, and new growth on a tree, I also appreciate that, with scars, bumps and bruises, a more mature life has a lot more stories to share with a much calmer demeanor.

Take this leaf for example, how do you define its "prime time"?  Had it not for the textures that come with the passing of time and the gifts of elements, would it have captured the light in such an interesting and beautiful way?  Maybe now is its best time? ;-)

Celebrate who (the heck) you are, every day of your life!  Let me know if you need help see the beauty you hold.



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Life is in the Moments, Celebrate It! - Los Angeles Custom Portrait Photographer

Life is in the moments that we live in.  This has been my belief and the exact reason that got me started doing portrait photography.  Now, it may sound biased coming from a photographer.  But people, do whatever it makes sense to you to capture the beautiful moments that we may (most likely) not be able to "go back" and retrieve.Yesterday, I ran into a gentleman.  Upon learning that I'm a photographer, he shared the thought that he's been wanting to do a family portraiture now that his parents are not getting any younger.  I love meeting people like this as it shows that they are passionate about their lives and that they are living and breathing the moments.

In the (sort of) modernistic world that we exist in, we tend to get buried in the "busy-ness" and forget why we are doing all the tasks on the to-do list.  The next thing we know, our kids have left the home and our parents are leaving (or have left) this world.  We wonder where our lives went and we have nothing tangible to refer back to.

Life is like water in a river.  It flows right by us whether we pay attention to it or not.  So take a moment out of your life, from time to time, to stop and dip your toes in the water, make a splash or even take a bath, if you'd so feel like it. :-)  As I always say, life won't wait.  So starting today, smell it, taste it, feel it...

My parents had a big wedding anniversary (to avoid the risk of aging myself, I choose to not disclose the total number of years).  Like any couple of that generation, they've been through a lot.  I thought it'd be nice to document this milestone in their lives together with a nice portraiture.  In my mind, it'd be a gift that when they look upon 20 or 30 years from now, it brings them right back to where we are today.  I hope this nice canvas gallery wrap has done just that - simple, elegant and memorable.  It's sitting beautifully on my parents' living room wall.

What memory would you capture for your loved ones this holiday season, or anytime of the year?

Wedding Anniversary Gift (Canvas Gallery Wrap) - ©Jean Huang Photography
Wedding Anniversary Gift (Canvas Gallery Wrap) - ©Jean Huang Photography

P.S. Excuse me for putting mosaic on my parents' eyes.  They are MY parents and, I know, I'm being selfish. :-) P.P.S. Did you know that this was a typical pose for wedding picture at the time that my parents got married? 

Bob, see you later! - Los Angeles Photographer

I have to prefix that this is not my normal post. I was reading an article about traveling in Ireland and it reminded me of Bob, an Irish descend.

Bob was my professor in graduate school.  He gave me a few "A"s and I hated it when he gave me a "B".  I was in a few of his classes and he would normally not say much.  He'd ask questions to "probe" around and see if he would hit a sparkle from someone in his class.

Bob was a cancer survivor.  From all I could see, he looked normal.  He said he had cut down on red meat.

A few of us students grew close to him.  We would share aspirations with him and ask questions about our career.  As usual, Bob would not say much.  He'd listen and smile.

After graduation, life took us in a wind-swirl.  But we kept in touch with Bob.  I'd get an e-mail from him once every few months or years.  I'd be so happy to reply right away and to only hear from him again months or years later.  Every time I changed job, Bob would be happy to be my reference and not ask or say much.

Last summer, a friend mentioned that she got an e-mail about keeping Bob in the prayer at the end of 2009.  I said to myself, if anything happened to Bob, it'd be so significant that I'd know about it.

So today, when I realized that it's been a really long time since I heard from Bob, I went and searched for Bob's e-mail.  The last that I heard from him was an e-mail forward in June 2009.   I decided to take one step further and Google searched him.

My heart started wrenching and my stomach churning.  I so hoped that the obituary on the top was not you, Bob.  When I saw your picture, I was so not ready for the emotions that follow.

Bob, you've always known me better than I do.  Through years of growth, I now finally understand the wisdom that you so casually uttered.

I remember, one time, when I so excitedly told you about the offers that I got from two of the "Big 4".  You replied, "go to the one with the higher signing bonus".  At the time, it seemed such an inappropriate attitude to such a serious decision.  But, seeing me putting myself through the wild chase in the rat race, did you know that I was meant for something else?  And yet, you watched and let me go through life in my chosen path.

Bob, I am finally where my heart is and, seriously, I don't take myself that seriously anymore.  But Bob, all the learning in life did not prepare me for this moment.   

I'm confused.  How can I still have years of e-mails from you when you are not with us anymore?  How can you check out early when you are one of the influences that shaped me into who I am today?

Bob, I know it will be hard to accept for a long time that you are somewhere else now.  And I want to thank you for being there all these years.

I know you loved horses.  Do you have horses up there?  Here's one for you, captured and processed with my new found talent/passion (and hope that you have internet up there too):

Grazing Horse - ©Jean Huang Photography
Grazing Horse - ©Jean Huang Photography

P.S. Had it been an article for our class, how would you grade it? ;-)  Thanks for teaching me how to write!