hi there! i'm michelle, southern california based photographer and curator of the coco gallery.

welcome to my blog where i share my life, my latest adventures, photo projects, random nuggets and the occasional stray thoughts.

for clients: to view my portfolio just click on this link - theCOCOgallery.com. to book sessions please send me a message through theCOCOgallery.com or contact me via michelle@thecocogallery.com | 949.734.0604

Monday, September 28, 2009

mila | orange county wedding photographer . wedding mba

last week
hanssie, alice, michelle groom and myself spent 4 days in vegas. we attended the wedding mba convention. it was enlightening! all these wedding vendors gathering to talk about the business side of things. sponsored by wedding wire, the knot, martha stewart weddings, brides.com to name a few. we learned so much! there were classes every hour and there was something for everyone!

alice, the ever resourceful girl was able to secure a couple of booths for us to display our work and to take headshots of everyone that stopped by. we met some amazing talent and some really fun people. thanks to everyone that stopped by to chat with us!

if you were an attendee of that event and got your headshots done by me you can dowload copies of your photos from this link.

this week i'm spending time recovering from an over indulgent moment that hanssie and i had. ok maybe it was longer than a moment. if you follow me on facebook you might have read about the 3 hours we spent at the paris buffet where they were serving all you can eat alaskan king crab legs. oh lord. and as if that wasn't enough... we topped it off with crepes. no exaggerating. and i'm only telling you about the parts we spent the most time on. i won't bother listing all the other things i crowded into my belly with the baby.

on other news...

how many of you guys remember the devastation that was typhoon katrina? on sept 26 (just a couple of days ago) typhoon ondoy hit the philippines and it was worse than katrina...."Hurricane Katrina dumped an inch of rainfall in 3 hrs in '05. Typhoon Ondoy dumped an average of 2.24 INCHES PER HOUR for 6 HOURS!"

fortunately my family is ok and my friends sound ok too but not everyone is as fortunate. everyone i know back there is doing everything they can to help with the relief effort. i'm just doing my share as best i can ..

i want to share this with all of you who might want to send help ... Ondoy New York Disaster Relief drop off center @ Pandayan Center, 406 W40th St. Between 9th and 10th Aves. New York, NY 10018 or call 212.564.6057 OR for CA residents send via island pacific supermarkets.

According to the National Disaster Coordinating Council's latest Situation Report, the storm affected 89,953 families and 451,683 people.

About 23,147 families and 115,990 people having to evacuate in 205 evacuation centers.

The report also states that 7,908 people have already been saved by rescue teams.

Overall, there are 100 reported deaths (with 56 people in Region 4-A alone), 32 missing, and 5 injured.

The estimated cost of damages to both infrastructure and agriculture is over P108.9 million.

read more about it here.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

mila | MY baby bump week 16

admittedly there doesn't seem to be much of a difference from the photo we took 3 weeks ago but i swear to you we logged in an additional 2 pounds at the doctor's office yesterday (and yes, that was before i had breakfast). things are progressing well. my appetite is back and showed a level of voraciousness i haven't seen in a while. it came in really handy at the buffets of vegas this past week. hanssie and i stopped by the paris buffet and discovered a mound of alaskan king crab legs begging to be consumed at an all you can eat pace. we indulged our inner asian and ate more than our fair $20 share for a good 3 hours. maybe that's where the extra 2 pounds came from....

before i call my sister up this week to cook up all my favorite dishes, i think i'm going to sign up for a gym membership. must balance the food with excercise. i refuse to fall prey to the whole fallacy of eating for two and listening to what my body wants. seriously people... the books say i just need an extra 300 calories but this constant hunger demands numbers in the 4 digit range. i'm not anorexic i'm being healthy (and proactive). i'm also hoping the loving comment from my friend tina about the weight showing up on my face in a recent picture was just a trick of the light. that or bad makeup.

Friday, September 25, 2009

mila | orange county wedding photographer . shooting at the biltmore and ritz-carlton

i signed up to 2nd for ahmed of aacreation when time permits and it's been awesome! he's taught me soooooo much! he specializes in south asian weddings so you can well imagine the colorful events i get to go shoot. beautiful stuff! gorgeous fabrics, colorful arrays of flowers, lots of culture and deeeeelicious food! all around it's been a great learning experience.

indian weddings are done over multiple days as it turns out. they really know how to party! i accompanied ahmed to two days out of a three day wedding a couple of weekends ago. we started with a sangeet (i can best relate this to a rehearsal dinner but a much more involved one) on friday at the ritz-carlton in dana point, ahmed shot the actual ceremony on saturday with another team and then i was back to join him on sunday for the conclusion at the biltmore.

i had never shot at either venue and i was in awe! they were both gorgeous. just take a look!

sangeet at the ritz-carlton ... i love hotel chandeliers

the reception at the biltmore... makes me think of those ballroom scenes in disney movies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

mila | orange county photographer . photog shootout

if you aren't part of it yet ... and you love taking pictures ... you should come join! look it up on facebook -- socal photog shootout. it's a great community to learn techniques, meet new people, have fun with cameras and just look at the models we got to shoot this last time! the next gathering is on October 13th so hurry and sign up!

special thanks to the all made up team for the fabulous hair and makeup styling.

p.s. don't forget OC smugmug this thursday!

every now and then you meet people who just HAVE TO get in on the picture... like chris diset. hahaha! love you chris!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

mila | socal wedding photographer . island palms hotel san diego

hanssie needed a 2nd for a wedding she was shooting and off we went! hello san diego!

the wedding was at the island palms hotel. our couple .. katy and wes. it was a beautiful and touching ceremony!

the highlights for me.... flagging down a pair of tourists in a super rad "tour car" and borrowing it for the boy's shot.

this wedding's michelle blooper:
preggo symptom strikes again. the whole memory issue is really challenging for me. i set down my 17-35 L lens somewhere and i guess i left it there. we're getting ready for the ceremony and i realize i think i may have lost my lens. i walk back to where i remember last having it and it's not there. hanssie is so upset about it and i'm telling her it's ok. really... my fault for losing it and there's no sense crying over it if it's really gone. sigh. oh well. (i didn't realize till i got home that i was being nonchalant about an $1800 lens!). we get to the reception, hanssie is still pouting for me and i spy this weird black tiered object sitting by the cake. lightbulb! i just remembered where i left my lens! i've actually resorted to asking my subjects to pay attention to what i set down because of the recent memory issue. stupid cake didn't say anything! i know... i really need to put alarms on everything i own.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

mila | orange county wedding photographer huntington hyatt

i'm a member of the [b] school as some of you know and becker had posted an invitation to join him for a wedding. i raised my hand for the invitation and becker picked me!!!! i was floored! i was excited and i was floored! i packed some snacks into my bag and whistled my way to the huntington hyatt. it was a gorgeous day to shoot a wedding! brian khang was also there! so now i had 2 experts to siphon for information and i learned so much that day.... ah-ma-zing! trully!

jennifer and markus were in from germany to say their vows. i couldn't have picked a better couple. they were gorgeous, sweet, down-to-earth, inviting, welcoming, in love! i could keep going... just check out the pictures and see for yourself. THANK YOU BECKER for inviting me to shoot this wedding with you!

btw.. the florals were done by square root design whose work is just breath taking. brian and i couldn't stop taking pictures of everything. he was really going to town at the reception. check out the sweetheart table and tell me your jaw didn't drop. seriously, the picture doesn't do it justice. and the cake table! the cake in its classic simplicity looked elegantly charming surrounded by all those flowers. sigh... i want my house to look like a square root garden.


i had a snaffoo at the ceremony. there i was on the ground (sprawled on the grass, preggo n all) shooting a "down-the-aisle" shot and i felt a pop! the button that held my dress' strap in place snapped! whoops! wardrobe malfunction! camera in one hand, dress pieces on the other, i shimmied over to the ever prepared coordinator of the day, laurie davis of five star weddings. thank you laurie for saving my day!

outtakes w brian and becker