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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

mila | around town . santa ana

so many places unexplored....

my sister and i were so fortunate growing up that mom worked for an airline.  we started travelling the world when i was 9 and did some world exploration trip at least once a year until i was 18.  i've seen some amazing things and have truly come to appreciate the diversity in art, culture, tradition, nature and people.  the one thing we didn't do as much growing up was explore the areas around us.  my mom was keen on taking advantage of the airline perks, understandably.  she told us that we could always go to nearby places any time but the world travel was an opportunity we couldn't pass up.

i think that is a common practice.  even now as an adult, when i think about vacationing or weekend trips, i look far and wide for options.  when i consider photo safaris i'm intrigued by day trip locations.  what i don't always look at are the areas close by.  i've been making an effort to change that.

my friends todd and kevin and i went venturing around down town santa ana one day.  mostly to look for places to shoot and also to try out todd's arsenal of canon lenses ;).  i really shouldn't find more equipment to fall in love with.  it gets expensive.  his 14mm lens is at the top of my drool list.

check out the fun stuff we found just 15 mins away from home!

Monday, December 28, 2009

mila | [b] school day trips . laguna

i love the community energy behind the [b]school.  and i love joe photo for leading a bi-monthly day trip.  this month we walked around laguna beach.  got some art in, some beach air and chocolate covered strawberries.

visiting one of joe's buddies .. david tosti at his studio.

how many people can you fit in a phone booth?  2 studs.... [b]ecker and paul edwards.

matt looking like shaggy 

i'm a media raised child.  these are things that get my attention.

i'm intrigued by art that has a dark story to tell.

i HATE getting my picture taken!

if you wanna learn from a master, take a picture of his settings.

some people are awesome at thinking outside the box.  while the rest of us are lugging around pro and semi pro cameras complete w all our fav lenses, michelle yam captures art beautifully with an iphone.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

mila | orange county boudoir photographer

aside from the normal sessions (engagements, weddings and portraits) i actually offer some really fun sessions with some really fun names.

  • one more time - some people call them "trash the dress" sessions but the dress isn't always trashed.  so i prefer to call it one more time.  it's a chance to wear that dress one more time.  brides can get creative with the session.  take the dress to a bowling alley, into the snow, out on the water, on a bike ... anywhere really!  jazz it up with fun shoes or no shoes, hair down, makeup done and no stress.  the time table is out the window and it's all about the couple, the outfit and fun.  scissors, paint, mud and other destructive implements are optional ;)
  • side show - photobooths at receptions and events are all the rage.  there are 2 options for these things.  the automatic one (rent a booth that has a camera and a printer) where you rely on your guests to come up with zany and fun poses all on their own.  because these booths usually come with a printer so your guests can walk away with a souvenir that night.  the other option i like to call the side show.  it's a photographer manned station where we encourage your guests to dig deep and let out the crazy.  talk about having fun reception shoots and an incredible addition to your wedding album.  either choice is awesome for adding some fun and personality to any event.
  • sugar n spice - the newest addition to my wedding package offerings is a boudoir session.  i'd been trying to come up with a fun name for it and i think i have it.  it's a great wedding present for that hubby to be or even an anniversary or valentine gift.  actually... it's awesome for any time of the year.  bonus points for surprise gifts that have no holiday associations and are "just coz" gifts right?  these sessions have an optional "pamper me into a diva" addition where the client gets a make-over as well.  hmmm... maybe the boys should buy these for the girls as a gift?  here's a sample from the latest session i did below.
a note to some... 

it is not my intent to offend.  it IS my intention to empower women to feel good about who they are and what they look like.  i could rant on for days on this subject but will leave it at that.  let this serve as my cautionary statement for viewing the following photos.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

mila | MY baby bump week 27

last month barni, my friend who works for parenting magazine philippines, emailed me asking for help.  she wanted to know if i could get her photos of a pregnant couple.... actually she said she wanted photos of me n curtis for an article she was writing.  and she needed it like yesterday.

last month the bump was noticeable but still not that big.  in order to look pregnant and not fat (or full), i had to wear a short tee, push the belly out and hope for the best.  on such short notice i couldn't find a photog to do the pictures for us either so i busted out my trusty tripod.  made some space on the wall, set the camera on timer and worked on some poses.  makes me smile... it was reminiscent of my 365 project days.

so here's some of the pictures from that set.  they were actually taken the same day as the week 24 bump picture.

so much has happened in a month.  the bump seems to have doubled in size over night.  in the last two weeks i feel like we gained 10 pounds.  i lost something like 5-7 pounds during the first trimester because i got so sick.  i'm currently up 14 pounds from my normal weight and it's not all belly i tell ya.  i was shocked when i felt my ass hitting the back of my legs as i walked around last week!  sorry if that's TMI for some of you but i didn't think that day would come so soon.  me n cottage cheese under my skin are mortal enemies and the recent discovery of an entire colony residing in my rear has forced me to bust out the war paint.  grrrrrrr.

anyway... on to more pleasant topics.  we also did the 3D/4D ultrasound recently.  our first attempt wasn't too successful.  probably my fault.  i wasn't supposed to have a heavy meal before the ultrasound since that would put the baby to sleep.  i thought i was eating lite just having a few bites of roscoe's left overs.  i guess a whole chicken thigh, rice n beans doesn't constitute lite eating.  i guess 1 hour wasn't enough to digest all that either.  munchkin was practically snoring in my belly.  you couldn't wake her for anything.  and yes... i know where my idea of lite eating goes.  thanks people.  grrrrrr.

2nd attempt (a week later) was much better and we saw her doing yoga moves in the belly.  sooooo cute.  here's a picture from the session.

and now for this week's bump picture.  week 29 and officially 3rd trimester (7 months).  we are really really really showing now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

mila | anaheim portrait photographer . kelly n ashley

it was a quiet blog week but life has been very very very hectic.  i've been working on rushing in last minute holiday sessions ... sliding them right under tight deadlines.  meeting with friends, family and photographers for christmas celebrations.  shooting, teaching, talking, sharing and always always making room for quality time with curtis and the baby.  the belly needs lotsa love ;)

here's a fun session with kelly and ashley in downtown orange.  i love love love the way these two are together.  mom and daughter, best friends.  they are adorable!