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, April 28, 2011

mila | dol . a first birthday

in many traditions the child's first birthday is a big celebration.  in the korean culture this is called dol.  last weekend was little evalyn's dol.  happy birthday evalyn!  your mom and dad prepared a beautiful celebration.

at a dol one of the main events is called toljabee.  it is where the child is presented with a tray of items to pick from encouraging them to pick up an item they are attracted to.  the item they select foretells their future.  the list of items include things such as a calculator (accountant), string (long life), pencil (scholar), stethoscope (doctor).  guests are invited to guess which item the child will select.  evelyn looks like she's leaning towards a career in medicine!  

evalyn's great grandmother had a special song for the group

in traditional dress...

party styling by chicreve

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

mila | facebook freeze

last week i decided to conduct a random personal experiment.  i took a hiatus from fb for a week.  i wanted to see if ...
  1. i could do it
  2. i would be more productive -- as in, was it really as much of a distraction as i thought it was
  3. how i would feel without it.
i totally survived without it and YES, i was much more productive.  i've felt guilty on many occasions that i spend so much time on the computer and particularly fb, just surfing around doing essentially ... NOTHING.  chores get pushed off, projects aren't completed as quickly, kaya gets ignored on occasion, conversation in the house comes to a stand still and the computer is a permanent fixture on the dining table where we gather for "together" time.  fb has become an addiction and one that i must control.

i had a co-worker from back in my pacsun days who told me about her parent's table conversation rules.  first off, all the family members had to be at the table for meals without distraction.  they also had to come prepared with current event topics for discussion.  i LOVE that.  in this day and age i find that the TV or the computer have become family members at our table ... if we're even at the dining table.  many times the TV trays get more use than the dining table does, especially during laker season.  these distractions have seriously hampered daily communications in our household.  i can't even say that we've dwindled down to irrelevant topics or gossip because we're too busy watching and typing instead of talking.  i'm fearful that when we get old and gray, curtis and i will find ourselves sitting to dinner at restaurants QUIETLY chewing and staring into space or using movies to create our own soundtrack.  i've found myself hanging on to juicy morsels to share, saving them for quiet times ... just for filler!  mind you, when i had a newspaper subscription a decade ago i can't say that i was an avid reader of current events either.  i only subscribed to the sunday paper and only to cut coupons.  i hated watching the news and would rather rot in front of jerry springer than listen to nasal voices talk about violence, storm watch or the economy.  ah youth!  but with age comes wisdom?  or perhaps just a need for seemingly intelligent topics.  having a toddler takes away from my ability to concentrate on a novel but just enough time for fb or (in the case of a fb freeze) short little news paragraphs that conveniently get sent to my phone up to date by the minute if i so choose - though to be honest, when it comes to the death of famous people and earthquakes, fb and twitter ARE the news source.

so although my little study taught me a few more things about myself than i initially hypothesized -- i AM interested in the world and fb is not my only resource though too much time away and i feel disconnected.  it was the week following my fb freeze that taught me the most.  if for whatever reason i'm feeling blue (ie down on myself, depressed about anything) i should REFRAIN from entering fb.  those are probably the worst all consuming surf on nothing days.  and the relentless search for i-don't-know-what which causes me to jump from one fb page to another creating a spiral of misery that takes a day or two to recover from.  i may be over dramatizing but i'm serious about the effect of fb on my damaged psyche.  viewing other people's lives and work whose seeming perfection is the epitome of nirvana makes me want to puke at my own flaws.  i sit in front of a computer flogging myself for inane reasons.  this must stop.  there is a time and place for this book called face and it is NOT here, now and always.  so the next experiment is ... FINDING BALANCE.

i dunno how many of you know that on the last trip to the philippines i signed up for my very first tattoo.  always wanted one but never knew what to get till i had a daughter.  kaya simone in alibata (ancient filipino script) with room for more below.

Friday, April 22, 2011

mila | happy bday evalyn

tomorrow we celebrate this adorable little girl's FIRST birthday.  happy birthday evalyn!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

mila | the corporate look

one of my favorite clients called recently inquiring about corporate headshots but he didn't want anything typical for his company and his team of awesomes... he wanted corporate with a twist.  after he explained the concept to me i was SOLD!  it was so up my alley.  he wanted something that reflected their brand and who they were.  professional, approachable, creative and amazing.

schiefer media whose history is rooted in the automotive industry used to have a website that had a really sporty, race car look to it.  now with all their recent changes, the brand is a reflection of who they really are ... an atypical marketing agency with a relaxed koolness factor and a team of superheroes.  i'd like to think the "michelle" touch helped get them there.  just check out their new website and you'll see what i'm talking about.

here's some of my fave interior office shots ..