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

Sunday, May 22, 2011

mila | kaya updates

we've had sleep disruptions presumably caused by teething.  she has 3.5.5 now.  as in 3 whole ones and 2 halves coming through.  my life was busy when she started crawling and now it's insane with her walking.  the little bugger insists on assisted walking btw; assisted by ME and only if we aren't in densely populated places like aquarium of the pacific.  something about crowds makes her feel strongly independent god help us.  god help ME.  watching her fight through a crowd and stand in a dangerously wet tub during bath time is giving me ulcers.  my lack of alone time and my razor burned legs (from shaving in a cold draft exposed bathroom since she insists on being within line of site at ALL times) and her attachment 24/7 makes me feel trapped and cabin fever is not an unusual issue at home. i really miss having the bathroom to myself.  she's figured out that tantrums break me down and whining can be effective when mommy is trying to work.  her one or (if i'm lucky, two) short naps a day don't buy me enough work time so i stay up late to catch up on my to do list.  by friday i'm frazzled, exhausted and ready to pull my hair out.  thank god for curtis.  he's so awesome, he'll do whatever it takes to calm her, including crawling into her crib with her and laying there till she falls asleep.  he's our referee and my personal savior (kaya would say the same).  he gladly takes over parental duties, tames the monster's tantrums and calms my frayed nerves.    and still... when she's sleeping, i can't help but give her kisses.  when she smiles at me (or gives me the naughty grin she's recently acquired) i melt.  and when she cries i feel guilty.  people tell me that she's such a good baby.  wow.  i guess life really only gives you what you can handle.  lord knows i couldn't handle a crazier baby.

p.s. we're still trying to have baby number 2.  i know.. CRAZY

the beginning of the end... right here.


milaPhotography has some big news!
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hi friends!

this is the year i've decided to take a big leap.  i'm collaborating with a couple of my buddies and we'll be opening a studio together!  it's going to be called the coco gallery.  we want to bring our clients a full experience.  something to jog the senses beyond the visual love that three photographers can bring to the table.  what does this mean for milaPhotography?  the brand itself is going on hibernate for a little while.   but don’t worry, i'll still be very accessible to you and all my past clients, actually more so now than ever.   all my existing clients with events booked in the future are safe as well.  no real changes other than MORE love and BETTER service.  i can't wait to show you what we have in store!  If all goes well, we're hoping to have the doors open in a few months.

And that’s not all!  To celebrate the new chapter, we’re kicking off with a GREAT coupon!  Jump over to BuyWithMe.com and get a great deal on a photo package. 
           $69 for 1-hour photo session, one 11x14 print and 25-30 image proof book  Discount: 86%, Savings: $431
        $129 for 1-hour photo session, one 16x20 print or two 11x14 prints, 25-30 image proof book and five digital print-ready images on           CD Discount: 86%, Savings: $821

cheers everyone and look forward to the grand opening invitation.

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hugs, love and a million smiling memories!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

mila | ayesha + norvil . jumping the broom

they had a looooong engagement ... and she bought the dress a while back and has always loved it.  ayesha told me that when norvil wasn't home she would have date nights with her dress complete with wine and cheese.  and still he'd never seen her in it till the wedding day.  don't you just LOVE that?  talk about getting maximum use!

you know what else i love??  adorable grandmas with strawberry mojitos in hand, grinning aunts, cheery cousins and guests that know how to get down with some great moves.  mmmm hmm... i love me a great party!

a note on jumping the broom (from wikipedia)

Jumping over the broom symbolized various things depending on the culture. In the American south, the custom determined who ran the household. Whoever jumped highest over the broom was the decision maker of the household.


photographers must blend in with the guests.  that way if we get caught in the shot we don't look out of place.  so yeah ... hanssie and i were in white too ... oh and coordinating shoes!  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mila | congratulations anne

CSULB is producing another fresh batch of graduates this june.  congratulations anne marie!  all that hard work has paid off.  you made it!  now it's time to start your own soccer league outside of college.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

learn how to post process with SCOTT ROBERT


Shoot . Process . Deliver

In the film days most photographers relied on labs to take care of the time consuming image processing step for them.  The art doesn’t always stop at the camera and today’s photographer is a one man show with expertise at everything, including post-processing.  Photoshop and Lightroom are the digital photographer’s lab.

We invite you to see how a master photographer does his post processing.  Come see Scott Robert as he shares with us his Lightroom techniques and his Photoshop tricks.  Learn how to add and use textures to enhance your images and turn them into art!

Here’s our tentative itinerary for our workshop

WHEN:                                    Wednesday May 18, 2011
LECTURE LOCATION:           Brea Community Center
695 Madison Ave
Brea, CA 92821-5741
 9:00 am – 12:00 pm           lecture

Investment is only $99.   You can't afford to miss it at this price! 

All skill levels accepted. Gear: no camera gear necessary.
All payments are non-refundable and can only be exchanged for similar Scott Robert Lecture Workshops.   New students welcome!  No previous experience required.  
Space is limited, be sure to reserve your space today!  Email me to reserve your spot . michelle@milaPhotography.com

About Scott Robert
Internationally acclaimed, master photographer, Scott Robert Lim (Cr. Photog, AOPA) was awarded the prestigious 2009 WPPI Kodak Award and was inducted into WPPI’s Society of Excellence and has earned an Accolade of Outstanding Photographic Achievement by one of the world’s largest photographic societies. He is recognized as one of the finest and leading educators in the county and honored at Imaging USA 2011 were he was awarded his Photographic Craftsman’s degree. He has won over 50 international awards. His work has been published in books and magazines distributed worldwide and has taught and mentored many professional photographers around the world. Scott is a popular international speaker with an exciting and inspirational style.
To learn more about his journey click here.  Also see the latest news on him.

Monday, May 2, 2011

mila | sexy time

i love shooting boudoir.  it really is the gift that keeps on giving.  it doesn't matter if the original intent was treasured intimate images for the love of your life.  in the end it's a gift to yourself.  i just saw one of my past boudoir clients recently.  she's had two children since her session with me.  i remember when she shyly asked me if i thought it would be ok for her to do a boudoir session.  she was thinking that i might consider it vain.  NO WAY!  i say celebrate who you are and how you feel here and now!  it's something to look back on and smile at later.  those pictures are her motivation to get back in shape now.  it also makes it very clear in her head that what she remembers was NOT a figment of her imagination.  and i'll tell you what, i know this girl.  she will work her butt off and look better than she did before and then she can look at those pictures again and feel even more accomplished.  ah happiness!

here's my most recent session.

 this sexy siren and mommy of one has a passion for shoes that rivals mine.  her sweet hubby (the birthday boy) supports this love by bringing home gorgeous leather presents from his travels.  to show him some love back... his birthday present.  i can picture the big grin on his face ;)