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

Friday, July 31, 2009

mila | 20.20.20

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it's baaaaaack! 20 . 20 .... almost 20

so..... tell the truth. your online profile picture... what does it look like? do you even have a picture or did you post one of a cute puppy coz you couldn't find one you liked? or do you have one of you cut out from a group photo with a stray hand draped over your shoulder? hmmm?

everyone is on the net now. facebook, twitter, dating sites, IM, linkedin. the cyber community is taking over the world. on a desktop or over the phone... face time is replaced by electronic communication and your profile picture is your handshake. so...
what does your profile picture say about you?

last june i hosted the first 20.20.20. recognize anybody in the banner above? we had a blast! and now... it's back!

i've got the studio booked and this time i have 20 slots. you, me and my camera spend 20 minutes havin a blast jazzin up that profile. we'll get a new picture of you that says "oh yeah!!" on the next cyber handshake.

interested? here's the details...

  • THE DATE | 08.15.09 (saturday) OR 08.16.09 (sunday)
  • THE TIME | you decide. i have slots from 10 - 2 each day
  • THE PLACE | fullerton, CA
  • THE PRICE FOR A SWEET NEW PROFILE?? $30 -- it's a great deal... promise!
you know you want to! just send me an email at michelle@milaPhotography.com and i'll send you ALL the details plus answer all your questions. hurry hurry! don't wait too long. 20 slots fill up super quick.

** each $30 window is for a single individual only. please email me for discounts on groups (of 2 people or more) sharing a window.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

mila | stray thoughts . surreal life

anyone go to the oc smugmug last night?  did you walk away with so much inspiration and 3 new friends?  last night was my second smug to attend and i'm so pumped with inspiration every time i go!  jessica claire and her collection of photos to share made laugh, wince, and nod at all the knowledge she was sharing.  jasmine of course was her usual awesome self.  jeff jochum was ultra welcoming and inspiring.  and the vibe you get from all the attendants is like a wave of energy.  put it in my pocket coz i love it so much.

so here's something you may not know.  jasmine put my name in as co-leader for the oc smugmug.  you're like... whaaat?!  yeah... so am i.  i'm not really sure how that happened.  well... that's not true.  i kinda do.  i was on a hunt for a venue for our large group -- just trying to help jas out.  i didn't realize how challenging it was going to be to find a home for our "little" group.  jasmine kicked ass though and got us in the mesa verde country club.  it was the perfect location to have a 200+ gathering of photographers with lotsa room to mingle and share the love.  so anyway, i'm here to help jasmine coordinate the smugmug gatherings.  not sure how much help i can be coz jas really is on top of it and super organized.  but i'm just so thrilled at the opportunity!

as i say this i'm thinkin... this is so surreal.  seriously.  i'm just michelle.  seriously.  as in same girl from a week ago.  but last night after the smugmug meeting, jeff jochum and candice cunningham were so nice and welcoming and extended an invitation to dinner.  ok... jasmine and jd were there.  becker was there.  jessica was there.  i had to make sure that my deodorant was there too and wouldn't give away just how nervous i was.  i held it together and after the first few minutes i was fine.  again... sooo surreal.  and now i look back at yesterday, last night, and all the interaction i've been having with these amazing inspiring people.  i'm richer for it... but i'm still michelle... floating in a surreal life.  someone pinch me and check my temperature.

ok... so this picture is soooo old.  as in... circa 2007-long-hair old... just reminding myself that i didn't get transported to another life and that i'm still michelle from a week ago just richer in experience ... and with shorter hair ;)

Monday, July 27, 2009

mila | portraits . julz

superwoman julz is a yoga instructor, fitness trainer, choreographer, a bundle of energy and hot mommy all in one lil package.  we shot this set for her portfolio quite a few weeks ago.  tell me you aren't impressed with her balance?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

mila | portraits . baby belly love

boy... am i active blogger this week or what???  

my neighbor judy came over for a baby bump session.  she's ridiculously photogenic and so's her lil madison -- currently in the bump but due to come out of her belly in less than a month!!!  we gave you a sneak preview earlier this week.  here's more from that session.

i love how some of these came out feeling totally calvin kleinish.  so relaxed and so airy.  sigh.  doesn't she look great?!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

mila | stray thoughts . just coz

because we like to shoot for fun.  because we like to hang out with friends.  because we like to meet new people.  because we enjoy each other's company.  we get together occassionally cameras, kids, bikes and all.  we stroll thru fun places like venice beach.  we people watch.  we click.  we pick out t-shirts.  we have filling appetizers, chat over dinner and sigh about great days in the sun.

another awesome get together with [b]schoolers.  thanks joe photo for being super organizer!

because hanssie didn't know what to do with our new friend steve..

because mackenzie is amazingly talented!

because becker LOVES fun tees

because i LOVE pop surrealism and wall art

because this is so me (blue eyes ... sometimes and flowers in my hair)

because i know how to ride a bicycle now too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

mila | curtis discoveries

so this weekend we were up in salinas helping my cousin move into their new house. it's absolutely gorgeous up there! i love the ambiance and historic feeling in that lil town.

after breakfast on sunday curtis and i took the kids for a quick stroll around the farmer's market. chloe, 3 year old adorableness, got hit with a little food coma and insisted that curtis carry her for the stroll. content with her head on his chest she suddenly perked up. she rubs curtis' chest, looks up at him and matter-of-factly says "you don't have milk". curtis, perplexed, cautiously responds with "no i don't". chloe comes back with ..."my mama has milk". That conversation settled, she nestles herself back into his arms. the curtis giggles ensue.

all the way home we kept going over curtis' major discovery for the weekend. he doesn't have milk! wow! who knew!?!

here's a sneak peak of a maternity shoot i did with my neighbor judy today. she'll be expecting a lil one of her own soon. can't wait to meet madison!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

mila | stray thoughts . overcoming limits

just 2 months ago i was freaking out about going to these mixers to go meet industry peers. networking is just a necessary part of running a business and it's so outside of my comfort zone. now i'm shin deep into it!

yesterday hanssie, matt and rob hosted another photog shootout get together. what an awesome day! 50 photographers gathering to learn, exchange, eat, socialize and shoot. they invited jasmine star and her hubby jd to talk about how she made it in the industry. if you haven't heard her story you should! inspiration! anna and michael costa spoke of sales and marketing -- super duper helpful! their tips are getting added to my arsenal of tools ASAP.

the group was split and there were 5 leaders on hand to teach various things about photography. and guess what??? i lead a group! whoa! well... that's hanssie pulling the friend card. haha! i had fun! and i learned a lot and met a lot of people and ate a lot! oh... we had din din at a restaurant called sarducci's down in san juan capistrano. right next to the tracks and a great place to get some photos. the food was yummmmm! thanks shoot dot edit for buying dinner!

we had some great models (crystal was back! rachel amara is a fav of our band and some new faces came to join) and some great help for the day. remember kacee who did the makeup for crystal at the last bridal shoot? she rocked again! and then we worked with angelina of all made up who was the bestest best for coming in to help at the very very last minute! i swear to all that is green that if you are ever in a bind for some mad beauty awesomeness... anyone on the all made up team or our dearest kacee are the most reliable people EVER.

i didn't get many pictures unfortunately. too busy gabbing and trying to get out of people's shots... but here's a few of the day.

this last shot is courtesy of my friend chris diset. dot man is shoot dot edit's lil guy. where in the world is he? on my ass. lol!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

mila | biznez . subscriptions

holla peeps!  the news on the next 20.20.20 is about to be posted up.  i'll have it here on the blog but if you want to be one of the first to be notified (for this and for future discounts and promos) please sign up to be part of my mailing list.  up till now i've been combing through my email for contacts to notify and that's just really inefficient and time consuming.  you guys all know i'm so not a fan of that.  so i signed up for mail chimp.  they will be managing all mail lists for me from here on out.  also, i wanted to make sure that i maintained all friendships and made no enemies.  being part of the mail list means you can unsubscribe at any time.  don't wanna abuse the love ;)  -- hugs n kisses!

here's a few pix of me from the last 20.20.20 with my baby sis behind the camera.  we were having fun between takes with clients... hehehe.  i know i know... i'm a poser.  jus shush.