Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Photo Shoot in Santa Cruz

One of my good friends Shelby Chen recently got a job at Photojojo! I'm pretty stoked for him considering he put a lot of effort in his application and resumé. It feels like a perfect fit.

Shelby had asked me about a week ago if I'd be down to do some headshot he could use for his online profile and on his website. I gladly accepted. I'm always down to help a friend with anything photo/video related.


With My Back to the Wall.

We shot for about an hour by the boardwalk in Santa Cruz and around the neighboring streets. All in all, I was pretty happy with some of the final images. It's always a little weird taking portraits especially when people are constantly walking by, but I think we managed.

Once again, congrats Shelbs!

On the Right Track.

A Boy and His Camera.

Meet Shelby.

Insta Contest.

Any motivation to take photos is always a blessing. Through this motivation, we create our best work. WHen we know an audience is ready and waiting, we are inspired to create something... great.

This past weekend end, artist Huck Gee held another one of his Instagram contests. Before I go on, I forgot to write about his last contest on here, but that was a blast as well. I ended up placing and getting a set of awesome prints designed by Huck himself. Back to the story. Huck posted that he would have a contest where the only restriction was to shoot a photo of his "Gold Life" series dunnys. This wouldn't be too hard considering I had the entire set, minus a few of the rares.

I spent all of Sunday formulating some rough ideas. Nothing I was coming up really stood out as an entry that would have a good shot. Looking over my figures, I noticed one had a great little gold mask on. I though it might be cool if I incorporate a photo where it shows both personalities of the figure; a masked hero and a pensive commoner.

I set out sometime around golden hour (an hour before sunset). I borrowed my friend Eric's 100-400mm to get a great shallow focus shot with that cream smooth bokeh in the background and foreground. After finding my location, the final shot took maybe five minutes to shoot. The red/orange from the sunset really gave the image a nice warm look to it. For editing, I simply cut the reflection out of one and overlaid it on top of the other. Pretty happy with the final image!

Also here is the high quality version.


And here is the post on Huck's blog about the winners. I was stoked that I had one another one of his contests. I was worried he would rule me out because I won an earlier contest. The other plus was the grand prize was a $50 gift card to Moo.com a business card site. I've been meaning to get business cards made for awhile now, but winning this means I can't procrastinate any longer.

Huck Blog

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The End is Near.

Every time I buy a Dunny, I vow to myself it will be my last. But alas, some new series comes along that I can't resist splurging on. This time around KidRobot announced the "Dunny Apocalypse" series.

There were definitely some heavy hitters in this series, including Ron English, Joe Ledbetter, and Huck Gee. To be honest, there really wasn't one design that I didn't like. I called up my buddy Nick to see if he'd be game to tag along. He was more than down. It also turns out that artist Huck Gee was going to be in attendance at Kidrobot SF to sign his figure and a limited run of prints.

We decided to head up to the city early to beat the rush hour traffic. When we got there, we bought our case of Dunnys to secure a set. With a series like this in limited quantities, you can't take any chances.

Sunset in the City.

We headed over to one of my favorite creperies on Haight to grub and open our case up. Because we split a case of sixteen blind boxes, we basically opened one at a time picking boxes at random. I pulled a Huck Gee, Ryniac, Joe Ledbetter, JPK, Kronk, Jermaine Rogers, and Ron English. I ended up getting all the ones that I wanted.

We walked around for about an hour then headed back to KRSF to wait for Huck to arrive for the signing. Inside tons of people were opening up case after case searching for the rare figures and mystery variants in the series.



Ron English.

Blind Boxes.

Around 5pm we headed outside to wait in line. I had brought along a few items I wanted to get signed by Huck including one of his newest pieces the "Skullslinger."

We waited close to an hour and a half before Huck finally drove past the store in his white Subaru STI hatchback. Because we were towards the front of the line, we were in the first group to head inside.


Inside, we patiently waited our turn to meet the creative genius whose work we admire so much. I've met Huck before, but for my buddy Nick, it was a whole new experience. It's such a cool feeling meeting the man behind the art. It just gives his pieces a more personal touch.



Huck happily signed all the things we threw his way, including a 7" Munny Nick had picked up. We chatted about instagram, cars, and his next series of vinyl toys coming out. He's got some cool things in the works.


After we had said our goodbyes, we headed back out into the world smiling ear to ear. It sounds lame, but it's just so cool when artists reach out to meet and hang out with their fans. Huck is one of the coolest most down to earth dudes as well as an extremely talented artist to boot. All I can say is I can't wait for the next release.

Heading Home.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First Ink.

When coming up with an idea for a tattoo, there's a lot to consider. For me, I've been considering a few tattoo ideas for awhile now. One being the word "smile" across the inside of my right index finger. This way when I take photos or video, my subject will be able to see the text. Not an original idea, but something I think is very clever. The other idea is a bit more unique. There's a caricature of the Michelin man that one of my favorite artists KAWS designed. This is one I would get on the inside of my upper arm. I've never seen anyone else with this design on their bodies.

Nick, one of my friends from work, asked me if I wanted to go with him to get his next tattoo. Of course. I would never pass down an opportunity to be part of a big event like that. I figured if Nick was going to get a tattoo, maybe this would be a good opportunity for my to get my first piece. I called the tattoo shop Lucky Stars and they said they could fit me in right after Nick.

The day came and there were lots of feelings floating around my head. Nervousness. Fear. Excitement. I got to watch Nick get his tattoo first. This was helpful because I could see the entire process from start to finish. Nick's took about an hour total and turned out absolutely amazing. He got a piece done by local Bay Area artist Huck Gee.




Next was my turn. I was ready. After going back and forth between the two ideas I had, I finally decided on the KAWS tattoo. The tattoo artist said the inner arm would hurt less than the finger.

To say it didn't hurt would be a lie. It is painful, but it's a bearable pain. After a few minutes, your arm just gets numb. An hour later I was all done and they wrapped it up. The artist Joe did a great job.



When people say tattoos are addictive I see why. I would love to get another one. Not any time soon, but when I have another good idea for one I'll be ready. For now, I'll enjoy the one I have.

Photo Adventure.

Got the opportunity to take some photos with Jenny and the pugs.

Rainy Day with the Pugs.


Negative Space.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Little Big.

The well known tech blog Gizmodo hosted a photo challenge in which the assignment was to take something small and make it look big. When I saw this, I knew I had to give it a shot. I figured with all the toys I had around, I could easily make this happen.

There's an old meat sign by my house that I've always wanted to photograph. I figured I would take one of my my food-themed toys and get a shot by said sign. I used a fisheye lens shooting at a low angle to make the character appear much larger than 8". I also took one image exposed for the toy and one exposed for the sky and merged them in Photoshop.

It didn't end up placing in the contest, but it did get me to go out and get a photo I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Check it out below.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Johnny Cupcakes Coffin Tour 2012

One of my buddies from work invited me to a shirt event in the city yesterday. I had heard of Johnny Cupcakes before, but had never done too much research on the guy. After a few google searches, I quickly learned why this guy and his company were so popular. Clever designs mixed with an impeccable attention to detail.

Daniel and his girlfriend Nisouri picked me up at my place and we headed up to the city. We were pretty hungry so we stopped at Tacolicious, a local favorite, for some grub. Beyond delicious.


After food, we headed over to Super 7 on Haight where the event was set to take place. We saw the line and quickly figured we should have come much earlier. We were easily 300-400 people back in the line.


Johnny Cupcakes Coffin Tour 2012 // San Francisco

Super 7.

As day turned into night, the line began to slowly creep towards the entrance of the store. Three hours had already passed, and we had only made it to the halfway mark. Battling the cold, tiredness, and carpel tunnel, we slowly trudged on.

What's on the Menu? Daniel.


At the four hour mark we were finally at the entrance of the store. It felt good. Inside they had five shirts to choose from as well as a nice assortment of other goodies. I ended up getting one of the shirts with all the different masks on it. They also threw in a lot of other cool things with my purchase. That was the least the could've done consider how long we waited.

SF Mummy Boy.

Johnny Cupcakes.

Johnny Cupcakes Coffin Tour 2012 Shirts.



After we paid, we wanted to meet the man in the flesh. Johnny was hanging out just outside the store meeting and chatting with his fans.

Mr. Cupcakes

It was really cool to hear him talk. Very inspiring. He is also quite the comedian. Very quick on his feet to crack jokes.


It's awesome when you can actually meet the face of a brand. Johnny makes it a huge point to take the time and connect with his fans. All evidence why his brand and company are so popular. That along with the exclusivity of the shirts make Johnny and his shirts a hot commodity for the average consumer.

Yesterday I bought my first Johnny Cupcake shirt, but I can tell you it will not be my last.