Tag Archives: Pasadena

Yu Family

2015 was about me rethinking why I do what I do. For me photography has always been about telling stories that matter most and using my art to give back (while making a few bucks at the same time!).  Eight and a half years ago in San Diego I was just embarking on a journey of discovering what it meant to do photography meaningfully.

I will say that Mike and Judy were two of the very first people to ever believe in my work as a way of making a difference in this world. Back in 2007 together with a few friends, I had just begun a college collective of artists who cared deeply about justice among the poor in Africa and saw our art as a means of giving back. Soon we were positioning ourselves to sell our art and have 100% of the after-cost proceeds go towards a few non-profits that served the poor in Africa. That year I was approached by Judy who was looking for a way to do party favors without them having to be so party-favorish at her upcoming wedding…upon seeing my work the two of them decided to purchase several of my prints to give away to their wedding guests. In the end we were able to give a considerable sum towards supporting orphans in Africa through International Justice Mission and World Vision.  Back then I was floored by how far we went with this simple little idea. Today I still am. It was Mike and Judy’s belief in my work that has given me courage even today, to continue what I started with 7% of my proceeds today going towards giving back to meaningful causes. Never in my dreams did I think I’d ever get to be doing this.

Last fall I was sweetly surprised to bump into Mike at a friend’s BBQ in Pasadena and we reconnected. They spoke with the same vigor and passion for change that they did then. 8 and a half years later after our first meeting they had their firstborn son, Remy Jeriah Yu. I was so honored when Judy asked me capture their new family with little Pudgy their dog. Of course, there didn’t have to be much convincing.

Last Sunday they dedicated Remy at church and I was so glad to be there to witness it and and smile upon his beautiful face.

Thank you Mike and Judy for believing in me as much as you have. The power of your support goes beyond words.

Ben and Anna at Home

Back in July I had the chance of photographing Ben and Anna’s love story. I was so moved by who they are that I captured a piece of their everyday lives. Since their big day they have moved into a modest one bedroom apartment in Northwest Pasadena next to several other families of mixed socio-economic backgrounds. These are people who love Jesus, dream big and have chosen to live simply in community with others for the greater good. They dream of changing the world and are already doing it in right here in Pasadena.  This day I was able to capture them in their new apartment, doing what they do best, living with the people they love deeply, in community.

Pasadena Charm

I am proud to share this summer fashion editorial cultivated in the hopes of bringing attention to local artists and businesses who are keen on giving back to the community. Market bags from Apolis promote jobs and income for underprivileged women in Bangladesh and other countries, while bicycles from Around the Cycle is a consignment bike shop dedicated to local and global sustainability through recycled bicycle parts.

Model: Pasadena Charm
Floral Design: Emblem Flowers
Stylist: Rough ’n Refined
Bicycle: Around the Cycle
Papergoods: Goldpress Paper
Nails: Olive & June
Featured outfits: Finn and Willow / Splendid LA / Anthropologie / Apolis

Emblem Flowers // Valentine’s Day Flower Stand


Back in February I had the opportunity of capturing my friend Charmain of Emblem Flowers, hard at work at her Valentine’s Day flower stand hosted by one of my favorite local coffee shops in Pasadena, Lavendar & Honey Espresso Bar.  It’s obvious Charmain’s art is about connecting with community and making flowers and arrangements available to all people. I was inspired by her fresh take on the flower stand which featured a curated selection of atypical fresh spring blooms and greens made available to anyone and everyone wanting to make their own bouquet for a loved one. I found myself realizing that what drew me in was the fact that each bouquet was made with a whole lot of thought and care by the person gifting it. When I asked her why she was doing the stand a few days earlier she said, “Letting people flex their design muscles by choosing their own blooms, is important. All I do is wrap it. It’s more personalized and customized that way.” I love it.