Archive for December, 2008
The "High School Reunion" project is the brainchild of my good pal Ron Nabity and me – we’re taking shots of adults re-enacting painful memories from high school. It all started a few weeks ago when we did a session at Sacramento City College where we had Ron being held up for his "lunch money" – the shot came out great, and the project was born. We’ve got a whole list of painful memories to capture (helps to have been a geeky kid – lots of pain and trauma to draw from…) Feel free to hit us up in the comments with your favorite painful high school memories – maybe we can add something new to our list. Thanks to the students and instructor of Sacramento City College Photo 392 class for posing!
Stay tuned for more painful memories…
Last time I shot with breakdancer extraordinaire Vince Horiuchi, he mentioned that his mom wanted to take some family photos, and specifically said she wanted some "fun, creative" shots. I was pretty excited about this idea, since I’d already met Vince and his brother Kurt, both talented dancers and martial artists, and naturals in front of the camera. The rest of the family didn’t disappoint, and we had a great time with everyone hamming it up and enjoying the last of the fall color out at the UCD arboretum.
I photographed my first Pakistani wedding along with my second shooter Erika, and we had a fantastic time! The colors, the dancing, the food – it was all completely amazing! Nazli and Umer are a great couple, and so much fun to work with – they were always smiling and their upbeat, positive attitudes never faltered. Their friends and family were also great to be around – I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to eat so many times – they practically pulled the cameras out of our hands and forced food upon us… not that we were complaining – I knew there’d be some amazing food, since every time I spoke with Nazli, she spent at least a couple of minutes telling me how great the food would be – food is a big deal to her family, and I fully support that! The first day of the wedding took place in San Ramon and Fremont and consisted of the Nikah (the religious ceremony) followed by the Mehndi (traditionally a ceremony for the bride during which her hands and feet are elaborately painted with henna). The religious ceremony was of course completely different from the typical wedding ceremonies I’m used to photographing- the men and the women were separated (at first in separate rooms, and later on opposite sides of one room), and Nazli and Umer were separated as well until after the ceremony was over. It was a very intimate setting, with everyone sitting together on the floor of the mosque, and and it felt like everyone was really involved in the ceremony instead of just spectating.
At the Mehndi party, Umer and Nazli’s friends and family performed some wonderfully elaborate choreographed dance performances. Umer’s nieces were especially adorable, and obviously inherited their talent from Umer’s sister Saira, who danced as well. There was also a ritual involving the stealing of Umer’s shoes, which were then sold back to him. I couldn’t quite figure out the significance of that particular ritual, but it made for some great photo opportunities.
On Saturday, the festivities (and eating) continued in Sacramento. We started out at Nazli’s parents’ house for a session with the bride and groom, before heading over to the Platinum Palace for the reception. The decorations and table settings were stunning, including a huge spread of carved fruit and three delicious looking cakes… and of course, more delicious food. This event was a bit more formal, and everyone, especially the bride and groom, looked spectacular.
Tons of thanks to Nazli and Umer for including us in their celebration and introducing us to the wonderful world of Pakistani wedding festivities!