Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Studio- Then and Now-- a film

This is exciting! I took this first video on the day we signed our lease back at the end of August and while I can't believe it has taken us this long to get to where we're at now (we thought we'd be done by mid-October!!) I still feel proud when I go back and look at the first video. I kinda forgot just how much work we did! Whole walls taken down and new ones put up, bathroom closet removed, lead-lined x-ray room demoed, tiny back room made bigger, ugly stone floor fixed- it really is rewarding to see how far we've come.
I just took the second video yesterday. The place is still 3 weeks from being completely done (FEB 21 is our "open" date) so I'll definitely be taking more video and pics at that time, but this will still give you an idea of the progress. At this point, basically we are just waiting for the wall displays, some little odd jobs to be finished up, the workbench, and to finish the decorating.
Ok- here they go:
August 2007

Click here if you can't view the movie.
And January 2008

Click here if you can't view the movie.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

October- getting close!

I am so almost caught up. . . almost.
In October I was super busy with photo shoots and with the studio. That was the month Uncle Roger was here and we were elbow deep in studio building. I already posted about all of that work here, but here's one more picture (that Maria took) just to honor Roger!

Chloe's Bat Mitzvah
My first photo shoot of the month was on the 5th and 6th and it was for Chloe's Bat Mitzvah.
And this 13 year old had quite the party! On Friday I went down to her house to do some family pictures- she had all sorts of aunts and uncles and cousins there and man- there is not a bad-looking one in the bunch! Her entire family was just as beautiful as her! They have a serious "pretty" gene running in that family!
And then the celebration was on Saturday night.
The party was held at the Hotel Valencia on Santana Row and Chloe's theme was "Around the world" They did an amazing job with the entertainment, food, and decor. It was really something to see! A courtyard Hora dance with hands being held all around the water fountain, a DJ team of about 15, each table representing a different country, stations all around the area with different activities like "punk your hair", "henna", a Green screen where they could take pics of themselves in all parts of the world, a chocolate fountain, and much more! It was phenomenal!
Here is the very talented Ellen Lovelace and her team. Ellen in the founder of Quicksilver Concierge and the event coordinator for this fabulous affair. (I also did some photos of her and her husband and two dogs about a year ago and had such a great time with her!)
Chloe's parents toasted her and then they showed a slide show of her life thus far (wherein I think there were moments of thorough embarrassment for Chloe) but I just love this image of her parents watching the slide show. I have a whole series of them- it was so tender watching them watch their first born together.
And then there was tons of dancing!!! I love Bar/Bat Mitzvahs because even though it's technically a party for the 13-year old, I swear, the parents always have so much fun, and these guys were no exception. They were a riot- they kinda made me wish I was a cousin somewhere down the line!

And here is a slide show from the event- my first one using AWESOME royalty-free music! Anyway, Congratulations Chloe!

Matt and Laura- Engaged. . .
The following weekend I had a photo shoot with Matt and Laura. They are getting married this coming September and are seriously on top of their "to-do" list-- got their engagement photos done almost a year in advance! Anyway, when they get married it will actually be the second time Matt has walked Laura down the aisle because that's how they met! They were the Maid of Honor and a Groomsman in a wedding together a couple of years ago!
Their Engagement Shoot was so fun because it was so personal. They chose to go to the Ferry Building Farmers Market since that's where they like to spend Saturday mornings together. They shopped for fresh fruit, ate breakfast, and replenished their lavender supply.
Then we headed over to the Aquatic Park which is where Matt (who's in the Coast Guard) used to sit and talk to Laura on the phone when she was still in Missouri and he was docked at Pier 45. So the place kinda has a special meaning to them as it's where they had most of their long-distance relationship via the phone.
Then for our last stop, we went into the Musee de Mecanique to play in their old-time photo booth. Matt and Laura are planing on having somewhat of an old-time theme to their wedding. They were planning on renting one of these for the reception but between the time we took these pictures and the time they came to pick them up-- they found out that Laura's pregnant!!!! So some of their priorities are changing at this point :)
I'm so looking forward to their wedding! There will be a totally unplanned little 2 month-old bambino there with them so it should make things quite fun!

PAWS 20th Anniversary Dinner
October 17th was the 20th Anniversary Party/Auction for PAWS, a San Francisco Nonprofit Organization that helps people with life-threatening illnesses keep and care for their animals. Through meeting Marjorie, who is the founder of POOCH, I was hooked up with some people at PAWS and their regular photographer was out of town this year so they asked me if I wanted to cover the event!
Here's Marjorie and her mom.
The chairs of the auction- Emily Scott Pottruck and Wilkes Bashford.
Mayor Willie Brown
So the best lesson I learned doing this is that I am not a good celebrity photographer. When I photographed Amy Tan, I said, "You're Amy Tan!" which she probably found very helpful. And then I further embarrassed myself when somebody was calling for "Robyn" and I went running over to them only to realize that they meant Robin Williams not Robyn Kessler (right, I guess that would make more sense).
Luckily most of the celebrities were the local jazz, opera, symphony sorta stars that I'm not cultured enough to recognize.
They had donations from all sorts of big companies like Land Rover and Tiffany's but the best was the Swarovski Crystal-studded doggie jacket!!
I got some of these images printed in the San Francisco Chronicle which I was pretty excited to add to my "client" list, except they unfortunately referred to me there as "Robyn Keller". My big debut and I'm freakin' Robyn Keller!

Sinclair & May Louie 60th Wedding Anniversary

A little over a year ago I photographed Tracy and Lance's wedding and they were so kind as to recommend me as the photographer for this amazing anniversary party honoring the Louie's. May and Sinclair have an amazing story, one of those came-to-this-country-with-nothing,-worked-really-
ones. At this point in their life they own like half of China Town; they are famous in that community. The announcement of this 350-person party at The Empress of China was on the front page of all the Chinese papers and while I know very little about them, it was obvious from all the toasts given that they are incredibly well-liked and just really good people. Family and friends told the cutest stories about them- ones that literally made me laugh out loud. I really felt honored to be there. They announced a charitable gift to the China Town YMCA that night (of A LOT!!!) and Tracy tells me that Sinclair plans on leaving everything to them because when he came to this country without even a place to sleep, they took care of him. I just find that to be a sweet little tid bit of info.

Maddie's 1st Birthday
On the 20th we celebrated Maddie's First Birthday at my mom's house and she was sooo cute, especially after she got over the very upsetting part of a birthday party wherein birthday hats are worn.
She did such a good job opening her gifts and almost every time she got to one, she would say "was aht" ("what's that") Pretty darn adorable!
Video Footage of some hard-core gift-opening and cake-eating

The final big event of the month was a Hair Party in celebration of Betsy's Birthday and Halloween. As you might guess from the "hair party" title, everyone was to come in some sort of hair-centric getup/attire/costume. There were:
mustaches as seen on the world's top pizza chefs
drawn-on hairs and sassy blue wigs
Marge Simpson in her later years hair
A number of mullets
English Pageboy dos
Flashes of a pervert chest
but nobody even stands a chance at winning a costume party when Andy is invited. . .
He tends to go above and beyond whatever is on the invitation!
I didn't end up with any photos of me but no biggie since my costume was pretty unexciting. Anybody who knows me very well knows that I have a phobia of hair so I wore a medical mask and labeled my shirt "Chaetophobic" (It's a legit thing, you know).
But back to my husband, the pervert. So the day before this party he kept sending me IMs with links to pictures in it- two to Miami Vice (both old and new), one to the Beastie Boys Sabatoge video, one to Magnum P.I. . . . I was confused. But when I went upstairs he (while facing the other way) told me he sent them all to me so I wouldn't be shocked when he showed me his face, and then he turned around and I saw what he'd done! Gross! I hate mustaches. No offense to the 2% of men that can pull it off but the rest of them look like perverts. Shawn was definitely in the 98% group and he made it even better for the party by wearing the open shirt, having some tic tacs on hand, slicking his hair back with Pete's Sticky Styling Gel (and we thought we'd never have a use for that) and stopping by the perfume counter at Macy's on the way there to ask for their "most perverted scent". He doused himself in it (over in the shoes department at the request of the perfume-counter gals) and that's when I was glad my costume required a medical mask.
Anyway, here is my Miami Vice perv.

(Yes that was a condom he flashed)