Happy Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air! Take a moment to share this holiday with someone special or the friends and/or family in your life. It’s another day to celebrate LOVE. Make a date with friends. Cook dinner with your kids. Bring your mother flowers. Wait in line at Sprinkles with your husband. Love & Pay it forward to those around you. (This is my love face.)

I also wanted to share this with everyone:

So there was an ad in the Poway News Cheiftan and it asked readers to submit your love story in 300 words or less on how you met and your secrets to a successful relationship. They also asked for a high resolution photo. I, of course chose one you took from our engagement session which all came out sooo perfect. I picked up a copy of the magazine today and they not only chose to run my article, but they chose your photo to be on the February 2011 issue of Rancho North Inland Lifestyle Magazine!!! I was so excited to see it because I had no idea they would chose my article let alone put our photo on the cover! Thank you so much Sina for being my photographer, you are the best!


Thank you Serena, I am very happy to see the both of you on the cover of the magazine!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

If you want to know how they met, check it out on the Knot or their blog here.

An extremely fun and cute couple.   Love the both of you!

If you have stories to share, email me and we can post your stories here, along with any special photos you have.

Lee Lee + Nathaniel : Engagement Session : Orange County

She is my best friend.  Growing up, we would chat on the phone for hours running up our parent’s phone bills ($100/month just for our calls), but we had middle school issues to discuss. It was serious business. Today, she is still that person – the person I would confide in, laugh with, get all excited to see – like we haven’t seen each other in years even though it was just yesterday, someone I could tell all problems to (knowing she would never pass judgement)… she’s my best friend.

The news… my beautiful cousin is getting married and I am ecstatic. I am so happy for her, for the both of them. Darn, my eyes are already getting a bit watery. I know, I’m such a sap!   She is a wonderful and beautiful person inside and out.   And I love seeing how happy and giddy she gets when she is around him.   They really are the perfect duo. They are like icing on cake, like chocolate and peanut butter, like the malt in whoppers. (There was a whole lot of cheese in this sentence.)

How they met…

She had just finished culinary school specializing in pastry and was given the opportunity to pursue her dreams in Vegas. They met at work, working at the Ritz-Calton, both were at the start of their career in pastry. He was the night pastry cook (now a pastry chef) and she was the morning pastry cook, doing half the prep for him (they were each other’s half then).

I believe when she first walked in through the kitchen door, with hair blowing, lights and fog around her, you can almost hear the swoosh (okay so I exaggerated a bit) when he noticed her. It was love at first sight plus their common love for pastries and Star Trek?.. (one day Nathaniel, this trekky fan will make you one too) they could not get enough of each other…

Well, I need to stop writing, I have to save some for my speech. I promise not to embarrass anyone, muahahahaha (that was suppose to an evil cackle.)

And I get to be a huge part of their day…

I am so honored. Truly honored.
Warning: Cookie not so good after waiting a few weeks to eat it.

Warming up in front of the camera. Doing good. baby steps, baby steps.

I had located the perfect spot to photograph Lee Lee’s solo, sat her down, posed her and right when I was about to snap her photo –  Nathaniel received a call from her mechanic and plops down right in front of her.    Now I know why we are not allowed to talk on the cell phone while operating a vehicle. I love it.

This scene reminds me “Pretty Woman” Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.

Nathaniel, I am so glad she found you. I am glad you found her. I love you both very much. oh dear the tears.

Of course we ended our shoot at Watson Drug & Soda Fountain known for their malts and shakes. I also like to thank Orn of Orn Thang Photography for coming out and shooting the last bit of their session.

These photos were taken in Old Towne Orange County.

Just a little side note: Lee Lee came down with one outfit while Nathaniel had 5 different collared shirts to change into along a sport jacket. Divo!

Another side note: Congrats to Nathaniel on your many promotions and winning the The Pastry Competition in New York.

Linda + Hiep : Engagement Session : Peohe’s

They met over 6 years ago, he saw her and knew he had to swoon her with his charm, his patience, and with food. Yup, he brought her lunch almost everyday. My kinda guy. I am definitely impressed. She was not. Not just yet.

… Til one day, he disappeared. He just stopped showing up. And the lunch treats… no more. This made her realize what she was missing, how much his friendship meant to her, how much she really did care for him, plus who was gonna feed her?

But it was all part of his plan…

A year after their first encounter, they had their official date at Peohe’s. And today, I was lucky enough to be part of their lunch date.

Okay, now kiss… or you can skip?? I was sitting quite a bit away giving them instructions while I was photographing them. I thought what a perfect moment for them to lean in and kiss. I yelled out, “Kiss!” but instead I got the 2 of them to skip. Now how else would I have captured this?

Did I mention how much fun they were to shoot, Hiep would not stop giggling. Sorry Hiep, I hope I did not take your man card away.

He’s blowing her kisses.

Mmmmm.. YUM! Thanks for feeding me.

He is trying to convince me that this is his natural smile. ?????

I enjoyed you two. Thank you.
Skip. Kiss. Love.

Family & Friends: Please feel free to copy and paste these images to share on your online album, myspace, and/or facebook.


Stephanie Torres & Nick Detorres : Engagement Session : Little Italy

Over 12 years ago, Stephanie and I worked at Robinsons May in the shoe department. Yes, I said shoe department. I was THE top seller of women’s shoes and Stephanie was my sidekick (seasonal ringer). I was the female version of Al Bundy but in a dress and nylons. And yes, I said Robinsons May. I miss that store. Okay back to Stephanie, she moved to San Francisco and we did not reconnect til we bumped into each other at a wedding I was photographing, Quyen and Adam’s wedding 2 years ago. She said to me: Sina, when I get married, I want you to photograph my wedding.

2 years later, we are getting married. I mean, she is getting married and I get to capture it. YAY!

Nick, it was so nice meeting you. You are quite a gentleman and I can see why the two of you fell in love. I had such a good time. You jumped right in while Stephanie, a bit on the shy side, tried to jump out but you wouldn’t let her go. In fact, I think throughout the film, you two would not stop giggling or looking at each other. Sweet dreams are made of this. Who am I to disagree? Singing…singing!

Here is more than just one.

A classic Stephanie expression.

A perfect sign for a perfect wedding.

And of course, you have to end a blog with another classic Stephanie expression.

Oh yes, and chocolate. Delicious chocolate from EXTRAordinary Desserts

Serena + Josh : Engagement Session : Downtown San Diego : Coronado

We were to meet at 3:30pm on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Coronado, where it views the Coronado Bridge and Downtown San Diego Skyline. It was the perfect day to photograph the girl with a million dollar smile and the charming boy from Virginia.

At 10:06am, I receive an email from Serena: We are getting ready…for some reason I’m kinda nervous about taking pics.

First thought, its 10:06 am. My eyelids are still stuck to my contacts, what is she doing up so early?

Second thought, she’s a natural beauty. She doesn’t need to get ready this early.  This girl is fierce, hands on hip fierce.

I was right, she is a natural. They both are. They were comfortable, relaxed and quite the cutest couple. I am glad to know the GEICO telephone made its way back to Josh. Congrats to the both of you and I am very, very happy for the 2 of you.

Here is a little peek at your session.

Courtesy of the Coronado Sandman, who is known for his work of Sand Art all over Coronado. A very sweet man.

I just want to say: Stop it. Stop it you two. You’re so cute.

Please feel free to copy and paste the above images to share online or with family and friends.

Ashlee + Sean : Engagement Session : Old Town San Diego

Prior to the shoot, Ashlee was so nervous about being in front of the camera. Nervous because she dislikes having her picture taken. Fidgety, nervous, but stunningly beautiful Ashlee. Less than halfway through the shoot, both Sean and Ashlee were posing like they were on a cover of a fashion magazine but the best shots captured were taken during their moments of silliness and the comfort of being themselves and with each other.

You did it and you both are PROs!  And you two are great together, I like that you two only want the best for one another.  No argument there Sean.  =0)

Here are my picks from your shoot. Enjoy!

I had to,  you two look cute.

Joy + Caesar {E-Session}

This was an exciting shoot for all of us. When I first met these two, they were talking to me about their common interests including their love for music, one of the reasons they fell in love. He plays piano and she sings. It is really sweet and could not be more perfect. I could not help but smile when I saw them walk in, congrats you two. Congrats. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I would like to write more but these images says it all. It really does.  Here is your sneak peek, I can’t wait to show you the rest.

Special thanks to:
The Shout House
Tom Bagley – such an extremely talented and sweet guy. I don’t know if I can thank you enough.
Scott N – I am always grateful for you.
and of course Joy and Caesar – for your patience and for making me laugh that a snort made its way out!

This all came together perfectly because of you. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Feel free to copy and paste these images to your online albums, facebook, and/or myspace to share with your family and friends.

Enjoy their engagement montage here, it is the cutest thing.