Happy Birthday Mom. You are Forever 21.

Its funny, most photographers (please have my back), ok as a photographer, I forget my family would probably like their photo taken from time to time or perhaps on their birthday.  What do you think?  Rarely, do I bring out my camera for family occasions, and maybe I might whip out my small 6.0 megapixel Canon point and shoot and snap a photo or 2.

If you knew my family, once the camera comes out, it can be chaos.  Sina, take your uncle’s picture who is visiting from Canadah.

Sina, you take good picture right?  I want to send to your family back home.

Ok, now take your 3rd cousin’s picture and his family.

And this is sometimes harder than photographing a wedding.  I know I sound a bit dramatic but it doesnt even end there.  Sina, did you make 5 copies of each picture.  One for each person in the picture.

So when it comes time to photographing my family, I actually have to schedule in a session for me to actually do it.

My sister came into town for my mother’s birthday and it was an opportune time to dress up and take a few photos together, and of course we couldn’t have done it with my diva partner in crime and sistah, Teena (giving credit where credit is due.  Holah).   When it was my mother’s turn, oh I’ll just type out her dialogue:

No Si-nah! I don’t need a picture.  Is ok. She is still in the bathroom fixing her hair.

Si-nah, what do you think about red?  You have to wear red on your birthday for good luck.

Ok, how about gold?  If you wear gold on your birthday, the Buddha say you will have lots of money for the next year.  Okay I wear gold.


We also had to take a few photos by the cacti. I like it. Its so booom. Thats her sound effect for its so big.


Here, Lin-dah, hold some flowers. It look nice. Don’t hate on the infamous green socks. She says it will make you lucky when you wear bright colors.

Being goofy is what we do best. Tell us how to pose and we become awkward.


Thanks to our glamorous photographer, Teena.

I did get my door shot even though she did not understand why I would want her by an ugly brick house and a big door when there are so many flowers and cacti around us.

I know I have said this before, I rarely push when it comes to posing. The image I choose of myself is the moment in between the “please look here and smile” and “the hand on your back and stand up straight.” But don’t get me wrong, I will still make you do awkward poses, its fun.

My mother, she is a natural. She poses the way she wants and her smile always comes out so beautifully. She turned 57 this past weekend and she still looks amazing.

Christmas shopping with Mom

Every year, my sister and I take turns taking my mom to the mall so she can pick out her own present(s). First, she’ll tell us not to buy her anything especially if we have no money (who doesn’t complain about money?), once we tell her we want to buy her something, she easily caves in and picks out shoes from Italy, a unique Clinique moisturizer (but you need to buy 2 to get the gift – she’s huge on anything free). At the mall, her eyes darts from Easy Spirit to Nordstroms to Macy’s.

We pass by a nail file/hand moisturizer kiosk and the guy is trying to get me to sample their lotion. I know better and tell him no thanks. My mom looks over and extends her hand out “Hey why not, its free!” He begins buffing my cousin’s nail and sells us their line of do-it-yourself manicure set for $29.99 are you out of your mind (can’t you buy the same stuff at Rite Aide for less). My mom whispers to me “Is good Sina, the lotion is good. I can tell” and looks at him “How much you can sell me, you can give me cheap-ah price? I know you can sell to me for $19 dollars.” He almost convinced her by taking $5 off and adding an additional buffer. She looks at me for approval but I vetoed it! I know, I can be so harsh but hey he couldn’t sell it to her for her asking price. Finally, we get back to Nordstroms and buy her the moisturizers (uh huh, that’s right 2 – so we can get the gift). The lady finished ringing me up and then my mom asks“Can I have anotha free gift?” Oh mom, leave the poor lady alone! But to my surprise, the saleswoman gave her another one and gave me a heartfelt look like she understood how it is to shop with mom. Mom smiles at me “See Sina, I’m not scared to ask, why you scared?”

Hmmmm….I don’t know really, always felt so embarrassed of it in the past but I’m actually pretty impressed with my mother. She impresses me.

Did I mention we are at forever 21? My mother, forever 21.

By the way, we are still expected to wrap her presents.”Go ahead Sina, wrap my presents now.”

{Sunday.  December 20th, 2009}