Mar
11
2014

{FOR JAPAN WITH LOVE} THREE YEARS LATER…

three years later. this day still gets to me.

the feelings i felt and the overwhelming sadness balanced with the overwhelming of happiness of what we did together for Japan after will never ever leave me.  to this day, i will still excitedly talk about what we accomplished altogether.  and i’m still in disbelief at times at how in two and a half weeks we surpassed any of our expectations.

you kind of never forget natural disasters of this magnitude where the damage is eternal and physically scarring not just  for the people, but for the land and the culture forever.  we’ve all seen the images and the video footage before.  but the horrifying feeling of seeing that 30 foot wave knock entire ships into shore and in a matter of few seconds, pull thousands of lives into the massive ocean.  it just never leaves you.

i am thankful for community as i spoke about in this post.  thankful to have friends like Lucia and Henny from Utterly Engaged who immediately jumped to action with me and started For Japan With Love.  despite the melancholy of the event, i still have to giggle at how doubtful we were to raise $5,500.  in fact, we were so doubtful, we almost made our initial goal $3,500.

every year, i will write these number out again and again. it’s the only way to emphasize that every little helps.  but in just two and a half weeks, we raised $66,733 from 1407 individual donations and we had 1200+ bloggers involved with the blogger day of silence.  we owe it to the power of social media but more importantly, the power of community.  we would never have been able to pull it off without your help.  this further triggered a SF benefit a month later and with the help of Floral TheoryBlu BungalowLovely Little Details and Bustle Events, our end total for For Japan With Love, was approximately $74,000.

one of the reasons that also helped this community raise that amount was having a great organization to donate to and believe in.  we picked ShelterBox because of what they do.  each ShelterBox contains the daily living essentials from utensils to blankets and pillows to coloring books for kids to a tent that houses about 10 people or an entire family.  each box is about $1,000 and so by raising $74,000, we were able to help 74 families or about 740 people.

takes your breath away doesn’t it?

however, at the end of the day, this post isn’t meant for gloating.  it’s to showcase just how beautiful human beings can be.  that a horrifying tragedy like the Japan earthquake and tsunami can bring so much kindness and compassion.

my heart still aches for the losses that day and the days after.  i will always remember this day and think of all those affected closely to my heart.  and i will always be ever so thankful for everyone that donated and helped spread the word.  there will never be any words close to describing how i felt or still feel about For Japan With Love.

take a moment today and join me to remember those lives lost and those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

in remembrance. 3.11.11.

Feb
28
2014

GOING ON A FIELD TRIP…

headed off this morning to this

can’t believe this weekend is finally here!

so excited to see and hang out with old friends and meet new ones face to face for the first time!

and you know there’ll be confetti involved.

i’m bringing 57 film canisters of confetti as well as 15 push pops of confetti so be prepared to get showered not just with rain, but confetti!!

follow my instagram or twitter for all the fun!

Jan
11
2014

{FINALE} BEST OF 2013…

the above is only a snippet of the amazing work that has been on the blog the past week.  originally on my instagram.

MY BLOG LOOKS BLOODY BRILLIANT BECAUSE OF YOU WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS!

so thank you so so much.  i’m so overwhelmed by the response over this week.  i’m so happy with the genuine love everyone’s shown for each other’s work and how proud each photographer is.

thank you from the bottom of my heart for sending your work in.  keep on sending it in this year.  i can’t wait to see your 2014!

and to those who missed out this year, you guys better send images for “best of 2014″ end of this year!

thank you.

also sidenote, you may have noticed some additions to the side bar.  a quick explanation:

i am not a full-time blogger.  i have a day job that i actually rather like and enjoy.  i count my lucky stars that i truly enjoy this job.  it keeps me challenged and i’m constantly growing AND more recently, i am swamped at work and honestly, sometimes have difficulty balancing it all.  this blog is first and foremost my hobby and my creative outlet.  i get asked a lot if i’ll make it full-time.  i don’t know.  maybe.  not anytime soon.  my fear is i won’t love it as much when there’s finances involved and the pressure will get to me and i won’t enjoy it as much.  plus, my friendships with everyone on this blog have been beyond genuine and so filled with love.  i don’t want to ruin it because at the end of the day,  i just like blogging and showcasing wedding photographers.  that’s it.  that’s all.

with that said, having no time to maintain ads and sponsorships, i also want to be an open book with everyone.  my blog doesn’t have the readership like the HUGE wedding blogs, and it has a smaller, but strong following which i am so lucky to have.  therefore, i have to admit i would feel like i’m cheating vendors if i asked them to be a sponsor or an advertiser on this blog.  i know they wouldn’t mind sponsoring, but my goal is to always get them inquiries and bookings.  and knowing that my click throughs wouldn’t guarantee them that and my dedication and attention to them wouldn’t be enough because of the day job, i’m doing something a little bit different.

i’ve reached out to some of the photographers who i have followed the longest and supported me the longest and posted them on my sidebar.  it’s just my little way of saying thanks.  if you’re interested and want to learn more, please email me!

again, thank you always to those wedding photographers who submitted.  thank you to all the readers who do come to this blog every day to check out the amazing imagery and give wedding photographers some love (shoutout to A Crimson Kiss for always commenting).  here’s to 2014 and i can’t wait to share some of the amazing work lined up for you all in 2014!

*throws confetti*

Jan
05
2014

{OVERTURE} BEST OF 2013…

Nordica Photography

literally my most favorite week ever is about to start on the blog.

THE “BEST OF 2013″ 

HIGHLIGHTING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY

every other wedding blog does an amazing recollection of features they have had on their blog and categorized each usually by favorite gowns, favorite details, favorite bouquests, etc.  i’ve been having fun going through and checking out the gorgeous weddings and engagements out there through them.  it’s amazing what talent we have in this wedding industry alone.  seriously.

nevertheless, this blog has always emphasized not only the important of wedding photography but always always shined the light on wedding photographers.  so last year, i decided to start doing a “best of” showcase a little differently from others.  instead of looking back through the posts on my blog, i reached out and had wedding photographers send me their favorites.  a little idiotically, i asked for 15 to 20 images from each and ended up with 700+ images to pick from.  so while it was an impossible task picking the best of from those, i really enjoyed it and it was by far my favorite week on the blog.

this year, i wised up a bit and asked for only 3 to 5 images from each photographer.  however, this still resulted in over 400+ images.  hah.  but guys, seriously, i’ll never take that overload back because i’m in awe of what these wedding photographers have accomplished this year.  it just keeps getting better and better and i keep discovering more and more talent which totally warms my heart.  with every submission i got, there was a major squeal and absolute delight.

Yaro Photography

it was hard to pick only one from each so you guys are getting two posts a day, but a full week of absolute, pure, solid talent categorized by engagements/anniversaries, just the girls, wedding ceremonies and moments, and last but not least, wedding portraits.  as you go through each post, please remember to click through on the links of these wedding photographers.  you won’t be disappointed with the work you see.  your eyeballs will be on talent overload like mine were.  it’s just so good.

again guys, i’ve said it so many times before, but the importance of wedding photography is vital.  these guys are the only ones who will truly be able to capture your wedding day forever.  they are one of, if not the most, valuable wedding vendor of your big day.  please remember that.

Chaz Cruz

so sit back and relax this week ahead that is packed full of so much fantastical frames and images from the best of the best of the best wedding photographers out there.  the first post starts tomorrow morning and i’m so excited to share!

and finally…

to the wedding photographers that submitted,

thank you guys.  i am truly honored and humbled that you sent images over for this.  thank you for thinking of my blog as a place to be proud to share them not just for this “best of 2013″ week but for all those other days too.  my wedding blog is not a big name and doesn’t ever guarantee a mass load of inquiries or bookings whenever you’re featured on here so i truly appreciate having your work on here.  will always love what you guys capture and do and will always continue to cheer you on and throw confetti for you all.  thank you again.

come back tomorrow for the “best of 2013″!

*THROWS CONFETTI*

Dec
31
2013

GOOD RIDDANCE 2013 l HELLO 2014…

2013.

at the end of 2012, i was so ready for a new year.  fresh out of breakup and a heart was mending, a fresh new year was what i needed.  it started off grand with new friendships and trips that included new york and hawaii.  and of course, wppi where the above radtastic people gathered for a vow renewal and two bags of confetti were thrown. photo credit goes to Shoda Love.

come end of springtime, it was really looking up.  day time work was going so well, blog was going well, friendships strengthened and gained.  homecomings and farewells.  engagements and weddings. but nothing ever prepared me for what was to come.  just when everything was smooth sailing, the wind was knocked out of me on a summer morning.  and from there, 2013 became my worst year yet.

if you’re a follower of the blog, you already know what happened.  if you’re relatively new, you can read it here.  but that was my defining moment of the year.  and it definitely was not one you typically want to remember a year by.

 nothing ever prepares you for a loss.  and when it’s sudden like our’s, there truly are no words.  it’s very surreal.  if you ever chat with me in person, i put on a brave face and am able to talk about it.  but you have no idea how much it hurts inside.  until you experience a loss like this, you truly have no bearing of what “life is short/life is fragile”.   additionally, one of the worst and most frustrating feelings ever is losing a loved one and seeing a loved one lose that person and there’s nothing you can do about it.  i would never wish this upon anyone.

while this year was and is greatly overshadowed by this grief,  there were many a tiny beautiful moments that were a greatly appreciated distraction.  dinners at the encarnacions, g-hangs with the #tcogtfo crew, random meetups with wedding industry friends, new friendships, for philippines with love, and obviously all the confetti throwing.  but more than ever, my full time job was truly a blessing and i’m more than thankful to have a supportive boss.  you can’t say that often.  work has allowed me to be with my sister and work remotely from our san francisco office whenever i needed to after everything happened.  it has meant so much to me and my family to be able to do that.  you don’t let go of things like these and you put your whole heart working for it.  i’m lucky i enjoy what i do and to have a supportive team too.

i’m also more than thankful for the blogging family i have.  for the past four years, wedding photographers have entrusted me with showcasing their talent and their gorgeous work.  for that, i’m more than grateful and work every day to reiterate the importance of a wedding photographer.  this blog will always emphasize that.  but more importantly, shoutout to the major outpouring of support from everyone.  thank you for being so understanding with so many hiatuses this year and the delays with responding with emails and putting features on hold while i dealt with my family.  many people didn’t know what to say or do.  just being there for me and holding me up via hugs or words was more than i could ask for.  so thank you.

this year has been filled with such heaviness.  however, after something like this, it’s easy to see the joys in the little things and moments.  i still get annoyed when people complain about their little problems when in fact they should just be grateful that they are living and breathing and that they are surrounded by their loved ones.  sometimes i just want to yell at them and say “you know what? i’ll take your situation if it could bring him back. so just shut up.”  i hope people learn never to take anything for granted in the year.  just appreciate and be genuine about all things.

so as you can imagine, i’m ready for 2014.

while i know this sadness is going to carry through to the new year, there are many things to be excited about still.  always excited about the blog and what it brings.  excited for the “best of 2013″ collection that will be revealed the week of January 6th! there are a couple of gatherings to be over the moon about, several trips here and there, but more importantly, my sister will be moving down with me as she starts a new chapter in her life come June.

i know this sounds awfully pessimistic of me, but after the year i’ve had,  i’m not jumping up and down or throwing confetti for the new year.  my optimism has greatly depreciated after the events this past year, but i know i have the emotional strength of a lion.  i’m just going to take it day by day.  and i’m ok with that.  after all, you really just never know what is around the corner.

so hug tighter and kissed your loved ones more.  be angry with them, but still say “i love you” right after.

life is short.  life is fragile.

wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

good riddance 2013, hello 2014.

Nov
15
2013

 

 

as i sit here, i count my blessings that i have a bed, food, water, and electricity.  my mind wanders to those in the Philippines with none of that.  i can’t even imagine.

honestly, i feel a little defeated that the media isn’t helping make the help that the Philippines need more visible and heard.  but it doesn’t meant that i’m not going to stop trying.  instead of my regular scheduled post, today is my post is for For Philippines with Love.

in remembrance of those lives lost in the wake of typhoon haiyan and this post is raised in hope for those still alive and holding on to whatever faith they have that things will be ok again.

how does having a Blogger Day of Silence help?  well when we did this for For Japan With Love, over 1200+ bloggers got involved and i significantly remember when i went to bed the night before, we had raised $28,000 and four hours later when i woke up, the amount was $44,000.  so oh yes, it helps for sure.  every little helps.

so please if you can, donate.

but more importantly, take a moment today to think of those in the Philippines.

thank you.

#ForPIWithLoveFromMe

Nov
11
2013

{PLEASE HELP} FOR PHILIPPINES WITH LOVE…

no electricity.  no water.  no food.  no home.  cities have become rivers.  floods make it impossible for aid to even happen.

with over 10,000 estimated dead and 630,000 plus displaced, typhoon haiyan has wreaked devastating havoc through out the Philippines.

i can’t even imagine.  it floors my mind how much damage a natural disaster is capable of.

as you all know if you have followed the blog for awhile, i have a habit of not sitting idly by when tragedy of this scale happens.  i am a huge believer of every little helps as evident with For Japan With Love.  when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, i joined up with Utterly Engaged for a campaign to raise money for a truly amazing organization called ShelterBox.  ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Each large green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items. A whole box costs $1,000 (US), so our initial goal was $5,500.  an intimidating number.  however, in conjunction with our blogger day of silence and so many huge hearts that helped donate and raise awareness for what we were doing, we ended up donating just a little over $64,000.  that amount came from over 1,400 individual donations.  so believe me, every little helps.

we’ve decided to rally again.

FOR PHILIPPINES WITH LOVE

i don’t know if we can pull it off again this time around.  we’ve made our goal to be $3,500 (about 3 ShelterBoxes).  but if you haven’t been following, the devastation is surreal.  they need all the help they can get, no matter how big or small.  also to note, your donations will directly be going to the Philippines and the Philippines only.  ShelterBox has allowed us to restrict donations to that cause only.  not a lot of organizations can guarantee that! i know this community is beyond amazing with compassionate hearts more than i can say.  i lived through it a couple of years ago.  whatever you can do, donate or even just spread the word, it’d be more than appreciated.  let’s rally.  let’s do this.  let’s make it happen.

also if you are able to, please join us on Friday, November 15th, 2013 for our Blogger Day of Silence.  all we ask you don’t post your regular scheduled posts or anything except one of the banners that can be found HERE.  feel free to write a little post in remembrance, and remember to announce it on social media with the hashtag- #forpiwithlovefromme.  more details on the Blogger Day of Silence can be found HERE.

so here goes, people.  thank you ahead of time.

 

official site:  http://forphilippineswithlove.com

to donate right now: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/forphilippineswithlove/forphilippineswithlove