Life Stories: The Story of the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade 2012 | San Francisco Bay Area Child Photographer

I’m excited to share this month’s story and also thrilled to finally be live with my NEW BLOGSITE.  Woot woot!  Isn’t it purty?

This month’s story is about an incredible group of kids.  I hope you enjoy it!  If you don’t know what this Life Stories thing is all about, click here to find out more!

My daughter is pretty dang amazing.  And so are her classmates.  Since Kindergarten, she has attended the Mandarin Immersion Program at our local school.  She’s learning Mandarin.  And she’s pretty dang awesome at it.  I don’t speak Chinese.  I’m not even Chinese.  I’m half Japanese, but um, yeah, I don’t speak Japanese either.  My husband doesn’t speak Chinese either.  He’s Korean, and um, yeah, he doesn’t really speak Korean.

But my kids?  My half Korean, quarter Japanese, quarter Caucasian kids?  Well, they’re learning Mandarin.  The program is amazing.  This year, she also had the opportunity to learn Kung Fu and Chinese music as part of this program.  THAT’S called AWESOME.

And because of some seriously awesome parents and staff, they got to participate in the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.  That’s a huge deal, people!

I wish I could share more images, but I didn’t get model releases for everyone, so am sharing what I can!

I took headshots of all the kids before the parade so that we would have a reference sheet in case anyone got lost.  Luckily, it wasn’t needed but I did love the shots I took.  These were probably taken in a span of 10 minutes.  Aren’t they cute?


In preparation for the big parade, they had an assembly where I was asked to take pictures.


My proud sweetie, waiting to perform:

Excuse the blurred faces.  I wasn’t able to get model releases for everyone, but had to share how amazing they look!

It was pretty dang cool because they had these Wu Shu Kung Fu masters from Beijing perform for the kids.  They were amazing.  The guy in the middle was in the movie Karate Kid.  Not the old one with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, but the new one with Will Smith’s kid.  The kids were totally stoked to see him. And that guy that’s “lying down?”  He was jumping up and down in THAT position while swinging a rope under him.  CRAZY.

After months of practicing and preparing, the kids were ready for the big night!

They were just a little bit excited.

Excuse me for a second… I have to gush about this woman.  She is the mom of one of the kids in the Mandarin program, as well as a teacher.  Her energy, determination, and enthusiasm was contagious.  She did SO much to make this parade happen.  Let me just publicly get it out there: she ROCKS.  I love this picture of her at the parade, looking excited and so proud.  She’s quite a woman.  Thank you, Mrs. M.

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is the biggest Chinese New Year parade outside of China.  It’s a very organized parade, and only 10 adults were allowed to be with the kids once the parade started.  I was not in that group, so did my best to get pictures of the kids before the parade started.

It was such a fun night! Everyone was so excited.

I love these next two. I asked them to hold up their streamers that they had during the parade, and shot through it.

And here’s my sweetie cakes. She wrote an essay inspired by this picture called “The Ladybug Parade.”  She pretended that this picture was a picture of her peeking through the streamers at a group of ladybugs who were performing.  I love her imagination.  I love her intensity.  I love her face, her eyes, her smile.  I love this child.

When it was time for the parade to start, I had to get off the street.  Due to the crowds, I wasn’t  able to follow her for very long.  I got this shot of her just as they were getting ready to start.  I love the look of pride in her eyes.

Such a wonderful night.

Click here to continue the Life Stories chain!  You’ll know you made it all the way through when you make it back here!…

Siblings rule | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

I’m looking over this happy Fall session and just smiling.  Siblings are so marvelous.

I come from a family of four children.  I am the third, and obviously, favorite child.  Haha.  And I love my siblings.  I realize, as an adult, what an impact they had in making me the person I am today.  I look at my own children, and marvel at this reality: I may be the parent, but I see the bond my children I have and fully recognize that their experiences with each other will help form who they become.  I see the love and respect they have for each other… even if they don’t want to admit it, and maybe don’t see it themselves all the time.

I saw that love and respect in these two siblings here too.  It was so easy between the two of them.  They were so ready to laugh, so ready to hug, so ready to enjoy their experiences together.

Such a joy to capture their bond.


Do you hear those squeals of laughter?  Me too.

I loved how easily they held each other.

I loved how easily they celebrated together.

I loved their tickles.


I loved all their moments.


I hope they look back on these images and remember a happy, carefree time.

I hope they look back on these images and smile.

Because, I’m sitting here right now…just grinning.

Life Stories: The Story of Love and Wrestling | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

I have a boy.  And today is his birthday.  And he just keeps getting older, while I miraculously keep getting younger.  (C’mon…humor me.)

And as this little boy grows up, I fear that the snuggling time will decrease.

And that just can’t happen.

So, in my attempt to keep the snuggling time alive and well in my household, I have figured out a covert operation that allows me my snuggle time without the boy even knowing it’s happening.  Wanna know my secret?

We wrestle.

It’s like WWF all up in here.  Sort of.  In between throw downs, atomic knee drops, and death blows,  we laugh and smile and say “I love you.”  I love it.  Some day he might key into the fact that this is my tricky way to smother him with love, but for now, he thinks we are having a knock down, full out, BATTLE.

To shoot these as self portraits, I knew I would have to channel my inner MacGyver.  I used two backdrop stands, a tic tac toe type design with some curtain rods I had lying around, and random things around my house to hold my camera directly overhead.  And yes, this did include duct tape and string.  I then fired the shutter with my remote, which you will notice is in my hand in many of the shots.  I’m pretty happy with these pictures.  I now have pictures of my kids and me doing something that ALWAYS fills my heart.

And the fact that these are self portraits just tickles me pink.  :)

And so without further ado, I present to you The Story of Love and Wrestling.

The wrestling match always begins with someone standing on the bed, assuming the Battle Pose.

But no one stays on their feet long.

Battling now commences.

As you can tell, I am very, VERY fierce.

You can clearly see that this battling business is not fun at all.  Battling is hard work.  And it’s dangerous.  But someone has to do it.

I really take a punishing.

He’s ruthless.  You can clearly see that I can hardly stand it.

As the battling winds down, it becomes a little bit more obvious what all this battling is really about.  Hugs.

But someone else wants in on this game.  My girl.  My mini me.

And she brought her cats.

It started out innocent enough.

But soon….

But it always ends in happy sighs and snuggles.  I seriously just love it.

If you are now just tuning in to my blog and are wondering what this Life Story is all about, let me tell you.

Cuz it’s awesome.

And very very fun.

I teamed up with a group of amazing photographers and each month we are taking the time to document our own lives.   This is a challenge for us to capture our every day worlds and hopefully make us and everyone aware that our “ordinary” is actually “extraordinary.”  We’re calling the series “The Story of ________” and we’ll each be filling in our own blanks. At the end of this post is a link to another photographer who participated, and she’ll be linking to someone else. It’s a whole big circle of stories in pictures. Click through and enjoy!

To follow this story, click right HERE.

If you’ve missed my other Life Stories, don’t despair!  Here they are: Pumpkin Patch,  Best Friends, and Christmas Tree.

And I love new fans!  You can follow me on Facebook.