April 9th, 2013:
Blog post by Felicia:
Children grow up incredibly quickly, so Rob and I make it a point to spend time with our nieces for their birthdays, sharing an experience instead of giving a physical gift. This year was no exception when we celebrated Madalyn’s 11th birthday.
Madalyn is quite the little gymnast, competing even in the Nationals for the past few years, so we’ve taken her to a couple of Cirque du Soleil shows, which she enjoyed immensely. This year, we decided to give her the REAL Cirque experience, and signed her up for a private Aerial Silks / Trapeze class at Cirque School Los Angeles, where Cirque du Soleil alumni and other professionals teach classes.
We had the entire space to ourselves, and Uncle Robbie joined Madalyn as the wonderful instructor Lauren put them through their paces. When she looked at Rob, who was unglamorously contorting himself like a trapped manatee, then at Madalyn who lithely twirled and spun, she said matter-of-factly, “You’re gonna hurt tomorrow. Her? Not so much,”
I laughed and was not-so-secretly glad that I volunteered to photograph this endeavor instead.
(And Lauren was right. Rob was hurting everywhere the next day. He said even his groin was tired.)
To be fair, I think Rob did pretty good. But he should keep his day job and not run away to join the circus.
Thankfully, despite the physical exertions, Madalyn was completely stoked and declared the experience to be “even better than watching Cirque du Soleil!!”. She’s now been asking repeatedly if she can take weekly classes here. Wow….
Happy birthday, Madalyn! We love you so much!
March 14th, 2013:
Last week, as part of our whirlwind tour of Northern California (where we visited my brother and had some photos done for ourselves), I met up with my Dad in Lake Tahoe for some epic spring-like boarding, a little afternoon drinking and evening gambling. We spent two days on the slopes together trying to out do each other, even using a iPhone app that tracks our distance traveled, elevation and speed. I topped out at just under 55MPH as I straight lined it down some black diamond runs, and Dad came in at a top speed of 52 MPH, which isn’t too shabby considering he has got a couple decades on me. It was a couple of spectacular days of father/son bonding on the slope.
While sitting on the lift on the second day, I got to thinking how I would love to shoot a snowboarding engagement session and/or wedding – so if any of our clients out there would ever be up for it, I am all game.
The morning Felicia and I had to drive home, the spring-like conditions abandoned us and winter made its return. We had to chain up the Prius and spent the next 2 hours driving through the snow to make our way off the mountain.
March 13th, 2013
Blog post by Felicia:
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you would have noticed that we’re pretty close to our two nieces, celebrating birthdays and making time to hang out with them as they grow up all too quickly.
What many people don’t realize is that we actually have FOUR nieces, not just two (+ two step-nephews who are totally awesome too, for the record). However, Rob’s brother Matt and his family live up in Northern California, so we don’t get to play uncle and aunt to these two little ones very often.
Last week we finally were able to go visit and get to know the newest members of the Paetz clan. These girls have two distinct personalities: Ally (age 3) is fearless, rambunctious, opinionated and outspoken – including yelling “Auntie ‘Fenisa’ you’re CRAZY!!!” when I did silly things to make her look at the camera – whereas Lilly, on the opposite end of the spectrum, is possibly the most mellow baby I’ve ever met.
Thanks Matt & Niki for a wonderful weekend. We miss you guys already!
March 7th, 2013:
Felicia and I rarely have photos together, despite the fact that we shot around 500,000 images together last year. There are probably about 15 of them that have us both together in a single image (and most of the time that is me holding a 24mm out at arms length and snapping us smiling). We feel strongly about creating a visual history of our lives, so each year we try to get out and have some images created with us together (check out our 1st year and 2nd year).
Although our anniversary is in July, this year we wanted to have our pictures done in the snow so we kept postponing our shoot – finally, this last week we headed up to visit my brother up near Sacramento and tapped our friend Randy January to head out into the woods with us and spend the day with us exploring gold mining country. We had a spectacular day being on the other side of the lens and can’t thank Randy enough for these amazing images (and also for the engagement photos he shot for us 5 years ago).
For some reason I started pointing and Felicia followed suit, I am thinking of having a 40″ x 30″ printed of this image for the hallway… (The wife says no)
Randy, thanks again for the wonderful day, we’ll see you and your family again soon!
February 28th, 2013:
On a particularly clear & beautiful day last week, Rob and I took the long drive south to San Diego for Jeff & Sarah’s engagement shoot. We had hit it off really well during our initial meeting a few weeks ago, so we were certainly looking forward to seeing them again. We were not disappointed: the hours flew by as we walked around Balboa Park, dodging the crowds and photographing Jeff & Sarah, while our conversations ranged from bacon to conical flasks and T-Rex arms. Good times.
Thanks for a fun, laidback shoot guys!
Sept 19, 2012:
Blog post by Felicia:
Each week, Rob and I photograph at locations all over Southern California, and recently, we photographed Victor & Rynicia’s “backyard wedding” in Diamond Bar. This description turned out to be a gross understatement, because this was “backyard” of epic proportions. We found ourselves at Rynicia’s parents’ very sizable property that easily accommodated their First Look, ceremony, cocktail hour and tented reception (over the tennis courts, no less). It was certainly a day to remember!
Congratulations Victor & Rynicia!
September 14th, 2012:
So last week, as a quick post-Labor Day getaway, Felicia and I packed up the new car and headed into the Mineral King region of Sequoia National Park to find a nice little spot amongst the towering Redwoods where our phones wouldn’t get any signal. Addicted to communication as we are, sometimes we find it necessary to force our own personal retreat where we have no choice but to leave the phones in the glove box and while away our days with morning hikes and afternoons sitting at a picnic table reading our ever growing pile of unread National Geographics.
The road up to Mineral King is a twisting, pothole-filled single lane, and as we went up, the Labor Day weekend warriors careened down – we had more than one instance of swerving and slamming on the brakes to avoid a head-on collision. Fortunately, by the time we arrived up there, the weekenders had left and we were in complete solitude in a 30-site campground that contained only our tent and our Prius.
A crazy drive to get here, but for 48 hours of complete silence (well… other than my crazy wife making marmot sounds), it was completely worth it. We even got the cameras out and took a few pictures for fun. It was a refreshing and much-needed change of pace, even if only for a while.
August 16th, 2012:
Regan just turned 8!
As such, we maintained our gift-free policy for the little nieces and took her out for the day instead (I figure a day with her aunt and uncle is worth way more than a $20 piece of Chinese plastic). After all the fun her sister had about a year and a half ago on a whale-less watching trip, Felicia started following Captain Dave’s on Facebook and constantly saw new images of whales breaching and tails above the ocean horizon on her Facebook feed. Everyday seeing these pictures and ranting about how on our last trip she got to see nothing. I figured taking our niece was a great way to give Regan an awesome new experience and hopefully see a whale so my wife’s desire to be close to the largest living creature on the planet could be sated.
Within minutes of leaving Dana Point Harbor we started seeing tons of common bottle nosed dolphins. They started swimming with the boat and splashing directly under the cargo net where Regan was sitting. She was super thrilled.
After a while of chasing dolphins, the captain heard on the radio about a blue whale spotted swimming up the coast a few miles away, so they hightailed it over to them hoping to catch a glimpse.
The whale! All we saw was his back a couple of times way far away, but it was still super exciting. Just to give you perspective, this was shot on a 200mm lens and then cropped heavily.
On the way back to the harbor there weren’t any dolphins or whales to watch so instead we just took turns trying to kill each other – Regan is a super drama queen and plays the part of victim so well I almost second guessed putting up the image of me strangling her because it looks a little too real.
On the way back to the harbor, after about 3 hours on the boat, she informed us that she was hungry so we told he we could go wherever she wanted – seeing as it was her birthday. She pensively thought about it for a few minutes and said “Panda Express!”
I laughed and agreed, knowing I had just saved a bunch of money over the places she could have named.
Happy Birthday, little one!
July 26th 2012:
A few weeks ago was the Fourth of July and besides just being the U.S. Independence Day, it is also the day I was able to marry my beautiful wife and partner, 3 years ago. This year we shared our anniversary with Nimrita and Travis who had an amazingly colorful Sikh ceremony in Orange County, followed by a reception in Diamond Bar. Living up to their reputation for Punjabi hospitality, Nimrita’s family PACKED the day with food (breakfast, lunch and dinner!), so Felicia and I were constantly being fed some sort of Indian awesomeness!
Thankfully, despite being stuffed with samosas, I still managed to focus my camera and capture their big day. This month has been crazy busy, so tomorrow I am finally taking Felicia out to celebrate our own belated anniversary – it’s date night for these two big kids!
Congrats again Nimrita and Travis! Welcome to the club of always getting fireworks on your anniversary!
May 1st, 2012:
It’s almost the season for college graduation, and yesterday Felicia and I spent a lovely spring day morning at Malibu Creek State Park with Jill, a graduating film school student. We had a great time photographing and getting to know this vivacious, confident young woman, as we talked about the movie/TV industry (Felicia and I have done a few independent movies on the side). We are quite impressed by her great attitude, wit and charm, so if anyone out there in LA who knows of an entry-level film/TV role to fill, let us know and we’ll send Jill your way!
Congrats, Jill, and all the best!