Lauren Kanegawa Photography » Blogging with Love

Morgan & Mike

In early December 2012, my second cousin called to ask if I would photograph their secret ceremony on New Year’s Eve.  I immediately agreed, but after I had hung up, I started to worry.  I had never done a wedding on my own.  The saving grace for me was that this would be more like an engagement session with a wedding ceremony attached to it.  Morgan and Mike were incredibly laid back, and said that they would leave everything in my capable hands.

The day of the wedding was an overcast and chilly day, but we were all eager to get out there for the wedding.  Morgan had her best friend Jeanna with her as her maid of honor (and official bag holder) and we walked from their apartment to Capitol Park, located right behind the California state capitol.  We met up with the best man/officiate of the ceremony, Justin,  and found a small little clearing surrounded by trees.  After a very brief, but joyful ceremony we walked all around the park and outside of the capitol building to take photos for a wedding album to show friends and family.   Since they had kept this wedding a complete secret from family (they called up parents on the way back to the apartment), they called up their stunned parents to tell them the great news.  Lots of synchronized jumping, walking, and photo taking later, we walked back to get ready to celebrate the coming of 2013.

Being a part of this wedding was such a happy moment for me.  To be able to photograph a newly married couple with the ease of a typical photo shoot was the perfect way for me to become comfortable with the idea of shooting a wedding.  Congratulations to the happy couple, and I hope you and your families will enjoy these photographs for the years to come.

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Following Your Passion with Clara C and David Choi

Clara C and David Choi
Performing together at the Great American Music Hall

As someone who is in the world of the arts for a career, I greatly admire the people out there that are already doing what they love for a living.  Biggest case in point would have to be singers who had their starts via YouTube.  One of my favorite of these rising YouTube stars is a singer/songwriter named Clara Chung (Clara C as she is known by her fans).  She started off by doing AMAZING renditions of popular songs, some of her fan favorites being covers of Far East Movement’s Rocketeer, Lil’ Wayne’s How To Love, and a duet cover of the Plain White T’s Rhythm of Love.  She has had two albums, both of which are fantastic.  One of her most popular originals is a happy tune called Offbeat.  I first saw her live in at The Roxy in Los Angeles of last year and met some amazing concert go-ers in the process.

This year I was determined to go to her San Francisco venue because she was also performing with another great YouTube famous, David Choi.  David is a singer/songwriter/composer and has worked on many video shorts with the famous Wong Fu Productions (an all Asian video production team).  He typically plays guitar, but also has a lot of tunes using the ukulele.  His more popular songs include By My Side and Missing Piece (which both have creative and excellent videos).  Both singers have their own unique sound, but have become immensely popular over the past few years.

The San Francisco live (back on October 13th) was held at The Great American Music Hall and it was standing room only.  I was able to get right in the middle and since I went by myself, I could sit there with a camera the whole time and just take photos.  The energy of the audience was great through the opening act of Peter Chung, 2012 Kollaboration San Francisco‘s (a sort of talent show/scouting for Asian-Pacific Islander performers) winning act.  David came on next with a more calm set of tunes (his style is more laid back), followed by Clara with a more jazzy feel from her new album, esc.  Afterwards I was able to thank them in person and take a quick polaroid with them (thanks to the newest Impossible Project Color Protection film).

Seeing just how many people these artists bring together in every city that stop at is simply amazing to me.  Clara and David are making a living by doing the thing they love most in life.    You can see the energy in their performances.  You can feel the love the have when the lyrics are sun. Being able to make a career out of what you love to do is the thing that inspires me most.  Sometimes having photography be my living is a scary thought, but with my clients and work I will also be able to keep this as my career.  Thank you Clara and David for a great concert, and good luck on the rest of your tour!

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Celebrating in San Francisco

My mother and I at a game at the old Candlestick Park.

When I was growing up, baseball was always a constant presence in my life.  My family has been attached to the San Francisco Giants ever since they came from New York.  I remember the days of going to games when I was a toddler and my parents even had me at the infamous 1989 World Series game with the earthquake (I was only four months old at the time).  They would always watch games on TV and I have fond memories of the voices of Kruk and Kuip on the radio, narrating games I couldn’t see.

Since I graduated from school and moved back to northern California, it became so much easier for me to watch the remainder of the season.  After the amazing win of the 2012 World Series by the rally attitude of the team and their fans, my dad and I went to San Francisco yesterday to celebrate with the rest of the Bay Area.  My dad and I left home around 4am to make sure we had a good seat for the parade.  Even by 5:30am, Market street was lined with fans in full-on Giants gear and wrapped in blankets in the misty morning.  What I love best about being part of a team fandom is the level of camaraderie between strangers.  As long as you wear the colors of the team, everyone is an instant friend.

The parade went by so quickly, and so many people lined that mile and a half stretch of Market Street to welcome back our favorite team.  Unfortunately this means I didn’t get too many great pictures of the team players (so many people screaming for their smiles and waves), but it was an experience I will never forget.  Have a great off-season boys and congratulations on an amazing year!  I’m already anxiously awaiting next season.

Side note, these photos are a little bit different from my usual fare, but shooting the event was so much fun!  The energy of the crowd was just too high to not have a good time.

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\Film Diaries\ Introduction

As I’ve talked about in my very first blog post, films do more than just entertain me.  They are inspiring in all aspects of my life (art, personality, etc) and they can provide me a way to make sense of my own feelings.  Since graduating from Brooks Institute, I’ve been thinking a lot on how to make myself a better business person, as well as trying to take a bit of time to myself to gather my thoughts.  I have also been able to dedicated a lot of time to my 365 films challenge, in where I am trying to watch ONE film a day for the remainder of the year.  So far it’s been a great success, and it’s been wonderful to see myself dedicate to one thing so fully.  It helped me see that I do have the ability to see things through to the end and that I should be applying that aspect of my personality to creating my business plans.

Since films have such a huge influence on me I thought I would do a new type of blog post that focuses on the films that inspire me in different ways.  They can be visually inspirational..or perhaps they will be something that can relate to aspects of our personalities.  Never the less, I hope you will come to enjoy these new types of blog posts and I would love any feedback you might have.  Has there been a movie that has deeply affected you?  I would love to hear if you have a great film experience.  Be on the lookout for the first of what I hope to become a new kind of blogging.

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Calendar Girl


During my first day of my graduate career, a classmate asked me to help her create a calendar to give to her boyfriend as an anniversary gift.  I was really excited to try this out because it meant making a lot of different looks with a limited time frame and a set of outfits.  I had the perfect venue in mind, but of course, the day of the shoot I was incredibly nervous beforehand.  There were a few time issues regarding the shoot, so we speedily did this calendar shoot in a little less than a hour.  Because of this, there was some really vibrant sunset light as well as some beautiful shade for some of the final photographs.  This session has gave me some of my favorite images, and Nathalie was absolutely in love with them (as well as her boyfriend ;D ).

I’ve only done a few photo shoots in this magical place, but it’s one of my favorites.  Oak trees provide much interest in the background, and that light is just stunning.  I tried a few different color techniques this time around, and I’m really liking the rich, darker tones in some of these images (such as the header and the second image in the lightbox).  I was so honored to have helped someone create a lasting gift, and it was also a great experience to shoot with Nathalie.  She was a bit nervous to be doing these kinds of photos, but she was a natural when the time came to shoot.  This was a very inspiring photo shoot, and I am eager to continue photographing up here in northern California now.  Do you like the new color style?  Which image is your favorite?

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