Revisiting Work

This evening I went through some of my old photos that I took a few years ago.  Going through them was eye-opening, a bit shocking, and even the occasional "Did I really shoot that?!"  One of the things that I did early on while I was learning photography, was to keep all of my photos.  I mean all of my photos, even the bad ones.  To this day I haven't removed or deleted any of the photos I ever took.  Doing this has meant an investment in quite a bit of hard-drives and a lot of backup.

However doing this gives me the opportunity to see how I have developed my craft over the years.  Seeing the photos from before and seeing the photos now, makes you appreciate all of the hours of learning, disappointment, and accomplishments that photography gives you.

Another reason that I don't delete of my pictures is because as I have progress in the craft, I'm learning new techniques, skills, and perspective about photography.  And with those new thoughts in my head, it makes me look at my old photos in a different light.  I've realized too over the years, that sometimes, you just don't pay attention to some details in the photo because you just didn't know how to pay attention to it.

I suggest to you (the reader) to do the same.  Save your photos, work on them, and then a year from know look at them again and see what you see in the photos.  I can guarantee that you will see your photo in a different way than when you took it and edited it.

Here's a image I took as part of my 2010 - 365 Project.

Nature's Path - Day 105 of 365

Finding the Photographer Community in San Diego

The Journey Begins...

Early on when I started pursuing photography more seriously, I photographed mostly by myself.  I photographed by myself not because I wanted too but because I didn't know other photographers when I started out.  My photographic journey started while I was studying Structural Engineering and Urban Studies & Planning at University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  Going to UCSD meant that we had to keep on top of our school work because midterms could just be around the corner and of course our professors would give us assignments expecting them to be done by week's end, so heading out to photograph wasn't on my friend's priority list.  So when I had the opportunity to photograph I would take it and wander campus or take the long way home.  I find places like UCSD's secret Garden (picture below).

UCSD Secret Garden

Observe, Appreciate, and Imagine

Have the muscle for Curiosity, Appreciation, and Imagination. Watch the following video and see what I mean.

As a photographer and engineer, one of the essential skills to have, in my opinion are the skills of curiosity, appreciation, and imagination.  However none of these skill are taught to you school and even talked about to you.  Read below to see my reason why they are important.

What Nobody Tells Beginners

Never give up!  Keep chugging! And do tons of work but not just work, great work.  Watch the following video:

The Great San Diego Blackout

Our modern world seem to have come to a screeching halt yesterday around 3:30 pm.  At that time, I was at work, I figured that it was just a localized event.  However after tweeting out that my building didn't have power, my other friends from northern to southern San Diego County reported the same.  It soon became apparently that it was a large one!  So what do I do.  I use Twitter to get my information about what would be a unprecedented blackout and took out my iPhone and camera to document the event.

The Great San Diego BLACKOUT 2011!

Here's some quick facts about the blackout:
1.4 Million - San Diego Gas & Electric customers lost electricity.
3 Million + - People affected
3 Major Areas Affected - San Diego, Parts of Orange County, and parts of Baja
12 Hours - # of hours the power was out
2 Hours - # of hours it took me to get home from work, usually 20 min drive.

So here's a couple of photos I took to share what the blackout experience was like for me.

Gridlock in front of my office.  Notice traffic lights not working.

A Balboa Park Photowalk w/ San Diego SmugMug

A few weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to lead another San Diego SmugMug photowalk.  For our second photowalk, I decided that we would take a visit to Balboa Park.  The particular photowalk was inspired by our June speaker, Philipp Scholz Rittermann, who challenged us to get out there and shoot our own Photography Opus.

With that, I figured that Balboa Park would be a great place to start.  Balboa Park is filled with a lot of photographic opportunities that inspire and challenge a photographer.  On this photowalk, I had the pleasure to shoot fellow Smuggies, Greg, Hollie, LaRee, & Jessica.

Here are some photos I captured doing some pre-photowalk scouting and also during the photowalk.  Enjoy!



Oliver Henry Photography - Advice - 5 Ways to Make it in Photography

When I began taking photography seriously as a craft, I kept a few things in my head to help me make it in photography.

Here are 5 ways to make it in photography:

1.  Get out there and shoot!

Snap away!  Take as many pictures as you want.  You've heard it before, with digital, you can take picture after picture after picture and the only thing that is stopping you is the amount of memory and battery power you have in your camera.  What's stopping you.
The best way to learn photography is to physically DO IT!  You have to get on your two feet, lug your camera and gear around, explore the world, and take a ton of pictures.  From doing this you will see what it takes to do photography, what you like and don't like about photography.  Photography is hard work but very fulfilling.


Follow Your Heart - Shoot what you want and Never Give UP

About a couple of weeks ago, I had a great opportunity to hear one of the photographers that I admire and follow via podcast and twitter, Rick Sammon.  Rick spoke at San Diego's Grossmont College.  He was a special guest brought by the college, Canon, George's Camera, and others.  It was a special treat to hear him talk about he's experiences in photography; His stories of how he created the shot, how photography has allowed him to see the world, and how photography has become part of he's life.

Day 26 of 365 - Field Inventory
Life is a scenic route and lifelong adventure.  Be a student for Life.

Rick's talk was great also in the aspect that he told us, we are STUDENTS FOR LIFE and we should NEVER GIVE UP.  Never give up because when you don't give up other opportunities will rise.  Rick told us how he had an idea for a series of 3D children books. Originally he pitched it to National Geographic but they didn't take the opportunity.  However Rick didn't give up after being declined and pitched he's idea to another company.  And months later he was traveling for that company to photograph and make he's idea reality.
The point of that story is that you should never give up.  If you truthfully believe in your idea you should continue to pursue it.  And remember that rejection is part of the story of how your idea became reality.
Personally this holds truth.  I can tell you that, I never gave up.  This blog, the pictures I share, and the photography business, are all my ideas that have become reality because I never gave up.  Certainly along the way, there was been many set backs, distractions, and uncertainties that have plague me in my journey, to where I am currently.  Some of my uncertainties that I and maybe even yourself, struggled with :

"Am I good enough?"
"What will people think?"
"Will people, friends, or family support me?"
"Can I even do it?"
"What, how, when...?"

You get the picture (no pun intended).  It is with these uncertainties that I questioned many times if I even should pursue photography more seriously.  I knew though, that if I let these thoughts reign over me, I would be left with more questions, "what if..., what did I miss," etc than answers. So don't give up and work hard to get what you want.
What are some of the uncertainties and struggles you face or ask yourself?  Leave a comment and we together can get through it together.  Remember we all where in your shoes before so don't be shy to ask for help.  :)

Oliver Henry Photography - Sneak Peak - Seattle Trip

I took another vacation!  This time instead of heading east, I headed north, to the Pacific Northwest.  This trip was more of a vacation compared to my vacation to Austin.  The trips differ in that this trip was just about the traveling, sightseeing, and adventure, compared to Austin, was about helping my sister begin another chapter in her life.  :)
Here are two sneak photos from Seattle that I took.

Seattle, WA from Kerry Park

City Canyons

I took a Vacation to Austin, Texas! - Las Cruses, NM to Austin, TX (Part 3)

This is part 3 of my travel series: I took a Vacation to Austin, Texas!

In part 2, my family and I reached Las Cruses as the half way point on our roadtrip to Austin, TX.

After spending a night in Las Cruses, New Mexico.  My family and I got up at 5am to get an early start on the next part of our journey.  Las Cruses is not that far from the border with Texas, therefore before you knew it we where in Texas.

Welcome to Texas.  Trust me that's what it says :)

Oliver Henry Photography - Don't Get Tied Up - Reflection / Manifesto

I've been officially a photography business for about 1 year.  The path to where I am right now has been a journey filled with ups and downs many of which, has shaped the way that I've conducted my business.  One of the biggest lessons and challenges has been knowing exactly how to managed the work load that comes with running a photography business.
The photography business has shown me that there is a lot of work that doesn't involve any photography.  As an owner I need execute business licenses and transactions, work with customers to makes sure that they are well taken care of, attend classes and workshops - to improve my knowledge and craft, network with other photographers, and then after all of that do the photography.  All of this has to be done, in a way that all areas of the business is given the equal amount of time and that not one area falls or goes under.

Oliver Henry Photography - Portrait - Kristen Yoon

Meet Kristen Yoon.  Kristen is a working a working professional, a Padres fan, a passionate cupcake baker, an athlete, and a aspiring model.  And she is competing in the 2012 Miss Greater San Diego Pageant.
Kristen was an absolute pleasure to photograph.  She was a professional and made the session very fun.  We bounce ideas back and forth between us and made it work.

I took a Vacation to Austin, Texas! - Tucson to Las Cruses (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago I took a roadtrip / vacation to Austin, TX.  It's took 2 days, 1300 miles, hours of music, and 100s of iPhone photos (taken while driving).  We where heading to Austin, Texas because my sister was moving there to start a new job.   The trip took my family and myself through the American Southwest.

Tucson to Las Cruses
After having lunch at Burger King in Tuscon, we gassed up, and continued our journey to Austin, Texas.
Having never driven this roadway was quite exciting.  My eyes kept wondering from left to right and straight ahead, as I tried to take in all of the scenery that was foreign to my eyes.

Stop #2 - Burger King


Sharing your Photography - Empowering Youth at HOBY!!!

As a photographer you have a great opportunity to share your craft with others.  One of the best ways is to give back to organizations that you support and believe in.  I recently had such an opportunity.

@hobycalcentral - get in the game #HOBY #HOBYmovement

A Torrey Pines Photowalk w/ San Diego SmugMug

A couple of weeks ago I met up with my fellow photographer buddies, Greg & Michelle, at Torrey Pines State Park to do a San Diego SmugMug photowalk.  It was a great afternoon of taking pictures, sharing photography stories, tips, and techniques.


My Quick Guide to Twitter

Social media is one of those things that everyone seems to be talking about.  From the local stores, photographers, to the White House.  Social media is everywhere. One of the biggest names in social media is Twitter.
What is twitter you might ask?  Twitter is a platform for you to update or share statuses, thoughts, articles, pictures, ask questions, etc to the world in 140 characters or less.  It has become one of the best ways for people to communicate with one another.

Playing the DS

I took a Vacation to Austin, Texas! - San Diego to Tucson (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago I took a roadtrip / vacation to Austin, TX.  It's took 2 days, 1300 miles, hours of music, and 100s of iPhone photos (taken while driving).  We where heading to Austin, Texas because my sister was moving there to start a new job.   The trip took my family and myself through the American Southwest.

San Diego, CA to Tuson, AZ

Starting in San Diego, we followed Interstate 8 to Arizona.  Driving along the San Diego portion my family and I have done it many times in the 15+ years that we have lived in San Diego.  It's our way we head out to our local mountain, search for snow, or just head out for a fun evening at a local Indian casino.

Wind Turbines in East County San Diego.

Maddox - Turner Family Pictures

One of the best parts about being a photographer is capturing special times for friends and family.  I've been blessed to have friends that have entrusted me to photograph their family portraits for them.  One of those friends is Tai Maddox!

I've known Tai since high school.  She was my English Class and Track and Field buddy.  After high school, I would see Tai here and there since she worked at the bank where I would cash my paycheck from  my day job as an engineer.  But luckily there was Facebook!

Facebook gave me the ability to find friends that I've had in High School and keep in touch with them.  It was via Facebook that Tai contacted me to ask to take pictures for her and her husband for their 1 year anniversary.  However to due to some circumstances our original plan didn't work out.  So the photoshoot was put on hold.

Which then brings us to the present.  Tai contacted again me to take pictures for her and her growing family, as well as her parents, and her brother's family.  It was a great pleasure to meet such a loving family and it was honor to take some photographs for them.  Are are some of their pictures from their session.  Please enjoy!

Thank you to the Maddox and Turner Families!  You guys are absolutely amazing!  :)

Lesson Learn - Sometimes You Just Have to NO.

What may seem like a rant from the title, this post isn't one.  It's a quick reflection to keep tabs on where the photography has taken me since the last time that I posted on the blog.  Since then, I've done several trips and photography gigs, 11 to be exact.  Yes, I just said 11!  Crazy, I know!  I've done everything from families, maternity, new-born, travel, and even a OUTSTANDING youth leadership conference.  Will all of that, work has got more than a little back up.  To my wonderful clients that have supported the business, I really appreciate your understanding and support while I get your photos ready for you.  So during this next week or so, a lot work will get edited, processed, and sent out for delivery.
The lesson to learn from this is - sometimes you just need say NO.  With that said, I'm going to get to working.

All Work and No Play - Photographers Having Fun!

Contrary to what most people think, we photographers don't just wake up one day and say to themselves, "Today i'm going to become a Professional Photographer and have people pay for my photography."  At least for me, that wasn't my path to becoming a wedding, event, and portrait photographer.  Although my path to photography is another story all into itself, so we'll save that for another day.
The point of this story is that being a working photographer is hard work.  We work most weekends doing jobs and during the week we edit, order, deliver, market, meet, study, practice, socialize, travel, get the picture (lol, no pun intended).  All of that and more is part of a working photographer's life.
After all the work, what do photographers do to have fun?!  By doing more photography, or course!  For most of us photography started out as a hobby.  It was a hobby where we get to express ourselves, document our lives, and share our vision with the world.  So when we don't work, we do more photography.  We practice the craft, fine tuning our skills, and enjoy the art.
I enjoy exploring my surroundings and environment.  Seeking familiar things and places with a different perspective and angle.  Simply seeing the world up close or far away or simply from a different point of view is an amazing experience.  Here are several different views of downtown San Diego, to show my point.  More after the jump.

Downtown viewed from the North.

A Weekend Engagement - Rachel & Jay - Part 1

Life is an adventure!  It's fun, its sunny, and just plain lovely!  It is those adventures that we embark on that makes life fun.  For Rachel and Jay, I wanted to give them a engagement session that was fun and joyous like the both of them.
The day's adventure starts off with wonderful picnic just outside Santa Ysabel.  The weather was clear, sunny, and warm, a lovely day for a picnic.  Rachel and Jay packed an amazing assortment of cheeses, fruits, and sandwiches for their lunch in the countryside.  It was the perfect picnic, that reminded me of the days that people took the time to simply enjoy the day and the countryside. So enjoy the first part of their Weekend engagement adventure.

Peace & Quiet

There are days where you just need to get away. Have an escape from the daily grind and noise in life. Where do you go for such an escape you may ask? For you it maybe your backyard but for me it is a quiet and quaint coffee shop called Espresso Mio, in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego.

Things I Love - Instagram

The ability to take, capture, and share photos is what makes photography fun.  One of my favorite ways to do photography is with my iPhone.  The iPhone has introduced a way for many people to share photographs instantly and to a wide audience.

A Coronado Maternity - Carmen + Eric + Jr.

On a beautiful and warm San Diego afternoon, I had the great pleasure to photograph for Carmen, Eric, & Junior.  It was a complete treat to photograph for them.  Carmen did her homework, researching poses and getting ideas for the shoot.  Eric was just fun, relax, and just enjoyed.  And Junior was awesome! It was great getting to know them during the shoot.  Carmen and Eric will be great parents.  I'm just happy to have had the opportunity to photograph for them during a special time.  Congratulations to you both!  :)

Check out their shoot with the following video.  And view some of their pictures (after the jump).

Sneak Peak - Maternity Shoot - Carmen + Eric + Junior

Having your first child is a time filled with lots of love and excitement.  These are one of those times in life that things change on a daily and weekly basis.  I had a wonderful opportunity to help capture one of those moments for Carmen, Eric, and Junior.  Carmen and Eric where wonderful and fun to photograph.  It was great to find that Carmen did some homework with poses and how she wanted her and Eric's photographs to turn out.  Their session was a great beautiful afternoon at the beach in Coronado.  Here's a sneak peak at one of the photos from their day.

Sneak Peak - Amber + Hiep

Here's a quick sneak peak from Amber and Hiep's wonderful wedding.  Their home wedding was simply beautiful, personal, and full of love.  It was a pleasure to photograph for such wonderful people.  Everything about their wedding was done with love and help from friends and family.  Congratulations to the both of you.  Enjoy your honeymoon!  :)

Sneak Peak - Family Shoot

It's all about family!  Here's a sneak peak from a family portrait session I did for my high school friend, Tai Maddox and her wonderful and fun family.

What Happens in Vegas...Well Sometimes Doesn't Stay in Vegas

Throwing surprises for family and friends are just awesome and fun. In February I got to surprise a good friend by attending and photographing their wedding. Weeks earlier during one of my gigs my friend Maria ask me if I was free towards the end of February because she wanted me to come to Las Vegas with her to attend and photograph our friends' Sol & Miguel's Wedding. And also I had to keep it a SECRET. A few days later I decided to go and made arrangements to attend.

Sold! - First Commercial Sell of an Image

Recently, I was contacted my an engineering company to purchase prints and website use of my images. Talk about surprise when I got this e-mail and call. Other than being a photographer, I also hold a day job as a engineer for Caltrans (California Department of Transportation). I've been bless to have a job I LOVE and hobby / passion turned business that I equally LOVE. To me it was a great accomplishment to have both passions come together. :)

International Special Events Society - Benefits & Challenges

Last month, I had a the distinct honor to photograph for the San Diego Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES).  The event was held at the San Diego Botanical Garden, to most of you this was formerly known as the Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas.  ISES topic of the evening was: Nonprofits- the Benefits and Challenges.  The meeting focus how vendors and planners can work together to help one another out when the event is for a non-profit organization.

More After the Jump...

Marinello Beauty School - The Portraits

A couple of weeks ago I got asked by my friend Keifla Antonio, teacher at Marinello Beauty School and owner of If Looks Could Kill Artistry, to help photograph he's student's work as they finish their term at the Marinello Beauty School.  It was a pleasure to work with all of them and photograph their beautiful work.  Each of the students had 3 looks to style from Period looks, Red Carpet, to Rock and Roll.  Check out some of the work in this following video:

The Artist!  :)

Hello from Oliver Henry Photography

Hi everyone!  I hope all is going well with you these days.  I wanted to check in with you guys and let you know how we've been.  There have a been a lot of things going on with life these days.

The day job has been picking up.  I've gotten more projects to work on and that has been keeping me on my feet.  So your tax dollar are working.  However once in awhile I do get an opportunity to get out in the field.  And when I do get out I always a take a camera with me.  Other than weddings and portraits, I also enjoy photographing freeways.  To me its been a blessing to have both engineering and photography come together in such away that allows me to live out both my passions.

Bridge under construction on State Route 905.

Start with Why?

We know WHAT we do but do we really know WHY we do it?  Knowing why we do things can help us understand the driving force behind the decisions we make and help us inspire everyone to take action.  In Simon Sinek's book Start with Why, he describes how people and companies can inspire people to take action and believe in there cause.  Check out following video.

People DON'T buy WHAT you do but WHY you do it.

Knowing WHY you do something has all of the power to help you take your dreams and passion and turn it into a reality.

Ultimate Shootout 8 - J Street Studios

After much fanfare and work, I've finally got the final set of photos from the Ultimate Shootout 8 finished and ready for viewing.  For my second shootout this one was a fun one.  I got the opportunity to work my photographer buddies, Mark, Justin, and Haseeb.  Also I had an opportunity to shoot in working studio environment that provided multiple shooting possiblities.  And lastly I got an opportunity to shoot a Visual Story call the "Book."  The check the following videos and images from the shoot.

Slideshow of all images from US8

The Importance of Doing Personal Projects

For many of us, getting "work" done is usually our top priority of the day.  These days its easy to get lost in the daily grind and forget to take a breather once in awhile.  Trust me when I say this.  In the past few months, the photography business has taken off.  It seems like every week there is something I have to do related to photography, whether a business meeting, a group meeting, shooting events, editing pictures, etc...its been a constant flux of new projects.  But don't get me wrong, I absolutely love every moment these things happen.

However one thing that helps me keep things in check is to do some personal projects along with these weekly photography engagements.  Doing a personal is important because it's your time to play and experiment with the craft.  And it's YOUR time to just be and get re-energized.  Remember also that personal projects don't have to be done alone.  This year, I'm collaborating with a few of my fellow photography buddies on several projects.  The paid photography may get the bills paid for you but it is these personal projects that help you grow and learn the craft so you can be the best photographer you can be.

Keep checking back here on the blog for the latest and greatest from your friends at Oliver Henry Photography!  Thanks for checking us out!  :)

Monkeying Around - Day 1 of 365
Don't forget: Just have some fun!  :)

Sneak Peak - SCPG: Ultimate Shootout 9 - La Glam Bam!

Hot!!!  How else could I describe US9?!  The venue, the models, the hair & makeup, the photographers, everyone worked it and it definitely shows.
The theme for this Ultimate Shootout was European Sultry and Urban Lifestyle.  It was held in Downtown San Diego's La Gran Tapa.  La Gran Tapa provided a great space to shoot - mirrors, a bar, awesome couches, an alley, and even a bathroom to shoot in (see the picture below for the bathroom comment).

Model: Keith Antonio

Video - San Diego SmugMug - Trash the Dress

Here's a fun and refreshing way to have your photos shown.  Check out the newest slideshow featuring last November's San Diego SmugMug's Trash the Dress!  Enjoy.

How Photography Connects Us

Photography is an awesome tool to document your world.  It's there to capture your baby's birth, your achievements, your adventures, and your LIFE.  Every click of the shutter stops time that allows you relive that moment and tell the story to another.  Check out this TED video that tells, "How Photography Connects Us?"  Enjoy!

A Visual Life - Some thought on Inspiration

Inspiration comes in many forms. Inspiration can come from a feeling, a smell, your surroundings, a thought, an action, a reaction.

Inspiration also comes at different times - when you are busy, when you working, when you are relax, whenever....

Inspiration can also hide from you. When you search for it, it doesn't show, it doesn't want to be found. Finding inspiration sometimes can just be a frustrating journey of nothingness and feeling of lost.

The most important thing to understand about inspiration is that it is there and that the best happen when you least expect it. So don't stop if it doesn't come just continue the pace of life and see what develops. Just let it happen!

As photographers, live a visual life.

Slideshow - Katie + Danny - A Love for Always

Last November, I had the pleasure to shoot an engagement session for a fun, sweet, and amazing couple.  Katie & Danny came down to San Diego to shoot there engagement photos.
It was an afternoon session in Balboa Park and ended with a sunset & night session in Coronado.  Watch their photo slideshow of their session with Oliver Henry Photography!  Enjoy!