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Phillips Family Adoption

I finally got to go back to Holt last week for the first time in about 7 months or so. I’ve missed it. I also got to meet this lovely couple and their lovely daughter. She has something of a serious default expression, but it’s a ruse. She’s one of the sweetest, kindest, and most patient kids I’ve ever met. Congrats to the new parents.

On a personal photography note: I think I’m done with adding vignettes to my images. Vignettes are when the outer edges of images are darkened to add a feeling of drama or depth to an image. If you use a wide angle lens this happens automatically and used to be viewed upon negatively, until somewhat recently. Well, anyhow, I think I’m over it and this is my first set of images where I’ve corrected them out in post processing. It’s also helped that I’ve discovered a very easy way to do this in my editing program.

Tescille RiserJuly 9, 2013 - 8:42 AM

Great photos!

Vivian PiricsJuly 9, 2013 - 9:44 AM

At last! So beautiful!!

Janet Gandy SandiferJuly 9, 2013 - 11:31 AM

Beautiful and so very touching! Praising God with you. 🙂

Cheri Boyd ShoaffJuly 9, 2013 - 12:53 PM

Oh my heart is just smiling… for all of you! What a perfect and beautiful girl you are being blessed with!

Tiffany Forrester KlineJuly 9, 2013 - 1:52 PM

Absolutely beautiful!

Kathy Lewis FranklinJuly 9, 2013 - 2:17 PM

Beautiful pictures! So happy for all of you!

Pam Wiitala TaylorJuly 9, 2013 - 3:26 PM

THANK YOU for sharing this so very personal moment with us all. Your faces as you gaze at Lucy are beyond “priceless”! <3

Marjorie DohertyJuly 9, 2013 - 3:50 PM

I’ve been there!

Jackie Manlove PowellJuly 9, 2013 - 5:44 PM

So happy for you all ~ What beautiful pictures 🙂

Brooke Gustafson StevensJuly 9, 2013 - 10:29 PM

WOW! What a great keepsake of the beginning of Lucy’s journey home. Felicia Phillips…your smile is infectious. The joy with which you do all things is an inspiration to me.

Becky Zick LathropJuly 10, 2013 - 1:36 AM

Thank you, these pictures are so sweet ♥.

Riggs Family and Baby Photo Shoot

I’ll be honest, I was nervous for this shoot. I’ve never done a baby shoot before and I really had no idea what to expect. Not only that but we were doing the shoot in their house, which is very tough because I always scout out my locations. And to be honest, I think the home is the hardest place to shoot still. Outside at least the lighting will be consistent we’ll have more locations to find, but indoors, there’s only so much space, and the lighting is just crazy. Not only that but the morning of this shoot I went to grab my light stands and they weren’t there. So I had to hit the store and pick some up really quick. By the way, if anyone sees a bag of light stands around Han River…. those are definitely mine. Thanks.

But even though I didn’t know what to expect, I had a great time. The Riggs are a really beautiful family and they just had a lot of love. And their batman uniforms were priceless.


Jimmy + Christine Engagement

Jimmy and Christine came over from Indonesia for a week to experience Korea. I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon and a morning with them and we hopped around a few places in Seoul snapping some photos. They are probably the cutest couple I’ve ever met. Congrats! Come back soon!



Christine is a big fan of texturized, lomo style photography. Even though I’m definitely not experienced in this editing or shooting process I told her I’d try my best. So I’m sending them copies of both “my style” (above) and my best stab at what I think she’s looking for (below). II wasn’t planning on sharing these, but I ran into some more photos I liked after editing and wanted to share them. Hope you enjoy. What style do you prefer?

My dog Toby joined our trip to the Han. 🙂 




[…] I just did a photo shoot at the Han a few weeks back and figured I’d share some. If you didn’t know, I am a professional portrait and event photographer. Check out the rest of the shoot here. […]

Brent SheffieldJune 10, 2013 - 10:49 AM

beyond good. I’m in awe.

Robert KoehlerJune 10, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Man, that is some good stuff.

Brent SheffieldJune 10, 2013 - 12:30 PM

Yeah, I thought I was getting better but I’m no where close to this.

John SteeleJune 10, 2013 - 9:18 PM

These really are impressive photos, good work man.

Greg Samborski PhotographyJuly 2, 2013 - 12:52 PM

Does it cost extra for the dog? That’s a sweet add-on 🙂

Dustin M ColeJuly 3, 2013 - 2:24 AM

Dog is free. Some couples won’t shoot with me otherwise. Haha

Philippines Part 2

Continuing on my Philippines journey.

Day 5

Our fifth day was action packed. We traveled down the mountain from Sagada to Subic. I want to mention one thing about these bus rides. First of all, our bus, drivers and tour guides were amazing. Our bus driver was especially good, every scene in Fast in the Furious – Tokyo Drift would be too easy for our driver. Despite our incredible bus and driver, the bus is the one place I dreaded. God strike me dead if I ever go on another tour without a pillow. My neck broke. My head had two choices – to lay against the chair and not quite have enough incline to remain flush, or to rest on the window feel each minute vibration amplified into my slumbering skull. Instead of these my head usually just rolled around like a floppy wet fish held upright by the tail.

Anyhow, we rolled down to Subic for 5 hours or so, my head flopping along. Here we stopped at the highest paved road in the Philippines, and Danny, one of our bus drivers, showed us how to eat Balut. If you don’t know what Balut is, you are lucky.

We then went to a strawberry field and walked around for a few hours picking strawberries and eating corn. I somehow got swindled into buying a tiny bag of cashews for $3.00. I consider myself pretty street savvy, so I was really shocked after I realized what happened. Several minutes later Javi walked by with the same tiny bag and same bewildered look. I showed him my matching bag.

Here’s the group at Cafe by the Ruins – probably the best meal in the Philippines I’d say. Notice Hyojin picked up a stray. Several minutes before this photo we saw that girl standing nearby, playing with some friends. A dark, tall man with dreadlocks walked by and she, at the top of her lungs, yelled “Monster!! RUN!!!”.

We then went on to Baguio, a beautiful city, and blessedly cool. Due to its cool weather and cultural, historical, and scenic attractions, Baguio is a prime tourist location, especially for other Philippinos.

I had to get these hats… Me and Alessa are sporting them here on the left, and Hyojin and Jin on the right. Hyojin, I think was trying to look like a pig?

After Baguio we went to Subic and visited the Zoobic Safari.

Dem eyes…

And then at night we came to this amazing beach. This band… tore it up. TORE IT UP.

Yeah. I was happy. Self portrait! (Missed the focus, woops).

And thennnnnnn, we went to this night club, and these bands tore it up. Man, I wasn’t expecting to be amazed by the music in the Philippines, but it was great. These cover bands at this club even heard that there were some Koreans in the audience and played us a couple Korean songs. Jin was even kind enough to grace us with an amazing Gangnam Style dance.

As I said earlier… copious amount of San Miguel. At this nice club it was only $1.50. At a similar venue in Korea it would probably run around $9.00.

Day 6

Wow! Day 5 was action packed and awesome. Day six we finally slowed down a bit. We started at Everybody’s Cafe and sampled some Batute (stuffed frog) and some crickets.

Javi loved the crickets and ate the whole plate.

Later that day we visited a water park and had a blast. To avoid looking like perverts, and to have fun, we left our cameras and just played for a while.

We then spent 4 solid hours drinking in the hotel room. And then on to the Red Light Discrict! Angeles is the Philippines capital for its Red Light District, so our guides insisted we had to walk down and take some photos. The few of us not passed out stumbled into the bus and out into the Walking Street. On Walking Street young women line the roads and beg you to join them. I’ve been to a few red light areas in my life, not to patrone the service, but I find it interesting. Typically it’s impossible to take photos in these areas as bouncers will pounce and demand you to stop, but here, no one seemed to care. A few girls gave us dirty looks, but otherwise we were free to snap what we wanted.

We went in to one of these clubs to take a look. I forget which one. The sight was… incredible. The first room was massive, the size of a small ballroom. Booths lined the sides. A slightly elevated stage dominated the center, but it was skinny, wide enough for 3-4 people side by side, and it extended from the front to the back. On stage were at least 50-60 young girls, wearing bikinis, swaying to the music. It was… shocking. We stood near the entrance for a minute or so, and drifted back out.

The next day we departed. I had an amazing time on this trip, and I want to thank the Philippine Department of Tourism for sponsoring it. Again, soon I’ll have much more detailed posts of each day posted on Seoul Eats. I hope to get those up within this week.

Take care! Salamat Po! (thank you!)

Madison P. MunarMay 28, 2013 - 6:12 AM

nice photos, except the word Philippinos, next time better use Filipinos than the latter.

Dustin M ColeJune 2, 2013 - 2:05 AM

Thanks. I had no idea. 🙂

Jo Violet TametaJuly 4, 2013 - 8:02 PM

Amazing pictures……