by Natalie on April 1st, 2012

What a week! March was not exactly the best month for me and especially this past week--I'm glad it's finally over--new month, new week, hopefully better health. Because I've been trying to take care of my self, I've been seeing life in a whole different perspective. I'm very, very, grateful of the friends and family in my life--especially grateful to have Alan in my life--this man, seriously, I'm gonna marry him one day ^_^. Through sickness and health, Alan's totally on it.

Aside from my personal struggles this week, I've been hearing and reading a lot of negative news. I find it discouraging that only negative news gets the most attention--I guess newspapers and networks thrive on it because it sells. Wouldn't be even more awesome if everyday the most attention grabbing headline wasn't a crime but was something positive and uplifting? I think that would make our society so much better. The positive headlines do come up once in a blue moon but too often they end up buried under the next scandal, crime, or negative headline.

Back to phtoography talk. Much earlier in this past week--before I ended up sick--I had the wonderful opportunity to learn more about studio set up & lighting with Andrew Ho and we shot a maternity shoot with our friends. First maternity shoot ever! I'll upload maybe 1 to 2 photos next week pending permission from the lucky couple. 

As promised, this weekend is dedicated to Suki and Sherman's photoshoot--mostly Suki. Photos below, check them out and enjoy! (Also posted them on Facebook). 

This coming week, I can't wait to get back to work and back to my normal life! I'll keep you posted next weekend!

by Natalie on March 26th, 2012

It's been way too long since I've last posted. My apologies!

Over the past few months, I was feeling very stressed, which led to having poor health for a while--being sick on and off because my body didn't fully recover and finding out that I have a certain health condition. Definitely not a fun experience, in fact it was terrifying. Now that I'm on my way to recovery, I cherish my health so much more and everyday I wake up grateful for being healthier.

In addition to stress and poor health, came being stuck in a rut and losing inspiration on the things that matter the most to me like my dreams, my photography, and my motivation among other things. In those moments, I hit my lowest but once I started recovering, everything and everyone around me matter so much more. I am thankful to have great friends and family who were by my side and with their support, I was able to begin to recover both physically and mentally. 

Currently, my body is still recovering. I am making a more concious effort to take care of my body and being more mindful about the signals it sends me. I am back to taking on opportunities that allow me to express my creativity and pursue my passions, and you know what? It feels great to be able to do so. 

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to photograph Grace Lee Boggs at a tribute event hosted by Chinese Progressive Association. Mrs. Boggs is a 96--almost 97--year old Chinese American community activist who has over seventy years of experience in social movements in the U.S. Even today, she is still an activist in her community in Detroit. Her life work dedication and philosophy was truly inspiring and it makes me want to be a better person--to really pursue my passions and create a legacy that transcends generations. She's someone that I want to be like when I grow old. I realized that if my maternal grandmother was still alive, she'd be the same age as Mrs. Boggs, which is totally awesome ;-). 

Anyways, check out the photos from the event in the links below:

And of course, this post wouldn't be a post without a pic of Mrs. Boggs and I, how awesome is this (lol fangirl status)! 
P.S. I will be making a very concious effort to update Mintography weekly =D gotta release my creativity somehow.

by Natalie on November 11th, 2011

Hey everyone! It's been a few weeks since my last post but in between work and getting sick, I've had an amazing opportunity to photograph along side my awesome friend Andrew Ho at his latest wedding (THANKS BUDDY!). I met Andrew from college and have always admired his photography talents even before I met him. Check out his work on his Facebook page. Andrew, if you're reading this, please please PLEASE get some rest after this weekend and take good care of yourself since I know you're working 42hrs straight back to back with clubs and weddings this weekend!

Royal Wedding in the UK, move aside, because there was indeed a Royal Wedding right here in the Bay with Linda P. & Vin M, both affiliated with the Miss National Asia Pageant. It was special day filled with family, friends, and double happiness. It brings me joy to see a couple so in love with each other and being able to share their special moment with their community. I admit, sometimes I get teary at weddings but as a photographer there’s no time for that. So when I do post-edits at home, I get teary-eyed and have the awwww feeling. Then, it makes me daydream about my own wedding in the distant future but that’s another story for another day. A glimpse of Linda & Vin's wedding photos below and album here.

Speaking of dreams, I had a really interesting dream a few days after my birthday. I was part of a wolf pack that somehow morphed into humans that resembled the Water Tribe from A:TLAB (I've never watched the Twilight series btw) and the sifu (師父) of the pack was training me on something that I don't remember but the message from him was along the lines of "Believe in yourself and believe in what you do because if you don't believe in yourself then how can other people believe in you." So true! I gotta admit that looking back to a my early college years, I lacked the confidence to pursue my dreams and I also lacked the support--but without believing in myself, how could other's believe me? It's way different now, I realized that every day, I am learning new things and getting better and better at what I do. Once you believe in yourself, you will realize that your community has been supporting you all along but you may not have realized it because you didn't even believe in yourself to begin with. So to my readers who are reading this, don't give up on your passions, believe in yourself and as long as you are doing something, you are succeeding and getting a step closer to achieving your dreams. LIke what Yoda says: "Do or do not… there is no try."

by Natalie on October 23rd, 2011 & Mintography on Facebook is now live!
Please LIKE me on Facebook to get the latest updates, photoshoot postings, and more!

Yesterday was my birthday and I recieved many birthday wishes from many friends through Facebook, email, phone, and text. I spent my birthday with family, friends, and my best buddy/significant other. I am truly grateful to have you in my life and have met you throughout all these years from school, work, in the community, on MapleStory, through friends, and even more. I am grateful for the inspiration and support that you all give me. You all make me feel lalalalala--happy and special =D.

Last year on this day, I made a list of 25 goals from building this website, spiritual growth (learning about Buddhism as a philosophy), pursuing photography, clearing the clutter from my house, exercising, building relationships, taking vacations, continue the social justice work, and more. I'm happy to say that I've completed (23/25). The last two goals that I haven't done is:

1. Make Portugese egg tarts.
2. Reach level 190 on MapleStory.

I still have two months left before the end of the year to complete them! Of course some of my other goals on my list still require ongoing dedication (like exercising and pursuing photography), I still feel accomplished! For the upcoming year, I'll have a new list of 26 goals!

These last few weeks, OccupyWallStreetand We Are The 99 Percent have reminded me why it's so important to do social justice work. Reading all the stories on We Are The 99 Percent have really touched my heart--some have even made me tear up. One story that really stands out to me is from an inspiring young lady whom I have the honor of knowing, please check out her story here (via Chinese Progressive Association):
I am a junior in high school living in San Francisco, Ca. I live with my widowed, single parent, immigrant father and my sister. We live in a studio apartment. My father has been unemployed since 2005, our only source of income is social security checks. But we are turning 18 soon, both of our benefits check would be discontinued. My sister and I work extremely hard so we can get many scholarships and into good colleges. We are our family's only hope at the "American Dream." We have that burden on our shoulders and we are afraid. We are depending only on our academic success to get further in life. But now that may not be enough. Budget cuts on education and rising tuition scare us. Our wish is to buy a house for our father one day. We Are the 99%.

by Natalie on October 2nd, 2011

Hello everyone!

It's been a while. I had to put my dreams on pause for the past few months due to work (which by the way, was one of my most inspirational summers ever-THANK YOU YMOJO!) and personal issues but now that it's a new season and my birthday is coming up, I've made it a priority to continue to pursue my and dreams. If not now, then when? That was the spark that I needed to get back on track both in pursing my goals, dreams, and living my life.

I'm excited to announce that I am in the process of transfering my old website to this new website where overall it will be more accesible, easier to navigate, faster to load, and viewable through mobile phones and tablets.

Along with a new website, comes a new name. After lots of comtemplating, I've decided to change Mintrified Productions to Mintography. Mintography stands for inspiration, fresh, and creativity. It is a culmination of all the drafting, planning, creativity, hard work, sleepless nights, struggles, blood and sweat (ok blood and sweat is exaggerated lol) that I've put into this dream during the past few years. Mintography was the first name that I thought of for my photography and design business but for whatever reason, I decided with a different name or I just couldn't decide on a name. Mintography, was THE name that never left my mind. Have you ever had that gut feeling that you know something is for you? Well, it was like that feeling for me. With my community supporting and encouraging me, I am going to continue my journey of pursuing this dream.

Check back in the upcoming weeks as I continue to add content to Mintography and thank you all for always being so supportive and giving me encouragment and inspiration.


P.S. I'll be integrating my upcoming YouTube channel with Mintography, in the mean time check out my audition for DigitalRev TV for the Internet's Most Talented Photographer. Although I didn't make it into the final 16, I had a great time making the video and will be creating more videos in the future.