Thursday, June 30, 2016

//Lake Maggiore + Venice, Italy Trip//

We were waiting for this trip for over a year. And finally it happened.

It was all started almost 2 years a go when my best friend in school "Dina Yassin"  whom is now living in Dubai texted me that she was going to get married and the reception will be in Italy - near Milan. I was shocked because I have not heard from her prior to that texted I received from her. Right away a happy tears started to form in my eyes because one I am very happy to hear the great news and second she still wanted to invite me to her wedding day after all of those years without any contact. Immediately I said "yes" that Steven and I will be there.

The wedding was postponed as she initially planned. But a month a go was the big day and Steven and I were very excited to go and be there for her big day in Lake Maggiore, Italy. We also planned that after the wedding reception, we were going to visit Venice. None of us had visited Venice before although I visited Italy several times before.

Lake Maggiore was beautiful beyond words. Just like I imagined it would be. Beautiful villas and hotels on the side of the lake a long the narrow winding road  that goes on to the mountain top. In the middle of the lake are several small islands with red terracota stone building seen from a far. It was so enchanting and poetic to have witnessed such beauty. 

Upon arrival in the hotel room I immediately took out my water color and painted the lake seen from our hotel window. 

We spent the first two days by ourselves but it was raining almost everyday so we were taking it easy and enjoy the small town surrounding the hotel eating pasta, pizza and ice cream.

Long before the wedding day - Dina told me that I could take pictures of her during the reception. And I was very excited about this. This is a golden opportunity for a photographer.

And when I walked in the room where Dina was waiting to come out from the room for the reception - I could not believe how beautiful and elegant she looks. I wish I had more time to take pictures of her. But I did not want to overwhelm Dina with poses I wanted her to do. Because I knew she had so many things in her mind already. So I left and took pictures of the dining room and table setting.

We really enjoyed Dina and Silvano's wedding reception. The location could had not been perfect - the setting by the lake Maggiore was just lovely.  Everything was really beautiful. It was a night to remember and definitely a beautiful wedding of east meets west.

A day after the wedding reception we left for Venice. We drove to Malpensa airport - dropped the car there - took a bus to Milan's train station and went to Venice. 

And oh my - Venice was like a dream. This was the first time for Steven and I in Venice. We could not believe what we saw. Steven kept on saying "I can't believe the whole city is on top of the water!" I was so very happy that I was in Venice, finally. This city is magical. I could not even begin to describe the feel of the city; the canal, the narrow street with beautiful ancient stone buildings one after another  on each side of the street - the bell rang and heard from a far.  It was like going back in time where before I could only see in a movie. I think I am in love with Venice.

The highlight of Venice trip for me was to paint at least two sites - which I did. One is a random building and the other one is our hotel. I had been wanting to do it before we departed. I was very happy that I got to do it. 

The gondola ride was so much fun although we thought it was over priced - 85 Euros for half an hour! At least we tried it out for once.

Lake Maggiore and Venice, Italy  trip is always in our heart. We definitely will come back.



Here is the small island in the middle of the lake that I painted upon arrival the hotel room.




































I found a quiet place where I can paint a small building of Venice.



Then I also painted our hotel.


Thank you for reading!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

//Thomas & Matthew//

I think I mentioned before that I love photograph children.
 
Dawn, Thomas and Matthew's mom asked me, 
"isn't it better to photograph a wedding than children?"
 I said, 
"no! photograph a wedding is an all day event. Plus you have to carry  heavy equipment. Unlike photograph children - the photographer just have to follow them around and just keep taking picture if they do not want to pose."

You can not go wrong try to capture the moment of young kids. They are the most adorable subject to capture with your camera. Perhaps because children does not try hard to pose - they do not care for being photographed. All they want is to play, making silly face, and having a good time. And that is what I tried to capture 'two brothers playing and having fun' hoping one day when they grow older that they can look at these pictures of moments that bond two brothers.



This time we shot at a state park called Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay (here).





















Thank you so much for stopping by!