Happy New Year!

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Portraits in 50mm

The Catch of the Day

My family and I and some friends wanted to enjoy the holiday, so we went out fishing along the Mussafah Park. We took advantage of the extra holiday because  United Arab Emirates is celebrating its 41st National Day.Fishing_Mussafah-0809

“Beginner’s luck” is what they call it. It was the first time I ever attempted fishing. And in my first attempt, I caught the biggest catch of the day.

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Me and my friend Heldon displaying the biggest catch of the day.

This one literally almost got away. As the fish got caught up in my bait, it jerked hard to free itself from the hook and in doing so tugged the fishing rod with it. I had to quickly run after the fishing rod as it was pulled by the fish into the water. Fortunately for me, I caught up with the fishing rod before the fish got away with it (though I strongly doubt that it was strong enough to bring the rod with it, but who knows?). And unfortunately for the fish, it ended up in the fiery grill that was prepared for fishes like him.

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Friends enjoying the day fishing.

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My two sons enjoying their fishing activity.

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My wife trying to catch something…

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My son proudly displaying his catch.

Fishing_Mussafah-0807A beautiful day for fishing.

Friends and a Wedding

Who do you invite to your wedding? Friends, of course. But not just ordinary friends. You invite good and beautiful friends. Even relatives would have to be “friends” with the groom and bride to get invited, unless they happen to be part of the immediate family. In that case, there is no choice for the couple.

When we speak of good friends, we mean friends who are there before, during and after the stressful and emotional roller-coaster of the wedding ceremony has come and gone. They will be there when the reality of the married life really sinks in and will be there to support and pray for the newlywed couple.

When we speak of the beautiful people, we do not mean entirely in the physical sense only (although that wouldn’t hurt at all). The physical can always be “enhanced” to appear beautiful. But real beauty is in the character. The really beautiful people are those whose character shines through magnificently even in the most trying circumstances in life. The newlywed couple would definitely need these kinds of people to look up to as models as well as to help them navigate the delightful but ever challenging journey that is called marriage.

With the Bride’s Parents

With the Groom’s Parents

A wedding is a happy and tremendously memorable occasion. This is true especially for the couple. This is an occasion that the couple would definitely love to look back again and again as they go through their life together as husband and wife. Eventually, this will be one of those memorable stories that they are going to tell their children. What is more fitting then than to spend this momentously memorable occasion with those closest to their hearts?

We earnestly wish the best for the couple, not only the best wishes but mostly the best realities because, after all, wishes may not come true. And reality is clearly what they will have face. So, best realities for the couple. Above all else, may the newlywed remember that in God’s vocabulary, there is no word for divorce. Therefore, together with their loved ones and their good and beautiful friends, here is to a happy life together for Jee and Paula.

Black and White Portrait

I find in my wife a willing and fun model to work with and with whom I can practice my portraiture. She is always ready and willing to pose for me. She is, what I might call, my muse. Ever since I started to dabble in digital photography, she was always there to support me. According to her own words, she had no choice. She would rather have me shooting pictures than having me around her with a cranky mood. I must say that our time together shooting portraits does help in our bonding together as husband and wife. I guess that partners that shoot together stay together. Photography has a way of connecting people; either through an image that may elicit common emotions or reactions, or through the process of creating the image itself. Either way, I have found that it helped me and my wife find something in common to share between ourselves and the little sphere of the world wherein we circulate.

Fun Portraits

Every time I have a chance to shoot portraits for my two sons, I always allow them time to express whatever face they want in front of the camera. I usually allow this after we had made the formal portraits just to ease things up a bit. The end result of this exercise is that the two boys would have become so at ease enough to allow me a few more shots with a more natural expression on their faces.

Children are so good at acting up. My children are no exception. They would come up with poses that are usually derived from movies, and from their own wild imaginations. My older son even has his own signature funny face.

Sometimes it does irritate me when they do this out of context but, I have to admit that it does help ease up the tension. I do wonder where they got this funny side. Well, I don’t have to search far and wide because there is no denying where they got it…from their mother! No two persons are the same. In the case of my two sons, the older is obviously more fun-oriented than his younger sibling. The younger sibling inherited his more serious side from his father.

This is my son’s signature “funny face.”

This is my younger son trying to look serious.

Acting part 1.

Acting part 2.

Birthday Portrait

My two sons just turned one year older! A couple more years and I might have to exercise undue force just to get them in front of my camera. Time flies when you are not watching. Both have the same birthday at exactly one year apart.

I have already planned to do a portrait of my two boys once they celebrate their birthday. I have already set up my small softbox a few days ahead so that any time both of them will be ready, it would be easy to get shooting. I had to anticipate that they would easily lose interest and get bored resulting in a bored looking portrait. It took more than two weeks after their birthday that we finally had time to shoot the portrait. The busyness of life gets in the way of photography. I may also be a bit busy pretending to be busy.

So one weekend I decide to just do it. I told them early morning to take a shower and get dressed up so that we can finally shoot the birthday portrait. The boys cooperated and promptly did what they were told and obliged to be photographed. I had to work fast enough so that we do not lose the moment. Either I get tired and lose patience or they get bored and do things that will irritate the photographer. Deep into the photo session, one boy actually complained that he was already getting tired of holding a smile. His smile muscles were already giving up. Eventually, we finished at about lunch time, with me almost losing my patience and them doing a few things that irritated the photographer. It was a nice and rewarding, albeit exhausting, experience. These types of activities are what bind father and sons together. Hopefully, we’ll do it again next year.

My older son, Remo

My younger son, Theo

Remo is learning to play the piano

Theo is learning to play the violin