Duc is my youngest brother (he's 20 years old) and got engaged to Paloma last December. They met at the ballroom club of UVa. Paloma already graduated last year and is currently a nurse at the UVa hospital. Duc has one more year to complete to get his bachelor, then they'll get married in June 2014.
Duc is going to be gone the whole Summer to do research at University of Michigan. So we only had a short window to do their engagement shoot. I was happy when Paloma agreed to a country setting :) We were able to stay close to my home. It's been raining for a week, but come the day of the shoot, the sun was back. It was perfect!
Leave a little comment... Enjoy the slideshow!! :)
On this day, I want to honor my maternal grandfather, Nguyen Huu Thong (in Vietnamese, you always put the last name - or family name - before the first name). He was born in 1934 in Vietnam, joined the army and was honored by being selected to study military strategies in the U.S. for a year. He was actually considered as a French officer, as Vietnam was then controlled by France.
During the Vietnam War, my grandfather fought for the South. In the picture below, he was going to be awarded a medal by the US army. This is one of the few pictures I have left of that period. There are very few mementos left, as my grandfather's soldiers destroyed as much as possible, in order to protect the identity of his family. So you can see why this picture is so precious to me.
When the South lost the war, my grandfather was captured by the communists. He spent many years in a prison camp before being freed by Amnesty International. Later, with the rest of his family, my grandfather moved to the US, away from the communist regime.
Our husbands are childhood friends, so when we all get together, the guys go do their own - boring - stuff (like going to Lowe's) while Charlene and I get to go fun stuff (i-e shopping!!).
Charlene is an amazingly kind woman. I swear, there is not a mean bone in her, and I have never seen her getting mad. She's beautiful inside out, so I loved having the opportunity to photograph her.
Have you ever heard about the Police Unity Tour? This is an annual event since 1997; the goal is to bring awareness about police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Their motto is: "We ride for those who died."
One of their stops is at the Super Target in Fredericksburg, VA. It is quite a sight to see all those officers in blue, riding up the hill and resting a few minutes in the parking lot, while Target Team Members provide them with a snack. Officers thanked us for doing that, while WE are the one who are appreciative for all that they do.
This wasn't the first year that I volunteered at this event, but this time, an officer explained to me that everybody wore a bracelet engraved with the information about a fallen officer.
This is one of my favorite volunteer events :)
At my workplace (the one that provides me with a stable income :), I get a little envious hearing my coworkers sharing common memories from middle/high school.
I haven't got the chance to go back to France for several years now. So I was thrilled when one of my friends from my hometown (yes! From Paris!) contacted me to announce that she'd be in the Washington DC area for a few days! Hawa and I went to the college-lycee Helene Boucher when we were teenagers, with a memorable school trip to Spain.
It was fun to catch up on the past, speak French and to see each other as adults and mothers.
I know this is not a perfect image (for example, I admit that Aliyah's expression isn't the most natural), but this is 1 of my favorite.
I posed mother and daughter, and asked Aliyah to put her chin down a little. When I saw Hawa looking down at her little girl, I had to snap that shot. I absolutely love the soft look on Hawa's face, you can see the love of a mother for her child. And Hawa's hair flying around her face? Perfect!!!
So, you see, it's not necessarily the perfect composition that makes a perfect shot. But the emotion that you can feel from it.
Jake's mom contacted me the night before prom to ask if I was available to photograph her son and his date. Even if I had plans, I'd have moved things around to be able to do this photo shoot!
We don't have proms in France, so I'm not very familiar with them. But I enjoy seeing all those high school kids in suits and evening gowns.
It was so cute to see Jake all dressed up; I've known him since he was a kid. Now he's a sophomore, and he was going with his friend Sierra to her prom. You've got to look at Sierra's dress, it's quite something! It looks like a Dancing with the Stars dress.
I am a French expat living in the USA, more precisely