Sometimes you have to take a look back in order to move forward. 2011 was an incredible year. My 2010 post last year took almost a month (off and on) to complete. This time around has been no different trying to balance actual work with personal projects, while maintaining a social life can be challenging. 2011 was a year of travel and exploration.
As always I’m looking forward to documenting another year and seeing what lies ahead, but for now enjoy the journey that was 2011. Here are a few highlights from the year and the rest can be found on my personal blog in Part 1 and Part 2.
DUB magazine wanted to feature the Project Lincoln MKX we built for the previous SEMA tradeshow. For the cover shot notable LA photographer Estevan Oriol shot the vehicle with designer James Bond of UNDFTD. I backed up him up on the shoot and a few of my images were selected for the article. Great experience working with a photographer as established as Oriol.
I was selected to be a Lipton BRISK Influencer and take part in a summit in New York. This was a fantastic trip as I was able to celebrate my birthday in New York with a few close friends as well along with the once in a lifetime experiences on the trip. From bowling with actor Danny Trejo, hiking through Central Park for my first time, to partying at the Ace Hotel with Q-tip (A Tribe Called Quest) as the DJ.
After building the 2011 Scion TC I was able to partner with Incipio Technologies to design a custom iPhone 4 case. The case took inspiration from the livery of the build and about 50 were made and given out to select friends, industry and media. It was a great first collaboration to be a part of and I look forward to more in the future.
The Project Lincoln MKX received plenty of attention and after seeing the car in person. Travis Barker, drummer of Blink 182, wanted to have his Escalade wrapped. We documented the project for Wraptivo and I was able to grab a couple quick shots of the musician in front of his vehicle.
Another one of my close friends asked me to take their family portraits. I happily obliged and we selected the perfect location in Orange County that reflected the family’s fashionable and youthful spirit. This was one of my favorite photos from the shoot showing a very photogenic Harlow, while Mom and Dad stood by her side.
Each year I look forward to the Long Beach Grand Prix. Living in Downtown Long Beach has its perks and this is one of them. Having worked with both Formula DRIFT and the LBGP for the past few years also has its perks. During the practice during media day for the Toyota Celebrity Race I was able to match up Formula DRIFT driver Ken Gushi with MMA veteran Tito Ortiz in the classic stare down. Tito ended up crashing out in the race, while Ken beat out all of the other pro drivers.
I tested out the new Lexus CT200H. To truly test the vehicle’s gas saving performance as well as get a feel for the new car a road trip was in order. Traveling to Needles, CA for a weekend at the river the CT200H was the perfect car for the trip. I found an old train station to take a few shots of the golden colored Lexus against the old red paint of the train, which created a nice contrast with the fading sun in the background.
The conclusion of the “Lean In” campaign was filmed at a loft in Hollywood of the lead singer of the band the Bravery. The band sat down to talk about their music, traveling and of course the thrill of riding. The overall project turned out to be a huge success and great experience. The video campaign received plenty of attention as well as the trailer was used for a commercial on Fuel TV. I look forward to doing more of this type of work in the future.
After traveling much of the first part of the year. A much needed and relaxing break was in order. But knowing me I took the time to travel on a camping trip to Lake Powell and Zion National Park. Taking the ID Agency Lincoln MKX made the trip much easier and comfortable. I haven’t posted these photos before (computer issues) so here for the first time is my rendition of Peter Lik’s famous “Ghost” taken in the same caves in the Antelope Canyon. Traveling with a couple photography friends made this a little easier to navigate through and know how to work the now popular tourist destination. Timing is key to get the right amount of sunlight to peek through.
During the second part of this camping adventure to Arizona we visited the famous Horseshoe Bend near Lake Powell, AZ. While we waited for sunset and fought the high wind, which caused sand to fly everywhere (not the best scenario for photography – or to wear shorts for that matter). The image shown is the result…not entirely happy with it, but best I could do given the conditions and without exposing my equipment to the elements.
May 30, 2011 | Zion National Park, Utah
On the way back from Lake Powell we stopped for the evening at Zion National Park in Utah. This beautiful and scenic park had gorgeous landscapes and great trails for hiking, which I was reminded quickly how much a carbon fiber tripod would of been appreciated. I was able to experiment in the evening with long exposures and the above image is the result.
The annual E3 convention is always fun to check out and be part of. This year was no different as we planned the launch event for Forza Motorsport 4. This event took months of preparation and work to be as successful as it was. From the great group of attendees, stunning collection of cars on display to the surprise appearance of Top Gear’s Stig it was a night to remember. Yet the highlight of the evening was the performance by the legendary DJ Mix Master Mike and Travis Barker. This photo was taken during their sound test that lasted about an hour and in front of maybe 15 or so people only…amazing.
This year was the year of the bike for me. Anything with 2-wheels for some reason I found myself around. It started with Ducati and continued to Lossa Engineering and founder Jay LaRossa. Jay is known for his cafe racer style bike builds, but has roots in everything from mini truckin to BMX racing. I was able to hang out with him a few times and learned his story. We pitched Skinnie magazine to cover this interesting and talented builder and they asked me to provide photos since they were on deadline. I actually shot him two separate times as I was unhappy with the first set of photos. The second time around I really wanted to showcase him rather than just the bikes and was happy with the end results.
You’re welcome. Taken at Evergreen Speedway right before the Formula DRIFT podium ceremony begun.
I purposefully haven’t included many photos from Formula DRIFT events. I’ve had the great opportunity and pleasure to have traveled with the Series and manage the media relations now for the past 5 years. Each year is a new adventure and even though we visit mostly the same locations from Seattle to New Jersey to Atlanta and everywhere else it is still enjoyable. This photo was taken from the paddock at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway right as the extreme temperatures finally started to dip and the sun was setting and we began our evening for practice at the track.
After working with designer James Bond of Undefeated on the Lincoln MKX project I have been inspired to be more creative. So when the opportunity came about to work with him again on a new project that featured him as a designer I jumped at the chance. Visiting his studio space I was able to watch him while he worked and capture a few behind the scenes photos that would later be used for the client’s website and ad campaign. The ad ran in Antenna magazine and the project is still on-going.
The 2011 Formula DRIFT season came to a close in dramatic fashion. Entering the event the Top 5 drivers had a chance to win the overall championship with many scenarios playing out. This by far was one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting, drifting event I have ever witnessed. In the end, my good friend and now Formula DRIFT champion, Daijiro Yoshihara stood on top of the podium to celebrate his monumental accomplishment.
So when my good buddy asked me to help him with his new Crossfit location by taking some photos and helping build his website I couldn’t say no. This year I have slacked off and haven’t worked out as much as I should, but it’s been tough to find the extra time. Crossfit is a great work out program and I highly recommend it to anyone that can stay committed. I did manage to find the time (mostly late nights) to schedule this photoshoot and build www.crossfitdowney.com – check it out and if interested in enrolling let me know.
I rarely take the camera out and shoot in my hometown. But on this particular evening as I was walking to a shoot at the Aquarium I stopped to take a couple photos at the Pike and on the bridge. Long Beach is full of great scenery and imagery and I should really take advantage of being here, while I have the chance. Maybe this year I’ll make a point to get some unique photos.
The Long Beach Aquarium annual Sea Fare fundraiser is not only for a good cause, but also for good eats. When my friend asked me to come down to check it out and try a few treats I couldn’t resist. Her company Decadence had a booth showcasing a wide range of desserts, all of which were tasty. Given the unique setting inside the Aquarium that was darkly lit and also busy with people I was able to grab a few food photos. If you need a dessert bar for an event visit her new Facebook Page.
Continuing with a new client’s project that features a set of lifestyle brand ambassadors I was able to visit the legendary graffiti artist and founder of Dizzizit clothing, Slick at his studio. Watching the artist get up in person was a treat as he spray painted his famous “LA hands.”
My brother asked me if I would shoot his baby shower invitation photos. We selected a location during sunset that was nearby and was able to get a few shots for him. Reflecting back to this shoot now after his son was born is surreal.
My good friend, Jon Sibal, took top honors in the Scion Tuner Challenge with his iQ concept. As an accomplished illustrator and artist he can now put project car winner in his portfolio adding to the long list of milestones. I can’t wait to work together on the next project car and hopefully we can do something this coming year.
After a hectic, but amazing year can winding down we planned a trip to Costa Rica. Costa Rica has been on the top of my list for vacation destinations for a long time. The vacation was truly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had from simply relaxing on the beach to surfing to eating fresh seafood to the ziplines to the white water rafting. That is how all vacations should be and I understand now how people can drop everything to live there for the rest of their lives. I didn’t shoot too much with the 7D (long story), but did what I could with my S90 point and shoot. I experience “Pura Vida” and can’t wait to do it again.
A good friend of mine, DJ Reflex hosted Common’s listening event in a very intimate setting at the Sayer’s Club. As a huge fan of Common since the early 90’s I was excited to see him and eventually meet him in person. He performed songs and gave insight to them off his new album, “The Dreamer / The Believer.” Wish I brought my 7D, but I was happy to be able to enjoy the entire show up close.
Behind the scenes at the ID Agency Ford Focus Super Street shoot. We invited rider Michael Chacon, aka Mike on a Bike, down for the shoot and I captured him doing his thing in the warehouse. This kid is extremely talented and I expect to see him blow-up very soon.
Since we were in San Diego already for the rally we also checked out the Red Bull No Limits event. Thanks to a friend we scored media access and was able to check out the stunt from a pirate ship with the perfect vantage point. Minus the fog that rolled in the stunt was well executed and unbelievable to see in person as you could see how far these guys really jumped and how crazy they are. We ended the year in style with a nice dinner and champagne toast. “Keep it classy, San Diego.”
Normally, this post would be done, but I’m just too proud of my new nephew to pass it up. Liam Riley Pangilinan was born a few days after the new year and I am now officially getting old. I look forward to the many adventures that 2012 will bring.