Back during my 2nd year of medical school, I became good friends with 3 other guys who also came from orange county, California. We decided to share an apartment together. Even though we worked really hard and studied our asses off, we still had a lot of fun together. We have kept in touch ever since graduating school and make it a point to meet up for a BBQ once or twice a year. Everyone is married now and has kids. It seems like every time we have a get together, there is a new addition to our extended family. Between the 4 families, we have 9 little kids running around. It seems like each get together gets louder and louder with all the kids running and playing together. It is quite cute to see them all bonding. Of course there were some fights over toys as some of the kids ( Ethan in particular ) is still working on learning how to share. Hahaha.
Here is a shot of Sandy and Noah, our latest addition. People have asked me how come I have not taken many pictures of him. For awhile now, he has had pretty bad eczema on his face. He constantly itches and scratches at it. His face will turn red and he use to excoriate his face to the point where he bleeds. It was all quite a mess. Recently, we have been able to better control his eczema so I have been waiting for his face to improve before I started taking some pics.
Here's Ethan and his buddy Mathew. Ethan is almost 1 year older than Mathew but because he is actually below the entire growth curve for his age; he is actually smaller than Mathew. Everybody thinks Ethan is so cute because he talks so much for such a little guy. I think the difference in size will be quite noticeable once he starts preschool. He has a lot of catching up to do. Here, I wanted to get a shot of them together. I hope their friendship continues to grow as they get bigger. I made this a B&W shot to give it a classic look. It would be so cool if in the future when they were older they can look back at this cute shot.
A rare shot of yours truly. I'm usually the one behind the camera. Haha. I have to thank Kimmy for taking this shot actually.
Here is Audrey and Megan playing with the tricycles. Megan had 2 little girls at the party to play with which was quite a treat for her. They immediately bonded and went off to play tea party follow by pajama party. She was quite upset when it was time for them to go home.
This shot was taken with ambient light but it was heavily back lit. I played around with the shot in photoshop to improve the exposure on Megan. I like to take candid shots, but I'll tell ya. Taking candid shots of kids indoors with natural light is tough. They just don't sit still and look at the camera. Plus you often don't have enough light to freeze the motion. You can remedy this situation by using flash, but I'm just not a big fan of flash photography. Perhaps if I practice more on using flash properly, I could get better results.
I know. I know. I take a lot of head shot portraits. I think it comes from my training as a wildlife photographer using telephoto lenses all the time. I always liked how it brings the viewer into the photo and creates an intimacy with the subject. However, I do need to work on backing off and getting more of the surroundings and interactions into the composition. Habits are hard to break. Btw this is the older Mathew who is Brian and Julie's eldest son. I can't believe how tall he is getting now.
Good ole Tom. Our lives have changed quite a bit since sharing that apartment in medical school, but Tom will always be "Tom." Btw, I like your glasses. :P
This is Audrey. She is Charles and Sandy's eldest daughter. She will be starting 1st grade in the fall which is quite a moment for her and her family. She came by to visit her daddy while we were playing a board game. This shot was taken under fluorescent lighting which gives it a harsh yellow color tone. There are ways around this. You can shoot in raw format and then white balance it in adobe bridge. You can calibrate your camera to automatically white balance all shots under this particular lighting. Or you can use flash. All of these options require forethought and preparation but I was too lazy to do any of them. I did my best in photoshop to minimize the yellows and reds.
When we get together the 4 guys enjoy playing a strategy board game called Settlers of Catan. It is a game that we were randomly first exposed to during medical school. It is now a tradition for us. Much like old Chinese men playing majong, for us its Settlers of Catan. Here Tom the master strategist is carefully contemplating his next move. Again this shot was taken under yucky fluorescent lighting. There was a lot of red color in the skin tones so I added some cyan to help neutralize it a bit and cool off the picture. I went for a super close up shot on this one so that you can almost hearing him thinking.
Here is Brian teaching his youngest child, Nathan how to play the game. Nathan showed surprising understanding of the game considering his age. To quote Yoda, "The force is strong in this one..."
Mathew kept busy by playing this game on Tom's iphone. I forgot the name but it was one of the apps. You basically have to move these blocks and get the red one to exit the screen. It looks simple but is quite complicated actually. I couldn't even do one of the puzzles but I think Mathew got up to the high 20s.
Last shot of Noah and Kimmy watching the fish tank. Noah loves watching the fish swim around. Whenever he is having a tantrum, I will take him over and sit him down in front of the fish tank. He is fascinated with the colorful fish swimming around and eventually calms down. Watching the fish also helps to bring my blood pressure down too. LOL. I wish I had more shots of the ladies and all the kids. It was just too hard trying to host the party and keep an eye out for all the kids running around. Noah was also cranky so Sandy and I had to take turns holding him. Hopefully when he is older and needs less hands on attention, I can focus more on my photography at special events like this.
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