photography

How to Shoot a Professional Portrait

Today everyone is photographer.

It is true that the selfie is now more popular than the portrait. But as someone who has been taking peoples’ portraits for 14 years (10 of those years professionally) — I have to say that there is no selfie that can outdo a portrait that truly captures someone’s essence.

I have spent over a decade perfecting my portrait work. Here a few pointers that I have learned along the way:

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Motherhood

A Practical Guide to Your First Year of Motherhood

Be gentle on yourself. Motherhood is already challenging and draining enough to add constant self criticism and mom-guilt on top of it. Yes, it is harder said than done — but it is imperative to remind yourself that your best IS good enough and always will be. Take a deep breath mama, you’ve got this.

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Family

On Dating a First Generation Korean Man

I have always loved learning about other cultures. The cuisine, social customs, smells, attire, traditions and history of all countries and heritages intrigue me. World history and geography were my favorite subjects in school and my closest friends have ranged anywhere from Haitian to Indian to Persian. Similar to my own DNA, my social circle is a giant melting pot and I would not have it any other way.

That is why, almost six years ago, I was so caught off guard at the challenges that I faced when I started dating into a Korean family.

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Travel

Why I Feel Guilty When I Travel

My mother bought me a globe when I was a little girl.

I stared at it for hours, daydreaming of foreign lands while I traced the outlines of faraway countries and memorized their funny sounding monikers. I must have been the only kid in the first grade who knew where was Svalbard was.

I was born to an multicultural family of nomads and globe trotters. My mother’s father was the definition of a rolling stone (he still drives across the country in his early 70’s) and her mother and stepfather were international chefs who trained and cooked around the world. My father grew up caravanning around Europe, the Middle East, and Africa alongside my hippie grandparents and even attended primary school in South Africa. Traveling is who we are.

That is why I never thought I would see the day when traveling would make me feel guilty.

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Motherhood

On Pregnancy

I knew I was pregnant the moment it happened. The pregnancy test was just a formality for me. Even still — when I saw those two pink lines, I could not believe it. I was going to be a mother. It is true that we had wanted a baby, that we had planned for this baby, but the fact that there was actually a baby growing inside my body was a concept that I could not wrap my brain around. Nothing and no one could have prepared me for the experience that is pregnancy.

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Motherhood

My Pre-pregnancy Plan

I was 23-years-old when I became pregnant for the first time.

Youth was on my side.

I made my best attempt at creating a stress-free and healthy pregnancy, but most of my efforts began after conception. This is something I would like to approach differently the next time around.

Here is my plan for preparing for Baby Kim #2:

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Travel

Today I am Grateful for: Thanksgiving in Chicago

In 2013, I flew to Chicago, Illinois to spend Thanksgiving with my mother over a long weekend. It would be my first time visiting and I was absolutely overcome with excitement. Chicago had been on my bucket list for quite some time primarily due to The Oprah Show. I had also just started dating Dan Kim who happened to be a big Chicago Bears fan.

For us California girls, it was a strikingly cold weekend despite the lack of snow (to my dismay). Despite the uncomfortable temperature, we tried to hit the major tourist destinations: The Chicago Bean, the Willis Tower and the Skydeck, and Millennium Park.

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