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Sarah K Chen Photography Blog bio picture

Welcome to my Blog!

I'm a simple person who loves photographing people and spending time with my husband and two little girls, Ellie (4) and Emmeline (1). My girls are my world and every day I wonder how I became so blessed to be their Mama.

When I'm not behind the camera I love to knit and sew cute things for my girls and bake cookies. My husband likes to say I'm a granny at heart, but I like to say I'm a woman of many talents. ;)

I also enjoy snowboarding, traveling and immersing myself in books. One day I will conquer Cornice and get down without snowplowing my way. I dream of traveling to Greece, Italy and Paris one day, but I have yet to convince the husband that traveling abroad with two little ones would be aweome. I'd also love to go camping and show my girls the joys of a perfectly toasted marshmallow and walking barefoot through an icy cold creek bed. And although I said it would never happen, I now read most of my books on my iPhone or iPad instead of a book. Have kids and you'll soon realize the gift of a built in light and always having your book with you.

I'm based in Orange County, California and ocassionally travel for shoots.

wppi : las vegas : recap

I came home from WPPI with so many thoughts and dreams and ideas floating around my head. Some I’ve already implemented and am moving forward with. Others will be more of a gradual process, but I’m excited for what’s in store. Primarily, I’d like start shooting  film at all my sessions. I realized that all my great big loves in the photography industry are all film shooters: Jose Villa (who shot our wedding), Elizabeth Messina, and Jonathan Canlas. Their styles are pretty different, but the look of their work is all so dream like and pretty. No crazy angles or lighting or tricks or poses. Just stunning images with gorgeous color.

I also realized that the only classes I was interested in going to at WPPI were those that shot film which left me wondering why I was shooting digital when my real love lies in film work. So, yeah. I’m putting it out there so you can all hold me accountable. I want to be a film shooter. Or at least shoot more film. I’ve been shooting personal work on my Contax on an almost daily basis and am having so much fun with it. I just got a call from Richard Photo Lab about my film being ready so hopefully I have some stuff to show you guys soon. I have a lot to learn, but it’s giving me so much joy already.

You know what they say about what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Well, all lies because I also came back from Vegas with a nasty cold that’s yet to go away.That may have something to do with the gross air quality in the hotels. Not seeing the light of day for nearly a week. Partying networking until 5am nearly every night. And getting very little sleep. But it was definitely worth it!

Some photos from WPPI – all taken with my Panny LX3 unless otherwise noted. Duc, Serena, Caroline, Me, Ming and Adrienne at the Airhorns and Lasers party at Tryst.

Here’s Michael, Caroline, Adrienne and I at the bar about to do some shots. Yes, we were really that excited to get the party started.

There may or may not be photos of me and Jose dancing up on a speaker at the Airhorns Party. Just saying.

Brandon is a friend of mine from Birmingham Alabama who second shot a wedding with me last year and has been a good friend ever since. I was so excited to have found him on the dance floor!

Me and Serena with Broke Ass Bride and her hubs! How cute are they?

The night came to an end when we all got hungry and headed over to the Venetian for a second dinner. I think there was about 20 of us, but my sleepy self only took a few pictures with Jason who’d just arrived to the party. Ed, Jason, Erin and Louis.

I was fortunate enough to hear both Elizabeth Messina and Jonathan Canlas speak about their work. It’s humbling to hear these very accomplished photographers speak with such love for what they do. And I have to also give a shout out to Natalie Norton who recently went through the hardest thing a Mother could ever endure and handled it with so much grace, strength, and hope. Thank you for allowing Jonathan to share your story with us. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house or a heart that wasn’t breaking along with yours. Me and Jonathan after his class. I have an arm full of Film is Not Dead tees! Ok, just two. One for me and one for hubs!

At the trade show we stopped by the Fuji booth and oogled the cuteness that is the Instax. Brandon at the booth took photos for us to take home. 🙂 We love Fuji! Photo from Serena.

Yes, those are snuggies. It was cold on that balcony! Wai, me, Adrienne, Serena and Alice at the Smug Mug Pro Slumber Party.

Me and the roomies (minus Caroline) in the photobooth having some fun.

Caroline, Me, Alice, Jason, Erwin, Erwin W, Alex, Wai and Eva at Studio 54 later that same night.

The last night in Vegas Serena, Caroline, Adrienne and I splurged on a decadent meal at Craftsteak. The restaurant is really gorgeous without being too stuffy. We indulged in the kobe filet mignon, kobe skirt steak, lobster bisque, hot rolls, yukon puree, assorted mushrooms and garlic spinach = happy tummy. It was seriously one of the best meals I’d ever had. Even after I was full I kept putting more food in my mouth.

Leaving the MGM. We stood in the lobby, four very tired and kind of sick girls with aching feet trying to figure out whether we should walk to the car with all our luggage or wait curbside with the luggage while one person got the car. Seriously, it took us 10 minutes to decide. Our feet really hurt.

On the way home we stopped by the Mad Greek where we ran into the Lyons, the Sloans as well as the cutie sisters of Events of Love and Splendor. I knew I had to try the Strawberry shake and it didn’t disappoint. But what’s up with my umbrella? It looks like it went through a tornado. Hm…

On our way home we stopped out in the middle of nowhere when the light got all soft and pretty to shoot some casual portraits of each other. I shot all in film and am waiting to get my film back, but in the mean time you can check out Caroline and Serena’s blogs for their images. Here are a couple portraits they took of me. I’m never, ever in front of the lens so it’s nice to have these for myself. Thanks girls!

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