February 25, 2007

Year of God's Blessings

2007 is not only the year of the Pig, it is the Year of the Golden Pig. According to Chinese Foklore, this is an event that occurs once in every 60 years (or even 600, depending on which astrologer one consults) and will ensure that a baby born on this year will experience a prosperous and wealthy life.

We don't believe in folklores but I'll admit that kind of adds a little more icing to an already sweet cake. For Lily and I this is the Year of God's Blessings because we're expecting our second child in September! I can't describe how elated I am and thankful for this wonderful blessing. Here is her ultrasound from a couple of weeks ago (we are now in our 11th week)

February 23, 2007

Los Angeles Photography

Miguel and I were scouting locations in Downtown Los Angeles a few weeks ago for a project we're working on together. We ended up chatting with a few gentlemen on the streets and they had some interesting stories as to how they came to L.A.

In the process of getting to know these gentlemen we realized that each of them had a story to tell. Let me introduce Brent who ended up in Los Angeles about six years ago after being beaten and abducted. Since that time his life has been a tale of survival and he wanted us to come back and hear the complete story.

And this is Red from buffalo. His world was turned upside down after a series of events that brought him to L.A.

Their stories will continue as we gather more photos and details.
Tags: Los Angeles photographers, urban photojournalism, exploring photography

February 20, 2007

Joy Williams

I listen to The Fish on the radio and heard that Joy Williams was going to be in town for a concert at Biola University. It's just a block from my house and I love her music so I jumped on the opportunity to get tickets. Joy totally ROCKED the house!

The other artists were: Shawn McDonald

Bethany Dillon

and John Ellis

It was a night to remember! (click here for the teaser)

February 06, 2007

Corporate Photography Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey

It's such a blessing to cover corporate events once in a while. I'm documenting the Toyota Financial Services (TFS) Brand Energizer Conference 2007 this week at the Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey.

From the moment I stepped out of my car I knew I was in for an experience. Each employee greeted me with genuine smiles and by the time I got to the check in counter, they were all calling me "Mr. Bumatay" - and they even pronounced my name correctly! (boo muh tie) The check in was smooth and quick, but I stayed a little bit because I was engaged in a pleasant conversation with the Ritz associates. And they didn't just point me to the elevator, they continued our conversation by walking with me to it. That's beyond customer service, I don't even know what to call it!

This conference is all about embedding the TFS brand which involves excellence in customer focus, speed, integrity, unity of purpose, and performance. And what better place to use as an example of branding than the Ritz Carlton?

The conference kicked off with a dinner cruise on a yacht. Although this night turned out to be really foggy, everyone still had a great time!

View from the yacht - the Ritz looked so majestic despite the fog.

Facilitator Rick Wood did a fantastic job leading the conference with his unique style of teaching. But if anybody were even a second late to each session, there were consequences...

each person that was tardy had to do the "I was late cheer"!

The second night was a treat to one of my favorite restaurants - Cheesecake Factory!

Here are the Brand Energizers that came from all over the U.S. for this event.

If I were to work a corporate job all over again, I would wish it were for Toyota. They truly know how to be the brand!

Tags: Ritz Carlton photos in Marina del Rey, Toyota Corporate events photography, special events photographer, corporate portraits, Los Angeles professional photographer Greg Bumatay