Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Time at Town & Country

On a visit to Town & Country Rentals in Pasadena today, I stumbled upon this very beautiful Spring time table setting.

Town & Country is a really great place to gain inspiration for your wedding or event.

The "Ugliest" Area of Pasadena

When I was a kid, my family and I would frequently travel through the intersection of Fair Oaks Ave and Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. During those times in the early 80's, this area was so very dilapidated and neglected. I can recall that the area appeared like a run down ghost town covered in layers and layers of soot. Once colorful business signs were faded and reflective of times that once were. I remember that every single time we passed this area in our car, my aunt would emphatically make the same repeated statement; "This is the ugliest area of Pasadena." Perhaps she said it only once or twice, but this statement stayed in my mind until this day because the visions of the time, matched the statement. Yet, despite the depressed state of this area, one can easily see that in it's heyday, it must have been a very vibrant and energetic center of the city.

Flash forward to the late 80's, as an early teen I saw and visited small independent shops and boutiques that began to sprout here at there. A slight clean up effort was taking place but still not a lot of foot traffic. However, this small effort must have made many see the possibility of this area.

Then in the early 90's, this area which was now becoming well known as Old Town Pasadena began to flourish as a center to shop, dine and hang out. It was an exciting time to see these old buildings receive new colorful coats of paint. Most structures were being revived of their former glory inside and out. Streets were rehabilitated. As a young adult, it was a really great place to take a date, watch a movie and have dinner.

Since this time, Old Town has seen many well known and national retailers move in. It's face is constantly changing but still maintains it's energetic vibrancy from those exciting initial days. I don't visit Old Town as frequently as I did when I was younger. Partly due to the large crowds and partly because at my age, I feel like there is not much there for me. But that story is for another day.

I've recently come across a post of photographs that illustrate what Old Town Pasadena looked like in those early 80's. If you have visited Old Town before, you will see a stark difference. If you are someone who remembers what Old Town looked like before, these photographs will provide much nostalgia.

Commercial Building on Colorado Boulevard, Jake's Diner

Commercial Building on Union Street

Commercial Building on Colorado Boulevard, Wood & Jones

You can see more from the collection here: Our Heritage: The Revitalization Movement of Old Pasadena

Monday, April 22, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fruit of the Harem - Winner at 2013 WPPI Print Competition

We won!!!

So in January of this year, I decided to pursue WPPI's 16x20 Print Competition. It happens to be one of the most renowned competitions in our industry. It's judged by a panel of prestigious portrait photographer's from all over the world. I don't know if it's the absolute biggest of all print competitions but I do know it's the biggest one I know and I have been in this business for 10 years.

Well guess what? We won! We won first prize in the Glamour/Boudoir category and Grand Prize for the entire Portrait division! I am also so very elated to state that our print scored a perfect 100. From what I am told, there have been about 5 perfect 100 scores in the last 15 years of WPPI print competitions. That number is adjustable depending on who I ask so don't take me to school on that.

Here is the winning print:

In making the decision to enter, I wanted to select just the right piece of work. I decided on this selection from a series that was created and inspired by an Ingres painting. My sister Ximena helped with the make up and styling for this particular series. I sent this image to my master print maker, Jonathan Penney. He created the beautiful magic that was needed to make this baby a winner. He selected the final appearance of this portrait, the right paper to display it on and matting which are all essential ingredients for a winning print.

All of this collaboration culminated in a winning print! I am so, so very honored in the most humbling way to be recognized by peers in my industry. Although I do not know who the judges where as of now, I am eternally grateful to them for this great honor.

Here is the wonderful message I received from WPPI:

Dear Aaron Gil: 

Thank you for entering the WPPI 16x20 Print competition. We had an extraordinary response this year and we appreciate your participation. We are proud to report we received 2,000 entries, which is nearly 25 percent more than last year! Your work sets the bar for our industry, and this year's competition is one to be proud of! From the entire crew at WPPI, thank you for all your hard work! 

Below you will find your image entry number and score. If you did not score an 80 or above, you may want to consider some of the basic tenets of good image-making: proper exposure, lighting excellence, good posing and expression, adequate retouching and excellent postproduction techniques. 

Here is a guide to help you determine the value of your score: 

100 Exemplary - Best possible use of all skills and creativity: new, fresh, and unique 
95-99 Superior - Approaching the highest standard in imagination, creativity and technique 
90-94 Outstanding - Exhibiting exceptional skills in all areas 
85-89 Excellent - Very good use of imagination, skill & technique 
80-84 Above Average - Good standard of professional skill, creativity, and technique 
76-79 Average - Average professional skill and technique 
70-75 Below Average - Requires improvement in technique 

Your WPPI 16x20 Print Competition Results 
1ST PLACE Grand Award Winner 
Score: 100.00 
Your Title:Fruit of the Harem 

Lastly, here are the awards proudly displayed in the studio!

FotoNuova is a family portraits photographer providing services in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County and throughout all of Southern California. For more information, please visit our website at: Family Portraits Photographer | FotoNuova or call 626-588-2445

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mother & Daughter Portrait

Sometimes we are hard pressed with finding a unique and perfect Mother's Day gift for the mommies in our lives.  Did I ever tell you about the one year I was so uninspired that I purchased an atrocious, plastic, fuchsia colored wall clock for my mom?  To give this story more ridiculous poignancy, this was in my adult years too.  This was in the 90's which explains the plastic fuchsia.  

Needless to say, I got a very uninspired and disappointed "thank you" in return from my mom, complete with a forced smile and all.  

This year, if you are on the search for something truly unique, please consider our;

Limited Edition Mother & Daughter Portrait

This month we honor the very special bond between a mother and her daughter.  It's been our wish for quite some time to create something unique that expresses love and beauty.  We believe that this special, limited edition mother & daughter portrait says both and we hope you do as well.  This is dedicated to all of you mother's out there that have a very special bond and relationship with your daughter.

Our limited edition mother & daughter portrait will be offered for a limited time.  Please call the studio to reserve your mother & daughter portrait:  626-588-2445.


For your limited edition mother & daughter portrait creation with a remastered wall gift print.  Regularly $569.  Limited availability.  Expires April 30, 2013.

Call 626-588-2445 to reserve your limited edition mother & daughter portrait!

FotoNuova is a family portraits photographer providing services in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County and throughout all of Southern California. For more information, please visit our website at: Family Portraits Photographer | FotoNuova or call 626-588-2445

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Family Portraits Photographer Los Angeles

Here are a few beautiful family portraits captured recently by family portraits photographer FotoNuova. FotoNuova is an award winning Los Angeles photographer that specializes in family, baby and maternity portraits. Our aim is to create emotional and loving portraits that will endure a very long lifetime.

Contact FotoNuova today for your complimentary chat! 626-588-2445

FotoNuova is a family portraits photographer providing services in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County and throughout all of Southern California. For more information, please visit our website at: Family Portraits Photographer | FotoNuova or call 626-588-2445