Tag Archives: wedding

Things I Learned From Ultimate Duo Queue

A couple of weeks back, I had the opportunity to attend my cousin Sam’s wedding in California.

I grew up with Sam, but I don’t remember much about him growing up.  All the memories I do have of him centered around video games.  Before working for Riot Games, he played games whenever he could.  He competed in professional gaming tournaments.  Many of the adults in his life dissuaded him, saying that he was wasting his life on video games.

When he joined Riot Games, he proved to everyone that you could do video games for a living.

Sam started from the bottom of Riot Games.  He helped out with player support.  Then he moved up to network operations.  Then he transitioned to assistant release manager.  Everywhere he went in Riot Games, he made life-long friends.

One of these life-long friends is Jing.

Now I don’t know much about Jing.  Even before I attended their wedding, I had only met Jing a couple of times.  Everything about Jing was a mystery to me.  I didn’t know how they met, nor did I know why they loved each other so much.

With the arrival of “Ultimate Duo Queue” all these questions would be answered.

On facebook, they had titled their wedding “Ultimate Duo Queue:  Sam & Jing are gettin’ married!”  For those of you who don’t play the game League of Legends, the term “ultimate duo queue” may seem strange as a title for a wedding.

I assure you, it is a fitting description.

In the game League of Legends, players who wish to play the game, get entered into a queue to wait for 9 other players to play with.  You’re going to get placed on a team of four random strangers and then asked to compete against another team consisting of five other strangers.

You don’t always have to play alone though.  If you have a friend to play with, you can duo queue.

This means that you both get entered into the queue together and this time the game will find 3 other players for you.  Duo queue ensures you guys don’t get separated into different queues.  You get to experience everything in the game together.  You either win together or lose together.

Duo queue is a partnership between two friends.  In this way, marriage can be described as ultimate duo queue.

Now, I will share with you all the things I learned from “Ultimate Duo Queue”.

#1.  Be Open To Change

During the wedding, Cory made a speech to congratulate Sam & Jing.  Cory is Sam’s best-friend since childhood.  In her speech, she describes how growing up, she used to call Sam “Ototo” and Sam would call Cory “Oneisan”.  Ototo means little brother in Japanese and Onesian means older sister.  These nicknames stuck because within their friendship, Cory was the sensible and caring one while Sam was the care-free and spontaneous one.

As they both grew older, the dynamics within their friendship changed.

Sam started to accumulate new life experiences by venturing out into the great unknown, while Cory stuck to what was safe and comforting.  Cory started to ask questions about life, while Sam shared his new found understanding of the world in order to help shed some light.  Cory no longer had to look after Sam.  Sam looked after himself and he also started to look after Cory too.

They both transitioned into new roles without missing a beat.

In general, people resist change.  Change is scary, especially when you’ve already settled down.  Change in power is even more unsettling.  Not many people can go from I’m in charge to I’ll let you be in charge.  People who take care of others, rarely accept other’s care in return.  They feel like they should be above it.  That by accepting help, they would no longer be qualified to help others anymore.

Change can be a scary thing.  That’s why it’s so nice to see people who are brave enough to accept it.

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FB Status Update: Started From the Bottom, Now I’m Here

Dad told me recently, “Taking pictures is a hobby. You need to stop bumming around and get your ducks in a row.”

What this usually means is he thinks photography is a dead end job with no prestige and honor. I should go back to being a teacher or engineer. Or maybe go back to school to be a doctor.

Friend told me recently, “You can’t make a living off of photography. It’s something you do on the side, after you have a career in something else.”

Which is true, because most of the well-known wedding/event photographers I know, do weddings on the side. They have a tax firm, electronic store, or cell phone service business that they run on the weekdays.

My Aunt told me, “Here’s a business loan for your photography business. You have to promise me that within one year, if things don’t go well you have to move onto something more stable.”

I only got 40 more days until my year is up.



People were getting to me and I was letting them get to me. I wasn’t going to give up photography up completely, but perhaps I would be able to sustain my photography passion with a stable income like librarian or computer lab manager.

It didn’t matter much what I did during the week, as long as during the weekends, I got to do what I loved the most.

Perhaps everyone was right all along. Perhaps last year was a waste. Perhaps I shouldn’t have put my life on hold and poured everything into photography.



Last Wednesday, replied to Craigslist post. Friday got called in interview. Left interview as a full-time architectural photographer with pay comparable to a full-time teacher.

Literally, had tears falling from my eyes because I was so happy. It felt like I just won the lottery. Similar to waking up from a beautiful dream only to realize that it wasn’t just a dream, it’s reality now.

Now, I don’t need to work, save money, and then to go spend it on something I truly love. I can do something I truly love, save money, and then chill until I can do something I truly love again. This is truly my dream job.



I appreciate all the friends and family who have supported me along the way. Friends critiquing my work. Family referring photography business to me. Inspiration and creativity were allowed to flourish with companions like you guys.

At the same time, I got nothing but love for my dad, aunt, and friend. They told me what they knew to be true. It was there own way of showing me love. Full-time photographers are unheard of. Well at least now, they can say they know one full-time photographer.

No photography courses/classes. No photography degrees/certificates. Learning it the hard way by just doing it. Definitely helped to have so many experienced photographers around me to give me tips/advice. Couldn’t have done it without them.



Started from the bottom, now I’m here.

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Movie Review: End of Watch

end_of_watch_ver3

***Spoiler Alert***

Synopsis:

Two cops who patrol south central Los Angeles which is overwhelmed by gangster activity.

The two cops are the best of friends and you are immediately drawn into the tight knit relationship they have as they patrol the streets.

They are very ambitious and have a keen idea on where the next crime scene will be.

Eventually they start sticking their nose in places they shouldn’t be and quickly get on the assassination lists of a Mexican cartel drug leader.

Final Thoughts:

I liked the pace of this movie simply because they transitioned quite easily from funny conversations to real life drama and action.

You are taken along on many patrols that lead to drug busts, shoot outs, and car chases.

In between, you get to see how the cop buddies squeeze in a normal life just like all of us which includes dating, quinceaneras, and funerals.

The movie’s ending allows me to see how fragile a life can be even though you hope that good will always prevail.

Ratings:

5/5

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Bridal Shoot: Nikki & Bobby

I found this lovely couple through Craigslist.  Craigslist has plenty of people looking for photographers, but it also has plenty of photographers looking for gigs.

For me, it’s always a hit or miss.  I’d probably send out maybe 10 emails and maybe get 1 response.  You never know who wants you until they want you.

This couple has something special that I wanted for my portfolio which was a wedding dress.  All my other shoots were done in casual attire.  So I was extremely excited for this shoot.

In this photo shoot, I personally wanted to challenge myself through my equipment choice.

Normally, I shoot with a Canon T3i camera & my 24-105 mm f/4L series Lens.

The interesting thing about this combination is that the lens cost $300 more then the camera.  (Body ~ $700 & Lens ~ $1000)

I have two other lens:

  1. 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 efs  (~$300)
  2. 50mm f/1.8 (~$100)

For the longest time, I haven’t touched any of these lens.

Why would you use your second-best or third-best lens?

Well I’ve always known that the 50 mm f/1.8 is great prime lens and supposedly it’s great for portraits.  The only downside from using the 50 mm f/1.8 is there is no zoom.

That means if I want a close up, I literally have to run 3 feet away from the couple to get my close-up and if I want a shot with the whole landscape, I had to move back like 20-30 feet.  It can be a great workout if that’s what your looking for.

I decided to challenge myself by using only the 50 mm f/1.8.

I could always switch to my more expensive lens, if things didn’t work out … but I actually forbid myself to before the shoot.

No bailing out on the challenge.

This was a do or die situation for me.  Make the best out of the 50 mm f/1.8 lens or … waste the whole photo shoot and have a really sad couple in the end.

Sometimes I can be quite stubborn with my rules and my criteria.

As it turned out, the pictures came out great.

Here’s a couple of my favorite pics:

As you can see, all three pics are the same location.  I took pictures at other places too such as a pond, hill, and bridge … but this walkway is by far my favorite place.

Before, the couple came, I got a chance to scout out the area and found this little walkway that had perfect lighting.  The trees provided cool shade and the perfect natural frame for the couple.  While at the very end of the walkway, there was an open area that let in all the sunlight.

It’s the perfect combination of shade and lighting that allows the bride & groom to be in the spotlight.

By the end of the photo shoot, I was tired from running around with my prime lens but glowing with joy because I knew I had some great photos.

I was extremely proud of myself for sticking with the challenge of using only my cheapest lens.  It proves that you don’t need the most expensive lens to capture beautiful pictures.

This is a link to the whole album:  https://photoscripts.wordpress.com/couples-2/wedding/

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