Christine Chang Photography Blog » Recent work, Photo Tips, & Random Rants by Christine Chang.

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  • Christine Chang

    Wedding Photographer. Adventurer. Ninja.

    Lover of brussels sprouts, chubby dogs, and theme parks.

    My interest in photography began in grade school. I would set up my "portrait studio” in the living room by hanging a bed sheet and shining house lamps toward it. Fast forward 20 years and today I am living my dream as a worldwide photographer based in Los Angeles.

    Here you will find some of my recent work along with adventures, personal growth, and other random banter.

Teresa & Mahyar are the kind of couple you want to put in your pocket and bring with you everywhere.  The first time they came over for their consultation I asked if they wanted something to drink.  I said, “I have water, coconut water, or beer.”  They didn’t hesitate and chose beer.  That’s when I knew we would be instant BFFs.

They picked UC Irvine to do their engagement session because that’s where they met (10 years ago!).  They knew the campus would be perfect for a photoshoot with tons of different architecture, texture, and of course, amazing light. :)

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Home of the Anteaters.

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Let it pour.

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They both said they miss school.  I definitely DO NOT.  The thought of finals … ack!!

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We were taking romantic photos with a lovely duck couple swimming in the fountain, when two male bully ducks flew in and tried to steal the female!  It was a really aggressive fight – like a duck gang bang!

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Looking forward to their Chinese/Persian wedding this summer!

  • Yogesh - March 26, 2015 - 10:25 pm

    Christine, I liked this set of photos. Unlike many other photographers in the domain, your work gives a sense of casualness and the fun part of a shoot. Looks like the picture were just taken without even letting the couple notice. Keep up the work!

I was in India, at a wedding, getting ready to call it a night.  On my way out I walked past a group of guys and one of them said, “Hey, you’re the photographer from LA, right?…  The groom told me about you…  I’m applying to go to film school in NYC or LA…”

We talked for about 2 minutes and connected on WhatsApp.  While in India, all my time had been consumed with the wedding so I hadn’t gotten a chance to see anything.  A couple days later it worked out that my afternoon was free.  I received a message from him:

“Have you seen Mehrangarh Fort?”

“No.”

He said  I should definitely see the Fort.

“Pick you up at your hotel at 3:00?”

“Ok…”

He showed up wearing Marc Jacobs sunglasses and a blazer.  “I’m going to change, I came straight from work.”

When we arrived at the Fort, he handed me a ticket, some headphones, and sent me on my way in.  “I’ll see you back out here in a hour.”

I looked at him confused.  “You aren’t going to come in?”

“I’ve seen it a million times.  I’ll give you some space to explore it on your own, and I know you’ll want to take photos.  Meet you back here in an hour or so!”

The Fort was amazing.  I listened to a few things on the headset and spoke to some locals.  They asked to take a picture with me, as they giggled and threw up peace signs.

One of my favorite photos I took in India, inside the Mehrangarh Fort.

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I walked by a sign that said, “Palm reader.”  One of the things I really wanted to do while in India was get a psychic reading!  Excited, I stepped into the tiny office.  The man was in his 60’s and looked like a professor.  Mustache + glasses + maroon sweater vest.  For 600 rupees (10 bucks), he took one glance at my palm and told me EVERYTHING about my personality.  He knew when I had met the loves in my life (and when I’ll meet the next one).  He knew I changed careers at 26.  He knew I had one sister and that my mom tied her tubes after having me.  He knew things about me I’ve never told anyone.

Just as he was finishing the office phone rang.  He said a few things in Hindi and then nodded his head twice.  He handed me the phone.  “It’s for you.”

Perplexed is an understatement.  Who the HECK would be calling me in a tiny psychic shop in India?  I slowly put the rotary phone to my ear like I was in the Matrix…

“Hello?”

“Hey, get down right now!  We’re going ziplining and the last group is leaving.”

“Uh…ok.  How did you know I was in here?”

“Don’t worry about it… We gotta go!”

I handed the phone back to the palm reader.  He hung it up, smiled, and said, “What did I tell you?  You have a lot of admirers.”

I gave a hesitant smile, handed him 600 rupees, and walked toward the exit.  There stood my date.

“Seriously, how did you know I was in there?”

He smiled and said, “I just knew.”

In my heeled boots I clumsily ran through the cobblestone streets.  My date laughed and asked what size shoe I was.  I said 39.

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We arrived to the ziplining office.  He threw me a pair of size 39 sneakers and his buddy strapped me into a harness while handing me a clipboard saying, “Sign here.”  We ran a bit more (much easier in sneakers) and before I knew it I was strapped to a zipline cruising around town like Zorro.

“What did I tell you – it’s amazing at sunset, huh?”

“I’ve never seen anything like it.”

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On our way out I played with a stray dog.  She looked healthy and rabies free.

Mehrangarh Fort

My date looked at me.  “Want to go shopping?”

I wanted to squeal but instead said, “…Sure.”

He took me to a hidden wholesale supplier.  The shop was in the old part of town where the streets are narrow and chaotic at every hour. My date laughed as he watched me dodge tok-toks and cows like we were in a video game.  I ended up buying a hand-sewn rug that I will hang up as an art piece.

After shopping we went to a swanky hotel rooftop for dinner overlooking the city.  We sipped wine and chomped on skewers.  I looked out at the view.

“What are all the houses covered in Christmas lights?”

“It means someone in the family is getting married.”

“Wow, a lot of people are getting married…”

It was time to call it a night.  On the way back to drop me off he said, “We didn’t have dessert.  Do you want some?.”  I said sure.  He pulled over and went up to a food cart swarming with locals.  “Here.”  He handed me a condensed milk pistachio popsicle through the car window.  “It’s street food, but GOOD street food.”  He watched me take a bite and ran back to the stand.  He came back to put a foil plate and napkins on my lap.  I finished the entire thing as we pulled up to the hotel.

“Thanks for showing me around, that was super fun!  Let me know if you end up coming to NY or LA for film school.”

He smiled.  “I will.”

There was no kiss but a nice hug.

That was the end of my best date ever.  The details of what happened aren’t important.  It wasn’t the best date ever because of the specific things we did or because I’m going to marry this guy.  Like with anything else in life, it had little to do with the external factors, and EVERYTHING to do with being open-minded and saying YES.

Magic happens when you say YES.

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  • Mawiyah - March 12, 2015 - 1:30 pm

    best post ever! Goose bumps :)

  • imman - March 12, 2015 - 7:23 pm

    awwww this sounds like an adventure out of a story! haha I’m glad you had an amazing time :D

  • Peter Trinidad - March 13, 2015 - 12:38 am

    I hope you will get to shoot more marriages in India. Being in the right place with the right type can make a great holiday out of a business trip and just like this one. All the best!

  • C - March 13, 2015 - 3:34 am

    Love the pics, and also the post! I’ve been a silent reader for almost a year now, and I get really inspired by your posts (not just the art, also the stuff about how you’re really adventurous–as seen here!). Cheers!

  • maraki - March 13, 2015 - 5:38 am

    Super!!!!

I don’t consider my photo sessions a formal shoot, it’s more like spending an afternoon with someone.  Be present and enjoy what you are doing first, photos second.  To me, that is the only way to produce quality work.

Jeffrey Vincent Parise

Shot with Mamiya645 + Canon 5D MKIII

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I had extra film to take the remainder of the photos below and they are the ones I love most.  The inbetween moments that make you remember a day…

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After the formal portraits we walked to Echo Park Lake to catch the sunset.  Jeff told me he has good luck finding things he’s looking for, whether it be a piece of furniture someone is throwing out, firewood, or in this case, random produce.  I call this LIVING IN ALIGNMENT.

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A shot from Jonalyn & Ed’s wedding last week.

Her vows:  I promise to try to cook as good as your mom, and the food truck guy…

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Early in my career I was assisting for another photographer who had luxury clients.  Not to say all luxury clients are like this, but these people were NOT nice (I had to use everything in me not to use expletives right there).

Many things happened that day, but this one in particular stood out.  It was cocktail hour.  The patio was crowded, and by accident her mom got bumped and spilled a little champagne that landed on the bride’s dress.  The bride yelled, “MOM!” with a furious look on her face, while her mom just stood there not knowing what to say.  Her mom’s friend asked her what was wrong and her mom softly said, “She’s upset about her dress.”

Her mom tapped her daughter on the shoulder to ask if she would take a photo with her friends who traveled from far away to attend the wedding, but the bride would not turn around.  She was mad and continued to ignore her.  Her mom looked like she was going to burst into tears.  It broke my heart into a thousand pieces.

Everything was about show, and nothing was about love.  I knew from that moment that if I can help it, I NEVER, EVER want to be surrounded by people like that.

I am EXTREMEMLY lucky that from the way I brand myself, the only people who contact me are those with similar values.  Jonalyn and Ed’s wedding last week reminded me of everything that I think is truly important in life:

1. Acknowledging others. Especially those who make you the person you are today.

During the ceremony, Jo and Ed took turns acknowledging both sets of parents in their native tongues (Ed learning Tagalog, and Jo learning Spanish). Jo choked as she started.  “Mama, Papa…” 

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There truly is a correlation between how one treats their parents and how they treat their significant other.

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2. Having fun…

Simple and easy, but sometimes we forget to do it!

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3. Showing your love…

Jo bought Ed that guitar for his birthday.  He surprised her with playing “Here comes the Sun” by The Beatles.  She sang along with him.  They often sing together at home. 

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4. And most importantly, being KIND.

One of Ed’s buttons popped off before the ceremony.  Mama was there quickly with needle and thread in hand.

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Thank you Jonalyn and Ed, for filling up my love tank!

  • Carla - March 18, 2015 - 1:30 pm

    I loved this wedding! Those vows almost made me cry.

I went to Sedona last weekend.

One afternoon my friends and I went to Angel Valley.  We sat down in the office for an informative lecture before checking out the grounds.  During the site we learned that Angel Valley is known to be a landing site for extraterrestrials and angels.  It is also home to gnomes and fairies if you choose to see them.

As the old man was saying all this, I couldn’t help but think he was crazy.  I have a side of me that is extremely logical.  It’s the way I grew up . . . strictly science . . . I’ll believe it when it when I see it.

I also have a very spiritual side and believe that not everything has to be understood or seen to exist.  The way the old make spoke reminded me that anything is possible if you choose to believe it.  Who am I to say he is wrong just because I’ve never seen it before?

The meditation labyrinth at Angel Valley.  I can’t say that I do or don’t believe in mythical creatures, but I did not see anything out of the ordinary that day.

Angel Valley, Sedona

It made me think of a good old friend – Jay Pullano.  We worked at the same restaurant when I first moved to LA 8 years ago.  When it was slow he would come to the host stand where I stood and talk about all the spiritual stuff he was reading.  Sometimes he would grab a spoon or fork off a table.  He would stare at it for 20 seconds, close his eyes to meditate with it, open his eyes and stare at it, and again close his eyes to meditate with it…

This went on for lengths at a time.  I would look at him with a question mark hovering over my face.

“What are you doing, Jay?”

“I’m learning to bend this with my mind…”

All I could do was shake my head and think - I love you Jay, even if you are going through this hippie, psychedelic phase. 

We always got along great and have a high level of respect for each other despite our differences.

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Jay ended up giving up all his possessions and moving somewhere off the beaten path.  I didn’t know where he was.  He got rid of his cell phone so we rarely talked.  He came back a year later for my birthday.

I had everyone over for dinner.  We were in my kitchen and he said, “Hey, guess what?.”  He smiled and opened my utensil drawer to grab a fork.  He balanced it lightly on his fingers and closed his eyes.  I stared at him and felt the energy, but before I could say, “OMG….”

Whoooooop.  The handle of the fork melted in front of my eyes and twisted into a loop.

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He handed it to me.  With his signature dimply smile and sparkle in his eyes he said, “Happy Birthday CC…”

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