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 brussel 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 awesome banter.

 Anywhere in the world, I love metropolitan cities.

One day in London, so many things to do and see.  Top priority?  Food.  We basically ate our way through the city.

Afternoon tea.

I usually don’t miss my dog while traveling until I see one that reminds me of her.  This one was named Beans!

Chinatown = comfort food.

Simpsons in the Strand.  British cuisine at it’s finest.  Super cute and friendly staff!

Cheers to a fabulous (and gluttonous) day.

I love exploring new cities.  Thanks to Smelly Fox Photo for showing us around!

Photographing families is a special job.  To me, typical family portraits (that is – posing people together who are related and asking them to smile at the camera) doesn’t tell much of a story.  Family pictures are more about capturing those in between moments that make you . . . family.

Some photos of the Kessmans at home.

  • Jana Haring - April 26, 2012 - 11:27 pm

    capturing those moments…that makes pictures more beautiful…
    I like these…

Some people ask if I get ideas for my own future wedding (if I decide to have a future wedding) from seeing so many and the answer is YES. I see what tends to work well and not so well, and I learn a lot about what would be important to me on the day of.

This guide is completely my own opinion based on personal taste. It is primarily based off what I have observed through photographing weddings for the last 5 years.

1. Get an event planner.  This is one of the BEST investments you can make for your wedding! Planning and executing a large party is not easy and there are so many little things to remember.  You might be organized but it’s the last thing you want to be thinking of on your wedding day.  That day is supposed to be an enjoyable (right?) so let someone else handle the logistics so you and your friends can HAVE FUN!

One of my favorite planners based in LA, Amber Events.  Photo by Troadec Photography.

2. Plan your wedding with the guests in mind.  This rule applies when throwing even the smallest dinner party.  Guests should NEVER be uncomfortable and that includes waiting around for long periods of time, being hungry, thirsty, too hot, or too cold. To avoid this:

-Start to serve drinks and apps before the ceremony.  Too often, guests will rush to the bar as soon as the ceremony is over.  After they get their drink and some food, then they start to relax and enjoy themselves.  Why not have them feel that way from the start? :)

-Think about the weather.  If you have an outdoor wedding and it might get chilly at night, you can provide heat lamps and pashminas for the ladies.  If the weather could be very hot, providing parasols could make it a lot more comfortable during the day time.

3. Keep it small. People are different. Cultures are different. But what I hear 99% of brides say when asked if they could do anything differently about their wedding is have a smaller one.  They want to spend more than 2 minutes with each guest.  They want quality.  They would have whittled down the invite list.

Possible alternative: Have a smaller (destination?) wedding, and then have a casual, larger dinner reception back home afterward for everyone else who wasn’t able to partake in the intimate wedding ceremony.

4. Clump the formal activities together. Example: If you are planning to do formal dances, a cake cutting, slideshow, bouquet/garter toss, etc. at your reception, try to do it all at once, one after another. That way you:

-Have everyone’s attention
-It all gets done so that you can relax and get back to hanging out with your guests instead of constantly getting interrupted by someone saying, “It’s time to do this now….”
-You have efficient photography/videography coverage of everything

5. End it on a high note. If most of the guests have gone home when there is technically still 2-3 hours left to party, it brings the energy down.  An hour for dinner and a couple hours of dancing is a good amount of time.  I’d rather have guests say, “Aw man, the night has to come to an end!” than yawn and say, “Can we go home yet?.” It’s nice when people leave a party feeling good.  The hard core party animals can always go out to a bar after.

I’m sure there are some other little things but of the top of my head, these are the main things I would take into consideration.  I guess I’ll REALLY think about it when I need to. ;)

A handful (A LOT, actually) of pictures from my trip to Sierra Leone with Shine on Sierra Leone.

When I tell people I went to Sierra Leone, some ask exactly where it is.  I myself had to look on a map before booking my tickets.  Horrible, considering I started college as a Geography major!  Anyhow, in case you are wondering where it is, it’s right here.

We spent half the trip in the diamond region of Kono.

Shine on Sierra Leone focuses on empowering people through education.

The 11-year long Sierra Leone Civil War resulted in the destruction of 1,270 primary schools.  In 2006, Shine on Sierra Leone built a school with the community and named it Muddy Lotus.  It is now one of the top 10 schools in the country!

First day at arriving at Muddy Lotus.  I’ve never had such a warm welcome by strangers in my life!  I wish I had more pictures from this moment but I was too busy taking it in…and crying.

We all got to teach for a couple days.  My sister taught grammar.  Her teaching style reminded me so much of our mom.  I giggled.

Chad & Fallon taught the kids yoga and they LOVED it.

Stephanie brought shirts for her class to draw on.  Creativity . . . very important!

Rosario did a lot of reading.  She is responsible for starting a fantastic library at the school!

This was my class – Kindergarten.  Aren’t they CUTE?!  I just about died.

Thank you Tiffany, for snapping this. :)

I really connected with Fanta – a beautiful 11 year old.  Eager to learn, sweet as can be, and she took such great care of her little brother.  She was going home from school and I thought this was the last time I was going to see her, but she actually came back with her mom because she really wanted me to meet her.  It was the sweetest thing.

Tara came to visit the school 6 months prior and substituted a class for a teacher who was pregnant.  The teacher was so thankful that she named the baby after her.  This was their first time meeting.

Our visit to the local maternity ward.  Dr. Dan is the man.

Tiffany with Dr. Barry.

Some day time dancing and celebration. :)

Rosario’s mom (“Big Mama”) loving her life.

Road trip.  Heading west to John Obey Beach.

John Obey Beach – a little slice of Paradise.  I’ve already decided that I’m going to shoot a wedding here.  Any takers?

We stayed at TribeWanted‘s eco-friendly village.  These were our rooms!  I felt like an African Smurf. :)

Bucket showers never felt so good.

Can you see the two tiny boats?  There was a fishing village next door.  The fisherman go out everyday before sunset.

He was making fun of me…

Mark, the manager at TribeWanted, hard at work.

More yoga on the beach.

I swear my sister was going to put her in a suitcase and bring her home.

Momo got a boo boo.

Tara is planning to bring Momo to London for a summer to see if he likes it!

Last day – we hiked to Black Johnson Beach.

Besides all the obvious beauty you experience while traveling, nothing compares to the bonding.

Life changing trip.  I see the world with new eyes and am very thankful for the experience.  Thanks to everyone who shared it with me. :)

  • Trinette - April 16, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    Why do I look at your posts at work!?? Tears!! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with us. I can’t imagine the love and admiration that these children have for you – and you for them. Absolutely beautiful and heartwarming!

  • Bonnie - April 16, 2012 - 3:58 pm

    Best. Post. Ever.

    This made me especially happy and weepy to read about. It’s wonderful to be able to see a glimpse of you (and Crystal’s) journey through your photos.

    You inspire me.

  • teri - April 16, 2012 - 5:31 pm

    OH…MY…Gosh….fabulous and so warm. I esp like the picture of the kindergarten class and the little girl in the background giving two ‘peace’ signs :-)…I dont even know these people and I even got weepy! *hug*

  • Ivy - April 17, 2012 - 10:02 am

    I smiled, giggled and cried reading this post and experiencing the adventure through your eyes. Thank you for sharing your story, your gift, and best of all, yourself. You’re so amazing. <3

  • T - April 17, 2012 - 10:18 am

    Precious, precious, precious…Heartwarming!!!!!

  • Tiffany Persons - April 19, 2012 - 11:59 am

    AMAZING…I am so happy we had this experience together. What an perfect capture of what we experienced…thank you

  • Hassanatu Hawkins - April 19, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story to Sierra leone! this is my birth country but have never seen it in this lovely.! thank you xxx

  • Jessica D - April 19, 2012 - 5:13 pm

    I can see the inspiration oozing though your work. Beautiful in every way. I’m so proud of you!

  • [...] More Pictures @ Christine Chang Photography [...]

  • Ibrahim Tunkara - April 29, 2012 - 6:35 pm

    Amzing. May you receive strenghth to cotinue doing what you do best.

  • Robin - May 6, 2012 - 12:24 pm

    I love it auntie Tiffany! I promise I will take a trip with you in the future and get involved in the fundraising!

  • [...] Here are some photos from last week’s fundraiser dinner benefiting Shine On Sierra Leone & WellBody Alliance.  I had the privilege of traveling to Sierra Leone last year with these two organizations.  You can see photos from that trip here.  [...]

  • [...] always thought I was a flexible person, but traveling to Sierra Leone showed me that I can let go of A LOT of things, and be just [...]

  • Peter - May 7, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    I was a teacher in Sierra Leone and was just got sent home due to pneumonia. I am so crushed because that place is unbelievable. I just stumbled across your photos and have to say they are truly amazing. I know a few friends that have worked at Tribe Wanted and I have stayed there myself. That bucket shower on the ocean was probably the best and most memorable shower of my life. Down the beach, I spent my weekends at a place called Bureh. The local surfers and I were building rooms to help bring income to the village. What a special place. Can’t wait to go back. You really were able to capture the essence of Tribe.

  • […] – Traveling to Sierra Leone with Rosario Dawson and Shine On Sierra Leone.  More photos from the incredible experience here. […]

  • […] I went to Sierra Leone with Shine On Sierra Leone a couple years ago and it was life changing.  You can see pics from that trip here. […]

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