May 2007


This may be an old news to some of you, especially if you have browsed our “About Us” page recently, we now have 5 team members in HyStudio!

I couldn’t be more proud of this growth within the HyStudio family.

Hy and I started this business in 2005 from our apartment building. We started with nothing, just 2 of us. For the first year, we had to host the HyStudio website from a computer under Hy’s desk next to the kitchen. We lived on the 3rd floor. In the summer time, the cpu would burn out, disk would crash due to hot summer heat. We had to swap the load between 2 web servers. One under Hy’s desk, another under mine. We were thinking to turn on AC for computers during the hot summer day hours, but the electricity bill would really eat up our bottom line. So Hy had to run to Fry’s to buy big fans and open his machine up completely for the fan to blow through day & night.

Back then, when we were hosting our own website, during peak hours, the apache web server would fail over and restart. Our client would have disrupted timeout when they look through the photos. Thankfully, we were out of that garage mode long ago. Many of our clients really supported us through out the difficult starting phases of HyStudio. Thank you so much, our old friends. Thank you in believing in our vision!

Today, I was chatting to one of our very first 2005 HyStudio clients, he told me he really enjoyed reading HyStudio blog. “Tell Hy never stops putting his heart in the pictures, because that’s what differentiates Hy from many other photographers”. Our old time HyStudio supporter told me in the end of our chat.

What he observed certainly captures the HyStudio spirit & brand.

That spirit is not only within Hy. I see the spirit of putting our hearts and souls in our work from all HyStudio team members. We deeply care about our work at HyStudio. Frank joined us since Sept. last year, he grew so much in short 9 months. I can see a lot of Frank’s talent starts shining through the portfolio. Serena started working with us about a month ago on album design. She grew up in an artistic family. Her mom is actually an art teacher. Serena’s a true artist. Minling just joined us last week! She is super passionate about photography, especially kids photography. I can see HyStudio expending to the family, kids photography area upcoming.

So, no blog post on HyStudio goes without photo sharing πŸ˜‰ Hy took this picture couple weeks ago when we scout around San Jose area. There were a bunch of young skateboarders in the park practicing new tricks. They were there for hours, kept on practicing. Try and try again with passion. Hy and I were really drawn to their spirit. We sat there to enjoy watching them for a long while. Finally Hy walked up to them and asked them to take some photos. Here is one of Hy’s favorite shot.

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I believe in talents. I know when we put the talents together in a team, with healthy dose of passion, discipline & perseverance, amazing and creative works will happen. Just as the young skateboarders in the picture, I believe, he will be mastering the craftsmanship in skateboarding one day.

So, keep your eyes on us. I am so excited about the weddings that are coming ahead of us.

Location: Placerville, CA
Ceremony: Bee-Bennett House
Hair: Gold Country Hair Salon
Honeymoon Suite: The Seasons B&B
Florist: All For You Events

I had dinner with Mary and Kevin past week at a Korean restaurant next to their house. As I mentioned in the previous post, we used to have church fellowship at Kevin’s house weekly for the past 2+ years. We had to change location for couple weeks before Kevin’s wedding. But now, we are back at Kevin & Mary’s house. Their place looks about the same, as Mary has been slowly decorating her new home during the past year of wedding preparation. The big difference now, during our gathering, Mary would thoughtfully prepare us dessert and drinks. We are so lucky to have Mary joining our big family! πŸ˜›

Back to the pictures a little bit, as you’ve probably noticed from our last post, we increased the size of the photos by quite a bit. It took me (Annie) almost 2 hours to work out the CSS code. I am a programmer, but I’ve always done backend work, CSS is really not part of my trade. But hey, I hack through it! I was a proud girl. Please ignore all of above if you don’t know what type of geeky language is this.

It may take longer time for some of you to download our pages from now on. πŸ™‚ Just click our blog, go get make yourself some morning coffee, summer afternoon juice or late night herbal tea. When you get your drink back, the page should finish loading. I believe the larger size image actually show cases our photos and color quality much better. Let me know what you think?

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For the observant minds, we not only changed the size of the image, we are now also trying out new coloring tricks that Hy created. You will see that for this post, the color is much softer than previous posts. It brought out the expression of the couple more!

I mentioned from Mary & Kevin’s wedding teaser post, the wedding party are crazy fun group of people. Here is a shot to prove my statement!

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Part of HyStudio brand is continuous improvement. What makes wedding photography really fun for the HyStudio team is that we can keep on challenging ourselves to to deliver quality photos to our brides and grooms! Hope you will be able to see our spirit through this blog!

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While working through the photos, especially while preparing for the slide show, Hy and I re-lived the day again. We both really enjoyed the wedding. Here are some photos from the ceremony & banquets.

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It was a lunch banquet, so after the banquet, Frank, Hy and I got to have a peek of the honeymoon suite. The main house of the Seasons Bed & Breakfast was built in 1859 and is one of Placerville’s oldest. I really enjoy the vintage feeling of the house and the beautiful garden. Frank got to do some really creative shots for the newly-weds.

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Mary & Kevin graciously give us permission to take some pictures of their magically room.

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The bed was nicely decorated by the bridesmaids πŸ™‚

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Congratulations once again, Mary & Kevin!

For our faithful readers, stay tune, there are many amazing weddings in HyStudio’s 2007 calendar! Have a nice Memorial Day weekend.

Today, a friend left me an IM. She told me that she really enjoyed reading our Travel blog entries. She’s a really busy woman, no time for traveling. “I can now travel with your photos!” She expressed her excitement through IM.
So, this entry is for all of you busy gals out there.

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These are some photos from our last Carmel Valley trips. There are so many Pot Farms around. I never looked at pots before, but I started to grew interest since we got our house. Hy took care of our little garden well.

More pots ..

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Following are pots from Kim3 International Furnishings. The store is actually really cool with large real size elephant sculptures.

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Unfortunately, there probably won’t be too much Traveling photos as our wedding season starts now. Hy will be really busy for upcoming months. But that also means, more beautiful wedding photos will be show cased here! Yippee!!

I can’t resist to post one more photo of the parrot .. it’s so colorful.

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Mountain Winery, Saratoga is a dear place in my heart. Hy and I had our wedding reception at Mountain Winery 2 years ago. God did wonders to bring us back to the site.

We visited the site last weekend for our upcoming wedding next week. It’s under heavy construction right now. So, it looked quite different comparing to our wedding day. Nevertheless, Hy’s angle works magics. So, nothing to worry about in terms of photos.

Here is a nice shot that Hy took last Sat. afternoon. There is a history to the facade in this picture. The great earthquake shakes the Bay Area in 1900s. St. Patrick’s Catehdral in San Jose was destroyed with the exception of the 12th century Spanish front portal. In 1906, Paul Masson, the first owner of Mountain Winery, relocated it and made it the facade of the Winery buildling

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The ceremony will be held at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown San Jose. The church is grand and beautiful.

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The lady in the picture wasn’t me. But I did sat inside enjoying the peace, quiet and holiness of the church while Hy went around the church. This church reminds me of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. The street out was so busy & chaotic, yet when you stepped in to the Cathedral, you can find peace in your heart.

Exterior of St. Joseph Cathedral

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We will also be working with some old and new vendor friends in this up coming wedding. Hy and I are so excited. We really can’t wait because we know it’s going to be splendid!

I haven’t post wedding photos on this blog for a while. Today, let me show you some wedding teaser photos that Hy’s been working on this month. Let’s start with a detail photo on the gown.

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I’ve been ‘seeing’ Kevin weekly for the past 2 years.

OK, I know above statement makes a lot of you nervous. Let me reword my sentence: Kevin and I attended the same church fellowship together for a bit more than 2 years now. The church fellowship meets weekly, mostly at Kevin’s place.

Mary lives in Sacramento during this 2 years. So, we don’t get to see her much. But due to the wedding planning, I got to know her a lot more. She’s such a sweet and caring girl. Kevin is such a lucky man.

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The wedding was hosted at a Victorian Mansion at Placerville, CA. The weather was really nice on the big day. You can see the sunlight slipping through the windows. It created a great natural lighting for our beautiful bride.

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The wedding ceremony and banquet was hosted indoor at the Bee-Bennett House. Mary & Kevin put a lot of thoughts into the ceremony. They share a lot about how God brought them together, about their life as Christians and about importance of God in their life. The wedding was very intimate. I attended both ceremony & reception as their guest. I was tearful during the ceremony for their love to each other and to their friends around them.

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After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. enjoyed a private moment while the bridal party getting ready to reenter the banquet room.

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The bridal party was a really fun & creative group. I will show you more fun photos the group created next time.

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The two happy love birds πŸ™‚

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Congratulations Mary & Kevin. More photos to come. Stay tune ~

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Florist – All For You Events

Today at work, I interviewed an engineer who’s from Arkansas. He told me, one concern he has with moving to the bay area is the housing price. I totally understand that pain. I think many of you can hear/feel his pain. Or soon you will when you start house shopping after the wedding.

Bay area is beautiful though. If you think about it, nice weather all the time. Ocean, winery, ski resort, national park and prestigious universities, all within driving distance. Not to mention the innovative spirit and culture diversity in the Silicon Valley.

Of course, we also bear tremendous stress here. Fast pace lifestyle. Long working hours. Fierce competition among innovations. Time pressure for product to market. It is a trade off. Life/work here can be very exciting comparing to Arkansas, but you can easily loose yourself as well.

Sorry .. this is a bit heavy for a Friday night blog entry. πŸ˜› Not sure why the content went this way.

OK, the topic is wine country. Let’s stay on topic. After dinner tonight, Hy opened a bottle of 2004 Muscato from Parducci Wine Cellar from our trip last weekend. While enjoying the wine, I told him “I gotta pull those pictures you took from Parducci to show the girls, so they can drink with me with their eyes”. πŸ™‚

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We stopped by the wine cellars located at Ukiah on the way to Mendocino.

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Parducci wine has some very interesting label names: Big Yellow Cab (Cabernet Sauvignon), Zig Zag Zin, and Sketchbook. Here is the display for Big Yellow label.

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Here is the Roselle label, (pink RosΓ© wine), so cute. Perfect for girls outing, ie, share a bottle with your girl friends after a relaxing spa day. I think it will be perfect gift for bridal shower too. By the way, I took this particular picture from my point and shoot. You can sort of see my point and shoot camera from the reflection.

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You can see the little tiny grapes from the vine outside. It’s really nice. Hy and I are coming back to the wine country during August time, we will be shooting something really interesting, stay tune. I will ask Hy to shoot the grapes again, it will be bigger during that time.

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Tiny Tiny grape on the vine.

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Hy and I were out of town for 3 days over the past weekend to celebrate our 2nd year wedding anniversary. It also serves as a little get away before the wedding season accelerates.

I planned for this short trip only 2 weeks ago. This is our 2nd time to Mendocino. It’s a town not too far away, yet, remote enough for us to relax and just focus on us. We stayed at MacCallum House Inn. It’s a dreamy looking bed and breakfast with excellent Chef. Here is a picture from Hy’s camera:

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Charming wine country house with award winning chef is the perfect combination for a wedding venue. On the Sat. night we arrived, there were a wedding in the house. I don’t know why, ever since HyStudio started, we kept on running into weddings in our trips no matter where we go πŸ˜›

Hy and I stayed at Room #25. It’s one of MacCallum House’s Luxury Suites. Here are some interior pictures Hy took from the Suite ‘reading area’:

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There are some art pieces displayed.

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Then, moving along to the room. The room is quite nice. There were fireplace, jetted spa tub, private deck with hot tub in a little private garden. All the bathing supplies are from Loccitane. They are thoughtful enough to include bubble bath pebble.

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We visited Mendocino 3 years ago in May 2004, right after our engagement. The town has changed a lot since then. I noticed more bed and breakfast around town. Also, a lot of B&B now offer free high speed internet. I remembered our last visit, not only there were no Internet connection, we were living in a room without TV. I somehow missed the remoteness of Mendocino in 2004.

Regardless, we had tons of fun around town. We are even considering whether we should start investing for a retirement/vacation home in Mendocino. It’s crazy, I know, Hy and I are so far from retirement. But older folks at work and my ‘Asian’ parents always remind me to start thinking about investment when I am young .. I am sure some of you have your fair share of ‘reminders’ as well.

Here are some photos from a garden that has ‘most personality’ in town.

First, front view, unique enough that I asked Hy to snap a shot for me.

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Then, walking pass it from the next street. WOW ~

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Then there is this gallery that utilized the old water tower.

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As for good food around town, the famous Cafe Beaujolais just transfered to a new ownership. I wasn’t brave enough to try. I am waiting for reviews. Hy and I did enjoy a nice dinner at the Moose Cafe after a day of long hike. The food was really light yet full of flavors. And of course, hand made ice cream at Frankie’s Ice Cream & Pizza Parlor on Ukiah St. The Raspberry Swirl is a ‘must scoop’.

I enjoyed the wine, the vineyard, the ocean, the sunset, the fresh produce, the nice weather, and of course, quality time with Hy. I will have more photos to share with you girls about this trip up coming. But, this is it for now πŸ™‚

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