Flintridge Prep hires me to shoot all sorts of awesomess. Just last month they brought be in to document what was virtually a whole day of science labs, one of which included dissecting a cow’s eye! At one point, I set down my gear, put on some rubber gloves, and got in there with the students. It rocked. You know what else rocked? Their incredible 70’s themed benefit that took place not too long after the bitchin’ cow eye encounter.
The committee absolutely killed it. They held their biggest fundraiser at the stunning Vibiana in downtown L.A. They put together a fantastic group of vendors that included Keith McLane at KLM Auctions, Dean Henderson at RSVP DJ’s, High Voltage Lighting and yours truly to document the 70’s insanity.
One gorgeous venue,
+ wild, fun people dressed in their 70’s best ready to get down
+ a super skilled committee and vendors ensuring a tightly run ship
= a gem of an event that was a treat to shoot.
Flintridge Prep, you just keep shaking your groove thang.
I am lucky to have a good number of incredible women in my life to look to as positive role models. Among them is this RAD woman, Kristin, AKA Grease Girl. One of the many reason’s for my admiration is that if she’s talking about doing something, she’s DOING it. I think of her as an artistic craftswoman… She does crazy awesome shit with her hair, make up and general styling, and sometimes even makes her own clothes. If you went to her wedding and saw all the cool decorations and even her wedding dress, you might inquire where she bought such coolness only to find out that she made it. She dances, writes, she’s a photographer and oh yeah… She’s into cars. She was instrumental in the creation of The Gasoline Girls, an all girls car club here in Southern California. Even though she works professionally in the automotive industry, she still maintains her Grease Girl blog, which she uses to document her journey into all things car related.
The Automobile Driving Museum had an exhibit last month called “A Woman’s Touch” which recognized the impact that women had on the automobile industry from the inception of the automobile to modern times. The museum reached out to Kristin to see if she would be interested in teaching a “ladies only car class”. She was interested and so were 30 or so other women who showed up early one Sunday morning to learn about what’s under the hood of their cars. It was so cool.
I was beyond excited when she hired to me to document that first class. Basically, I absolutely adore her. Her inquisitiveness, desire to make things beautiful, overall kindness, adventurous heart and getter-done personality make her one of my most favorite people on the planet. The class was such a success that they’re doing more. If you ladies out there are interested in attending, click here for more information. The more badass girls out there doing their thing, the better. Let the Grease Girl help lead the way by example.
Like what you see? To discuss my professional services for hire or perhaps an artistic collaboration, contact me here!
I am super proud of today’s post. A regular client of mine brought me in for a very specific shoot. They had a clearly defined idea for a portion of their website where they wanted to show their students in fun, dignified, bright and engaging portraits. The girls they picked to be the subjects were absolutely lovely to shoot, and my client who also worked double duty as my production assistant is the bomb. I am so happy with how the photos and the finished project turned out! I feel like all the pieces came together to form the message they wanted to get out there.
Check out the finished project here once you’ve gotten a little taste from the screenshots below 🙂
This awesome woman is NOT a student! She is my client and these are her posing for my test shots. I love them so much I had to include them.
You saw this photo in last week’s blog post from my favorite photos of the month. The wind started up, crinkling the backdrop. The above mentioned client/production assistant started blowing back trying to get it to straighten out. Let’s just say she was successful in making me laugh… Not so much her mission.
These last two photos were not from the portrait shoot, but one of my student life campus shoots.
Here are my personal favorite 13 pictures from February. Let’s get to it.
This shot was not on my shotlist of family portraits for a bat mitzvah I was shooting. From what I gather, this lovely group has a secretly kind of dirty pose they’ve been doing for decades. I’m not a 100% sure of what it means, but this shot of them getting ready to do it is the best. I love a photo with some hidden meaning… I also love a photo that reflects a good gut laugh.
I understand I’m kind of cheating with this composite shot, but I think both pictures needed to happen to get the full scope of the moment. The DJ was hyping the crowd for the bat mitzvah’s grand entrance. He asked everyone to do what the dancer was doing. This woman NAILED it.
So much love.
Same bat mitzvah as the above 3 photos. The lovely lady had a literary theme to her party, which Rose of Two Tree Events executed beautifully. I had her do a cool artsy shot with her bitchin’ lighting scheme. Full blog post for this event will be coming soon!
This amazing woman is a friend as well as a client. We used to wait tables together back in the day at a 50’s diner on the Westside. I had the honor of shooting her wedding a few years back. She is such an awesome, beautiful and inspiring person to me, I wouldn’t even know where to start for this little photo caption. The short of it is, she is into cars both professionally and personally. She was asked by the El Segundo Automotive Driving Museum to teach a girls car class. She hired me to shoot it and I made her pose for a few portraits after it was done. This is her in all her Grease Girl awesomeness. I adore her. Full blog post for this event coming soon.
One of my favorite regular clients, Westridge School in Pasadena, brought me in to do a portrait shoot for their website. At one point, the wind started up, wrinkling the seamless background. My direct point of contact who was in charge of the project tried to help by blowing back at the wind in an attempt to fix the background. I was laughing so hard, and yet, I let her keep trying in her way while I stepped back to get a wide shot of the action. I love my clients.
This shot was taken at a fast becoming regular client of mine, SCLARC. They are an amazing organization in South Central L.A. that helps serve special needs members of the community. What they do for the community is truly incredible, and the people that run the organization are the best. They are such a pleasure to work for and with, and so fun to be around. They are a perfect example of the kind of client relationships that I like to cultivate and nourish. They hired me to shoot a donor event honoring a major donor who has contributed much over her involvement, but specifically a very large monetary donation she made. When she said a few words to address the crowd, she added that she decided to contribute an additional $100,000. The CEO, Dexter Henderson, was just beside himself with joy. This shot was taken when he brought up his team to be recognized after the honoree’s speech. It was an incredible moment to witness, and document. On a separate note, I want to be the honoree, Dr. La-Doris McClaney when I grow up. She is a force.
Another favorite client of mine, Flintridge Prep, brought me in last month to do a campus shoot. It was a day full of science labs!! I even put on some gloves to feel a cow’s eye that was being dissected in one of them. One class was building a kind of pulley, mechanical thing. (I think you can tell by this last sentence that I did NOT attend Flintridge Prep.) The groups had to build their mechanical thing using random objects, which included cereal boxes among other odds and ends. One group was building theirs over the edge of a desk, so naturally I got underneath said desk to lie on the floor to shoot from that perspective. My getting into such shooting stances often leads to a bonding experience with those subjects. I had other classes to document that day, so I wasn’t there to see if those girls were successful with their build or not. Later, I was shooting in the courtyard during the passing period after that particular class with my telephoto lens. This lovely lady walked into my shot some ways away expressing to me that they were indeed successful. When shooting with a telephoto (or zoom lens), your focus is significantly narrowed, and your sights are set quite a bit away from your actual person. I didn’t even see her coming until she walked into my frame. I know it might sound crazy, but these little moments that happen are what I love most about being a photographer.
This was taken from the same campus shoot as above. You wouldn’t expect to see street art on a building at a private school, which makes me love this client even more.
This was not staged. I was setting up my light for a portrait session at a temple in the valley for a bat mitzvah client. The Cantor, Rabbi and bat mitzvah girl started singing and dancing for real.
Grandpa didn’t catch onto the dab quite as well as Grandma, but I think that’s what makes this picture so great.
Girls just want to have fun.
Might this be one of my favorite photos of all time? It just might be. DJ Randy Lehrman and his team at Real Genius DJ’s is THE BOMB. I mean seriously… He got ALL the kids and a good chunk of the adults to dance for like 5 hours straight. It was amazing. I can’t remember what song this group was singing to, but I think maybe Bon Jovi? No matter; I am buying what they’re selling. Full blog post for this event coming soon!
We all do these days. I know what you’re thinking… Such a portrait session is not the most fun thing you could do with your afternoon and you’re not wrong. That being said, I make them as fun and painless as possible.
I come to you for a natural light session lasting up to 2 hours.
Cost: $400 (additional fee for studio lighting.)
You come to my studio in down town for a 2-hour session.
Beginning this March, I am doing what I call “Second Sunday.” No need to schedule an appointment; you just come to my studio anytime between the hours of 10:00 and 6:00 for a mini session lasting 20 – 25 minutes.
Cost: $100; $20 of which goes to charity.
My studio is located at 338 S. Ave 16 Los Angeles, CA 90031 Unit A12
Today’s blog post is from a full session at my studio for an incredible client who was in need of some professional photos that showed her bright personality. I think we nailed it. I dare you to not fall into a trance looking at those deep blue, beautiful eyes!
I had the absolute PLEASURE of going on a helicopter ride with the Pasadena Police Department. Colleague, client and friend, Jill Hawkins of MHP Events, was my partner in crime. IT WAS SO FREAKING COOL!!! It was no joyride for the guys working and there were quite a few things going on in the city that required the helicopter that day. Seeing what they do and how they work was facinating. Because I had my gear with me, I was able to photograph a particular street corner of interest to the cops at one point during the ride… Sooooooo basically I’m like an honoree PPD officer. All in a days work folks!
THE ROSE BOWL!!!
These mofo’s took one of my cameras when I was taking pics inside the cockpit.
A little over a year ago, I shot a baby shower for a client. I swear only a few months had gone by when the very beautiful mom-to-be called me about shooting her baby’s one-year birthday party! How did it happen? Where did the time go (said every parent ever)? They went all out for the party… Petting zoo, bouncy house, face painting and DELICIOUS food. It was the bomb to shoot. Some of my favorite jobs from the last year involved kid birthday parties with petting zoos. I think maybe it’s time to consider a pigmy goat as a pet…
So remember my December blog posts last month where I was counting down my favorite 39 photos from each quarter? Well, I picked the number 39 because I had big plans to implement a “Lucky 13” where I feature my own 13 personal favorite photos from the month.
This was NOT easy!!! On the bright side, my Instagram game should be more on point now that it physically pained me to be so harsh while narrowing these suckers down. Seriously, this was hard.
Okay, no more whining. Here we go…
This shot was from a headshot session for a returning client of mine. He is a business guy in the tech world where he often does speaking engagements. He needed some good pics of him to use professionally that showed his awesome personality in a relaxed, confident and approachable way. I just feel like we nailed it with this one and it makes me happy.
You’ve probably seen this shot already. If you haven’t, please check out the blog post here. It was one of the best days of my life. I tear up just looking at this photo. This, and the following 2 images are from the same bitchin’ day.
The rest of my favorite photos from the month are from a backpacking trip my BFF and I did on Catalina Island last week. I won’t go crazy with the explanations, as there will be a more detailed blog post coming soon. I will just say that it was incredible… More for me than for my friend unfortunately, but you’ll find out about that in the upcoming post. I love backpacking so much!!
While this is a beautiful vista, the reason this shot is one of my favorites for the month is because of the story behind it. The short of it is, not long after this shot was taken, we realized we were on the wrong trail. This was our longest, hardest day at 14 miles, and we were on our last leg… Physically and emotionally. Once we realized our error, we wanted to cry. Our mistake would add another 3 miles to our day and the sun was setting. Fast. We had very little daylight left to get to camp. This was my first real experience with adrenaline. Stay tuned for the full story of our backpacking adventure!
Yup. We walked right through a herd of buffalo. That’s how we roll.
Note: Don’t roll how we roll.
My BFF and I watching the sunset on the beach at camp number 2.
On the boat ride back, this little cutie sat across from me and we chatted for a bit. I snapped some pictures while the wind quite literally blew her away.
I have been emotionally wrecked since the outcome of the presidential election. I don’t think that any politician has the power to really change the world, so it’s not as if I looked to Hillary, Bernie or Obama as saviors. I believe that change comes slowly, most often quietly, from the ground up.
Even so, what occurred here has been upsetting to many of us. I have cried a lot. Like with any tragic, or shocking event, I’ve gone through the various stages of grief. Anger, denial, overwhelming sadness… All of it. I have been trying my best to process the whole thing, working toward that point where I climb out of the despair, put on my big girl panties and move toward the light. While I understand the need for battles in life, I personally am most effective when I am actively working toward progress no matter how subtle.
Hate and taking sides NEVER works. EVER. What is the saying? Love begets love. Hate begets hate. I totally believe that shit. So on inauguration day this 2017, I was presented with an opportunity to spend the day in love and light and I jumped in headfirst.
An event planner colleague of mine, Rose Forbes of Two Tree Events, married two couples at no charge at Pasadena City Hall and I documented it… Also free of charge. Both couples surrounded themselves with a small gathering of their closest friends and family. We all congregated on the most scenic part of the covered patio where we were protected by the POURING rain. The rain seemed to amplify the intense emotional aspect somehow in the most beautiful way.
(Shit. I totally started crying typing this…. Get it together Melissa!)
The whole thing was so special, and so beautiful; I am grateful to have been a part of it. Although the act itself was a sort of quiet protest, it was really more about making a stand and committing ourselves to the love we want to see in the world. While it was about the individual couples and their love for each other, it was bigger than that.
It was a collective, audible affirmation to hold our heads up and our hearts open to the goodness that abounds even in times of turmoil.
(Dammit. I just started crying again. Ugh. I talk tough, but I’m so sensitive!)
Here are pics from the day. Please share this post. This is not about being against anything or anyone. This is about choosing love and inclusion. We need to come together in order to push the needle forward.
I believe we have the power to do it.
Soooo, this is where I lost it the first time. As soon as her bride turned the corner, she gasped, “Oh my god, she’s so beautiful.” My poor little heart just exploded.
I panned over to Rose and she was clearly experiencing a similar emotion.
Rain on your wedding day is lucky!!
While at lunch in between weddings, our mom’s both texted at the same time with the same “I love you, I’m proud of you” type text. Mom intuition, check!
Wedding number 2! Rose prepares while the happy couple poses for their loved ones.
The last two days turned out to be an unforgettable weekend filled with so much love and hope… two emotions I didn’t see coming. Seeing all the peaceful marches across the country and being a part of “I Do In The Park” will forever be remembered as one of the most profound moments of my life.
Love will always win if we choose that option over the alternative.
LOS ANGELES WEDDING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS HOST “I DO IN THE PARK” IN SUPPORT OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY
2017 JANUARY 19 Los Angeles, Calif.: Los Angeles-area wedding industry professionals are coming together to show their support of marriage equality and their belief that marriage is a human right to all people in loving relationships. Rose Forbes, proprietor of Two Tree Events, the LA-based wedding and events coordination company www.twotreeevents.com and Melissa Kobe, owner and lead photographer of M. Kobe Photography www.mkobephotography.com are spearheading the efforts by presenting “I Do In the Park.” The purpose of this event is to flood the internet with photos of couples of all persuasions in love and getting married on the same day as president-elect Donald Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. It is meant to be a subtle protest showing that by flooding the world with love one can continue to fight the hate that many believe the President-Elect incites.
Because of the anticipated rain, “I Do In the Park” will now be hosted at the Pasadena City Hall rather than the originally designated Arlington Gardens in Pasadena January 20, 2017 from 9:00AM-3:00PM. During those hours couples who come prepared with their state-issued marriage license applications will become legally married surrounded by friends and loved ones in a beautiful public garden free of charge. Melissa Kobe will be documenting the event and posting photos on all forms of social media as well as posting the pictures on a client gallery where couples can purchase prints and digital downloads at the prices Kobe normally extends only to her paying clients.
The idea occurred to Rose Forbes the day after the election. “My first thought was, ‘what can I do to make a difference?’ Being wedding industry professionals, we have the unique ability to support to couples of all types in a way that other businesses cannot. We really want to fight the hate and anger that is at its height with a showing love at its strongest,” says Forbes. When Melissa Kobe heard the idea she was so excited that she was inspired to come offer her photography services as well stating, “If I’m not doing something intentionally positive at that time [of Trump’s inauguration], I will be a basket case,”
This is the third event of this type that the Forbes as hosted To sign up for your ceremony or for more information as to how you can be a part of this day please contact Two Tree Events at email@example.com. Also please contact for a location update if it should be raining that day.