This is the world seen through my camera. Weird, wonderful and wholly original.

mkp website

Posted on Feb 20, 2017

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!

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17 mkp pasadena rose bowl

THE ROSE BOWL!!!

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21 mkp pasadena police santa anita race track aerial view

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These mofo’s took one of my cameras when I was taking pics inside the cockpit.

helicopter book - 30 of 30

Posted on Feb 12, 2017

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…

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17 mkp mother and her daughter

18 mkp happy family

19 mkp backyard birthday party

20 mkp mom with her son

21 mkp the laugh

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27 mkp family party

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…

1 mkp professional headshot

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.

2 mkp crying bride

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.

3 mkp sibling embrace

4 mkp wedding photojournalism

5 mkp backpacking the TCT

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!!

6 mkp big tree on Catalina Island

7 mkp backpacking the TCT

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!

8 mkp backpacking the TCT

Yup. We walked right through a herd of buffalo. That’s how we roll.

Note: Don’t roll how we roll.

9 mkp sunset at Little Harbor

10 mkp best friends

My BFF and I watching the sunset on the beach at camp number 2.

11 mkp backpacking the TCT

12 mkp windblown

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.

13 mkp Catalina Island

 

 

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.

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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.

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11 mkp Rose Forbes

I panned over to Rose and she was clearly experiencing a similar emotion.

12 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

13 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

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20 mkp first kiss

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27 mkp Rose Forbes

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Rain on your wedding day is lucky!!

29 mkp i do in the park

30 mkp text from mom

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.

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47 mkp Rose Forbes

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54 mkp Pasadena City Hall wedding

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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 info@twotreeevents.com. Also please contact for a location update if it should be raining that day.

 

Contact:                                                                     

Rose Forbes                               

(310) 463-4664

rose@twotreeevents.com

 

-OR-

 

Melissa Kobe

(323) 804-2504

melissa@mkobephotography.com                   

I do in the park truck

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This was a creative collaboration with poet, Sarah Suzor. Today’s post, “Having Seen, or Winter” is the fourth and final installment of this year’s “elements” theme; an ongoing quarterly collaboration.

Sarah Suzor is the author of The Principle Agent (Winner of the 2010 Hudson Prize), and After the Fox (2014), which is co-authored with Travis Cebula. Her articles, interviews and poems have been published widely. She is also the Founder and Owner of INK, LLC, which provides all-encompassing editing services to clients looking to publish and polish their writing and manuscripts. She lives between Venice Beach, California, and her hometown, Sheridan, Wyoming.

If you are inspired to colloborate on a blog post with me and my photographs, or any other creative project, please contact me at melissa@mkobephotography.com

Posted on Jan 08, 2017

Let’s get right to it!

1-mkp-big-kiss

When I’m shooting events, it is not uncommon for strangers to show me affection; either I’m the closest warm body during an emotional moment, or sometimes it’s directed at me personally. This man was coming in to give me a big hug and kiss. It was taken at a bar mitzvah and he just liked my shooting style and wanted to tell me so.

2-mkp-temple

This was taken at conservative temple while shooting the ceremony part of a bar mitzvah. I just love the juxtaposition of this old-world looking man and his Forever 21 shopping bag in the seat next to him.

3-mkp-blessing

Same ceremony as the above photo. The happy man on the left wanted to give the other man a blessing while the bar mitzvah boy was right in the thick of it. This service was so loose, communal and joyous… Not what I was expecting when my client prepped me with the conservative nature of his family’s temple.

4-mkp-the-catch

This was taken at the party for the above bar mitzvah temple photos. I just love this shot!

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Remember my previous 3-quarter favorites? You’ve seen the man on the right sans shirt in a few if I remember correctly. I love that I caught this moment of a friend unbuttoning his shirt.

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Bar mitzvah boy laughing with his Dad and young man who just killed it on the dance floor. To see more photos from this event, click here.

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Check the beads around the kids head. Rock star.

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This and the previous photo were taken at a homecoming event for one of my favorite clients, Flintridge Preparatory School.

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Same school… This and the following 3 photos were taken at one of my campus shoot days. This photo cracks me up because these kids were not the subjects in my viewfinder. I was standing some ways away with my telephoto and shooting something happening to my right, their left. As I panned over, I saw them in full on mannequin challenge waiting for me.

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This particular campus shoot was the day after the presidential election. It turned out to be a great day of shooting replete with numerous emotional, contemplative, and sometimes tearful conversations with teachers and staff. One of the students brought a box of donuts and left it in the main courtyard. I know it sounds stupid, but seeing this anonymous gesture made me feel like everything is going to be okay.

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This was taken at an event I was hired to shoot for Spectrum Cable; it was a sports up-fronts kind of thing for their buyers. I caught this moment of D’Angelo Russell cracking up his teammate Julius Randle and Laker coach, Luke Walton. All the sports celebrities that were there for the event were all business as they were clearly working, so I was super excited to capture this candid moment. The one guy’s reaction is what makes this pic for me.

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This was taken at the same event as above. It was on the rooftop of a fancy hotel above the Sunset strip on a super windy night with the most beautiful moon! I’ve not had a lot of success getting photos of the moon that I love, so I am stoked about this one.

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I love the seriousness of the girls face as she’s cutting the challah bread at her bat mitzvah, but the best part of the photo is her grandparents kissing in the background!

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This happy, hyper cutie just got his face freshly painted at a birthday party I was hired to shoot.

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When I’m sad, I think of this photo. These ladies laughing just makes me happy. This, and the previous 3 images were all taken at the same kids birthday party. Blog post for this one coming soon!

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Dad helping his son with his tie before his bar mitzvah. This and the following 5 photos were from the same event.

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This Seagull was so hopeful! He was at the window looking in at the people eating for a solid 5 minutes.

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This event was at one of my favorite places on the planet, Dukes in Malibu. The restaurant is right on the ocean where dolphins frequently swim by. I was on the deck shooting the food from the party where the light was prettiest when the dolphins made their appearance and everyone inside rushed over to the window to see.

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Although this is an adorable photo of these three siblings, the reason it made the list for me is for a personal, professional reason. When shooting portraits, I often ask my subjects to close their eyes and think of something I suggest. It could be the boy or girl you have a crush on, or your favorite movie, or song. I make them think about it, and then on the count of three, open their eyes and tell me the answer with their eyes, NOT their mouths. The point behind this exercise is mostly to get them to relax their face and eyes, and in the act of thinking, hopefully let go of the nervous tension they’re holding in their face as a result of having a camera in their business. I shot the older brother’s bar mitzvah a couple of years ago, and have since become friends with their mother, so I was little more comfortable with this group. I don’t know how it jumped into my head, but I had them close their eyes and think of their mother’s favorite curse word. The reaction was classic, and getting them genuinely laughing afterward got the best reaction. This and the following 5 photos are from the same bat mitzvah.

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My first homemade gif! Special thanks to Kevin for helping me figure out how to do this.

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This gorgeous woman is one of my very good friends. I asked her to spin for me.. gif file number two!!

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Blog post for this event coming soon!

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I was taking room shots for an event at Flintridge Prep before the guests arrived. To get these low light venue shots, I put the camera on a tripod and do a 30-second exposure. The bartender walked by with a flashlight in one of the shots, so then he, a few members of the catering crew and I had a little fun using the flashlight. This is me successfully making my initials readable in one of the attempts.

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Same event as above. Took a moment to get a selfie with security guy, ICE, which stands for “in case of emergency” and Nicole Trevor, friend and communications director (aka, my boss) for the school. Love these two.

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This and the remaining photos were taken just last week for a family portrait session in preparation for the young lady’s upcoming bat mitzvah. We went to a dog friendly beach just north of Malibu so they could bring their dog. It was such a fun shoot! Blog post for this one coming soon as well.

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My bitchin’ assistant for the day proving shade for one of the setups. I looked back to ask him something and saw all this aweomeness.

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MINE!

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That’s a wrap folks! Starting this 2017, I will be doing my favorite 13 photos each month. May our 2017 be a reflection of our best selves. Thank you all for supporting my business, my art and my life. I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many creative, nurturing, loving and encouraging souls. I love my village.

Third quarter favorites! Here we go!

1-mkp-cali-bride-and-groom

We had to sneak out of the house and go into an alley away from the guests for a quick, 15-minute portrait shoot before the wedding started. This happy couple was ridiculously cute with all their affection for each other. To see more from this wedding, click here.

2-mkp-pigs-eating-my-sandals

This was taken at a job for a kid’s birthday party. They had a full on petting zoo! Those are my feet in the frame that the pigs are trying to eat. I can still feel them tickling me with their cuteness.

3-mkp-goat-with-teeth

WTF. THIS GOAT’S TEETH. They’re so prominent!  I didn’t notice them when I was taking the photo. It wasn’t until I was editing the job at home that I became aware of all this awesomeness.

4-mkp-cute-little-girl-and-her-dad

Same kids party as the pics above. This little girl was so cute and so tiny compared to her dad sitting across from her. This photo just gives me the warm and fuzzy’s when I look at it.

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Still the same kids party; The girl hamming it up for the camera front and center was the birthday girl. This picture cracks me up because of the birthday girls face, and the little one behind her tumbling over in her yellow dress. To see more from this job, click here.

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This was taken at the very talented Natasha Wood album release party.

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Kevin talked me into shooting video for two of his music videos this year. It was my first time doing video, not just stills. We went down to Griffith Park to test out a prop for one of the videos, and I took this photo to test my exposure for the test shots. I just love it. Sometimes test shots are the best shots.

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I don’t think I need to say anything about this picture.

9-mkp-jazz-hands

This man asked me if I would take a photo of him and his sons at a bat mitzvah I was shooting. I did not see this killer choreography coming.  Well done sirs.

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My best girl on one of our favorite hiking trails.

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I do this trail like 3 days a week! It’s so close to our house. L.A. Is just the bomb. To see more from this hike, click here.

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17-mkp-watch-the-road

He’s really driving… Too fast for all of us in there car when he had his eyes on the road. Us backseat passengers needed a little something to take the edge off.

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The previous 8 photos were from a hiking weekend with my best friend and some very close friends of the family in Southern Utah. To see more photos from this adventure, click here.

20-mkp-mother-and-son

This was taken at my Aunt and Uncles house in Spokane WA while we were there for my cousins wedding. The gentleman in the photo is my cousin and friend, and the foxy lady in the photo is my Aunt, his mother. My VERY talented Uncle Dan took the photo of his wife. I love this shot. The next 9 photos are from the wedding weekend.

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My pretty cousin and her crazy groom.

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23-mkp-first-kiss

No need to adjust your eyes… Those are in fact dinosaurs in the right of the frame standing in as the only wedding party.

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25-mkp-ladies-and-their-shoes

So this spunky young lady is I guess my first cousin once removed? That always sounds weird to say. Anyway, she’s wearing her much older aunt’s shoes… The bride’s shoes. This pic makes me laugh because you can see the lady dinosaurs shoes in the background.

26-mkp-bad-parenting

Same cutie as the previous photo. She was telling me something when her Dad walked by, gave her his beer, and then fell on the ground for dramatic effect knowing that I would snag the best shot ever. High five cousin… We totally nailed it.

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Two of my favorite people on the planet dancing.

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This handsome gentleman is my Dad. He has the best smile, but you’ll never see it in photos because he loathes the posed shit. I got this shot of him dancing with my Mom.

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This emotional woman is my cousin and sister of the bride. She was balling her eyes out when her sister was dancing with their Dad.

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The same weepy woman in the last picture started an arm wrestling tournament at the wedding that went on for some time. This shot makes me smile because of the defeat/win in the foreground, and my family laughing in the background. My Aunt Maureen is laughing so hard it makes me smile every time I see it. To see more from this wedding, click here.

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This shot was from one of my campus shoot sessions with one of my favorite clients, Flintridge Preparatory School.

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Flintridge Prep again! I don’t need to tell you that I’m all up on the ground to get this shot.

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This is from a job I was hired to shoot for a senior living home. The company wanted some lifestyle and architectural shots for their website. This lady was using the renovated dog run. Let’s just say her pup was a total show off.

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Same senior living lifestyle shoot. I thought I was being sneaky with this shot, but I’m quite sure he spotted me in his rearview and gave me a big smile.

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Another one from the senior living lifestyle shoot. These BFF’s take painting classes together. They didn’t have an actual class the day I was there shooting, so we staged this one. They basically talked shit about each other’s work the whole time. It was hilarious.

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This was taken at the Pasadena PAL annual golf tournament. This badass is a friend and client, lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian. I love this shot of him. To see more pictures from this job, click here.

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Another photo from another golf tournament! This was from the Five Acres annual golf tourney. The woman being “helped” with her swing is actually a really good golfer… The fabulous woman giving the tutorial is not.

The last and final quarter for 2016 is next!!! Sooner than I’m comfortable with regards to my blog posting schedule.

Ta-da! Second quarter favorites are here! I don’t mind telling you that I am exhausted after going through all these pictures for the year. If I didn’t make it a point to do this end of the year countdown thing, I might never have gone through everything. I’m glad I’m doing this, but damn. I cannot wait to sit down with some whiskey, and a record and do some yoga, or some nothing! I’m so close… Two more quarters and counting.

1-mkp-washington-monument

The Washington Monument from a visit back east to visit Kevin’s family. It looks so beautiful doesn’t it? Let’s just admire it while it’s still standing shall we… You know, before Russia claims it as it’s own when they move into the White House come January.  To see more photos from this trip, click here.

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These beautiful hands belong to my dear friend and client, Marina Kolaric. To see more photos from this session, click here.

4-mkp-wild-child

Ah! I love this pic so much! This kid just kills me. This was taken at a job I was hired to shoot for a children’s birthday party. This cutie pie is the eldest of three awesome kids (he was not the birthday boy). Side note; the family hired me to shoot his brothers birthday party last year and he totally licked the candle on top of his birthday cake. Everyone around him was getting louder in their attempt to urge him not to do so, but I think he took the grumblings as a dare. He lived. It’s a pretty kick ass picture. If I had done this count down thing last year, that pic would have for sure been in it.

5-mkp-raul-pacheco

This is musician, Raul Pacheco of Ozomatli performing original music for a play. It was an incredible experience to document. For more photos from this shoot, click here.

6-mkp-cutie-pie

This was taken at a baby shower I was hired to shoot for some very special clients. While this photo is super serene, I think she was still for all of 20 seconds before she bounced up off the chair and continued her running around the yard with friends.

7-mkp-ladies-laughing

Same baby shower party as the above photo. To see more photos from this shoot, click here.

8-mkp-advancing-confidently-peter-bachmann

The gentleman in the photo is the Headmaster and history teacher at Flintridge Preparatory School. He is revered, and rightly so as he takes his job seriously. So seriously in fact that while he understands that certain things are needed of him personally for PR purposes, he does not like doing it…  He’s anxious to get back to his students.  I really dig that about him.  I usually get all of 2 minutes with him for portraits, and all other times have to be careful to stalk him without him noticing me so that I may get him in action with his students. This photo was one of those staged 2-minute photo sessions where we needed to get him with the book he wrote. It made the cut because his smile in the background is so big and real! It really feels like I accomplished something. I pat myself on the back every time I come across it.

9-mkp-flintridge-prep

Flintridge Prep clock tower.

10-mkp-deep-thinker

This photo was taken at another private school client of mine. I had to go into a specific classroom to shoot because the girls were presenting projects to the class. This one 13-year-old girl legitimately blew my mind with her concept. The philosophy behind her idea was that of communication, and how we translate and perceive actual words. She found an old typewriter and put paint on the keys so that when typing out a sentence, instead of letters, colors would appear on the page. It was so beautiful and poetic in it’s simplicity. 13 years old I tell you!!!

11-mkp-reflection

12-mkp-red-flower

13-mkp-groomsmen

14-mkp-happy-bride-and-groom

15-mkp-dirty-dancing-lift

These guys did the ACTUAL Dirty Dancing lift at this wedding reception. I caught this shot as he swung around. I don’t need to tell you that this group was wild. I love wild.

16-mkp-grandma-kiss

This and the previous 4 photos were at the same wedding. To see more from the day, click here. I was hired by members of the same family to shoot the wedding anniversary for the woman being kissed by her grandson. To see pics from that super special event, click here.

17-mkp-waiting-to-play

The Pasadena PAL is my primary charity. I was there to shoot some portraits of their team one day and snagged this shot while I was putting my gear together. I can’t tell you what about it I love so much; I only can tell you that I do.

18-mkp-kids-getting-in-trouble

Kids reprimanding/being defiant to other kids just cracks me up every time.

19-mkp-epic-dance-off

This was taken at a b’nai mitzvah I shot. What you see here is an EPIC dance off; adults on one side, kids on the other. The adults in the pic aren’t even the mothers of the kids they’re throwing down against which makes it even funnier. From this photo, you’d think the adults had the win on lock, but the girls came back with some cheerleading stunts that could not be matched. To see more photos from this job, click here.

20-mkp-prize

This photo was taken at a marriage and family therapist conference job. The lovely lady/book model in the picture is my boss since she is the one that hires me. She was presenting one of the prizes for the daily raffle drawings held each evening. The book title and her face are priceless.

21-mkp-wild-and-crazy-adults

Same conference as above. I throw out the suggestion for people to pick up a person so he/she can pose all sexy like often… Usually with bride and grooms and their peeps, but this situation was just calling for it! This group went for it even before I could finish asking the question.

22-mkp-grrrr

Same conference… This guy was one of the sign language translators for a couple of deaf therapists in attendance. He was all business and then just looked at me and made this face. It totally caught me off guard. This conference was filled with fun people.

23-mkp-chief-phillip-sanchez-lieutenant-vasken-gourdikian-and-jill-hawkins

These are 3 of my favorite people, and they also happen to be clients. I caught them in a lovely candid moment at an awards ceremony I was shooting. To see more photos from this job, click here.

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25-mkp-twins

26-mkp-celebration

27-mkp-marina-kolaric

My lovely Marina. To see more photos from this shoot click here.

28-mkp-bat-mitzvah

The beautiful mom laughing in this special moment at her daughters bat mitzvah ceremony is one of the ladies throwing down in the epic dance off above.  To see more from this event, click here.

29-mkp-crowd-surfing

This guy. You’ve seen his face, and probably his naked torso from SEVERAL parties that were featured on my blog. When I see him with a shirt on, I feel like something is wrong somehow. I love this family.

30-mkp-booty-booty-booty-booty-booty-everywhere

The gorgeous ladies in this photo are bigwigs at Five Acres. Every event I shoot for them, I have to get a photo of their Senior Leadership Team. We always take a nice, serious shot, and then we get a fun one. Tradition is tradition after all. I snagged this in the midst of some shenanigans once they thought we were done. I always keep shooting after posed pics to get these kinds of moments when they go back to having fun.

31-mkp-birds-eye-view

This was an amazing experience!!! Jill Hawkins of MHP Events and I got to go for a helicopter ride along with the Pasadena Police Department! This blog post is still yet to come.

32-mkp-rose-bowl

The Rose Bowl! Oh man, the helicopter ride was so freaking cool!

33-mkp-the-biltmore

The famous Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel.

34-mkp-german-shepherd-hug

Family portrait shoot centered on the most beloved family member.  To see more from this session, click here.

35-mkp-photo-bomb

The lovely lady in red totally photo bombed this romantic photo. To see more photos from this wedding, click here.

36-mkp-youre-drunk

Full disclosure. The bride, groom and event planner each pulled me aside separately at the reception to tell me they were going to get me drunk. There comes a point when shooting events where those drinking add to the photo greatness, and then it will inevitable take a turn to moments that are not so flattering. Luckily, my being drunk coincided with this turning point, so nothing was missed. This photo cracks me up because the woman is taking great delight in telling those around her that they got me drunk. She’s pointing/yelling at me.

37-mkp-cheaters-do-prosper

This was taken at my family’s annual brew and pie festival in Oregon. This was at the award ceremony for best pie. The winner totally cheated. Ces, you know what you did.

38-mkp-real-life-portraiture

The youngest two boys in these photos are my nephews. Their parents wanted some photos of all of them together.

39-mkp-real-life-kids-portraiture

Why would you want a boring picture on your mantle when you can have this instead? To see more from this mini-shoot, click here.

Next week, 3rd quarter favorites! And by next week, I mean a few short days since I was late with this post.

Don’t judge me.

I must start collecting and recording my favorite images. I have of course stumbled upon this wonderful idea some time ago, but just like anything else, it takes apparently takes me a while from conception to fruition. This is a purely selfish endeavor intended to shed some insight into what fills my time based on what fills my frames. How am I spending my time? What landscapes am I looking at and documenting? What tendencies do I have? What am I drawn to? Is the work I’m doing best fulfilling my internal big picture goals?

Let the year in review begin!  Some photos are self explanatory, others, I included little notes as to why they made the cut.

1-mkp-beverly-hills-portrait

When shooting portraits, I am always trying to capture the true self; I have no interest in capturing their persona. This photo was from a portrait session for a bat mitzvah client. This bitchin’ young lady is sporty all the way, so we incorporated it into her session. I love this shot because she looks like the self aware, relaxed badass that she is. And yeah, I’m totally lying in the middle of the street shooting this.

2-mkp-epic-chest-bump

Same shoot. I had her Dad pitch a ball to her from out of frame to get her swinging. On one of her hits, her Dad ran up and chest bumped her in celebration. It just makes me laugh. This family is so much fun I can’t even stand it.  To see more of my favorites from this shoot, click here.

3-sporty-headshot

4-mkp-bar-mitzvah

5-mkp-down-on-your-luck

I took this shot at a Casino themed bar mitzvah. As a lover of black jack and poker, I’ve been there boys… I’m with you. This picture just kills me.

6-mkp-strip-poker

Same Casino themed bar mitzvah… The dads in attendance slowly pushed their kids off the table so they could play strip poker. The lovely lady in the photo, while laughing at her friends, is asking the dealer if she’s okay with what’s happening. She was okay with it… Well, as okay as anyone can be I suppose.

7-mkp-happily-married

8-mkp-conga-line

9-mkp-break-dancer

This dude was so badass.

10-mkp-break-dancer

Same guy in the previous pic… He did a flip over 4 people!  To see more of my favorites from this event, click here.

11-mkp-number-23-flying

 

This was taken a kids birthday party I was hired to shoot at a parkour gym. I lied in one of the foam pits so I could shoot the kids as they jumped off the brick wall. Number 23 soaring through the air with such grace, just like we’re used to.

12-mkp-twins

This matching outfit WAS NOT planned! I mean, it’s one thing to have a matching dress or something, but this was so specific. This was taken at the Five Acres annual board meeting at the Altadena Country Club. The gentleman is a long time supporter of Five Acres, and the lovely lady is a staff member. I adore these two people. This picture cracks me up.

13-mkp-hard-at-work

This was from a corporate profile I was hired to shoot for a law firm. This awesome picture on the wall was one of the few pieces of decoration as they had just moved in. I’m realizing that as I go through my favorite pics that I like to recreate images.

14-mkp-canoe-at-sunset

15-mkp-lunch-in-the-park

This was my breakfast at a Pasadena farmers market as I set out to formulate a plan of attack for a local food project. Let’s just say it’s not gained the momentum I’ve hoped for. This photo however makes me feel like everything is going to be all right.

16-mkp-farmers-market

17-mkp-farmers-market

Another outing for the same project. I started out the year right on track!  To see more from this project, click here and here.

18-mkp-friends

19-mkp-brother-and-sister-dancing

Brother and sister dancing.

20-mkp-family

I was hired by a corporate client to shoot their team at LAX for their departure to China. I was trying to find the best background to shoot each person with their bags when this man holding this cutie basically walked right into my shot. I asked him to stop so I could get this pic.

21-mkp-happy-bar-mitzvah-boy

This was taken at a bar mitzvah for a shy young man. I was standing some distance away getting candid’s as guests arrived and had his mom locked in my frame. He noticed me and looked dead in the camera with the best smile while his mom hugged a woman behind him so joyfully.

22-mkp-wine

23-mkp-cat-wearing-a-scarf

God I love this picture.

24-mkp-bride-getting-ready

One of my now favorite clients getting ready for her wedding.  To see more from this wedding, click here.

25-mkp-the-graduate

Recreation of The Graduate movie poster.

26-mkp-cindy-and-barry-pearl

27-mkp-cindy-and-barry-pearl

28-mkp-red-flower

29-mkp-playing-on-the-street

30-sheldon-epps-chief-phillip-sanchez-hector-aristizabal-and-sayda-trujillo

This is a VIP shot for a gig I was hired to shoot for The Pasadena Playhouse. From left to right you have Sheldon Epps, the creative director of The Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, and Activist/Artists, Hector Aristizabal and Sayda Trujillo.  I’m not naming any names here, but not all of them love having their photo taken for publicity purposes which means I don’t always get the most genuine of smiles. I said something that made each of them laugh and I caught the best shot. Full disclosure, I totally have a crush on everyone in this photo, so looking at this shot makes me so happy. The only way it could have been better is if the Chief’s wife was also in the shot.  I love her.

31-mkp-a-boy-and-his-dog

So the previous two photo’s and the rest in this post are all from a job I was hired to shoot for The Pasadena Playhouse. It was a block party type event that centered on an interactive play using members of the community, not actors, as a means of creating a dialogue surrounding the issues that directly affect the people living there. It was amazing. They blocked off an entire street for the festivities and I got to document the goings on. It was seriously one of my favorite jobs of the whole year.  To see more pics from this super special job, click here.

32-mkp-guard-dog

33-mkp-cutie-pie

34-mkp-proud-teacher

35-mkp-summer

36-engaged-audience

37-mkp-youth

I’m not entirely sure of what is going on here, but I laugh out loud every time I see this picture.

38-mkp-summer

39-mkp-the-red-balloon

This photo might be my favorite of the whole year… I’ll see if anything beats it. Stay tuned! Next week will feature my favorite 39 photos from the second quarter of this year!