I’m quite possibly one of the most easy going travelers ever. I’m comfortable with discomfort, I’m excited by the unknown and although I meticulously plan things on the home front, when traveling, I relish in submission to the ebb and flow. Life is an adventure, and when we leave the comfort of our homes and the familiarity of our own areas, the best experiences unfold.

Day two (of free time) in China did not disappoint. We stepped out of our [ridiculously challenging to find] Airbnb to this ridiculously amazing street vendor, who was making our breakfast. She spread a thin layer of batter over a hot griddle, cracked an egg, sprinkled green onion, garlic and chili paste, rolled it up into an empty burrito, cut it in half and handed it to us. It was the most amazing crunchy, chewy, flavorful thing I think I’d ever had. And so simple! And maybe 25-50 cents? I wish I had taken a photo of it finished but it was too quickly devoured. We returned to her the next morning for round two.

With food in hand, we set off on foot to explore our new neighborhood, eat, drink, smell and just be in Shanghai for a day. It was so interesting observing people’s activities on a Tuesday. Men sitting outside talking, vendors inside working, people enjoying card games in the park, and so many people walking. Of course there are plenty of vehicles in China, but the Chinese enjoy daily exercise and walking is an essential element. I was thankful to take part in it that day and explore such a dynamic yet simple city. Here are some of the observations I captured.

The hallway of our apartment, 6th floor.

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People (wisely) use these little front jackets while they ride their scooters. It covers their arms and sometimes chest to protect them from rain, bugs, whatever on their ride.

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I just loved all the men sitting outside. How long had they been there? What were they discussing? What did they do for work?

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Almost every Shanghai restaurant has a trash can beside each table so that people can throw away bones, wrappers or whatever else they need. So practical.

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A man washes something on a street corner. What is he washing? Why on the street corner? Where does he live?

 

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This guy was making noodles! He’d swing them and slap them and swing them again. I want some now.

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Adam lived in Shanghai for a year several years ago. This was a bar he used to frequent, though it was closed.

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People had all sorts of birds and crickets in cages hanging on the sidewalks.

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Eggs boiled in soy sauce.

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A huge group of people were playing cards in the park. We stood and watched for awhile. Some groups got animated and excited. Most were quiet and serious.

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Sidewalk construction support.

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Before the sun set, we stopped at this specialty coffee shop for an espresso. After our experience at the Indie Coffee Fest and learning about Chinese culture and how they look at process and technology, we are excited about the future of specialty coffee in China. Hopefully to return for more soon!

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Alright ya’ll asked for it — you’re gettin it!

Lovato Images 2018 Mini Sessions

Offered on October 26 and 27 ONLY!

Booking begins this Friday, September 28 at 3pm.

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The details:

$150 for a 25 minute portrait session with up to 5 people on October 26th or 27th only. Available times are listed below; locations in Orange County TBA. Mini session includes 3 digital portraits (high-resolution jpeg files) that you select and receive during your ordering session on November 7 or November 8. Booking begins this Friday, September 28 at 3pm. Time slots are filled on first come, first serve basis by email request to info@lovatoimages.com.

 

Available session times:

OCTOBER 26, Friday
3:30pm
4:00pm
4:30pm

OCTOBER 27, Saturday
7:30am
8:00am
8:30am

3:30pm
4:00pm
4:30pm

 

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The Fine Print:

Mini Sessions are available October 26 and 27 only. Booking is done via email to info@lovatoimages.com and is first come first serve until all time slots are filled. A $50 deposit via Venmo is due immediately to reserve your confirmed time. The remaining balance is due in cash on day of session. Additional people or pets are $25 each. High resolution jpeg images are delivered after your follow up ordering session on Nov 7 or 8 only. It is $50 additional for an online gallery to order from home if you are not able to make it to your ordering session. Mini Session includes 25 minute session and 3 high resolution jpeg image files, printable up to 8×10 with printing rights. Additional files and prints can be purchased during ordering session.

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Please request your session time after 3pm on September 28 via email, then remit Venmo payment immediately once your time slot is confirmed.

 

Additional Options and Add-ons:

Additional People or Pets
$25 each

Additional Digital JPEG Images
$50 each

Print Package
1 11×14, 1 8×10 & 3 5x7s
$50

11×14 Wrapped Print
$200

All Digital JPEG Images from Session
$300

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I’ve done so many heashot sessions this month, I want to do a few more!

THIS WEEK ONLY, offering headshot sessions for 25% off! In studio, 20-30 minute session, proofing and 1 retouched high resolution jpeg file for $150. Morning session times only, at my studio in Orange. Call now to book – 714.420.3330.

Oh and, just so you’re warned, it’s 20-30 minutes of nonstop fun:

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High school sweethearts, Justine and Scott had been together for 9 years before they tied the knot. Growing up and what not, the two both pursued their education and careers before a marriage. They never stopped pursuing one another though.

Laid back and loads of fun, the couple threw the best party. Exchanging knowing glances throughout their Catholic ceremony and beaming at one another throughout the day, it was easy to see their love. They told me when we first spoke that the most important part of their wedding was being together with their family and friends. I loved that and loved being a part of their day.

This post is a little late (they were married a few months back), but cheers to you, Justine and Scott! May God grant you many more years together!

 

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Both Justine and Scott separately got ready in their childhood homes. I loved that.

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They had their wedding ceremony at St. Norbert’s in Orange. It’s a beautiful parish.

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Just look at those stained glass windows!

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Then onto the family and friends celebration at the reception at the Yorba Linda Country Club. Love this blue building!

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We got the call on a Friday, inviting us to take part in the Indie Coffee Fest in Shanghai. The following Monday our tickets were purchased, and 12 days later we were on a plane to cross the Pacific. I had to cancel shoots and meetings, lost money and lots of sleep, but I was thrilled and knew that Hunter S. Thompson would have approved.

Originally, we were supposed to arrive Thursday night, work Friday-Sunday, and return home Monday night. We changed our flights right before departing though, to allow an extra day and a half in the ancient city. Our traveling partner, however, stayed on that Monday night flight. So the three of us set out that morning, after three long days slinging coffee and preaching Portola Coffee’s name to the eastern world, to explore.

I just love walking through neighborhoods and alleys and experiencing a new city on foot. There’s so much you see and feel that is missed when on wheels. I loved the way that city smelled, the way it sounded, the way the people went about their day. I didn’t take any incredible photos, no shots of the amazing food or beautiful portraits; I just shot from the hip, while focusing on opening myself to a culture that so deeply differs from my own. That shift in focus was the best thing I could have done that day. It was my favorite part of the trip.

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Pan-fried Bun Stuffed with Monopoly Store. The signs in English were amazing. I took more on my cell phone; I should do a post later with just sign photos.

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So much food and so little time! I didn’t take any photos of the food in front of me because I was too busy devouring it.

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Hand made noodles. This guy was singing as he slapped them through the sieve. We ate them later – to die for!!!

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This guy was drying tea leaves and smiling at every potential customer that walked past.

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The infrastructure in Shanghai was incredible. And the city was so clean! Very pleasantly surprised there, not that I was expecting it to be filthy, but maybe smelling more like fish? I don’t know. It was nice though, very nice. And VERY safe.

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Adam and Kristy wanted to walk through the city as we were in the photos above. I said let’s walk to the river. No one was mad about the few extra blocks.

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All I wanted to do was shop. Watermelon, oysters, shoes, calligraphy pens, a broom, whatever! Gimme!

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Didn’t eat any cat.

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Definitely ate my share of cookies and pastries (and noodles and dumplings and steamed buns and, and, and).

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The architecture and design was incredible!

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I wonder how her photo turned out…

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As the evening fell, we hopped in a cab and took Kristy back to the hotel. Her flight had been delayed til the next morning so we all got to sleep, a little. Jet lag from here to China is intense. Worth every second of fatigue though. I’d do it over again in a heartbeat.

More photos to come.

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