In Category: ‘Travels’

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY !!!! and moving on…

So my last two weeks were quite an adventure. My main reason for heading back to Taiwan was to spend time with my extended family for Chinese New Year. During my stay, I spent most of my time residing at my grandmother’s place. There I lived a pretty simple, maybe even primitive, lifestyle. I’ll go even further by saying slightly less than comfortable. I’ll elaborate. First there was no Internet, for most typical young Americans, that’s essentially like being a fetus and having the umbilical cord cut while you’re still inside. It’s extremely isolating.

Second, I showered by means of buckets. It is exactly how it sounds: water is poured into a bucket, and then the bucket is poured onto me over and over again. The key to “showering” in this manner is to quickly and evenly pour water over your body so that no one side of your body gets too cold. I wasn’t very good at this because I’m usually used to slowly spinning around like a rotisserie chicken under a shower head.

Third, I sleep on a board that is a bed in disguise. Essentially, the board is the bed, and the sheet is the disguise. It’s on the very end of the spectrum where nice comfortable Tempurapedic mattresses are on the opposite end. Traditional Chinese people believe that it’s much better for your back, but I wonder why that is every time I have to crack my crooked back in the morning.

Fourth, if I somehow managed to find a comfortable position to sleep in, I still had to figure out a way to avoid detection by mosquitoes while pretending that I wasn’t bothered by the random startling noises of firecrackers popping in the middle of the night (because of Chinese New Year). On top of that, I shared a room with my father and uncle who both snore, so it was basically a racet to see who can sleep the fastest. The one who sleeps first is the ‘winner.” Since I stay up the latest, I almost always lose in that game.

In a nutshell, it was uncomfortable. But what made it all worth it was to see all my cousins, family, and friends. And of course, the food. Taiwan might be a small island, but it certainly has some of the best food in the world. All their food is fresh, and prepared with really fresh ingredients. It might not be clean, but it’s fresh icon smile Im back!!! and Happy Valentines Day Everyone! And it’s amazing. Taiwan is what I call “food heaven.” My friend Eric said that the Taiwanese have “perfected the art of baking and frying,” and he couldn’t be more right. Their bread from their bakeries is world class, and you know what’s more amazing? It’s really, really cheap. There’s also fresh fish, shrimp, sashimi, lobster, crab, squid, duck, and chicken just to name a few. So glorious.

I took these photos with my iphone 4, I actually didn’t bring my SLR (big camera).

photo 2 Im back!!! and Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

photo 3 Im back!!! and Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

photo 4 Im back!!! and Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

photo 5 Im back!!! and Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Part of my job as a photographer allows me to travel, which I am so thankful for. Just this past year in 2010 I was able to travel to New york, San Francisco, Hawaii, and Paris. Aside from the photography during the traveling it’s the random adventures, the food, and the people I meet on my travels that make traveling so interesting, fun and unique. And sometimes it’s the random people that I meet and talk to on my flights that makes my traveling so much more interesting. This post is dedicated to all of the people that I’ve met during my trips. Thank you for making my trips so much more awesome.
Meet Josh (the one on the right)! He’s from Australia. My friend Jon (on the left) and I call Josh: Aussie Josh.  It was pretty clear to Jon and I that Aussie Josh was going to be pretty fun to sit next to when Josh tried to order alcohol before the plane took off. And in case you didn’t know, no alcohol is allowed to be served until the plane is in the air. But a after few hundred feet in the air, and a few drinks later Jon, Josh, and I became the life of the party in row 27. It was awesome. I have no doubt in my mind we were loud and probably very obnoxious to the whole plane, if not, at least to the our neighboring rows. This was the beginning to what turned out to be a very epic New York Trip. Thank you Josh!

 Thank you random people I meet on airplanes/subway

This is Jonathan. I met him on my second trip to New York and I didn’t meet him on the plane but rather afterwards at the subway station adjacent to the JFK airport.  He came up to me and started talking to me first, and just like any paranoid Angelino I thought he was a creeper. But he turned out to be quite awesome and super friendly. He eventually invited me and a couple of friends to a stand up comedy show in New York that he was hosting called “Buns and Puns.” Since he was so cool my friends and I actually showed up to it and check it out, they actually serve you cinnamon buns when you go there, hence “buns and puns.” I love food.  When we arrived we got stuck up at the front row which is my number one fear when going to a stand up comedy show. But Jon assured me that I’d be alright, but I really thought he was lying and I was going to get cooked by all the stand up comedians for sure. But he was right, thank you John!

 Thank you random people I meet on airplanes/subway

On my third trip to New York, I got to meet the naked cowboy, and although my conversation with him didn’t really get past a couple of sentences I thought I’d put up a photo of him anyway. For those who aren’t familiar with the naked cowboy, he’s quite the attraction (for obvious reasons) in Times Square. He’ll play the guitar for you and pose for you if you tip him. It a little uncomfortable for me to ask to take a picture with a naked cowboy, but it was worth the $1 that I tipped him and it makes for a good story and a cool picture. I also hear that there’s a female version of the naked cowboy somewhere in Times Square, I tried to look for her  but I think it was her day off. Shucks.

 Thank you random people I meet on airplanes/subway

This is Alexia, and I met her on my flight back from Paris a couple of months ago. I found out that she’s a model and she’s been to more countries than I have. I was very jealous, but anyone who’s traveling that much is generally cool. And she was! She was so nice and very helpful on the entire trip she’d always help me with the my stubborn tray that was in between our seats (we sat in a front row where trays were stashed in between arm rests.)  We had all sorts of random conversations that involved language, culture and countries. English isn’t her first language, but I think we did pretty well communicating. And obviously her first language was French so I’d tried to eaves drop whenever she was talking to a flight attendant or some other person not because I was nosy, but just because the french language sounds like sexy poetry. Thanks Alexia!

2photo Thank you random people I meet on airplanes/subway

This is Vincent, he was my flight buddy on my last trip this past weekend from New York City. That same day my friend Scotty (in NY) pointed out that I haven’t met anyone random on that trip to NY, when he said that I realized he was right and quite frankly I was a little sad, but luckily on the way back I happen to sit next to a pretty awesome person. Even though we didn’t talk until the end of the flight we had some really, really good conversation. We talked mostly about his life and God, and it was definitely the deepest conversation I’ve ever had with a random person in such a short period of time. Finally at the end, I gave him my sandwich because he was really hungry and if you know me at all, you know that I love food and that was a big sacrifice, but he was an exceptional airplane friend. I hope that I made his day.

 Thank you random people I meet on airplanes/subway

So if you ever bump into me at a subway station or on the plane, I think I’m a pretty good flight buddy so come and talk to me!

November 12, 2010 Mad Rock Climbing

I haven’t had a personal blog post in a while, and even though this is still ‘work’ related. I recently picked up rock climbing! So the first half of this post I shot about 5-6 months for Mad Rock Climbing which is a company based in Orange County and they sell…rock climbing gear of course icon smile Mad Rock Climbing

I have a few pictures of in their 2011 catalog which is kind of exciting, I photographed these images during one of the team’s excursions and at that time I didn’t do any rock climbing, but as of three weeks ago I’m a rock climber icon smile Mad Rock Climbing I’m all decked out with climbing gear now and I think I’m doing okay thanks to my friend who are experts icon smile Mad Rock Climbing Last, last time I climbed, I took on a 5-10 (even though it took me a long time and I had a lot of help) I was pretty proud and tired after that. I plan on climbing more and more!

At the end of the post, I attached a few photos of me and my friend climbing at Hangar 18 in Upland.

I’d like to thank Mark, Kenny, Winnie, Lisa, Michelle, for helping me out and teaching me to climbI look forward to climbing with Brian Wu, Julie, Elnie, and Brian Chu!

madrock1 Mad Rock Climbing

madrock2 Mad Rock Climbing

madrock5 Mad Rock Climbing

Here are a few of my other favorites from the shoot icon smile Mad Rock Climbing

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erichchen madrock 294 Mad Rock Climbing

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redrock ec161 Mad Rock Climbing

I’m coming down from a climb that I couldn’t do, haha. This is my fail-smile.

 Mad Rock Climbing

I’m suiting up!

 Mad Rock Climbing

Some of my climbing friends and I

 Mad Rock Climbing

Okay honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this post. How can I possibly sum up an extraordinary week with Juanita and Billy in just a paragraph or two? I can’t.

Meet Juanita and Billy. This photogenic couple resides in New York City (the city that I’m in love with) and came to me inquiring about having a shoot in Europe. Yup. I grabbed the contract and a pen so quickly I yanked it out of the printer before the contract was even done printing. Well not really, but needless to say I was very excited. And although the story didn’t really go like that I do remember using a lot of capitalized letters followed by exclamation marks and a lot of  “:)” in my email exchanges between them.

During our trip in France, I basically spent three-four days with a couple that I had only met with once.  Usually trips like these end up could end up either really good or really bad. But this trip was EPIC. I was traveling (sightseeing), photographing, and meeting people all at the same time. That’s pretty much a bunch of my passions in life all smashed into one trip. And really, what more could a photographer ask for when he’s given a beautiful and awesome couple with an environment that is simply astonishing. The beauty, history, vastness, detail of European architecture easily blows away any of the architecture in Los Angeles. The abundance of columns, cobble stone streets, archways, stone walls, etc. etc. is any photographer’s dream! Thank you Juanita, and Billy for giving me this opportunity! I must’ve thanked them about a million times already for taking me there to photograph in such an amazing place. Speaking of thanking, I think it’s funny when people thank me for taking photos of them, because really, people pay me to do what I love? No, no, no, thank you!

Anyways, I digress. Juanita + Billy + France = eye-gasmic photos. We drove (or Billy drove) hours away from Paris to visit a number of Chateaus to photograph at (A Chateau is a French fortress, castle, estate, in case your vocabulary is a little rusty like mine.) And all of them were just jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

If you’ve never been to Paris, here’s my two cents. Food is expensive and terrible, but the desserts make up for it. Prior to this trip, I didn’t have a sweet tooth. In fact I avoided sweets, but on many of our trips Billy would take detours just so that we could visit a certain bakery for a dessert run. And you know what? I now like desserts. There, I said it! I can’t remember how many dessert places we actually went to but it just seemed like we were going to them all the time! And I was totally liking it!!

Yeah I think I’ll stop here, because I could probably go on forever.

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Erich Chen Photography. Paris Wedding. France Wedding. Destination Wedding Photographer. Creative and Modern Wedding Photographer. If you are interested in having your destination wedding photographed by me please visit my contact page through my website www.erichchen.com

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