Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

Orange Door Studio | Newport Beach

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Photo by Gabriel Mora

Photo by Gabriel Mora

This week Lawrence Chan of Tofurious invited me to his talk at the Orange Door Studio in Newport Beach. I don’t usually go to talks, not because I don’t find them interesting, I’m a big fan of TED, but lately my in box is full of invites from speakers and some aren’t very good. However, when I got the email from Lawrence, I packed my car with snacks, a pot of coffee, Donald Trump’s “Think Big and Kiss Ass” and Michael Port’s “Book Yourself Solid” audio book and I made the trek from Sacramento to San Diego.

When I arrived at Orange Door Studios I was blown away by the way I was treated by Carlos Valle and Jeannie Jeffries. Carlos Valle is a commercial photographer and Jeannie is a make-up artist; in fact she had recently returned from a shoot in the Dominican Republic; now that’s a gig! These people were super cool, I felt like family and the space had a great vibe. Lawrence talk was cool but what I love the most were connections that I made, this group of artist that gathered for this are top notch. I had a great time talking and making new friends likeCheri De Haro and Gabriel Mora.

I thought that was the end of my excitement, but nope I was wrong. On the way back home, right outside of Fresno, a car a few cars ahead of me ran right off the road going over 80 miles an hour. I pulled over quick and with my heart pounding I called 911 and made my way down to the car; man I was scared. The car was 4 door Camry, the window was busted, the rear axle was gone and a cute white Brindle French Bull Dog, a working dog, was wondering around with a bleeding eye. I walked over to the driver, the only person in the car and asked if she was ok. She was hurting but she seem like she was fine. CHP arrived and they call a fire truck for the Jaws of Life to get her out. She thanked me for staying with her and I said, “All I’m doing is what I want to be done to me if I were ever in your position”, she said “I promise that the next time this happens to you, I’ll be there for you, hey at least I have my iPhone!” I thought it was cool that she had a sense of humor after that.

Thank you Harvey for letting me crash your pad while in San Diego.

Flowers by Sage

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

These beautiful arrangements were created by Cheryl at “Accents by Sage“.

Dream Wedding 10th Anniversary

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I was fortunate to work side by side to Jonathan Orfanos and the fabulous Jennifer of the Memory Journalist at Arden Hills last week. I get a kick when I share the same room with people that I admire and lately I get a big jolt when I speak to those that have made their love into a profitable business. Sue and Buzz Gallardo have just celebrated 10 years of producing the Dream Wedding show here in Northern California. For many years, my bride and I have visited this show. I’ve been a fan of many of these vendors way before they became my colleagues and friends and today I’m proud to mention that I will be doing my first show at CalExpo on February 2010. To the entire Dream Wedding team, thank you for quality and commitment and many more years of success.

I quick hello to my new friends:

Accents by Sage

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Accents by Sage and Carlos Valentino PhotographyA few months ago I asked Cheryl Perdue Sage of Accents by Sage to create for a a bold bouquet for a photo shoot. I wanted it it be non-traditional and very true the season of fall which we were shooting in. Cheryl came back with a tight arrangement of deep dark reds and brunt orange highlights, very seasonal, very edgy and very chic. I must report that we worked really hard that day and when the night was over the bouquet looked just as good as when it came in the night before. I’m looking forward to posting Accents by Sage interview on the Sacramento Chic website, it should be a blast.

Thank you Cheryl for lending your talent to this venture which became the image for my ad campaign in Sacramento Bride and Groom.

Lions Gate Hotel

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Photographed by

Photographed by

Swopmeet last night at the Lion Gate Hotel was a blast; I heard over 195 vendors attended, fantastic! I met with friends that I haven’t seen in a while like Lora Ward from A Day to Remember, and I finally got to meet Ryan Douglas , which will soon be featured on Sacramento Chic. It was a great night to have a outside event and the Lions Hotel is such an elegant place to have an event. As I walked around the grounds I couldn’t help but feel like I was back on Miami beach, in fact the night was humid which is quite rare here. I look forward to the next event at Arden Hills where The Dream Wedding Show will be throwing a 10 year bash celebration.

Shout out to my new friends:

This image of Allison and I was taken by the beautiful Andrea of Andrea Images

Sacramento Chic Wedding Vendors & Beyond

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Sacramento Chic

I read somewhere that one’s net worth can be best measured by the size of their network. I decided that it was time for me to share my wealth of friends by creating my own network. Welcome to Sacramento Chic where I interview wedding vendors and post their response on-line so Brides and Grooms can get to know them a little bit before they actually meet. Webster dictionary defines Chic as “Smart Elegance and Sophistication…” and my aim is to personally hand select and highlight “Sacramento’s Chic” Wedding Vendors.

Malcontents and a Unincorporated Association

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I received a this entry as a blog comment a few days ago and I thought that it would service us best if it was it’s own blog entry.

It comes as no surprise to anyone that Sacramento Bride and Groom has had a disagreement with how Afwpi is structured, that was one of the reasons why we decided to withdraw from the association several years ago. Even though we did not receive a mailed letter that was sent to some members, we did get a copy. “THEY” said in their July 6, 2009 letter that they are a “for profit” Unincorporated Association and that many associations are structured the same way. However, most unincorporated associations are non-profit organizations and in the state of California, all unincorporated associations must be registered with the Secretary of State. My question… Is Afwpi registered as an unincorporated association, or are they simply running a business as husband and wife? Their business licenses taken out in 2008, indicate the latter. The letter continues with “We wanted to set the record straight on that”. Their explanation left things unclear, so I did a little research on just what an unincorporated association is, here is a portion of what I found.

A non-profit unincorporated association is any grouping of persons (i.e. a collective, an activist organization, etc.) uniting together for some special purpose or business other than making a profit. Most states will grant tax-exempt status to an unincorporated association or club, you will have to contact your state government to get information about applying for it. However, if you just take out a non-interest bearing account at a bank or credit union (i.e. a checking account) you will not have to file taxes for your association and, therefore, you can avoid dealing with the government at all. The main differences between an unincorporated association and a non-profit corporation is that the members of an unincorporated association can be held directly liable if someone were to sue the association and it is problematic for unincorporated associations to have paid employees. I don’t know about you, but it sounds a little risky to be a member of this type of association.

While I agree that most small businesses have encountered financial hurdles, the solution is not to incur more debt than you can pay. It’s difficult to imagine how adding more shows is going to solve the problem. In fact, adding shows that do not include a sufficient budget for advertising will only make matters worse for the very people they purport to help… the vendors. When a vendor does a show that does not bring in a significant number of quality brides, that vendor has less money to spend for other marketing avenues that does have an advertising budget. When a vendor buys an ad in a magazine they have a right to expect it to come out on time, be distributed as promised, and be of sufficient quality that brides will want to read. The letter suggests that a reason for the money woes is a “reduction in our home values”. Regardless of that, when money is collected for an event, that event must be paid for. These are standards that must apply to all. For the life of me I cannot understand how a group of people on an all expense paid trip to the Philippines …”to discover their country and to develop more members there”… will help pay the bills here. The Philippines Department of Tourism is hoping that the people in this group will send brides over to the Philippines for “destination weddings”. How does “developing more members there” help the Department of Tourism? Don’t we want to keep our brides here, using local venues and vendors? It sounds like a big boon-doggle to me.

I’m happy to hear that they are willing to take responsibility for their problems and I believe them when they say they never wanted to harm the members, however, the end result is the same, and people have been hurt. I also cannot figure out how “all” funds that come into the association are applied to its operations and advancement. Don’t they pay themselves a salary? Don’t they have a mortgage and other bills like the rest of us?

Now, about those “intentions”. We all know where that road leads and what it’s paved with. None of us ever set out to do harm to others, and over the years many of us have given AFWPI countless of hours support. But there comes a time when intentions are not enough, there must be concrete evidence that steps are being taken to correct the problems. Unfortunately, when those of us who have disagreed with their policies and lack of professionalism, we become a member of what is commonly known as the “dead meat society”. We are no longer welcomed and our letters to the ethics committee are never read or addressed. We are quite simply perceived as the enemy, which is unfortunate, because we really do not wish the association any harm. What we want is an organization that actually operates at a level commensurate with the standards of their own “Code of Ethics”, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Like Carlos, we feel there are too few who stand up and tell it like it is… we are perceived as troublemakers and malcontents. Nothing could be further from the truth, we are in fact, just a few who are not afraid to stand up for ourselves and let the chips fall where they may. We “choose the harder right over the easier wrong” and we will “never be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.”

So where do we go from here? This Ladies and Gents is my last installment on this issue, it was bitter sweet and the end has arrived. I close this chapter the way I started it, announcing to the world that this is not a personal attack to those involved, but a demand for integrity. I think it’s a sad day when people who we put on pedestals let us down. I once held this organization in high regard and today the voice of history reminds me of how much of a fool I am for doing so. I will never ever ever mention this group in any of my blogs ever again unless, they decide to say a few words. I wanted this to be a fair conversation and though I know many have read the entries, no one has come in their defense. I hope this blog segment encourages others to speak out when things seem wrong and think twice where they place their loyalty.

Mona Vie

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

I had a fun time covering the party launch for Mona Vie Emv sports drink. If you don’t have a clue what Mona Vie is, where have you been? “MonaVie features a delicious blend of the Brazilian açai berry—one of nature’s top superfoods—and 18 other body-beneficial fruits. This Balance-Variety-Moderation approach to nutrition delivers powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients to help fight free radicals and maintain your body’s overall health…” If you need any additional information on this Super Food please contact my buddy Cliff Alexander and for more images of the party, follow my show room link.

Johnny Vu – In the Hot Seat!

Friday, May 1st, 2009

“When I was in 3rd grade, at recess my teacher asked me to draw a big collage of the school for a retiring teacher. I was the only kid in the class at recess working on it. During the recess, that retired teacher brought a camera to class for his party. When he showed me it and said, “you might like this thing.” and I did. That’s when I knew. Everything just came naturally and the rest is history.What was your first camera? I believe it was either a Concord 110 or a Hanimex 110 camera – All I know is that it was pink!“

Go to for the full interview

Carmen Salazar – Interrogated

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

When I sent the e-mail out about doing the Studio Spotlight my buddyCarmen Salazar interviewed by Sacramento Wedding Photographer Carlos Valentino Carmen Salazar was the first one to take action; that is one of the many reason why I love this lady. Her bio say: “I have traveled the world and photographed many great places and I am constantly amazed by the people I meet through photography. I have the privilege of working with so many wonderful people who give so much of themselves to me and I am a better person for that. Growing up I always adored the timeless images from my grandparents wedding and have always been in love with the notion of love and it’s eternal nature. I find weddings to be the culmination of love at it’s best – a most amazing ritual and exchange. Each one so unique. Each one so intense with emotion. To photograph it is an honor. In fact, I cry at every wedding I photograph. Something about the father daughter dance always gets me. Don’t worry though – I’m a discreet sober…you’ll never know.”

For more of this interview please go to