28 February 2008


say hi to the kiss book.

i just received khara & jake's kiss book [engagement album] the other day, and it is smokin! i can't wait to watch them pledge their lives, toes in the sand, at salt creek on easter weekend. these two have such an excited whirlwind of a story, and i am blessed to call them new friends.

so, i was stoked when i got the email saying their book had been finished. carlie and i had a kiss book, which served as a sign-in guest book on our wedding day, and is now something we will be able to share with our kids, and our kids-kids...

the engagement session is already one of those parts of my job that i so so value, because it's basically just a hang-out session where i get to do what i love: hear your story & capture those priceless yet fleeting moments with my camera. and, when displayed in a hand-crafted book, you have something tangible that can always 'take you back' to the start, to the place your journey began.

thanks again, khara & jake, and all of my couples. without you, i would probably be wandering the streets, clicking away at random street signs and passerbys, or propositioning my bride to put on her wedding dress, just one more time.

since you already said hi to the kiss book, i thought i would let you hang out.

note: stunt books were used, as not to harm khara & jake's newest [and probably first] family heirloom

27 February 2008


by 8:30 on a friday night, dinner's over, the tube is on, and most couples have already committed their plans for the evening: a rockin night out on the dance floor, the movies with a group of friends, or like carlie and i, recuperating from a long week with a nice relaxing evening at home. and if plans change at this point, the most spontaneous choice might be an inspired trip to coldstone's.

but, when my bride drew me into one of the many home design reality shows, that can show you how to turn a dozen paper towel rolls into a hi-fashion bedroom accessory, inspiration struck... and not involving a delectable frozen creation.

let's move our bed, quickly turned into, how about we paint our room, find some new window treatments, and maybe find a mirror or two to hang on the wall... and yeah... maybe we could paint our dresser and hang some pictures.

with a half-an-hour of time before our stores of choice closed for the evening, we made it, mario andretti style, to home depot and ikea [with 5 minutes to spare]. and, as a skeptic of the shows that can turn a house upside-down in a matter of days, i knew we had taken on a bit more than we could chew.

but, somehow [i say that as if i didn't realize the radfactor power behind the inspiration of a wife on a mission... especially carlie on a mission], we were in bed by 2am with four freshly coated sand-stone walls, a coffee [though i think it looks black] colored dresser with matching mirror, and a set of double-drape window treatments [white lace & dark espresso], not to mention the crisp ivory duvet and pink peonies accenting the neutral tones [but not-so neutral smells] of our new room. and though we probably should have slept in the living room, we were beat.

next time you don't know what to do on a friday night at 8:30, get inspired and follow thru. it can be a lot of fun.


to the bride-to-be... if you don't have one yet, get an aunt brenda.

last year, carlie renee & myself tied the knot lakeside in front of an intimate group of friends and family. when we proceeded up the hill to throw down some dance moves and get our grub on, my new bride and i were free to enjoy each moment as it happened, and live in 'the blur' that many brides & grooms fear they will get lost in. instead carlie and i have memories that we were fully a part of.

and we have aunt brenda to thank for a lot of that.

although she doesn't have a business card or a formal store front, my aunt knows how to throw a party. my bride & i, like most people, wanted to have awesome experiences on our wedding day, and we wanted to be able to remember those awesome experiences. when we humbly made our request to have my aunt host our reception, she replied excitedly with lists of vendors, took us tasting with our caterer, and even helped find a dj when ours bailed the week before our wedding.

having someone coordinate and help guide you in the process of planning & enjoying your wedding can be such a blessing. that said, make sure that whoever might help is qualified. carlie & i were lucky to have a volunteer, and you too may have an 'aunt brenda' in your family. if not, check out j'adore details, and click on the anticipation link at the bottom for a list of more-than-qualified coordinators.

my favoritist photog in the world [and someone who has blessed carlie & i with some radtastic memories and images to remember them by], jasmine star helped create j'adore details as a resource for the bride-to-be in the planning stages of your big day. so, check out j'adore.

again, though we can't say it enough, thank you aunt brenda [and uncle rod... especially for taking us wine tasting even though we ended up going with good ol' chuck shaw] for playing such a huge roll on such an important day for carlie and i.

aunt brenda [and your girls], meet my blog. blog, meet aunt brenda.

[and as a disclaimer, i am not getting any type of kick-back from j'adore or jasmine for the plug, i just strongly believe there is a tremendous value to be found in what they are offering]

25 February 2008


[foreword from the big-brother... in-law]

my amazingly-passionate bride cherishes family more than anything. last night she asked me [on this particularly special day] permission to hijack my blog and share a story. so, here is the heart-felt perspective of a big sister.

i remember it like it was yesterday. i was nine. my dad walked through the door with 'congrats' balloons.

what are the balloons for?

you're gonna be a big sister again!

i was ecstatic. maybe because i was sick of dressing my poor three-year-old brother in girls dresses. plus, he was starting to realize mascara was not for boys.

i was sure it was going to be a little girl. it HAD to be a little girl. i prayed every night for a baby sister. my mom even used the 'if you don't be good you wont get a baby sister.' i don't think it really worked... i was still a brat.

my parents decided not to find out the sex of the baby till it was born, so it was 9 months of pure torture. the day you were born was one of the best days of my life. i got a front row seat and watched in, well... awe. you were born and when nana said "it's a girl" tears started streaming down my face.

mom wanted to name you either casey or cassandra. i begged for cassandra. why? because i had the right to name you. ya ya, i didn't go through the morning sickness, the pregnancy gas, the side kicks to the stomach, or the long labor & delivery but dammit i was the big sister!

february 25,1995 God decided i was good enough to be blessed with you as my little sister. you are growing up so fast into a beautiful, intelligent, free spirited, incredible young woman. i love you my cassie roo.

i bet you are glad i won't be there this year at your party?

22 February 2008


to the woman that brought me into this world. to the mother that has faced trials none should ever be required to face. to the lady that has overcome. to the child of God that is still full of life, and in the midst of an incredible journey. you have done nothing less than nurture, support, and love me in every moment of my being. thanks mom. i love you. happy birthday.

photo by the one-and-only jasmine star

21 February 2008


i thought this was classic. counting the iMac, my fellow fast track founders jen & karey, and myself, all out of frame, the person to computer ratio was 8:5.  [and we won't hold it against micah for bearing his dell]  

today, an intimate group of photographers, across the world [smells paradoxically wonderful to me] came together to talk.  and a few of my local photog friends decided to join in on the action together at our pad.

now these kind of meetings may not be unique. the dawn of digital has brought us all closer. what drew vasco de gama 3 months into the ocean, and into the unknown, can now be researched in seconds. and all of this: conference calls, web chats, forums, blogs, myspace, facebook, twitter... has given us access to each other, which can collectively increase our information intake exponentially. totally cool!  but my take is that it would be a waste to use all these great tools to simply gorge myself on its offerings.

instead, i like to see how all these great tools can actually assist, rather than replace, the building of community. i love people. i love story. and i pray that with each interaction, i can actually bring something to the table... that i can add value to my community. this seems to couple well with what i have heard of tim sanders, and then repeated ironically by my friend and mentor dane sanders, 'your network is your networth.'  therefore, if i am truly networking [aka hanging out and getting to know real people with real stories], my aim should be to add value or worth.

happy networthing.

18 February 2008


noticing the curiously large number of youngsters donning the ever-famous mickey-ears, cash remarked

this is like disneyland

still oblivious to his birthday surprise. you see, earlier that morning mom & dad, sister charlie, and grammy all piled into the truck [one of those plush tundra's with the super-extendo cab] and hopped on the freeway to visit uncle gabe and auntie carlie. and, even after parking in the downtown disney lot, and perusing the lego store and other shops, the birthday boy, mr cash william keen, still didn't fully realize what he was in for that day. finally, after passing through the bag check, standing at the entrance to the magic kingdom, it hit him...

and he decided to pull out a few moves, complete with a lip curl, that would be the envy of even justin timberlake.

the rest of the day was filled with nothing less than enjoying the company of my wonderful family. i am so blessed by each person God has placed in the middle of my story.

grammy and the birthday boy. [look in the reflection and you might catch a glimpse of yours truly]

i love how kids cheese-it-up when they think they need to pose. this screams but, mom... i AM smiling

the many expressions of charlie nicole keen. happy. happy. and some more happy.

daddy in the passenger seat [autopia is all 'euro' with the driver on the right].

cash loves his little sister...

but he is a true warrior at heart!

14 February 2008


first things first... i love my wife [duh, she's awesome]. carlie renee pretty much rocks my world! not only did she pack my lunch today [complete with a valentine note on my napkin], but she 'gets' me. carlie is the kind of girl that really thinks about a gift before she gives it, the kind of girl that does everything with passion, whether its planning a wedding, finding recipes, or watching biggest loser. i love you babe.

moving on, last week a friend passed some love along and it made my week. so i wanted to share.

the phone rang, and i picked up cheerfully, though having not recognized the number on caller id. funny thing, it was a familiar voice... none other than my fellow blogger & photog friend, ashley parsons of kansas city. now, every once in a while, a fellow photographer will pass along a referral if she receives an inquiry for a day she is already booked. but a referral for a day open on her calendar, because the photog thinks it might be in the best interest of her client, is what sets ashley in rare air.

[the parson's... raddest family that side of the mississippi... although my geography is no good so i actually don't know which side of the mississippi they are on]

thank you ashley, for sharing the love. carlie and i can't wait to meet the parson family [beach-day in august?]! have a rockin v-day!

11 February 2008


nothing crazy. no huge epiphany. no major spiritual transformation. i just got to spend some great time relaxing and hanging out with my bride. carlie renee is the reason, outside of my relationship with God, i do what i do.

for a couple of days, we just chilled. with each other. way cool.

i love you, gorgeous.

08 February 2008


as i begin to realize and embrace each moment for nothing more [or less] than it is, and after reading an article on tim's blog, i have come to notice that i don't like down-time. let me decompress.

i want time [like most people] and i want money [like most people]. and i want a good balance of these two things, not all of one and none of the other. i am assuming you might be in the same boat. what i realized, more specifically in relation to the time-thing, when i create more time [by being more efficient, deciding to put something aside, recruiting the help of others...], i get uncomfortable and have a tendency to fill the time without meaning [aka... mindless computer time].

as i thought about this i came to believe that if i can't fill my time well, what incentive am i creating for myself to produce more time for... well... myself.


so, carlie and i are experimenting. beginning tonight at midnight we have set forth a "no-computer-on-the-weekend" act [pretty self-explanitory]. and i can't wait to see what comes of it. will i be able to have fun? figure out what to do other than twiddle my thumbs? will i be a good steward of the free-time God is giving me today?

i am sure a few emails will be answered a day or two late, a few blogs will go unread, but i am sure of one thing... on monday morning, when i fire up that 24 inches of mac-goodness, i am positive it will all be there waiting for me [unless of course al gore decides to repeal the gift of the world-wide-web that he has blessed us all with the invention of].

see you monday.

07 February 2008


so, i get home yesterday, and carlie is looking at my blog.

be funny she directed, as i walked thru the door.

it hit me bluntly [with love] right between the eyes. she was so right. some times i take myself a little too seriously. anyways, here's a little nugget from our point-and-shoot that i found in my old photobucket.

06 February 2008


i peeled off the small oval sticker, placed it off my person, and strutted away as if i had just changed the course of history. and, almost immediately i felt like it didn't matter.

i did it.
i voted.
and it woke me up.

it started conversations, with my wife, with my friends, and it made me realize. whether or not i voted [yes it was important] was not the point. just like, whether or not i go to church [yes it is important] is not the point. the point is about living it out.

i don't plan on watching cnn with every spare minute, or parading a series of banners off of my back patio, looking over the streets of costa mesa [none of these things are bad]. but i do plan on paying attention. i plan on being american, 365 days a year, and not just the one day when i have the privilege to vote. so, i wanted to throw a quick shout out to those people that make america such a great place...

.::. to the men & women in uniform
.::. to the ladies at the polling place where i voted
.::. to the entrepreneurs
.::. to the people in their cubicles
.::. to all my photog friends
.::. to the brides
.::. to the grooms
.::. to the elderly who have paid their dues
.::. to all those 'green'
.::. to my mentors
.::. to my wife
.::. to you

thanks for making america great [far from perfect]. have a full wednesday.

03 February 2008


hey there friends. i was just working on some of the details for my first year attending wppi. i'm so stoked to meet those friends i've connected with over the past year in the blog world, and hopefully to make some new friends.

anyways, let me know if you will be in vegas for the show. i would love to hang and rock out vegas-style with ya.

plus, i am super stoked to kick-off the wedding season and come back from vegas to shoot khara & jake's big day in mission viejo, followed up by sarah & jared's intimate wedding at salt creek (you're mom was so great, sarah, and i can't wait to meet you and jared).

amidst the planning and excitement for this year's wedding season, i came across this spoof on the blog of one of my favorite photog's [joe photo]. check it out.