The Speed of Change

Its so interesting when you notice change. Most of the times things seem to stay at a moderate pace. When we are in the mist of life, a part of us expects things to always remain the same; the good and the bad. The friends that surround us, family, pop culture, even the strangers that walk by, we think time won’t change anything. Suddenly you stop and look back. You realize you are in a whole new world, a new time, a new season.

A part of me wants to miss the past. It wants to miss the friends that I was closest to. When I look at old photos, it makes me wish to go back. But I know that world no longer exists, even if I did go back, no one would be there. And even if I stayed at that spot of life forever, I would miss out on the future. I would never get the chance to extend my love and add a new person in to my heart.

The lives of my friends are changing, new songs are being written, new stories are being told, and what seems to stay the same is the love I have in my heart for the Creator. Even though my world is busy, I still think about what I can do for Him. Its been a desire of my heart since I was a naive youth. Now that I’m older I realize what God wants to do in my life is deeper than I imaged.

When I was 16 and wanted to change the world, I didn’t understand that the miracle God wanted to do was inside me. Only now do I see its about character, the way I respond to things, if I’m compassionate, if I’m kind, patient. I have heard the word “meek” all my life but for the first time I looked it up and began to study it. Meek isn’t a character attribute that I can, “work on” but its the state of a heart. I can work on being kind but being meek.. I can’t help the way my heart reacts sometimes.

Change is never easy, no matter how much you prepare for it. Its the beginning of a new season that is the hardest to get use to.  A part of me always misses the winter when spring comes, and misses spring when summer comes but eventually I learn to enjoy the moment I am in. Its the challenge of looking myself in the mirror and noticing the change that matters, is what happens inside my heart. Even though I miss the past life, I have confidence that better days are up ahead.

So things are changing, the question is, What are you going to do about it? Sit and miss the past? Or stand up and dare to overcome the new challenges that you face.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Is. 43.19

dare to overcome.

Locations of photos: Barstow, Ca

Its Cool to be a Nerd

Growing up in the late eights I remember movies that displayed nerds with glasses, suspenders, and only a little good looking. The mainstream nerd has changed since then. Today, they are honored like geniuses.

Now is the best time to be nerd.

Last month when I was in search for a new book, I came across this book cover of a girl awkwardly standing against a wall. Mindy Kaling. I laughed at the sight and the title, Is Everyone Hanging Out with Out Me? I related, connected and bought the book.

I must have read it in a weekend. I found it funny and enjoyed her personality. She shared about her failures, success, her struggles, and current battles. What I enjoyed most, she was her self from the beginning to end of the book. She was smart, funny, pretty, thoughtful, and even a little naïve. She was a real girl. She worked hard to make her dreams happen, created a theater play with her best friends and then was asked to write for The Office. I thought it was interesting she played a dumb girl on the show, (which I enjoyed her exaggerated version of a girl). Now she stars and is a writer on her own show, playing a doctor.

It got me thinking, now is the best time for girls to let themselves be smart. In fact, its cool. My cousin wrote on Facebook about meeting girls in college, “The popular girls have kids while the nerd girls are single and successful.” So much could be said about that but maybe the truth is it took some time for the pretty girls to realize they were more than looks. And the same could go for the brains, it may take sometime to realize they are pretty as well.

I remember in high school I thought being smart was something you are born with. It wasn’t until recently that I realized knowledge can be obtained. Our DNA doesn’t have to determine our destiny, God has given us the ability to develop as humans. Everyone is born helpless, but we grow each day learning something new. A lie that my culture believes is, “I’m dumb, its too late to learn.” I see that lie being used as an excuses. With so much information available to us, there is no excuses. Instead of saying, “I wonder”, now we can say, “Let me Google that.”

No matter how dumb one thinks they are, if they want to learn, then work towards it. Read, study, work hard, learn how to use your brain.

Now is the best time to be a nerd. I give you permission to say, “I am smart.” Work your brain this year, learn something new and start making better decisions for your life.

1 informal he’s the smart one: clever, bright, intelligent, sharp-witted, quick-witted, shrewd, astute, able; perceptive, percipient; informal brainy, savvy, quick on the uptake. ANTONYMS stupid.

*And remember even smart people make mistakes. haha. The trick is to learn from them.

My Last Day at The Rock

I had no idea what I was stepping in to. I applied for the job only because I had no where else to go. I questioned God often, “Why am I back here in San Bernardino? There is nothing good here!” I saw it as a place of broken dreams.
He soon began to open my eyes and made His way to my heart. The ironic thing was that I hated my city but my new church loved it. I couldn’t understand why.
When I moved in to the video department God began to show me why He brought me back. I was at The Rock to learn, to work, and to observe.
I started to see it was people that my church loved. And I was one of them.

My church is indeed a light in dark city. I see it as a place of hope, a place that restores the broken and saves the lost.
I thought I was there to make videos but as always, God had a bigger plan.
Tomorrow will be my last day and its going to be sad. I will miss the little details about my day, walking in the break room making jokes with my co-workers, having surprise creative meetings in the lady’s room.
Pastor Deborah, who is the most courageous woman I know, wrote me a letter that melted my heart. To think, she believes in me. That alone makes me tear.

If you are a creative person, you know how often people look at your strange. If you are a dreamer, then you really get that look. You are the outcast, you are the odd ball.. but here at The Rock.. they looked at me with belief in their eyes and with confidence. Their look reminded me that, “All things are possible.”
I want to share with you the card that Pastor Deborah gave me.

The card it’s self is a list.

Ten simple things to remember:

1. Love is why you are here.

2. The most important day is today.

3. If you always do your best, you will have no regret.

4. In spite of your best effort, some things are out of your control.

5. Things always look better tomorrow.

6. Sometimes a wrong turn will bring you to exactly the right place.

7. Sometimes when you think the answer is “no”, it’s “not yet.”

8. True friends share your joys, see the best in you, and support you through your challenges.

9. God and your parents and we, will always love you.

10. For all your accomplishments, nothing will bring you more happiness than the love you find.

And it’s so true.

Though I am moving forward in my career, the love that I found here at The Rock is what I will remember most. It was a job that gave me room to grow, had confidence in my creativity, taught me patience, taught me leadership, management, taught me how to communicate to people. It taught me everything I couldn’t have learned at a school or in a book but it was experience.

Though the road for me up ahead is unclear, I can trust in God because when I thought I was on the shelf and that I wasn’t being used anymore. God placed me at The Rock and gave me a purpose. And I know once again God will place me in a good place. Where I can once again grow more, impact more, teach more, and do more.

So I encourage everyone, no matter where you are at, it’s not forever, so appreciate it while it last.

The Rock Church and World Outreach Center is located in San Bernardino, Ca with over 24,000 members and fed over half a million people in 2011. Last year, over 12,000 people dedicated their life to Christ at The Rock.

Audio: Advice to a New Editor

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Duration 20 minutes (Audio doesn’t work on mobiles)

Audio Notes:

After Effects – Motion Graphics & Effects – Free Basic Training

Final Cut Pro – Video Editing software – Paid Basic Training

Ask yourself: What is your goal?

Learning software and try out what you want to do.

Be honest with yourself on what you really want to do.

Best experiences: Volunteering & Interning

After Effect example video

Movie Scene Project Blog

Learn by doing.

School is good if you can, if not put yourself in your own school.

READ AND DO. Book list blog & After Effects

Give yourself projects; You’ll learn the language of video, pace, time management, learn from mistakes.

Learn from failure. It will happen, learn how to grow from it.

Challenge yourself, “Have I improved?”

Have a platform where you can share your work.

Success comes by working hard.

When your working hard on something you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all.

Blog: My vintage baby (my nephew)

Video of my nephew visiting my grandpa.

Don’t get caught up making stuff for money, money will come, if you love doing what you do people will see that and hire you to do it.

A paid shoots

The important part is knowing what you’re doing.

Using what you have.

Learn the fundamentals on how to tell a story. Book: Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch

Free Mpeg Stream clip download

Freelance: ask, “Do you have a budget for this?” ask yourself, “What is my time worth?”

Volunteering and interning: your pay is the experiences.

Create projects that you want to get hired to do.

People will pay you to do what they already know you can do, they don’t want to pay for your experiment they want to pay for a guaranteed product.

Put yourself in your own school, read books, give yourself projects and deadlines.

Learn how to manage others: communication is key, don’t be afraid to ask for help, to correct, to critique.

Do it all in love for the greatness of the team. The goal is to get things done, by the deadline.

PC: After Effects & Premiere.

Mac: After Effects & Final Cut Pro. (Editing for Film: Avid)

You need the experiences, you need to prove what you can do.

Editing is a lot like life, you’re putting it together.

Get a journal: write projects and creative ideas.

Use your creative muscle. – Photography class on line

**share your work with me**

Life is beautiful and I desire to share that with everyone… awwww 🙂

Hope this helped. Feel free to ask any questions that you might have.

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Audio: Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time I didn’t take photos. I didn’t even edit videos. What did I do with my creativity? -I miss understood it, I miss understood myself.

An old friend commented on my wedding post on facebook and said, “Too bad you didn’t take photos when I got married..” It got me thinking, “Wow, there was a time when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.”

This is the first photo on my flickr account. It’s of me in LA, back on page 287. When I see this photo, I see a girl who was at the beginning of her journey.

I write this post not to talk about me but to remind you that where you are now doesn’t mean you will be there forever. Life evolves and each year you discover something new about life and yourself. Today, you might be at the beginning of your journey. In a few years, that road will lead you somewhere you never thought possible. You have to choose to keep on moving forward.  To listen to yourself when you say, “I love doing this, wish I could this for a living.”

I remember for years my family misunderstood me, therefore I misunderstood myself. So much of my identity came from them that I was allowing their opinion to shape me. “You’re weird Monica,” my older sisters used to say. They were teenagers then and I was an awkward 12 year old girl. I’m sure I was weird but looking back now I was just trying to figure out who I was and their comments were holding me back.

What helped me was when I discovered God made me creative for a reason. The more I hung out with Him, the more I began to understand myself. I found my image and identity in Him.

‘Once Upon A Time’ may be right now for you. That just means you are at the beginning of the story. Keep moving, even if you feel like you’re the only one pushing yourself.

Four years

Dec 2006 I was completely lost. I had no idea what the next step was in my life. I thought I would be working and living in Sydney, but when the job fell through I had no where else to go but home.

Jan – March 2007 I was disparate to work and to contribute to society. I needed a job, friends and a new church. Friends were writing me from Australia about how great they were transitioning from bible college to the real world. I felt like God forgot about me. “I hate San Bernardino, why did You bring me back?”

April 2007 Some old friends invited me to the “famous large” church, The Rock. I heard rumors about it but never visited it. I began to go to their young adults. I decided to make The Rock Church my home church. Saw an ad in their bulletin for a graphic designer. I applied and interviewed. I was done waiting for a call from Sydney.

May 2007 “Can you start in a few days?” I answered. “YES!” I was officially one of The Rock’s graphic designer even though I wanted to be their video editor, I was willing to take whatever was offered. I needed to get my life moving forward, and this job was creative. My prayer was, “God just give me a creative job.”

December 2007 Visited Sydney. Loved it. Missed it. Camera got stolen. Pictures lost. “I’m coming back to Sydney guys.”

August 2008 I was promoted into the video department. I started to see why God brought me back to California. I was growing, learning and my heart began to mature.

October 2009 Another visit to Sydney. Everything was different. The boy I liked ignored me. “This is no longer home, I don’t belong here, good-bye Sydney.”

Jan 2010 Video editor. Team leader. Producer. Director. Camera operator.

March 2010 Bought the Canon 7-D. Officially a Photographer & Film maker.

August 2010 (Birthday month) Should I move to Paris? London? Vancouver? Sydney? Los Angeles? New York? San Francisco? Watched a travel show, learned that Vancouver is the second largest film & production industry city in the world.

November 2010 Started hanging out with a really cool guy. He was inspiring and caused me to see my faith and future in a fresh new light.

Jan 2011 Life was full of rainbows, butterflies and birds singing.

Feb 2011 Bought a Macbook Pro. Began doing more freelance work: Photography & Video. Layoffs at work and no more large events. Video department began to focus on how to use video to build the church up and not just entertain.

March 2011 Gray clouds. Really cool guy disappeared causing me to make up my mind. “It’s either now or never. Vancouver it is.”

April 2011 Spring. “Party of one.” Blog. Blog. Blog. Work. Work. Work. Cha ching.

May 2011 Four year anniversary at the Rock. I love my job, work, family.. *deep breath* But the time is coming for me to leave soon. Preparation is key. 

The past four years of my life.

An Interview with Monica by Karina


My friend Karina asked if she could interview me for a school paper. The assignment was to write about someone or something creative. She said she thought of me right away. I was honored and yet nerves.

I’ve been friends with Karina since middle school. She has witnessed me as a sky awkward girl become a confident creative woman. She has seen me grow in my photography and as a person.The questions she asked were very unique so I was very curious on how she would put it all together.

I asked her to send me her paper so I can post it on here. Reading it warmed my heart that someone would notice such details about me. Karina is one of the most sweetest person I know. She was one of my first friends in middle school and always made me feel cool. Here is her paper.

Monica Briano

Monica Briaño is a professional video editor and an up and coming photographer, simply said she is a creative young woman. I have known Monica for almost 15 years, and I am sure when I say that Monica does not wear her heart on her sleeve. In all honesty, I believe that most visual artist hold a part of who they are within themselves, and Monica is no exception. However, I must commend her, that even through her fears and insecurities she continues to follow the path that will eventually lead her to her true dreams.

Monica considers herself a creative person, whom without an artistic outlet would be a quiet, moody, mean and an unhealthy individual. When I met her, she was quiet and petite. She is still petite, but thanks to her high school friend, Veronica, she is not quiet about her artistic gift. Monica has called Veronica her soul mate, due to the fact that they share many of the same artistic qualities, and through Veronica’s support Monica began to cultivate the creative ideas within herself early in her high school career.

In regards to becoming a video editor and a photographer, Monica believes that, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and in an over sexed and self-indulgent world, she likes to capture the purity and innocence that this world still has to offer. Creating something out of nothing by putting stories into physical form for others to understand, is Monica’s goal through her art. Although she uses her surroundings as creative inspiration, Monica feels the most creative when the sun hits her face because she can hear G-d whispering in her ear, and her creative ideas become clearer. In these moments, her heart and G-d connect and she is able to see His perspective. Well founded in her spiritual beliefs, this point of contact with her Creator is very important to Monica.
Monica’s success is not only due to her G-d given creativity, but also to the wisdom that He has instilled in her through His many avenues. Monica has big dreams, and she knows what she needs to do in order to accomplish them. Ideally, she would like to travel the world and become a film maker. However, she is wise enough to know that for her dreams to become reality she has to be financially ready and continue to perfect her talents. Instead of sitting around waiting for the money to inexplicably appear, and for her talents to perfect themselves; she is consciously saving for her travels and challenging herself to become a better visual artist in more than just video editing and photography.
Monica Briaño is a creative young woman, and she loves to share her talents with others. Her devotion and creative spirit will take her beyond the finish line. It has been an honor to candidly talk with a friend who is open about her creative talents. Many blessings to you, and I hope I’m there to greet you at the end.



I think it’s pretty interesting how fast time goes by. We usually don’t notice how fast the earth is spinning until something causes us to stop. Monday I saw the worst car accident. It reminded me how fragile life is. When we drove by the accident, I saw two people on the floor. I saw one person moving and the other one looked like they were gone. People were outside their cars trying to help them. How fast life goes by.

I used to feel overwhelmed when it came to reaching “the destination”. There is this clip from one of my favorite movies, “Walking Life”. It’s an animation about a boy who’s stuck in a dream. Though it’s not a film for everyone, I find that it package this thought really well.

I can relate to this clip of women talking about being young and wanting to get to the destination. It’s true whats said, “it’s not about the destination but the journey.”

It took me a while to figure out that in each season there are different people who play a role in it. Sometimes when I’m living a really good moment I want to hold on to it a bit longer cause I know one day the person who I am laughing with or hugging may not be around for the next season . People have become chapters in my life. I can list all the best friends I’ve had though out life and remember what music I was listening to, what kinda clothes I was wearing, what I was dreaming…I then think..I wish that season lasted a bit longer, why was I in such a rush to leave it?

The season I am living now, I am in no rush to leave it. I’m spending it with someone great who inspires me to live more life and to get off my computer. I know I can’t press pause, but I am stopping more often to look up at the sky and breath in the beautiful fresh air.

One of my dad’s favorite songs sums it up: