What I do for fun

What I do for fun is what I do for work. I am indeed a very fortunate creative girl. What I do for work is what I believe in. Today a friend complimented me on a video I made for church and I responded, “Thank you, I put some heart in to that one.” And that’s what I do with all my work, I put my heart in to it. One day when I leave this earth, my videos will live past me and their message of hope, inspiration, purity and creativity will live on.

Be ready to watch this kid grow up.  David enjoying his childhood with grandma and grandpa.

Climbing the Mountain Cover

A few weeks ago I was at Forever 21 shopping and a song that I’d never heard of starting playing. I was taken by the lyrics and stood in the middle of the store listening.

“I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head sayin,
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high..”

What powerful words. I totally related with the lyrics, each dream of mine has felt so large and impossible. I began to think of my friend Erica. She is one of the young girls at church who has this amazing voice, I pictured her singing it. From the first moment I heard her sing, I thought, “She is going to sing to the nations.”

The next part of the song says,

“There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb.”

This song was perfect for her, I saw her singing these words in an open field. A few days after I heard this song, we had dinner together. She shared some of her dreams with me and I was excited to hear that she was dreaming big for her life. After dinner I gave her a CD with this Miley Cyrus – The Climb song on it and told her, “This made me think of you, maybe you can sing it and Ill record you.” She later text me later and told me how much she loved the song and that would love to do a cover.

Well, here is the idea brought to life. I filmed with my Canon 7D and a 70-200mm lens. I wanted to keep it raw and simple. Erica did an amazing job. A big thank you to my friend Steve Hernandez for fixing my audio.

A New Style with Julia & Erica

The past few days I’ve been watching CreativeLive with professional photographer, Bambi. This woman is amazing at posing people and lighting her subjects. I was so excited with all advice she had given during the three day on-line course that I set up two photo shoots. You can buy Bambi’s course online at Creativelive.com.

I asked Julia to be my first model. As I began to direct her and pose her, I was astonished at the photos I was capturing. I kept looking at my shots asking myself, “Did I takes these?” It was amazing the dramatic difference in my confidences and language in directing a model. I finally knew what to do and how to say it!

The second photo shoot I kinda tricked in to happening. I was filming Erica sing a song for a special project her and I are working on and after the filming, I told her I was going to snap a few photos. She began to tell me she was horrible at taking pictures. I first tried to pose her but soon noticed she wasn’t feeling comfortable, so as Bambi would suggest, I took photos of the subject in an environment they were familiar with. I asked her to play her guitar and it was then that I was able to get some really nice shots of Erica.

From these series of photos you wouldn’t be able to guess that this week has been a very hard week for me. I guess this just shows the power of God’s joy in my life. He renewed my dream and therefore my heart can smile.

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.


Photo Shoot: Sarah at 8 months

I was excited when my pregnant sister asked me to do a photo shoot with her. 🙂 I wanted to capture the emotions a woman may feel when being pregnant. Though I have no idea what it’s like, I picture having quiet moments wondering what this child will be like, what they will look like, what kind of personality they will have, and if they will be the next great artist.

Baby Jacob.

My family has always been very modest so when my sister revealed her belly for the shoot I was taken by it. I couldn’t help but think of the miracle of life.

This shot made me think of Jesus’ mother, Mary. The son of God was once inside the belly of a woman. Crazy!

Here is a slide show of some of my favorite shots.


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:

Video: Love Fool Animation

Here it is guys. The animation that took days of my undivided attention. Shane drew the art work and I brought this little girl to life in After Effects.

The youth department asked me a while back if I would create an animation for the “Love Fool Sex and Dating Series”.  I watched Gumpy,  one of my favorite childhood animations for inspiration. There were a few things I noticed, one, their mouth didn’t follow perfectly to the voice and two, sounds effects do a world of wonders! I felt empowered and went to it. Here is it. Enjoy.

The Magic of Film

I finally develop two rolls of film today. The experiences of film just never gets old.

Here are some favorite shots from the rolls today.

Joshua Tree

More at  Journey to Salvation Mountain and  Road Trip to Salvation Mountain (35mmFilm).

David playing outside. More at Playing Outside.

My photo shoot with Olivia, more at Photoshoot: Olivia

Photo shoot with Drew. More at Photoshoot: My First Guy.

Keep in mind I did no editing with these photos. The colors you see are the rich colors of light hitting the film. With film you are just able to catch the most magical moments that maybe digital doesn’t have the patience for. The pay off and risk is indeed worth it.

THiNKmediaTV Interview

My own trailer!

Sean Cannell and Jeff Moors have put together thinkintl.tv/ . They gathers resources to bring hope, spark creativity, and empower ministries, churches, and organizations around the world. Sean found me on youtube and asked if I would like to be interviewed.

Visit thinkintl.tv/ to see the cool things they are doing.


Basic Editing : Equipment & DSL Cameras VS DV Tapes Video

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I’ve been having a lot of friends ask me to teach them how to edit. Editing is diffidently a learning process and it involves  many elements . In this video I give a crash course to a few guys from church.

This short video is about some basic video editing equipment as well as discussing the pros and cons of using a digital SLR camera.

More basic editing videos to come.

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Chapter 1: Portrait

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A friend and I were hanging out at the local book store when I said to myself, “I want a photography book that isn’t just about great photos but tells me how to capture my own.”  I then picked up a book “The Complete Photographer” by Tom Ang.  The moment I picked it up I knew I had to buy it.  After reading the first chapter I dramatically saw the difference in my photos.  I have also started a photography club with some young girls from church.  I want to impart in them creativity and to inspire them to capture some of life’s greatest moments.


A Portrait: When the subject is the center of the universe they can be anyone and anything.

Here are some photos where I used different techniques.

Storytelling: To kick off the photo shoot I told my friend a story and explained the character she was going to play.  I told her to pretend she was a servant girl who had been working all day. When she sat in a pile of rocks she quickly began to role play. Her facial expressions began to come alive right before me.

Peeping Through: This creates a dramatic effect which conveys a sense of alienation.

Back lighting: In this pose that was created I noticed the great light that was behind her and told her to stand where her hair captured the glow.

Soft Focus: I used the technique Soft Focus for the Panda Mask so the viewer’s attention would see her reaction before they saw the mask.

Capturing Action: Even though the focus isn’t sharp, I didn’t disregard this shot. Her running added great energy to this fairy tale image that I wanted to display.

Lighting Character: I noticed the sun was peaking through the bushes so I had my model run over and stand right where it was hitting. It created this great dramatic look to her and bought out her eyes.

Unique Mannerisms: To deliver a sense of character and personality, I used body language and played with some unique poses.

Here is my favorite photo that I made into a poster and now hangs on my wall.   I love the purity and beauty that it displays.

I left the shoot feeling very proud knowing that I put into practice some of the new information that I had gathered from this amazing new book.

You can check out the complete set on my flickr where I used other techniques.

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Field of Freedom

Field of Freedom, originally uploaded by Monica Briano.

Today I decided to do some self portraits. I wanted to capture who I am inside. I am not and will never be the girl in the club with Staleto’s on. I had a great childhood and because of it I have this child like heart. I love being carefree, which is hard now that I’m an adult. I do things a child would enjoy to remind me that it’s going to be ok.