On my mother’s side of the family I have some extended family in Los Angeles...and upon moving to LA, I felt very blessed to be in touch with these family members. I met a few new cousins and they invited me to a few gatherings to help me feel at home in a new city.

In December of 2013, it was my cousin, Marcus Guy’s, 40th birthday and he and his wife, Melissa, invited a few friends to the Next Door Lounge for a few drinks and good times. I was happy to learn that Marcus and Melissa were into digital media and advertising, as the founders of Asset Media Group in Signal Hill, CA, and they were excited to learn that I was a freelance photographer.

As a birthday gift to Marcus, I decided to bring my camera with me to photograph the event.

Marcus' 40th 

It was a fantastic and fun affair. Early on at the party, I had the pleasure of meeting one of Marcus' friends, Ed and his wife, Tesha. They promptly invited to photograph Ed’s upcoming 50th birthday party. I was pleasantly surprised and thankful.  A few weeks later in January 2014, Ed and Tesha threw a fun-filled house party for Ed’s 50th.

I guess I’ve paired these sets together to show the power of word-of-mouth and networking. Show up, shake hands, take good pictures, and show more people. Also, it felt good to quickly feel like a part of a new circle of friends in Los Angeles. I felt welcomed.

Ed's 50th birthday party was at his house, in his backyard. His wife, Tesha, did a great job getting a tent set up, blowing up old photographs from Ed's childhood, and inviting all of his friends and family to enjoy the festivities. Gotta love the poker themed table centerpieces...

Ed's 50th

Speaking of Ed and Tesha,  they would later ask me to photograph Tesha’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party in September 2014.