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Friday, May 30, 2008

(Mock) Ad: Kodak FunSaver

"FunSaver" - 05.30.2008

This summer, I will try and keep myself busy by making (Mock) Ads for different companies. Hopefully, I don't get in trouble from companies... caman now, it's like free* advertising!

But to give a heads up of how this shot is made, my set up was one flash strobe (Minolta 5600[d]) facing a white 32" umbrella pointing down from camera left. This strobe/umbrella was mounted on a lightstand about 3.5 feet above the camera. The disposable camera is from the batch I have given from City of Daly City for my photography class. I saved the wrapper when I opened one and then I knew I just have to do an ad for this.

The name itself, "FunSaver," gave me inspiration to make a "In case of emergency..." context for the ad. If this was printed in magazine, it would take two pages. Either a 2-page consecutive spread or separated by at least one page so when the reader views the first page with the camera and flips the page, (s)he will see the "In case of.." part.

Hope you enjoyed this and there'll be more to come as long as I keep myself from watching TV (NBA Finals.. who isn't watching?)

*For any companies interested in hiring.. I do not offer ads for free. It would be a sweet deal to get hired for an ad agency as that's part of my dream job. The other half would be in fashion.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Statcounter = "That's where they are!" Part II

On May 12, I reported a new visitor that caught my attention.. that one visitor from Australia which you can see right here. Well, just a few weeks later, I'm happy to report that this blog has been visited by many people and not just from here from the Bay Area or SoCal but across US and even in different continents. I don't know how this blog gets around since I've only sent this blog to friends. Nevertheless, good to report that there are visitors out there reading this blog of mine.

Teaching Plan for Today

So here was my teaching plan for today's class at one of my school's I teach at the after-school program. I open the class with a quote and then move on to the lesson. For today, the opening quote is one of my favorite from the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain

For today's lesson, we focused on portraits. The kids had a hard time using the camera in the portrait mode rather than the usual landscape (horizontal) way. I taught them three poses of the head in which they were instructed to take pictures of--full, quarter view, and profile. Other than the orientation of the camera, the kids did a real good job taking portraits of each other.

And yea, I just realized I spelled "difuse" wrong. Yea yea.

Photo Concept: DJ Busy B: "Defy"

Sketched on March 27, 2008

For all my conceptual shoots, I sketch a drawing of how I want the final image to be.. usually I draw it on my personal journal called a Moleskine. [Btw, these journals are good quality stuff.. pricey but well worth it to get those creative ideas flowing onto paper]. After I sketch an idea, I resketch it on my tablet computer so I can send it out to the client for any feedback.

This particular sketch is for Daly City born DJ Busy B. I have 3 sketches for a concept and here's one of them. Basically, he will be wearing a suit, preferably a tux, and will be posing as a magician. One of my first sketches is of him levitating two records with his hands. This sketch above shows him levitating himself.

If I had the money and production team, I'd like to do a big shot wide shot of a club scene in which everyone is levitated by his music. I'd need the money to rent out a club, models to be in the scene, make up artists, lighting to simulate a club scene, wardrobe manager.

Or, I could just go to a club.. and count "1..2... 3.. JUMP!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

10 Rules for a Happy Marriage

Graphic by JJ Casas

After attending my neice's baptismal meeting [I am the godfather and it is required that I attended this], the priest at St. Thomas Moore in San Francisco gave out this handout entitled "Rules for a Happy Marriage." I'm not married or anything but I thought this post would interest anyone with a relationship:

1. Never both be angry at the same time.
2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
3. Someone has to win an argument, let it be your mate.
4. If you have to criticize, do it lovingly.
5. Never bring up mistakes of the past.
6. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.
7. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.
8. Always give at least one compliment each day.
9. Admit your wrongs and ask for forgiveness.
10. It takes two to make a quarrel, but the one in the wrong does the most talking!

Never say never but hey... these are some good rules.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Friendly Reminder...

Water is is Gas.

From Chinatown

"Transamerica" - 05.23.2008

This image was taken when I went to downtown San Francisco to get some images for the project "Text Box." I walked from Powell station to that tunnel which leads you straight to Chinatown. I got some dim sum and coconut juice before walking further to take this image of the Transamerica building.

If anyone is interested in getting prints of this or any other pictures I take that would be an honor. I'll offer prints for cheap and sign it and all just because that is real cool to know someone would want any of my work on their wall or what not.

Friday, May 23, 2008

This is why you go to Chinatown

For the fresh Dim Sum! Not to mention the prices here as well. (They offer 3 dim sums for $1.50!) I know I couldn't finish that much so just ordered 2 which costed me $.80. I also got this coconut juice and damn it's bomb...called Vitasoy (just don't ask about the nutrition facts hahah) But I'm here taking a stroll in San Francisco to continue working on my "Text Box" project. I stopped by Powell from BART and already passed Union Square and decided to go further to Chinatown. Definitely needed something to eat and so this is my first time trying the dim sum here in Chinatown. I don't know if there are better tasting spots here but I feel that this is a good deal already.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wii Fit: Unboxing and First Impressions

So here it is. This is another money maker for Nintendo. This peripheral/video game combination sold out in Europe and Asia and now in the US, before it was released, ALL preorders available either through online vendors such as and stores including GameStop and others SOLD OUT even before they hit the shelves.

For any video game to be sold out before any reviews were out that's amazing.. you got to give Nintendo's marketing department the credit they truly deserve.

So after about 45 minutes of waiting, Best Buy in Daly City opened 10:00am and before then I was given a piece of paper saying I am the 12th customer out of the 20 to receive a unit. So here is the video game they include which includes about 40 different activities including aerobics, balance games, and strength training.
First impressions: This board is quite a load. It's supposedly 8 pounds total so if you plan on bringing it somewhere--say to grandma's house or something--be sure to have some sort of bag . There are grips underneath the board but it's surely not comfortable. On the side note, they include some plastic raisers so for people like me with carpet, the board can effectively be used. Otherwise, the only thing included are some instructions (which I never read), 4 AA batteries, and the Wii Fit game disc.
Just to give some perspective, here's a shot of me standing on top of the board. There are some raised bumps on the board which I found to be quite uncomfortable. Although they provide a bit of grip, raised plastic goosebumps on your feet is not the way to go. Wished they went with a rubber like material over the board so that way there's grip and at the same time, just give it a wipe with some cleanser it's bacterial-free from other people's feet sweat. Also, I did the push ups in the program and when I was done, I had red dots on my hand--I think I'll be putting a towel or something when I do it next time.
Here's my mom on the board playing the Hula Hoop game (one of my favorites so far). You basically... hula hoop around and then there two Mii's (if you don't know what a Mii is, well.. go get a Wii and you'll find out) that have hula hoops and they toss it towards you. What you have to do while gyrating your hips is to lean left or right to get the additional ring to score higher.
I was watching the TV and suddenly I hear plastic crinkling and papers go off and in the corner of my eye, I see my mom fall. hahah She seriously fell!! And then from there out, she laid there laughing and I did too. I guess the Wii Fit could be dangerous if you're really getting into it.
Overall, I think the purchase was well spent. On the side note, I got it for about $66+ instead of the $89.99 + tax since I used a $20 gift card and then a $10 off $75 from Best Buy coupon. Know your way online and you can get a good deal too with the coupons. Most def I'll be playing it to unlock more games and all.

Nintendo knows how to sell their products indeed. They got me waiting in line twice already for one of their products. The other line I was in for? The Wii's debut in November 2006. Stayed outside for 8 hours!

I'm 12/20!

I'm in line for the Wii Fit @ Best Buy in Daly City and holler baller I got a Wii Fit ticket! I left home by 9:15 and got here in time.

jCp x Marvel x New Era

Yes this is my backyard.

So when I was in San Diego visiting Fashion Valley, I passed by a stand with some New Era hats. And well, I'm not usually a baseball cap kinna guy but the reason why I stopped was because I spotted this hat--an Incredible Hulk cap sitting among other Marvel x New Era caps.

As a kid, my cousins and friends in the neighborhood all claimed their super hero. My cousin who lives in San Diego was X-Men's Wolverine; his brother claimed Spider-Man; other friends claimed Ghost Rider, Gambit, etc etc. For me, it was the Hulk.

So I'm there in front of the stand and I figured... "Man.. $31.99 for a fitted cap?? Hmm.. then again, how many times do I come across Hulk cap from New Era?" So there you go, I give my credit card, authorize my purchase with my signature and there I am with my first ever cap.

Because it's my first time getting a fitted cap, I found out that day that I'm a 7 1/2. I don't know if that's huge compared to others but with the hair on my head, this size helps. My favorite part about this cap is the lining: Purple Satin to go with Hulk's trunks! Love the detail.

"You're getting me angry!" Bruce Banner would say....

"Gaarrrhrhhkhjkagjadjnfdi!!!!!!" The Hulk would say right after he becomes that green machine.

Watch the Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton and Liv Tyler on June 13! Mos def I'll be there wearing my cap.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My afternoon snack

I just finished teaching my photography class for my kids and the snack guy came by and offered me...well...a snack. I have here an orange juicebox, strawberry applesauce, and utensils to eat it all.

Work Out Log

I officially start next Monday on May 26. I will be using a fitness program called p90x and hopefully follow their 90 day strict exercise regimen which basically takes up 7 days of the week. I will also try and follow the diet they've included but by default, my diet will consist of something heavy in protein but low in fat in the morning, a lean sandwhich for lunch, and a good sized bowl of salad for dinner. In between meals I'll be eating fruits and such. But with all honesty, diet will be hard considering it is summer and I enjoy going out to eat. But most definitely, the exercise portion will be met. In addition to the exercise, I'll be commuting with a bicycle to not only save money on gas but also help shed pounds. Also, have you heard of Wii Fit? Well, it might be a novelty to lose weight with, I'll be purchasing it tomorrow to help me get off my butt when I'm home. Within this log I just created is the schedule of the work out program (it ends on August 17 so wish me luck!), but also pictures of my progress every 4 weeks. I'll decide when I'm done to post those pictures up. Haha

Monday, May 19, 2008

Me and Mario @ Borders (Union Square)

The "AC's"

Here I am with Mario at Borders in Union Square (San Francisco). My cousin too came with me and I took photos of him while he got his book signed. There was a fair amount of people there although not as much people you'd think... probably under 100 for sure so the signing went fast.

Here's the conversation I had with with him:

JJ: Hey Mario!
Mario: Hey there!
JJ: Hey.. uh.. my friends call me "AC" because of my dimple.
Mario: Oh! haha..
JJ: Yeah... Hey.. Can you do me a favor? When we take a picture, can you point?
Mario: ....
JJ: Yeah.. point at your dimple and....

At this point.. he didn't really hear me no more.. so instead, he points at me although it would've been better if he pointed at his dimple.

:Camera flashes:

JJ: Hey thanks man! By the way.. who do you think will win in Dancing with the Stars?
Mario: Hmm... :lowers his voice: I got to say Kristy.
JJ: Right on.. right on. Take care bro!
Mario: You too!

There were some awkward moments in between him signing and me waiting for him to look up at the camera. Those moments looked like this:

So what if his book has him shirtless on the cover and makes me embarrassed to purchase it [actually two copies since one is for my girlfriend]. Who would pass an opportunity to meet a celebrity? Not I said I. Not I.

Mario Lopez @ Borders Union Square

Currently, I'm waiting with my cousin in line for Mario Lopez's book signing. It starts at 6pm and it's just about 5:50pm. I hope he can write "Dimples are cool." on my book. I have a copy too for my girlfriend. At least my cousin and I are relieved because we thought we'd be the only guys here. Hahah

"TB" does not mean Tuberculosis... least not in this blog of mine. From now on, I will be using "TB" instead of "Text Box" when posting images/info on this project. So don't get confused!

But yes, I've decided to release some images from the project. Just a head's up, after starting it on April 2nd 2008, I have a total of 23 unique "text boxed" images. Some have 2-3 images per message so more of less, there's about 27+ images.

This weekend alone I was able to get 8 images from San Diego. I wasn't able to get as much as I thought I would but then again, I was also planning on having fun with friends and family. haha But nevertheless, I was able to get some images off the trip. Here's one I took in the hotel I stayed in. There's actually a grill there called "JJ's Grill" under the Radisson Hotel in San Diego. Here it is:

Check back here now and then to see more previews of the project!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Back at SFO!

Our flight was at 6:18am from San Diego and we shortly arrived here in SFO around 7:40am. It's now 8:18am and we are waiting for baggages to arrive from the claim. Glad to be home! Will post up some preview shots of "Text Box" I've obtained from San Diego.

Our last day

Woke up by 2:45am in order to get ready and leave by 3:30am. Our flight is at 6:18am so we got to leave the hotel early enough to return the car (which is 30 min away) and go to the airport. See you soon SF weather!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

On our way to the graduation...

As of now, we are driving to Tracy's graduation ceremony. We are on US 101 N and there's mad traffic here even though it's only 2:26pm. But after this, we'll get some food and I'm craving for some burritos and carne asada fries (spelled right?) yyyea.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Here in San Diego!

We arrived around 7am after departing around 6am. So far, we visited the navy port where they have a large statue of that famous sailman and nurse kissing in New York. Afterwards, we went to a flea market where I bought a cowboy hat! We then went a mall to get a good shake at Lush and then finally checked in to our hotel. We will be meeting up with my cousin later and possibly swim @ the hotel.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

That's me tomorrow but at 6:30am

Pic ture taken today while heading towards the park

Leaving tomorrow morning for San Diego for my cousin's girlfriend's graduation. Flight is at 6:30am but we [as in my uncle, aunty, grandmother/father, another uncle, as well as my girlfriend] are leaving Daly City around 4:30am since we'll all be transpassengers.

Here's to San Diego and a safe trip!

"Hi! My name is Coach JJ!"

It's my first day today as the after school program's photography teacher at an elementary school in Westlake [Daly City]. I'm currently teaching photography at another elementary school in Daly City and so this is my second site. I met the coordinator and she said that the students address the teachers as "Coach" and then your name so today, I'm officially Coach JJ.

I have my own room (Room 3).. by the way.. can you name all your teachers from elementary school? (I can.. but I digress). So for today's lesson, I taught the kids two important photography terms which are "aperture" and "shutter" and briefly introduced them to the "Rule of Thirds." Next week, we're going to actually use digital and film cameras.

Also, today included a HEAT WAVE. And geeeez was it hot. It was recorded about 94 degrees Fahrenheit and elsewhere it was just about the same or higher in the Bay Area. These pictures prove it:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Basketball League

My cousin invited me to play for his corporate basketball league. As a public school kid, all I know with basketball is street ball meaning no refs. With that being said, I'd say I had a total of 4 fouls or even more! But as far as stats, I shot in two free throws, made a layup dodging the opponents' center, a jump shot, and got one steal. Not bad I'd say for my first regulated game. And by the way, I was tired out within 10 min of play time!! 15 minutes away teI'm still sweating!

Finals Finally Finished!

My group and I after eating some brunch at Squat n Gobble in West Portal/SF. Thank goodness finals are over and now it's just time for summer!

After studying for countless hours and waking up 4 in the morning [well.. that's probably only me out of this group] to cram, it's all over. It all went smooth despite the little scare:

Basically.. I came out to a 74.9% and the passing grade is a 75% in Nursing at USF. Thankfully, the grade was rounded and I passed. One of my friends, Darlene, explained the moment much better:

"It's like.. it's like you know... you were swimming and you just got your head above the water and you're like 'Yee!!' "

Angela, one of our other friend goes: "Yea! It's just like that!" She points to the wall and there is this conceptual painting with the face above the water.

haha.. classic.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tofu House = Korean Food and Conversations

Today, Catherine and I went to Tofu House on El Camino partly due to her belated birthday (May 4) as well as her fair well dinner this Friday since she's going to Venice [I think] for about 4 weeks.. I'm missing her night out since I'm going to San Diego this weekend and will be leaving very early that Friday morning.

As you all know, Catherine is the one who wrote the introduction to Nonage. She's an English major at LMU and she already finished her semester. As for me, I still have one more tomorrow morning and then I'm free for summer!

But here we are in Tofu House eating Korean food and we just catch up on how we're doing in school and just life in general. One thing to share though that she brought up was that in one of her English classes that covered Shakespeare, she noted that there was another way to view life that she never thought of. Basically, if I got it right, was what we've already accomplished is not just a "chapter of our life" in our own personal book. Instead, it is only a prologue to what has yet to become--which would be the "main story" of our lives. Sigh.. I don't know.. she can explain it better. hahah So Catherine, if and when you read this, edit this by adding a comment ok? Ok thanks.
Catherine Eating [She kept moving and refused to take a formal pic hence the blurriness]

Monday, May 12, 2008

Statcounter = "That's where they are!"

My cousin told me about in which he uses for his blog and thought I'd use it. You basically set up an account, they generate a code which you copy and paste onto your blog/website and with a few clicks, you see a bunch of statistics relating to your blog/website. Although I took [Advanced Placement] Statistics in high school, it definitely isn't needed here to just take a glance and see how many people are visiting your page. But what's cooler and reason why I just posted this is that you can see where the people are visiting from.

That's right. Got one hit from Australia. Naturally, there's more visits here in California and I can take an educated guess that my boys in La Jolla visited my page. haha

USF Video Contest Entry: "Monday for Tuesday"

Last month, I entered USF's first video contest. They were basically leaving it open to students and faculty to create a video that promotes University of San Francisco--a simple 90 sec to 3 minute commercial. I came up with a concept and it was to film it using a stop motion like capture using my digital camera. There was also a checklist of things you would have to include in the video in order to qualify and I chose Academics, Student Life, and Fun in San Francisco.

Although I didn't place [1st price was $3000!!!]... I did get a complimentary USF hooded sweatshirt [valued at around $35] and a nifty slim pocket calculator.. haha

I give thanks to Apol for helping me shoot this as well as putting it altogether, Manny who gave me a shirt to wear from his clothing line Capita City, and of course Jan Marc aka J-Soul for composing a song just for this video.

Written and Directed by JJ Casas
Co-Producted by Apol Perea and JJ Casas
Shot by Apol Perea
Clothing provided by Capita City
Music provided by J-Soul

Sunday, May 11, 2008

[May 3] USF: Tri Gamma's 43rd Nursing Fashion Show

Some of the photos I took of this event. I had with me a step ladder, my Alien Bees ABR800 ringflash being triggered wirelessly, and my 70-200mm f/4 lens to take these shots. I was able to get my friend Manny's clothing line featured here Capita City. Others that were able to come through were Stussy and Urban Era of Daly City [whom I get some credit since I referred Kimiko, the fashion show coordinator, to]. Overall, it was a great event and the largest turnout since my freshman year! Good job to both Kimiko and Liberty.

Theresa sporting some of Manny's clothes Capita City. See her senior photoshoot at

Kimiko going down the catwalk like a pro.

David modeling some clothing from Urban Era

Definitely it was a good show... during the intermission my friend Ryan, part of the band Sundays at Ten [I hope I got the name right.. =/ ] performed and most definitely we plan on having a photoshoot over summer!