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I shot this session about a month ago, but I’m catching up on posting blogs….

You may remember Tiffany from an earlier blog post showcasing her Malaya-styled maternity session.   Her baby Saiphera Marie is part of our Baby Steps portrait plan where we photograph your baby from the newborn stage through age one.   Fun fact:  at every newborn session, since we photograph the entire family, we give the mama a little pampering too.  Mom’s get their makeup done by Rina and it’s totally on the house.  We know how it is just having a baby and although, yes, parenthood is so amazing, you also have to deal with being perpetually fatigued and stained with various baby fluids.   Not to mention the anxiety wondering if and/or when your pre-baby body will make it’s triumphant return and how that translates in photos.   DCPG’s got your back, mamas – we’ll help you feel good and look good!

Jaison, Tiffany + Baby Saiphy


Love the matching expressions, plus how her tiny hand is clutching his finger:


Motherhood suits Tiffany well:


Jaison wanted to do one of those shots where you hold the baby in just your hands, but being that Saiphy was almost a month old at this point, we settled for this.  Still cute!  She’s so photogenic:


Tummy time!  Check her sweet faux-hawk:


Jaison is a local musician (an awesome singer/keyboardist/songwriter) and when Saiphy was being fussy he picked up my daughters $10 keyboard and serenaded her with a song he wrote for her.  She was calmed almost instantly – it was amazing.   I wish I took audio of him singing, it had a really catchy melody.   She seems like she’s listening intently:


Like father, like daughter:


Adorable polka dot theme:


By the way, happy 4th birthday to my nephew (Rina’s son) Tonio!!!  He is so cute it’s just ridiculous:


– Cies



In an effort to blog more frequently, we are going to start posting articles other than recent jobs.   We have worked with some amazing people in our industry and I just want to take the time to highlight one of them.

Human Story Films is based out of Richmond, VA and they have an amazing storytelling sensibility to their films; weaving in wedding highlights with interviews from the couple and their loved ones.     This seamless blending of footage and narrative creates a very engaging, personal and heartfelt wedding day story.

Bill Gaff, Human Story’s chief filmmaker, along with his crew shot Winston and Hazel’s wedding with us back in August and he recently sent us a copy of their wedding DVD.  We watched it and were blown away by the style and quality.   I actually watched it twice haha – definitely a rarity with me and wedding videos.

He was nice enough to add these  kind words to us:

“It was a pleasure working with you guys.  [It’s] clear that you put as much energy into making it a nice experience as you do into the artistic part. Both are outstanding.”

Bill was voted one of the 25 Hottest and Most Influential Event Videographers in the World by the readers of EventDV Magazine and also had a wedding (and really nice write-up) featured on the chic bride site,

If you’re looking for something unique, something truly historical and personal for your wedding day, give Human Story a call.  You won’t be disappointed.

– Cies

Exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe how we felt this week.  New Years day til January 7th was spent shooting AND editing photos for 21 – yes, 21! – Hampton Roads area restaurants for an up-and-coming local mag called Taste.  We also knew we had to end the week by shooting our first 2009 wedding.  Weddings are notoriously long and tiring, so we were a little apprehensive.  However, Janelle + Gerard’s ended up being one of our favorite weddings ever.  They had all the elements of a great wedding – funny/friendly/party people, a beautiful setting at the new TownCenter Westin, open bar and the debauchery that follows, DCPG photobooth shenanigans, and most importantly, a really great couple who are crazy in love.   Needless to say, we had a LOT of fun and got lots of great photos.  Big thanks to Janelle + Gerard, Marivic for her mad wedding-planning skills, Pat & Phil for the always awesome DJ’ing and, of course, Emer for helping us out and hanging out w/ us after his “shift” was over.

We got tons of photos of this little guy – super photogenic:


Here’s Marivic and her crazy self:



The beautiful bride:


First dance:


Cute moment walking to the elevator at the end of the night:


I know some people are looking for photobooth pics – rest assured, I’m working on that.  I’ll try to get those up ASAP.  Keep checking our Facebook and also our Photobooth page on our official site.

It’s almost 4:30am, so I will end this here.  Hope everyone’s 2009 is going great so far!

– Cies

One of the ironic things about us being photographers is that we rarely take photos of ourselves. Mendell and I have been married for five years, but I think we’ve done family photos maybe one other time. So this year, since DCPG had an arsenal of very elegant holiday card designs at our disposal, I was determined to finally send out family Christmas cards this year.

We went into our little rental studio Thursday night and Lester did the honors of photographing us. I hate seeing pics of myself, but I really like these photos and I love the card design. If you haven’t had a DCPG shoot + holiday card, please consider it for next year (or a super late card for this year haha)! I put ours up on facebook and have gotten so many compliments on how unique, beautiful and creative it is. We have several designs to choose from and we’re always adding new ones. Contact me if you’d like to see samples!

I hope everyone has a great holiday season! Peace, love and blessings to you all!

– Cies

[These are getting printed on a 5×7 folded card…I’ll post up pics when they get in from our printer!]



Inside Spread:




We took a “sabbatical” from weddings this year, but we made an exception for some very good friends of ours, Winston + Hazel. Mendell and Lester lived around the corner from Winston since they were little kids and I graduated with him, so it was more like a huge party/reunion. These two have actually been dating since 1998, so to (finally!!) see them walk down the aisle was already special and the fact that they hired us to document it made it even more of an honor. They were dream clients – even if we didn’t know them, I’m sure they still would have been as easy to work with. This weekend reminded us why we loved shooting weddings and now we’re stoked to get back into it.

Their ceremony was so beautiful – it was right by the water, the weather was perfect and they commissioned one of their best friends to officiate, which made it so much more personal and heartfelt. The venue, Celebrations at the Reservoir, was the definition of picture-perfect. I would have loved to have gotten more portraits of the newlyweds in such a lush setting, but we could tell they were uber-excited to start partying with their loved ones and we were already behind schedule, so we tried to make the post-ceremony photos quick and painless.

For their wedding present, we rigged up our own DCPG photobooth and had people paste their photos into a scrapbook and write a message. It was SO fun (albeit pretty chaotic) and a huge hit with the guests, so we are definitely going to make it an add-on to our core wedding services. Here’s a quick sample of the scrapbook:

We also had the pleasure of working with some great vendors! Like I mentioned earlier, the wedding was held at a gorgeous outdoor venue in Moseley called Celebrations at the Reservoir. Angela was the on-site coordinator and she was so cheerful and honestly the most chill wedding coordinator I’ve ever seen; I never saw her frantic at all. The documentary videography was done by Human Story Films. Bill and his crew were very nice, easygoing and I can’t wait to see the finished film. The DJ/Emcee was one of my favorite DJ’s and people ever, Emer Lunasin of Variety Events/ShowBride. We love Emer! I’ve actually worked with him both in weddings and doing Filipino-American community work and he brings so much enthusiasm to the table.

[Addendum: Bill posted a blog containing the wedding film trailer and it’s AWESOME. Great editing and you’ll catch glimpses of Lester and I running around shooting too.]

We were able to wrangle almost all of the vendors (except for Angela! Sorry, Angela!) for the final photobooth pic of the night. I look like an idiot because I blinked, but everyone else looks great, so here’s the awesome vendor team:

The wedding was on Sunday, we just traveled back to Va Beach today and needless to say, I’m pretty wiped out.  Not only will we be getting Winston and Hazel’s slideshow together in time for their 2nd reception later this week (Filipinos have millions of family and friends, what can I say?) but Mendell and I’s daughter starts preschool on Wednesday.  Busy week, busy life, but we love it!

So congrats, love and many blessings to Winston + Hazel and thanks again to the wonderful vendors we got to work with! Til next time…

– Cies

Two quick sneak peeks…

So we had a double header on Saturday for photoshoots.  One of our past wedding clients Jared and Susie were moving out of the area soon (Congrats Jared on the awesome new job!) so we squeezed in last minute baby photoshoot of their super cute Anna:

Baby Anna

Later that afternoon we headed to the beach to shoot portraits for the very pretty and photogenic rising senior, Jackie.   We had minor setbacks (note to self:  don’t try shooting at Croatan during ECSC), but were able to relocate and find a part of the beach without so much of an audience. Jackie and her mom were great sports, fun to hang out with and we got some lovely photos:


And again, if you haven’t visited our new website, please do!!

It’s literally raining babies from our clients and friends. Just wanted to do a quick shoutout to all the new and to-be parents!

Jared + Susie, congrats on brand new baby Anna! She’s beautiful and what great timing to have her born right after Mothers Day!

Ritchelle + Beaver, congrats on Ella Rae! I love that name and what a perfect addition to spend your first anniversary with 🙂

Virginia + Justin, I’m soo excited to see that my little Virginia will become a mom! Good job on not wasting any time after the wedding….hehehe. You two will make wonderful parents.

Jaydee + Brian, congrats in advance for baby Noah’s baptism this weekend! We love our DCPG nephew!!!

Belated congrats to MJ + Arnold on baby Maddie who recently turned 9 months old!

The babymaking doesnt end on the east coast. Got to give love to my Seattle girls:

Malyng + Marv – congrats on #3, fertile myrtles! Marlee is such a cute girls name.
Leo, Leila and Aileen + spouses – that is soo hilarious that you all got pregnant at the same time! Playdates definitely won’t be an issue haha. Enjoy your babies this late summer/fall!

Speaking of babies, Mendell, Rina and I will be attending Sandy Puc’ Bellies & Babies seminar later this month at the Westin BWI, which, incidentally, is the same hotel that houses Luminous – the restaurant that Mendell designed a website for. I’m really looking forward to that as I definitely want to expand into maternity and newborn photography.

On a semi-related note (well at least wedding-wise), we didn’t mention it in previous blogs, but I want to give some love to my DCPG partner and bro-in-law Lester who recently became engaged to his awesome girl, nurse extraordinaire and DCPG coffee girl, Arlyn. Cutesy photos of said proposal can be found on Lester’s Flickr site. 🙂

Congrats guys!!

Lester + Arlyn engaged

– Ciesther

We recently decided to separate DCPG into 3 distinct subdivisions, with each partner assigned as a Director. (Did I put enough “d’s” in that sentence?) So now, we are operating basically as 3 companies:

DCPG Photography, handled by Lester
DCPG Design, handled by Mendell
DCPG Paperie (Paperie = personalized paper products such as invitations, announcements and such.)

I am running the Paperie and my first order of business was to open up an store which will sell invitation and program samples, some fine art prints and more. So far we only have 2 products up, but I am slowly populating the store and plan on adding more samples plus personalized stationery products such as notecards, rubber stamps.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!

– Ciesther

I know we rarely post design pieces, but we are particularly proud of Mendell’s rich, textured web design which helped promote Luminous’ brand of high-end Pan Asian cuisine.

Big ups to our html/css coder Jitu and flash guru Darius for the expertise and help!