• Hi! I'm Truc, and I love taking photos of couples in love, laughing babies and kids, sweet newborns, and happy families.  
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Turning the Lens Around | Pasadena and Los Angeles Children’s and Baby Portrait Photographer

It’s been a long time since I’ve had professional portraits taken of myself, not since getting married last year.  (Stay tuned for our wedding photos on the blog in several weeks!)  I needed photos of myself for this website, and I realized I needed new portraits when I looked through my files, and the only good photos of me in recent years were from the wedding.  It probably helps that I was wearing the best dress I’ve ever owned, and had a handsome groom on my arm.

So I had that groom, now husband (and unofficial second shooter and business partner, as well as partner-in-crime in all things ice cream), take my portraits one evening last week.  Bamboo Shoots Photography now has a couple of these photos up in the About section of both the website and the blog.

Life with Kaishon - You have a beautiful smile!June 12, 2010 – 4:47 pm

Peggy - Great photos, Evan. You got yourself a beautiful bride.June 8, 2010 – 7:32 pm

Marci - Evan did a good job in capturing Truc! I like the black and white one too.June 8, 2010 – 2:54 pm

Naomi - These are wonderful pictures of you, and the first time I’ve actually seen a picture of you in a few years. You photograph well.:)June 8, 2010 – 8:17 am

april - They are all great. I love the black and white photo! However, if all were black and white photos, you wouldn’t be able to see those awesome shoes. So pretty and a nice addition to the website.June 8, 2010 – 4:43 am

Ode to Ice Cream

Okay, maybe not.  But if I knew how to write an ode, ice cream would sure deserve one.  At any given time, our freezer has about six containers of ice cream.

Evan often says my brain is made of ice cream.  If you opened up my head, all you’d find in there is ice cream.  So he says.  I happen to think there’s plenty of room in there for cake and mint dark chocolate.  Yeah, I have my vices.  But my love affair with ice cream is lifelong and constant.

Ever since we got an ice cream maker, we’ve been experimenting with lots of flavors.  So far, we’ve tried Earl Grey tea, Italian basil, jasmine tea, mint, mango, and watermelon.  The mint was the least exotic of the flavors we tried, but it had the best result, with the consistency and texture of real ice cream!  Mmm, homemade ice cream.

It was so successful, we made it twice more, but on the third try, using the same type of mint leaves (we believe), the ice cream turned brown. Brown mint ice cream.  Lovely.  We’ve racked our brains trying to figure out why the ice cream turned brown when the mint we use is clearly green, and it didn’t turn brown the first two times.

If anyone has any idea about this mystery, please let us know.  And feel free to share your thoughts on any new flavors we should try!

Summer Special – Portrait Session Sale! | Los Angeles and Orange County Baby and Child Portrait Photography » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] Yesterday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, which means summer has officially started!  Summer is my second favorite season after spring.  Goodbye to school, homework, and exams…  Hello, fun vacations, the awesome Perseids meteor shower, cold drinks, and lots of ice cream! […]June 22, 2010 – 4:34 am

Turning the Lens Around | Pasadena and Los Angeles Children’s and Baby Portrait Photographer » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] now husband (and unofficial second shooter and business partner, as well as partner-in-crime in all things ice cream), take my portraits one evening last week.  Bamboo Shoots Photography now has a couple of these […]June 18, 2010 – 6:34 am

Marci - How about beignet ice cream with powdered sugar on top! Or Honey ice cream…or honey swirl ice cream and green tea with ginger ice cream? bon appetit~~June 8, 2010 – 2:45 pm

Trudy - I’m surprised Peggy didn’t recommend iguana ice cream. She runs over the poor helpless critters with wheelchairs!June 8, 2010 – 12:17 pm

Dan - Ice cream? Or I want to scream? My small freezer is full of frozen fruits (mango, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, fill-in-the-blank berries, …) and quarts of ice cream. I have no control over what I can put in there because my wife and kids have taken it over. They love to make smoothies with their new expensive blender and top them off with ice cream. It’s not that I’m complaining, but isn’t that too much!!!!June 7, 2010 – 7:21 pm

april - I think we have 3 types of ice cream. Rob only eats vanilla. I have Cherry Garcia. We have the Starbucks Java Chocolate Chip Frappacino for Laura (but just the little teeny tiny cup). We’re big fans of ice cream, but we don’t have the luxury of freezer room.June 5, 2010 – 6:15 pm

Peggy - How about gecko ice cream? Or Green Day ice cream (OK- I like their music)? Or Kermit ice cream (gotta love the frog)? How about Slime Cream? Or Pond Scum? Hey-flavors like that worked for Jelly Belly….June 5, 2010 – 3:54 pm

Evan - Yes, I attest that her head is full to the brim with ice cream. There’s some smoothie in there, too. In fact, as I write this, Truc is drinking her specialty: homemade smoothies. I bet there will be a blog post about smoothies in the future …June 5, 2010 – 3:35 pm

Chi - Instead of racking your brain for a way to keep mint ice cream minty green, you could just get creative with titling it. For instance, you could call it “grasshopper-flavored,” or “mudslide ice cream,” or “Shrek” cream. Worse comes to worst, call it “oxid-iced” cream. *audience groans* It’s all about the marketing. 🙂

As far as flavors: avocado, apple, pineapple, blueberry, orange. Flavors which would be intuitive, but don’t show up in the grocery store ice cream aisle.

P.S. Evan is quite accurate. If someone gave you a noogie, all the ice cream would come spilling out of your ears.June 5, 2010 – 2:30 pm

Griffith Park Engagement Session: Allison and Jim | Los Angeles Engagement Session

Jim was my next door neighbor in my freshman dorm, and he also played clarinet in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra with Evan.  We met Allison after we moved to Pasadena, and she too is a Stanford alum.  They are such a sweet couple, so happy together.  They have diverse career interests, with Allison pursuing a Ph.D. in comparative literature and Jim pursuing one in chemical engineering, but they’re extremely well-matched.

Their proposal story is equally sweet.  Jim surprised Allison over winter break by greeting her when she got off the plane in her hometown of Boise, Idaho, and taking her in a limo to a park in downtown Boise.  Her beautiful ring is made of diamonds from his grandmother’s ring.  So romantic!

We had tons of fun touring Griffith Park in Los Angeles for this engagement session, and the hours just flew by.

We asked Jim and Allison to bring a prop for the session, and they found the perfect one.  Jim’s saxophone looks awesome!  It’s easy to hear jazz when you look at these photos.

Favorite!  I loved the light in this part of the park.  Allison, you are gorgeous!

Los Angeles Griffith Park engagement session (South Pasadena, La Canada Flintridge, San Marino anniversary newlywed / day after portrait session)
Los Angeles Griffith Park engagement session (South Pasadena, La Canada Flintridge, San Marino anniversary newlywed / day after portrait session)

Thanks so much, guys, for such a fun session!  We had a blast with you two!

Glendale Oakmont Country Club Jazz Wedding Reception Details | Pasadena & Burbank Day After/Newlywed Session Photographer » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] gorgeous Oakmont Country Club jazz wedding reception in Glendale.  If you recall their Griffith Park engagement session, you’ll remember the fun we had with Jim’s saxophone.  The saxophone was back in full […]February 21, 2011 – 1:49 am

Pasadena & Los Angeles Day After/Newlywed Session | Wedding Portrait Photography with Kendall & Graham » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] keeping with the musical instrument tradition from Allison and Jim’s Griffith Park engagement session, Graham brought his banjo.  Love […]September 8, 2010 – 2:53 am

Jim - Thanks for a wonderful engagement session, Truc. The photos are fantastic! We will definitely consider using you again in the future.July 11, 2010 – 8:04 pm

Marci - BEAUTIFUL and so creative!!! I love the back to back, silhouette photos, the ring circling around Allison’s face, and especially the last one…all so good! You have a wonderful gift to share. :>)June 8, 2010 – 2:49 pm

Allison - Truc, we had a blast with taking pictures with you! Every minute of our session was fun, and we love the results. You got an awesome variety of shots, and they captured the moments brilliantly! For our save-the-date cards, we’re going to use the eighth photo from the top on this post–the one where we’re walking and holding hands. That expanse of sky at the top left is the perfect place to put some text with our names and the date. I’m so impressed with your artistry and professionalism!June 6, 2010 – 12:28 pm

Peggy - Fantastic photos! These could be magazine covers!June 5, 2010 – 3:55 pm

Cathy - I love love love that last shot! Gorgeous!June 4, 2010 – 3:01 pm

Tweets that mention Griffith Park Engagement Session: Allison and Jim | Los Angeles Engagement Session » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Truc Nguyen, Truc Nguyen. Truc Nguyen said: First ever engagement session on the blog! […]June 2, 2010 – 3:08 am

Evan - Jim and Allison, you look gorgeous! Allison, you got your paws on one cool cat. You two look like you could hold your own in a smoky basement bar at 2 am: Jim with some cool blues on the sax and Allison with some sultry vocals. Here’s hoping for many jazzy years together.June 1, 2010 – 11:06 pm

Battle of the Beignets

Most people who go to New Orleans, or who have seen any movie set in New Orleans, know about this happy place.

Yes, Café Du Monde in the French Quarter is a hallmark of New Orleans.  You can’t really go to New Orleans without visiting it, even though there are a number of other Café Du Mondes spread throughout the city.

But how many non-New Orleanians know about this little gem?

Morning Call sits just a little off the causeway, and has the best beignets in the entire city.  Yes, yes, even better than Café Du Monde.

New Orleans happens to be Evan’s hometown, so I have the happy opportunity to visit relatively often.  The last three times I visited, I sacrificed my waistline with extremely important and scrupulously scientific taste tests.  The verdict?  Morning Call wins hands down.  Here’s why:

  • Their beignets are bigger and fluffier (what’s not to love about that? well, aside from the extra pounds)
  • They let you sprinkle your own powdered sugar (yes, you can go crazy!)
  • They’re cheaper (bigger and cheaper? I’m so there)
  • And they’re open 24 hours a day (come on, who doesn’t want beignets at midnight or 2 am in the morning? the only Café Du Monde open 24/7 is the one in the French Quarter, and it’s a lot more inconvenient to get to)

I’ll leave with you with this image of the beautiful Gulf coast sky.  Stay tuned for the first engagement session on the blog next week!

LA Photographer in New Orleans: Morning Call, Beignets, and Crawfish Etouffee » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] over a few posts, I’ll share some photos from our excursions.  I did a post last year on the Battle of the Beignets where I touted the merits of my favorite beignet shop, Morning Call, over the ever-famous Café du […]January 6, 2011 – 1:42 am

Marci - I think you are going to turn into a beignet!! Great shots of them and I didn’t know that you can put your own powdered sugar on them at Morning Call. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for sharing New Orleans on your blog and look forward to seeing more pictures soon….which means you’ll have to make another visit to here for new material. :>)June 1, 2010 – 7:51 am

Evan - You’re making me hungry. I also prefer Morning Call. The French Quarter location of Cafe du Monde has more character, but the beignets at Morning Call are superior. Plus, it’s much easier to get to Morning Call. Great photos, as always! For your next project, see if you can make a real beignet come out of the computer screen.May 31, 2010 – 1:21 pm

Judy - Beignets! YUM! I am fortunate to live in Mandeville, LA. Therefore, I can get beignets whenever I want(and I do). The plate of beignets make me want to grab it off the screen. The picture is so clear and bright. I could take the same photo and not have it look like yours. Love your website. All of your photos are so vivid and natural. The gecko is cute, but, I can’t stand lizards of any kind. The photo looked so real, it made my skin crawl. Keep up the great work!May 31, 2010 – 7:43 am

Erin - Beignets are great but the coffee is the best at Cafe du Monde! Cafe au lait is real New Orleans. Did you know that Morning Call used to be in the city and actually moved all those mirrors with them to Metairie?
Thanks for the nostalgic photos, Bamboo Shoots.May 30, 2010 – 7:19 pm

Pasadena Family Portraits with 9-Month-Old Baby Triplets | Los Angeles Family Photography

Fiona, Stella, and Daphne are 9-month-old baby triplets.  Yes, triplets!  These girls are so adorable, and I especially love their coordinated outfits.  Fiona and Stella may be identical twins, but Daphne seems different in both looks and personality.  She had a lot of fun trying to eat the leaves on the grass.  Fiona and Stella were more content to just take in the scenery.

Daphne almost never stopped laughing or smiling during the entire session.

I’m cute, and that’s that.  <<raspberry>>

Here’s Fiona looking serious.  Check out the chin drool.

The entire super cute family.

Here’s Daphne trying to eat another leaf, but it looks like Stella wants a piece of it too.

Glendale and Burbank Newborn Baby and Family Portrait Photography | Baby Kira Sneak Peek » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] In the meantime, you can find more baby and family portrait photos here. […]August 10, 2010 – 8:34 pm

Judy - Truc, I love the triplets. It reminds me of the photos Evan’s dad took of Evan and Dale when they were growing up. Of course, his was mostly in black and white, but they both captured the natural innocence of the kids. The photos are so much better than having a crying child trying to sit still and pose for you. Great work! You make our family proud. (I know your father-in-law is!)May 31, 2010 – 7:53 am

Kim - Before I read your blog, I didn’t know that the three kids are triplets. Truc, you are so talented. Daphne looks so joyful and expressive–she’s my favorite.May 26, 2010 – 10:49 pm

Larry - The kids are really cute, but as a photographer, I have to say I love the contrast and lighting. Well done!May 26, 2010 – 2:39 pm

Marci - I love seeing Daphne in the middle of Fiona and Stella, as seen in the photo with the whole family! There is a photo of Daphne I especially love where you capture the light in her eyes…like it is shining out from within her. The whole family looks like they are having a blast. Very fun!!May 25, 2010 – 7:14 pm

Evan - Wow, you took so many great photos of this family! With talent like this, your portfolio is going to explode with adorably cute photos in no time at all.May 24, 2010 – 7:06 pm

Hawaii, Oh How I ♥ You

Evan’s work often brings him to the big island of Hawaii.  The Big Island is home to two of the world’s largest telescopes, the Keck telescopes.  I know.  What a pain, right?  Having to travel to Hawaii on business.  Life sure is hard.

A few months ago, I tagged along for the first time.  I’d been to Maui over 15 years ago but never to the Big Island.  A rainbow—double-rainbow even, although you can barely see the second one—greeted us the day we arrived.

The next morning, we found a friend.

Isn’t she cute?  (I’m going to assume it’s a she.)

On a kayaking trip, we found a small group of dolphins.  Check out the cute dolphin snouts poking out of the water.

I’ve had lots of snow cones, but this was the largest snow cone I’d ever had in my life.  It was gargantuan!  Bigger than our heads!  Passion fruit, guava, and mango.  Yum.

A crater.

The volcano is active, and at night we walked down a trail just outside of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to look at the lava, which wasn’t visible during the daytime.

John - You bring out the color so well. I also like the details, like the dew on the red plant.June 7, 2010 – 4:18 pm

Gerry - Love the volcano shot. I tried a tripod and slow shutter but got total darkness. Wish I had your talent! And if you can capture a gecko smiling, you have to be an awesome photographer!May 30, 2010 – 7:28 pm

Jenna - The Geico lizard had better watch out. This guy seems to be job-searching with that cute mug.May 30, 2010 – 7:25 pm

Lou - I tried to photograph that gecko (OK, maybe its cousin) but my photos don’t look anything like yours! My guy wouldn’t stop and pose. How do you do that?May 30, 2010 – 7:24 pm

Eva - The night volcano shot is really incredible and dramatic. Wish I could see more of them. How close were you to the volcano? How safe or stable is the ground nearby?May 26, 2010 – 10:59 pm

Kim - I really love the photos of the lizard (is she real and how big is she?). The colors are stunning. The way you’ve framed these shots is perfect. Hope that soon Evan will ask you to take photos of stars to help his research!May 26, 2010 – 10:56 pm

Larry - Your photos are absolutely stunning! National Geographic doesn’t do any better.May 26, 2010 – 2:37 pm

Marci - A double rainbow when you arrived….well, can only mean one thing…YES, you HAVE arrived!! I love the gecko peeking out at you smiling. I especially love the night shot of the volcano lava spewing and the waterfall was very lovely. I haven’t been to Hawaii…and now I really want to GO!!! We should all be so lucky to have to work there!May 25, 2010 – 7:23 pm

Chi - Good to know you both survived the earth-sized snow cone. AND the suspiciously shark-looking dolphins in the water! My favorite by far is the gecko with the attitude, staring you in the eye. Beautiful colors!May 21, 2010 – 4:31 pm

Mike P - The gecko (I think?) is cute, but the red marks on it make me think it’s some sort of mutant ninja gecko preparing for battle. Be wary, Truc… be wary…May 21, 2010 – 3:40 pm

Evan - Wow, great shots! It’s wonderful to have a talented photographer along to document my very important scientific research of beaches and sunsets and beautiful scenery.May 21, 2010 – 9:13 am

Pasadena Children’s Portraits | Los Angeles Children’s Photography at Huntington Gardens

Audrey and Phillip are my favorite two-year-old and four-year-old.  I spent a sunny Saturday afternoon with them at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.  First, meet Audrey.

And here is Phillip.  He loves to laugh.  If you meet him, you would think that he’s pretty funny.  Then again, he thinks he’s pretty funny, too.

The gardens are so large that we didn’t even make it through half of them!  We were having too much fun walking leisurely.  Personally, I preferred the Japanese gardens, but Audrey and Phillip had a great time in the perfectly kid-sized children’s garden.

What I wouldn’t do to have lashes like these… sigh.

By the way, they are wearing traditional Vietnamese ao dai.  I loved how their outfits matched the brilliant colors of the flowers.  After their stylish stroll through the park, we left the park briefly to grab a bite to eat, and while we were out, the kids changed into fun spring clothes.  Here, you can see Audrey having some fun outside the Huntington Library.  There’s nothing like pushing a metal chain back and forth to end your day on a good note.

Finally, I caught the future model in a fashionable moment.

Arcadia and Pasadena Child and Baby Portrait Photographer | Fine Art Canvases » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] We did a fine art canvas of one of our favorite photos, which you can also see on the Bamboo Shoots Photography home page.  You can also find more photos of Audrey from her and Phillip’s portraits at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. […]July 6, 2010 – 2:55 am

Glendale and Burbank Children’s Photography | A Few 3-Year-Olds, Some 4-Year-Olds, and a Whole Lot of Cake » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] Audrey is now three years old!  Here’s the bright and happy birthday girl at her birthday party. […]June 18, 2010 – 6:33 am

Curry: Jungle Curry Chicken | Kaffir Lime Leaves for Thai Recipes - […] Pasadena Children's Portraits | Los Angeles Children's Photography … […]June 16, 2010 – 6:23 am

Jason - Amazing photos! The colors are incredible, and I love the contrast.May 28, 2010 – 11:12 am

Kim - I know Audrey and Phillip and they are very adorable kids, so I’m impressed how your photos reflect their personalities. Your pictures make me miss them and remind me I want to visit and hug the two of them soon.May 26, 2010 – 10:53 pm

Chi - You’ve really captured how charming and sweet Audrey and Philip are in these photos! Makes me want to run out and play with them. *I* want prints of these shots, and they’re not even my kids…May 21, 2010 – 4:29 pm

Dale - Some really nice work here. I especially like the boy peeking through the bars.May 20, 2010 – 5:55 am

Mike - These are beautiful photos! My favorite is the one from your “kids” gallery of the boy wearing a bucket for a hat =). But they all look so fantastic!May 19, 2010 – 5:58 pm

Jeff - Truc
These are stunning. The colors are so vibrant.
I love the name!!!May 19, 2010 – 4:18 pm

Suzanne - Nicely done, Truc
The pictures are beautiful as are the children and the person who took the pictures.
Keep up the good workMay 19, 2010 – 5:59 am

Evan - It’s so much fun to look at my wife’s photos! I love how the colors are so vibrant. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to post next.May 18, 2010 – 9:56 pm

Dan - Truc,
Your website is full of professionally taken pictures of lovely children. I was impressed by the children’s natural movements which demonstrated your excellent photographing skills and your love to be around them.
I checked your cost with those in my area and found that it is quite competitive. I believe many guests who visit your website will agree with me.May 18, 2010 – 9:16 pm

Tiki - Cute kids. Bet you could do great pet photos, too.May 18, 2010 – 4:18 pm

Marci - Truc, I love your website and photos! It is so clever how you have incorporated your name into your business name with chosen words. You have captured the spirit and personality of your subjects in your photos with not only subtle but also bold expression. The lighting is very artistic and I especially love the soft fading affect on their faces at times…it accents their eyes more and draws me in. So well done and very professional. Are you eating ice cream now?May 18, 2010 – 2:37 pm

Peggy - These are the best children’s photos I’ve seen. You capture the expressions so vividly and candidly. The eyes convey such innocence and wonder. All photography should be so natural and alive. Too bad you are only in the L.A. area.

I’ve compared costs and your session fees are very reasonable. Would love to see some newborn pics and maybe a “birth to 5” package.May 18, 2010 – 12:09 pm

Lou Paradise - Fantastic photos! Wish you were around when my kids were younger. Love the natural settings. Prices are great.May 18, 2010 – 12:05 pm

Larry - Hi Truc,

Your website is great. Very professional, very well done. Its fresh, colorful, contemporary and clever. I love the name “Bamboo Shoots”! And you chose the perfect font for your logo, along with that subtle touch of bamboo shoots. Your blog adds a nice personal touch. Very nice!

Your photography is stunning, capturing emotions and expressions so vividly. It has a fresh airiness, but also a bold flair of dramatic lighting, contrast and color. Well done!May 18, 2010 – 6:49 am