Discipline is Key

By Noah Villaverde

Ter Yang-34.jpg

You can do it b

ut it takes


Discipline is Key. When it comes to everyday life, there is a certain routine that many follow to survive. You wake up in the morning, prepare yourself for the day, come home, sleep, rinse and repeat. Sure, it seems mundane on the outside but for those who are committed to balancing their lives, their daily routine is key to their success. But another aspect of having a great routine is discipline, and one of the human activities that requires it the most is health and fitness. Whenever someone decides to maintain their body in the best shape possible, the amount of discipline and willpower needed to sustain oneself may seem pretty daunting.

Recently, we had the opportunity to photograph Ter Yang. Ter exhibits a level of discipline that has been required for her to live an active, healthy life. Discipline can be utilized in multiple facets beyond fitness and health. It can be used when one prepares the makeup for a client, it can be used when being behind the camera and it can also be used when putting together the right words to give a story the proper justice.

Discipline can be utilized in multiple facets beyond fitness and health. It can be used when one prepares the makeup for a client...

Makeup by Gabrielle Villaverde

After our remarkable photography session, Ter shared some details regarding her journey while also sharing some tips for those interested in fitness and health. On her routine before her commitment, Ter explained, “My daily life before commitment to fitness involved in just going to the gym doing light weight and cardiovascular that serves no purpose of body building but to serve me in being healthy and just exercising to maintain my weight.”

Ter attests that nothing life-changing or dramatic would change with that fitness routine, which averaged from at least 2-3 gym visits a week while working full-time and spending time with her family and friends. Now that she is committed to her routine, Ter’s preparation varies on how her body looks like. She has around 5-6 meals a day. “There will be some weeks where I would be on low carbs and there would be weeks where I would be on high carbs.”


Ter began participating in competitions since 2016. She started preparation to compete for her first show last year in April. That competition was held in September. Ter also just competed in her second show in Santa Clara, CA. On what motivates her, Ter acknowledged that the feeling of being fit even when not preparing for a show drives her. “Training for a show is hard just because it’s a big commitment and a change for a few months to get on stage,” Ter explains. “But the motivation for me is the feeling of being and feeling fit. It’s a reward only I know how it feels like for the work I put in. It does kind of sound selfish, but if you look at it, no one else is training for me and no one is eating for me to look and/or feel fit. It’s my self-discipline and work that I get to enjoy after I see changes.”


What Motivates Me...

“But the motivation for me is the feeling of being and feeling fit. It’s a reward only I know how it feels like for the work I put in. It does kind of sound selfish, but if you look at it, no one else is training for me and no one is eating for me to look and/or feel fit. It’s my self-discipline and work that I get to enjoy after I see changes.”


Ter also has some advice for beginners who are planning on committing to fitness and health. “In fitness, you have to find what works for you,” Ter responds. “Everyone’s body is built differently. What works for one may not work for others. You have to keep finding what is best for you. You can change ane train yourself the way you know your body.” Ter also emphasizes that people should not treat achieving a fit lifestyle as a punishment to one’s body. “Treat it like that you love your body and you want to be healthy and fit, and that’s why you work out and eat right!”

Talking Fingers

By Noah Villaverde



When it comes to my background in writing, I spend a lot of time delving into the realms of popular culture -particularly focusing on the film and television industries with the many different avenues of inspiring storytelling that continues every day from countless artists that dedicate their talents to showcase their craft. Just recently, I have been keeping a strong focus on writing about the superhero craze that both the big and small screen has been experiencing over the course of eight years. It seems like every day we see news about where these avengers, men of steel, and caped crusaders will go - and continuously, audiences worldwide are clamoring for more of it.

What makes society so fascinated with heroism so much so that these movies continue to make billions of dollars year after year? I believe it is because of the human spirit longing for the abilities to reach for the stars and also the idealistic view of doing the right thing regardless of the odds stacked against us.

Thankfully, we know that heroes are indeed real and they don’t need to have supernatural abilities to help make the world a better place. We see our troops who put their lives on the line to serve our country everyday. We have seen people who were able to stand against oppressors for what they felt was right for society. And also, we have seen many who have let their voice be heard for the betterment of our cultural fabric.

Today, I want to talk about a real-life hero whose actions truly speak louder than words. Her name is Kayla Takeuchi.


Kayla does not have the ability to speak. Unfortunately, through her earlier years, although she was able to have thoughts of her own much like her fellow friends, she did not have the proper equipment to let her thoughts be heard. And for nearly 16 years, everything was locked inside her mind - just itching to be revealed to the world.

It was when she reached 16 years of age where she was able to let her voice be heard through facilitated communication, which allowed for her own thoughts to be heard for real. Kayla herself expressed her feelings about this in a documentary called, I Want to Say:

“I felt like I was in a prison. I didn’t feel human, but my mom never stopped believing in me.”

I cannot imagine the thought of having so much wanting to express to the people in my life and not being able to do so for a good portion of my life because I was not given the equipment required to do so. What Kayla experienced and was eventually blessed to be given should inspire many people to find the proper tools that will help young children who demand their voice to be heard. 

Kayla’s accomplishments have ranged from earning high marks on her tests as well as having the opportunity to deliver a keynote in 2009 at Syracuse University’s Facilitated Communication Institute.

We were blessed with the opportunity to meet Kayla at Clovis Community College, where she attends classes, and got to know her and got graced with her positive attitude. She has a smile that epitomizes why people become photographers - oh so radiant, but oh so sincere.

Kayla will next be featured at a national facilitated communication conference sponsored by the Institute on Communication and Inclusion at Syracuse University. More information can be found at syr.edu. Kayla will be on a panel with three other young adults who type to communicate. Conference will be held at Columbia, MD. She's been asked to present on her journey to find her voice and where she is now.


Traveling Light

It was about 2.5 years ago when I first caught the FUJI bug – the X100S bug to be specific.  I purchased it to bring it with me during our 2013 Florida vacation.  I brought the X100S with all my Canon DSLR gear but ended up just using the X100S for all my vacation photos.  It easily became my favorite camera; I even use it quite frequently for my professional work. 

For the last 2 years I patiently waited for the rumored X-Pro2 and last month I finally took the partial jump and acquired it with 3 prime lenses. During the first week of April I traveled lightly - exclusively with FUJIFILM gear to San Antonio, TX for a business trip.  I still have my other gear but I’m slowly yet surely making my switch. 

Here are some of the photos I took while exploring the River Walk in San Antonio, TX.  I hope you guys enjoy it. 

Gear: X-Pro2, 16mm 1.4, 35mm 2.0 and 56mm 1.2

Family League

When I first started out, making family portraits was what I most looked forward to do. During the first year of these portraits, I tried the 52-week project. That was surely a task. The following year, I decided to do the 12-month project - and yet that still was quite a task to accomplish. So I forgone doing such projects and they have been surely missed during their absence. 

So to pay homage to all those projects, I got my family to (reluctantly) partake in another endeavor. But this time, they found some enjoyment with this added theme.

Family portraits are vital in creating memories with your immediate loved ones. Whether you are setting your camera to shoot automatically, or by hiring a professional photographer, you do not want to miss out on capturing your family's memorable moments. 

Clovis North Band - 2015 Fashion Show

For six years now, the Clovis North Bronco Band & Color Guard have hosted a special fashion show that features numerous students showcasing some prom dresses and tuxes to get many excited for prom night. This event required the help of many parents, teachers, and of course the hairdressers and stylists from the Michael Blunt Salon. But most importantly, this fashion show serves as a unique fundraising opportunity for the Band & Color Guard and also promotes the importance of performing arts in education. 

A big thank you to the parents, teachers, stylists and of course - the students for putting on a wonderful fashion show.

Enjoy some of my favorite photos: 

Like a Kid at a Candy Store

Just recently, I attended the Wedding and Portrait Photography International (WPPI) conference in Las Vegas. During this incredible event, I got a chance to attend numerous informative sessions that have definitely enlightened me and many other fellow photographers as I even got a chance to take part in hands-on demonstrations. I truly felt like a kid at the candy store at WPPI due to all the incredible things I got to participate in. But out of everything I have experienced here, the most rewarding was getting the chance to finally meet the many professional photographers that I regularly studied from the internet in person. It is one thing to exercise your craft by learning from another fellow photographer virtually – the internet has truly linked us together. But to be there with them up close and personal? That is something that a computer screen cannot hold justice to.

Fan into Flame Ignition 2013

For the past few years, my wife and I have been chaperoning our church youth group to their yearly student conference.  It's an energetic, impactful, and life-changing event for many students.  One of the highlights of each conference are the concerts performed by various artists. The venue is small enough to get up close and personal with the performers. Over the years, I lug my DSLR and a couple of lenses to document the concerts - but this year, I decided to take my Fujifilm X100S instead. 

And the more I use this camera, the more it convinces me that it's quite capable. 

Performers featured: Fireflight, Travis Ryan, and Flame with V. Rose and DJ Cho'zyn Boy


Traveling with the Fujifilm X100S

Well, after about 11 days our oh-so long awaited family trip to Florida has now made it into the history books. For months, everyone in the family had been planning about the trip and what places we would be seeing. One of my major plans for the vacation was to document the trip using my DSLR. But since we would be spending much of our time at the theme parks and of course knowing of the inevitable 8 hour+ days of walking, I dreaded the thought of lugging my DSLR and multiple lenses. So because of that realization, I soon found myself researching for mirrorless cameras as an alternative - to which I ended up landing on the Fujifilm X100S. And I'm pleased to say that the results were truly satisfying.

Along with the X100S, I also brought the Undfind Waistshooter photo bag and my iPhone 5S for instant gratification. So without further ado, here's Part 1: Universal. 

Lots of Power in Such a Small Package

About a few weeks ago, I jumped into the mirrorless bandwagon and picked up the much talked-about Fujifilm X100S. It proved to be much more than just hype. The camera's shortcomings are far outweighed by its strengths - and this one really shines, or should I say, outshines, the sun.  

PIctures below were taken earlier today at Pismo Beach, CA - straight from the camera with no edits except for resize. Hope you enjoy, and see you in our next blog. 

Back to School

Whether you are getting your clothes and supplies ready or you are already hitting the books, the 2013-2014 school year is finally here. And to all the seniors out there, we wish y'all a memorable time. The year will go by fast with all the activities and pre college prep work and we believe that you can commemorate one of the most important stages of your High School career by having your senior portrait(s) done.  If you want a non-traditional session, contact us and we'll make some portraits that you will treasure for a lifetime. 

Food Photography

Type in food photography in your search engine and you will be enamored with tons of info.  So here's some more. Just a few weeks ago, we had an opportunity to make some food photos. Here are some mouthwatering Filipino dishes for you to savor.

BTS - Averrie

This BTS video was taken last week by Noah while we were doing a photoshoot with sweet Averrie. We've been making photographs of her even when she was still in her Mommy's tummy.

She just turned 7 months old a few days ago and it looks like we have a pro model in the making.

Project 12

Last year we started a 52-weeks photo project and we found out that a once a week family portrait was a tall order.  So this year, we toned it down and changed it to Project 12, one portrait per month.  But this one is still proving to be a difficult task, we were down to the wire for this month.  We literally ran to the location after church to squeeze a session.  Thank God Fresno has many beautiful spots for photography. This particular place was just a few minutes away from home.  Please take note that if you're doing a client session, you will need a photographer's pass before you can shoot there.    

So why do a photography project?  I believe it's essential for honing your skills, it's like sharpening your ax before cutting some trees - both you and your client will benefit from it.  When you start a project, make it fun for everybody.  Be creative, bribe your family if they are your subject.  Jamba Juice after the shoot works well with my family and I occasionally get some smiles when I say Jamba Juice after clicking the remote.  

Well thanks for taking the time to read our blog, we hope that you guys had a wonderful Easter with your love ones.  Start a project. Get out there and shoot.  Until our next blog, have a wonderful week!


Muchas Gracias

Last June 15 was the grand reopening of DCA and Cars Land was the main added attraction.  From a three day park hopper plan to an annual pass upgrade (Worth considering if you're planning to go).  Radiator Springs Racers has become our family's favorite ride.  It's a must ride every time we visit the park. Try single rider if your kids are tall enough to ride by themselves - it beats the hour-plus waiting in line.  Also check Cars Land at night, it sets a totally different mood once they turn on the lights. 

Yesterday was a very long day but accomplished a lot and family had so much fun in the park.  A little more roaming today in SoCal before heading home but before we do, I would like to give a shout out to y'all who liked our Facebook page.  We really appreciate it given the facts that there are so many social media traffics out there already.  We'll do our best to contribute the best way we can to this community.  You all have a great day. Until our next blog...


BTS Senior Photo Shoot

Last Saturday, we held a photo session with Niko, a student at Clovis North with his senior portraits. He asked that these portraits would be somewhat satirical to the common senior portraits seen every year by putting his own stamp, while also instructing us to include traditional shots (to his mom's request). 

Here is our latest BTS. Enjoy this as much as we enjoyed shooting.

Thanks Niko, for making it a blast.

-Noah V