October 11th, 2015

8 photos of happiness

I’ve been wanting to do this tag since I’ve seen it around, and then Georgie tagged me! Thanks Georgie! 😀 Picking only 8 is pretty tough, but it was fun because it made me look through old photos and really made me remember some great times.


  • Thank your nominator/s and link them in your post.
  • Link the creator (Ariel).
  • Post your 8 photos of happiness.
  • The photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy.
  • Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking.
  • Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers.

Hawaii 2011


This was our honeymoon! (We took the photo with a tripod and remote shutter.) I thought about picking an engagement or wedding photo, but really, the honeymoon is when all the wedding stress is over and we can just relax and enjoy each other’s company 😉 We went to Hawaii for the first time – Kauai first and then Oahu. It was a great trip that started our obsession with Hawaii. We’re currently planning our fourth trip back!

College: UTACM


I joined the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) in college, and in my second year, I joined their officers group which really changed my life. I made lasting friends who I still see and have so many happy memories from it. It was definitely the highlight of my college life. Many of us took classes and studied together, and much of my free time was spent hanging out in our club’s office. I also met my husband in it!

This photo is after one of our “Broomball” events played at a hockey rink, except we have a ball, paddles, and we use our shoes instead of skates. There is a lot of falling, which is part of the fun 😉

Japan 2014


I’ve been wanting to go Japan for years, and last year, I finally made it happen! You can read all about it in my Japan entries 🙂 We went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, and Hakone. I absolutely loved it, and it’s one of my favorite vacations. I’m already planning to go back within the next few years! The photo above was taken from our Tokyo hotel room. We had a lovely view of Tokyo Tower, and I managed to get a photo of it while Mt. Fuji was visible.

California 2005


This is me with three of my favorite people: my younger brother and two of our cousins. The four of us have always been close friends. When we normally see each other, it’s because there’s a big family reunion on my dad’s side of the family with all of our other relatives. We decided to have a vacation with just the four of us, so we met up at my cousin’s house in California! We took this photo after a relaxing and fun day at the beach 🙂

PAX East 2010


This is from the first PAX I went to, which is Penny Arcade’s gaming expo. Though I’ve been to 4 PAX now (3 East, 1 South), the first is still the most memorable to me! Left to right is: my friend Robbie, me, and my husband. Robbie is one of my closest friends, and we originally met online. Prior to this, we only had lunch together a couple times when I visited California. When he had moved to Boston, we stayed at his place for PAX East and finally spent more time together. We continue to go to PAX together each year!

Photography Shift (2011)


Have you ever started learning a hobby, and then at some point… it just clicks? You suddenly “get it” and feel a spike in improvement progress. This photo is from a set where that happened to me. It was back when a friend and I would meet up and take photos every weekend, which was really great practice. That day, my photography shifted and even my friend noticed. I was paying more attention to composition, and I felt it was a defining point in my photography journey.



I love turtles! My husband and I have had turtles as pets for about 8 years now (the breed we have live for 20-30 years). At one point, we had 5 turtles, but sadly, one passed from illness and two were let go into turtle ponds because they were too aggressive. We have two now: Floater (female) and Blinkin (male). Blinkin is the one with his legs up! I always smile when I see my turtles basking with funny poses 🙂 This photo always makes me laugh!

Ikkicon 2013


Ikkicon is an Austin Anime con that happens in the winter. The one from 2013 is still one of my favorite photoshoot experiences and has some of my favorite photos. The weather and lighting were perfect. I had no cancellations, and everyone I worked with was great. Of the 6 photoshoots, 3 were with repeat clients, and 2 became repeats afterwards 😀

It was also right after I upgraded my DSLR! These were the first photoshoots I did with my Canon 6D and Sigma 50mm f/1.4. I was amazed at the quality from the Sigma lens, and it’s still what I use for photoshoots. This photo is of RedAkaFox, who I’ve worked with a couple times!

As for tagging people, give this one a try if you haven’t posted it yet! I would love to see what you pick for your 8 photos 🙂

17 Responses to “8 photos of happiness”

  • Pauline says:

    I love seeing this tag around, they always make me smile! 😀 I have to say when I saw the first one, it made me feel a little teary *wipes tears* it’s just so beautiful! That is seriously my future marriage/honeymoon goal, it’s such a great shot and you both look so in love! The background is gorgeous too <3

    I love the college photo – it's definitely the place you meet your long lasting friends!

    I'm so jealous – I really want to visit Japan and will do one of these days for sure, I'll be sure to read up on your trip so I can find sites for my future trip 😉

    Aww, the turtles look super cute! I find them so adorable, I want one and just wait for the day it starts talking to me the same way as the turtle does in Nemo.

  • Tara says:

    Love your photos! I love how you have a mixture of people photos and object/landscape photos! Love the shot of Tokyo. I really find myself wanting to back there again and again!

    I also love the photo that shows when your photograph shifted! I think it’s great you became more serious about photography. You’re great at it, and I love your photos!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Kya says:

    These photos are so wonderful and I love the memories behind them. :’)

    I can understand what you mean about the photography click! I am nowhere near as talented as you are, but there was a moment when this happened to me. I started to notice focus and perspective and it made me more interested in what I was doing and how open and expressive the medium could be.

  • Michelle says:

    These photos are awesome. Glad you got great memories and even better photos! ^^ I certainly would love to do another photoshoot with you. You’re a great photographer! I loved seeing you at Afest and loved the pictures you edited. I had a blast.

  • Karin says:

    This is such a cute tag/meme/challenge! It’s so positive and uplifting to see people’s photos and read about their happy moments.
    The honeymoon photo is so adorable <3
    And I love the turtles! They look like red-eared sliders, is that correct? I used to have two myself, and a yellow-bellied slider. They make very nice pets. 🙂

    • Cat says:

      Yes, you’re correct! They’re both red-eared sliders 🙂 (Though Blinkin has somehow lost his red ears the past few years, so he doesn’t look like one anymore, haha.)

  • Georgie says:

    Yay! Thanks for doing this tag, Cat! I was really looking forward to seeing your photos. My favourite would have to be the honeymoon one!

    I don’t know if I have ever had a moment where I felt like my photography took a turn, but I did take a concert photo that got a lot of kudos from my peers. I think that might have been close to my photography shift. 🙂

    I love the Ikkicon photo! I can imagine the Sigma lens was amazing, I used a 1.4 for my crop sensor and I loved it to bits. 😀

  • Liv says:

    YAYY I LOVE THESE! I wanna do them too but I don’t feel comfortable posting photos of my friends so I might really have to dig because most of my photos of happiness involve friends.

    I think that honeymoon photo is a wonderful choice because it’s special to you two alone, especially with that heart you guys made. And that club you joined in college sounds awesome because it’s through clubs where you make lasting friends, in my case my fellowship! I didn’t have that in college because people were not involved in clubs and I lived too far from campus. I’m not surprised to see Japan, cosplay, or turtles on this list, hehe! As for the photo with your friend Robbie, I’m actually meeting an online friendie for the first time this weekend, I’m so excited! Maybe THAT will be in my 8 photos because I’m doing this!!!

  • Fuyu says:

    I really was hoping I was going to make that anime convention but I had work and couldn’t take off. But it’s awesome to see pictures from it!

  • Nancy says:

    The picture of you and hubby at your honeymoon is cute! I love how the picture is from the both of you to the background! I’m glad to hear that you’re planning your next trip back ;). It’s awesome when you meet friends from clubs/school that lasts a lifetime! It makes me wonder who I would keep in touch with after college.

    I remembered the Japan trip! Japan sounds like an amazing place all together! If you ever plan to be around my area in SoCal, let me know ;). I think it’s pretty cool how even after 5 years later, you still look just as young as back in 2010 at PAX! (Those genes doe)

    I think it’s cool how you have turtles at home! Blinkin looks adorable with that pose XD. Your photography skill level is over 9000!!!

  • Uglyfish says:

    This is such a lovely tag. I really love your first picture from Hawaii, it’s a lovely moment. Broomball sounds exciting and a bit dangerous! I think I’d be on the floor more than my feet.
    The picture of Japan is beautiful. I thought Matt was going to Tokyo on tour in a few weeks, but he isn’t. I’d love to go one day!
    Your turtles are so cute! It’s so sad that you don’t have the five anymore, but I’m sure Floater and Blinkin are very happy =]

  • Kenny says:

    I love all of the photos. You and your husband are adorable. And, of course, I love the turtles.

  • Amanda says:

    Awww, your photos make me happy too, heh. I absolutely adore your first photo! Your logic was sound with that. I’ll bet you I’d agree that honeymoon photos are much more relaxing and enjoyable than the pre-wedding stress. 🙂

    And I love the turtles too! Turtles are the funniest thing. I think I spent about half an hour staring at a turtle in a tank a couple months ago. Sooo cute.

    I’m not even sure what I’d post for my 8 photos. Now that I think about it, I pretty much only take photos of food…. Guess I gotta start taking more pictures of other stuff!

  • Raisa says:

    Your honeymoon photo is so sweet! It’s great that photography was able to just click with you. I think it really does show in your pictures! I felt that way about gaming. All of a sudden, I understood battle tactics so much more and I started rising in my guild hahaha. XD

  • Mija says:

    Wow that picture in Hawaii looks so magical and romantic!!! I love it!

    Amazing shots – I can see why you picked these photos!

  • Shar says:

    Awwwww!!! I would love to try this one out!!! It makes me feel so happy! It’s going to be so hard to only choose 8 though but I’ll give it a try. I’m going to try and find which ones I like now LOL.

    I LOOOOOVVVEEEE your honeymoon pic. It’s sooo sweet!!!!
    And I love your turtle!!! I love turtles in general. I used to have a little one named Keanu when I was younger but my mom made me give him away 🙁

  • Christine says:

    Great photos! I love your turtle photo! My friend had turtles for years as well and loved caring for them. I never knew they could live for so long until I met her turtles. How was Hawaii?? That’s actually where my parents went on their honeymoon years ago!

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