Hello Nicholas,

Welcome! Lots going on as we move into Spring and Summer of 2023.

After I send out one of these newsletters, it usually creates a blank slate for the next one. That could be worrisome, but fortunately they fill up pretty quickly with content from a unique variety of photo assignments. I think it's that variety that I like the most ... it keeps it exciting for me. I'm sending this one out a little early because it's already getting too long :)

It's been pretty busy lately and being busy translates into lots to share. And once again, I've added a bunch more people to this email blast. So, let me mention once more that if you are not interested in this photographer's creative journey and want to unsubscribe, I understand and I promise it won't hurt my feelings. This newsletter goes out to current and past clients along with family and friends. The primary purpose is to keep in touch and show some of my latest work, but I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that there is also a little marketing built in. The email list is pretty big and always growing.

So let's just get right to it. If you make it to the end, you'll see three very cute pups, a funny squirrel, and of course, the newest addition to our family, Olivia.


Palomar Observatory

I have done quite a bit of work for T & Co Marketing in the past. It was great working for them again. The format of what I was shooting for was actually similar to the previous work I had done for them. It was for a company called Venstar, and the location ... well, this was hard to beat. It was at the Palomar Observatory just after the winter storms, so there was lots of snow. It was really a beautiful day.

Venstar produces high tech thermostats and Palomar uses these to control the temperature in their giant dome housing the massive 200 inch Hale Telescope. We were photographing Cal Tech Superintendent Rick Burruss, who manages this amazing complex. I was there to get specific photos needed for a 'case study' marketing piece, but when I left my mind was buzzing with so much cool information about a lot of high tech stuff that goes on at that observatory.

Press Enterprise assignments

Quite a few PDF's of Press Enterprise assignments this time. I love PDF's because it's a perfect digital page copy. Great for my archives. In the early days when we were shooting film, I'd literally copy a page onto slide film to have it. In fact we did this often at The Register for many purposes. That was kind of a pain which is also why I love PDF's.

This time is the usual mixed bag of assignments. There's always a range of difficulty to each assignment and a standard of quality that has to be met as well. I will say that it's also nice to see my work in print again.

Principal of the year is a big honor. This was supposed to be a big surprise in her office ... we were like a prize patrol hiding in the library. But then plans changed and they gathered up all of the students outside and presented it to her there. Much better plan, I thought, as she shared her award with the entire school. HERE is a link to the story and slideshow.

This was yet another sad fentanyl story. I was asked to shoot the beginning of Matt Capelouto's 60 mile trek to the Riverside Federal building. It was for the sentencing of the drug dealer who sold the deadly dose of fentynal to his daughter.

The morning they took off on their trek was Alexandra's birthday. Not all assignments are fun, but at the same time, these stories have to be told.

HERE is a link to the online story and slide show. I have a few supporting photos in the slideshow from the beginning of his 60 mile journey.

Here are a couple of CIF High School Championship games that I photographed back to back for the Pasadena Star News (a SCNG newspaper). Fairly tight deadlines after each game, so I had to manage that. Otherwise it was a fun evening of Basketball. I had a pretty good location to do my work until they turned the lights out in the gym and I had to move to the press room to finish up. It was online only so I included links of each game to the online story and slide show.

Flintridge Prep vs. Los Osos. Click Here to see the story and slide show.

Blair vs. Santa Paula. Click Here to see the story and slide show

With such a huge archive of food photos in the SCNG (Southern California News Group) library from years of shooting food with Cathy Thomas, it's always refreshing to see our art used often. After all, food images and recipes are pretty much timeless. Here is another example that made the paper when we photographed Corned Beef and Vegetables for St. Patrick's Day.

HERE is a link to the story, recipe and photos online.

HERE is a link to Cathy Thomas's website 'Cathy Thomas Cooks'

Well, I always say how much I love photographing performing arts ... sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for (haha). This Boots in the Park music festival assignment was lots of fun to shoot though. The venue was huge and there was lots going on. I think I got to my 10,000 steps in before the first performer. Seemed fairly quiet at first, but by the time I left, it took a lot of navigating through masses of people just to get out of the venue.

The last act I photographed was Flo Rida. I didn't understand why they wouldn't let the media (me) photograph the performers from the pit clear of the crowd ... I had to figure out my shooting spots while navigating around a large crowd of people. Thankfully a couple large cowboy looking dudes saw my situation and offered to help me get into position for the last act by blazing a trail for me towards the stage. And the people surrounding me after that were awesome ... they let me get a prime position (where they were standing) so I could get what I needed ... now getting out was a whole different story. I literally have never seen so many standing people crammed into one place. Even the guests were wondering why the organizers of the event wouldn't allow the media to shoot from the pit.

Well, It was fun, I survived and got my shots. it's a pretty nice slideshow online ... check it out HERE

Besides concert photos, I transmitted a lot of feature photos from the Boots in The Park event as well. This one ran a few days later as a feature photo on page two.

This made for a busy day. I got a heads up about this portrait assignment while I was on that Palomar observatory shoot. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. I left Palomar mountain and went straight to Paloma Valley High school for this portrait. It was actually on the way home and while driving there, I was thinking of various shot options for the portrait, even though I had never been to that school before. I was happy to see that they had both a wrestling gym and a weight room. I do like this option best, but you can see the other photos along with the story if you CLICK HERE.

This Multicultural Festival was right in my back yard. It was put on by our city of Menifee and was very nicely done. Awesome music and dance performances on stage, lots of activities, booths representing countries around the world ... very well done Menifee! To see the online slide show ...CLICK HERE

Here's one more that made print a couple days later from the festival ... I sent in 40+ images from this very colorful assignment. It's nice to see more being used.

I forget that when I shoot news assignments that images often get republished with follow up stories. Here's a recent example. CLICK HERE to see the story.

It's Baseball season! And here is a recent High School Baseball assignment ... always challenging and never as easy as it looks ... but still lots of fun to shoot. This pitcher was amazing.

Arlington vs. Ramona. CLICK HERE to see the online slideshow.

Providence at St. Joseph's of Orange

This gig was a referral to me from a friend and colleague Curt Norris. We were in the same photo classes at CSUF years ago and were also both hired at The Orange County Register shortly after that. He's tech savvy and an expert videographer. I highly recommend him and if you end up hiring him, I can promise you won't regret it. A super nice guy and very talented! CLICK HERE to see his work!

Turns out that this job was on the campus of a long time past client of mine, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The job was for Providence Health & Services. They were having a Leadership program on the Sisters of St. Joseph's campus. I photographed a mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel attended by these leadership candidates with OC Bishop Vann presiding. This Chapel is beautiful and I think it's my favorite one in Orange County since I have photographed so many amazing events there for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.

Then the next day I covered their graduation ceremony in a multi purpose room on the campus. At the ceremony each candidate spoke about experiences that were important to them during their training, and that was followed by receiving a pin, a certificate and lots of hugs. This is just a sampling because as you can see, there were a lot of people there.

Casino Night for Boys and Girls Clubs of Anaheim

This was my second job for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Anaheim-Cypress. The first one, last year, was an over the top fundraiser at Anaheim Stadium. This one was a Casino night at The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon in Anaheim... also over the top.

This sounded like a fun event ahead of time and it did not disappoint. Early on in the VIP room you could tell it was going to be a lively night. There were Hors d'oeuvre's along with wine and whiskey being dispensed. A magician was working the room as well. And when we moved into the main room with tiered seating, there was a stage where smooth jazz was being performed live. I knew then that this was going to be an awesome evening. On the dance floor was a long table with silent auction items.

The MC was none other than KTLA's morning weatherman Henry DiCarlo. There was a Boys and Girls Club scholarship presentation, fundraising stories and when the live auction happened, a lot of money raised from generous donors for the benefit of the Boys and Girls clubs of Anaheim and Cypress. A fun evening all around.

PSOC Gala and Yo Yo Ma!

When the Philharmonic Society of Orange County asked if I could be their second shooter for their gala, it was an automatic yes. Especially since it involved Yo-Yo Ma.

It started at the Rene and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall foyer. I had step and repeat duties near the red carpet (actually it was white) out front of the concert hall. Quite a few notable Orange County philanthropists were there for the evening. I photographed some of the decor and speakers during dinner and then headed to Segerstrom Hall for a handful of VIP backstage photos with Yo-Yo Ma. I'm not sure he remembered me from when I photographed the gala nine years ago, but he was as nice as ever and and even shook my hand on his way back to his dressing room.

And then I got to shoot him at the beginning of his concert which just made my evening. After the concert there was a ridiculous over the top after party back at the foyer of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. After getting as much as I could there, I was done. But what an incredible evening.

Laguna Beach Birthday Party

Backyard birthday parties? Absolutely. Especially when working with my friends at Upon Request Events along with such an incredible family. This party was to celebrate the 90th birthday of Marianne, the matriarch of the family, and it was just exquisite.

The location was a beautiful house high in the hills above Laguna Beach and the weather was perfect. There was music playing while guests arrived, the food was amazing and was followed by several heartfelt speeches by family members. Marianne is an artist with a studio on Laguna canyon, so it was perfect to have several of her paintings on display. I wasn't there too long, but feel confident that I captured everything important ... the last photo is priceless.

FurHaven Pet Products

Here are a couple of my photos from the FurHaven Pet Products website. Who says photographing pets can't be fun. In the four years I was there, I helped build an awesome photo studio, learned advanced Photoshop and video editing along with social media marketing techniques ... But what I miss the most are the people who worked there. Our creative team, the owners and staff ... the kindest and most generous folks you'd ever want to work with ... no exaggeration, they were like family.

When I left last year, that was at the same time that FurHaven joined forces with Worldwise, Inc. So, now they are even bigger and have so many more brands and products on their website. If you have pets, you have to check them out at FurHaven.com. They have so much going on and know that the folks behind the scenes are all pet people as well.

Oh wait ... I can't talk about FurHaven and not show a few pics of our own puppies. Before Katie and Bailey passed away in 2019, they were both willing models for FurHaven and did an awesome job at it. Then when Ellie came along, as soon as she was old enough, she took to modeling quickly. She is treat motivated and with that she would pose however you needed. She would even close her eyes on demand. These three images are all from actual FurHaven photo shoots.

One Last Pic ...

When I was walking around the Sister's of St. Joseph's campus headed to their Chapel to shoot the mass for Providence (mentioned above) ... I stopped for a second to get oriented and had this funny feeling that I was being watched. I turned around and this cute little guy was just a few feet away, frozen and just staring at me (haha).


In a newsletter last year I mentioned something we were looking forward to early this year ... Well, here she is. Olivia Marie Watts, our first grand daughter. Born on April 1st at 2:11 pm, weighing in at 6 lbs 12 oz and 19 inches long. So much cuteness ... oh my!

Well, that's it for this early Q2 newsletter ... hopefully you made it this far. I'm not sure these will continue to be quarterly newsletters .... I'm thinking more random ... send them out when they get too long like this one. And there's already things on deck for next time. As you can see, there's always something going on photography wise with me and I love that.

Feel free to share them with folks you think might enjoy them or may be looking for a photographer. Contact info is below or I can also be reached through my website at www.nicholaskoonphotography.com.

More next time ... but in the meantime, stay in touch.

Take Care,


Nick Koon

Nicholas Koon Photography


[email protected]



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