I missed going to the US Open this year, watching the best tennis players practicing and battling while snapping some of my best action shots. I also missed spending time with family and friends there. Hope US Open 2021 will return to normal with lively crowds.
First of all, a big shout out to the Forest Hills Youth Athletic Association, without whom this season, even though delayed, wouldn’t have been possible due to the new crazy world we are all living in due to COVID-19. The adequate social distancing restrictions on the fields and decent amount of policing have made all parents feel much needed peace of mind.
And a special thank you to Coach Frank, Assistant Coaches Tommy and Dre and all the families of Forest Hills Rockets, the best 8-year-olds baseball team in LLB. Here immediately blow is the whole-season recap:
Yoyo’s first baseball season is about to draw to an end. As immigrant parents, we have embraced the sport just as well as he has. And he has definitely shown potential.
What’s the most exciting to me is, this is the perfect time for me to pull off some paparazzi action following him along on the field without worrying about myself being bombarded with 90mph fast balls. And thanks to a DJI gimbal from work, this video below has given me plenty of bragging rights.
TD Bank prides itself as the “human bank.” These are some of the stories, together and each in itself, that differentiate the brand through the lens of its employees and its work in the communities it serves.
I am honored to have the opportunity to play a role in all these stories:
CoLab Philadelphia This Airstream-retrofitted mobile health clinic is bringing some fresh excitement in Kensington, Philadelphia, where a lot of folks lack access to health care.
Special Olympics Torch Run at TD University 2019 A lot of organizations are supporting the Special Olympics campaigns each year. But when you attend one of these live events, it tugs at your heart. Watching the small steps John Glenn was making during the torch run has been the most heart melting moment for a long while. All the love, support, cheers and hugs around John’s family make me so proud of being part of an organization that “Choose to Include.”
True Colors Conference XXV Life sometimes throws a curve ball at you. Fishbaughs had three biological boys, but the youngest took the family onto quite a journey. They found a home away-from-home at one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ2+ youth conference in Connecticut…
Memorial Day Flowers 2017 TD Bank is a proud supporter of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, placing 35,000 flowers at cemeteries from Maine to Florida, honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Eastern Baltimore Revitalization | Housing for Everyone Collie Thomas left prison and got a fresh start in a new apartment. Joanne Hinton went from struggling with addiction on the streets to managing apartments for those in need.
#ForeverProud: The Fabulous China For the past 5 years, the 86 year-old drag queen China has ridden on the TD Bank float in the New York City Pride Parade. How did she get there?
TJ Phelps and Paid Parental Leave A dad of two takes 10 weeks to bond with his newborn daughter, while spending some quality time with his 2-year-old son.
Housing & Services Inc. | Bring Change Doug Collins came to New York to treat AIDS, and ran pretty close to homelessness. Thanks to HSI, he now has his own home.
Veterans Day: Felicia Barnett Once feeling helpless while witnessing human trafficking during her Asia tours, now Felicia Barnett finds her work fighting financial crime rewarding.
Michele’s Family of 1,500 A hobby project tracing a great-great grandfather leads to a deep-dive research that uncovered a large family of 1,500 for Michele LarMoore.
Winter Coat Drive 2018 Story of two young brothers sharing a winter coat inspired TD colleagues to donate coats to bring warmth to those in need.
Hugh Allen’s Family Dinner with Martin Luther King Jr. Hugh Allen’s mother grew up with Martin Luther King Jr. and they walked to school together. Allen has kept what is known among his family as the ‘Martin Luther King china,’ which was used to serve dinners when Dr. King and other civil rights leaders
Marla Willer and Women’s Prison Association Seeing homelessness on the streets every day in high school prompted Marla to help children in need. Now as one of the most senior executives, she still finds time to volunteer.
Raising a second child can be tricky, especially that we thought it was going to be ten times easier than the first. Well, that’s a misconception, or wishful thinking, debunked. When Evan Yoyo joined our life in 2012, I started shooting an insane amount of video, and photos of course. Years later, I’d occasionally question whether I had shot way too much (a little over 2TB worth of media files). The past couple of months have answered that question; we are so glad that we have a ton of visual memories that we would binge-watch while comparing notes between the two brothers, six years apart.
And here we launch a video series* that we try to relive the sweet and fun moments from the two journeys, side by side. And we couldn’t agree more with Yoyo’s proposal earlier to name his baby brother Yoyo 2.
I was snapping pictures and videos outside the expo center during the 25th True Colors Conference at the University of Connecticut, Storrs and hunting for good suspects for our story. Someone said hi, and struck up a conversation. All the rest just came together naturally. Here it is the video about the largest LGBTQ2+ youth conference in the country.
Emily is brave, smart, beautiful and inspiring. She has also been fortunate to have her extremely supportive family always behind her. But she was an angry boy…
In Roger Federer’s tennis, we see him masterfully and effortlessly blending style with speed, precision with power, and grace with guile. I wanted to capture his genius moves live in action, so I could share with my kids later and future tennis fans all over the world. Here are his classic forehand and backhand with slow motion replays:
Yoyo has taken piano lessons for 2.5 years and here is a quick progress report. And he has matured so much. We still vividly remember the first recital, video below, when he wouldn’t step onto stage, probably out of stage fright. (We made a second attempt after more than an hour, and he made it and people were wowed.)
Now he can play something as complicated as Sonatina, although this time, I put my video fixing skills to good use to make the whole piece just slightly more perfect;)
With a baby too young to enjoy extended, multi-hour trips, we will sadly miss this year’s TD Celebrate America Fourth of July fireworks/concert show at Eisenhower Park in Long Island on June 30. But I can still vividly remember all the fun my boy had with his buddy Brian and family on the beautiful evening and Grucci’s spectacular presentation. This year it will feature live music by 45 RPM, starting 7:30pm. (TD customers and veterans get to enter starting 4:30pm for better seating, one hour before general ticket holders.)
Below is the finale of the fireworks show from last year.
Now that Yoyo has become a real tennis fan, mostly of Roger Federer of course, the US Open Kids Day will be more about watching the game rather than just hanging out with family and picking up some goodies from sponsors. Here are some shots showing how serious he’s about the game:
Last year this time, I was busy working on this video story, one that exemplifies the culture of TD. Every year, employees across the footprint join forces to pay respect to those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. There was a good problem we had: having too many story candidates to choose from. And I wish we had space for more characters. On the other hand, though, less is more!
I adore this family and I am so honored to have the opportunity to film them. I am indebted to their generosity with their time, and their son Chase’s camera-friendliness gave me a lot of fond memories. TJ talked about Chase’s bossy, Arnold Schwarzenegger-like tone while saying “Sit down!” And I tried to put that bit in an earlier draft, but eventually it didn’t make the cut; otherwise the video will end up like 5 min. Read More
Yoyo performed Down by the Bay on December 10, 2017 at Church of the Gardens in Forest Hills, NY
Another paparazzi parents-filled event that coincides with the pre-holiday cheer. I admire all the children who put up an amazing show. We arrived on the clock, but late in the sense that I found all the spots to set up tripods were occupied. I had to hand-hold a heavy 70-200mm lens while standing to try my best to film Yoyo’s segment. Thanks to modern technology, I got to do some stabilization trick to the footage so that it came out pretty impressive. There was still some noise as I left the sound recorder in the back while I was sneaking through to scout out the second best standing room.
Here’s Yoyo waltzing between the minor and the major while practicing:
And here are some clips of Yoyo goofing around his practices while having mischievous fun:
If you have never heard of an air quality action day, you are most likely a perfectly typical resident in the U.S. who is also lucky, the latter of which you may have been taking for granted. Because a hazy day like July 20, 2017 in Manhattan almost never happens. (Hazy is not the same as “foggy.”)
Manhattan skyline July 20 vs 21, 2017 seen from Queens