brand collab

Jo Choi

2019 04.14 Jo Choi (3 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (2 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (1 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (11 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (5 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (13 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (18 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (16 of 19).jpg
2019 04.14 Jo Choi (17 of 19).jpg

As soon as I picked up my new Canon 6D from the seller a few weeks ago, I hit up my friend Jo Choi from ACN to shoot some content around Downtown LA. That morning I borrowed Chenni’s Canon 50mm 1.4 lens just in case I decided to buy the camera so I have a lens to work with and my GOD it was such a gem to work with. Up until now I’ve only shot with lens that went down to 1.8 and I wasn’t sure how much different a 1.4 would be but it was massive. The bokeh I got from working with this lens was a dream come true.

We started shooting at this building off of Olive and Second which had hella Hong Kong vibes. It was really reminiscent of that one building EVERYONE and their mothers gets a photo at when they visit HK. Eventually we got hungry and decided to stop by the Grand Central Market. Its been a staple food spot in DTLA since it opened in 1917 and in recent years has seen a revitalization with a few new trendy food spots like Eggslut. Because the line was long AF as usual, we decided to hit up my favorite stall in the market which sells pupusas. If you haven’t had a chance to try pupusas you HAVE to make a stop at your local shop. They’re found in a few South American cuisines but I’ve always known them to be from El Salvador. They’re these delicious disks of dough that are filled with cheese or meat and fried up on a griddle and served hot with some slaw on the side for freshness. Jo and I said that they’re really similar to the korean dessert hoddeok but instead of filled with something sweet, its savory.

I ended up buying her 50mm 1.8 to start off with for now but now my biggest dilemma is whether I want to upgrade to a 1.4 or get a more versatile 24-70 lens. I’m not much of a gear head but I do believe that every photographer should have a solid kit of lenses they use for different purposes. As I’ve been shooting a lot of portraits, a 1.4 lens would be an ideal upgrade but as someone that values versatility, the 24-70 is incredibly tempting as well.

Whichever one I end up choosing, I’ll still have a few more months to decide because I have some other financial priorities that are a little more important to focus on right now.

I’ll be posting up the set of photos I shot with her and our friend Danielle later on this week as well as my April Finances recap. See you all in a few days <3 If you like the backpack I shot on Jo, head on over to American Shield and use my code CYTHERIALBLOG for 20% off your purchase!

Also, if you haven’t already, Jo is an incredibly talented photographer and videographer and you can find his work over on his Instagram.



Delayed Gratification


This past few weeks have brought with it some new stuff into my life. Namely my new Canon 6D! I’ve been saving up for a hot minute for this camera and while I thought it would be another month or so before I would be able to get it because the kit was about $900 total on, I happened to scroll through Facebook Marketplace one night and found a seller who listed her’s for $550. I jumped on the deal and literally went out to buy it from her the next day.

It feels oddly satisfying to be able to spend the money you’ve saved up for so long to get a piece of equipment you’ve been needing for a long time. I’ve shot with my Nikon d3200 kit for a few years now and I’ve felt like I outgrew it sometime last year. With all of the savings goals I had this year, and my debt free journey I’ve been on since January, I had enough to FINALLY upgrade even with all of the setbacks I’ve encountered these past few months.

To be able to own something I’ve been saving up for is a special type of feeling I’ve never really experienced before. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve saved up for smaller purchases but this is my first “big” savings purchase. The delayed sense of gratification is so much more powerful than the instant gratification I’ve been experiencing my whole life and is really motivating me to reach bigger and bigger goals moving forward.

2019 04.14 Jo Choi (7 of 19).jpg

I decided to take the new kit out with me to a few shoots with my friends Chenni and Jo from ACN:LA with my new backpack that American Shield sent me. With a camera bag insert I migrated from the bag I got on Amazon, this huge sucker was retrofitted to take me from shoot to edits in no time at all.

All of my gear fit perfectly in the bag from my laptop to the camera insert, hard drive case, and even my notebooks. At first I was worried that the amount of stuff I shoved in the bag would be a little too heavy for me to carry around all day but I soon realized that the comfortable straps kept everything in balance as soon as I put it on. It honestly felt lighter than when I was only using my cheapie carry all bag. On both days I had the bag on with me all day to shoot my friends and it never really bothered me at all.

If you’re interested in owning your own, check them out at and use my coupon code CYTHERIALBLOG for 20% off your order!

Photo Credits:

Jo Choi

Chenni Wen