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Personal Note | Writing for Me

If you haven’t already noticed, I have been a bit from this blog.  The past 2 summers, I was slammed with fun stuff going on…all for my rock’n 9 year old daughter. My family comes first and during summers it’s about taking time to breath, live and celebrate the moments with my family!  With an 9 year old, you have to keep them busy! We usually have our daughter signed up for quite a few camps: her swim, sailing camp, golf and a drama camp.   Along with her camps, she and I had guitar lessons and she also had an additional lesson of voice and music.  This summer though we opted out of all the crazy and focused on a few things rather than too much and guess what I am still exhausted!  We always seem to be booked doing something.  Kruiz was in her 2nd feature film so that truly took over one full month of summer.  We enjoyed the gorgeous days of blistering sun at the beach, on the course, on our boat.  A summer to catalog in our memories for 2014, because in this world, this life to me it’s the moments with your kids, your husband that mean more than sticking my head in to my ‘cloffice’ for hours on end to achieve rockstar photographer status. Leading me to that… what the hell is a rockstar photographer?  It’s the ones that post pics only of their latest work daily and speak only of what’s on the horizon of success and their latest speaking engagement of how to become a rockstar like them.  I remember when I felt like that, not like a rockstar... read more

So much going on!!!

Hey all it’s been a crazy year; the fact that it’s already mid July baffles me!!!  Wasn’t it just the New Year?  It’s been so busy I haven’t been able…actually I haven’t made any time to blog what has been happening here at Refined Rebel!  I thought I would give you an update. February was an inspirational month filled with photographers to inspire me and for me to help them as well.  I styled 3 Gatsby inspired shoots for 75 photographers.  Each one was completely unique and different even though the inspiration all stemmed from “Gatsby”.  I met plenty of new photographers, visited many of my photog friends from over the years and celebrated every minute of it! I want to give a shoot out to a few chicks btw!  Stacy Childers, thank you for introducing me to Kristina Lee and Jo Auger!  Girls I luv you!  It’s crazy we have lived near each other for years, been FB friends and in the same photography groups and only finally met in person this past February at United! Since then we have hung out, and even  had our own MugShots event for each other- you girls are so fuck’n amazing! I have a ton of blogging to catch up on and share images of course from this year so I’m going to start with our MugShot event  with Kristina and Jo first and then try to get you all caught up in the next few weeks with everything that’s been happening here! Kristina and Jo are a wedding photography team in OC and LA- they shoot all over the country and are... read more

Roaming Novas

Last December my daughter was busy with acting gigs.  She had 10 run of the theater production ” Achristmas Carol” as Tiny Tim.  Amidst that busy month, she also got a role in a movie: The Evil Gene directed by Katie Turner.  Luckily it was one day gig and they were so nice to work with her production schedule.  While on set, I was fortunate to meet and speak with her stylist AJ.  We became buds and have been in contact via facebook and email.  During our convos, she asked if I knew any models given I’m a photographer.  She mentioned it was for her new  line that was launching this February. I happened to mention, if you ever need a photographer hint,hint.  Leading to her upcoming Spring Campaign for ValenShine’sDay!  We set a date, got models and she and her biz partner Christann welcomed me in to this shoot.  It all happened so fast I really didn’t know what to expect.  So here is the final product.  I had such a fabulous time working with these talented ladies, designer gurus- Ayanna James & Christann Chanell Turner of Roaming Novas.  Thanks hiring me to shoot and design your Spring 2014 ValeShin’es Day Campaign ! Click to view the campaign boook  Roaming Novas Spring 2014... read more

Happy New Year | The Apple Never Falls TOO Far from the Tree

  This New Year’s celebration was perfect!    It had been a while given the 2 prior had been uneventful with my husband and daughter both asleep on the couch each time while I drank my champagne alone and took selfies as I watched NYC on tv drop the ball.  This year as it almost was cancelled, I along with my hubs and chitl’n rang in the New Year with my 2 other best friends…my sisters, my nieces and nephews!  It was the perfect combination of good food, good people and good times!  It was so nice to actually celebrate it and it truly mean something!  We ate, drank, laughed and appreciated the time we had as family and friends!  The kids ran a muck and partied like it was 1999…remember that time, that song?  I DO, along with the worry that world’s computer/internet infrastructure would come tumbling down when the clock it midnight the year 2000 and hopefully it would lose all my debt during the crash.  Little was the despair warranted, as pretty much nothing happened. Now we enter a new world with different ideals, goals, problems to solve, and worlds colliding and uniting in the year 2014.  MY goal this year is to help unite people through our differences by celebrating our uniqueness, our diversity, our wild-free spirits. I  want people to know it’s ok to skip to the beat of a different drum, to self express through words, through style, through whatever self-expression you wish (as long as there is no harm to you or anyone/thing of course). I want my daughter embrace her own... read more

Passion of Work

The one thing I discovered during the trials of my business change this year is that my creative juices have been quenched.  Almost every shoot has been about discovering the real me- the fun, creative, sarcastic me and sharing it through my work!  I remember 7 years ago wanting to pursue this for financial reasons but more so for a creative outlet and fulfillment.  After 5+ years in weddings I left… for many reasons: the lack of balancing my family life and my biz (it consumed me), my physical challenges with chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis (annual surgeries) and my plethora of other diseases (LOL- when you get one you get a heap more to follow), and finally because my passion for the art of shooting was lost amidst the stress of running a business.  I shot one wedding this year and I have one more next year regardless of me leaving that industry  (both for friends so the passion is there to serve them). But if you have been seeing my posts on here, on my site and on facebook what you will see is that I’m shooting for the love and passion of creating and capturing fun, wild stories!   All year I struggled, wondering what was my mission, who I was serving and where would this direct my business.  After you fail miserably in business, which I did this year (YES I failed quite well in business this year) but I rediscovered my passion for the art of photography which enabled me to have my work in 3 shows in NYC this year and receive 2 awards from WPPI.  The... read more

New Chapter in Life | Middle Age

Yesterday was my birthday; I turned 42!  I remember the week leading up to my 40th birthday and how I dreaded it!  I never thought of aging as a burden; I had embraced it until that week.  I felt like my life had flashed before my eyes and I had little time left to reach my goals.  The reality of youth lost hit hard.  I was and am NO longer a young lady; I am middle age literally. The thought of being middle age when I was in my 20’s felt like moons away and my view of it was ‘that’s fucking old’. So that week haunted me with the thought I AM OLD!  It took me 1 1/2 years to get over that feeling. This week, it didn’t really phase me at all at least not negatively.  I definitely don’t feel like I’m OLD, nor do I feel like I look old…older yes but not old.  I didn’t feel any need to make a to-do out of my birthday but I wasn’t hiding it this year and I wasn’t wishing I was younger like I had the past two.  This time I decided I would remember my year of being 41 fondly with the good and bad times and embrace 42 with even more passion. The year 41 was about closing chapters & writing new ones.  I left weddings as a photographer; it was comfortable, safe and  stable at least for me. I devoted this year to rebuilding my portfolio of work I want to shoot even though I made no money. I have made mistakes and made... read more

Holiday Marathon shoot

I hope you all had a fabulous summer!  I can’t wait to share some summer happenings but for now I need to fastforward to keep us on track and why…well the holidays are just around the corner! School has started for nearly everyone now and  moms are now getting revved up for the holidays or  are in denial and trying hard to avoid them!  I am one of those mom’s who doesn’t want to think about the holidays until after Halloween!  When that happens, I usually find myself wishing I had started sooner!  The parties start to add up, the school parties , the corporate ones and then my calendar is so full, that I forgot to take pics of us and send out my holiday cards!  I think for the past 6+ years I have been sending virtual online cards- thankfully they have been custom ones I shot and not just a cheesy template one.  I wish I made time to send out actual cards though since I promote it to my clients! This year I’m in the mode to prepare and hopefully this helps you as well!  I have designed & scheduled 3 DIFFERENT styled shoots.  Get ready because they are nearing very soon!  I have 2 for the end of Sept and 3 for October.  I personally always want something very unique for our family shoots and out of the box! As you can tell I’m not one for the standard family posing with everyone dressed matchy-matchy (SO NOT ME…or my clients)!  I wanted to create unique, off-beat styled holiday shoots for all my clients!  I... read more

Living, Loving & Celebrating LIFE! | Refined Rebel Moments

If you noticed, I have been a bit absent from my blog.  Many apologies if truly affects you, but honestly I’m sure it doesn’t it’s just another blog of many and what goes on over here in my Refined Rebel life doesn’t have a huge affect if I’m here or not, right?  That’s what I told myself at least.  Then I realized the whole point of this blog isn’t just to share some of my crazy and fun photoshoots but to possibly even more to inspire others to LIVE, LOVE & CELEBRATE life!  Sometimes we all need a kick in the ass to get moving just out of the house right?!  I know I do!  At times I can find myself in a rut especially when I’m not booked daily!  I love to work and keep myself busy and who wouldn’t when you’re in the creative field!  Then when I’m not inspired or not constantly working it’s easy for me to step away from the limelight of sharing experiences and shoots on my blog because why… because I told myself what I do on day-to-day doesn’t really matter to anyone else.  Then it appeared to me that not sharing even day to day experiences leaves my message of being a refined rebel who embraces the celebration of life is falling surely short of who I am and what I truly believe in!!!! Here we are a few months after my last post and summer is almost over!  I haven’t shared any ideas, inspirations, shoots or the moments I have completely reveled in the past few months!   It’s been... read more

KrisD Mauga Revealing Refined Rebel! Celebrating the New Site & the Wild Side of You!

Yes it happened after 6 months of devoting, digging, discovering, developing and designing my site and my why is finally unveiled!  I put my heart and soul with blood sweat and tears into this site. I did all the while while designing and creating other’s brands, sites, magazines and I’m sure that had some pay why it took me so long to complete it.  Maybe it was meant to be and take a break so I could reflect and truly discover why I was taking this route leaving wedding photography. In December of 2012, I went through a self  identifying boot camp for business I guess you can say.  Reality it was called Fight Club hosted and mentored by Jeff Jochum who focuses on mentoring  photographers to discover their specialism in the industry.    It was a challenging, emotional , exciting, grueling, enlightening discovery I ventured with like minded peers going through much of the same hurdles in their business.  I met beautifully talented people who all had dreams of creating something unique for their clients and with a purpose.   What I discovered is I’m a Refined Rebel with a cause. My rebellious side is about non-conformity,  owning our uniqueness, celebrating life and our wild sides, teaching my daughter to embrace her and others’ differences, not taking life so serious always, defending fairness and equality, harnessing strength, making sure we don’t lose ourselves as adults and parents- YES these are all things I believe passionately!  My mission of capturing your Refined Rebel is to reveal your wild side, your passions, your dreams, your quirky ways…what ever it is... read more

Wednesday | This is Water

Good morning.  On your way to work today, before your daily routine and possibly the one day many of dread MONDAY I felt this would be appropriate as you start your day. This is one of those videos those speeches that makes snap out of our funk and start paying attention to others around you.  Life sometimes throws in the rutt of a daily routine and then sucks the happy out of us, right?  Lets try and pay attention to everyone else around us and not let the dullness and suckiness of Monday fuck our day day up!  Happy Monday all – happy watching! Speech given by David Foster Wallace to Kenyon College’s 2005 graduating class. Thank you David for such a remarkable speech and honesty of the realities of life! NOTE: so the original video was taken down.  I did some investigating and it’s a copyright issue with the original posting.  So I totally respect that for certain.  Actually when I went to You Tube almost all the videos had been cited for copyright violation.  I normally contact the originator. the video s were viral and apparently the flags went up.  If you can find the video on you tube even just to hear (no Visual more than likely) DO!  It’s n amazing speech.  Reason I could not get ahold of the originator BTW is a sad story.  David Foster Wallace actually committed suicide in 2008.  He suffered immensely from depression for years and at some point due to complications he went off them and his depression had resurfaced with a  flurry I guess. It actually makes this... read more