Saturday, March 14, 2015


I wanted to focus this post on the importance of work and how it ties into our spiritual lives and our creativity. This has been on my mind as of late for a number of reasons. First the principle of work is a blessing that sometimes goes unnoticed. It seems like the value of work has been forgotten. In the work place, there are certain individuals that take their employment for granted. They falsely believe that it gets easier after retirement. Their whole goal is to make it to retirement. Second, work is the antidote for a lot of psychological issues such as depression. If you want someone to overcome depression, have them work. Third, work will give confidence and self worth to anyone who understands and applies it in their lives. Work has been known to solve a lot of issues not matter what the situation is. It is not just a matter of economic need, it reflects on our spirituality as well. God has taught us the importance of work from the beginning of time. He commanded Adam to work in the Garden of Eden. Then after the Fall, Adam was again admonished to work by the sweat of his face. The Lord knew that the principle of work would give experience and knowledge to better ones own situation. He blessed us with talents and abilities to share with others but also to help us provide for our selves and our families. We must learn and discover those talents so as to give us direction of our chosen academic studies and career path. We all have some talent or spiritual gift. Some have more than others but having a talent and not exercising it does no good. We must perfect our craft and be proficient in our talents but all the discipline and practicing takes work! The media arts takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of talent as well but hard work separates the talented dreamers from success. You ask any successful photographer/videographer and they would say the same thing. You can have all the talent in the world but it is of no use with out hard work. We need to seek out education in our chosen field and pursue it hard. In the media arts there are plenty of opportunities to learn online but I believe the best education is to seek a mentor. To draw from an experienced person is valuable education that you can't get behind a desk. Experience is also a great teacher. By trial and error we learn and grow and get better. Behind all these important principles is the principle of work. We must apply it and be diligent at it. Because this is a business, work will always be a participant. But to learn to love work is beyond making money. To learn to love service and to do it with all of your heart is beyond the "likes" and "comments." To learn the principle of work is to know who God is and what he wants for ourselves. He wants us to be happy. But even being happy requires work. Through work we will learn to love others and help them work out their own salvation. If we learn how to work we will learn how to love because that is how the Savior taught us. Through His Atonement, which is the greatest act of service or work, we will come to realize just how much he loved us. I know this to be true. At the same, I know that work can also be fun. So my video is represents my kind of fun at work. It's all in the attitude. Work doesn't feel like work if you love what you do. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leki+Gina: LA Temple Sealing

LA Temple Sealing: Gina+Leki from alvin ahquin on Vimeo.

Pressing Forward: Lolohea Family

On the day of the shoot the weather decided that it was going to blow us away. Wind gusts we're close to the 30-40 mph range. The location for our shoot was at a marina close to the bay. I arrived early as usual and decided to walk around and gather my thoughts before the shoot. As I got out of the truck I was taken away by the power of the wind. Five minutes out and my hands started getting really cold. The wind was howling and there was a wind chill of about 45 degrees. I called up my client and we decided to switch the location to somewhere else. With the sun close to sunset I really didn't think we could make it in time. But we pressed forward to the new location. As we arrived, we rushed to get everyone in place for the shoot and luckily came away with a few good photos before the sun went to sleep and the children froze to death? I was so grateful for the opportunity to capture this wonderful family. We battled the wind and pressed forward. Thank you Lolohea family for allowing me to be a part of your photo session. Lessons learned from this shoot. First, the principle of pressing forward. The wind truly provided the resistance of the day. It was symbolic of our trials and challenges. In photography it does no good to be stagnant. IF we are then we lose our creativity and our passion for the art. We must press forward. That means no matter how many times clients cancel, reschedule, our gear breaks down or gets stolen, you name it...we must press forward and think on the fly. If we allow the wind to blow us away, we will "wish" that things could be different and live in regret. This business is tough but if we don't have a vision of where we want to go, we cannot press forward. My vision for the day was to photograph this family. No matter what obstacles we encountered, we still accomplished what we planned 2 weeks ago. Part of the family traveled in from Utah and other far places to get this done. Our vision is what motivated us to press forward. It was truly a blessing to see it all come together in the end. Ofa atu to the Lolohea family. Thank you Tilisa for being our point of contact for this shoot. Press forward everyone!

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Earlier this month I had an opportunity to spend quality time with my sister and her family. She was visiting from Bountiful, Utah. Her time here in the bay area was short but it rejuvenated our families in a way that we will always remember. My sister has a unique story to tell. As we visited throughout the week we laughed and we talked about life. One thing I noticed during a visit was how happy her baby was. Tyson just turned one and he was such a blessing to have in our home. To hear him laugh made me think about my own kids. You see, part of Trisha's unique story includes Tyson. For a long time my sister tried to have kids. And for a long time the result was always the same. But something changed a couple years ago. Something that she calls a miracle. She was able to bare her first son. Before she was pregnant with Tyson I remember long nights talking about why God wasn't blessing her with a child. Why was all her friends and family having no problems getting pregnant? Why the suffering? At the time I could not answer her questions. Only reassuring her that the Lord knows all and is aware of her struggles. As time went on she continued to press forward and as a result of her faith, she was blessed with Tyson. In recent study of a talk given by Elder Robert D. Hales, an apostle of the Lord, it made me think of my sister and her little family. Elder Hales says, "Any of us may experience a spouse, a child, a parent, or a member of our extended family suffering in one way or another—mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually—and we may experience these tribulations ourselves at times. In short, mortality is not easy. Each family has its own special circumstances. But the gospel of Jesus Christ addresses every challenge—which is why we must teach it to our children." That should of been my answer in the first place. The Gospel of Jesus Christ addresses every challenge. But then he also says, "which is why we must teach it to our children." As I sat there thinking about Tyson I thought about what my sister and her husband had to do. What I must do with my own kids. I must teach them about the Gospel. In the "The Family: A proclamation to the World" it says: “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held ACCOUNTABLE before God for the discharge of these obligations.” This is how I can continue to see my kids laughing and being happy all the time. This is the way. We must teach our children. We must teach them to love God and to serve others. We must do all we can to make our homes a place of learning and a refuge from the outside world. This is the formula for happiness. We do not fear the wrath of darkness because we have been taught by goodly parents. That is my message for you, for my sister, and for myself. That we continue to teach our young ones truth and righteousness. For in it there is eternal happiness.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Marriage for Time&All Eternity: Seth+Sophronia Oakland Temple

One thing that keeps me going in the wedding industry is my love and passion for filming LDS weddings. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also known as "Mormons". Whether you know of us or not, we are first a God fearing people. But we know that God doesn't rule by fear. Just the opposite. He rules with love and love is a universal language. The kind of love expressed on a wedding day when a couple pledges their vows for one another. That love is a glimpse of the kind of "love" God has for each of us. Marriage is ordained of God, sanctioned by God, and blessed by God. His first priority is our happiness. So He set a plan in motion from the beginning of time to help us obtain that happiness. That plan included marriage between and man and a woman. He provided a way for us to procreate in partnership with Him to help parent other spirits waiting to receive a body. So they may have the same opportunities to be happy. We are promised that if we are faithful and endure to the end, we shall have eternal blessings. Part of those blessings is we can be "sealed" for time and all eternity to the ones we love. First and foremost to our spouse. There is no "death due us part". I cannot imagine Heaven without my beautiful wife. Heaven just wouldn't be heaven without her and my family. Those "sealings" can only be performed by those holding Priesthood authority in temples. Temples are holy edifices dedicated to the Lord and His work. God wants all of His children to be happy. He wants us to return to be with Him again. LDS couples preparing to enter the temple to be sealed must be willing to abide by His commandments. Worthiness shows our faith to the Lord and is a small price to pay for the eternal blessings that await. Promises or covenants are made in the temple. Promises to each other, and promises to the Lord. Part of those promises are that we will strive to serve each other by serving the Lord. It's like a three way triangle promise. The more we serve the Lord the closer we become to Him. That naturally brings a couple closer up the triangle and closer to each other. My "job" as a filmmaker is to capture the love and happiness of the wedding day so a couple has a record of all that took place. It's almost like giving the wedding day immortality? You can reunite with all the emotions, hard work, and the celebration of the day by a click of the mouse. My point is we have a natural tendency as children of God to hope and to want to be together. To carry on our relationships beyond this earthly life. We are children of our Heavenly Father who loves us. We naturally long to be with him and we want our families to be forever not just til death due us part. I know this to be true and because I know this I will be blessed in the eternities. For now, wedding films are my outlet to the eternities. With every wedding I film, I reflect and ponder on the blessings that are mine that I see through the eyes of the newly weds. I love it. I may not show it at times but that's what motivates me to continue to do this. For that I am grateful to the Lord in blessing me with awesome couples to film like Seth and Sophronia. I hope you enjoy this video. This post is dedicated to my BYU Idaho online class. Pathway 2015 baby!!