In 2009 the Hoa-Hau Ao-Dai pageant struck gold because Kevin Nguyen joined the pageant! He didn’t put on ao-dai, high heels or wore makeup (not that we know of), but he took great pictures for all of the girls (and boys). Since then, he has dedicated countless hours and energy sponsoring the pageant with his hard work and amazing talent. As for titles, it didn’t take long before people recognized him as the “Official Pageant Photographer.”
On Saturday, June 15, 2013, Kevin took all the girls and two of best photography buds to one of most beautiful beaches in Santa Cruz. Kevin usually organizes these photo outings once a year with every new court. Luckily the day turned out nice and sunny.
Just 30 miles South of San Jose takes you to one of the most breath taking places on Earth. We are here in the city of Santa Cruz, famously known for their beautiful beaches and coastlines, all 29 miles of it.
For us to reach our final destination (not the movie) we had to travel half mile on foot. Along the way, we had Mother Nature to thank for. These real stepping stones were not only very beautiful but were very convenient.
Pretty girl spotted at the site. Phung brought a pink ao-dai to this photoshoot. She was our pretty girl in pink for that day.
Putting on your heels on uneven ground can be tricky, but these ladies got it down.
It was very cold and windy despite having some afternoon sun. With waves splashing high up in the air like that you can get an idea how strong the wind was. If they ladies looked cold, it was because they were.
No introduction needed, but that is Kevin Nguyen to the left and his friend, Sonny Cao, who is also a photography enthusiast.
Daisy chained left to right: Yvonne, Pauline, Phung, Minh, Lynn and Sandy.
In order to get the best shots, these guys would roll in the sand if they had to. Who said, photography is not a dirty job?
We all brought food to share but the veggies were the most popular.
Minh discovered that one of the big and center rhinestone was missing.
Sonny found a nice backdrop along the hillside. Phung posed in her hot pink ao-dai.
Tsk Tsk! Someone was who was here before us, didn’t care too much to keep our beaches clean because they left their trash for someone else to pick up. Shame on that person! Anyway, doesn’t Phung look great?
Sonny poses for the camera.
Pauline chose blue and it contrasted it really well against the tanned sandstones.
There were two photoshoots happening at the same time. One by the rocks and the other one by the water. Kevin chose surf while Sonny chose turf. Here Sandy is playing with her seaweed and looking very peaceful.
Did you know that Minh designed her own ao-dai?
Shoes left on the rocks.
When you’re at the beach there’s no changing area, so Yvonne and Kevin brought their tents. It turned out it was also used as refuge against the cold and wind.
Along with their ao-dai’s, the ladies were asked to also bring their short and long sun/beach dresses. So the fun begins…you’ll see.
The water was cold to the touch, like iced water. Unfortunately the beaches of Northern California are not suitable for swimming like in Vietnam or Hawaii.
Sandy had no problem jumping in the water first. Brave girl!
Sandy made it looked like fun and easy but we’re pretty sure she was freezing something off.
It’s just a cute girl sitting by the water.
Then she gets splashed with cold ocean water.
Despite all that she was still holding on to her seaweed.
It was no surprise, but Kevin was very knowledgeable in the area of posing. He knew what would looked good so he personally instructed all the girls on the best poses. In this pic, he told Yvonne to walk out of ocean like Halle Berry from 007. As you can see, this shot has a very striking resemblance to that beach scene in the Movie Die Another Day.
Lastly it was Minh’s turn.
This trip is not as memorable unless you get kissed by the ocean.
Lynn got a nice surprise too.
It was fun watching on the sideline.
Kevin was giving Lynn some posing instructions.
This was the final outfit, the long sun/beach dress.
This was around 3PM and it looked amazing.
Mermaids by the beach.
Kevin doing what he does best. Be sure to check out his photos under the “View Album” heading.
Another one of Kevin’s great idea.
Yvonne was clearly the power jumper – so much height!
When Kevin speaks you better listen or else…
When deciding on what beach attire to bring to photoshoot, Kevin and Sonny both suggested choosing big bold colors that stand out. Blue is definitely one of them. Here is Phung and her flowy blue dress.
We brought all this stuff to the beach.
It was so sad but it was time to go. These ladies were probably very tired.
Kevin, Minh and Phung were trying to figure out how to fold up that tent. It was tough because the wind was picking up and blowing sand everywhere even into our faces.
After a couple minutes, they gave up.
The wind was so strong it blew the veggie lid stained with ranch onto Minh’s sweater.
After a long day, walking in the sand can pose as a challenge. Poor Kevin was eventually left behind. Little did we know he pulled his leg muscle and had to sit it out. For awhile we didn’t know where he was. Luckily it wasn’t that serious and he was okay…after a couple of days.
One last look before we go. Good bye Santa Cruz…