Every year we grow a bit older and we come to new realizations about life and what it means to us. What was once important to us may no longer be important and what was never important become important. Life's a trip isn't it? So what does that have to do with today's blog post?

My dear friend Nhu celebrated her 35th birthday last week and invited 26 of her very closest friends to a little wine and dine at Basically this little gem is a loft space where creative chefs like Stevie Cho put on meals for a small group of like minded individuals who have the same love for food and life. A wonderful space and a marvelous time we had....

That night we had a sample of Kimchi Deviled Eggs as we started to pour a nice glass of wine to celebrate the night. The table was filled with handmade details that really set the mood off. Saying hello to some old faces was a real nice treat as well.

Next was a slow roasted pork belly slider tucked in between a King's Hawaiian Bread. Inside was some sort of pickle that really gave it a contrasting flavor that really brought the whole thing together. As we toasted the birthday girl, you can see the staff putting together our meals. 

I met Nhu back in college... way back in 2001... so it has been a good minute. She's one of the most sneakiest people I know. She will try to pay a tab behind my back, sneak in some money into my wife's purse when I try to pay for something... you get the idea but over the years, we have decided to play it neutral cause she knows I will take it to the next level... lol. But my wife and I love this girl.. she's one of the most careless individuals I know. She will give anything and everything you ask of her... well that is if she loves you ;) and so capturing some genuine moments of this girl who hates being in front of the camera makes me happy. 

Stevie Cho is here prepping our main course of prime rib sided by some home mashed potatoes and corn to match. Look at the brown on the crush of this roast!

Friends on friends on friends... all enjoying this sliver of a moment before getting back to the madness of the world. Grabbed a few candids of everyone having a good time... I wish all the minutes of our lives was this great.

Knives and meats... my kind of joint. Plate me please...!

In typical Nhu fashion, she surprised one of her friend's with a surprise dessert and candle for her birthday... just sharing her moment with her girl.... and below you can see this girl who rarely smiles this large captured by yours truly. Truly a rare moment indeed lol...

So another year older, another year wiser, we take all of our experiences and mash them into what is our reality. What was once important to me has taken a backseat to all the things that have taken on a new significance in my life. Our time is definitely short in this world and this day was a reminder to me to live life like it was meant to be. 

I love you to the Muon and back my dear! Happy 35th birthday.... your smile brightens all of our days and big shoutout to Stevie and his crew for making this night quite the enjoyable evening. Cheers!


Flaskmob Nov 2015 in South LA USC

Pop culture is always evolving and interestingly enough, finds a way to intersect into your life. Since digital photography has been such a trendy form of art in the past 10 years, watching the visual media form collide with social media has brought a whole new level of street photography to life. 

The San Francisco based Flaskmob has gotten some major press this year especially in the Los Angeles area. Their last major collab with @conquer_la certainly got the attention of the LAPD when it got shutdown 15 mins after it's start time. Flaskmob is basically a group that organizes photo walks but with an edge. The walks are at night in very urban areas where a handful of male and female models dress up in eerie fairytale-ish costumes and use various forms of smoke bombs, flares, spinning steel wool and anything else that emits lovely low light energy. 

This time around, in order to control the crowd, Flaskmob announced the meeting location only by signing up for their newsletter. When we arrived on scene, there was a heavy police presence. The police were not dressed in riot gear so that was a good sign that things weren't gonna get shut down immediately. Figured it was good to have a police escort in that part of town.

As the crowd started to mob, the LAPD were very vocal about people staying on the sidewalk and not breaking any laws and blocking streets. The LAPD helicopter was making sure that people knew what they expected. Since we were waiting for some friends who were behind, we ended up walking at the very tail end of the mob so we missed some good crowd action in the beginning. 

Calvin was lucky enough to meet a really cool girl with a boa snake. The first time he had ever held a snake and now he wants one as a pet.

There was a ton of police presence not only cause of the Flaskmob event but also cause of the USC and UCLA football game. It has a collision of events that make it even more interesting. The LAPD had their sirens blaring in the underpass and since it was filled with smoke from the mob, it was like a scene out of a movie.... it was a cool experience.  

Below is the very famous Felix the Cat neon sign. It was cool to be able to show Calvin such a landmark across the street from USC.

As the mob gathered in front of the The Shrine, more smoke bombs went off and mini photoshoots ensued. Basically people would find a spot and instaphotoshoot would happen. 

A look at a portion of the mob below

@butch_locsin_from_la doing his thing with his smoke drum

We eventually ended up on the USC campus and were setting up for all sorts of shoots in the dorm area. USC students got curious and made the crowd even larger. 

A sea of photographers caught the attention of the local news media. KTTV is what I think I saw. 

With all of the commotion, there was a generous walk to the local fire station where people dropped toys for the less fortunate. 

A few hours in, my feet started to give out since my Chuck Taylor's weren't supporting my feet well. Ended up using Uber for the very first time to get dropped off back to the car. 

Thanks to the organizers for putting the event on. I had a chill time and it was great seeing what the photo community is capable of. I wish you guys many more successful events.

Emory Motorsports

It's becoming so rare nowadays to come across a business that is ran with great passion and with the utmost integrity. People are losing their ways because people are blinded by profits and have little regard for quality and patience. Great things come with time and some things are not meant to be rushed. 

For those of you who don't know who Rod Emory/Emory Motorsports, well you better take note cause he is the man when it comes to all things Porsche 356. He was destined to do what he is currently doing from the birth. His grandfather started Valley Custom back in the 40's and was well known for channeling and sectioning cars that had a very subtle but noticeable look from their stock counterparts. Rod's father continued the tradition with a small garage and ultimately started the Baja Bug craze when he gave new life to Bug's that were otherwise worthless from being an accidents. His father eventually started a Porsche parts business where Rod grew up being surrounded by car parts which basically were like Legos to him. Check out his piece on Jay Leno's Garage by clicking (

He started his first 356 build at the age of 14 years old. If you were to ever accidentally walk into Rod's garage and were looking for the owner, you may actually walk right past him. For all of the experience Rod has, you would have no idea cause Rod looks very young. Mid to late 30's but has the knowledge of someone in their 60s. He is a walking, talking history book for all things 356 and with this car growing ever so in popularity, the name Emory will be synonymous with 356. 

Since I have been in the marketplace for a Porsche 997.1 GT3 for the past 6 months, a purchase has been derailed by shortage of supply, purchase of a 964, patiently waiting for my S2000 to sell, etc but as we all know, life has it's reasons. Now I have been reconsidering the purchase of a GT3 for a 356 coupe. I have always loved the designs of the 356 convertible, especially watching it on Top Gun and Dylan McKay on the original 90210. However the prices of 356 convertibles are in the mid $200k range and way out of my budget. When I found out coupes were much cheaper, it started to dawn on me that one day I would add it to my collection. 

A buddy of mine who I will not mention, has been dreaming of vintage Porsches heavily for the past year. He is into 912s and SCs but it wasn't until you sent me a photo of the Emory 356's that it really caught my eye. I mean these gems were drop dead gorgeous and when I found out that Rod Emory started the whole Outlaw term and had them beefed up from 60hp to 180/200hp, I was game. 

I made a quick call to Emory Motorsports where I was pleasantly surprised that Rod himself picked up the phone. Not only that, he was super genuine and helpful in his conversations. When I found out his builds were "a tad" out of my budget, I still wanted to do what I could to see these cars in person and to meet the legend himself. I asked Rod to check out my website and see if he would be down to let me come by and perhaps shoot the garage. Rod accepted but I am sure he did it as a kind gesture however I know that he doesn't do something like this very often. So I was stoked and blessed for my appointment. 

I confirmed with Rod in the morning of our "date" to see if we were still on and after the green light, I invited a buddy of mine who is in the market for older Porsches and has a lot of experience with vintage aircooled VWs. 

When we got there and walked up to the entrance, I started to become very excited as I could see how amazing this hidden gem was filled with goodies that grown men like me drool over. Of course I was getting text messages from people who knew I was gonna be here wanting minute to minute updates. Of course I kindly ignored them as Paul and I was lost in the space of amazingness. 

What I loved most about meeting Rod was that he is the same guy on all the online videos and in person. So many people have tv personalities and in person are very different. Rod took 90 mins out of his day to show Paul and me around his shop, give us the history of his life in connection with the 356, the history of the many amazing 356's in the shop, old and present builds. It was surreal to say the least. 

Rod understands the ideal of quality and time and not being overwhelmed by quantity. He only builds 7-9 cars a year so he is picky about what comes in. He wants the builds to represent his artistry to the fullest. I loved him showing us how the cars go down a spot every time it finished rust repair, suspension mods, mod adjustments, etc. Plenty of room for their technicians to move around and get the work. It was a nice cool working environment. I never once felt like there was a whip out and technicians were getting whipped to get the job done. It was all a harmonious balance. 

Here is a chassis of a 964 getting chopped up to be utilized in a 356. It is sad to see a 964 like that but perhaps it was already on her death bed and now there is new life after death. I want an Emory 356. 


912's - 356's, ugh... just awesome goodness everywhere... hard to concentrate. It's a wonderland of lust. 

Part of what makes Rod's shop so amazing is his long family history of working on cars. Three generations of knowledge and 3 generations of tools. I mean look at this stuff. They don't make machines like this anymore. Vintage machines being brought back to life by vintage machines. Amazing! I want an Emory 356. 

Everything hand crafted by technicians who love what they do. It's Porsche Car Heaven. Below is a photo of Art strolling past trying not to get in the shot but loved that he is. 

Rod spent 18 years in Oregon building Porsches for a client of his. He still has his warehouse up there but love the Oregon plates to keep the roots of his past present. 


Everything is clean and organized. This is how a garage should look like. This is how I want a garage to look like if I were to bring my car in. Too many shady shops out there with little integrity. I know a lot of you out there got stories. 

Oh you know, just got random racing memorabilia hanging on the wall. No big deal.   



Sal getting down and dirty!

Rod showing Paul and I his dies to add louvers to various parts of the car. 

You can see the outlines before it goes to the press machine


Another great thing about Rod is that he is not only at the shop everyday, he still gets his hands dirty every single day and puts in work. He doesn't sit behind a desk and point fingers. This guy leads his team by example. Emory putting in Outlaw work. I want an Emory 356.

One of those 356's will be a project 356 car for Momo. Wait until it is unveiled. It is gonna look nuts. Game changer for sure. 

Here is a portrait of #46. It is a 1951 LeMans Class Winning Porsche. In all of her glory, so beautiful

I've never been a big silver fan but after a single visit here, I understand why. Rod believes that silver is the best color to highlight all the great things about this car without a flashy color like red stealing all of the thunder. It makes sense but all I could keep my eyes on was the quality of the paint. It is a 12/10. Mirror finish. Gave me chills. I want an Emory 356. 

Various accessories considered "outlaw" by Purists but Rod says that he was just doing what Porsche was already doing. I am in love.

 Look at how happy Paul is right there. We were like kid's in a candy shop for sure. 

I want to thank Rod once again for opening his doors to two fans of the brand and his love of the 356 that gave us new generations of kids to dream and aspire for. Rod is a shining example of someone who is not only a leader but has turned his passion into a business that benefits the love we all have for cars. 

I am so grateful to have met you and have documented a small part of your journey. 
Check out Emory Motorsports at

Til the next time,
Andrew Manley
Auto Enthusiast

Happy 4th Birthday Princess Addy

Nothing makes you feel older than watching a person go from birth to a child in no time. Where did all the time go... right? So our niece Addyson celebrated her 4th birthday yesterday with a nice small gathering of first cousins at Chuck E Cheese in Diamond Bar. 

I brought out the Canon 1dx and 24-70mm 2.8 Mark II.... which typically I don't do since indoor evenings would bring out L primes but I wanted to shoot at various focal lengths so I went with my gut. The 1dx held up well since it's low light is terrific and the image quality from the Mark II was sharp as it usually is. 

Shooting candids/documentary/journalistic style takes some effort because at the end of the day, it comes down to timing... you have to do everything right and then wait for the perfect moment. Typically I am directing at my shoots.... "Stand there, move this, park here, fix your hair...." but documentary style requires patience and being on the sidelines. 

Now I tried my best to do what I could to capture the moments yesterday but I felt like I struggled in capturing the essence. Could be all sorts of reason but I feel like I really need to change my mindset when I am shooting different styles... but it was also my niece's party so I wanted to enjoy it. Ah... the struggles.

Would love to hear who you guys love in documentary styled photography. What are some of your secrets in capturing special moments? Share below in the comments. Would love to hear you guys.

Happy birthday Addy! Love you babes

Til the next
Andrew Manley