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“Last night the world lost a legend. And we lost our friend, brother and leader. Expo inspired countless people worldwide with his words and actions. His legacy will live on through his music forever. Words can’t even begin to describe how much he will be missed. Vic, you’ve got your wings on, ready to fly… onto that bicycle path up in the sky. Rest In Peace, Comrade.” – Audible Mainframe

The best kinds of friends we can find are those that teach us about life, that look at this world in a different light. Expo was truly one talented individual. But if you don’t chase down your talent with everything you have, then all you’ve really got is wasted talent. Wether you enjoy being a teacher, a blacksmith, a Father – chase it down and don’t ever stop until you get it. When you catch it, share it with others; the world is so much better that way.

RIP Expo.

Photograph taken at dusk from Jorge and Natasha’s engagement session yesterday in Long Beach, California.


Regardless of what creative field an artist is in, the ones that stand out from the rest are the ones that insert something from their own life’s into their work, wether it is reveals itself or not.

I would have bet my life on being a Father by the time I reached my 30’s, but life works in mysterious ways to say the least. I think I was put here on this godforsaken earth to be a great Father – it’s just that at this juncture I don’t think that’s a bridge I’d like to cross just yet. Perhaps some day.

This photograph didn’t hit me when I snapped the shutter, but it has resonated in me every moment since.

Whether you’re a close friend of mine, a coworker, or a client, you probably already know that I love hockey. And I especially love The Los Angeles Kings.

If I’ve done a photo shoot with you or shot your wedding during a Kings game, just know that I was in agony not being able to watch my beloved Kings while I took your photo.

About 2 months ago I caught wind of a young Kings fan named Tanner Raboin who was suffering from a chronic illness resulting from a genetic disorder called Chronic Granulomatous Disease. Since he was too ill to attend any of the games, I set my sights on donating money, my time – anything to keep his spirits up.

Little did I know that not more than a week later Tanner and my own personal life would collide. My girlfriend was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer originating from her white blood cells. I spent the next 6 days at Long Beach Memorial Hospital by her side. We went through countless tests, a painful bone marrow biopsy, a few surgeries, then finally being relocated to the 5th floor.

It would be here, the quiet and bloodcurdling ‘Cancer Floor’ as it was known, where she would receive her first dose of Chemotherapy and ultimately the place where I declared my duty as a photographer and as a fellow Kings fan to do a photo shoot with his favorite Kings player: Wayne Simmonds in honor of Tanner.

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America

I immediately reached out to The Los Angeles Kings organization regarding the photo shoot with Wayne. I pitched them my ideas and my concepts surrounding the photo shoot. They loved it. They were familiar with Tanner’s case and immediately chomped at the bit. The only caveat being that I had to wait till the end of the regular season to do the shoot.

Fast forward to two days ago: The Kings clinch a playoff birth and a spot in the playoffs. While every Kings fan in the greater Los Angeles area is ecstatic with The Kings appearing in their second straight post season appearance despite never winning a Stanley Cup in their 44 years as a team, I’m left on the 5th floor again with a tugging heart at the thought that Tanner may never get to see his gift that I was destined to give him. If only he could hold on a bit longer.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, today marks the day that Tanner’s Father, Steven, announced Tanner’s passing.

Tanner, my son, my best friend, my soldier, my hero, my inspiration, my gentleman, my wife’s guardian, my brother’s buddy.
The path is upon us, lead us to our destiny.

To say that it’s rather unfortunate that Tanner never got to see The Kings hoist the Stanley Cup would be the understatement of the year. Even if this playoffs run isn’t the year, I know that one day it will be. And when that day comes every Kings fan will know that Tanner will be right there next to his Father and his Uncle cheering them on.

A few hours ago I got a phone call from my Father inquiring how my girlfriend was coping with her second dose of Chemo. I paused, and like a line from a screenplay in my head, I asked him if he’d go with me to one of The Kings playoff games this week. Not one to go to the games, my Father inquired as to the reason. “A friend told me to,” I replied.

I’m a firm believer that there are positives to every negative. For me, Tanner has taught me to love, respect, and chase down with every muscle in my body my photography talent and help inspire others with it. This I’m sure of.

Life is a funny, peculiar journey. Little did I know that Tanner would be giving me the gift instead of me giving him one.

RIP Tanner Raboin

Today I rode my bike down to the beach and took a few photographs to remember what a day like today feels like.


04-11-2011 // Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
Notice the 4th light from the right is out…?


04-11-2011 // Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach