Three Tips For Choosing Men's Wedding Rings

Mens Wedding Ring and Fashion Tips

Mens Wedding Ring and Fashion Tips

Today's post is very subjective to your style and taste. I understand that men say they don't care what their ring looks like, however I beg to differ. Just like your bride is going to be browsing multiple styles, cuts and diamonds that she feels will represent her, you should care about the style of your ring as you will be adding a fine piece of jewelry that represents you.

First off, I want to say that I am not one to wear a lot of jewelry. I have to confess, at one point in my life I thought it was cool to wear a thick gold chain, accented by a thick gold bracelet and a diamond pinky ring however, I quickly learned that I can make a bold fashion statement with a minimalistic approach. Thank God for that!

Plus I learned I am allergic to nickel so anything I wear that may touch my skin (metal eyewear, watchbands, belt buckles, etc) needs to be of the highest quality or I will break out with uncomfortable irritations and who wants to deal with that?! 

Since, I often get a lot of questions and compliments on my ring I figured I'd give you some of the reasons I chose mine. Even if you haven't given it a lot of thought, hopefully these three tips to help you choose yours: 

  1. Hypo-Allergenic
  2. Discreet Style
  3. Fashion Statement


As I explained earlier, I needed a hypo-allergenic metal so I can wear it without causing a skin irritation. As my ring is made from tungsten carbide, the main skin irritant (nickel) properties are absent. Although, it's not a fashion forward way to think, this was one important thing

Discreet Style

Style is something I wanted as well as I was going to wear this everyday.Since I don't wear much jewelry other than a simple watch and my wedding ring, my ring stands out on it's own. As much as I use my hands while working around the house or under the hood, my ring is it's scratch-resistant. Which is pretty cool because I can look back at it anytime and it will be as clean as it was when Gina first gave it to me. 

Tungsten Carbide Wedding Ring, John Varvatos

Tungsten Carbide Wedding Ring, John Varvatos

Fashion Statement

Statements are made in a bold way. My ring makes it's own statement as it's weight, size and color stands out the most. I never wanted anyone to ask me if I was married because they couldn't see my ring or what have you.  I always felt my ring should be a nice size to show that I am married to the love of my life.

Hopefully these tips will help you choose your ring as you get ready for your wedding.

Talk soon, 


Simplicity Can Be Fulfilling

Los Olivos Wine Country, General Store, Warehouse

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by everything going on around you? Are you worried what people will think about you if you make the wrong move?

It's so easy to get inundated by daily life, Facebook posts, or which direction to go.

We can easily get caught up in trying to have everything perfect and have "the need" to make sure we look good so we don't get "judged" by others. 

Blackjack Winery, Los Olivos

But if you think about it, most people want to make sure they are looking good in everyone else's eyes and are not worried about you as much as you are.

This post is for those of you who are trying to figure it out; whatever it is. Wedding planning, meeting your next deadline, figuring out what dinner plans will be...

Keep it simple and do what feels right to you. Be true to your beliefs and what is important to you. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in the frenetic energy that can easily surround you. Take a moment to get grounded; and don't be afraid to be proud of your decision. 

Here's a little formula I teach Jade and Jarron when they get caught up. Close your eyes. Breathe. Focus on what's important. Live. Be Happy.

I don't have all of the answers. But hopefully these tips can allow your life to be fulfilled with what's important to you. These are the tips that have helped me get past self-doubt and press the gas on the path and ideals that I believe in. Hopefully these can help you and give you the push to reach your goals, even if it's just trying to figure out where to go for lunch!

If you have the courage, in the comments below, please share your tips on simplifying your life to help you move in the direction you're trying to go.

Much love, 

chris signature

Big Sur Family Trip | Thank You for Continuously Teaching Me

big sur redwoods

Last week, we traded in our suburban lives for the beautiful, coastal camping experience in Big Sur for the first time and it became a great way to do some reflection on life and enjoying the simplicity of life. This was our first time camping on our own; no friends or extended family.

Just the four of us. 

As we prepped for our trip I was nervous. It wasn't for lack of outdoor experience as I've climbed Mt Whitney a few times, tent-camped in Yosemite, Mammoth and many other places. But I've always had the luxury of relying on someone to bring the stuff I didn't have. You know, like a camping stove to cook food in order to survive an extra day or so in the woods. No biggie, right?

This time the responsibility was all on me to make sure we had everything (and then some) to come home alive and still look recognizable. Once I triple-checked our necessities, we packed and headed up north. The drive up was awesome and I was quickly reminded of how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place and our destination was expected be even more beautifuller (yes, it's a word. It was in Frozen.)

Our intention was to get off the grid for a few days and spend some quality time together away from distractions. However, the trip turned into one of the most special trips I've ever been on.

For starters, I stopped the truck on the side of the road to check out the coastal views and I spotted what I thought was a hawk. But as it flew closer to me I noticed there was a tag on its wing and I later found out it was an endangered California Condor. Apparently there are about 67 of these birds flying in the wild in Central California and we were able to see one of them. How freakin' cool is that?! 

elephant seals, rookery, big sur

We also got to see male elephant seals that were molting their fur on the beach and the docent on staff gave the kids a sample of the fur that was recently shed. They were a little grossed out at first, but they kept asking questions about them and wanted to know more.

Don't worry, the seals are not dead but sleeping on the beach. And they sleep, snore, yawn, drool and burp just like we do! Haha!

We also trekked through the redwoods and survived the abundant poison oak up to Pfeiffer Falls. I thought the kids were going to complain the whole 2 miles, but they were pretty good troopers and wanted to play with the walkie-talkies the whole time. Somehow my communication device for survival turned into toys... who knew?

One of the most important things that came out of this trip for me was how happy and carefree Jade and Jarron were. They trusted they would be fed and taken care of the whole time, even if I was internally worrying that something would screw up.

I don't want to be Debbie Downer, but you see as a kid, I endured just about every kind of abuse you can think of along with family issues that no child should have to deal with, let alone think about. Although it's been a long, process to trust and allow my choices, rather than my history to direct my future I'm grateful that I can learn from my own kids to let go and enjoy life as it's meant to be. Everyone has their bag of hammers to deal with and some of us have a bigger burden to deal with, but if the high-flying birds can be fed and the shortest redwoods can receive sunlight why can't we trust that we'll be taken care of no matter who tries to affect us and cut us down? 

I believe our lives are a series of seasons and some may be longer than others. But if we learn from them (whether good or bad) to grow stronger and help others to enjoy life there is hope and love in knowing your experience can lighten someone else's load. This is something Jade and Jarron have been teaching me through their positive attitudes and zest for life. I know Father's Day just passed, and I couldn't have asked for a better gift, wrapped in daily ice cream eating bodies and non-stop chatter, than these crazy kiddos. 

Jade and Jarron, thank you for all that you've taught me and will continue to teach me. Keep that thirst for life and keep spreading your joy like a dandelion's seed in the wind. You guys are going to definitely leave your impact on the world. 

Like I said, this trip was intended to be a relaxing one, which it certainly was. But I got way more out of it without expecting much of anything other than some fresh coastal air a few hundred miles away from home and I'm extremely grateful for it. 

I can't guarantee you'll experience Big Sur the same way, but if you're thinking of visiting here are a few places we visited (walkie-talkies not necessary):

If I may, allow me to leave you with some of the most powerful words I keep close to me,

"Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams"



harry's shave set, groomsmen essentials, chris holt photography, wedding photography, los angeles wedding photography

Guys and Gals,

I hope you had an awesome weekend as we definitely did. The kids are on summer break and our first outing will be spent in Big Sur for the next few days, so be on the lookout for some of our shots on Instagram! They're so excited to go "real camping" and get away for a bit. I haven't taken them camping as much as I'd like to so they're excited to use their Swiss Army knives, lanterns and other camping gear to good use while I'm just hoping I can show them how to light a campfire without burning my eyebrows!!

Speaking of facial hair, I wanted to share with you an awesome shave kit I've tried and loved recently. I know beards are what the hipsters are doing, but my Japanese blood doesn't allow me to grow a nice, full beard. So I like to have a clean shave every 3 days (or whenever it's patchy self decides to show itself). For years, I've shaved with the store-bought razors and spent a ton of brain cells trying to remember which razor I had at home in order to get the right blades at the last minute. I've also tried different online delivery services that were awesome at what they did, but I could never get as close a shave as I liked. 

I then decided to try out Harry's to see what the hype was about and after that first shave, I was hooked. I'm not going to get technical, but the blades are as close to a straight edge razor as you can get while managing stay in a reasonable price range. Plus you can set up a regular delivery option so you can auto-refill your shave cream and blades automagically (yes, I said it) on your shaving terms. I don't have to shave as often as some, so my blades and cream is shipped every 6 months.

Boom, just like that! No more trying to remember which blades I need when I'm down to my last one and spending a crazy amount of money to take a few follicles off my face. To make it even better, my initials were engraved in my razor handle for free in case Jarron decides to steal it ;)

It's not often guys like to be pampered (as most likely, they won't ask for it). So treat your dad, grandpa, husband, fiance, boyfriend, brother, uncle, groom, groomsmen or yourself to an awesome shave and they will definitely appreciate it.  

Have an awesome week and I'll catch you later!



It's Our Anniversary...

Today, we're out shooting Stephanie and Sean's intimate wedding (check out their engagement session in Redondo Beach here: Stephanie & Sean | Engaged). 

However, I wanted to let Gina know that I couldn't ask to be blessed with a better half on this earth. She has dessert before dinner. She has a heart bigger than anyone I know. She thinks of others before herself. She holds down the fort when things start to unravel. I don't know how else to explain her except that she's just freakin' awesome.

These past few years, we've come a long way in building this business, expanding to our family line, and putting our focus on 2014. I couldn't have asked for a better partner, lover and wife. 

Thanks love for all that you do and all that you are. I love you and I can't wait for what's in store for the near future. LET'S DO THIS!!

Also, thanks to her most awesomest, Adrienne Gunde, for documenting our vow renewal in '09 at The Raymond Restaurant. We remember that day, so vividly and we're so glad to have you a part of our day!


Happy Anniversary, Love!!