Hello Nicholas,

Whew, we made it through the holiday season. It was so much fun and now we're off and running in 2024. As you will see, there have already been some awesome photo assignments and there's much more on the calendar. I'm always thankful for that.

Here's the latest from this past quarter. Once again it's a pretty long newsletter packed full of photos and shoot details. There are some holiday assignments in the mix that didn't make it into the last newsletter. It's always surprising to me how these newsletters fill up since I literally start with a blank slate each time I send one of these out.

Enjoy and let me know what you think. It's always great to hear back from people receiving these newsletters.

Recently Published in the Riverside Press Enterprise

It's not often my images are on the cover of the Sports section, so you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see this. These three were super nice people in what was a somewhat challenging situation for photos. I'm glad they went along with my silly idea for the second photo here.

I had two wrestling assignments in a row in this week ... one five minutes from my house (a championship match) and this one which was about an hour away. That's not much of a stretch since all of my Orange County gigs are about an hour away too.

CLICK HERE to see the story and slide show


This was a fun shoot in Riverside in January. It was the day before the official start of Girl Scout cookie season. So many volunteers and so many cases of Girl Scout cookies! Never in my life have I have never seen so many pallets and cases of cookies in one place.

This was a 'MEGA' drop of Girl Scout cookies where representatives from various local troops came and had their vehicles loaded up. And from what I understand, this was only one of four drops happening that day in the county.

CLICK HERE to see the story and slide show

I love it when this happens. This was from the Girl Scout cookie shoot, but ran a day later as a freestanding 'Hot Shot' on page 2. This image really gives scale as to the volume of cookies being distributed that day.


This was exciting. I can't tell you when the last time I photographed wrestling, but it certainly was fun and challenging. It definitely had the feel of a championship competition. Many thanks to the reporter who was sitting on the floor net to me and helped me sort out all of the ID's. From what I hear and saw, both Boys and Girls wrestling is becoming hugely popular.

CLICK HERE to see the story and slideshow


This was a shoot near the end of last year. This Santa's Electric Light Parade in Old Town Temecula certainly brought in the holiday spirit.

Knowing that it would be crowded, I was worried about parking as well as getting out fairly quickly. I followed the parking suggestion on the assignment and ended up with the last rock star parking spot very close to the start of the parade. And afterwards I discovered a sneaky (not so legal) back way to get to the freeway even with all the roads closed.

This ran both in print and online (below).

CLICK HERE to see the slide show and story

Here is an additional image from the Temecula Christmas parade that ran a few days later as a 'Hot Shot' photo on page 2. Nice to see it run in print.


More Santa photos from the holidays ...

This started as a tricky assignment since I was to try to find a particular trolley in the Murrieta neighborhoods in the dark where it would be stopping to visit kids and pick up donations. I studied the map I was given and located a place where I thought they might be staging before they headed out. I knew that's where I needed to be.

At first I couldn't find them and it was getting dark fast. Luckily when I was turning around at a closed street, I happened to see some trolleys with their lights on in a nearby parking lot. It turned out to be the exact trolley that was suggested for me to follow (whew). Everyone was awesome and they even allowed me to travel in the caravan as Santa and his trolley made their way through various neighborhoods. It turned out to be a fun shoot.

CLICK HERE to see the story and slideshow

A couple of Santa's helpers from the trolley story above ran as a 'Hot Shot' standalone photo a day later.


I got some nice play in the paper with this assignment. And it turned out to be another fun holiday shoot.

Remarks at the grand opening of the ice rink were brief, the tiny cheerleaders were cute, the ten young exhibition skaters were awesome and the Bobby race with the mayor of Temecula was hilarious. After all of that, the rink was open to the public and the line to get in was pretty long.

A big thank you to Terry and Tony Kudma, the coaches for the exhibition skaters. Tony also manages the rink and their help made my job much easier that night.

CLICK HERE to read the story online and see the slideshow.


I was looking around the Press Enterprise website towards the end of the year and found a few photos of mine from previous photo shoots this past year ... the first two are from the ongoing Temecula school board recall story.

The third one was part of a roundup of upcoming 2024 festivals to look forward to and the last two are football photos from this past season ... probably the last football photos for awhile. Always good to see photos published though :)

CLICK HERE to see the school board recall update.


Here are a few food images created by Cathy Thomas and myself that made it into the newspaper (both OC Register and the Riverside Press Enterprise). All three are from the Melissa's 'Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce' book that we both worked on ... food photos are timeless and that book project was so much fun to work on.

CLICK HERE to see the Sweet Potato and Bean Soup story and recipe

CLICK HERE to see the Shallot Tart story and recipe

CLICK HERE to see the Potatoes O'Brien story and recipe

CLICK HERE to get to the Cathy Thomas Cooks website

This might be a little redundant, but here are the two cookbook projects that I photographed with Cathy Thomas for Melissa's. The above three images are from the second book, but both were awesome projects to work on. They literally took a year each to shoot because produce has it's different seasons.


Here's one more that Cathy Thomas and I created awhile back at The Register. Sometimes we would shoot our food on a plain white background which would allow the designers to wrap type around the images making a more dynamic page presentation. I miss those days of working with Cathy and various talented page designers ... we created some awesome food covers. You can see some of them on my website HERE

Lunar New Year at UCI

This was the second year shooting this event at the Irvine Barclay Theater at UCI and once again all I can say is WOW! Even though this seems like a lot of photos here, it's still just a sampling of what I delivered.

Three hours of nonstop action and for someone like me who loves photographing the performing arts, well ... just check it out. So much fun!

Oceana at OCMA

This was a different kind of shoot for me for Oceana. Normally I'm at their Sea Change annual event along with several photographers. Each photographer is given an assignment and a person to jot down ID's. At the 2023 Sea Change event, I was lucky enough to get to shoot the band Third Eye Blind (along with a lot of candids).

This was more of a private event at the OCMA to thank many of their OC contributors and give them updates. This time I was flying solo, but I often do that. Working to get photos of everyone at the event during the cocktail hour, and then everything else that happened after that. I was really looking forward to seeing the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), but it was a busy evening, so I'll have to go back at some point.

The book with Morgan Freeman on it (second to last photo) was pretty cool to see. It is a photo book from the 2023 Sea Change event and I have several photos in it. I'm going to have to get a copy of that :)

CLICK HERE to get to the Oceana website. It's pretty incredible to see all of the things they do to help save marine wildlife globally. And from what I heard this evening, they continue to do amazing things to benefit our oceans and the marine life that lives in them.

Solvang, CA (again)

I couldn't tell you how many times I've been to Solvang at this point. We have family and friends there and it's always so much fun when we visit.

This time we visited places that we've never gone to before and the accommodations were first class at the Dolphin House (Delphin Huset). I've mentioned it before ... if you visit Solvang with a group, the Dolphin House is where to stay. It's walking distance to everywhere in the town. CLICK HERE to see an awesome youtube video tour.

This time we were there for a week with family. We had awesome morning walks, went to an outdoor Farmer's market, visited the Motorcycle museum, Mission Santa Ines (outside), Lake Cachuma, The Cold Spring Tavern and of course Ingleborg's Chocolate factory. We were so busy that we never made it to any of the nearby wineries., and there are lots of great one's in the area.

Below are a few photos from this trip. The last photo is on a wall just inside the front door at the Dolphin House. Among other things, this amazing Air B and B used to be a swim club a long time ago.

CLICK HERE to visit the Ingeborgs Chocolate website ... mmmmm

To be transparent, these are iphone photos (iphoneography)


Well, that's it for this time ... always a mixed bag of work which keeps it interesting for me. We'll see what kind of photography the next quarter brings. Feel free to share them with anyone you think might enjoy them or may be looking for a photographer. Contact info is below or I can also be reached through my website at www.nicholaskoonphotography.com.

In the meantime, have a safe and prosperous 2024. As I mentioned before, I always enjoy hearing from people who receive these newsletters.

Take Care,


Nick Koon

Nicholas Koon Photography





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