Portraiture

I want to be your Friend Photographer.

I want to notice what’s important to you, and remind you of it when I show you your photos.  If I could capture something beautiful about you, and then give it back to you, I will have done well for myself as your Friend Photographer.

I’ve been convincing friends and family for a while now to let me make their portraits- they’ve gone through some of the aches and pains of me learning how to do it, and they deserve full kudos for that.  I think we’ve shared some excellent times while doing it, and that’s a gift for the both of us.

Allow me to share some of my favorites.

IMG_8042

IMG_7969

I want you to look beautiful in your portrait, but I more want you to embody your own beauty, not someone else’s.

IMG_8214.JPG

IMG_8260

Candid moments are the richest.

IMG_6666

IMG_6668

IMG_6628

Some of my friends are so willing to be themselves and have fun doing it, and these end up being my favorite shoots.

IMG_6109

IMG_6117

I love watching the relationship between people/animals play out in my photos.

IMG_7805

IMG_7800

IMG_7860

And animals are so good at getting their portrait taken.

IMG_8545

IMG_8566

I’m not afraid of classical portraits, because it’s still you, being your lovely self.

IMG_8618

IMG_7738

IMG_8398

And when I find a backdrop to enhance the moment, the results are breathtaking.

IMG_4017

IMG_4083

IMG_6290

IMG_6249

Let me be your Friend Photographer.

Advertisements

Run as an individual, run as a team

Over the last year and a half, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in two extraordinary events that have stretched me as an athlete.

The first was the Tri for Fun in Pleasanton, CA in August 2015- I joined a training team through the Berkeley YMCA, and prepped for 4 months with a group of 25-30 teammates for the event.  Our biweekly training sessions were never easy, and I was constantly amazed at the stamina and persistence shown by those twice my age.  I have fond memories of those Wednesdays and Saturdays, including one of riding up Tunnel Road (a constant incline), and my teammate telling me I wasn’t allowed to stop so as long as she was riding alongside me.

The second event was a few weeks ago- the Tuna Run 200, which went from Raleigh to Atlantic Beach, NC.  With a team of 8 other women, we ran nearly 200 miles, each of us taking different legs of the course and handing off a team bracelet at each interchange until it reached the coast.  The Tuna was teamwork at its finest.  For 33 hours, we yelled encouragements to our runner out the van window, drove alongside our runner in the dead of night, handed off lights and reflective vests, changed our clothes at least 3 times, slept in sleeping bags in the grass for an hour at a time, and took our turn running 2-10 mile legs of the course until we had reached the finish line.  By the end, I had done about 19 miles (another teammate of mine had done 26, the equivalent of a marathon).  It was an amazing adventure.

I have loved being a part of a team that is not just a bunch of 20-somethings.  I think we all have something different to offer, and we don’t feel the need to compete and be the best (and that’s coming from a competitive mind).  If there was anything that I’d recommend, it’s being a part of groups like this, and having so much fun, and impressing yourself with what you and others can do.

So, here comes the evidence that my teammates and I actually did this stuff.

Training for the Tri for Fun:

img_5072

img_4257

Race Day.

img_5838

img_5857

img_5872

img_5874

img_5895

dpp_0086

img_5897

p1010544_2

And now, for the Tuna…

img_7616

img_7676

img_7632

img_7586

Through fog, rain, and dark, we ran.

img_7536

img_7622

img_7613

When we weren’t running, this is how we got around…

img_7556

img_7645

img_7652

I’m so grateful for such amazing opportunities.

Next up, the annual Drumstick Dash in Indianapolis, IN for Thanksgiving with my family. Have I mentioned that my mom has trained up to 8 miles straight?  I suppose you can just say that it runs in the family. 😉

From Cali to New Zealand to NC

A lot has changed for me lately- I moved from Cali to North Carolina, I left my job in skilled nursing in search of a hospital career, and I took a 20-day trip to New Zealand.  The months of January and February have gone by in a blur, but luckily for me (and possibly, you), I took a few photos.

Now.  I should explain myself before I begin.  I decided against taking my camera and lenses with me to NZ, because it wasn’t a trip for photography, but for experiences.  I stayed in hostels, and I didn’t want to worry about my equipment getting stolen- anyways, I won’t make any more excuses, I’ll just tell you that you ought to expect the quality of the iPhone 6s lens.  In hindsight, I probably should have gotten a GoPro.  Lesson learned for my next overseas holiday!

To begin, the roadtrip from Cali to NC.

IMG954684

When in Vegas… take a picture of your hotel.

IMG_7042

IMG_7016

Welcome to the Hoover Dam, the least photogenic architectural wonder of the west.

IMG_7018

IMG_7045

On the way to the Grand Canyon, there’s the kind of January winter weather I grew up on. 

And speaking of the Grand Canyon…

IMG_7058

IMG_7069

IMG_7052

The rest of the trip was 75mph, billboard-strewn wilderness.  A quick stopover in Albuquerque, New Mexico to do the most american thing, look at bombs

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

…and then on to rest of the journey, all the way to the east coast.

I took a few weeks’ rest in between the move and my trip to NZ, which was perfect, because anticipation is the best preamble to a holiday.

But here we are at last, New Zealand.

—- W E L L I N G T O N  —-

IMG_0122

IMG_0114.jpg

IMG_0118

There was a diving platform in the middle of town in between the docks.  A large crowd would usually congregate and watch the kids and daring adults jump off.  From the top, I think it was about 8 meters down to the water, or about 26 feet.

IMG_0133

Their coffee is incredible.  I still haven’t found a flat white in the States that I enjoy as much as the ones I had in NZ.

IMG_0155

IMG_0164

A trip in Wellington isn’t true unless you’ve seen a very competitive intramural rowing match in the harbor.

IMG_0170.jpg

IMG_0167.JPG

According to everyone everywhere, if you’re going to have steak, you had better cook it yourself on a volcanic stone at the table.

IMG_0190

IMG_0195.jpg

IMG_0184

The beautiful Zealandia bird sanctuary with the hospitable Carol and Ryan.

IMG_0232

IMG_0201

IMG_0203

Drink like the locals, drink with the locals.

IMG_0144

Or, drink with the other travelers.  At my hostel, I met Kelly and Anthony, a brilliant British couple who dedicated a year of their lives to refreshing themselves with travel.

IMG_0224

IMG_0214.JPG

IMG_0216.JPG

At the Te Papa Museum, I was impressed with the variety of exhibits, and THE MUSEUM WAS FREE.  Actually, I noticed that all museums seemed to be free in NZ.  It felt right.

Also, at the Gallipoli exhibit from WWI, I cried.  Kiwis, it would seem, have fought so few wars that they have not become desensitized to what war can mean for so many people- the exhibit didn’t only highlight the heroes of the war, but first-time privates, men who fell asleep on duty, and the nurses who cared for the wounded.  This likely was because there was more info available on these particular individuals because they kept a journal, but still, the idea was brilliant, and there was a very human edge to the exhibit.

 

—- H A M I L T O N —-

IMG_0251.JPG

IMG_0236.JPG

Air New Zealand, you had me at kia ora.  I loved walking out on the tarmac.  Made me feel like a celebrity, or the president, or a person on a very small, short flight… all of which work for me.

Hamilton wasn’t the top pick for a lot of travelers, but I found it charming, nonetheless.  The botanical gardens were the best I’d ever seen, and the Waitomo glowworm caves were an hour’s drive away.  And the beautiful countryside!  And the riverwalk!  My taxi driver, Manjit, was delightful- he gave me recommendations for the best Indian dinner in town, which I took advantage of, and told me that when I came to town again, he would have me over for dinner and his wife would make me traditional Indian cuisine.  How could I be unhappy with that kind of hospitality?

IMG_0252.JPG

To get the caves, which had been my original purpose in coming to Hamilton, I needed to master a new skill: driving on the opposite of the road.

IMG_0260.JPG

IMG_0263.JPG

Sheep, everywhere.

1pm Lost World 16.2.2016 Brad (#) 002.JPG

1pm Lost World 16.2.2016 Brad (#) 004.JPG

200 meters, straight down, into the Lost World cave.

1pm Lost World 16.2.2016 Brad (#) 022.JPG

1pm Lost World 16.2.2016 Brad (#) 026.JPG

Glowworms.

From adventure to opulence, to see the magnificent Hamilton Gardens.

IMG_0290.jpg

IMG_0293

IMG_0302.jpg

IMG_0284

IMG_0310.JPG

So many different garden styles represented, and if you had an aerial view of the gardens, you would see them all pressed up against each other, in what felt like a maze on the inside.

IMG_0309

IMG_0318.JPG

IMG_0325.JPG

IMG_0355.jpg

IMG_0358.JPG

IMG_0371.jpg

I have found my castle.

—- C H R I S T C H U R C H —–

In Christchurch, my I stayed with my friend Julia, a roommate from college.  Julia and her fiancé Greg showed me around town, giving me a tour of local beaches and cool places to eat and drink.

IMG_0449.jpg

There’s nothing quite like a familiar face in a foreign place.

IMG_0455.jpg

IMG_0458.jpg

DCJV7506.jpg

Christchurch also had a beautiful botanic garden, nearly the only thing in the middle of town that hadn’t been wrecked by the earthquake of 2011.

IMG_0462.JPG

IMG_0468.JPG

FullSizeRender

Beaches and body boarding forever.

—- Q U E E N S T O W N —-

IMG_0500.JPG

A haven in the middle of the south island alps, Queenstown was the tourist destination of New Zealand.

IMG_0489.jpg

IMG_0491.jpg

IMG_0509.JPG

Straight-up LOTR scenery.

IMG_0530.JPG

IMG_0528.JPG

Well, what’s a trip to Queenstown without a little touristy shit?

IMG_0545.jpg

Cheers to the best hostel I’ve found yet.

—- W E L L I N G T O N (II) —-

IMG_0550.JPG

I returned to Wellington for the last leg of my trip, and spent a few days enjoying the sights that had welcomed me to the country two and half weeks ago.  I was so tired at this point, and having totally lost my voice and coming down that nonspecific sickness, it was good to be in a place that felt comfortable.

IMG_0553.JPG

IMG_0554.jpg

IMG_0559.JPG

IMG_0551

Not one to be accused of staying indoors on a beautiful day, I went to the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

PTXO6588

IMG_0607.JPG

Steph, one of my roommates from the hostel, tripped about with me in roller blades on the busy wharf and rock-climbed what Wellington claimed was the tallest indoor rock-climbing wall in the whole country.  I was so thankful to have someone so chill to spend the rest of my NZ days with, nevertheless someone who tolerated my raspy non-voice.

IMG_0592.JPG

IMG_0574.jpg

IMG_0598.jpg

Wellington has THE BEST food and drink scene.

And finally… I did the thing that I needed to do before leaving NZ.

IMG_0656.jpg

IMG_0661.jpg

IMG_0663.jpg

IMG_0681.jpg

And just in case you missed it…

IMG_0661

I cannot possibly hold you here any longer, this post has been insufferably long.  But I will add that now that I’m in North Carolina, about to start my new hospital job (success! victory! make your dreams come true!), I miss NZ, but am looking forward to all my new east coast home has to offer me.

Next up, expect mountains, and the beach.  North Carolina style.

Mountains.

For a long time, I thought that I was a beach kind of girl.  My family often took our vacations around a beach, and since I lived in land-locked Indiana, going near the ocean always felt like such a treat.  The smell of sunscreen, the perpetual findings of sand in my travel bag and the summer-long sunburn reminded me of something so special and perfect.  However, there was another thing missing from my Indiana experience, and ever since my move out to California, it’s been the mountains that have captured my attention and left me wondering when I can return.  Because although the beach is exciting in its own right, it mostly looks the same from coast to coast… mostly.  But the mountains- they’re so different and new each time.

Colorado: Castle Rock

IMG_1323.JPG

Nevada/California: Death Valley

IMG_3980

IMG_4049

California: Pinnacles

IMG_4222

California: Mount Diablo

IMG_5929

California: Highway 1

IMG_4810

California: San Francisco/Mt. Davidson

IMG_5163

IMG_5140

And my local favorite. California: Berkeley/Tilden

IMG_5075

IMG_6087

What’s your outdoor adventure?

IMG_5066

An ode to Anna.

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”

This past month, I had the opportunity to take my sister’s senior portraits, and after spending over 4 hours editing her proofs, I realized that taking pictures have always been our thing.  There’s plenty of proof to back that statement up, too…

Photo 50

Photo 9

holiday world- mmm drinks

I think that the most magical part of having a sister- and a younger, non-pretentious one at that- is the gift of seeing her full personality.  All of that silly, sassy, and sweet, without a filter.

100_2810

IMG_0144

100_3314

IMG_0231

IMG_3778

So, here’s the loveliest pictures to show off my very lovely and wonderful sister.

IMG_5686

IMG_5687

IMG_5599

IMG_5710

IMG_5532

IMG_5682

IMG_5312

I’ve got the best luck.

IMG_5352

Telephoto’d

D is for depression.

It also stands for derisive and desultory, which is what I intend to do with my post… because if I can make fun of myself, then I’m not so far from humor, and if I can recognize that these feelings only last but a moment, I’ll be fine in a hurry.

I bought a telephoto lens last week- it’s a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS- and I have completely stepped up my creepy photographer game. (I’m learning my boundaries.)  I also bought a tripod- the Manfrotto compact series- and these things served as excellent reasons for me to spend my Sunday in nature, so I went to Abbott’s Lagoon at Point Reyes.

The scenery wasn’t lacking, but neither was my loneliness.  This wasn’t the escape I had been hoping for.

Instead, I found myself in a state of wanting.  Wanting someone else’s company, wanting my 7 roommates back again.  And wanting to not feel like I had a void to fill.

I don’t know whether the solution is to fast myself until I stop feeling hungry, or if it’s to stuff myself so full that I can’t possibly run empty.  But it’s not worth much more time talking about… every one of us feels this way, some more than others.  It was my day.

Also, my reason in sharing my mind is because I think that it’s so important for us to relate to each other- a producer on a podcast I like, ThisAmericanLife, made part of a recent episode featuring a very personal part of her life, and I was so thankful to be let in on someone’s difficult emotions without feeling the need to comment.  Sometimes, it’s just good to listen.

Anyways, there were a few pretty things to be seen at Point Reyes, and I want to show you what I did with my new stuff.  So…

(Obligatory warning: there will be pictures of animals and flowers, because this is a telephoto-driven post.  You must be brave.)

A beautiful land of rolling hills and mist.

A beautiful land of rolling hills and mist.

IMG_4624

IMG_4639

IMG_4649

IMG_4665

IMG_4618

IMG_4670

IMG_4672

IMG_4679

IMG_4685

IMG_4712

IMG_4739

IMG_4750

IMG_4749

IMG_4798

IMG_4811

There's no place like California.

There’s no place like California.

Ammar

I live an exciting life.  In the last few months, I went to Pinnacles National Park, Death Valley National Park, and spent my days off hanging out at the beach.  The primary reason I haven’t posted, though, is because I still only have a Canon Rebel- my dreams of owning a tripod, zoom lens, and flash equipment remain unrealized.  But you know what they say, “if you want something, you should buy it”…

Here’s the catch up:

1. DEATH VALLEY

IMG_4083

2. PINNACLES

IMG_4165

3. Family christmas in SF

IMG_3747

And now, the real subject of this post: my friend Ammar.

I met Ammar at my job, and quickly learned that he is spectacularly interesting.  Originally from North Africa, he learned all of his English by trading phrases with a coworker, and in just 3 1/2 years, he started an exclusive internship in the Bay Area to launch his career.  Ammar is funny and well-spoken, and I’m so pleased to have had him model for me.

IMG_4472

IMG_4493

IMG_4505

IMG_4506

IMG_4512

IMG_4526

IMG_4527

IMG_4529