Posts in Food Photography
Travel Albums: Manhattan, NY Vacation Photos

For a decade or so, every year for Christmas I gave my dad a scrapbook of that cross country season’s shenanigans. When he retired from coaching, I worried that I’d have to find a new Christmas project, but realized I could do almost the same thing, just with our travels instead! I had to wait until March this year to give him his present since we had to postpone our annual trip until February, but I’ve always been the master of spreading out holidays.

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Spain Day 3: New Horizons

To me, the idea wasn’t complete without a little “danger” so my plan was to throw off my dress as I was running towards the water and sprint in just in my underwear. Mind you, the water was probably only 50 degrees and there were still people walking at either end of the beach as well as along the boardwalk. But it was dark, I didn’t know anyone else there, and I was ready to practice being bold. So, I took a deep breath, tossed my dress to Erin and dove under the waves. I came up breathless, shocked from the cold even though I knew it was coming. I ran back in, ready to get warm. But somehow, I still wasn’t satisfied. I hadn’t fully reveled in the feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. So, I ran back in and this time held my breath under water for a few seconds, coming up to stand in the waist deep waves while I gazed into the vast, dark expanse.

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Spain Day 2: The Road to San Sebastian

Over the last year or so that I’ve dedicated my film practice to improving my street photography, I’ve had to work a lot on my shyness. Sometimes, I’ll see the perfect shot yet will be too nervous of what this stranger will think of me capturing the moment: will they be uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy, will they get mad, will they say something to me? No one has ever actually approached me so, as of yet, these fears are unfounded. In fact, one of my very favorite photographic moments from the day came about as we walked through the quiet, cobbled streets of Parte Vieja (Old Town.) At the other end of the alley we were walking through, I saw a group of men congregating, which always immediately sets me on my guard. However, when we got close and they saw my camera, they grinned and made a clicking motion while pointing to themselves. They must have heard us speaking English because they didn’t try to make conversation, yet “can you take our photo?” seems to be universally understood. Looking back, I wish I’d taken even more photos of them, perhaps a close-up portrait of each, but I’m still happy with the experience which will hopefully embolden me further.

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Santander, Spain Day 1: Going with the Flow

We didn’t plan too much for this trip. We knew we wanted to have one day to just bum around Santander, one day to see the sunrise and enjoy a beach picnic, and one day trip to somewhere else close by. As it was pouring rain on our first morning there, we decided to take the cue from the weather and enjoy a quiet first day. In planning, Erin was in charge of the activities and I the restaurants, particularly as I spoke the better Spanish of the two of us. When I ordered our breakfast, I hadn’t quite plucked up the courage to engage in a full on Spanish conversation, so I was feeling a little embarrassed about my speaking skills as we waited for our food. But just at that moment, a small, scarf-clad and white haired woman walked by our table, said something to us conspiratorially, winked, and walked out the door. After that, I knew that the act of at least trying to speak the language might make up for my errors.

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2019 Goals: Dream Big

After everything I learned last year (read more here), I realized that it’s the “helping others” part that I want to focus on most in the coming year(s). This is the first year that my goals will look quite different than they did in the past; traditionally mine have read something like: “more weddings”, “more family photoshoots”, etc. Not that there was anything wrong with that approach, I did need to augment my bookings for my business to be sustainable. However, its the experiences I’m creating through those photoshoots that I want to focus on most.

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Meet the Photographer || Betting on Myself

Music has been an essential part of my life for as long as I can remember: I don't start driving without choosing a song, I immediately turn on a playlist when I get home, I live for seeing live shows. There are certain songs and records that define each and every period of my life. For the past 6.5 years - since I left home and set off on the journey towards "adulthood" or whatever this is - Imagine Dragons (the band) has provided me with the majority of these tracks. I could discuss them for days, but the best of them all that literally gave me the defining moment to move forward into a new phase of my life is "Bet My Life" off their sophomore album Smoke and Mirrors

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2018 Goals

Each year, right around Christmas, I evaluate my goals from the ending year and then write out my goals for the coming year. I them let them sit for a few weeks while I evaluate other metrics - making sure that these are the goals that really resonate - and eventually come back to them during the first week of the new year to write this blog post. This year I've been so busy that I'm just now getting to it!

Nonetheless, I'm more than a little excited about this coming year. While each of the past 6 years has brought be a step closer to my ultimate career goals, this coming year is the first one where I feel like I'm really on the right track towards doing exactly what I want to be doing. It took me a while to figure out that exact intersection where my skills, enthusiasm for the work and ability to help people all coincide to create my "calling", but I'm only 24 so it's hard to complain. So, without further ado, here are my intended plans for 2018!

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2017: Love and Lessons

New Year's Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not for the parties or the food (okay, maybe the food) but because it's a collective time of reflection and refocusing. I've always been a very goal-oriented person (which is both a blessing and a curse) so for my business, this gives me a very specific deadline to analyze not only the growth and financial status of my business, but also gauge my passion for the work I've been doing and decide what I want to pursue further. I'll discuss in my next post what my goals are for the year, but as it's still 2017 for a couple hours, I want to look back at the goals I set for myself this time last year and reflect on just how beautiful this year was for me. 

So here, in the same order as I wrote them last year, are my 2017 goals and how well they played out: 

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Ireland Day 2: Gold, Black and Ruby Red

Because of its latitude, Ireland sees little daylight during the winter months with the run rising around 8:30am and setting at 4pm. The sun also remains low in the sky, casting a constant golden light throughout the day. As someone who is most certainly not a morning person, golden hour at noon is definitely a concept I can stand behind!

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Portland Day 1: All of My Favorite Things

I started off my first full day in Portland bright and early, catching the bus at 7:30 to get over to Cathedral Park for my first session. I was really hoping that since it was actually 10:30am in Asheville I might have an easier time waking up, but no such luck. So with bleary eyes, I transferred to the MAX along with every other person in Beaverton and attempted to not stick out as we bumped and jostled our way along. I certainly can't speak for everyone, but whenever I travel I always feel this need to look as un-touristy as possible (perhaps a reflex from being an American abroad), but trying to look unmoved as I repeatedly jolted from side-to-side, white-knuckling the hand rail, was a bit difficult. It did wake me up though!

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Portland: The Rest

While I try to stay pretty on top of my blogging and social media, there is certainly something to be said for putting away the technology (except my camera, obviously!) and enjoying the moments, so that's what I did for the rest of my Portland trip. Though I arrive back in Asheville a couple days ago and am now headed to Columbia, SC to shoot the first round of the women's NCAA tournament, I had too much fun in Portland not to share. 

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Portland Day 4: Sunshine, Blue Skies and Happy Tears

I used to tease people who cried at weddings or movies - here's lookin' at you, Mom - and especially those who cried happy tears at things, but now I've become one of those people myself! Yesterday's forecast was more forgiving than any of the other days this week but still looked bleak, yet by the time Jen and John picked me up from my morning coffee to head over the Mt. Tabor, the sun was shining brilliantly. I've seen this happen many times, pouring rain during wedding day preparations only to miraculously turn into blue skies just in time, but the phenomenon never ceases to amaze me. That was the first ingredient of the recipe to make me cry. 

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Portland Day 3: Textures and Layers

To me, the best thing about traveling is getting to unravel the many layers of a place; getting to know the people, the culture, the history and ultimately the city's character. As people are very obviously not one-dimensional, so too are cities many-layered and today was one of those days where I got to see Portland from many different perspectives. 

I started the day at the not-so-enjoyable hour of 5:30 am (I can feel myself slowly getting used to the time difference which made for a difficult morning) and made my way over the river - using 3 different buses, I might add - to meet Jen and John for their engagement shoot. I was pretty proud of myself for not only making it there, but actually getting there early.

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Portland Day 1: Rainy City Daze

If I spent any significant amount of time on my hair, I could not live in Portland. From the moment I walked the girls to the bus stop until I drippingly  returned in the late afternoon, water fell from the sky in varying degrees of intensity until I gave up and put my now-birds' nest in a bun. Mind you, I do have a rain coat with a hood but I can't manage to get the thing to stay on. Oh well, small price to pay! My first day here was about as "Portland" as I could get. I woke up around 7 (hooray for going back a few time zones!), walked my cousins to the bus stop where we said hi to the resident ducks, then set off to figure out the transit system into downtown. Though taking the MAX significantly increased my travel time compared to driving, its pros far outweighed the cons as all I had to do was figure out where to make a couple connections. 

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New York City Day 3: Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

I'll be honest, I didn't focus on photography today. Between the race, the frigid cold and the bacon coma I didn't have enough brain cells to scrape together to take all of the photos I might have wanted. But, sometimes I have to remind myself to enjoy the moment while I'm in it as well as when I'm looking back at it through my images, so today was a good reminder of that lesson. 

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Goals for 2017

We're a week in to the new year so it's about the time that outrageous new year's resolutions have run their course and realistic goals begin to take shape. For me, I spent the week (when I wasn't working on clients' work) crunching last year's numbers, analyzing what worked and what didn't and especially journaling about the direction I would like my company to go. As this long term vision is starting to take root (I'll keep the details to myself for now, wouldn't want to spoil the fun!) I've narrowed down a few of my goals for 2017 to get me on my way: 

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Post 70 Menu and Website Food Photo Shoot

I have a confession: food photography may be my favorite genre of the art. I mean, capturing important moments in people's lives is great and all, but why do that when you can take photos of food for one of your favorite Asheville restaurants and then get to eat all of the food?! This was probably one of my most enjoyable shoots in the past few months because all I had to do was sit back and wait for the chefs and bartender of Post 70 to work their magic and then capture their creations. It also helped that my at-the-time-fiance-now-husband tagged along to entertain me, hold my reflector, and of course (first and foremost) to eat the delicious food. 

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