Posts in NYC
In a Manhattan Minute: Runway Edition

We flew over a fluffy blanket of clouds, adding to the coziness of the picturesque scene. Every break in the clouds allowed a glance below at the city lights, the oranges and yellows delightfully contrasting with the blue sky.

Most amazingly of all was the heat lightning. The first bolt glided effortlessly across the horizon, lighting up the seemingly-dusk sky. Here again, my understanding of timing and weather failed me as each flash created its own “sunrise,” painting the horizon a pale pink and yellow.

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In a Manhattan Minute: Stories from Newark

Airports are [metaphorically] lawless places. Your flight’s delayed at 9am? Whiskey with breakfast. Get caught up in rush hour traffic en route to the airport? Cut in front of 2— people through security by only asking the travelers at the end of each row if you can move ahead of them. Sleepy on your redeye back home? Use your backpack as a pillow, jacket as a blanket and stretch out right there on the carpet.

Airports are at once the best places for people watching, and the only location where you can get away with doing whatever less-socially-accepted thing you need to do to get through your travels sanely without being critiqued too harshly. Within reason, of course; if you take up both arm rests, I will judge you.

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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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Travel Prints: Manhattan Film Photography

The only place I’ve photographed more than my hometown of Asheville is New York City. In the past year, after 3 trips, I’ve shot somewhere close to 15 rolls of film in Manhattan alone, which has given me the chance to practice my street photography in the city which birthed the genre.

There’s not much I can say in the way of describing each location that I haven’t said already, so instead I’ll share my aim for each type of film and why I chose to use it at that time. This is, by far, my favorite set of travel photos to date because I was finally comfortable photographing people at close range, so I captured a wide mix of photos of people going about their day, environmental portraits showing people interacting with the city background, and architectural shots.

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2018 Reflection: The Building Year

I like to use the changing of the calendar year as a start- and end-point to evaluate my metrics and to reevaluate my goals. This is the first time that I ended the year with a very different sense of achievement than I began: I entered hoping to bolster my bookings and set my goals accordingly. But I ended having learned the true “why” behind my drive to do each of these types of photoshoots. In essence, my work has become not just about the end product (typically a storybook photo album) but the entire experience of the session, and by extension an enjoyment of life.

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Times Square Portrait Session || Milena

Milena was immediately very bubbly - not shy in front of the camera and with no reservations of me shooting mere inches from her face. She exuded a pleasant happiness fed by our constant laughter while swapping traveling stories. Additionally, as I first saw in the in-between moments, she also had a serious side, a desire to explore the vastness of the world. And at 24, like me (at the time), she seemed to recognize the numerous possibilities open to her. Which is why I spent a good bit of time photographing with the prism (and often using it to overlay the colorful lights on her portraits) - to capture her likeness while still alluding to the stories yet untold, the path(s) not yet even visible.

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Grand Central Station & New York Public Library Portrait Session || Denise

For these portrait sessions in the city, I wanted to focus on a few things: the vibrant colors, the historical architecture (perfect for framing our photos) and the constant sense of movement. Denise’s gorgeous blue shirt certainly brought the color, so when I saw slew of taxis in front of Grand Central waiting to pick up their passengers, I knew we had to make use of the contrasting color. For these images especially, because of the symbolism of the ever-moving cars, I wanted Denise to simply be still, to be the calm amidst the craziness. I wanted this juxtaposition to also illustrate Denise’s strength, as a traveling mother of two and as a woman in general.

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Film Photography || Original Prints For Sale

When I picked up my now 10-year-old 35mm film camera last year, I didn't really know how this was going to affect my work. At first, I just shot a few rolls around town to enjoy being outside while photographing something other than portraits. But then, I brought my camera and 6 rolls of film with me on my family trip to Ireland and realized that the missing piece in my work, what I'd been trying to put together for all these years, was this travel photography in film.

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NYC Day 2: New Friends

I'd planned to get up around sunrise to run (and then go back to sleep!) but either my alarm didn't go off or I turned it off in my sleep - neither option would surprise me - so I woke up around 11 instead and quickly got ready for my photoshoots. After I'd posted my images from yesterday's shoot with Denise in the GLT NYC group, several people messaged me interested in photos, so while my only plan for the day had been meeting with one of my college classmates for lunch, I ended up adding three shoots to the mix! 

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NYC Day 1: No Plans

As much as I have the travel bug to go anywhere and everywhere, I just can't stop coming back to NYC. This particular trip is a solo affair, focusing on honing my creative eye to further clarify my visual voice. Once I arrived in Midtown, I grabbed my Vivitar and set off in search of food and photos. While the emphasis of our February visit was to try any and all foods, this time I simply grabbed a sandwich and coffee at the Cambodian restaurant Num Pang Kitchen (talk about tasty!) and hit the streets again. This won't be a long blog post because in all honesty, I didn't really DO anything other than take photos, but I'm totally ok with that.

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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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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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New York City Day 2: Star Struck

Ordinarily on a trip I would want to get up earlier than normal to catch my favorite light, but I was having none of it this morning. I apparently slept through sirens, garbage trucks and slamming hotel doors while dreaming about ice cream and woke up to the mid-morning sun spilling around the curtains. Since most of the mornings on this trip will all start inordinately early, I was happy to have the rest. 

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New York City Day 1: Settling In

As a fervent believer in the "work hard, play hard" philosophy, I decided rather spur of the moment last month that it was time to take another trip as January was shaping up to be quite a busy month. Well, after making it through January, here I am in New York City! I awoke this morning at the lovely hour of 4 a.m. to catch my flight and in an unheard of  occurrence actually arrived early. As Dad's plane didn't land for another couple hours, I was able to catch up on some work before we hit the town. 

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