Posts tagged travel
Mindfulness in Manhattan: A Walk to Change Perspective

“At what point do I then stop enjoying my life for its own sake and start doing things just for attention?”

Traveling, in particular, has time and again led me to that question. Did I order that steak tartare in France just for the ‘gram or do I actually want to eat it? (Tartare makes for terrible photos but is, in fact, delicious. Next question, please.) Did I rent a car and drive through Northern Spain for a good story? (Yes, but if the primary aim was to swap amusing stories with my well-traveled grandparents then no harm done.) Did I stay up till 3am sharing my blog posts to my Instagram story while in Ireland with my family rather than resting up to enjoy another full day? (Yes, and boy could I have used that sleep.)

When Dad and I went to Manhattan for a day in July, spending our afternoon walking the 160 blocks from Penn Station to the Cloisters, I was able to take that question one step further: even in a public sphere, when is it time to put the camera away not only to be more present myself, but to allow my prospective subjects to maintain their privacy?

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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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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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Photo Album || Dee + Sam's Botanical Gardens Anniversary Session

The 5th anniversary gift is typically wood, so we spent Dee and Sam’s anniversary accordingly - hanging out in the woods! Dee and Sam had already planned a weekend getaway to Asheville. So, to help celebrate their beautiful milestone, Dee’s sister arranged a couple’s photoshoot with me so that they could commemorate their weekend. As we were in the middle of June, we chose the Botanical Gardens of Asheville as our backdrop to make use of the bounty of greenery highlighted by a brilliant sunny evening.

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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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Vacation Photography: Dad's Ireland Photo Album

Since somewhere around 2005, I made my dad a scrapbook of that cross country season every year for Christmas. Every single year, my mom would collect all of the newspaper clippings (because that was a thing) and I’d collect photos from teammates so that by the end of each season, I could put everything together to highlight that year’s triumphs and shenanigans. As you can see, I’ve always been all about curating memories into storytelling albums.

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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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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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November 24, 2018 Intimate Wedding at Clarklewis || Portland, OR

A couple weeks ago I got to live out one of my many dreams; I got to photography a wedding in Portland. The milestone was exciting, but it was my experience at the wedding that really reminded me why I began photographing weddings in the first place. Every single piece of this celebration - from the seating assignments using a photo of one or both of the brides with the assignee to the dozen toasts to the chorus of every guest singing the final ceremony song - was personal. The atmosphere of the entire day was one of thoughtfulness, of peace, of brilliant happiness (both for the couple and from them.)

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Travel Prints || Portland, Oregon Film Photography

In the span of my first three trips to Portland, I shot five rolls of film. On this past trip, I shot five rolls of film.

Street photography has become meditative for me. Since I’m shooting only for myself, it allows me space to try new things while developing my style, to continually train my eye to find the story. It’s also a time for me to “unwind,” to let everything else on my mind melt away for a couple hours while I focus solely on the sights around me.

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Cannon Beach Roadtrip: Making Friends as I Go

I talk about that a lot - not having a plan. That’s become rather important to me this year. I mean, obviously it’s useful to have some sort of game plan for a lot of things (I know several routes I’d like to explore in my business next, for example), but the key is to not get hung up on one objective, not fixate on one goal. So, when I organized the trip, all I said was that I wanted to go to the coast and I wanted to take photos, and that if we added in a winery visit I would not complain.

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Portland in November Days 1-3: A Little Bit of Everything

I finished up what turned out to be one of the best days I’d had in a good while with a delicious meal at Thai Peacock. Noodles are good in all circumstances, but perfectly cooked Pad Thai with crispy trout after a very long day of photography really hit the spot. As I took the bus back to the house, I reflected once again on what an amazing journey it’s been: from that first feeling that Portland was the place to start, to this day capturing the love of two people I would never have gotten to be friends with had I not taken the initial plunge. Sometimes things happen slower than you want them to, but now that I’m on the other side enjoying the fruits of all my hard work, I can see that every bit of it was worth it for a day like this.

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Travel Prints || New York City Film Photography

There is no "capturing" New York City. Just when you think you've photographed each juxtaposing facet - wealthy and destitute, historic and modern, stoic and vivacious - you realize you've only documented the city from one lens, one perspective, and it would take years to delve into each borough with each of its own microcosms of cultures. So, on my 2 trips to NYC earlier this year (where I stayed mostly in Brooklyn and Manhattan), I didn't set out to try to capture the heart of the city. Instead, I wanted to document my own experience of it. This meant not going out of my way for a photo, rather clicking the shutter just whenever I saw something I personally found interesting.

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Travel Prints || Portland Film Photos

Interestingly enough, while I've spent the most time out of any destination in Portland, Oregon I've shot the least amount of film there. This is probably because I'm always there to do portrait sessions, which I still shoot in digital. Nonetheless, each day as I'm walking to my meetings or shoots, I always have my Vivitar locked and loaded. Along the way, I've created some images I'm quite happy with, a very basic beginning in capturing the flavor of the city. 

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London Portrait Session || Meadow + Theo's Couples Portraits in the English Countryside

Next to eating anything and everything, my favorite thing to do while abroad is photograph with fun people, especially if beautiful fields of flowers are involved! When Erin and I were planning our trip to London, I ran through my list of people I knew there and, as it happened, one of my former couples, Meadow and Theo, were now living in Leicester! We were originally supposed to meet and ride up with them to the Peak District, but since Erin and I managed to get on the train going in the wrong direction, we didn't have quite the amount of time we'd originally planned. I'm already scheming to go up there next time, though!

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Travel Prints || Ireland Film Photos

I would be remiss in sharing my travel adventures if I didn't share my film photos, too. Especially because they're often my favorite travel images. I only started shooting 35mm while abroad for my trip to Ireland in December, although I did try on both my Paris and Scotland/Iceland trips in 2016 (but my film camera was in my suitcase that never made it for either trip!) When I brought some 7 or so rolls of film with me to Ireland, I was still a bit of a timid shooter because I didn't want to waste any film, so I wasn't quite sure I'd run through all of it. But, once I started clicking, I couldn't stop. 

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Portland in March Days 2-3: Museums, Meetings and the Best Tea Ever

As much as I love writing, particularly in entertainingly depicting my travels (and often misadventures), sometimes all I want to do is make photos. So, for this latest trip to Portland in March, that's exactly what I did. However, now that I've stayed put in Asheville for over a month and am itching to get back out on the road - or even better, the plane - I'm having to satiate my travel bug my reliving my pleasant week spent exploring more of the city I've fallen in love with. 

In particular, I keep daydreaming of the hour I spent enjoying tea by myself in the Chinese Gardens as the rained pattered off the tin roof, so to get myself back in the same headspace I'm writing this from Dobra Tea enjoying a pot of puer and tea cake. 

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