• Edith

    Edith

    Meet my friend, Edith. She is probably the most spirited individual I have ever met. She's got the best sense of humor, coupled with a thick Mexican accent, since she was raised partly in Tijuana. The first time I hung out with Edith, she took me to her friend's mother's piñata store in downtown San Diego, where she raided the baskets of candy and insisted we try the spicy, crunchy chains dipped in an even spicier sauce. Who else would go for the "spicy" in a candy store? Probably just Edith. 

    She then discovered/insisted I had never had a "real" taco, which she swore could only be bought in Mexico and on the street corner in her part of town. So, as a result, we went to the taco cart and proceeded to try "real" tacos. I ate chitlins (chitterlings: pig instestines) that day, something I had always managed to avoid while I was living in the South. To be honest, they weren't half bad.

    I ran into her yesterday, and she looked like she had just crashed a 90s party, so of course I insisted she let me take photos of her. She was not a fan of being photographed, but I think the photos ended up really capturing her sarcastic and feisty personality. Yeah, I said feisty... so what?

  • Divya & Anish + baby bump

    Divya & Anish + baby bump

    Take the cutest couple you have ever met, and think about that... Divya and Anish are THAT cute couple, times 10! Oh, and it's a boy in there in case you are wondering. But before you ask, they have not yet picked a name. I love mysteries. Well, most mysteries. Not like mystery meat or anything weird like that.

    ANYWAY...

    These two carried a magical vibe throughout their entire photo session in Balboa Park. Either they are just two really happy people, or I am just that ridiculous, because I feel like they never stopped laughing. Well, whatever the cause of the laughter, it made the photos AWE-some!

    I told you they smiled the whole time. =)

    Divya will be such an awesome mom. I have a sixth sense about these things.

    Ok, serious question: Why do pregnant people glow?

  • Kelley & Tony + Claire

    Kelley & Tony + Claire

    This baby! This family! I have NEVER met such a chill new mom and dad. Kelley and Tony were so patient and up for anything, and little Claire was so happy and full of smiles during our shoot at Sunset Cliffs. I really enjoyed this photo session, capturing Claire's one-year-old character.

    Also, they brought Props! Any photographer will tell you props make the shoot way smooth (like butter). Compliments to Kelley for all of her creative ideas. I am in LOVE with these images.

    This little girl LOVES sand. If I had to guess, I would say she ate a small amount during the shoot, along with a couple of flowers. She is eating a flower here. Flower Power!

    Tony is standing behind me in this shot singing to Claire to get her attention. I attempted to sing to her also. It turns out, he is a better singer than I am.

    Doesn't this scream Love?! And corn (those are corn stalks behind them), if you want to get all literal on me.

    After a few more shots on top of the cliffs, we drove to Ocean Beach for our last silhouette photo.

    A sweet family at sunset with surfers' silhouettes in the sea. I know, I know, I'm poetic.

  • Andrea & Monty + Jacob + Matthew + Alexess + Lucas

    Andrea & Monty + Jacob + Matthew + Alexess + Lucas

    It is my personal opinion that the BIGGER the family, the happier the family. My theory has been a pretty good one so far. Take this family of six, for example. Don't they look SO happy? It might be because that wave, just moments ago, sneak-attacked them, but who am I to say?

    These guys are from Idaho! I have not been there yet, but now I officially have a place to stay when I visit one day. Score!

    Above: These boys look way fierce, right?

    Below: Commencing fierce face melt. And, go.

    Four kids later, Monty and Andrea are still in love. Ah!

    He was hesistant to let me see his teeth. Then, he just dove in and big cheesed. I'm glad, because this is my favorite photo.

    And then, this happened. Melt my heart guys, geez.

    We decided to do the classic "jump shot" before we finished up. I have never seen anyone, much less six people, jump so high simultaneously. Mind blown.

    Seriously guys, big families are tough to photograph. Thanks for making it easy and fun.

  • 4th of July!

    4th of July!

    My favorite holiday. I did not really make plans for Independence Day. Instead, I people-watched, sun-bathed, grilled-out, and experimented with fireworks (night) photography. 

  • OB Pier

    OB Pier

    I have been frequenting different surf spots around San Diego. The OB Pier seems to be one of the most popular spots, so it is usually pretty crowded with wave-snatchers. Today, it was a great place to surf, but I wouldn't say it is one of the best surfing spots. Call me a snob.

  • Surf's Up?

    Surf's Up?

    Surfing is so fun!

    Yeah, so I don't know how to surf...yet. But, I took a few photos yesterday of some guys who do. They were competing in the Pi Beta Phi Surf Classic, which raises money for First Book, a literacy program. Right on!

  • Waves of Silhouettes

    Waves of Silhouettes

    How can a place be so beautiful? Living in San Diego so far has been a bit of an uphill battle (and that's a long story, and the story is not even really over, so I will blog about that in the future). But anyway, while I am having this uphill battle, the view is just great. It is breathtaking.

    I am amazed on the daily by how captivating this place is. My former favorite place to explore was Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, but now, after having spent some time in Windensea in La Jolla, I just cannot decide. Windensea is a somewhat secluded beach in San Diego with sandy spots for lying in the sun, but also with a rocky coastline. There are stairs built into the hills that lead you down to the giant rocks lining the Pacific. It is a great surf spot for the more advanced bros, and it is an awesome place to go when you are trying to ditch the San Diego beach crowd. 

    Yesterday, I took this shot with my iPhone of a bunch of teenage girls jumping into a dangerous spot next to where Rome and I were sunbathing. I took several images, and then I spotted these two little boys helping each other climb up some nearby structures.

    Not to toot my own horn, but this is one of the best photos I believe I have ever taken. 

  • “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

    ― Mark Twain
  • In a State of Awe

    In a State of Awe

    San Diego is amazing. It is beautiful, of course, but there is so much more to it. For starters, it is ripe with people. There is every kind of person. There is "Slowmo," a man who roller-skates in slow motion down the boardwalk everyday to the sound of classical music blasting from his Walkman. He used to be a neurologist, but he found that life to be empty, so now he is Slowmo.

    There is "Reverend" Guy, a friend of mine who got his minister license online so he could officiate a ceremony between two friends. The title "Reverend" just stuck, even though on any given day, you can find him frequenting strip clubs where "[he hangs] out on the back patio with the girls when they get bored with dancing." 

    There is Sage, the Jesus lover I met last Wednesday at the OB Farmer's Market. Sage literally giggles when he talks about how much Jesus loves him, and he is quick to tell everyone that Jesus loves them too by showing them the messages inscribed on his hands: one saying "Jesus" and on the other, "Loves You."

    The people I have become the most intrigued by, however, are the homeless. You can find a homeless person on every street. Some of them play the game well, like the people I spoke of in my last blog entry who hang out in coffee shops, but some of them you will find have given up. They are the ones sleeping in the middle of the sidewalks who have stopped showering, even though there are free outdoor beach showers all over San Diego. Those who are good at being homeless, you would never know are homeless. The travel light, and they don't just "panhandle" (beg). They offer up a trade or a craft. Some wash windows, others sell flowers. 

    This morning I met Jeff, who calls himself a homeless traveler. At his side was a small pile of flowers made out of palm tree branches. He said he learned how to make them from a crazy homeless guy he met in Joshua Tree. We talked a little about his life while he made flowers and bummed cigarettes from people walking by.

    He said he spend the majority of his adult life taking care of his father until he died a few years ago, and shortly after, his mother also died. He wanted to be a botanist then. Now, he is a homeless traveler, making just enough money to get to the next place. During our conversation, he pointed to the backpack sitting at his feet, with a blanket attached at the bottom and a yoga mat rolled up and buckled at its side, telling me how blessed he was that most everything he owns he got for free. He was reluctant to let me take a photo of him, but he obliged.