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  • A bunch of photo sessions all in one

    I haven't been blogging often enough, but it's just because I have been so busy taking and editing photos. I thought I would show off a handful of good ones from some recent shoots. So here are a few!

    As you can see, I have met some beautiful, fun people in the last few weeks! I'll try to be better at blogging so you can see more!

    P.S. Four images up--the family in the field--I found the BEST location for fall photos! That is tough to find in San Diego! Go me! Whoo! I love fall. Pumpkins. Crunchy leaves. Mustard yellows. The smell of bonfires. Oh my gosh, don't get me started. Let me know if you want to schedule a shoot that looks like autumn! I've got you covered.

  • Erin & Kate

    Erin & Kate

    Coffee does amazing things: It makes you smarter (It's true-look it up). It burns fat. It makes monsters turn into humans. And, apparently, it is quite the match-maker (it's true-look it up).

    Coffee is one of those things I couldn't live without, and I'm sure Erin and Kate would agree. Afterall, coffee is what brought these two together. They met at Starbucks.

    So cute, right? 

    Now, they are planning their wedding! We spent the afternoon exploring coffee shops and parks to celebrate the engagement.

    Congratulations Erin and Kate! I hope you're serving Starbucks at the wedding!

  • Salvation Mountain

    Lately, I have been SO busy with photo sessions and Starbucks shifts (Yep, I'm also a barista. Would you like room for cream? ), that I decided a day trip was in order. There's no use in letting my brain explode, right?

    My lovely partner, Rome, and I set out early in the morning to a place I have always wanted to go, Salvation Mountain and Slab City. 

    Salvation Mountain was everything I thought it would be. It would have been great to meet the guy who made it all, Leonard Knight, but sadly, he passed away earlier this year. 

    This guy used a LOT of paint. I was pretty mesmerized by his efforts to promote the love of Jesus. Regardless of what anyone believes, and whether you agree with his religion or not, you have got to have a certain type of respect for someone who has that much passion. 

    After Salvation Mountain, we made our way up the road to Slab City, and by accident we happened upon East Jesus. It is kind of the same as Slab City, in that they are neighboring communities both made out of "slabs," and both places are dripping with artistic creations and political statements, but as the lady who gave us a brief tour explained, they are very different places. Either way, they both have the same concept: They are experimental communities, striving to live off the grid. 

    If you want to know more about Slab City, click here

    If you want to know more about East Jesus, click here

    We had one more planned place to stop- an abandoned town called Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea. If the Salton Sea sounds familiar, it's probably because it is. It has been the inspiration for movies, documentaries, and even a Michael Jackson music video. It is a sea that happened by accident, due to an engineering mistake by the California Development Company in 1905. With its increasing salinity, however, it kills almost every species living in it, and it smells AWFUL. Dead things everywhere. We were gagging the whole time we snapped photos and explored the ruins. 

    We hit up a couple more photo opportunistic spots on the way home, and we made it back by 9:30pm--not too bad for a day full of adventures, if you ask me.  

    *All photos taken with the iPhone 5c. *Photos of me taken by Rome.

  • Mara & Mike

    Mara & Mike

    The level of love this couple has for each other quite possibly surpassed any amount of love I have ever seen between two people. Of course, I don't really believe you can measure love, so that was my attempt to put into words the feeling I got every time Mara and Mike looked at each other. 

    I am going to cut the mushiness short though, since no one likes a sap. Let me tell you about what happened at this photo session instead. 

    First of all, it should be noted that our location, Sunset Cliffs, is where Mike proposed to Mara. I would tell you the story, but that would make me get all sappy again.

    So, anyway, we decided to hike to the spot where he proposed. I always try to shoot close to sunset, in case you haven't noticed, so we started to run out of time on our way there. I mean, the sun got LOW really FAST. We were close enough when we decided, ok, let's do this

    Leave it to me to ask a pregnant lady to walk down a steep incline. Mara, being awesome, did not hesitate, of course. Then she fell on her butt about, oh, half way down the hill, until she slammed into Mike and nearly took him out. I was the jerk at the bottom of the hill taking photos and laughing. What is wrong with me? 

    Don't worry--no one was hurt. In fact, there was a lot of laughing afterwards, so I'm off the hook... I think.

    Then, quickly after the two-person-slide, without missing a beat, we ran out of sunlight, but miraculously, the photos, lit by the sun's afterglow, turned out quite nicely. 

    Mission accomplished.

    You guys are going to be amazing parents. I have no doubts whatsoever.

  • Atavia & Latisha

    When it comes to business, I prefer to communicate via email or text messaging. I get to see the conversation, rather than just saying or hearing something over the phone and forgetting what was said right away. (Blame it on my generation.) So, consequently, sometimes it is tough to tell what type of personality I am going to be working with during photo sessions.

    When I got Atavia's text, however, I knew in an instant I was going to be working with someone who was laid back and cool. She wrote me, "Good morning Sydney like Australia." Boom, I knew she was awesome. I was right. 

    On their one year anniversary, I met Atavia and Latisha at one of my favorite coffee shops in Hillcrest, (insert advertising plug for Filter Coffee) where the setting was perfect for our first photo. 

    Typically, I take pictures at the beach, but the beach is getting old. I was hoping they wanted to try something different. Something urban. They did. Score. I think this was my best photo session ever. 

    I am convinced all you have to do for good photos is be in love...

    ...which they are.

    During our session, we were taking all of these urban images, and they were working really well with Atavia and Latisha's style. Then, we come across a random pile of hay. Yes please!

    Shout out to the guy at Rich's who helped us move the barrel! Thank you!

    After we got our feel for Hillcrest, we drove over to one of my favorite spots in San Diego, where the views are killer.

    Have you ever taken a photo and been so so proud of it? When you look at it, you think, "Wow, I took that." That's what this photo does to me. We probably tried four or five attempts before we got this shot. Perfect!

    Ladies, it was a privilege to work with you both. Thank you again for the wonderful memories. Can't wait to see you again!

  • Theresa & Steve

    Theresa & Steve

    Sometimes I get a chance to photograph some really gorgeous people, like these two: Theresa and Steve. My gosh, what a perfect, flawless couple. 

    Not only were they extremely beautiful, but they were also really nice. You know what I mean? Not boring "nice," but just very genuine. They are the type of people that could be rude or entitled because they are beautiful, in love, successful, happy, etc.; but instead, they are real, charming, and inviting. I felt at ease the whole time I was with these two (or should I say three?).

    That is saying a lot, considering after about 12 minutes of photographing them, I discovered Theresa used to be a runway model. Oh my gosh, are you serious?

    *I didn't airbrush these. She really is that stunning.*

    So of course, after that, all I could think about was how she must be used to lights and makeup and tons of cameras in her face, and here I am with my one camera and natural lighting. Howww intimidating. 

    Despite this intimidation, I tried to not let it show, and it took about another 12 minutes before I decided they were not comparing me to anyone or judging me. They just were making a memory, and I was the one lucky enough to be there to document it. Congratulations you both on your first-born. I can't wait to know the name!

  • Jake & Mike

    My last photo shoot was one of the best ever, like Top 3, without a doubt. Within the first two minutes of meeting Jake and Mike, I was being poured a glass of red wine. I mean, best clients ever? For sure. 

    Here is Jake:

    Here is Mike:

    Jake contacted me a few weeks ago about getting headshots done. He asked me what he should wear, suggested a suit, then quickly said, "Well, that wouldn't be me." Jake and Mike just moved to San Diego from San Francisco, and right now Jake is looking for a different kind of job, something that suits him better.

    At the beginning of the session, I was trying to photograph him in the traditional way you would shoot someone's headshots. I quickly learned, though, that he just wanted to be silly, because that is who he his and that's the kind of job he wants. See next two photos:

     The photos above were Jake's idea. They're my favorites. 

    Jake and Mike are engaged. They said they needed some practice taking photos together before the wedding, and I kinda see why... They are SO ridiculous, which was REALLY entertaining.

    We ended the shoot on the beach, just as the sun set. They finally stopped being ninjas and let me take a couple of engagement-worthy photos. You guys will do just fine on your wedding day. That photographer won't have a problem. Promise. ;-)

    You guys are awesome. Congratulations on your engagement, and may San Diego be a wonderful home for you both. Oh, and good luck on the job hunt!

  • Gina & Adam + Rout + Kezzie

    Gina contacted me recently and asked me to take photos of her, her boyfriend and their two dogs. Sometimes I am skeptical of bringing pets to a photo shoot, because you never know what they are going to do, and a lot of pets are not so well-behaved. But, I was really impressed by how awesome these puppies were! Rout and Kezzie were both named by Adam after some members of a couple of heavy rock bands he follows. Boys are funny, but I mean, those are great dog names, right?

    Anyway, what a great photo session! All four of these guys were really mellow and up for anything. 

    I asked them to place their beloved pets upon their shoulders and walk to the edge of a cliff, and they were like, "Sweet, no problem."

    I said, "Hey guys, this would be really cool to climb down." They were like, "No problem."

    I asked them to jump off of things. After a lot of laughter, I got a "No problem!"

    Gina and Adam, thanks for not looking at me like I was out of my mind when I asked you to do crazy things like a rocker stance at the top of a hill. HA!

    If you are wondering just why Gina is standing this way, it's because she's wearing her friend's band's T-shirt, and she wanted a few photos in it to show her groupiness. If that is not a word, it is now. Oh! And Gina, I checked out your friend's band (Pleasure Fix). Girls rocking out with loud instruments? AWE-some!

    Seriously guys, this was one of my favorite photo sessions of all time. Thank you for being so flexible and awesome. When you finally get engaged, you know who to call. *hint hint!

  • Marissa & Leota + Casey + Even

    And the cutest family award goes to..... these guys. Ok, ok, I think a lot of families are cute. So what? I can do what I want; this is my blog. Anyway, this is Marissa & Leota and their twin boys, Casey and Even. These moms have been together for seven years. 

    Obviously, they all like to skateboard. "A family that skates together, stays together," I always say...starting just now. 

    Anyway, more photos:

    They were all in San Diego on an annual vacation, by the way... all the way from Las Vegas. 

    The boys are both five and not very shy. I thought about stealing Casey, but since Marissa is a cop, I thought it would be better to leave him alone. I've never been arrested before, but I imagine it would happen if I decided to kidnap.

    Ladies, it was my pleasure taking your family photos. I wish your family prosperity and happiness. Thanks for putting up with my crazy ideas and letting me interupt the last day of your vacation.

  • 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?