In the spirit of celebrating strong women this International Women's Day, here are some photos that I took recently as part of Eastside Christian Church's Serve Day. I love how these women break the norms and exercise their God-given strengths and talents to make a difference in the community.
Every year, my friend Helena and I spend our birthdays together. We started this tradition when we were just starting high school when we were finally allowed by our parents to hang out without their parental supervision. Growing up, we were always excited that our birthdays are just five days apart. This year, we decided to spend the whole day in Venice Beach and just catch up on the good times.
It's funny when you go down memory lane with someone who has known you for so long. Having been best friends since sixth grade, we've seen each other go through each other's ups and downs, awkward and embarrassing phases, as well as major milestones. Here are some of my favorite photos of us from over the years...
Happy birthday, Helena!
Here's to another great year of friendship and memories.
Happy Friday, everyone!
This week, I had a great time filming my friend, Milo B. Strong, performing his new song, Lay Me Down. I love his sweet and delicate tones, and the lyrics are smart. Not to mention, we only had to do 1 take! Milo and I will be doing a couple more videos similar to this in the near future, but for now, have a listen and enjoy.
This is Neda, one of my closest friends who I met during my time at UCSD. I was fortunate to take her senior portraits at the end of the school year. She told me that she wanted her pictures to capture her time on campus. She didn't necessarily want to pose with all of the campus landmarks. This photo session was about her and the way she knew her school.
Neda majored in Studio Art, and she certainly has a way with colors and playing with medium. Our friendship started in Triton Television, a student film service/organization; we were just acquaintances there. Our real friendship started last summer when she needed a place to sleep for a night. She messaged me on Facebook and asked if she could crash on my couch, and of course, I said yes. When she came over, we hung out that evening and the next day in Solana Beach. The rest is history...
She has been there for me during the ups and downs, especially during this time of transition. When I felt too bogged down with life earlier this year, she helped me get out of my funk. She told me, "Just make something. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just do it; I know it's in you." I love how she faces her challenges with art straight on. When it comes to painting a canvas--whether an actual canvas, a rock or a human--she is bold and passionate. It shows in her work.
One thing that I learned from Neda is to be brave and just express myself without worry or insecurity. Art is about process, not just the final product.
Check out Neda's artwork here and her video work here.
In college, I made many acquaintances, some professional connections, and a handful of friends. Some, I'm still in touch with. Others, we've gone our separate ways. Maddy has become one of my nearest and dearest friends. We met on the first day of college when we were both moving into our apartments on campus; we walked to get our photos taken for our student ID cards. We've been through plenty of ups and downs together from walking down to the beach to late night study sessions to the really difficult times where we need a shoulder to cry on. We may have different interests, but we've been able to remain close friends despite our differences and quirks.
It was an honor to take her senior portraits at none other than Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Maddy is a very talented dancer, and I can't wait to see her perform at Disney one day. The spirit of Disney brings her so much joy. It is delightful to see, and I'm thankful to have witnessed it when taking her portraits.
As the saying goes... Dreams do come true. I hope you never give up on your dream, Maddy. Congrats on all of your hard work, and thank you for your friendship.
Everyone has a bucket list. It might not be super formal, but everyone has a list of things that they want to do or accomplish. In July 2014, I was able to check something off my bucket list. I did a photoshoot in the sky.
I met Kyle stage managing a theatre project called The Car Plays: San Diego at La Jolla Playhouse. He was one of the actors, and we quickly became friends... we both have a serious love for chocolate chip cookies. Anywho, Kyle is also a pilot. He invited me to join him for a day trip to Temecula. Of course, I couldn't pass up this offer. We met up at the McClellan-Palomar Airport. He showed me all the gizmos and gadgets of the plane, both inside and outside. The plane was small, but it was a beauty. This was the first time that I sat at the front of a plane. He put a headset on me and explained that we'd only be able to hear each of talking if we had these on. Boy, was he right. It's so loud once the propellors start going. We headed towards the runway and off we went. Up, up, up into the sky!
Thanks, Kyle (aka Cookie Buddy), for the fun adventure. It's surely one that I'll never forget.
This is Esmé. She is a sweet girl, whom I had the great opportunity to baby-sit. After eating her turkey sandwich, she spotted a small pile of branches that had fallen off one of the large pine trees near us. She quickly ran over to pick them up and immediately saw them to be elephants. She ran back over saying, "This is the mama elephant and the baby elephant. He has friends too, like me, Esmé." She then ran a few feet and dove into a world of her own. As she played with her elephant friends, I was snapping away. She realized that I wasn't engaging in her world of elephants, gazelles, and hippos but documenting the moment. She turned her head to me and said, "Please put down that thing and be an elephant. My friends don't like your camera." So, I did.
In the week leading up to baby-sitting, I was going through a rough patch. I was bogged down on what I needed to accomplish in my new "adult life." My to-do list seemed to be endless. It was refreshing to revisit a world where there are no cares but to make yourself happy with a creative mind... and maybe a few elephants. Thank you, Esmé, for reminding me to be young, curious, and imaginative again.
My thoughts, writings, and experiments. Big or small. They're here.