Day dreaming

One of my favorite things to do in grade school was to day dream. I enjoyed looking out the window, hearing the kids playing outside, while I made up movies in my head. I would usually get interrupted by the teacher before I could make it to the end of the plot.

As an eight year old girl, I was brainstorming screenplays, there was no budget to consider or any other limitations.

One of my favorite directors and filmmakers is Wes Anderson. I know he’s a popular director with a cult following, but for me he has always had this way of capturing how a child would see and understand the world. Each frame is full of color, interesting details, and camera movement to envy. I recently came across Wes Anderson’s book at the bookstore about how he developed and made his films. It’s full of beautiful behind the scene photos and interviews. It’s an expensive book so I keep going back to revisit and read it. His films have always had an effect on me that it’s possible to make a movie in my own style, he makes it look fun, creative and visually interesting. For the first time in years, I day dreamt a movie in my head. I am allowing myself to play movies directed by me in my head again. I thought of one today that I figured, why not write. As we get older the motivation to do anything is money, but when we were kids our motivation was fun.

Creating a story, drawing the thumbnails, day dreaming.. I don’t need a budget to do that, just pen and paper and a really good idea to play out.

The Biggest Lie I Ever Told Myself

6325072032_c7a8baf6c6_oThe biggest lie I ever told myself was when I was in the third grade. I began to do poorly on test. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t smart like the other kids. I figured they were born with knowing the answers. I remember telling myself at that young age, “I’m not smart.” My third grade teacher told my mom that I probably had trouble hearing. Because I believed the lie I told myself, I didn’t blame my ear, I blamed my brain.


I believed it all though out high school. I always made sure to do all my homework because I knew I wouldn’t do good on my test. I would just make a passing grade. I even made sure to be a good student so my teachers would feel sorry for me and pass me.

It’s when I started to read more, that I saw I was getting better at remembering things and communicating my thoughts with others. Reading books grew my confidence and knowledge. I realized as an adult, I was smart, I just needed to work out my muscle inside my head, my brain!

Now I see, if I want to learn something new, I need to go out, read about it, discuss it, research it, seek it, to prove the lie wrong.

May Film Live On

So for the past month, I’ve been doing this independent thing. I do a few photoshoots here and there and with free time I go outside and play.

I was in disparate need to shoot film. I hadn’t done it in a while. My friend Hector and I went across the field by his house to take some photos. When we were walking I couldn’t help but feel peaceful. I told him the feeling of being outside at the end of the day reminded me of my childhood. “When I was a little girl I played with the neighbor boy in his grandpa’s junk yard, this kinda feels like this. ” I told him to stand still so I can take some pictures, but as any boy, he kept moving. haha.

There is something pure about film, it capture the purity of life.

Dating my Camera

I read an interesting blog post encouraging photographers to take their camera out on a date. You can read the post here. I love this question in the post:

Be a photographer because it’s what I love, or be a photographer to make money at what I love?

She answers with this line:

I’d rather “date” my camera. I’m enjoying the romance way too much to turn it into a commitment that will have me working for what I love, rather than loving my work. Photography makes me happy.

After reading the post, I knew a date with my camera is what I needed.

This photo is of Briana and her boyfriend Mario. The first frame I took was without them knowing and the second one I asked them to pose and kiss for me but then said “nah that’s not going to work” and then SNAP, I captured a real laugh.

I had to talk my nephew in to coming outside and playing with me. He loves my mom and wanted to stay inside with her. I finally got him outside and just let him play. I love how he found so much joy in playing with this fly swatter.

These two photos that I took in Big Bear worked really well together. I love the color of film!

I don’t have very many photos of me, so it was fun to get in front of the camera myself. My camera actually does double exposures. The woman on the right above my head is my mom.

My date with my film camera was fun. I’m excited to go on more.

Going back in Time

Today I went back in time. To a place I haven’t visited since I was eight years old.

I came home today and asked where my parents were going. They told me an old pastor friend died and tonight was his funeral. From my memory this man had always been old. He was my friend’s grandfather. The thought of him passing never crossed my mind though. He was a person who always was. He was a pastor from the church my family used to go to in the 90’s. I had my childhood at this place, and it was where I learned about God.

When I step in to the building I began to recognize the decorations. The cross that hug in the middle of the altar with a purple robe around it. The banners declaring, “He is the King of Kings.” Even the pulpit that I used to draw over and over as a child in church. The room was full of chatter, everyone who had ever called that church home was there. My fellow classmates where now grown adults with small children hanging on them.

My parents and I said our condolences to the family and made our way to the back to find a seat. As we passed rows and rows of people, I began to recognize faces I hadn’t seen since I was a child. Some people looked the same and others had aged dramatically. As service started, they began to singing old christian songs I hadn’t heard since I was a small kid. They had no graphics for the words but then again they had sung these songs for twenty years, even I knew all the songs by heart.

The pastor’s granddaughter and I used to play “church” when we were little girls.  We would wear my mom’s dresses and sing all the church songs. There was this one time when my friend’s grandfather preached and said, “It’s time we stop playing church.” We looked at each other and said, “Oh no, we can’t play church anymore!” I laugh now, knowing that he meant to no longer pretend to be a christian. haha..

Since this funeral was on their normal church service, they took up an offering. Their tithing envelope was exactly the same. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I even told my dad, “Look!” He then said, “Theirs the 10%”, and pointed to the cut out pieces of the coin. Here was my dad, teaching me the principal of tithing, as if I were once again eight years old looking at the picture. I asked for an envelope so I could keep it as a memento.

Oh what memories a funeral can bring back. How amazing one’s life can impact a crowd.

Today, I went back in time and visited my childhood church family. It was great seeing everyone again. I wish we were all still together.  But life happens, and everyone’s journey changes through time. Even though today everyone there said good bye to a great pastor, I really said my goodbye when I was eight. For me, that was the last time I saw him.

Even though we don’t know when someone is going to die, the same could be said about not knowing when someone we love might exit our lives forever. I find both are painful.

Here is a great song to leave you with: Autumn Leaves


Playing Outside

Since my nephew has been living with us I’ve been using him as my model. In the photos I take of him it might look like he takes directions great but really I’m chasing him around the yard hoping to capture that one awesome shot.

Playing Outside, originally uploaded by Monica Briano.

Childhood is an amazing time in life. Everything is so new and exciting. I ran around my backyard with my nephew today and snapped some photos. For those moments playing with him I had no worries or thoughts about the future. It was pure happiness.

Playing Outside
David playing outside

I know when he grows up, he is going to hate these photos of himself in his cute little underwear.

Baby Face
Baby face

I believe every parents needs to learn how to work an SLR camera.

Baby boy
Baby boy

Tom's shoes
Tom's shoes

He loves his Thomas shoes.