Road Trip: Portland

The  moment we drove in to Portland we could tell it was different from any other. The streets were full of bike riders, dog walkers and skateboarders. We got off the highway to find a coffee shop. We picked a small place called The Red Square, which made it easy to find because it was a red square.

As we drove the streets of Portland, we laughed at how accurate the TV show Portlandia is. We parked the car and did some exploring.

When we had to leave after only spending a day in Portland, we couldn’t stop talking about it in Seattle. “Can’t wait until we go back home.” When we returned, we both took a deep breath of relief.

The first thing we did was walk around Old Town. We found a great comic store in China Town. It was a young boys dream.

When we walked around the block we discovered the Portland out door market. The whole city was outside doing something creative.

By the end of the day, we were all tired. It was time to look for a hotel. For some reason every room in the city was booked. We all looked at each other hoping one of us would have a solution. After spending hours calling around we finally found a room open at a fancy hotel, which meant lots of money. Sleep in the car or in a palace? Us California kids chose the palace.

The next morning we all agreed to go to a rose garden. As we walked around and relaxed in one of Portland’s beautiful garden we all felt refreshed.

When Monday finally came along, hotel rooms were open in abundance! Living out of a suit case isn’t easy but it never loses its excitement. (I’m sure it does at some point haha.) But you never know what kinda room you’re going to get. At the Shilo Inn, we got a retro room that we adored!

Our last and final day in Portland, we did a Portlandia tour. I found a site that named all the places the show  filmed at.

Oblique Coffee Roasters – This coffee shop was in the middle of the suburbs. We ordered the house coffee and enjoyed the morning paper.

In Other Words – This store was pretty exciting to visit. I was astonish that this place was real. I figured the show created it for the skit but when I looked in the window everything was exactly the same.  Video Clip

The last Portlandia location we went to is where they filmed the Pilot… which turned out to be a music video. We understood why, when you walk around Portland, you can’t help but sing how special it is.

We were finally understanding the city. Not everything is open during normal business hours, people make old houses in to coffee shops, you can’t buy a book but you can borrow one and weird is normal.

While we were out we came upon our own great Portland discoveries. Record stores!

The first thing we saw driving in to Portland were these space ship looking things going across the city. We spent all afternoon looking for it. Finally we found it at the Portland Hospital.

There was this book we found in the hotel room that explained that Portland is divided unto four parts. North-East, North-West, South-East, South-West. “Ohhh, now we get it!” We were finally understanding the city.

The last thing we did was hanging out at Powell’s Book Store. We must have been there for a few hours, there were floors and floors of books. I of course wanted to see if they had a Christian section, to my surprise they did with a lot of old vintage books.

After we walked around looking for an open coffee shop but no luck. I guess every one went home for the day. We went back to our car, left the city and said good bye to a place that felt like home.

Portland, I love you! 🙂

Road Trip: San Francisco

On our way to San Francisco I read off a sign with all the towns we were passing through. I remembered I had an aunt that lives near by. When I called her she was so excited, I couldn’t even get a word in. I introduced her to Gus and told her about our adventure camping. She fed us and let us get all cleaned up. It was a breath of fresh air to visit. I loved how happy she was to see us.
When we arrived in San Francisco we were ready to see the city. We drop our stuff at a hostel and went to go take some photos in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

After dinner we made our way to the Arcade Museum. It was fun to actually play with the vintage games. I was so excited when I saw they had a photo booth. Gus said they are a curse for couples but I reassured him my parents took a ton when they were young.

The next morning Gus woke up early (due to staying in a hostel.) He text me early in the morning and said, “I’m ready.” We were up so early nothing was open when we walked around town. We set out a quest to find china town. I had driven pass it many times but never bothered to walk the streets. Since he is in to marshal arts, this place was heaven for him. We ended up spending three hours shopping, and looking around.

When we were done I said, “My turn, lets go to hippie town.”

I finally got a t-shirt made that I’ve been talking about. “Go Indie.” It was a comment I made once on Facebook when a friend was complaining about how dumb movies are. We made our way down to Dolores Park to get a coffee. It was kinda strange to find so many people sitting at the park on a Wednesday morning, it seemed like no one had anything to do. We found the atmosphere to be relaxing.

3pm hit and it was time for the long 10 hour drive to the magical land of Portland and Seattle!!!

Road Trip: Yosemite

I remember flying to Canada, looking out the window and seeing the west coast light up with splendor. I got excited when I recognized the Golden Gate Bridge. I tried to guess where Portland was. It seemed like there was so much to see down there, and here I was flying over it.

I first mention a road trip to my boyfriend, only to get one of his honest answers, “You do know we will hate each other by the end of it.” I smiled as I knew this was his way of saying lets do it.

A few days before our schedule departure date, we began to make plans, which wasn’t easy. It turned out to be very confusing, “Which day are we sleeping in Seattle? Where do you want to stay in Portland? So we leave San Francisco in the morning? Do we really want to drive 10 hours straight?” We decided we would figure it out on the way. With only a blue print, we would let the trip unfold before us. It sounded nice at the moment…but more on that later.

Our first destination, camp at Yosemite National Park.

The ride was exciting, listening to all of our new music, talking about what we would do in each city. When we arrived to Yosemite, we stopped right away. I didn’t want to miss anything while driving to our camp site. The first thing I noticed was everything was green, the air was fresh and the world seemed so big.

What caught my eye was the way the sun was hitting the forest. The shadows seem to make the forest come to life. When we were out looking for fire wood, we saw a deer. I had never seen a wild animal. We made eye contact with the deer and all of us stood still for thirty seconds.

That night was one of the longest nights ever. We knew we couldn’t bring any camping gear since both of us would be flying out of Portland, so we figured we could sleep in the car. We had no idea how small that car really was. We put the back seat down thinking it would level out, but instead made two levels. Gus slept in the trunk and I on top of the back seat. Both of us would wake up in the middle of the night laughing at how squished we were. The car was so small, and the temperature was dropping every hour.

I woke up around 6am, got ready and walked around.

When Gus woke up we left to find a look out. What we found was heaven.

I tried to figure out how early explorers traveled through these mountains back in the days. I guess the old fashion way, hiking. Lucky for us there was a road leading straight to this look out. We left Yosemite knowing there was still so much to see. Up next, San Francisco.

Blog: Coffee and Great Company

One of my favorite things to do is drink coffee and have a great conversation. Sometimes I have one that is so inspiring I wish I would have recorded it for all to hear. We began to talk about the church and creativity. I shared that it was the Puritan church that shut down the theaters in London in the 16th century, stopping all future play writers and the possibility of more geniuses to develop. When I read this in the current book I am reading, I was disappointed, “It is the church that should be birthing the most creative art, music, movies and books.” I started to share how far along we have come.  Creativity has allowed people like me, who aren’t pastors to have a voice. How powerful that is and how much God wants to use that. As we got deeper in to the conversation I knew this is what Imagine, How Creativity Works was talking about. People meeting in coffee shops and talking about ideas, ideas that will lead to insight which can lead to solutions. Maybe it was the relaxing atmosphere or the great company that allowed this conversation to take place. Either way, it got me thinking about my place on the earth.

Photos: Capturing the Everydays

My favorite pictures to take are of my nephews. I love watching them play and interact with each other. They remind me of life’s greatest joy, having each other. When I arrived at my sister’s house I told David I was there to play and visit with him and Jacob (instead of using the babysitting term.) They welcomed me with open arms and allowed me in their world.

Its amazing when I think about the days when my sisters and I use to play together.  Time passes by so fast, if we don’t take the time to stop and notice, soon, the years would have passed by. Good thing for photos and video, they help us remember what we’ll probably forget. They capture the everydays.

Travel: Rediscovering San Francisco

I’ve always seen you as a busy city but over looked
the smiles that you gave me.
The woman who made my coffee,
The man who answered my question,
made me think of a poem,
“live up north once but move before it makes you too soft.”

As I walked your crowded streets
a man that had nothing to call his own
made eye contact with me and said
“You’re beautiful”.
Maybe he was crazy
or maybe just bold enough
to say what he was thinking.
Either way he made me smile.

Now as I sit waiting for my ferry I think about how I miss judged a place I thought I knew.
I didn’t think a large city like you
Would care for a stranger like me.
But I guess that’s why so people still
migrate to your green parks and call it home.

The last time I visited,
I thought I made new friend but instead lost one.
Two years later, My life is completely different.
What was safe and predictable is now
alive and fully aware of life’s greatest adventure:
love.

Thank you San Francisco for reminding me the beauty of kindness.

Filming for Catalyst

This week I was a camera person for a large Christian leadership conference called Catalyst. They gather best selling authors, creatives, business people, artist, musicians and well known pastors from large churches to talk about what makes a leader.

I am always blown away at the creativity at Catalyst. Everything to the stage, lighting, videos, and speakers all tie in together to carry one message, this year it was, “Be Present.” Which I really loved learning about. I’ve always challenge myself to, “Be all there.”

I really enjoyed hearing Tony Hawk talk about how he transition to a team when he started his own company. He talked about taking risk, over coming fear, doing what you love and the importance of who is apart of your team.

One of the last sessions had very successful TV producer, Charlie Parsons. He talk about his new series about stories from the Bible. He told us many people in his field told him not to do it, to stay out of religion. He decided to stand his ground and believed in this project. He gathered some of the best film makers in Hollywood and traveled to Morocco for filming.

The conference had so many things going on, every moment was filed with something creative, entertaining, inspiring, funny, and impacting. It was my job to run around with a 5D and capture it all. The production team had rented these beautiful lens. When I looked at the glass I could see how beautiful it was and the focus rings was so easy to roll. I shot with another shooter who actually has his own steady cam. We collaborated together and decided he would get the wides, and I would get the close-ups.

When the steady cam operator and I talked to each other,  I told him, “I feel like I’m not getting anything awesome.” He said he felt the same thing but added, “You know what it is, it’s because we are both editors, and we shoot to edit. We get the shot and move on. We aren’t have to continually film because we have become better shooters. Everything we are shooting is useable. Now it’s up to the editor to tie it all in.”

He was right. I use to have to shoot all day and then look for something to use but over the years I figured out what works and what doesn’t. Now I don’t bother filming for the sake of filming but instead I stop, look around, see something or someone, then shoot. I am no longer a random shooter but a strategic one. That feeling that I was looking for, of capturing something awesome, comes from shooting all day and then finally getting the one shot. Now that everything was useable I no longer got that one high of feeling proud but instead can leave with a job well done.

Next month I’ll be traveling with the team to Dallas. Glad I was asked back! 🙂

Travel: New York, New York

Back in 2010 I traveled to New York. I never shared the pictures or the journey until now.
Anytime you travel somewhere new, you have this idea painted out in your head of what it will be like. You gather all the stereotypes you’ve heard and develop an opinion about a place you’ve never stepping foot in.
The moment comes when you are finally there. Suddenly, the city becomes more than fancy buildings and entertainment venues. It becomes a place where real people call home. That is when travel starts to change you. Each day your opinion changes.

New York. What I didn’t expect was to enter in to a city that was very much a community. When I was on the subway, I was looking around at all the different cultures that were there. I then felt a woman looking at me, she was looking at what I was wearing, my hair, my eyes. I was the odd one! She was looking at how different I was. I suddenly became a part of the culture. I was a person in New York traveling on the subway awaiting my destination.

What I began to discover was a place where everyone seemed to be taking care of each other. It might sound strange, but New York was nice to me. When on lookers saw that my friend and I were lost they wouldn’t hesitate to help us. One girl even said, “This is my stop, I’ll take you to the place you are looking for.” We walked and talked with her and suddenly she felt like an old friend. She told us what brought her to New York and the dreams she holds.

The first place we went to was a record store. I am thankful for technology, but I still enjoy walking through a real music store. By the time I grew up and had money of my own, record stores no longer exists in my area. Buying old vinyls makes me feel like I have the only copy in the world!

Anabel and I arrived at Time Square. It was nearly 9pm and the night was just starting. There seemed to be a million things to do. Since I had my big camera with me, people smiled when I took pictures of them, which made me smile. Usually I get mean looks when I take pictures of people. I guess here in Time Square, it was okay to be a tourist.

When I got my portrait taken by a street artist, I asked if I could take a photo of him too. It was like exchanging  images. I showed him his photo, he smiled and said, “very nice.” When I received his drawing of me, the girl had long lashes and a different chin. I said, “This girl doesn’t look like me.” He answered like a man would, “I made you pretty.” I laughed and said, “Thank you for making me pretty.”

The next morning we went to see the Statue of Liberty. I began to place myself back in the late 1800’s when immigrants from all over the world came to America. The joy they must have felt when they saw Miss. Liberty for the first time. Freedom was awaiting them, a new life, hope, dreams and the possibilities of living a great life. It was surreal to see it myself.

When I looked at the sky line I figured out why New York was different than I thought. There were two towers that changed it. Changed everything. No one would have ever thought buildings would go away. This is why the city was taking care of each other, even ten years later.

I couldn’t help but imagine the streets covered in ashes, people running. What I saw on TV back in 2001 became real to me.

Construction of the One World Trade Center was still taking place. I could see the ground where the buildings once stood. I took a moment to believe what I was seeing.

I could feel the sorrow in the air but most of all hope. Things would never be the same but what was being built would bring some peace to some. The memorial center was more than just remembering 9/11, it was a place where we  could remember all the families that were directly effected by the tragedy.

That evening Anabel arranged for us to go see the Lion King on Broadway. I was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

The next day we slept in. One thing about New York is that it will take all your energy away if you let it. We decided to take it easy and walk around Central Park.

It was so relaxing to hang out with the butterflies and birds. We spent hours walking around the garden.

What makes Anabel great to travel with is that she is as spontaneous as me. We ran in to the zoo and decided to go see some New York animals.

I remember it being so hot that day. Everyone seemed to be looking for a way to cool off.

We walked around the city to grab lunch. There was still so much to see! Lucky we had a ticket for one of those tour buses who took us all over town.

We arrived at Soho. The place looked strangely familiar. I couldn’t help but think of Felicity, one of my favorite TV shows when I was in high school. There on the corner was Dean & Deluca, where Felicity worked while she was going to NYU. I loved watching her adventure in NY. Even though it was a fictional show, being here in her neighborhood made it feel real.

The last thing to do on our tourist list was visit the top of the Empire State building. I remember going through all the lines, elevators, stairs and said, “This isn’t very romantic.” haha.

Finally, our last day in New York came. We spent it once again in Central Park. After we had a nice picnic we ended up taking a long four hour nap. I guess this made us official New Yorkers or just homeless.

As we walked to a music venue I tried to take in the city and notice all its details. My world back home is so different from here.

We found Pianos, a cool music venue and enjoyed one of the local bands. There is so much to see in New York but I think the best part of traveling, are the discoveries.

Film: London and Paris

The first day of walking around with my large DSLR  in London I decided that I would capture the city in film instead. Who am I to compete with every great photo on line of these amazing cities. Call me lazy or call me smart. Either way, I hope film live pass my life time.

I took 3 rolls – 2 came out. Fortunately, all my Paris shots came out. I’ve been let down by film before, so with every film shot taken I did a digital copy.

Film is indeed a dying art. I love it for the magical flaws it seems to capture.

Two Days in Paris

An early flight and a million subways later Sam and I were in Paris. The jet lag and consent going finally got me down. I couldn’t help but want only sleep. I kept telling myself, “You’re in the most beautiful place in world, you can sleep later!”

First stop was Notre Damie

I was fascinated by how many people were in Paris. The place was packed with tourist and local city kids. I had never been in a non-English speaking country (other than Mexico) so I felt overwhelmed. I use to want to live in Paris but being here made me change my mind on that one. It made me feel so far away from home.

I continued to ignore the fact I was getting sick and pushed myself to go see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. The Louvre is probably the best art museum in the world. I felt bad for the other great paintings for walking so fast past them. My body was about to give out, I only had a hour or so before I threw up on someone. The sight of the Louver made me forget how I was feeling. It was so great and beautiful. I felt like I had traveled to another time in history.

The sight of the crowd in front of the Mona Lisa was more fascinating to me than the painting. Although I was taken by the color of the painting. So modern and beautiful. No reprint could capture the color of the Mona Lida.

When we came out of the museum it began to rain. It made me think of that line in, “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen about seeing Paris in the rain.

We went back to the hotel, I slept while Sam walked around the city.

In the morning I felt so much better. We woke up early to go see the Eiffel Tower. I wasn’t going to leave this place without seeing its main monument. When we came out, the crazy busy streets of Paris were empty.

We had Paris to our self. Each photo I took of the buildings looked fake to me. This place was real and I was in front of it.

And then there it was…

Call me selfish but it was nice to hang out by the tower with no other people around.

It was time for breakfast. The local shops were finally opening up. We found this cute little restaurant that overlooked the city and tower. It was a dream come true. The moment was so nice I couldn’t stop smiling.

We had a nice walk back to our hotel. It was time to head back to London. My two days in Paris was just a trailer to how amazing it really is.

My Week in London

A transformation happens when you open yourself to traveling. It can feel like time traveling in to a whole different world, and when you think about it, that is exactly what it is.

My friend who is living in London invited me for a week to see the city. He also planned a trip to Paris for us to enjoy. I find it amazing how a week somewhere different can impact transformation.

Day 1:

A nine hour flight couldn’t keep me down. The first day I landed I wanted to see the city. Sam picked me up from the airport and took me to Chelsea where we would be staying. He works at a five star hotel in the fancy part of town and was able to get us a room for a few days. He tells me The Beatles once stayed there.

I was excited to see what London was all about for my self. It was actually better than I imagined. The streets were full of people, the sun was peaking through the clouds and there was so much to see. We walked around the city streets and made our way to dinner. Sam wanted to give me a real English dinner – potato and meat – before we made our way to see, “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Day 2:

I had a list of things to do that I received from a good friend who use to live in London. Since her and I are similar in taste and style, I knew she would recommend me some fun things to do in the city. Sam and I made our way to Notting Hill for breakfast and to check out the out door markets. I was in heaven when I saw the amount of small tea houses. We found this cute little place called, Charlie’s that was hidden. It made me realized how lucky I was to enjoy a cup of tea in England, something I always dreamt of.

The Portabello Markets was an adventure of its own. I loved looking at how everyone was dressed. I kept melting at the site of an English child. When shopping, I tried not to let anyone hear me talk so they wouldn’t hear my American accent and charge me more for ideas. I had Sam ask for me so I could get some good deals. Sam bought me this amazing vintage camera but to this day we don’t know how to open it.

After shopping we stopped at Hammingbird Cafe for a cupcake. The smell of the cupcakes are so amazing I tried to take a photo to capture it, but it didn’t seem to work. 🙂

Since it was Sam’s Birthday I told him we should eat our cupcake at the Buckingham Palace. We walked through the Hyde Park and made our way to the Queen’s house. After he showed me the Westminster Cathedral where Prince William got married.

The best time to see London is at night. The city lights up with all its glory.

The best part of traveling is meeting new people and making new friends. At Sam’s Birthday dinner I was taken by everyone’s story and their friendliness. Everyone seemed to be away from their families and yet here at dinner a new one was created. I loved hearing their journey and learning what brought them to this amazing city. When I was talking to one of the girls she asked me what I do for a living, I said something that stuck with me the rest of the night, “I didn’t mean to become a contract editor, sometimes life’s accidents are part of God’s greatest plans.”

Day 3 & 4: Paris Trip 

Day 4: I love the fact I can travel anywhere in the world and visit my Hillsong family. Hillsong Church in London made me feel at home. It reminded me of all the amazing things God did in my life while I lived in Sydney. This trip was beginning to speak to into my life.

To never lose hope, never give up on your dream, you never know where they will take you.

After church a bunch of us walked to Chinatown for dinner. The cool thing is that everyone ordered food and shared it. The jokes filled the room and my laugh could be heard for miles.

Day 5:

Finally, a day to sleep in. We went back to where Sam lives, a few mile away from the city and rested. We grab a fast coffee and went to Camden Town – where the hipsters shop.

I couldn’t help but check out what everyone was wearing.

Suddenly I was more intrigued by the people than the buildings. They were far more interesting.

We made our way down to the fancy part of the city Jermyn Street and had high tea! It was great drinking our lovely drinks and talking about life, love and God. We encouraged one another and shared what God was doing in both of our lives. Sam and I went to Bible College together in 2006 and both studied TV and Media. We laughed and talked about how the next time we see each other both of us would probably be married with children.

As we made our way to meet up with another college friend, we stop by an alley full of great bookshops. When I saw my college friend Sarah, I was over joyed. I felt like we were in Sydney. I never got a chance to really hear her story because we were so busy with college life so it was great to sit down and finally get to know each other.

Day 6:

My last full day in London. We took it easy and visited the beautiful London Observatory. The large green lawn was so beautiful, taking a photo didn’t do it justice.You could see the full city from the top view. It was relaxing to watch the city stand still.

When we were waiting for the subway we were told that our train would be delay since someone was on the train tracks. I guess its a common thing for people to kill themselves by jumping in front of a train.

I couldn’t help but wonder who it was and why did they want to end it. This is such a great place to live, but I guess even in the greatest city in the world, we can feel lonely. We took a taxi instead.

At Soho there were record stores on every corner, cafe’s, and vintage stores. This city was made for me!

Day 7: Airport – Home.

I used every hour and minute to listen to see what this adventure was saying to me. Sam is working at a five star hotel, living in London, Sarah is working hard at her job and volunteering at church, the people I sat and talked with are in the middle of pursuing their dreams. It made me realized that no one has it all figured out. In this season of mine where I am taking a step of faith, traveling and spending time with people. I realized how blessed I am to do this.

While in the hotel we watched, “Dan in Real Life” and the ending line of the movie sum it up for me, “Don’t plan life, plan to be surprise.”

Music Performance: Cameron Ruffin

I did an interview with Cameron a few weeks ago and noticed he didn’t have many live performances on his youtube channel.  I emailed him and told him that we need to put a video together.
Here in San Bernardino, there are creative people but we lack a collective creative community. I enjoy seeing others going after their dreams and every so often we need a little bit of help to encourage us that we aren’t alone in the journey.
Now he has a video of him performing  a song he can share with others.

I also took a few photo.

Photos: David and Jacob

How boring life would be without these two boys in my life. My youngest nephew, Jacob turned a year old yesterday. To allow my sister to get ready for his party, David spent a night at our house. I somehow tricked him in to coming outside with me to do some photos. He decided he would give me a variety of expressions to choose from…which I loved.

David: 3 years old

Jacob: 1 year old

I can’t wait until Jacob learns to talk. I’m so curious to see what he will say. I can tell he is going to be the one observing everything. During his party he needed a nap but instead wanted to stay up to watch everyone.

A List of my Favorite Things

Favorite Song: Fade Into You – Mazzy Star

Guy Friend: Daniel, my neighborhood, 1990

Type of Drink: Chai Tea

Time of Day: Sunset

City: Sydney, Australia

Bookstore: The Devonport Vintage Bookshop, New Zealand

Coffee Shop: Bauhaus Books and Coffee, Pine Street, Seattle

Fav Lens: 85mm

Movie: Splender in the Grass

Fav Movie Scene: Classroom

All time Album: Parachutes – Coldplay 2000

Fav Non-Date: Ridding bikes at night in Newport, Ca

My favorite Aussie: Nick Khoo

Book: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Message: “Your rejection is your direction” by Paul Scanion

Fav Photo shoot set: Miranda

Fav. Pastors: Pastors Jim & Deborah Cobrae

Holiday: 4th of July  (United States Independence Day)

Fav music friend: Jonathon, 2009

Fav Cousin: Sonia, 1995

Fav Photo: My parents, 1976

Place to eat in LA: Molly’s Charbroiler,  Vine St. (Closed down), 2011

Holiday Trip: Puerto Rico, 2009

My favorite blog post: “Monday”

Soundtrack: Friday Night Lights Movie Soundtrack

T.V. Show: The Wonder Years

Best Friend: Veronica, 1999

Fav. Date: “New Years Bash”, 2011

Traveling Friend: Anabel, Empire State Building, 2010

Thrift Store: Redlands Thrift, Alabama St. Redlands, Ca

Conversation: Mark Larratt, “The appearances of happiness”  

Sister Trio: The Jimenez Girls

Time to go to church: Sunday evenings

Social Network: Twitter

Podcast: Back to Work

Favorite type of Journal: The Composition

Text message: Dad, “I forgot to tell you, I love you and you make me a proud dad, and I’m proud of all your achievements you made in your life. ” 9.08.11 9:48am

And those are a few of my favorite things.. 🙂

 

 

 

The Great Wall of LA

I recently heard about this wall of art in LA called “The Great Wall of LA.” Artist from the 70’s started painting images of events in history. I found it fascinating that most of the images are some of society’s “secretes” that no one really likes to talk about. As I looked at the paintings, I began to have questions about my background and those who were before me…and I guess that is its purpose. To pass on the history to the next generation.

Photos: Summer Camp

This weekend I went to summer camp.
As a photographer I am hired to be a spectator. I stand back, see a moment and document it. Little did I know what I was getting in to. One of my twitter friends asked if I would shoot Cottonwood’s youth camp. The last time I went to summer camp was when I was seventeen. I remember that week impacting my life dramatically. It was there, I made up my mind that I would serve God no matter what happened in my life. Since then my summer camp friends and I have chosen very different paths and I’ve become a busy adult.

This weekend I heard a new generation cry out to God.

There would be times when I would take a photo of a group of friends and think to myself, “They have no idea how beautiful they are.” The hope of life was seen in their eyes. You may think I’m being over dramatic but I haven’t hung around teenagers since I was one.

As I was in line for dinner I suddenly remembered my youth days. The hope, the dreams, the mystery, the excitement. I closed my eyes and took it in. I could hear young girls behind me talking about their day, laughing and joking with one another.

After I got my food I was suddenly in high school again, “Which table should I sit at?” I laughed to myself at this thought. I saw some of the young production guys (where I am always welcomed) and ate with them. We laughed and talked about video ideas.

My friend had arranged a special room for me.. or so I thought. I ended up sleeping in one of the cabins with some of the girls. They were up talking all night. haha.. I soon found myself at Summer Camp. I was eating, sleeping, getting dressed, and worshiping with these kids. My photos began to change.. and I was now apart of summer camp. No longer was I a spectator.

In the evening we had a worship service. I was snapping photos but then.. I couldn’t help but.. I turned on my video. The sound of young kids worshiping their Creator could be heard for miles..

At one point I put my camera down, closed my eyes and sang with them. The message that was preached talked about stop comparing ourselves with everyone. As a creative person, I do this all day. He said, “Walk the road God has graced you with.”

Anyone who goes to summer camp is never the same. God has their full attention and He never fails to speak in to their lives. I hope when they see these photos they are reminded what God did in their hearts..they would remember the prayers they prayed. Cottonwood’s youth is pretty awesome. It was great to be apart of the family for a few days. I know I came back impacted.

Photography Portfolio

When I started taking photos it was mainly of cities, strangers and things. I wasn’t sure what kind of photographer I wanted to be but I knew I enjoyed fashion and capturing real emotions.

When I bought my HD HSLR I began to ask friends if I could use them as models for practice. I was soon asked to do portraits. When putting all of my work together I found there were some common factors. You can see what I think is beautiful: innocents, real emotions, youth, and being unique.

I’ve learnt that being a good photography is about growing and honesty. Strive to understand your camera equipment, your subject and your own heart.

Here is my 2011 Photography Portfolio

Photo-Videos

People have appreciated photography from the day it was born. Video however, well, that’s a different story. You would think by now people would see how powerful video are. But lets face it, video has a bad rep. Home videos are shaky, youtube is full of awful clips that somehow get millions of views, and the common person just doesn’t know how to document life well. When it comes to everyday video, no one would really calls it beautiful. As a video editor and a photographer, I now mesh filming and photography together to create a new generation of what I call, photo-videos.

Over a period of time people might begin to feel disconnected to their photos, it could feel like a life time ago. But with photo-videos, there is something powerful when watching those moments come to life. It’s as if you get to live them again.

Jacob

I filmed my new-born one week old nephew and took a few photos. The photos came out great but to watch this clip and see how he is learning how to move his hands, not able to control his moment, laying their helpless, in need of care and 24 hours surveillance, is something a photo would have left out. And he lays there in perfect peace, with not a care in the world. When I watch this, I see a miracle of God.

 

Madison

My friend’s best friend’s family came from Scotland to visit California. Their little girl brought everyone so much joy. The photo I took of her shows how adorable she is but the video shows just how much she loves broccoli. Just a small detail in her life that one day her mom will say, “Remember when you used to love broccoli?” Now little Madison can see for herself.

 

Digital cameras are getting better and better. I recommend to not only snap photos with it, but also take some photo-videos. Ten years from now, you will look back at your footage and wish you would have recorded more. Life moments are so sweet they deserve to look good. So hold your camera steady and share the joy of life with the world.

Mr. Kite travels the World

She places her purse on top of  her suitcase and sticks her red kite in the front pocket. The 27 year old girl gets in to line to check in. As she stands there she wonders what the wind will be like across the earth. “Is that a kite?” an older man ask her. She smiles and says, “Yes, I fly it around the world.”

“Hi, I’m Monica, where are you from?” The tattoo guy smiled back at her and said, “Puerto Rico.” She imagined blue skies, palm tress and beautiful sun sets. “Wow, one day I’ll go visit you and fly a kite.” He looked at her strangely not knowing if she were serious. “Sure”, he said with a big smile.

Puerto Rico, 2009

Bondi Beach, Australia 2009

A white car drove up with her two house mates and guy friend packed ready to take her to the airport. The young girl knew it was time for her to go, although her heart was torn in to pieces. She hugged her friend good bye and told him, “I’ll be back soon.” He gave her a half smile and sent her off. She got inside the car and said hello to everyone. Each person inside the car had become such great friends. Inside, there was silent. What was there to say to each other, all of them had been though so much that year and a half. Her good friend Annette turn on her Michael Buble Cd, “I’m coming back home.” At this point in Monica’s life, she didn’t’ know where home was anymore. “Ill come back and visit, I love Australia.”

“Everything looks blurry” Angelene said with the vintage camera up to her face. “Do you wear glasses?” Monica asked.

“Yes.” They both laughed as Angelene went to put her glasses on. “Now its better,” she said.

Auckland, New Zealand 2009

“So, I’m coming down for a visit, will you hang out with me?” she asked her Australian friend. “I finally have some money, maybe I’ll go to New Zealand and fly Mr. Kite, that would be so cool.” She went on facebook to track down her New Zealand friend that she met in college. She read some of his post and got very excited, as he was returning home around the same time. She messaged him and asked if he was going to be in town. “Wow, I’ll get to visit your family and see what the real Sam is like.”

(Special guest: Sam)

San Francisco, Ca 2010

“Hey, wanna go to San Francisco this three day weekend?” She asked her co-worker.  “Sure, drive?” Christina asked as she checked her twitter on her phone. The question had to be answered fast before her co-worker was discouraged with this obstacle, “Mmm, Let me ask James, he has a good traveling car!”

Central Park, NY 2010

“Lets go to New York.” Anabel declared to the world!

It’s easier to believe that Mr. Kite can fly anywhere in the world than it is for me to believe in one of my dreams. I often think of the money that would be required…but not Mr. Kite. He just worries about the wind.

Its all about baby steps.. if you keep on working towards the goal, one day, you will get there.

Mr. Kite is a great witness to that truth.

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