Monthly Archives: July 2009

photograph ideology | inspiration

If you’re anything like me you have about 84 blogs in your RSS feeder. Besides all the fun shopping ones, I have photographers ranging from newborns to news coverage to newlyweds. I’ve never found myself to be a person narrowed down to one element in life. It’s hard enough for me to choose between restaurants, the color of my hair and what to wear for the day, but to lock down my photography to one area or type is difficult. I know there are experts out there that will call me naive or foolish, but I guess that’s part of my learning curve. Maybe one day I’ll look back on all this and “call me crazy” (which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary).  There are those who preach that narrowing your focus or specialty is important to refining your talent and being clear with your clients. I totally see this point. But, my initial obsession with photography began with the the desire to capture a moment in time or the beauty of a person’s soul while telling a story of their life.  To me this applies to all aspects of image capture, from weddings, to birth, to the daily perspective of a child, to my own family, to the beauty in a small tiny flower. It’s my connection with the subject that is (if you must put a name on it), my “style”. My relationship with my client comes across in the images my camera happens to freeze during the moment. While I am mostly a child & budding wedding photographer, I have a longing to travel the world and create social awareness for humanitarian causes as well.

The point of all this is to say, I think I really love photography. Well, I should revise and say I love photography. I love how powerful the medium is in conveying a story. Whether it is a story of love or famine or birth or death, it is a window into the souls of others. A medium that brings awareness to all and levels the playing field of life to reveal the humanity within all people, within in all places of this earth and within all belief and economic systems. It allows people to be seen as human beings. I know that I may excel in one particular area, but overall I love to take inspiration from everywhere, not just other people’s wedding photos (although I do stalk about 56 wedding blogs. i am guilty.)

One of my all time favorite photographers once said:

I don’t believe a person has a style. What people have is a way of photographing what is inside them. What is there comes out.” – Sebastiao Salgado

Here are a few photos that have had a huge impact on me. They are NOT my photographs (I wish they were):


by brett walker

salgado_giants_2Salgado, “Genesis” Project, yet to be released

picture-3Ira Lippke

picture-1Ira Lippke

salgadoSebastiao Salgado

salgado_1Sebastiao Salgado

211Henri Cartier-Bresson

nachtweyJames Nachtwey


Michael Norwood

3349351006_d5593e3e67_oThe Parsons

3342086991_1e1ecfd10b_oThe Parsons

3348512971_0c45d4a90c_oThe Parsons

And Because they don’t all have to be heavy hearted (even though I see joy in some of the above):

3296243038_4c9404f8e7_oThe Parsons


Saw this yesterday. Pretty much shows how photographs can tell a story, together:

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love of a country

My mom is an immigrant, obviously making my grandma an immigrant. As much as they cherish their native country and miss their family, they made a sacrifice by leaving being behind loved ones and familiarity.  They made their way to the United States with a dream. To many foreigners, the United States is considered the land of great opportunity, financial growth, political and social freedoms, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, diversity of lifestyle and peace. A prosperous and forgiving place of opportunity.

Now whether you’re Christian, Agnostic, Muslim or Jewish; capitalist or socialist, conservative or moderate, we live in a country that theoretically tolerates. We are fortunate that roadside bombs aren’t a daily way of life. We are fortunate to be able to love who we choose and wake up in the morning to a plethora of options. Many people have fought and sacrificed for today.

So celebrate those who have helped us get here today. Make a choice from your many options and enjoy the freedom of decision making. It’s fine if you decide to eat 4 hot dogs and 2 hamburgers and chips and dip and more chips and more dip and veggies (w/dip) – can you tell i like dip (the cheapy green onion powder dip with sour cream) – and then some strawberry shortcake. But, remember that we are fortunate because we just happen to be born at a certain time in a certain place in this big world that we all share. Don’t get me wrong, life in other countries is not all bad, we have our positives and negatives, as does everywhere. I’m just choosing to celebrate how fortunate I feel for my life and my freedoms.

Who doesn’t like peace and sparklers


and the steve and jen montage. one of us is camera shy and one of us well, is a lil bit of a camera hoard.


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a fine bottle of blogging

While at trader’s joes, I thought to myself should I buy 1 white and 2 red, but I already have about 28 of the red at home. Maybe I should buy 3 white, no red. But really what does it matter. I’m the only one that drinks it. And, by drinking it, I mean 1/2 bottle over 7 days. So I thought to myself, why do I hoard the bottles.

In the past, when we would head out to a party, Steve could be known to casually mentioned, “grab a bottle of wine for the party”.  “What?!?! (I would often casually blurted out). You want me to bring a bottle of the wine I’ve been saving for an incredible special spectacular phenomenal day. It’s just a regular party. There’s no way. Let’s go buy a bottle.”  Cut to a cabinet of lonely full bottles, never to be ‘wasted’.

Then when Steve was hospitalized, I met a young man whose mother was battling cancer. This woman’s journey was like acclimating to Mount Everest’s peak in one day . Breathing, not breathing, frostbite, clean scans, surgeries, you name it. The young man and I talked about life, cancer, love, children and of high importance, wine. As I was beginning my climb of mount cancer, he was already past the acclimation point. He had learned how to breathe at the higher altitudes, but this education was not without a price. There were many moments of low oxygen and fears of not surviving. Many moments of turning around and descending.  Of course, I immediately thought he’ll know the way. He can be my sherpa. But, I soon learned that each journey is different. Some people train their whole lives with altitude adjustments, while others live on flat ground (happily and rightfully so). Regardless of the path, there is an underlying theme. When I asked him for his ‘theme’, his big words of encouragement, his method for surviving under blizzard conditions, I thought I would hear an amazing quote similar to the words JFK, Martin Luther King or Ghandi.  But, what I got was, “I never save that bottle of wine for ‘one day’ important”.

“Never save for one day important.”

Hum. At first, I though, “That goes against everything I’ve trained for in my life.”  You have to save everything. Backups of paper towels, soap, toothpaste. Lists to organize every little task (don’t assume I’m throwing away my lists or backups). Withholding things til the moment is perfect. But when the moment flipped to the polar opposite of perfect, I realized that nothing is perfect. And, nothing is predictable. In any second, everything can change. I know we all hear this and it lingers in the back of our minds, but it’s something we never truly understand until it is clear that those anticipated moments can be stripped away in a second. His simple words had so much meaning to them.

So, I don’t want this blog to only be about cancer and illness (or really about drinking wine). No one wants to hear a constant stream of sadness and descent.  This is to be about the climb. The milestones of reaching base camp one, acclimating and enjoying the ease of breathing, then off to tackling another part of the climb. I realized that I have been holding on to my blogs for an important event. Something interpreted as seemingly profound by society or my perception of what others deem blogworthy. But really, everyday is important and sometimes the mundane triggers a familiarity within another. Or the air is thin and someone needs to share your oxygen. There is something so to cherish in the everyday. Something important in the calm and ordinary.

So from now on I promise to barrage you with nonsense, self deprecation and fun things i find at the grocery store. Sounds exciting, right?!?!

Because this is a photography blog and a blog about living, here’s a picture from my new precious lil 3gs iPhone. In an attempt to live the day and not stare at our computers, we ventured to the Getty today. Steve got the big camera and I happily snapped away with my new lil toy…


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