Truth be told, I haven’t seen Andrew regularly in a while. I first met him New Year’s Eve 2007 and we celebrated every New Year’s together with the same group of friends for years. Our friendship has spanned almost a decade now and in my mind’s eye, I had him frozen as the fun life of the party I used to see dance and sing at clubs.
During our portrait session, not only did I get to catch up with him, but also with the help of these shots, I realized how much he’s grown since I met him. He’s an ambitious professional thirty-something. I was awed by how much he’s changed and grown and pleased that I’ve been his friend this long. If you look closely, he’s still got that boyish charm and grin though.
It was around my 31st birthday when my mom first met Treavor. He had just driven down to Austin from Dallas to celebrate my birthday. He made me this video, which still makes me smile. He also sent me pink-tipped purple roses to work. He stayed the night with me and my parents drove into Austin that next day. He hung around so he could meet them. When mom saw the flowers he gifted me, she asked if he was single. I said that he was. She said, “I can’t wait to see who becomes his boyfriend. If this is how sweetly he treats you, can you imagine what kind of boyfriend he would be?”
I shared the same sentiment for a different reason. I couldn’t wait to see who Treavor’s partner would be because I wanted to see who could be his match. Who could meet him where he is, appreciate him wholly, and give him room to grow without feeling threatened or smothering him? Who will laugh with him and go on adventures with him? Who will inspire him to keep striving to be better versions of himself? It’s a tall order I want for all my friends.
When Treavor started to date Dan, he gushed and gushed. It was such a pleasure to witness how smitten with each other these two are from afar and through the lens of social media. When Treavor requested I have a couple’s portrait session with them, I was honored but also a little nervous. The first time I’d be meeting Treavor’s “Dansome”, I’d also be charged with trying to convey their affection for each other through photography.
Within the first moments of meeting Dan though, what little nerves I had dissipated. He is gentle. He is approachable. He is observant and thoughtful. He likes Asian food. He prefers savory foods over sweets. I mean, he might be my kindred spirit! Oh, and most importantly, he’s crazy about Treavor and Treavor is crazy about him.
If you’re in Austin or Houston and would like me to shoot you, email me! To see more of my work, you can check out my photography website.
Treavor and I met about 6 years ago when we both vlogged our lives every day for a month on Youtube. It tickles me to tell people we met on Youtube. Through the years, it’s been a pleasure to watch Treavor grow in all aspects of his life, but more specifically, watch him grow creatively. One of his favorite modes of creative expression is through words. He is currently pursuing his dream of publishing his first book, and he asked me to photograph him to mark this endeavor. I will always be a cheerleader for Treavor and his projects so I was honored to be part of his new exciting adventure.
We spent a whole day together and shot outside during relentless but light rain. I’m so glad I was the one behind the camera and not in front because I wilted under the humidity and moisture. While I wilted, Treavor seemed to bloom. It must be one of his super powers. I thought I’d share my favorite shots of him looking radiant and powerful despite the rain.
With Father’s Day around the corner, I thought it’s a good time to share a few shots from my first baby announcement photo shoot. I enjoyed working with Laura and Milan and appreciated their easy nature and sense of humor. I know their baby will be surrounded by love when he or she enters this crazy world.
This past weekend, I was given the honor of shooting not only my first engagement session, but to add even more pressure to the experience, photographing my good friend Julie. I adore her and Johnny so much and I wanted to do right by them. I recently delievered her photos to her and breathed a sigh of relief and happiness when she told me she loves them so much that she could cry. Here are some of my favorite shots!
Question: Tell me about the last scary challenge you took on.
This is one of my best friends, Nazanin. She moved to Miami almost three years ago and I’ve only visited her once before. She hosted not only me in her home this past weekend but also my parents. After just a brief weekend, they are ready to adopt her because she is so sweet and entertaining. Our weekend ended too soon and about 45 minutes before having to head to the airport, we realized we never made time to have the portrait session we’ve loosely planned. Luckily she lives in such a beautiful neighborhood that we were able to just pop outside!
I am striving to take more portraits. If you’re in the Austin or Houston area and are interested in having your photo taken by me, shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you! You can more of my work here.
I love all the common interests I have with my friends, but I also appreciate the differences. It’s the differences that challenge me and expand my horizons. I’ve mentioned last year that the Grand Canyon wasn’t high on my must see list but Ashley who is interested in seeing all the National Parks (multiple times even!) insisted we visit Grand Canyon last year. It was the first trip I took that wasn’t a metropolitan destination, my first hiking trip even. I loved it.
This year she made a compelling 10 point argument that we have to visit Zion National Park. I’m not sure why she went through the trouble of making a 10 point list as I’m certain all she had to do was say, “Hey! We’re going to Zion National Park this year!” and that would have sufficed. Ashley, Nicole, and I took a long weekend and hiked Zion, with Ashley as our experienced tour guide.
Nicole and I flew into LA on Friday and Ashley drove us across three state lines to Springdale, Utah just in time for a late night dinner, where weirdly, I had an exceptional meatloaf. Really. The next day we woke up after sleeping like logs and had a “late riser’s” breakfast before embarking on our hike to Angels Landing. Ashley once sent me a video of someone hiking Angels Landing. In that email sent last year, she said, “When we go to Zion, you might want to sit out Angels Landing.” That video did a better job conveying how amazing and awesome and scary the hike was than any of my photos. (Also, I was too busy holding on to safety chains to even try to capture the greatness.)
When we reached the top of Angels Landing, I knew that it was an important moment in my life. Ashley’s passion has become a little bit of mine. It also made me miss Sugarface. I texted him that night telling him I want to hike to awesome places with him.
The next day we hiked to Weeping Rock, Emerald Pool, and Hidden Canyon. We saw our first 360 degree rainbow at Emerald Pool, climbed a hanging sidewalk to get to Hidden Canyon, and let Weeping Rock weep on us. On the hike to Hidden Canyon, I was tired and hangry and when my hips got wedged in between two rocks, I fell apart in laughter that almost resulted in me peeing myself. Nicole asked me what was so funny. Through tears and laughter I said, “I’m stuck in between a rock and a hard place!”
On our fourth day together, we drove back to California, flanked by storms and ambushed by tumbleweeds. I didn’t know tumbleweeds were a real thing. Apparently you don’t want to drive through them as they get stuck under your car. We ended our last night together watching Pitch Perfect 2 and with late night conversation. The next morning we had breakfast and aggressively hugged each other at the airport.
I had already begun to miss these girls before I even got off the plane on the first day together. So you can imagine how much I miss them now. I’m both grateful and sad that we see each other once a year. I’m sad because it’s only once a year! Grateful because we make it happen despite living very separate lives in different corners of the country.
I was going through my old photos to post a Throw Back Thursday on my Instagram account when I found photos from last July when I was road tripping through the Carolinas by myself. I drove to Charleston, South Carolina specifically to visit Angel Oak. Standing at 65 feet tall and believed to be over 1,500 years old, Angel Oak is by far the most magical tree I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing in person.
If you are ever in the area or are like me and just want to be in the area, they are open 9-5 and charge no admission.
I love Houston. I love her food scene. I love her museums. A lot of my close friends live in Houston. I love the diversity of the population and I love the art! If you’re in Houston from now to February 22, I strongly recommend checking out the Bruce Munro Field of Light exhibit at Discovery Green. The field is illuminated between 3 to 11 pm. If you’re not in Houston on these dates, check out the link anyway as Bruce Munro has multiple traveling exhibits.
I had so much fun setting up a borrowed tripod and taking these shots. The one photo of me was taken by my photography coach and friend for life, Thomas L Chen. You can read more about this night from his perspective on his blog.
Last month I finally experienced something that has been on my life list since high school, and that is to visit Greece. MJ, Anita, and I spent over a week island hopping around Greece and my favorite island visited was Santorini. I always learn about myself when I travel to new places. In Greece, I learned I can plan a trip around beaches. I assumed I was someone who prefers the metropolitan and urban travel destinations. I thought I’d always pick the Lourve or the Met over sunbathing and reading in sand. The rush of navigating a subway system over wading into a deep blue sea. Greece, and more specifically, Santorini seduced me with its pink and orange sunsets and blue horizons.
Like my trip to the Grand Canyon in March, Greece taught me the beauty and luxury of slowing down. To let moments lap at you. We spent a lot of our time leisurely moving from beach to cafe with a beach view to another restaurant with an amazing view. The beautiful views were so abundant, it felt like an embarrassment of riches. I read four books on this trip and ate my weight in mussels and creamy carbonara. I also skinny-dipped for the first time and was exhilarated I crossed this off my list in the Aegean Sea instead of an apartment complex pool back at home.
I started 2014 in the wake of a break-up of a six-year relationship and since then have been on this journey of self-discovery and rediscovery. I’m so thankful Santorini and other islands of Greece were part of this year’s story.