I drove from Santa Cruz, California all the way to Portland, Oregon for this night. Shooting right besides my favorite photographer, Anni Graham, hearing both of our cameras echo each others, as we are moved to tears by the EPIC surprise (scroll down to find out) was a dream come true. A "pinch me" moment. A reminder of why my passion lies in photography.
Valentina and Ozzie also have a love that seeps out of these photographs, enabling us to capture some real magic.
Shane and Delaney. These two radiate love. They are both creative, innovative, quirky and genuine. They are the type to buy a U-Haul and renovated it into a tiny home. Which they absolutely did. Oh, and they are also the most beautiful humans.
I loved spending sunset with them and seeing their personalities explode out of the camera. Their love is so infectious, just see for yourself.
Izabelly and I had been eager to work together. We set a date, had a plan, but it feel through because we were expecting some rain.
The sun decided to come out in the afternoon, and we quickly confirmed that the shoot was back on. With no particular location in mind, we pulled over on the side of the road to find this beautiful field.
We ended the night along the water, shooting until the night crept in.
My grandmother, Marian Clayden, designed the next garments featured in these photographs.
Behind the scenes with Kumara Kelley.
Upon the first few minutes of meeting each other, we pretty much knew we would never split. Here we are, two years later and so proud of the life that we have created together.
Time flies when you're having fun, and that's just about all we do. Our relationship is full of faith, positivity, intention, adventure and lots of room to be creative.
I don't let a day slip by without thanking God for this guy, all of the opportunities placed in our lives and the healthy relationship that we have.
Time to celebrate!
Pictures from our little road trip up north.
Stumbling upon a deserted beach, staying at the Costanoa lodge and finding joy in the simplest things, such as instant oatmeal.
Here's to the next two!
Tis' the season for family portraits! But do you really ever need an occasion?
Featured: The Ducker family in Santa Cruz, and the Mcintosh Family on Mt. Diablo.
Ah, these two. I mean, three.
I love knowing that the little boy inside of Devin's belly will grow up seeing these pictures, witnessing his parents love for each other, and the eagerness and excitement they have for his birth! It was such a joy to watch the connection between all of them. Enjoy.
These two cracked me up and made my heart melt. I was hanging back, letting them have fun, barely instructing them on what to do. Their love is so infectious, and these pictures are evidence of just that.
Congratulations on the engagement!
Young love, the ocean, golden hour. A perfect trio.
Had SUCH a blast shooting these two. I was swooning over the pictures before I even saw them.
If you want your personal love story captured, you don't need an occasion. I would love to work with you!
It was an evening full of creative beings doing what they love most. Seeing everything come together and knowing how many people it took was something else! Please enjoy.
Coordinators: Sami Tkel, Ellie Harvey, & Lexi Fujii with Wilder Events Co.
Floral Design: Rebekah Velasco
Calligraphy: Nina Sandelin with Sandelin Designs
Handmade Paper: Rag Papeterie
Vintage Decor, Tableware, and Flatware: Katybird Shop
Wedding Ring: Pavé Fine Jewelry
Hair & Make-up: Kat Price
Handcrafted Skulls & Antlers: Ouroboros Designs
Hanging Planters: Norwegian Wood
Models: Alex & Rebekah
BEHIND THE SCENES
WILDER EVENTS CO.
I had never done a real road trip. The one where you pull over to take pictures along the way, have a destination in mind but aren't too worried about getting there on time and the one where you sleep in the back of the car. Jp and I planned this trip very spontaneously, leaving it to the last minute to find camping spots and map out route. I've learned that that's the best way to travel.
We left from Danville, CA and our first destination was Crater Lake, OR.
Most people know that Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. But I had no idea that it is a collapsed volcano that erupted 7,700 years ago. I underestimated it's size, because it was HUGE. There is no beach, or place to dip your feet in. The edges of the lake shoot right into the deep water, which was a dramatic and eerie sight.
When evening came, the smoke from the forest fires creeped over the mountain, leaving us with a beautiful pink haze in the sky.
We took my 2 month old Honda Fit. I know why they call it a Honda Fit. We were able to fit so much crap in that car. We were even able to fold down the seats, fit a mattress topper and slept comfortably. Put about 2,000 miles on her right off the bat.
The next morning we headed to Portland. Stopped along the way and found the dreamiest forest ever. We didn't last long exploring because the smoke was too dense, as you can probably see. At least we got these pictures, that will never cease to amaze me.
We made it to Portland, where I ate a very skeptical vegan burger (it was that good), passed a sign that said Gluten Free Marijuanna and saw more guys with beards and glasses than I have ever seen in my life. That evening we saw the Fleet Foxes at a pretty intimate outdoor venue. We planned the trip around seeing them and they exceeded our expectations. We absolutely played them the whole drive home that night, which ended up being a Walmart parking lot.
JP googled places that you can park your car overnight, and the first result was Walmart. We thought we were pretty clever heading over there to spend the night, but it looked like everyone else had the same idea. It was seriously a giant parking lot sleepover. Who would've guessed that we'd have our best night of sleep there.
I will forever cherish this photo. I mean, come on.
The next day we headed to the COAST! Jp and I can't stay away for long. The ocean is definitely our happy place, although my ultimate happy place sounds a bit like this...
"Hi, I'd like an order of the ocean with a side of fog, some impressive rocks, jagged cliffs and a forest feel, please."
We were sad to eventually head South, which meant we were on our way home. I thought I would never love anywhere more than California, but in three short days Oregon became extremely close. Eager to get back up there and keep exploring soon.
Hopefully, by next time, we will have more Spotify playlists downloaded.
A rickety, old cabin sits on the edge of Bass Lake. This house, built by my ancestors, has housed our family for generations.
We try to get up there 2+ times a year. Sometimes my mom and I will go by ourselves, but usually we have the whole family (or more). This weekend JP and I got to trek up there with the dogs, hopefully the first of many!
September is a quiet, peaceful time to go. Summer is over so there is no traffic, yet the warm weather lingers on.
We were looking forward to going taking the rowboat out at sunset, but soon realized that there were no oars. Luckily we fished some kayaking paddles out of the shed (JP was extremely optimistic). We took the rowboat out at sunset. It really was as romantic as it sounds.
Once the sun finally sank behind the mountain we decided to call it a night.
If you know JP you know that he keeps you on your toes.
Right when we got inside of the cabin, he ripped his clothes off faster than you can say "We didn't bring any towels!!!!", ran outside, down the beach, onto the dock and jumped into the lake. I rolled my eyes, knowing that I had to do the same, and tried to keep up with him. It's true, we didn't have any towels...
If the neighbors were home, they would've had quite the show.
Woke up early to catch the sun rise and plopped down on my mat.
When I closed my eyes I could feel the heat of the sun on my sleepy face, gently waking me up. The only sound was coming from the birds in the treetops and I could feel the waves underneath the dock, almost soft enough to miss.
"Why am I so lucky? Why should I deserve all of this goodness?" are common thoughts that come up when I slow down and reflect.
The answer is never clear, but the only thing I can actively do is express my gratitude and praise God. To be aware of my good fortune and realize that there are so many opportunities I need to take because other people can't. To not take anything for granted. To soak up the moments, because we don't know what tomorrow will bring.
To constantly be thankful.
Exhausted from laughter and the sun, to say the least.
With an overflowing heart and a safe trip home, I can definitely say it was one for the books. I mean, blog.
Women's circle facilitator, healing arts wellness coach and body worker, Joanna Burrows hosts a women's circle every full moon in Santa Cruz. A place to decompress, connect with female energy and be your authentic self.
She invited me to capture some sacred moments and attend this months ceremony. The holiday weekend resulted in a more intimate number of people. It was such a treat watching her in her element, being apart of this circle and gifting her these special moments.
If you are interested in attending and or being added to the mailing list, please email her email@example.com
I travel every year, venturing to far away places. The average time I spend on a plane is 9+ hours. There is definitely a layover or two along the way.
This past summer I traveled all around Europe with my best friend and loyal travel partner, Hailey. England, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal were our stops. Staying in hostels, trying to navigate on a couple hours of sleep. living off of baguettes and craving baths sums up the trip beautifully. Oh, and I always come home broke as heck.
We were in Italy three years ago when a man said something I will never forget.
"We're all just building our life portfolios, right?"
He explained that it's important to immerse yourself in different cultures, explore your outer boundaries, take chances and rake in these experiences that fundamentally build your "life portfolio".
This may be the exact reason why I travel every. single. year. I gotta have the best portfolio ever!!! Right..?
I recently realized (seriously four weeks ago) that I can work on my life portfolio right where I am. There is no need to venture across the globe. Of course, you may experience more "firsts" when you're far from home, but that doesn't take away from the potential of your current life, right where you are.
I may have an advantage here, and I don' t mean to brag, but I think I reside in the best place on the planet. Yes, I have a lot more exploring to do and places to see, but as far as I know, nothing beats the California coast. So why the heck do I keep leaving the country looking for beauty, bliss and adventure when it's in my own backyard?
So here it is, my first of many weekends exploring my own home (and how many minutes it takes me to get to these places from my couch).