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backyard wedding

My 22nd Birthday // San Gregorio, CA

My 22nd Birthday // San Gregorio, CA

Wow! I made it to 22.

I know most of you are reading this and yeah, I know I'm still pretty young, but I've been on earth for almost a quarter of a century, so give me a break!

Like every year my birthday always is smack dab in the middle of finals and the Christmas chaos. So instead of trying to fit a hangout during our busy schedules, we decided to postpone my birthday celebration for January 2nd (a couple days ago). 

Such a relaxing evening. We pet goats, tossed the frisbee around, played some Avalon, had some good talks. It doesn't sound like a whole lot, but it was just nice to get a break before delving back into school/work.

We met some new people (Mindy & Rob, our hosts), while we were staying here and they are the coolest. Just moved out here from Idaho and have recently decided to open up their gorgeous farm getaway to the public.

Definitely will be heading back here.

Enjoy!

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So we pretty much stayed in the dreamiest bedroom/loft ever.

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Mindy suggested we check out the yoga area on this hill. Often times they will go out there during sunrise. 

Needless, to say we enjoyed ourselves a lot, haha.

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We loved hanging out with the goats. Honestly one of my favorite parts of the day.

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On the opposite side of the property there is a vacated farmhouse. Mindy said it dates back to the 1800's. The inside was cool and ominous. Last people to have lived there left about two months ago. Excited to see what they do with it.

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It took way too much time to figure out where we wanted to eat, per usual.

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Somehow I didn't take any photos with my big boy camera that night, but I got some nice Polaroids of the shenanigans.

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The morning after.

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Peace out!

(Link to their place: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21748756?location=san%20gregorio&s=TzIbJ1P3)

Best of 2017

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Best of 2017

Well, class of 2017, we made it...oh wait, nevermind. 

Okay, so going into this year I had just quit my job at Walgreen's and decided that I was going to pursue photography as a full-time gig. I had already spent so much time shooting with other photographers, studying how they worked and slowly started developing my own technique and figuring out what I wanted my style to look like.

The second couple you see in this slideshow are my friend's Ashley and Derek, and they let me take them out to Half Moon Bay for a quick session on New Year's Day. I was so determined to get better at posing couples and learning how to communicate with them amidst a session that I just took a bunch of my friend's out until I figured out what worked and what didn't. Since then I've photographed so many couples and met so many incredible, unique people that it just overwhelms me with joy to think about how blessed I've been this year. 

My goal for next year is to really hone in on my product and set realistic expectations for myself. I cannot say "no" most of the time and I volunteer to do everything and after awhile it just burns me out. It doesn't do me or my clients any good because then I lose track of why I enjoy photography. In writing this I feel a little hypocritical because I just enrolled for another full load at school, I booked a handful of flights, and I am almost to my goal for weddings for next year. All of this is awesome! I seriously cannot wait for what 2018 will bring, but I also want to spend more time with my family, hangout with friends, do shoots for fun, appreciate the outdoors, go to all the cool places I get to go to, but for leisure and not because I need to "work." I hope that makes sense? I need to practice balance and being honest with myself about what I will be able to handle. 

I guess now is as good a time to shout out the AMAZING community of photographers that there are, not only in the valley, but INTERNATIONALLY. I have received so much support from amazing people who just happen to be photographers. Photography like any other art form has been an incredible way to connect with so many people. I don't know what I would be doing without the help of other photographers that have been so generous to offer me any kind of advice that they have to offer. Shout out to you if you're one of those photographers reading this. You da real MVP.

Lastly, I am so thankful to God. It's been incredible to see how he's delivered me from such brokenness and rough patches of life. He's also shown me so much within this past year about myself, others, life... you always picture how you feel like your life will go, but can never truly know what's in store for you. It's been a real test sometimes... and I feel like on some level we all are kind of concerned about the future and it can suck. But throughout my life I have always been able to rely on the fact that God knows it all and that I can rely on his endless amount of love and grace. Can't rely on people, can't even rely on myself, just God's love. There's my schtick. I didn't mean to go on a tangent, but this has been something that I have found myself thinking about a lot this year, so it just seemed fitting that it would be in this post.

With myself, I really think that I would like to work on being more patient. This can apply to SO MANY THINGS. Patient in life, patient with my family when I'm stressed out, patient when Amazon doesn't get my package in before the weekend. I would also just like to take it easy. My brain feels fried from constantly pushing myself to do more and the thing is that, with this business, you can ALWAYS do more. The possibilities are endless. I'm just hoping that this whole photography thing and my life will become a lot more cohesive and hopefully work in tandem rather than constantly conflicting against one another. We'll see, ya know. There's no tellin' what this year will bring, but in finishing this post I can genuinely say I am SO SO SO excited to experience it all. Bye for now, folks!

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Taylor + Mehgan // San Francisco, CA

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Taylor + Mehgan // San Francisco, CA

As a photographer, it is always weird being in front of the camera, and I know this time wasn't any different for Mehgan when I took her and her fiance's engagement photos. Luckily, her and Taylor are actually secret models and have been keeping it hush hush their whole lives (kidding). But seriously, I can't imagine having more fun with a couple than I did during this session. I remember we stepped out of our cars by the beach and it was very misty and windy, which might be nice and pleasant given any other circumstance, but not when your client just got her hair done. LOL. Anyway, we trudged to the other side of the beach, the tide came in, soaked our shoes, I might have fallen backwards onto a rock, and meanwhile we're also being slapped in the face by this wind that just won't quit. Very enjoyable.

But with knowing all that, I still am blown away by how much beautiful emotion can be felt through their photos. How they did it, I don't know, but you just get all the warm feels after looking through their gallery. 

I'm not saying I've already planned this (okay, I have), but I might just have to fly over to Louisiana, photograph them in a swamp, and then we can go to Cane's afterward and gorge ourselves with chicken fingers and Texas toast. Random? Yes. Good plan? I think so. 

Anyway, it was truly a lovely session. And to top it off they treated me to the most delicious bacon mac and cheese that I have ever eaten (somehow it always comes back to food). They told me that they usually share it, but I knew the the moment they set that pan in front of me that the only people I would be sharing it with would be with y'all that are reading this blog post right now.

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Christian + Cathy // Brooklyn, NY

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Christian + Cathy // Brooklyn, NY

I had the honor of photographing this sweet couple while I was staying in Brooklyn, New York. Cathy is actually from California, but moved out to New York a few years ago for school. Then one day as she was riding the subway she met Christian. Pretty cool, right? Another cool thing is that they both happen to be photographers. You can find them photographing weddings all over NYC throughout the year. Check out their work at www.cinderandco.com.

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Brandy + Toby

Brandy + Toby

I am actually not sure when I first met Toby.

Toby has always been "around," ever since I started going to school with his son in third grade. So yeah, you could say it's been awhile!

Whenever he asked me to photograph his wedding, I was so flattered because, as some of you probably already know, Toby is THE camera guy at the school his son and I attended. He was there when our class went to Washington D.C., when we graduated 8th grade, and during any drama production or sporting event. So for him to ask me to do this for him was a huge honor.