This past weekend my family and I took a trip to Yosemite, where there was much less snow than we were expecting. We had perfect weather on Saturday and did about 6 miles of hiking, and then it was raining all day on Sunday, which is when we went to Hetch Hetchy and got soaked. I love shooting in dreary weather, and I think seeing wisps of fog lingering in the crevices of canyon walls is one of the most beautiful sights.
Sometimes my personal work gets buried beneath everything else that piles up on my list of things to do. I'll get home really excited about the photos, edit and post a few, and then forget about them as I work on other items. I don't think every shoot is meant to be well-planned with intentions of sharing with the world; it's okay if it sinks into my external hard drive to be discovered years later. This shoot is an example of something that was almost forgotten, but luckily I pulled it out of the depths of my filing system and brought it to life. Here it is, five months later: Padraic + me + the ginkgo tree.
Bay Area Photographer | Mt. Tamalpais Photoshoot
Kelsey and I found each other on Instagram and knew we had to shoot! We decided to go to Mt. Tamalpais and stopped along the way by these Acacia trees. We then drove up the mountain along the winding road past waterfalls & redwoods until a scene of rolling green hills opened up before us. I can definitely understand why they film car commercials here! The mood of the shoot fluctuates between warm and bright to dark and moody, which, although a bit disjointed, is how I like things to be.
I made this quick, one-photo editing tutorial video to demonstrate how I intentionally use harsh light for visual interest and how I handle that in post-production. This shoot took place in the Presidio of San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon around 3:30pm. Once again, if you have any questions that you'd like me to answer in a Q&A video, leave them in the comments! More photos from this series here.
Due to the overwhelming response I received after posting photos from this shoot, I thought I'd post a video showing how I edited a few favorites! One thing I'd like to note about this session: it's proof that you don't need to have jaw-dropping locations to create stunning photos. This shoot took place entirely in a generic box apartment in Dublin, California, where there happen to be some cool trees with interesting leaves and some nice window light. Work with what you've got!
I'm so amazed at the feedback I've seen on my YouTube videos and would like to start posting more often - if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll answer them in a Q&A video. Thanks for watching!
Vintage Senior Portraits | Western Railway Museum, Suisun City, California
Had a great time hanging out with this girl - a senior in high school with awesome vintage style! Also, I highly recommend going to this museum. All the volunteers are very knowledgeable and kind, and it's a really cool atmosphere. You can take a train ride out 5 miles through windmills and open land - not the kind of thing you see everyday!
This was one of those shoots where I pretty much forgot about the fact that I was holding a camera taking photos. Pam, my former boss, and her daughter Casey are the kinds of people that cause me to throw away descriptive words over and over because they can't really be put into words. Vibrant, hilarious, bad-ass, smile-inducing...that just scrapes the surface. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
When Sara of Barnaby Jack Vintage contacted me about doing a lookbook shoot, I was so excited. The style of all her pieces was so in line with my own aesthetic taste, and we quickly learned that we had similar ideas for the entire vibe of the shoot. It came together quickly and flawlessly. Andie, our model for the first part of the shoot, did a wonderful job. (For part II of the shoot, click here.) You can see the photos up on her site! www.shopbarnabyjack.com
Hannah and I have known each other since we were two. Our backyards are connected by a wooden gate. We grew up making (embarrassing) short films together and eating terrible homegrown oranges under a miniature Japanese maple. When we weren't pretending we were cats, we would fight over her cat Pumpkin, whom I desperately wanted to cat-nap as my own. Some Saturdays we'd sit on top of a hill by the water treatment plant eating Indian food and honey sticks from the farmers' market. She taught me most of the swear words I know, and has been in front of my camera from the very beginning. Given this background, you can see why it's a pretty special thing to shoot someone like this. Add in a thrifted wedding dress and some amazing locations - it doesn't get better!
Tucked away in the Santa Cruz mountains is a magical fish pond that sits in a quiet pocket of redwood forest. I hope that, in looking at these photos, you can feel the cool trickle of the stream that fills the spring box, smell the forest floor & crumpled bay leaves, and hear nothing but the gentle flow of water.
Vintage Slip: Pretty Penny Clothing
Gold Feather Clips: Willow & Quinn
Hair & make-up by me ;)
A fun fashion shoot with a dear friend...enjoy!
Yesterday, Padraic and I checked out a spot I've been meaning to explore for a while: the Spring Box Trail in Santa Cruz. It runs adjacent to the UCSC campus and rambles in and out of redwood forest and open trails surrounded by oak trees. I don't know what the history is behind these spring boxes, but rumor is that locals set koi and goldfish free in these concrete boxes, and the fish some how manage to avoid getting eaten by raccoons. There are also lime kilns from the 1850s nearby! Needless to say, I left with inspiration for another photoshoot. :)
Palo Alto, California photographer | Arastradero Preserve | September 13, 2015
Sometimes I'm disappointed when the sun doesn't show its face for a shoot, but in this case, the cloud/smoke cover diffused the light beautifully, making shooting at any angle possible. Kimberly and Minta worked so hard to make this shoot come together - thanks, ladies!
Model: Minta Hsu // HMUA: Kimberly MacPhee // Flowers: Simply Stunning Events
Oakland Fashion Photographer | Field Day Wearables
"field day is a small indie clothing label born in 2005 out of Oakland, California. Trinity, the creator of field day, designs flattering, versatile, long-lasting, and completely conscious ready-to-wear line inspired by classic silhouettes that flatter the figure. field day utilizes the most sustainable materials available such as reclaimed vintage bed sheets that have been dyed in small batches to organic cotton grown and milled in California." I excerpted this bit from her website because I wanted to make sure you all knew how wonderful the story behind these designs is!
I had the opportunity to work with Trinity in getting some photos for a lookbook of her fall collection. It was so fun working with all these ladies - enjoy the photos, and be sure to go buy yourself something! (I know I will.) :)
Big thanks to models Mali, Nea, Emily, & Jaclyn!
Campbell, California Photographer | Sunflower Mini-Sessions | Summer 2015
Santa Barbara, CA | UCSB Class of 2015 | Senior Portraits
Christina took my last slot for senior photos, and I'm so glad she did! She is super sweet and is on her way to being a dentist! (Or possibly further specializations!)
Santa Barbara, CA | UCSB + UCLA Class of 2015 | Senior Portraits
These girls woke up early to catch some morning fog. For being so early, they all had such great energy that I think shines through in these shots. Thanks again, ladies! I had a great time working with you.
Santa Barbara | UCSB Class of 2015 | Senior Portraits
Kaylee was so great to work with. Originally from a dense, urban area in China, she wanted something more city-esque, which is always fun! We went downtown to the Funk Zone for some grittier shots, but not before we stopped at a great bookstore on the way. I love the color, shapes, and energy in these shots, not to mention her contagious smile! Thanks again, Kaylee, and congratulations on graduating!