August Photo Diary 2017

After spending May, June, and July having awesome adventures in Asia, coming back home to America was a bit… well, I don’t want to say a let-down, because I missed my family and friends, but I definitely had some post-travel blues.

But! August was still a fun and exciting month, and I took my camera with me everywhere, as is par for the course. I got to see my niece and nephews quite a bit, which was great  because I missed them so much while I was gone and I totally got some bonus-points for bringing them back souvenirs. I’m the cool aunt, guys!

We had a lot of fun showing off on the trampoline and checking out an aquarium at the mall.

For the past like, four years, my best friend Kaiden has been an assistant at a summer art camp. Every summer I express interest in also being an assistant, and this year I finally took the plunge! Working with kids every weekday for three weeks was exhausting but super rewarding, and I already miss it.

I took some pictures at the camp, excluding the children of course because privacy and all of that, and I really like the photos. Because they are absent of children but have elements in them that show children were once clearly there is kind of eerie. And I love eerie.

One of the many delightful things about working at a children’s art camp was not only seeing kids be creative, silly, and even adorable, but working with my best friend was AWESOME. The camp was situated in a large park with winding nature trails, so sometimes after the kids went home, Kaiden and I would walk around and enjoy the wildlife. I already miss it.

The first part of August was spent working with creative kids, but once the end of August rolled ’round, I went on yet another trip. This time I went to St. Louis to meet up with the usual suspects to camp and see the Solar Eclipse. We met up and spent the night in a mini-van in a Walmart parking lot (as you do,) and explored the city of St. Louis for an afternoon.

After we explored St. Louis, we took our van and made the trip to Carbondale, where we would see the Eclipse in Totality. Totality is the area where the moon completely covers the sun and therefore safe to take your viewing glasses off for that brief window of time. We ended up at Giant City State Park, where we camped out on a blanket and took awful amazing selfies while we waited for the Big Event.

After waiting a few hours, it started happening. I took photos on my phone and with my 35mm film camera, but of course none of them did it justice. I also had to be careful, because I couldn’t very well look into my view finder, as it would damage my retinas. So, here, have some really bad photos taken by me, a professional photographer with a master’s degree and everything.

Also, the snapchat filters were LIT.

I didn’t get any good photos of the event, because honestly I was so under prepared for this trip after spending so many months abroad. There will be another one in 2023 that I will definitely be ready for, and will have decent equipment and training/education/research in astro-photography.

The bright side was that I was able to focus on what was happening. I’ve read many times that when we take pictures of an event, we are more likely to forget the genuine memory of it, and instead we have memories of a photograph. This kind of phenomenon is once-removed from the event itself, and man, for something like a solar eclipse in Totality? I wanted to remember it.

And it was seriously one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Just thinking about it makes me emotional, because there we were, surrounded by strangers, watching the moon block the sun, which are both hundreds-of-thousands and millions-of miles away from us, cheering when we were able to take our glasses off and the world went dark and quiet. It was gorgeous and rare and I’ll always hold it dear in my heart.

Did you get to see the solar eclipse? What was it like for you?

Happy Shooting!

Photo Diary Update

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated my photo diary. For those unfamiliar, I carry around a small point-and-shoot film camera called a Fuji Natura Classica which is the best camera I have ever owned ever. I love this little thing and how sensitive it is to light and how close to reality it can capture.

I believe these images go all the way back to May or even April, but I kinda lost the roll and got it developed only recently.

My “photo diary” is titled that way because sometimes, I just wanna take pictures of things I like. My brain gets exhausted from thinking about photos from all sorts of theoretical and critical perspectives, sometimes it’s a good thing to turn off and be like “oooo purty like snap snap.”

Go take some pictures because you wanna! Happy Shooting!


Lately, I’ve been using my iPhone for daily photographic purposes. Because, you know, when you’re a photographer you see opportunities for a good photograph many, many times a day. Since phones nowadays have good quality, this makes the task easier. Anyone remember the sad quality of phone cameras just five years ago? Anyone?

I love editing apps. Some people hate them, and that’s fine, but I think they are missing out. It’s an elitist attitude to huff and puff how people these days think they are photographers because they go on Instagram and throw a filter on their food photo. Firstly– I haven’t really met anyone who thinks they are a photographer because of Instagram. Instagram is a wonderful tool, as it gets people thinking about taking photos. Who cares what they are of?

Plus, there are fabulous editing apps such at Afterlight, BeFunky, Lenslight, and Photoshop Express. I use these apps all the time to edit my iPhone photographs. I’ll be honest: I get real carried away with these apps, but I can’t help it. It’s so much fun.

A moment of silence for the ever growing collection of Titanic VHS tapes at the Salvation Army.

I used Afterlight for the light leak and dust effects. Shout out to Nick, who pointed this app out to me a couple years ago. It’s amazing and I never want to let it go.

Happy Shooting!

Musings of a Weary Traveller

I took a Fuji Instax Wide camera with me to London with two projects in mind: the project with the photos within photos (which I’m still editing- I seriously have like 20 left,) and the one I’m about to show you.

I found this travel photo diary at a thrift store, and the gears clicked into place. Before this discovery, I was anticipating just using the instant photos for the above mentioned project and then put them in a box somewhere. But, the album inspired this series instead.

I was initially going to say that the dialogue comes from an anonymous character I made up, but really I just sat around, brooding over something deep to say. Some of these things I thought while I was experiencing the scene. Others, I just tried to remember what it was like and what kinds of thoughts could be spurred from it. Each image and phrase across from it is connected- in some, the parallel is apparent, while in others… not so much.

I still have a ridiculous amount handful of photos to edit from the trip, and I still have to mail some film off, so I’m not done yet! The semester has officially started, I have my first photography project, and I’m in the process of applying for grad schools and jobs. Here’s to a good rest of the year! It’s bound to be productive.

and, of course, Happy Shooting.