Coney Island has always been one of my favorite places. Visiting LA this winter, I was struck by how much Venice Beach reminded me of the boardwalk from my childhood. Just like Coney Island, there is the great people watching and the stores selling questionable food and souvenirs. But Venice Beach also brings the Southern California vibes with palm trees, perpetual sunny skies, and surfers and skateboarders. I walked back and forth one early morning, photographing people I met as the sun came up, trying to capture the warmth of the sun and the setting.
When I travel, I always bring with my film cameras, but that doesn't mean I'm always taking photos. I can't really predict when I'll feel compelled to shoot. It was only towards the end of a three week trip in the Pacific Northwest that I took out my 35mm camera to photograph the dense forests and blooming flowers that I was lucky enough to witness and be surrounded by. I don't know if it was because I had finally let the camera emerge from my suitcase or if the places I was visiting were giving me shutter finger, but the light, colors, and tones spoke to me! They felt quiet, soft, peaceful, timeless, and majestic, and I wanted to capture that feeling in the images I created. Below are photos from Lighthouse Park and VanDusen Botanical Garden, both in Vancouver, CA.
Guatemala is one of the most beautiful places I've visited. I'm learning that I'm drawn to lakes in a way that feels unique to me. They simultaneously excite and calm. At Lake Atitlan, the water was still and glassy, and the natural environment surrounding it kinetic and unruly. The towns we visited were old and colorful - even the mausoleums were painted in pastels and adorned with bright, plastic flowers.
It is also worth noting that Guatemala has a violent history in the not so distant past, which the U.S. was very much complicit in. I am aware that only a few decades ago I would not have traveled here because it would have seemed too violent, aware that cheap accommodations are possible because Guatemalans were systematically terrorized and repressed by a dictatorial government. It is something I always kept in mind.
I was fortunate enough to get to spend some time in Playa del Carmen and Tulum with my amiga Maya. I went snorkeling and experienced white sands/turquoise seas for the first time.
I'll be showing work this year for EAST at Satellite Studios on 1109 Shady Lane. If you're in town, come check it out! Below is one print I'll be showing & selling this year taken at Big Bend National Park.
These were taken during the Texas State Fair in Dallas. I had always wanted to go to a state fair so I did the three 1/2 hour drive there and back on the same day. Not sure if I'd ever do that again, but I'm glad I did it once. Shot with an Canon AE-1 on 35mm film.
If it's summer, and you're in Texas, and you're outside, it's best to be near a body of water. Finding myself visiting various places for aquatic refuge more often than not this summer, I decided to document how oases can look very different but serve the same purpose. I used the project to explore a specific theme that was intertwined with the daily activities of my own life.