A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to shoot UF's first official Holi celebration, an Indian tradition that marks the beginning of spring and involves throwing lots of colored powder-paint at each other. Lots and lots. I was a little afraid for my camera and thus spent most of my time running around the periphery, getting as close as I dared while dodging handfuls of paint dust sailing through the air.
I was pretty proud of how white my t-shirt had remained when towards the end two girls ran toward me exclaiming, "You are too clean!!" and proceeded to wipe their paint-dipped hands all over my face, then sprinkling the remains of their powder on my clothes. It was so funny, I didn't even mind that a bit got on my camera body. There was such a collective joy that afternoon in just getting messy with people--some were friends, lots were strangers, and everyone was smiling.
A little while back, I had the privilege to do my first band photo shoot with local group Leela and the Rams in Loblolly Park in Gainesville. The shoot was for a profile we did on the young musicians for the spring issue of The Fine Print.
While I've had plenty experience snapping photos of things as they happen for photojournalism, I don't have as much experience posing people. But Leela, Jaimie, Alejandro and Justin were luckily a fun group of people who genuinely like each other (probably good in a band, right?) which made the shoot really enjoyable. We had fun mixing it up with "serious" portraits and just being goofy.
Good lookin' people in a pretty nature park on a gorgeous day is pretty much all you can ask for as a photographer. Check out Leela and the Rams on Bandcamp, they're a pretty talented group of musicians.
I can't believe I'm just getting around to posting these, but more than a month ago I went on an excursion to Cellon Oak Park just outside Gainesville, FL to capture some idyllic evening light with my friend Tyler (check out his work here). It was a perfectly peaceful setting, and taking just a few extra minutes to travel outside our college-town bubble opened up a new world to me that day. I love that even toward the end of my last year here, I'm realizing there is still so much to discover.
Over winter break, a few friends and I went on an adventure to crawl around on some boulders in Rocktown, Georgia. It was my second-ever climbing trip on real outdoor rocks, the first time without any ropes, and deeefinitely my first time camping in winter. I wasn't prepared for how ice-cold the rocks would be, or the thin layer of snow that blanketed our campsite when we came back to it that first evening and struggled to build our fire, but suffering through all that still didn't diminish the beautiful scenery and amazing experience of getting back to nature. And we weren't the only crazy ones camping; one guy from a neighboring site brought us over a steaming ember in his bare hands to help us start our fire! Maybe he saw us eyeing his big roaring one with jealousy.
I think my favorite thing about rock climbing is how it brings people together. I didn't know three of the four people who embarked on the trip with me, but by the end we had bonded over rubbing our hands raw during the day and burrowing in our sleeping bags at night. The first afternoon, we even met a group of other climbers from Gainesville (!!) of all places who became extra friends for the day and helped us on various problems.
Of course, I couldn't resist taking a few photos.
Serious thanks to Will and Sarah for organizing the trip!! And Annie and Meredith for being cool and fun :)
If you're thinking of going to Rocktown, do it.
A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity of photographing Matt and Vivi's wedding ceremony at their home in Gainesville, FL on a sunny December day. The intimate setting and small guest list of their closest friends and family made it a very special afternoon (and perfect for a photographer's first wedding experience!).
The two of them are so much fun and made my job as a photographer super easy! There was so much candid happiness. Decorations consisted of vases of flowers and a little Christmas tree in addition to their normal decor of worldly maps, flags, and Chinese figurines that represent Vivi's culture and all the places they have traveled.
Their dog, Amina, also played a crucial role in the photo shoot. She was adorable, and she didn't even protest when Vivi put on her wedding outfit!
Here Matt's holding a picture of his brother, who couldn't be at the ceremony. However, they later Skyped him in to watch, as well as Matt's mother who was out of the country. You could tell even when apart, this family is close!
The cake was topped with two of the Chinese characters for happiness. As Vivi explained to me, "double happiness" means marriage in Chinese. How cool is that?
Thanks so much to Matt and Vivi for letting me be part of your special day!