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Photography

It had to happen eventually, something had to happen with me in the camera department that would make me want to tear my hair off (well, what I have left of it at least).

After arriving back to the U.S. when my backpacking adventure through South America was over, I took a quick family vacation to L.A. before heading back up to San Francisco. My parents had brought back my suitcase and all my camera equipment that I left at home. To make a long story short, we believed that all my equipment had been stolen from our Rental Van.

The hotel was taking too long to respond or even answer the basic question of “did you find anything in our room?”. After not getting contacted for a couple of days, we decided to file a police report and claim it to the insurance so we can get reimbursed. But still, I was devastated. All I had acquired (from my flashes, lenses and accessories) was in that camera bag.

Luckily, my parents are perhaps the coolest people on earth and reassured me that everything was going to be alright. They were so positive in fact, that it would work out with the insurance, that they bought be an even better camera from my previous ones. Ones that actual professionals use (well, at least my favorite photographers anyway).

Needless to say I was pretty damn happy with this new camera (which I named Natasha). I was actually shaking with excitement with the fact that I could take my photos to a whole new level. I’ve done nothing but play around with it, and its true what they say, once you go full-frame its almost impossible to go back.

Yesterday the hotel called and told me they found my camera bag

@#$%^&* DAMNIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know I know, I should be happy they found everything (or I think they found everything), but still, those Karma Gods definitely knew how to play with my emotions and get my hopes up. I should have trusted my instincts, while we were buying the new camera, my gut told me we should have waited a little longer.

So now my mind is racing on how I can keep beautiful Natasha. Sell my videogame systems? Its not like I play them much anymore. Sell my piano? I take pictures more than I play these days. Work the street corner? Although, I would probably need to get a rocking body for that. Sell all my lenses and camera’s and just keep one versatile lens for now?

Ugh head reeling. Oh Natasha, why are you doing this to me?

So what will happen? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I need a beer.

Deborah didn’t live in my dorm my freshman year, but that didn’t stop us from becoming the most dynamic Asian and Mexican duo ever. After our first hilarious meeting (which involved her pretending to be pregnant and me thinking she was on heroin) she never thought I would actually call her for lunch. Well I did, and three bajillion bubble teas later, we are still closer than ever.

So when she asked me if I could take her engagement pictures with Justin (who falls into my super nice and funny category) I agreed in an instant. I COULD write about how they both met and fell in love and blah blah blah, but who wants to read that? Well, I am sure a lot of you do, but I am still not going to write it. These two just click; not only are they perhaps the most animated couple I know, but they make each other laugh a lot and are just a blast to hang around with. One of my funnest nights in my life was a night with these two in Hong Kong (from what I remember anyway).

Again, as with most of my closest friends, I have had the amazing opportunity to travel with them, share stories with them and see their relationship blossom into something special (even if it takes a little kung-fu).

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for these two (a rarity in gloomy Seattle).

I can’t wait for their wedding and the cute little half asian babies they will have in the future.

Congrats Deborah and Justin!!!!!

Whenever you live in a dorm, you will meet people that you will keep close to you for the rest of your life. I am lucky that I have so many close friends from that one amazing freshman year at the University of Washington. Katherine did live in the same floor as I did, but we didn’t really start getting close until our Sophomore year. After we both made fun of each other’s race, we knew that we would be evil best friends for life. I can’t really be evil with Greg since he is, without at doubt, probably the nicest guy I know. That is a hard title to keep, since I know a lot of nice guys.

After a successful visit in San Francisco and a road trip up to Seattle, Katherine had asked if we could do her engagement session when we were both in Seattle. We picked a day and voila, in true Seattle fashion, it was raining hardcore. It wasn’t going to deter us though, we got some rain gear and stole an umbrella from the University Village (OK Borrowed). There really was no need for it though, because as soon as we got out of the car the rain let up and the sun came down.

It was great. The light was just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I could go on and on writing about these two, but you can just tell from the pictures that they belong together. I have had the honor to laugh with them, party with them, travel the world with them and basically have been blessed to see their relationship blossom to where it is now.

I can’t wait to see the rest.

Congratulations Katherine and Greg!!

Its like I never left Brazil. Everyone has bodies that look like they have done cocaine and pushups their whole lives. Havaianas, sunglasses and cocktails are all I see.

Also, every shirt says “I Am In Miami Bitch” and not because of the LMFAO song, but because its so hot and humid here that every sentence just needs to end with a bitch.

Joe: This is actually nice for Miami. Between the loads of hair gel in this city and the weather, I feel like I live in lucifer’s armpit.

Still though, the city is gorgeous….bitch.

  • When we are in a cab and they hear us speak English, they automatically think they can screw us. I can’t tell you how many times we have gone to one place only to find out that when we come back its 10 pesos cheaper. This lets us know that the cab driver who drove us there earlier took the nice LONG way there. Wretched.
  • Although I love it when I catch them. They start to go one way and I ask “Where are you going? Shouldn’t you just take Avenida De Mayo?” Then the cab driver finds out we fully understand Spanish and now he knows that I know he was trying to screw us. Its extremely uncomfortable for him and its a moment I treasure. (This never happened in a cab in Peru since I would just close my eyes and hope that I would survive).
  • Music in cabs is always an adventure. When I am in a new city or town, and riding in a cab, they usually have some local music on. It’s awesome driving around in a new country listening to something that the locals themselves enjoy. What’s not awesome is when they find out you are a foreigner and completely change the music thinking you want to hear it. We spent an good two hours one day in Peru listening to Bob Marley. I never want to hear No Woman No Cry ever again.
  • We rode in a hired cab one day. The car was full and after about three hours we found out there was a teenage girl in the back of the car sitting in a tiny corner next to the luggage. We found out she was the cab drivers daughter and she was forced to sit back there for that long since he wanted his “shuttle” to get full with as many fares as he could get.
  • I think ever cab driver in South America has tried to kill us (or scare us to death) for funsies.
  • In a shuttle to Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica, our new friend Beth (a future medical student at Columbia) was so hungover and car sick from the death defying hairpin cliff turns in Costa Rica that she began to vomit in the shuttle into a trash can. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear and see someone vomiting, that also elicits a bad response from me. I was not the only one. When we pulled over almost everyone in the shuttle said that they couldn’t see her vomit or they themselves would vomit. She was forced to sit up front after that. Bad times.
  • Getting in a cab in Lima, Peru is SERIOUSLY a bad decision on your personal safety. I can’t stress this enough. I would gladly go into a Tuk Tuk with a drunk driver in Bangkok then ever take a cab in Lima again.
  • I love that Argentina has metered taxis, which doesn’t require 3 hours of me trying to haggle a fair price to go anywhere.

Anywho, I know this is random post, but It is our last day in Argentina and it is raining and freezing outside so I am bored to death. Cynthia is underneath the blankets in our room refusing to move.

Even if it does rain, I hope Rio is warmer.


Thank you Uruguay. It was like a food Angel coming down from the heavens and licked the inside of my mouth.

It was also a huge piece of steak. I couldn’t even finish half of it.

Speaking of food, Dalina told me right at the start of our two week adventure in Argentina that Buenos Aires has a high percentage of people with Anorexic and Bullemic  problems. I believe it completely. They are so skinny yet all there is to eat here is carbs galore. Bread, Pizza, Empanadas and Pastas; food with such high calories that no wonder they smoke and throw up all the time.

This also tells you that on this trip. I have NOT lost any weight.

Mucho cardio when I get back home for sure.