Hiiii - welcome to my brand new website! I honestly never thought I would ever own my own website... It's crazy, but I've put in a lot of effort and I hope you all enjoy it.
Creating this thing was actually a lot more work than I had anticipated. Especially since I procrastinated the photo editing process and had to go through the tedious efforts of scrolling through hundreds of photos, picking out the best ones, and throwing them into Lightroom in order to give them a bit more life. As evidenced from above, I just got around to editing my images from an Eric Garner/Mike Brown protest that I attended here in LA about a month ago (some of those images can now be found in the "Documentary" section of my Photography tab). Going through those photos and sort of re-living that day made me reflect on 2014 a bit. The above photo is one of my favorites - to me, it represents power and strength and purpose. And the American flag on his back is so fitting - it brings it all together. You can almost see the entire movement against police brutality and racism in a single photo. What an electric experience that march was. Everything about that day - the people, the diversity, the energy, the unity - made it one of the highlights of my year.
The twelve months of 2014 were all quite profound ones for me... It was a year of much change and growth, all for the better. I graduated from college (something that I still can hardly believe - it is bizarre that I now have those, "When I was in college..." stories). I moved three different times (but now am happily set in the most perfect location in LA). I ultimately changed career paths... Which is a weird thing to say considering how young I am. I also began doing yoga in April and became more serious about it throughout the summer (shout-out to Bhakti Yoga Shala - I cannot say enough good things about this place; a must-try for any yogis located near Santa Monica). I initially embarked on the journey of yoga and meditation simply to relieve stress and anxiety; to help myself relax and let go of things, to not dwell or over-think. Little did I know or expect, the practice began to transform me in ways I never could have imagined. Who knew there was so much power in something as simple as the breath... We as humans often overlook this very process that keeps us alive; the subtle, but crucial, cycle of inhalation and exhalation. Not only have I gained more physical and mental strength through my practice, but I have also become more in touch with my spirituality than ever before. Awakening to such new truths in life and experiencing so much change, on all levels, has positioned me to be in the wonderful, metaphorical "place" in which I currently reside.
The outcome of distancing yourself from negativity - by releasing negative thinking, habits, people, or circumstances - is simply amazing. The power of the mind has blown me away - not only the power that we have to control it, but also the incredible role that the mind plays in our overall qualities of life. One's perspective on just about anything is key - when you shift towards positivity, anything becomes possible. You begin to eliminate all the limiting beliefs society has imposed on us over countless years. And life becomes a heck of a lot more beautiful. I challenge you all, if you don't already, to stop and silence the ever-racing thoughts for just a little while each day - sit with yourself, enjoy the peace and quiet. It is no easy feat... I still struggle with the task myself. But I promise you, you will be fascinated by the change in your thinking patterns and the ways you handle those everyday stresses and nuisances. Just breathe and let go. Find the bliss in the present moment. I used to be someone who viewed yoga as a "wimpy," "non-effective" form of exercise... Boy, was I wrong. Yoga - and all of its teachings - has quite simply changed my life.
I am so ready for the new year. While the personal inner work will be some that continues on for a lifetime, I have accomplished enough to prepare me for what lies ahead. Fear no longer runs my life. I'm finally comfortable with who I am. Skin and bones and heart and all. I am finally me and I am so ready to face outwards now, to the world around me. I'm ready to turn my crazy ideas into reality. I'm ready to make my mark on this world and to carry out my small part in helping this planet progress. We still have so much work to do - there is still so much change to be made.
I am fairly new to the photography game... But I learned a lot last year and I plan to work twice as hard this year. I discovered a passion in 2014 that will burn through the inevitable trials and hurdles. My love of taking photos - of producing an image that has a voice, an image that declares something - is matched only by my first love: the sweet sound of music. This year I plan to run as far as I possibly can with this gift. It is my greatest hope that I can use my work to spur further change and to inspire others. I hope to work with more photographers and other types of artists this year. I even have my first photo project beginning to materialize which I am super excited about (and it's just the third week of the year, can you believe it?! I can't). More details to come...
I've never entered a new year feeling so confident and ready. It's time. Let's go, 2015.