Personal · Southern California Culture

One thing I can appreciate about Southern California culture is how important the coastline is to the locals. Being from the SF Bay Area, while our own respective coastline is an excellent place for photography and bonfires with friends, it is not necessarily the best place to sunbathe, surf, etc. due to the temperature being much colder than SoCal, as well as having microclimates that are notorious for bringing in fog at practically any time of the day, no matter what time of the year. In SoCal, it’s practically law that one should be at the beach on a bright, sunny day – embracing the warmth, playing beach volleyball, or going surfing.

During my three week long training at the Illumina HQ in San Diego, I was only able to make it out to the beach once -- during my first week. Fortunately, I was able to enjoy this outing with my sister, who’s working on finishing up her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry at UCSD, and we were greeted with one of the most beautiful sunsets either of us had seen in quite some time.

Travel · Japan · March 2018

If you read my blog entry about my first trip to Japan from two years back, you wouldn’t be wrong to think that I had some unfinished business with that wonderful country. After having gone a second time, despite being able to do a lot more than my first (primarily due to being there for nine full days instead of five, as well as already knowing how to take the pandemonium-filled public transportation), that thought couldn’t be more apparent. There’s just something about Japan that makes me feel I could live there, for even a few months, when I find myself in-between jobs or something along the lines of that.

Tokyo feels like an upgraded version of New York City with a seemingly endless skyline, but despite the city being so dense, there’s never an issue finding peace in even the busiest of neighborhoods. Culture is embedded into the roots of Kyoto, even despite being an immense hotspot for tourism. Osaka stays true to its reputation as Japan’s melting pot with mouth-watering food at every corner. Experiencing the cherry blossoms during the hanami (or full bloom) season in Japan should be on everyone’s list of things to do during their lifetime. To say I’m inspired would be a complete and utter understatement, and even though I’m already two separate trips in, it still feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface of Japan. Nara, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Nikko, and Kagoshima immediately come to mind when I think of where I want to explore on my next trip to Japan.

While I could go on and on about my most recent trip, I figured it’s best to let my photos do the talking. That said, please enjoy the plethora of images from my most recent trip to Japan, and best believe me when I say that I’m just getting started!

Personal · Sutro Sunset, revisited

Just another quick set of images from a last-minute sunset outing to Sutro Baths, following an engagement session that I photographed earlier in the afternoon. Nothing beats the rush you get chasing a spontaneous sunset, just as you can see the sky preparing to explode into reds, yellows, and oranges.

Special thanks to the kind stranger that stood near the end of the cliff in my last image, I always love having the opportunity to incorporate a subject into my landscape photography to add a sense of scale to an image!

Personal · Northwest & Beyond

If there’s any city in the world that I’d consider a “second home”, Seattle comes to mind first – not because of the amazing food, the beautiful skyline, or the breathtaking nature that can be enjoyed any direction from the city, but because of the people. Over the last few years, the friends I’ve made have been the main thing that always has me coming back. Who would have known that the wedding I photographed with my good buddy Mike from back in August of 2014 would have had such an effect on me! For my first trip of the new year, I had the pleasure of visiting Seattle with Christina, Kat, and Xavier.

From a personal point of view, there’s something truly special and exciting when two of your worlds collide – in regard to two different groups of friends – and everything meshes seamlessly. Having my girlfriend and college friends meet some of the closest friends I’ve made through photography was definitely a bit nerve-wracking, especially because we all possibly shared different interests, but it was a gratifying experiencing seeing everyone get along so well. I’m sure that the same can be said from our friend, Jon, who was the primary reason why we visited Seattle in the first place – as he is currently a first-year Pharmacy student at UW – when we met his wonderful friends for the first time and got along just as well.

During this trip, we also made our way up north to Vancouver, BC – my first time in Canada! Even though our time there was limited, as it was just a day trip, it was surreal being able to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park with my own two eyes.

All in all, while the photos below won’t be able to accurately convey the laughs shared, memories cherished, and deep conversations we had, I know that I’ll be able to look back at these images years from now to re-live those good times with good company.