Went on a quick trip to Los Angeles with Christina to take advantage of my company's fourth of July shutdown week, which proved to be some much-needed time spent exploring the city and enjoying the simpler things. After LA, we went to Palm Springs to soak in some more sunlight, and also had the opportunity to stop by the Moorten Botanical Garden, which was a pleasant surprise - highly recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself in the Coachella Valley!
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.
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!
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.