Travel · Paris · May 2018

Just a month and a half after my trip to Japan, I found myself once again on an overseas flight – this time to Paris, France – for my first time to Europe with Alex and Xavier.

While most people tend to enjoy touristy sightseeing whenever they are on vacation (and yes, we surely did our fair share of that), some of the best parts of our trip look place while walking around a less-busy part of the city, getting lost and taking photos. The café culture in Paris was one of the coolest things I've ever personally experienced, where it’s the norm to grab a coffee and croissant – often times with a friend – sit outside of a café, and just hang out, people watch, and talk for hours on end. Back in the US, cafés are more widely popular among the millennial crowd as not only a hangout spot, but likewise as a place to bring your laptop to be productive and get work done. Another thing I noticed about Paris (and perhaps Europe, in general..?) is that walking/taking public transportation is very much so encouraged to get around the city – friends that had visited in the past even told me that "Europeans don't believe in escalators or elevators", and I can now attest to that statement. We walked ~10 miles a day, with half of that sometimes on cobblestone or dirt, but I can confidently say that I would do it again in a heartbeat. Although our feet were sore day-in and day-out, our hearts were definitely full. 

Having an opportunity to visit the City of Lights for my first time in Europe was nothing short of a dream, and I couldn't have asked for better company. While these photos may not accurately depict the jokes made, laughs shared, and everything in-between, I'm personally very proud of these images and can't wait for my next trip back to Europe. Au revoir, Paris... This certainly won't be the last time!

Wedding · Camille + Angel

Just moments after my last day of training at the Illumina HQ in San Diego, I found myself waiting at the airport – not for a flight back home to San Francisco, but rather to sunny Las Vegas to photograph a wedding!

I’d like to give a special thanks to the newlyweds, Camille and Angel, for not only the opportunity to photograph a Las Vegas destination wedding in the first place, but also for the wonderful hospitality throughout the entire weekend. It’s not every day that you’re able to photograph a destination wedding, let alone for a lovely pair that you graduated college with, so I’d been looking forward to this event for quite some time. While most people leave Las Vegas feeling groggy, tired, and often-times hungover, I left feeling truly inspired and excited for what this summer has planned!

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!