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!
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!
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!
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.