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!

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 · 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.

Personal · Nature: Cheaper Than Therapy

Just a couple of hours after photographing Chasi & Bernardo's wedding, I found myself on the road with some of the best people I know - heading over to none-other than Yosemite National Park to catch the sunrise. 

Despite having been to Yosemite numerous times (especially in recent years), there's just something so magical about this place that simply cannot be put into words. Every visit grants me with newfound inspiration, and this one was no different. One of our highlights from this unique trip was meeting this kind, elderly lady atop Glacier Point, on the final sunrise of our short, two-day trip. She had just finished climbing Half Dome the day before, and had plans to climb the other behemoths of Yosemite Valley - alongside her cute, little teddy-bear family. Hearing her stories of venturing throughout not only California, but also the other parts of the United States, to take in all of the beautiful views, conquer the craziest hikes, and snap photos of her teddy bears was an absolute treat - most definitely a wonderful ending to our escape from the hustle and bustle of city life!