I realize that I’m a bit late with my updates but, per usual, it’s been a busy time and clients come first.
I know that a lot of people have expressed their distaste for 2016. However, I prefer to categorize my years according to my own birth year rather than the gregorian year. My 27th year was, for the most part, quite good, albeit difficult in the ways that I learned A LOT. A lot about life, love, and myself. All beneficial and important. I think the growth was the kind that many experience a few years ahead of me but with my determination to grow up in other ways faster than anyone else, I delayed this particular growth.
I digress, back to the year of 2016. I brought the new year in at a new year’s eve party in London, hosted by my high school boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. (I am specific because this is truly the only reason I know her). I went to Paris, gained 5 lbs eating the best food of my life, stopped through Luxembourg, Belgium, & the Netherlands, just because. I had one of the craziest nights of my life on that particular Netherlands trip thanks to a friend I met while teaching English in Peru in summer 2015. I went back to Texas for one day before flying out to central America for 7ish weeks. I spent time with one friend in Guatemala, then another in Belize, and another in Belize, before I was convinced to visit a boy I liked in Los Angeles. I was actually getting sick of traveling around at that point. So I really wanted to go back to the states… for 8 days. While the dude & I quickly ended things, I made the decision to pursue LA as a new home. So I booked 2 months in Los Angeles for the spring to give it a go. I went back to Guatemala, forgot the boy, and continued my journey with a different friend. While visiting Los Angeles I got a call about continuing my central American journey to shoot in Honduras for Nada Bottle. The timing was perfect, I couldn’t turn it down, so I extended my trip to work with my ex-boyfriend’s talented sister (of whom I am so thankful to know and be friends with despite the.. not so great ending to that relationship). Honduras was an amazing experience, I have always wanted to photograph for nonprofit organizations and I desperately want to do more of it now.
After spending the majority of the first 3 months of 2016 outside of the US, I came back to the states to run off to the opposite of a 3rd world country, Vegas. I spent one night in Vegas clubbing at WPPI before visiting my Father in Arizona. I went back to Texas only to immediately fly back out to Belize to photograph a wedding that I had booked while I was there visiting. This trip was a whole other story in and of itself, a bonding experience. Tired yet?
On March 30th I flew to Puerto Rico to shoot at the Ritz Carlton in Dorado. Directly after which I gave my 1st hour long talk in Vancouver, Canada. Back to Texas. April 9, I shot a wedding in San Antonio, on April 10 I ran a 10k & started the drive to Los Angeles to figure out how and when to make the official move. While I was on the 26ish hour drive out there, I recieved a call from my real estate agent in Colorado saying that my 5th offer on a home had been accepted and my closing date was in 6 weeks. I also got a call from a photographer friend asking me to help him with a wedding in South Carolina, why not, & cut my LA venture short… I walked into my Airbnb in Venice, CA at midnight to find a handsome 22 year old model from Ohio doing dishes. He, and a commercial photographer from El Paso, were my roommates for the next 2~ months. I would wake up some mornings to find them playing guitar & making smoothies after their morning surf. I was living in a strange, strange world. There is a reason they call it la la land.
I left in the middle of it to shoot a wedding in St Lucia & a wedding in DC. After a few LA parking tickets, I packed up my car again, bike included, left in front of my friend’s house and peaced out to South Carolina and Florida for more work. I closed on my home while sitting at my friend’s home in Charleston. Back to Texas.
I was invited to two weddings in June, both photographers I have known since the beginning of my career. One wedding was a 3 day rager in Brooklyn, the other an intimate San Francisco redwood wedding. All within a week of each other, with an Austin work wedding in the middle. After San Francisco I drove straight to Denver to move into my new home. Except, I left all of my furniture and most of my belongings in Texas, so I started from scratch. When I rolled up to my new home at midnight with the keys left in a friend’s mailbox dropped of by my agent, there was a rolled up mattress I ordered from amazon sitting on the front porch. I unrolled it into my living room and, without sheets, slept on that for the night. I got my new home ready to rent out on Airbnb. July 2015 was when I decided to become “homeless”, so it seemed to make sense that a year later is when I happened to make a new home for myself. On the 30th of June I spent a week in July shooting a wedding and visiting photographer friends. Back to Denver, less than a week later I flew to Tulum, Mexico. One more week in Denver. I drove out to Los Angeles to see flight of the conchords, spent my birthday totally alone on Laguna beach, & tried to visit my grandfather who, due to being ill, didn’t want to see me. This is when I started my Airbnb and became more successful with it then I could have imagined.
August 4th, I flew to Milan to meet up with friends. Then Split, then Korcula, then Hvar. I spent 4 weeks on the island of Hvar. It is a party island and like nothing else I have ever experienced on my travels. I made great friends here that I have already and eventually will, visit again. On a whim I saw my friend would be in Barcelona while I was in Europe, so of course, I made sure to see her too. Making time for all the friends. While I was in Europe I was asked to shoot a thousand person wedding in Mexico City, so I flew straight from Barcelona to Mexico city on September 10th. We started shooting at noon and left at 6 in the morning. Back to Denver. While I was there I booked a flight to go back to Europe for 2 months. Then off to meet my friends at our yearly time warp ranch meetup. My friend’s family owns a cabin (understatement) outside of Gunnison that is straight out of the 70’s. We don’t have cell service here so it forces us to create the best of memories, that are hopefully, mostly undocumented. Then my other set of friends & I drove straight to Austin in one day for wedding season. 16 hours, if you’re curious.
I mostly set up shop at my brother’s home in Tomball, TX for those 2 months. To maintain social sanity I made trips to Austin very often. I had a wedding in rural Michigan where I saw more family. In November I flew out to LA again and drove to Tucson for a wedding. Two weeks before that wedding I was invited to a friend’s 30th birthday celebration in Palm Springs, so of course, I had to attend that too. I was already going to be so close anyway… After my Tucson wedding I visited my grandfather & father in Lake Havasu. I spent 3 days with him. On the last day I made him pancakes, the way he did for me growing up. He held my hand and cried, knowing that it was likely the last time that he would see me. I don’t want to believe it, even to this day, and while I write from London now, I only hope that he makes it until I am back in the states to see him just one more time. After my most tearful day of 2016 I was out to visit friends in Palm Springs for nights of debauchery; it didn’t feel right but I know that my grandfather would never want to hold me back from living. Gosh I love that man. Thanksgiving in Texas. Then back to Denver for 11 days. Finally, allotted time to hang out with some of my favorite humans again. The day I flew out to Denver, literally on the way to my parent’s home to have them drop me off, I was involved in a hit & run accident that rendered my car undriveable. I still made my flight. I enjoyed my work break in Denver but not before meeting a boy who is currently turning my world upside down. Our first date involved breakfast, the bank, the post office, & eventually lasted the entire day. We have spoken every day since and our second date is planned to be an opera in Frankfurt, Germany since I flew out to Europe 48 hours after meeting him. My basement also flooded the day I left, I am lucky enough to have great friends who helped out with the insurance and clean up. I also had a minor surgery somewhere in there.
I booked a wedding Germany by happenstance as well, a lucky coincidence that I would be in Europe and just a set of downright amazing people to end my 2016 wedding season with. After the wedding I met up with a couple girls, cue Nada Bottle again, to drive around 8 countries in 18 days. We ended the year in Rome at a club surrounded by Italians and prosecco, we brought in the new year with good vibes and I have nothing but positive energy as I approach 2017 and in 8 months, my 29th year.