The unstoppable present. Since learning about the end of my favorite film stock, I’ve been working through all five stages of grief, on cyclical repeat. But I’m back to photographing now, and I’m doing so with a kind of total vengeance as I shoot through the very last 100 rolls of @fujifilm_profilm in my collection without holding back. There are other film stocks and other methods up ahead, but Fuji400h, despite the sorrow, you have my total thanks for starting me on this journey. Images from a recent beloved maternity session, photographed on a mix of film on my #Contax645 and digital on my @sony A7iii.
i’ve always enjoyed how, in Chinese, there are specific time-related phrases for the year before last, or the day before last, and also the day after tomorrow, and two years from now. it’s a nice recognition of time in larger brackets than what English gives us as a standard. especially in this current time when i find myself more and more referencing back to life two years ago, versus one year ago. anyways, here’s a memory from another year, another day. planning by @amandawatsondesigns, gown by @joliennecollection, beautifully worn by @shannontomasik, hair and makeup by @vivantleivida @ethofficial, photographed at @longlivefilmworkshop on @fujifilm_profilm with my #Contax645 and processed by @indiefilmlab.
In 2020, I turned 29. I spent most of the year searching for, and failing to discover, my jaw’s unclenching feature. In 2020, I learned to make three kinds of scallion pancakes. Kept the dog, multiple orchids, and several scattered houseplants alive another year. Rescued two mice in the apartment and then accidentally set one free.. indoors. Cried for understandable reasons – like during my annual rewatch of Sound of Music and whenever Spring Day by BTS comes on – and many times for no reason at all. Learned to use power tools while constructing a set for a dream shoot that never happened, and then again while building cabinets in our first home. Set a new record in outgoing calls made to my parents. In return, received more free advice than one person healthily needs in a lifetime. Served as an election worker. A food bank volunteer. A part-time preschool worker. Changed my first diaper 💩 and upon being solemnly told, “I love you” by an unprompted three-year old, I finally realized what it means to place all our faith and hope in children and preserving their future, unreservedly. I started 2020 thinking I would conquer the world – well, jokes on me, I can’t even draw my liquid eyeliner on without skips anymore. But damn, facing my own humility this year and learning to ask for help ended up such a hidden blessing. In a year where I did not hug my parents a single time, I learned to both express and value love in new and different ways. As I get older, every year’s bountiful moments – yes, even in 2020 – become more and more meaningful to me. I had the immense privilege of photographing 14 weddings. I witnessed the beginnings of so many new partnerships and families that I strongly believe will carry our world into a better place. No snazzy motto for 2021 (yet), but I walk into this new year with a heart open to growth. This account has evolved so far from being solely photo-focused. I will continue to change and I welcome what that means for me. I go forward, surrounded by an ever-increasing circle of support and love. I let 2020 get away with far too much and I am done. In the words of the great Maxine Waters, I am reclaiming 👏🏻 my 👏🏻 time!
Last week of 2020. How have you grown this year? I feel like I’ve been doing my best impression of an extra sofa cushion these last few months, but then I look at my work across this year and yes, there has been change and there has been growth. I’m not the person I was when this year started. I have different desires, different thoughts, there are things that make me laugh that never used to before. When I look back on this time, I hope to remember how I feel now. From Fran and Ben’s wedding portraits right outside their San Francisco home, photographed on my @sony A7iii and edited with @thearchetypeprocess.
..and that’s a wrap on 2020. Or at least, the photographing part of 2020. Miraculously, all my lens caps have been located and returned to their rightful camera lenses, and all galleries have been delivered (unless I am ✨horribly✨ mistaken – if so, please forgive + immediately email me). Still lots to catch up on and share, including a formal end-of-season recap post that’s still in the works, and of course, more of this incredibly emotional microwedding in the redwoods. I was so honored to help photograph this tiny celebration on behalf of my good friend @aliceche, who always draws in joyful, remarkable people wherever she goes. Chris and Cassie are no exception. The memory of watching these two and their incredible families go well above and beyond to thrive and seek joy – I’ll remember this day forever. Image from Cassie and Chris’ microwedding at @saratogaspringsweddings (yes, I finally got to photograph another Cassie!!), photographed with @fujifilm_profilm on my #Contax645 and processed by @photovisionprints. What a really, really, really good day. Special thanks to @helenawongphotography for assisting and bringing both the energy and light 💫 I owe you a big fat piece of tiramisu in 2021, hold me to that!!
It’s hard to describe Tiffany and Ian’s portraits without reflecting on this entire year and how for most of us alive, there’s never quite been a time like this before. Tiffany and I met in a very human sort of way – she came to help out at a shoot as a family friend for a couple I’ve photographed for years – and I entered into the story of Tiffany and Ian’s engagement shortly after. Through the many, many, many times we’ve had to postpone and reschedule their wedding, these two have always remained extraordinarily gracious and thoughtful, always checking in with me and the happenings of my own life first when I know they are battling a million and one things on their own end. On the weekend that was supposed to be their original wedding date, we met up in Big Sur and chased the setting sun and everpresent fog down scenic Highway 1. My good friend @marisaperel created the most beautiful bridal look and I was so happy to learn that Tiffany and Ian’s florals were designed by @thebloombarco, another close vendor friend connection. For a couple of hours, the world felt preciously connected again. There is pure joy in remembering what it’s like to live with the ocean by our side and the beauty of the world around us. The battle forward continues. I’ve never known a holiday season like this, one where I feel so alone and far away from those I love. But I have many, many moments from 2020 like this afternoon spent getting caught in the straggling bushes and laughing all the way through, and these golden days are the ones worth fighting for. Photographed on @fujifilm_profilm with my #Contax645 and processed by @photovisionprints.
Jean and Daniel. Sometimes I get actually, really, honest-to-a-higher-power weepy while editing a gallery, and this was – surprise, surprise – one of those times. My last microwedding of this year, with some of the Earth’s kindest people, at one of San Francisco’s most steadfast monuments to human endurance. Second image photographed on my @sony A7iii and edited with @thearchetypeprocess, the rest photographed with @fujifilm_profilm on my #Contax645 and processed by @photovisionprints.
Running full speed towards the end of this year and I remember: goal-setting with @annawuphoto at her annual birthday bonanza, thinking, “let’s knock this year right outta the park”, applying for unemployment together a few months later, building a staircase with Michael for a dream studio shoot and then tripping over the disassembled pieces that entire first month of shelter-in-place, friends constantly driving by and dropping ice cream and jigsaw puzzles off at our front door, getting an accidental hug from @schmohee in October (my only non-household adult hug of this pandemic and it’s both lovely and terrifying how much I hold onto that), realizing a shift in my own ambitions and desires this year that probably would’ve happened, pandemic or no pandemic, crying a lot for all the reasons and also no damn reason at all, making preserved lemons on March 27 and now feeling kind of like one myself, a big ole piece of rotting, salty fruit, now on Dec 15, a day that feels connected by a wormhole to the beginning of this year, like no time and all the time in the world has passed, simultaneously. I am similarly in a constant state of falling apart in awful self-pity and then immediately back to pulling myself together for whatever comes after. After! What a precious idea. Like a Kintsugi piece, I hope to dress my fractures in gold and wear them into the next age. Images from a recent family session, one of those insanely necessary reminders that this is still a world full of wonder and beauty. How beloved.