A Year or Two After Europe

Exactly two years ago, I was gazing at the Belgian countryside from atop a double decker bus. Right now, I’m probably riding public trans to work, absorbed into the LCD screen resting on the palm of my hand. While the initial shock of returning to the US has warned off, there’s still a part of me that longs for the continent across the pond. No more French? Up … Continue reading A Year or Two After Europe

Project [abitazione]

“So we are looking at this area, and this guy comes out with a machete and a bowl of cereal.” “What? I thought it was just a bowl of cereal.” “Nope – he also had a machete.” And thus goes the story of how we met our first contact. Location of Interest: a property simply known as “Joe Joe’s Camp” on Google maps  Project Goal: create a living … Continue reading Project [abitazione]

Abstract Love

Pictures of couples are a tricky thing. Those in them are usually in such a hurry to share with social media that little thought goes towards potential consequences. Think about that awkward Myspace phase in which teenagers kept posting closeup pictures of themselves french kissing. That was embarrassing right? Well so is the moment a Facebook user is caught ‘not in a relationship’ because they and their ex-muse have impulsively … Continue reading Abstract Love

Someone is Selling Burgers?

Burgers, music, music videos, Islamic propaganda, galleries, apparel… Just kinda thought provoking, the things one finds on accident. So, basically a couple days ago, it was discovered that several people have used my pictures for various projects. They didn’t asked for permission and they didn’t give credit.  I’m not upset, not surprised but rather deep in thought. Going back through my images I realized that there are … Continue reading Someone is Selling Burgers?

Set Fire to the Brain

Their comments flow freely through the feeds of many photographers. These being thoughts and critiques from those who believe that photography’s brilliance is limited to it’s original exposure; straight  from the camera if you will. They say that an image is otherwise ruined when it no longer represents the truth of the situation in which the photograph was taken. Essentially that the image is a fib… a misrepresentation of reality, thus defeating … Continue reading Set Fire to the Brain

Mountain Selfie Addicts

It’s no secret; social media nurtures an obsession with images of one’s self. It’s contagious and while evidence shows an increase in narcissism and mental disorders, selfies are unlikely to go away for a very long time. If you can’t beat them, join them, right? make the most of your Outdoor selfie game -PREPLAN your shots- If you are familiar with the itinerary, make a … Continue reading Mountain Selfie Addicts

Cheers to a New Chapter

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Instead I believe in constantly checking on one’s progress in life and making adjustments as necessary. That doesn’t mean that one can’t assign goals, instead it means that goals should be determined on a daily basis rather than just once a year. For this blog there are a couple of things I would like to accomplish. These are listed … Continue reading Cheers to a New Chapter

Oh to Be a Rebel

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do.” – Walter BagehotIt started with a Facebook post… Someone commented that unless I was interested in exploring the sewage system, such an adventure could not go down in my area. Oh yeah? My little cousin  messaged me about a tunnel she’d found near her home. Challenge accepted! We made plans to hang out for the weekend. … Continue reading Oh to Be a Rebel

The First 25 Hours of my 23rd Birthday

I woke up Sunday morning, unable to move with ease. After a quick inventory, I discovered that my left leg was covered in scratches  poignantly stinging at the slightest touch. Among the other discoveries was a swollen right knee highlighted in a shade of purple, mosquito bite on the left arm and soreness creeping across my right shoulder. It took a few hours before I noticed the poison ivy… … Continue reading The First 25 Hours of my 23rd Birthday

Two Years Without a Cellphone

We can be incredibly disconnected in this day and age with computers and cell phones. – Marcia Gay Harden For the majority of my college experience, I’ve lived in places with limited cell service. My Napa Valley campus, for example, was notorious for being catered by a single carrier. Students who weren’t connected to the correct phone company had to find other means of communication. … Continue reading Two Years Without a Cellphone

Twenty Six Hour Drawing

The drawing instructor gazed at us with a smile spreading across her lips. “Create an imaginary world,” she said, enticing our imaginations. What was not as enticing, however, was the hundred sixty eight hours and  twenty four inch papers we had to complete the assignment. Given that mermaids would be the easiest subject for me to draw, I settled on an underwater world in watercolor. My friends in … Continue reading Twenty Six Hour Drawing

#‎jayaramsmiles‬

“Hello? Can anyone hear me?” There was no reply, not even in cheerful melodies usually sung by birds. I dropped the sound kit on the forest floor and ran further along the dirt path. “Hello, Hello!?” Again, nothing except the eerie buzz of silence. I turned back, but every direction seemed a mirror image of it’s self. The only comfort came in the form of sunbeams piercing … Continue reading #‎jayaramsmiles‬

Joie de Vivre

Sometimes, the best moments are unplanned. There is no room for being let down and no time to think up better circumstances.  Instead it’s a magical experience that can never be recreated to uttermost perfection. To some, it’s a lifestyle. To others, it becomes an addiction in which they crave the feeling of bliss. Adventure. Speed. Not getting caught. Of course, it’s not always about … Continue reading Joie de Vivre

South of the Border

There was something exciting about seeing the rays of sun touching on the hillside of a country not my own. It had been a while since I’d crossed an international border on foot. In Europe, it was as easy as an afternoon stroll, but in the states, it’s gotten more complicated than that. Despite the research and fading memories, getting to Tijuana required guidance from … Continue reading South of the Border

Glitter and Rope

I’ve started following Instagram accounts with outdoor photographers. The way they capture foggy mountain cross backs makes them seem to be living a dream. Nostalgia for the alps and especially the little French mountain with the Swiss flag is especially strong at this moment. Unlike the previous weeks, this time there were no strolls on LA rooftops, no scouting for hippie garbage cans in Riverside … Continue reading Glitter and Rope

In Control

Public undress isn’t something I usually encourage. It’s so uncomfortable to see someone in that predicament. Strangely enough, I may or may not have ended up in my underwear, smack in the middle of a brightly lit sidewalk. Thankfully, the incident didn’t result in nightmares. There have flashbacks though, often triggered by the raging fury of European cruisers. I hate panic trickling up my spine … Continue reading In Control

Growing Up

It started because of a misunderstanding.  Someone suggested that we do a photoshoot Downtown Los Angeles, near Skid Row. These’s a catch; it had to be around midnight and we could bring tents and ‘camp on the street’. “Hey girls, just wanted your opinions in regards to something that came up…”  I asked of those who shared my previous record of sleeping in caves and climbing up … Continue reading Growing Up

Straying from the Truth

They say that one should not lie because more lies will be created to cover. I have never understood this as well as last Saturday. Eventually, I will have to explain to my parents. Las Vegas + wedding dress? What a scandal. It started when Erwin suggested that we drive to Death Valley to check the venue for an upcoming camping trip. He told four … Continue reading Straying from the Truth

A Taste of Europa

They looked like toy soldiers from afar but up close it was no joke. Most people ignored them, but I was terrified. They stood silently at their posts but threatened with their eyes and the AR-15s they carried. Finally the glass slid, allowing me to walk through.  I sighed in relief and scanned the crowed for a familiar face. She walked right by and didn’t seem … Continue reading A Taste of Europa

And One Day We Can Laugh About Those Epic Fails

As a photographer, I’ve learned that things don’t always flow smoothly as planned. 1. Monster in the BushesOne time, while doing light art at the lake, my light artist messed up an outline. I laughed so hard at the result that I almost peed! That wasn’t as serious but on a different night while working on astrophotography – I really had to go! 2am in … Continue reading And One Day We Can Laugh About Those Epic Fails

When Modest is Hottest

So… A couple days ago, I was meeting up with some people regarding a film project. They were looking for my photography page so I told them to look it up on Facebook. “Whaaaa? These are your photos!?” I scooted over to take a peek. The surprise was certainly more enjoyable for them than it ever would be for me. First results page – pictures everywhere… … Continue reading When Modest is Hottest

Aliens, Lets be Friends!

For being new, there is a surprisingly large amount of familiar faces. A cousin, several church friends and definitively a ton of students who also transferred from the same college in Napa. Regardless, there is still a feeling of emptiness and loneliness in a new environment. Seeing acquaintances isn’t the same as creating epic memories with mes copins. Orientation didn’t do a very good job of introducing new friendships… … Continue reading Aliens, Lets be Friends!

Fear

Once again I’ve collaborated with the amazingly talented Kae Avine. All year, she wanted to create a routine around the waterfall outside our dorm. Right before leaving France, we had the chance to film it. This girl’s choreography is just so perfectly timed. You can watch the version that she edited below: Ugh, there are definitely a lot of issues with the camera work. It’s still very rough from … Continue reading Fear

Goodbye – One Last Time

We were up by 2:45am. Yeah, I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only way we’d be out by 3. Of course, the night sky was a cause for constantly running into things. Oh the stars, so many stars, oh so overwhelmingly marvelous! We tried to set up the tripod at the base of the mountain but were soon chased away by a pack of unchained dogs. … Continue reading Goodbye – One Last Time

Homeland Revolution

Victoria and I discussed various media projects at the beginning of summer. Goal: rise awareness about human trafficking and advertise for the Homeland Revolution at the University of Redlands. As we talked about the cause – one of the things that kept coming up was the realization that anyone could be a victim but no one may ever know. Too many times, people associate trafficking and slavery with the … Continue reading Homeland Revolution

How to Scare Off a Cowboy (or Any Guy)

Scaring off cowboys is a backbreaking activity because it requires an enormous amount of time, dedication and insanity to complete the desired effect. Cowgirls or not, many are willing to sacrifice their reputation in order to win the affections of a dashing gentleman. Little do they know what a challenge it is to catch a cowboy’s wink. It is much more entertaining to scare him … Continue reading How to Scare Off a Cowboy (or Any Guy)

From Afar

There is something enticing about the flickering multicolored lights produced by concentrations of civilization. They are like little galaxies within the planet we call earth. They represent everything that comes with human kind. Life. Happiness. Tragedy. Many prefer to walk within the comfort of concrete sidewalks and street lamps. They see carefree smiles of strangers and feel warmth in their passing. It’s a comforting feeling to be … Continue reading From Afar

How I Almost Died Chasing Peter Pan

“To die would be an awfully big adventure.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan We were supposed to be climbing the mountain, but somehow wondered off trail.  Since Colin and I were planning a photoshoot, location scouting didn’t seem like a bad idea.  The luscious undergrowth scraped at our ankles as we raced across the forest. We jumped up onto stumps and boulders, even considered climbing … Continue reading How I Almost Died Chasing Peter Pan

The Portrayal of Human Beauty Through the Eyes of an Ancient Artist

Throughout the ages, people have concerned themselves with appearances and the illusion of a perfect human form.  Beauty, however, is a fleeting frame of mind. What was once considered attractive is no longer main stream today.  Of course, this seems obvious. Fashion, make-up and hair styles change constantly… but so does the idealistic human form. I hadn’t really thought about this until recently while visiting … Continue reading The Portrayal of Human Beauty Through the Eyes of an Ancient Artist

Don’t Fall Down the Drain

Yes, that was a blurry yet aesthetically pleasing image featuring a staircase inside the Arch de Triumph. Of course, most have watched ‘Taken’. Upon deciding to move to France, it was a movie that was often mentioned in conversation. Instead of taking the matter directly to me, someone went as far as accusing my parents of irresponsibility for allowing their only child to go so far on her … Continue reading Don’t Fall Down the Drain

That One Time Switzerland Invaded France

One hour of determined hiking can get one to the top. The view is absolutely amazing. Makes you realize how small you are and how big the world is in comparison. It’s fun going with friends, but sometimes going alone is the best option. You can loose yourself from pretty much anything. All the troubles and stress … pretty much just let everything drain out. That’s … Continue reading That One Time Switzerland Invaded France

Night on the Lac Léman

Went camping along the Lake Leman. By camping, I mean staying in cabins not too far from the water’s edge. On our first night there, Grace and I sat on one of the docks along the shore. Being there  reminded us of another lake in a country far, far away. We talked about life and whatever else flooded our minds at the time. Both being interested in … Continue reading Night on the Lac Léman

Night Under the Mountain

There is a group at our school that is often going camping or planning such outdoor activities. Wish I’d been better friends with them, because honestly those are the types of things that I miss from my childhood. The things I hope to continue doing in the future. I did get to hang out with them a couple weeks ago when they decided to camp out … Continue reading Night Under the Mountain

Durango Falls

Camping is fun. Experiencing different cultures is fun.  So, when I was invited to go camping at La Concha Durango, how could I say no? We got there by bus. Everyone unloaded their belongings and got ready to set up camp. But not everyone had come well prepared. There were only two tents to accommodate the group of 30 something. Several families decided to rent … Continue reading Durango Falls

Worst Photoshoot Ever :(

  Guess I’ve gotten too comfortable with my photography skills. Thinking nothing will go wrong is literally a foolish assumption in itself. Guess sometimes that lesson has to be learned the hard way. After three months of planning, here we are working on photoshoot #2 of our circus themed photo series. It was a drastic difference from the success of our first shoot. The main … Continue reading Worst Photoshoot Ever 😦

Kind of a Triptych

Just a couple pictures  from a project sophomore year.  I was asked to take three images, one per quarter – each representing an ideal quality of our campus. Originally, I was very excited about working on it. The first caption, ‘A place to Serve’, was actually the last image I was able to obtain. It had been suggested that I have a group of students helping … Continue reading Kind of a Triptych

Gypsy Me

We’ve been trying to execute our circus photoshoot series for three whole months.  Every time we schedule; it rains, it snows, and it pours! Finally, we decided that rain or shine the first of these circus photoshoots would be done before the end of March. Of course, the morning of the 30th, I woke up with a groan. The sky was dark and bleak. Piles of homework layed … Continue reading Gypsy Me

Ice and Sky

We climbed up high hopping to catch a glimpse of the setting sun. The days had been getting warmer, thus we were truly surprised to find a blanket of snow.  Even more amusing was the team of paragliders standing next to the edge. The sun pierced through their gliders. The colors spread throughout the sky. It was so beautiful.  Hopefully these extreme sports fans weren’t … Continue reading Ice and Sky

Why I’m Trying to Convince Myself to Drop Out of College…

I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I feel threatened by the mainstream definition of life; that whole idea of a success. The thought of a college degree and a job Monday – Friday, 9 to 5. When switching from homeschool to public during high school, my councilor said some very discouraging things. According to her, I wouldn’t graduate, much less attend college. … Continue reading Why I’m Trying to Convince Myself to Drop Out of College…

Can’t belive it… I actually moved to France!

This is my room window in Collonges-sous-Saleve. Can’t belive it… I actually moved to France! Ok, so the whole trip was actually less stressful than going to Mexico. No joke. The couple sitting next to me on the way to London were really nice, and figuratively adopted me for the length of the trip. They appeared to have a lot of friends in the film … Continue reading Can’t belive it… I actually moved to France!