Wednesday, June 3, 2009


In the past few months, I've been asked to shoot two weddings and a future engagement session (pending said engagement first).

I'm terrified.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Red Letter Day

**brushes off dust**

So...I haven't been taking pictures much this year...


That's because I disappeared into my studies. You know. The "real" reason I'm here.


Today I got my project to work! (Read: My boss might decide to keep me another year.)


I might not have been taking pictures since I've been spending so much time in the lab,


I did submit some of my photos from last year to some local contests.


Today I found out some of my photos were picked for two different publications!

This one of my friend Nick and his daughter is being published in the university's annual creative magazine review.


These two will be published as two out of a set of the four seasons for the university's coming of age birthday card series for 2009-10 that they send to every student when he or she turns 21.

I think you can guess at least one of the seasons I'm representing.

And to appease the masses, yes, new photos! With a new toy acquired since last year's Steel City Blues Festival, no less!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My desert island, all-time, top-five most memorable breakups, in chronological order

Not really. I just really like that movie.

(I don't watch that many movies, so if you haven't seen it and I have...that's a shame. Especially for that movie. You should go correct that now.)

This is actually my list of top TEN (Read: 10) favorite shots that I took in 2008.

I originally had like thirty (Read: 30) shots that I whittled down to the ones seen here. There were some still lifes and landscapes, but in the end, the people won.

So without further adieu: My desert island, all-time, top-TEN most favorite shots from 2008, in chronological order.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Right Now A Star's in the Ascendant

ETA: I started writing this maybe a month and a half ago but never published it. Oops. I've also added some to it since then.

Today I got stopped by a cop. And I kept on going.

I'm pretty law-abiding, so let me back up and explain.

I'm too poor and broke (and cheap) to pay for parking, so I park by this lagoon near school that has free on-street parking. The only thing is you can't park there between 7:30 and 9:30 am since it's a main road, and it blocks "heavy" traffic at that hour. (Read: This town's got nothing on my hometown's completely packed 6-lane highways.) But if you get there by like 9:40 or 9:45 am, there's no parking left.

So I usually get there around maybe 9:25, and usually I just leave for work anyway. Not today. I stop and park before I realize, OH look. There's a cop staring straight at me, just waiting to give me a ticket. (Read: I'm not the brightest crayon in the box before about noon.)

So I put the car back in drive and kept on going. Only to park like maybe 100 ft further ahead. It turned out to be serendipitous.

On any normal day, I take the sidewalk surrounding the lagoon, making sure to avoid the massive piles of goose crap. Today I decided the shortest way to get to work was to take the path through the lagoon.

Maybe I should stop and pause more often.

I originally started Project365 to not only get myself acquainted with my camera and become a better photographer, but also to slow down and take a look at what's around me, to see things in a new light. To appreciate it. Lately, that hasn't happened, despite carrying a camera everywhere, as I sit here and cram and cram and churn and churn massive amounts of (non-)data for a conference.

Today was a good reminder that I need to stop and, really, just breathe more often. It was a good reminder about why I wanted to do this in the first place.

So I'm putting it down here. You know what they say, anything worthwhile bears repeating. Tell them what you're gonna tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them. Except I guess I'm telling myself again, ha.

Why did I start this project? Last school year, I was completely out of sorts and not myself. I was tired of feeling like that and decided it was time to fill my life with the things I thought I deserved. But for the longest time, I think I had started to take a lot for granted. Things that I just believed would be true the next day, and the next, and the next. I wasn't appreciating now. I wasn't applying any effort to treasure what I already had.

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes
You just might find
You get what you need
--"You Can't Always Get What You Want," Rolling Stones

Stopping to appreciate the little things? The things that make everyday go tick? Definitely necessary, but all too easy to forget. And one of the intangible reasons that I couldn't even really define for myself then why I was doing Project365. Things always seem clearer in retrospect, ha.

If you had asked me a year ago what my plans for the future were, I'd have given a very different answer -- but in some ways, that answer is still the same.

Slowly, my life is becoming so much more enriched and fulfilling than it ever was a year ago, and I am actually happier than I have been in a long time, despite the rough patches and the difficult journey I'm still going through. Before...I had become too content and let too many things slide. Now I'm realizing dreams and building boldnesses I never even had the faintest gossamer web of thought or ambition to do before. I'm beginning to question and challenge a lot more. But not only that, I'm seeking answers and feeling like I'm going somewhere, like I can make a difference. Sometimes it even surprises me, to hear some of the things I'm asking come out of my own mouth. (It amazes me even more when they happen!)

Some days I still feel like I'm trying to find and shape that new, improved version of that person I used to be. It's been a slow, painful year, filled with lots of learning experiences, and sometimes it still hurts. But slowly I'm rediscovering and redefining things about myself I can't ever believe I compromised for someone else -- and am definitely never going to take for granted again.

Earth meets sky

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Show Them All the Beauty They Possess Inside

I was super disappointed we didn't get to play on the inflatables on the green of Jacobs Field for Buddy Walk (silly rain), but I still had a great time shouting cheers and giving high fives to little kids (and big ones who thought they were too old for that sort of thing).

Three cheers to Sara and Emily for getting our department involved in this awesome event -- and what a way to start off the school year!

And why yes, I have a thing about photographing little kids. Something about their innocent, unsuspecting smiles just makes me happy. Even though I was cheering for them, I think I got just as much of an ego boost as they did.

Goodbye craptacular 2007-08 school year. Here's to looking forward to making 2008-09 a fantastic one!

The sun came out!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It Don't Have to Change

Oh do you remember
When the family was everything?
Oh do you remember?
It was so long ago and so much has changed
I wanna go back
Wanna go back to those simple days
I wanna go back
But now we've grown and gone our separate ways

Times is hard
And things are a changin'
I pray to God
That we can remain the same
All I'm trying to say is our love don't have to change
No it don't have to change

-- "It Don't Have to Change," John Legend

While I was home, I went to the reception of two very dear friends from high school.

In high school, she'd been crazy about him practically from the beginning. In high school, he couldn't have known she existed. I'm really glad he finally opened his eyes.

Being home and seeing so many old and familiar faces that I hadn't seen in a while made me ecstatic...and sad. Sad and happy at inevitable change and growth. You really can't ever go home again.

But I love you all the same.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let the Works That I Do Speak for Me When I'm Gone

On Friday night, one of my personal heroes died.

He lies in repose today in Houston's City Hall, the first man to hold such an honor in the city he helped define.

His legacy lives on in a million different ways. He invented the roller pump critical to heart-lung machines -- making open heart surgery a possibility -- while he was still a medical student. He helped establish the MASH unit and the VA hospital system. He used his wife's sewing machine to make a Dacron graft, which is now widely used to repair blood vessels. He developed artificial hearts and numerous heart assist devices, including the current pump which can be implanted into a small child. He pioneered the surgical procedure on aortic aneurysms, which later saved his own life at the ripe young age of 97. He helped build a world-class medical center with world-class surgeons, and trained many new generations to continue his work. He personally touched lives, having performed more than 60,000 operations in his lifetime.

Although there is no photographic evidence, I feel honored to have met the man and shaken his hand. But even more importantly, I feel even more honored to have worked with and worked on his inventions.

And still, his legacy lives on, as I am forever influenced by this great man to find ways to improve on his works.