Through the Lens: photos from September


I learned two very important things this week.

The first: Never feel guilty about taking some necessary time off. (Letting go of the guilt of not blogging feels really good, it turns out.) The second: Never say you haven’t been sick in a while. (Your throat will feel sore the very next day.)

September was an intense month all around. Not only did I get back in full-swing at school, but L.A. had temps in the 90s and 100s much of the time. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from September in photos, starting with a visit to Playa del Rey.

water playa boats

The yacht below came chugging into the marina with music blasting and people partying. Its name? “Wet Dream.” Stay classy.

wet-dream seagullburied-boat

I also went back to the Arts District to check out a funky flea market with tons of talented artists and vendors. I was easily distracted by murals and puppies.

arts-districtbootsflea-market corgi

Last week, John and I flew home to the East Coast for his brother’s wedding, and we had a blast partying and staying up too late, hence my feeling under the weather. I didn’t get any photos of the wedding that weren’t blurry—mostly, I just enjoyed myself. (It’s pretty sweet being the best man’s date—V.I.P. treatment!) But I did manage to snap a couple of shots in Annapolis and Baltimore. Going home twice in two months was a nice change of pace from my last eight-month stretch. If I could keep up this new track record, living far away from family wouldn’t seem so bad.

belvedere-square annapolisProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This week, I’m trying to take it easy and shake off this bug. I’ve been reading a lot lately, managing not to kill my basil plant and thinking a lot about spring. I’ll only have a handful of credits left to take for school, so my mind is on employment. (Whoa.)

I’ll be doing more of the same in October, which also happens to be my birthday month. I’ll be turning 25 in a couple of weeks, so I’m deciding what I’d like to do to celebrate. Any suggestions?

That’s all for today—I’ll be less scarce in the next couple of weeks. What are you looking forward to in October?

Through the Lens: photos from May

May in photos

How do I even sum up this crazy, hectic month? And how can I even call it that knowing it’ll be tame compared to the months ahead? Mostly the crazy has just been in my head, but soon things really will be moving at high speed. As our move to California draws nearer, I’m realizing the scope of the logistics this whole thing requires. I’m trying to take it all in stride. Soon, I’ll forget the very meaning of “boredom.”

Though I didn’t take as many pictures as I would like, May was full of photo-worthy moments. Dinners out, movie nights in, girl time with the sisters, a winning Orioles game vs. the Yankees, a baby shower, and a long weekend with my college roomie helped this month speed right on by. I’m trying to soak it all up. As much anticipation as I feel, I’m never quite sure when the last time I see an old friend or drive down a certain street will be. I don’t mean that to sound melodramatic—it’s just kind of a fact. I mean, it’s not like these things will definitely be the last time ever. At this point, I’m really not thinking too far beyond the two years of grad school I’ve committed to. But then, I can’t say for certain that these won’t be the last times I do such-and-such, either. You never know where life will take you.

But enough of me trying to sound like Ferris Bueller. Pictures! A mix of film, digital, and iPhone in this batch. (Can you tell which is which?)


Mount Vernon Baltimore

Great American Canyon BandOn the first Thursday of every month in the warm season, the local public radio station, WTMD, puts on a free outdoor concert. It typically features a mix of local bands and nationally touring acts (John performed there a couple summers ago!), and it attracts a huge crowd. Warm weather, free attendance, and outdoor drinking? Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

This night turned into a bit of a drunkfest (as proven by my girly fandom talking to the awesome couple of the Great American Canyon Band), but earlier that day, I had been lamenting to John that I needed to get over my shyness as a budding photographer. When I see interesting people, I want to take their pictures but am hesitant to approach them. Well, all it took on the night of this First Thursday concert was a couple of beers, and I was happily snapping away at strangers. I found kind of a theme in my photos—men with dogs:

men with dogs

men with dogs

men with dogs


Yeah. Just let that sink in for a minute. Chances are, if your heart is made of ice, it just done defrosted all over da flo’.

Mount Vernon Baltimore

Mount Vernon BaltimoreEverything got kind of hazy after that.

The night the Orioles beat the Yankees was the perfect early summer night. Though it would drop down to the low 60s later in the week, this night felt like mid-July with Natty Bohs and french fries generously seasoned with Old Bay.

Camden Yards

Camden YardsAnd back to the theme of major life changes, scenes from a picturesque baby shower at McKenzie’s farm for our friend, Rachel:




baby shower


baby belly

Finally, I wrapped up the month by taking Justine, visiting from Long Island, around to some of the best places in Baltimore. (It was a great excuse to spend a little money before I can no longer do such a thing frivolously.) I think this might be my favorite picture from the whole month:

two heads

And with that, I leave you with wishes for a happy weekend. Now I’m off to do a little car shopping. What, you ask? Yeah. Ole Bertha was never part of the cross-country plan, but she is making it difficult to safely get around for the next few weeks. Looks like I could be taking the plunge on another car a bit earlier than I thought. This is going to be interesting. But at least I get to go on a few fun test drives.

See you in June.

Through the Lens: photos from April

April in photos

girls on trampoline

Well, here we are again. As we wrap up April and look forward to May, I can’t help but be just a liiiittle antsy for things yet to come. Live in the moment, I remind myself, and then I laugh and laugh because who am I kidding? That’s hard to do with you’re living the metaphorical equivalent of needing to pee really badly when the next exit isn’t for another ten miles. (I’ll save the explanation on that one for another time.)

I’m going to keep this month’s photo round-up light on the text and heavy on the images, because I apparently did a lot of snapping in April. These first few shots were just a handful of at least a hundred from one afternoon, which consisted of lots of flipping and jumping in the warm afternoon sun. My favorites are the two where it looks like Elsbeth is levitating:

girls on trampoline

girls on trampoline

girls on trampoline

bambooAnd don’t get me started on these magnolia blossoms. God, the LIGHT. The COLORS. Have I ever mentioned I love warm, spring weather? And pretty things?

magnolia blooms

ladybug magnolia tree

girl in spring

stone house

stone wall

I can’t get enough of my animal neighbors. How photogenic are these guys? Mikey (the donkey) is the most social donkey I know on a first-name basis. He also happens to be the only donkey I know on a first-name basis.

horse's face

donkey's face

John and I headed down to Fells Point for Record Store Day, and the Sound Garden was PACKED. There was a line snaking out the door and down the sidewalk, so we walked around for awhile and came back later.

record store day

Baltimore rowhomes

blue doors

Baltimore rowhomes

Baltimore’s rowhomes are the best. I love the gorgeous architecture, ugly formstone, and ubiquitous quirks. This Natty Boh (a Baltimore staple, though it’s not brewed here) can seems almost strategically placed:

Natty Boh can

Baltimore rowhomes

Fells Point

Fells Point shipsAnd did I mention it also happened to be National Pirate Day? Swear to God I saw Captain Jack Sparrow. This guy had the high-quality clothes, eyeliner, and drunken prance to match Johnny Depp’s. One day, I’ll be inconspicuous enough to take pictures of strangers.

And so—amayzingly (get it?)—concludes another month. I’m looking forward to girly weekends with my sisters and BFF/old college roommate, interviews with awesome people on WTH, major spring cleaning, and telling (good) secrets.

How about you? What do you have going on in May?

Through the Lens: photos from March

through the lens outtakes

March was an interesting month. I felt like I was in a holding pattern pretty consistently throughout, just waiting for someone to tell me how the rest of the year would pan out. I spent the majority of the month toiling over the site redesign, often getting so frustrated with code that I wouldn’t touch it for a couple days in a row. Did I mention I’m not a designer? There were times when I really wanted to give up. But then, I would figure out something as simple as getting the body text justified (to the left, to the right—see those smooooth edges?) and treat it as one of my life’s greatest victories—and then go back to lamenting over Google fonts and incompatible browser issues.

But, as you see, I figured it out for the most part! I’m scrappy like that. And it wasn’t all torture. As you can tell from the photos above and below, there were some fun parts about (re)branding this here space. All the new photos of me you see around the blog were taken by John, whom I corralled into acting as my professional photographer in an afternoon conveniently scheduled after a fresh haircut. (This had to be done properly.) Of course, there were outtakes. I don’t take myself too seriously.

outtakesAnd even though March was so busy that I almost kinda forgot to actually come up with new content ahead of time—as I’ve grown accustomed to doing—I didn’t forget to take pretty pictures. Due to my obsession with the new Nikon, it had been awhile since I took out the Minolta, so I decided to mix it up and do a little bit of film and digital—the best of which are featured in this month’s photo round-up:

by the water

portrait dramatic lighting

girl and dogThe two photos above are of my youngest sister, Elsbeth (11), who asked me to take some shots that would go in her fifth grade graduation slideshow. I was honored to do so, and Iris was elated to make a guest appearance.

Baltimore Normal's book store

Baltimore Normal's book store Baltimore Normal's book store Baltimore Normal's book storeNormal’s book store, pictured above, is a Baltimore landmark. John traded a bunch of books for a bunch more as I contemplated buying one of those cool dinosaur reads. I was happy to see my girl Patti Smith front and center in the vinyl collection.

Out-of-character (and out of morbid curiosity), we ventured downtown on Saint Patrick’s Day and shared a few drinks with my dad. I say “morbid curiosity” because holy crap, Baltimore gets sloppy. (But what American city doesn’t on such a revered cultural holiday… I mean excuse to get drunk?) Great for people-watching, though. Plus, I made friends with some drunk girls in the bathroom, which is just a thing us girls seem to do.

dog on Saint Patrick's Day Canton Saint Patrick's Day Baltimore rowhome Fells Point facade

Baltimore rowhomeThe door made of plywood on that rowhome doesn’t exactly sum up Baltimore, but it is so very Baltimore. And those crazy building facades, with nothing but sky behind the windows? I guess I missed the memo on that one. But good for Fells Point for preserving the history while they fix things up. Oh, and that’s the Virgin Mary in the background of the last shot, FYI.

Even though it was cold the last couple times we ventured downtown, I so wanted to explore more of the city streets and take tons of photos. The places that I think would make for some of the most interesting compositions are also, coincidentally, often the most dangerous parts of town, so I don’t take my chances. But the architecture, the mural art, the grit, and the faces all around the city are so photogenic. I can never leave my camera at home.

As yet another month races out the door, I readily embrace April. It probably won’t be any less hectic than March, but I’m hoping it will finally bring some warm weather around. In true spring cleaning fashion, I want to get busy paring down on all the crap I own. For such a tiny (and usually tidy) above-the-garage bedroom, I sure have a lot of unnecessary stuff in it. Hopefully a less cluttered home will make for a less cluttered mind, because I’m ready to get some freelancing biz going. What do you have going on in April?

A year in photos

2012 was one of my busiest and best years yet. It was also my most photo-filled, so what better way to sum up the year than with a few of my favorite shots? Some 2012 highlights: John and I took an epic trip to southern California that even a phlegmy, hacking cough couldn’t ruin. I got bangs and then spent the rest of the year growing them out. I took on an internship (which led to a part-time gig) at Urbanite magazine on top of my other job until the magazine folded. One of my bestest friends got married, and although I couldn’t convince her to let Bill Murray (their sheep) be the ring bearer, I did get to be a bridesmaid. I attended a number of musical events—the most memorable (and painful) being Firefly Music Festival. And most importantly, I amped up this here blog by putting in more writing time, launching an interview series, and getting to know you guys better. When my hard work was recognized by the Baltimore Sun thanks to your votes, that felt pretty darn special. Thank you for that.

So while 2012 was arguably one of my best years yet, I’m prepared to say the same about 2013 a year from now. There’s a lot I have planned that I can’t wait to share with you guys, and I’m lucky to have people who care to read about my adventures. I hope your own plans and adventures are equally as thrilling—and if not, why aren’t they? There’s no better time to come up with some dreams than right now.

Oh, and psst…

Nikon D3200

I got a fancy new camera. Don’t worry, I’m not done with film photography. But I WILL be taking a lot more pictures. See you in 2013!

California coast

Highway 1 Hollywood sign Baltimore architecture Baltimore drinkery

Clipper Mill

self portrait girlies the mutts the mutts the sisters the sisters Ocean City desk girlfriends


kitteh party time believe New York City autumn light family in Tennessee Patterson theatre Baltimore

Mobbies at Creative Alliance

Mobbies at Creative Alliance name in the sand