One of my favorite quotes is from Francis Bacon. Truthfully, I really fell in love with it after learning that photographer Dorothea Lange took it up as her credo:
“The contemplation on things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitute or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention.”
There’s something invigorating to me about capturing people when they least expect it or when they aren’t paying attention. Is it an invasion of privacy? Eh, maybe. But in today’s Instagram-perfected world, I like photographing people when they aren’t posing, putting on the version of themselves that they want the world to see. I’d much rather remember (and see) people for who they are.
Here are some portraits from Paris (Note: Sam took the pictures of me ❤ )
Continue reading “Paris: Portraits”
The food. Oh, the food. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of my most distinct memories of Paris were focused on food:
Slathering fresh butter on warm, perfectly crusted bread in an ex-pat bar while the red wine buzz came in strong.
The thick smell of fresh pig fat bubbling over in boiling water to make ramen broth.
Creative and artful delicacies, subtly sweetened, beckoning on every corner—and hardly ever resisting the temptation.
Sharing a cappuccino with Sam at the Musée d’Orsay’s Café Campana, a fluttering rush of joy in my chest from seeing him for the first time in over a week.
Culinary masterpieces artfully arranged in display cases, impossibly bizarre and enticing.
Scarfing a defyingly tasty vegan burger in the spring sunshine en route to the Centre Pompidou.
Cradling a warm, chocolately crepe in my hands after a night boat tour on the Seine, huddled together against the cold with my DePaul classmates on our last evening together.
Unassuming street markets filled with raw meats, aged cheeses, piles of spices, and fresh vegetables, the air buzzing with the soft, romantic loll of French.
Suffice to say, these photos don’t need explanation: they speak for themselves.
Continue reading “Photos from Paris: Food”
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over six months (!!) since I went to Paris. The trip was a study abroad opportunity through my graduate school program. Together with 20 DePaul grad and undergrad students, I visited five different companies and learned about luxury marketing at the heart of this lavish city. After my week of studying abroad, Sam flew over to Paris and we spent another four or five days together.
Not gonna lie, folks: Paris wasn’t perfect. Sam and I were in a tough spot in our marriage. We tried hard to be normal while on this trip and, in the process, realized how drastically wrong everything felt between us. This trip was the peak of a volatile time in our relationship that lasted for months.
Continue reading “Photos from Paris: An Introduction; Places”
Since my previous post, I’ve received a tremendous outpouring of love, support, and insights from so many people. Believe me when I say that, aside from the day of my wedding, I have never felt such love and gratitude for all the people who share in our life.
My closest friends reached out and reassured me of their loyalty. Family members and relatives shared their inner demons and marriage struggles. Other couples (married or not) have reassured us that what we’re going through is not abnormal and worth fighting through.
Even people who lie on the peripherals of our social sphere have offered companionship, coffee dates, kind words, and a glimpse inside their own hearts.
To all these people and more, I can only say:
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(And also, here is a photo of Grand Traverse Bay for you. It is one of my favorite pictures and it fills me with joy:)
Your words, gestures, and vulnerability make us feel less alone. You encourage us to turn towards each other and ourselves. You provide a safe haven during a very rough storm.
One thing I feel I must say, though.
Continue reading “Thank you.”
A friend of mine who saw one of my recent posts on social media reached out and asked if I was feeling better. He knew that I’ve been going through a tough time, and wondered if my recent upbeat post was an indication that things were looking up in my life.
“I thought it was universally acknowledged that people only show their best selves on social media,” I replied.
In that very moment, standing in my kitchen waiting for my tea kettle to boil, I despised the kind of person that I’ve become.
It’s unclear how long I’ve been slipping into this person. Maybe it’s been my whole life, the way everyone conforms a part of themselves to societal standards. Or maybe it’s been the last few years, navigating through the world post-college. While I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, I think it’s happened slowly over the last 10 months. I’ve navigated a lot of difficult territory in the last 10 months, but I’ve not been very open or candid about that journey.
I don’t know how else to say this: I’ve felt very lost lately. It could be just your standard quarter-life crisis, but it doesn’t stop it from feeling real to me. It’s felt very, very real. Over the past few months, I’ve had some pretty monumental breakdowns. During that time, I’ve made an effort to dig deep, investigate the scary spaces in my heart, and ask myself hard questions. The result is that I’m lead further and further down into a space that I don’t often go:
Continue reading “Confessions”
We took the scenic route out of Grand Teton, climbing up and over the Teton Pass—and the entire Teton Range—as we headed west. The panoramic vistas of the National Park and its surrounding area were our final parting gift from this place as we crested the mountains and wove our way down towards Idaho.
There’s a good chance that no one else in the world puts Idaho on as high of a pedestal as I do. For over a decade, I have dreamed of visiting Idaho someday and seeing it for myself, with my own two eyes.
Why Idaho, you ask?
Continue reading “Rural Idaho and Total Solar Eclipse Hype”
Not gonna lie: I felt like a pansy for sleeping in a hotel after abandoning our campsite. I felt weak, I felt soft, I felt very un-wildernessy. I couldn’t face one of my biggest fears which made me feel like I wouldn’t experience this magnificent place in a natural way.
But honestly? All those feelings dissipated the morning after I woke up in that hotel in Jackson.
I felt like an entirely new person. I popped out of bed at the sound of the 6 a.m. alarm, packed up all our food for the day, and corralled a still-pretty-sleepy husband out the door—all in 45 minutes. We had a sunrise to catch!
Well, we mostly caught the sunrise. The sun was pretty high in the sky by the time we made it to Antelope Flats. The site was already crowded two dozen amateur and professional photographers. This historic Mormon community site is on the south side of the Grand Teton National Park, and the barns provide a quintessential sense of rustic living with the Teton range behind them. Photos of these barns show up all over the place if you Google Grand Teton. Even though it’s a little too “tacky postcard,” I’ll admit that it’s a pretty cool aspect of the park.
Even so, the barns weren’t our main objective (shocking, actually, if you know me). Hiking was our primary goal and we wanted to get on the trail. Since we skipped the main Moose Junction visitor’s center the first two days in the park, we stopped in and asked about trail conditions for Paintbrush Canyon and Death Canyon: both recommended by Ryan, our Teton-insider friend.
Continue reading “Grand Teton National Park: Death Canyon Steals Our Hearts”