Cambodia enveloped me in a hug that smelled like incense. Sweet and smoky evening air filled my lungs as I hopped onto a tuk-tuk and set off into the city with a few strangers that would be soon become my best friends. We passed through crowded, dusty streets filled with the noise of motorbikes, cars and people laughing in languages I couldn’t understand.
It wasn’t a postcard. It wasn’t perfect. But oh my gosh, was it beautiful. Cambodia has this authenticity to it. The people, the villages, the cities, the history. I felt safe there, and genuinely welcomed by the Cambodians I had the privilege of meeting. Never have I been smiled at by so many kind strangers before.
I only spent a week there, but it changed me. I had never planned on visiting Cambodia until I signed up for Bobby Earle’s Raddest Photo Trip Ever when I heard about it on Andria Lindquist’s blog. Was I doing anything in February? Nope. Was I all in? Yup.
So, not only did this country astonish me, the people who were with me did too. I learned so much about understanding the simplicity of happiness, staying true to oneself, new business ideas and photo tips, and so much more that I can’t even begin to explain here. Every day was an adventure. Tuk-tuk rides at dawn and dusk, playing with children in remote fishing villages, exploring temples, goofing off with monkeys, drinking 75 cent beers, having really meaningful conversations about life, and of course, taking tons and tons and TONS of photos. Because when you get to hang out with Bobby Earle, Nick Radford and Andria Lindquist for a week straight, not to mention 15 other incredible photographers, you get inspired.
Like, really inspired.
Sooo, here are some images. I took so much more than this, but if I don’t post a few now, I might never get around to it. So here goes. In no particular order. Enjoy!
(PS- I visited Thailand for two weeks after this trip and I’ll be sharing those photos soon in a separate post!)
I drove up to Seattle, Washington a few weeks ago to take Kristin and Michael’s engagement pictures around the city! They are SUCH an awesome, down-to-earth couple and we had a blast exploring Volunteer and Discovery Parks. I cannot wait to shoot their wedding in Cle Elum, WA this summer!
Last week I braved the winter weather and drove down to Corvallis to photograph my good friend Kris and his daughter in the snow! The valley almost never gets this kind of weather, so it was a ton of fun to just spend the day exploring and playing in it! I absolutely love this type of family session – low stress and all fun – the way it should be! Plus it helps that these two are ridiculously photogenic. AND Kris is actually a photographer himself too, so Natalie already loves cameras and was just a doll to hang out with!
She’s from Oregon.
He’s from South Africa.
The met in London during grad school.
Studied public health.
Fell in love.
Now they are counting down the months til they can live on the same continent. In the same country. Together. Married.
In the meantime though, a little frolicking on Mt. Hood will have to suffice!
This was arguably one of the coldest photoshoots I’ve ever done, but the day was BEAUTIFUL and so were Megan and Kyle! I actually went to middle school with this girl and hadn’t seen her since then, so it was a blast to catch up after so many years! I’m so happy she’s found such an incredible man to marry! Congratulations you two!
My little sister Claire and her roommate Mila spent thanksgiving with my family in Portland last week, and we did a little fashion test shoot just for the fun of it! It was something a little darker than usual, playing up their alter egos in the cold industrial part of town.
I met Tamra back in college at Oregon State, and she is actually quite the talented photographer herself! I was insanely excited when she contacted me about shooting her wedding and engagement photos, and even MORE happy when she told me she wanted to take the photos up on the mountain! Why? Because I am a wee bit obsessed with the whole Oregon-in-the-winter kind of photoshoot, and I LOVE going on adventures with people! This day certainly didn’t disappoint either. We drove up Mt. Hood, took random turns on random roads, almost fell in a river, teetered on the edge of multiple cliffs, got our feet wet playing in the snow, dodged cars on the highway, climbed up a mountain of chopped down trees, almost fell into ANOTHER river, and probably drove around 200 miles through some of my most favorite places in the state.
What I am trying to say is this:
The shoot was awesome.
See for yourself.
Lauren is a stunning senior at Oregon Episcopal School! She did my Advanced Package and went to three different locations for her shoot – Hawthorne Blvd, Forest Park, and the Holcomb Trestle! It was cold but gorgeous day and we had a blast taking pictures all over town!