Archive for September, 2013

corn island, nicaragua.

When life gives you an adventure, you take it.

I honestly don’t know where to begin with Brandon & Zandi’s amazing wedding experience. Perhaps at the beginning, when I was contacted by Brandon — they were originally going to have a wedding in Sacramento, but as the planning process got more stressful, they did as many people did — dreamt of going far away and getting married somewhere exotic and wonderful. Except, they actually went through with the idea! Both well traveled and formerly in the Peace Corps, they were very familiar and comfortable with planning a trip, so having a destination wedding in Nicaragua was far easier than trying to put together a huge wedding in their hometown. And I am so grateful for that, because they brought me along with them. :)

Here is the story of their island adventure wedding.


. . . . . . . . . . . .

I have never traveled to Central America. In fact, it was never on my “radar” so to speak, but I am so glad that I got the opportunity to visit, and fall in love with a whole new part of the world.

Corn Island itself was a wonderful little slice of heaven in many ways. I got check things off my bucket list (saw fireflies the night before the wedding, and got stung by a jellyfish the day after!), and I got to enjoy the most delicious seafood I have ever had in my life. Most importantly, I got to document a very special event in a couple’s life. So much of this trip was seeing, experiencing and making many many memories.

So many thanks to Brandon, Zandi, and their family & friends. This was a largely new experience for me (and Zach), and we are so massively grateful for such a wonderful group of people to have shared it with. Adventure muscles were stretched, and we cannot wait for the next one.


(Part two of our Nicaragua trip to come!)


OB Farmer’s Market + ice cream + cute bathing suits = <3

Can’t wait for their wedding this week!

Hair & Makeup by Thorne Artistry.

the importance of a photograph.

September 13, 2013

Emails like this make my heart soar, and reaffirms to me that doing what I love is the right thing to do.

Hi Susan,
I just wanted to let you know about what [this] moment you captured meant to me. I probably cried for about 2 weeks when I saw this. I couldn’t figure out if it was because Tony and I were truly happier than we had been in months in this picture. Or because I looked so much like my mom in her young black and white pictures when she married my dad. Or because I was wearing the sweater I had bought for my dad exactly the year prior in April and [had] given [it] to him in the hospital from my trip to Peru. That was one of the [most] difficult moments in my life.  He fought cancer for a quick 4 months but it felt like an eternity.  He never got to wear that sweater because he passed away on Father’s Day last year but somehow this picture captured every emotion I had last year and our movement forward for both Tony and I. You captured us in a truly happy moment and [because] that [had been] so rare for us for so long, I was filled with emotion when I saw the picture. Tony was so confused when I kept tearing up when I looked at the picture, but you are truly a talented person. I looked so much like my mom when she was young. It really reminded me of the old black and white pics I’ve seen of my parents on their wedding day and brought happiness and emotion to me at the same time.

It’s a simple picture but I loved it. To me, it reminded me of my dad, and the man I married and love so much and that life moves forward even when you don’t realize it. Feb really was a transition time for me. We passed the first holiday w/o my dad and it was just after my parents 40-something anniversary. I never thought I would see myself smiling like that for a long time. Thank you for capturing this even if you don’t realize what you captured. It was a genuine moment and means more to me than you realize. It made me happy and emotional at the same time.
Thank you.

I don’t often hear back from people whom I’ve photographed. Mostly because I think life gets the best of us all, and people become too busy to reply, or send a note. So it’s especially delightful when I do get a message like this, especially one so heartfelt & expressive. Even more delightful for me, because I honestly had no clue when I took this image that it would have as much impact as it did, but it really does go to show you that these little moments do need to be captured in our lives. And it just tells me that yes, photography is my path, and I am so grateful to be able to share with people not only what I see when I look at the world, but to give them tangible memories. Moments that allow us to reflect on our growth, and look back at where our life was, and is, going. Who we were in that very moment the image was taken. This is a powerful gift, and I an honored to be able to give it.


See the blog post from this trip.