Photography: California WorldFest

For the last few days, I danced and listened to music at California WorldFest. This global music festival is held each summer in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. It’s become a family favorite and for us it means free roaming children, pesto pineapple pizza, dirty feet, giant bubbles, dancing until your dizzy, hanging with friends, and discovering new musicians to obsess over.

This year I took my camera for the first time and snapped photos while I danced near the stage, walked through the festival, and sat on my blanket beneath the beautiful trees. The experience felt magical and refilled my creative bucket until it overflowed. I wrote snippets of lyrics as they caught my ear—”joy rings like a mission bell,” “words are your currency,” “love=revolution,” and “will we lemon or honey?”

Here are just a few of the hundreds of photos I took this weekend. I hope you enjoy them.


Cha Wa
Sunlight through the trees
Meklit
Sound equipment
La Dame Blanche
Dancing
Vox Sambou
Baby in colorful cape
Cha Wa
Dancing
Red Baraat
Rainbow parade
Red Baraat
Peace

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Photography: Home Sweet Home

It’s fascinating to discover the mood of a person’s home—the things they choose to collect, the way the furniture is arranged, and the items which make up the unique personalities of the people who live within its walls. I’d describe our home as weathered, warm, eclectic, and messy. I am sentimental. I have lots of artwork made by my kids, plants, a teacup collection from one grandmother, a glass perfume bottle collection from another, ceramics, and lots of books and photographs.

I’ve been mostly homebound this week so I decided to photograph things around my house—a tiny glimpse into the place I call home. I hope something here brings a smile to your face.

Next week I’ll be attending a music festival and should have some interesting photos to share with you. Have a wonderful week and, if you live where it’s heating up, stay safe!


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Photography: Dillion Beach

I’ve spent the last few days with my writing partner Anna, her daughter Bella, and my daughter Lola at Dillion Beach. While it’s over 100 degrees back home it’s been cool and overcast here. We’ve had several days filled with talking, relaxing, and writing. Considering the state of affairs in the world right now it felt extra special to be together as women near the healing energy of the ocean.

I struggled to photograph the beach in ways I haven’t before and I’m not sure I was very successful. I included a photograph of a fire truck as yesterday we came across a woman who broke her ankle on the hiking trail down to the beach. Anna held her leg and comforted her while the rest of us flagged down the first responders when they arrived. Watching how everyone came together to help this woman was a wonderful example of kindness in a world that feels a bit scary at the moment.

Thank you, as always, for your support of my blog. I hope you have a wonderful day.


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Here’s a bonus photo my lovely and talented friend Anna took of me. You can find her incredible artwork and writings at loscotoff.com.

Photography: Around the Pond

My photos this week were all taken around the pond at William Land Park in the early evening. It was warm outside and I learned the lotus flowers I wanted to capture only open early in the morning and are closed by mid-afternoon.

I had the intention of returning later in the week to try again, but my son started summer school and life got busy. Perhaps in a few weeks, when school finishes, I’ll have time to return to this beautiful spot.

Although I didn’t get the blooms, I am happy with the photos I was able to capture of the animals living around the pond, especially the dragonflies. Let me know what you think in the comments below and I hope you have a wonderful week.


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Photography: A Day at the Zoo

I’ve been looking at a lot of photographs and find I’m really drawn to photojournalism. I love when a photographer tells a story through their images, capturing a moment in time or the essence of a person or place. I’d like to work on developing my own style of images.

On the road to improvement, I’ll be dedicating the next few weeks to photographing on a theme. This week, my offering is from a recent visit to the Sacramento Zoo. I had a small child with me, so I didn’t have as much time as I’d have liked to stay in one place and capture multiple images. However, it’s all part of the process and I rather enjoyed myself.

Thank you for your support and have a wonderful week.


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Photography: Shooting Through the Chaos

This week was another busy one. It seems I’m running from one place to the next with barely enough time to write or photograph. It was my nephew’s graduation and we have family visiting from out of town. I’ve gone to bed late and woken up early each day and I still feel behind in everything.

I’m disappointed in all my photos this week. I’m not sure if I’m simply exhausted or I’m at the tipping point where I can see the faults in my work but do not have the skills yet to fix them. I’ve included two photos from the graduation and a few from a visit to the California State Railroad Museum.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a great week.


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Photography: Haziness Abounds

It’s been an incredibly busy week with my daughter graduating from 8th grade. Between crying, looking through old photos, and running from one event to the next, photography has been far from my mind. I’ve been feeling blurry, scattered, and overcome with many emotions.

Although I wish I’d taken photos of all the events, I really couldn’t. I needed to see and feel it all without hiding behind the lens, to be fully present with the community we are leaving after 13 years. I did manage a few photos around the house this week, and I’ve been given permission to share some of the senior photos I took of my nephew a few weeks ago. He graduates at the end of this week and I’m going to have a lot more chances to cry. He was the tiniest baby I’ve ever seen and he’s grown into a handsome, funny, and amazing young man.

I hope you enjoy my photography offerings this week.


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#100DayProject: Photography-Week Fourteen

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.” –Jack Kerouac

This is the final week of the #100 Day Project. I’ve learned so much about myself through this journey of taking hundreds of photos and publishing more than 70 here on the blog. I’ve gained a lot of perspective into the world of photography and fallen in love with my camera.

I also learned, that while I love nature photography, I don’t have the patience or time to get the shots I really want to capture. The hummingbird photo below, my favorite I’ve taken through the 100 days, was a happy accident. I was walking through Nevada City when this little fellow buzzed past my ear and then began flitting from flower to flower. I only got a few shots before he zipped away, but I love this one so much I’m going to frame it.

Although the project is coming to an end, I’ll continue to post photos each Monday. I have some great chances for photography coming up this summer and I hope I’ll be able to get my camera out of manual mode more and delve deeper into the wonderful ways I can capture the world around me.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my progress and given me feedback. I have felt very encouraged and supported in this journey. It’s not the end, but another beginning.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Two bonus photos:

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#100DayProject: Photography-Week Thirteen

“You don’t have to stay anywhere forever.” – Neil Gaiman from The Sandman

Last night I wanted to see the “blood moon” eclipse. Nobody in my family wanted to join me, so I went outside myself. The houses, trees, and clouds blocked the sky and I couldn’t see anything. Normally, I’d have let exhaustion win out and simply gone to bed. Being an amateur photographer though, changed my mind. I really wanted to try and photograph the eclipse. It felt important to me.

I grabbed my camera and climbed into the van, pajamas and all. At the top of the nearest hill, I found every single parking spot taken. It seems I was too late to the party. Driving and driving, I couldn’t see the moon anywhere and the only places I found to pull over were blocked by trees and houses. Time was ticking away and I was convinced I’d missed my chance, but I didn’t give up.

I put on some upbeat music and followed any road with hills, trying to get as high as I could. Finally, at the very end of my window of time, I found an area with new construction. When I pulled in I found a lookout spot clear of trees and people, complete with a cute little bench. A beautiful breeze greeted me and I spent about 15 minutes taking photos and allowing myself to enjoy this rare moment of peaceful reflection.

Photography and writing are giving me permission to seek out beauty and magic for myself. It’s giving me hope I’m going to be okay when my teenagers leave home, a blueprint for what life after the busy day-to-day mothering has ended.

I’m so grateful for this journey.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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My bonus photos this week are those I took of the lunar eclipse. Although the photos aren’t the best, they are some of my favorites. The last shot was taken as I was walking back to the van, a quick shot I was surprised to find out later not only captured my entire face but also the peace of the moment.

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#100DayProject: Photography-Week Twelve

“I cannot help but wonder how many of us walk through our lives, day after day, feeling slightly broken and alone, surrounded all the time by others who feel exactly the same way.” -Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things

While waiting in line in San Francisco this week to hear Neil Gaiman speak, I struck up a conversation with an interesting woman dressed in beautiful shades of green. We talked of our love of Gaiman, but also of our own creative endeavors. It felt wonderful to have projects to talk about and to feel comfortable sharing my journey. Art allows us to connect through our shared brokenness and to feel part of something bigger than ourselves.

I’m still new to calling myself a writer and photographer, but I’m loving this journey of creative self-expression. My photos this week mostly come from that overnight trip. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful week.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here are a few bonus photos:

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