I forgot how freeing it is to take photos for fun! It’s easy to forget in the day-to-day grind of creating for work or money. I decided to buy a new point-and-shoot camera (FUJIFILM X70) since I was so sick of taking iPhone photos. It’s small so I can bring it anywhere and I love the fixed lens.
I took these photos of a model in an alleyway with natural light. They have a carefree and relaxed quality to them. Exactly how I felt shooting them.
And how beautiful is that red bougainvillea? It erupts on almost every street corner in the spring and summer and brightens my day every time I see it.
The last 3 months have been a whirlwind; creatively, emotionally, and spiritually. In late November, I decided after 30 absent years, I would go looking for my father. Coming to this decision did not happen overnight. I would say it took over a year, filled with prayer, being open and honest with friends and family about my fatherless upbringing, and a series of brave, blessed and perfectly serendipitous moments.
One BIG thing that helped move me past the idea of it and towards actually executing my plan was my decision to write about it. As a filmmaker the ability to step back and think about my life like a story allowed me to take action more easily. I decided I was ready to look for him, even if that meant finding something sad. I was ready to know more. I was ready to own my story no matter how it looked or ended. I did not need a happy ending. I needed to know I tried my best to have closure.
Luckily, I have the greatest roommate in the world. No joke! I never had to ask, he offered to come with me to Portland (from Los Angeles) to search for my dad, even though all I had was an address. My only clue. He not only provided me with the security of not being alone, but he made me feel excited about how we had to become old school detectives to find him. Since the subject matter had been weighing on my heart for so long, having him there to make it light and adventurous was exactly what I needed. I will forever be grateful to you, Dave!
Long story short, I found my Dad. It was actually quite easy to find him. The rest is a little more complicated and still unwritten. Complicated and hard, but good!
Right after I had found my Dad, Digital Bolex announced a short film competition called “Fearless Filmmaking”. The winners would have their films showcased at Slamdance 2015. I quickly knew I had to write and create a short film about my experience finding my Dad. I wrote/directed/and reluctantly acted in my short film over the span of 5 days. With the help of my VERY talented friends, we created a short film called “Love & I’ that Digital Bolex chose to showcase at Slamdance!
I know not everyone can relate to losing a father at a young age and finding him 30 years later. But this short film is not about that. It’s about overcoming your greatest fears and pushing yourself past what you know and out of your comfort zone. It’s about living a fearless life. It’s about forgiveness and love. It’s about owning your story.
You can watch it here. I hope you enjoy it! I know you can do anything you set your heart and mind to. I truly believe we can all live a more fearless life. #fearlessin2015
Around 30 woman, mostly strangers, spent the morning enjoying great food (like the cinnamon streusel biscuits with cinnamon honey butter pictured above) and conversation around a theme of oasis, with these questions:
What practices allow you create your own oasis and find your space in the desert?
How do we release the guilt of not having a packed schedule to allow yourself the time for restoration?
We went around the table sharing our opinions and individual stories. The topic struck a cord with me. This summer has definitely felt like a desert for me, where I’ve been struggling to find creative inspiration, where in the past it has come so easily. I feel like I’ve been bombarding myself with so much information (like too much social media) that instead of inspiring me, it has left me feeling drained. I’m excited for the fall. To stop and be still. To find inspiration in myself and the simple things in life, like a long hike or by creating things with my own hands.
Thank you to Darling Magazine for creating a beautiful space for us to open and honest with each other, as woman.
Interested in attending a Darling event? Check them out here.
Also, below is a fun video from the day.
Video by Willow + Niche
I fell in love with dance through ballet, taking my first dance class when I was 8 years old. I have such a vivid memory of that day, moving across the floor for the first time, unsure of the difficult dance moves but feeling brave enough to see where they would take me, one step at a time. I had this overwhelming feeling of joy, like something new had just sparked inside of me. Almost like I could see a glimpse into the future and how dance would change my life.
Even though we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, my mom found a way to pay for dance classes. Still to this day I have no idea how she did it. She somehow raised three kids on her own, while juggling multiple jobs and finishing her college education. She moves through life with so much grace, that even on the hardest days, she made it look easy.
I think she sacrificed to keep me in dance because she must have known how much I loved and needed it. I lost my father was I was very young, around three years old, and through dance I found a way to open up and express my emotions, instead of just bottling them up. Dance was my therapy. Dance was the way I learned to navigate through all of my emotions. Even now as an adult, when days get too overwhelming and I’m feeling lost, I take a ballet class and cry my way through a warm-up, slowly discovering where to put my frustrations. I focus on centering my thoughts, and by the end of class, I find myself. I leave feeling re-energized and ready to conquer whatever life throws at me.
I danced my way through high school and straight to college, where I studied dance, since it was really the only thing that I was truly passionate about. Somewhere along the way, I discovered filmmaking, realizing it was the best way for me to explore and combine all of the arts, instead of just focusing on one.
I was right about dance. Even though I never became a professional dancer, like I dreamed about as a little girl, dance will always be a huge part of my life. Dance has taught me how to trust myself, how to let go, how to feel free and at peace. Dance fuels my soul and has made me physically and mentally strong. I still take ballet class once or twice a week, and I am lucky to have found one of the best adult ballet classes in Los Angeles.
So thank you, Mom, for the gift of dance. Did you know how it might change my life and lead me in all the right directions? Thank you for everything you sacrificed. Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me. Thank you for always making me feel safe, loved and happy. And thank you for always knowing exactly what I need.
Happy Mothers Day, Mom! I love you more than you will ever know.
Photo cred: Left, my first recital, 8 years old, taken by my mom.
Right, 23 years later, taken by Christin Olive Photography
I love how a long, successful day on set makes me feel so fulfilled. Work is not work when you love what you do! It also helps when you have a hard working and insanely talented crew to create with! Can’t wait to share my collaboration with the oh-so creative Aaron Shinn & the incredible new technology from Matterport! This is a shot from our beautiful location today in Silver Lake. As you can see, it was horrible.