Here are some images from a recent holiday/winter themed shoot with Rachel Grunig. It always is so much fun working with her. I love the final results. I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season and end of a decade!
Part 2 of our Bali trip continues with Ubud. Per the previous post, I didn’t take photos the whole time with my travel camera, about half are on my iPhone. My travel camera is pretty heavy, so for my next trip, I would love to downgrade to a lighter, less expensive camera that is a little easier to travel with. I also, believe it or not, took breaks from taking pictures. Nevertheless, here are our favorite places we visited in Ubud. Some will have photos and some not.
My friend Molly and I both really loved Ubud. We stayed at these amazing villas, The Samara, which I would highly recommend. The pool was wonderful, the staff were gracious, there was an amazing, fresh cooked breakfast every day, tea time, which were never around for, and the rooms were clean and private. The best part about staying there was that we were given cell phones to have mopeds come pick us up on the main street 24 hours a day. We would never have been able to find the hotel otherwise. Also it was very close to one of the famed rice paddy walks, with many street vendors and restaurants along the way.
Honestly, we could have just stayed at the villa the whole time, swimming, eating, walking and reading the whole time, but we did venture out to the town. We went to the famous Yoga Barn and did a heart opening meditation and the Monkey Forest. Molly and I thought we were going to die when we saw the baby monkeys, but couldn’t figure out why no one else was freaking out. We visited the Pyramids of Chi and had a gentleman sing to us Tibetan chants. We also went to two very decadent meals at Locavore and Room 4 Dessert. Both were amazing, but I would say after 2.5 hours I was really starting to get anxious at Locavore. AKA, Molly thought I might flip out. There were so many courses, I think probably 21 at each of the two restaurants. I can’t describe exactly how wonderful the Room 4 Desserts dinner was, but they moved us to 3 different parts of the restaurant, so it seemed to move along a little faster. We also got amazing massages, and went to the Water Temple and an art museum. Phew! All in 4 days. As I said though, we could have just as easily stayed at the villa. We did enjoy Ubud more perhaps than Canggu, as it was slower paced, and we could actually walk around there and feel pretty safe. We felt it was more authentic than Canggu, although Canggu was a bit more hipster, and geared toward the tourist, yoga crowd.
I went to Bali back in the end of October and finally got around to uploading the images. My friend Molly and I decided to go to Canggu, Ubud, and Nusa Lemgongan, and I will break up the posts that way. I figured it’s easier than going through 300 photos at one time!
Canggu was beyond amazing, though it felt so strange, and has essentially been built at an Instagrammer’s paradise. While we weren’t entirely able to experience true Balinese culture there, we were certainly able to enjoy wonderful vegetarian meals, yoga to our hearts desire, and fearing for our lives avoiding moped traffic. We did hit every beach club we could find, as it was in the high 80s with 90 percent humidity while we were there.
Our favorite places were La Brisa, an entire beach club that was built as some bizarre tree fort, The Practice where we got to experience Tantric Hatha yoga in an open air studio, complete with mosquito repellent, Tanah Lot, a beautiful temple on the beach. The gorgeous and insanely delicious pancakes were from Two Trees Eatery, and of course since I didn’t have my camera out at all times, we went to so many other wonderful places I didn’t take photos of, like Deus Ex Machina and The Shady Shack. I would highly recommend all of those if you ever go. Next post, Ubud.
Well it sure has been a long time since I posted. I just, this past week, submitted final photos for the new book, Animal Friends to Sew, coming out May 12th 2020. It is a new a new fun Animal sewing book by Sanae Ishida styled by Rachel Grunig and published by Sasquatch Books, with Art Direction by Anna Goldstein. Here is the link to the presale (EEEEK) if you want to order on Amazon.
I was so honored to be considered for this project to be the photographer! We started our talks last July, and did our first preshoot test was last August, if that gives you any idea how long it takes to start shooting a book. Then we went full force and shot a few solid weeks in April and again for another week in June, almost a year after our first meeting.
While we were shooting, we spent at least one full day of kids. I wasn’t as experienced doing it, but with a little research, practice, and encouragement, it went great and the kids were so cute. The trick is setting a pretty high shutter speed, and shallow depth of field, turns out.
It was so wonderful to get to work on this project along side some amazingly creative and talented, not to mention kind women. It really was an experience that I am very grateful to have had. I think the images came out so cute. And from start to finish, we all got along so well, and the shoot just went so smooth the whole way! I can’t believe how everything turned out from Sanae’s ideas, to Rachel’s styling, and turning them into photographs, and then a final book.
Here are a few of my favorite pics! A little sneak peak of some of the final images. Hope you enjoy!
In early October I went on a two week trip to Italy with my family. We went to Venice, the Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome. We started out in Venice and stayed at this beautiful airbnb outside of the main square. It was conveniently located near several main vaporetto stops. Vaporettos are the “bus” system used in Venice, but instead of a bus it’s a boat. One of my favorite things to do there was just take a vaperetto ride, which you could do anytime if you bought a 2 or 3 day pass, for about $30. I loved Venice, but I would suggest you stay away from St. Mark’s square or Rialto Bridge if you want to avoid crowds. I have never seen crowds like that before. And so many Aperol spritzes! If you get even 20 minutes outside of the main square walking, you can find a completely quiet Venice.
I absolutely loved going to St. Mark’s Basilica and listening to a Rick Steves tour. One tip on going to the Basilica that saved a ton of time was that you can reserve your entry time online, up to 10 minutes in advance, and bypass the enormous line outside. One day we took a boat to the Islands of Burano and Murano, which were both really beautiful. If you go, head straight to Burano, and hit Murano on your way back, which will save you a lot of time waiting for a vaporetto. I also really enjoyed the 4 hour food tour we went on. We were able to try so many kinds of cicchetti and learn about Venetian culture. Cicchetti is a Venetian specific style of food, very similar to Spanish tapas. Supposedly mostly eaten by the younger generation, who don’t make time to cook anymore. They just eat the small bites in bars on their way home. We also had a farm to table 4 course dinner at CoVino. Thank you New York Times for the suggestion. I would also recommend seeing the Doge’s Palace as a place to not miss!
Next stop was the Cinque Terre, which took about 6 hours to get to from Venice by train, with three transfers. We stayed at this amazing hotel, Hotel Villa Adriana, which I would go to again in a heartbeat. It was so beautiful, and served the most delicious Italian breakfast spread, with all types of cheeses, meats, and pastries. Very reasonably priced too, as I had a little single room for about $100 a night. The Cinque Terre was my favorite of all of the areas we visited in Italy, because it was all food, boats, swimming, and hiking. My favorite food I tried of the whole trip was there too, the fish cone! The specialty of Riomaggiore, is fried fish served in a paper cone, of course. Each of the 5 towns are connected by trails, trains, and boats, so it is very easy to get between them. My friend Gwen had joined us for this portion of the trip, and we would easily lose track of time swimming, or eating in one of the villages. I did end up hiking between Corniglia and Vernazza solo, which was supposed to be the easiest of the hikes, taking only an hour. We spent a lot of time swimming in Vernazza and Manarolla as well, which both have wonderful places you can take a dip. One evening we headed over to Levanto for dinner, which seemed like the quieter of all of the towns, and technically isn’t one of the 5 Cinque Terre towns. This would be the type of place that Italians might stay on vacation, it seems a little more low key, with less tourists.
After the Cinque Terre we headed to Florence. Again, we totally scored with our place, thanks to my Dad! Hotel Il Bargelino was wonderful as were the hosts. One full day in Florence we did touristy attractions, we went to the Uffizi, the Duomo, and the Accedemia. It was pertinent that you book a time for entry well in advance for each of these. You cannot climb to the top of the duomo without this, and there is a long line to enter the Uffizi, even with a reservation. I cried while seeing the Birth of Venice. My friend and I commented how helpful it was at the Uffizi to have downloaded the Rick Steves audio guide in advance. In Florence we really enjoyed the art of the long dinner. Typically Americans will go to dinner at 7pm and eat until 9pm, and then the Italians will head out for their dinner around 9:30. It winds up being beneficial to the restaurants since they can have two dinner services. Florence claims to have created gelato, so we at plenty of that there, though I can’t say that’s much different than the rest of our trip.
While my sister, her husband, and my friend Gwen headed their separate ways, my parents and I ended the trip in Rome. It’s funny, looking back now, I think at a certain point I stopped taking pictures with my actual camera in Florence. I have hardly any on camera from Rome. In Rome, again we stayed at the most lovely VRBO. We had a 2 bedroom apartment, and our host was so gracious. Again, I would highly recommend staying there. In Rome we spent a full day at the Vatican, taking a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, we ended the day with mass at the Vatican, which was a remarkable experience. We then headed to see the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain, and I had the best gelato of my trip, at Don Nino. I would say to not miss the Trevi Fountain at night! The next day we did a full half day tour of the Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, and we headed to the Pantheon, upon my insistence. I really didn’t want to head back home without seeing it. We sure did make sure we hit all the sights in the two days we were there. It was definitely a busy, yet unforgettable few days spent with my parents in Rome.
I worked on a test shoot (aka practice shoot) with Rachel Grunig a few weeks ago, and had so much fun using my lights to replicate bright sunlight. I always love working with Rachel. Her idea of shooting sardines and pasta turned out beautifully. The recipe for the chili oil can be found at Bon Appetit in their healthyish blog. Also, I am obsessed with the rosé & sunglasses shot we did. I can’t wait to do another shoot like this in the future!
In other news, I am going to LA this weekend, and I can’t wait. I always have a great time with my sister when we go and this time we are headed to Disneyland along with Venice & Hollywood. I can’t wait to share the places that we go to when we get back. I definitely know we will be hitting Salt and Straw for ice cream, Gjelina for pizza, and Moon Juice, our go to spots.
Also I am gearing up to go to Italy in the fall, which I am so exited about. If you have any recommendations for food please let me know! I will be headed to Rome, Venice, Florence, and the Cinque Terre.
Last month I got together with my friend and colleague Liz Hererra to work on a styled interior shoot. It was really fun! I love being able to practice shooting whenever I can, especially the more I am getting into interiors photography. Unfortunately I was feeling really under the weather that day. I am definitely feeling better now, though I am going through a very busy time. I am on a 2 week streak! More often than not my summers are typically slow, so this is a bit of a change! It’s a good rule of thumb to say that the only thing constant is change. 😉
I am really looking forward to this summer. I have several trips planned, camping in Bellingham and a weekend trip to LA. I am also going to a food styling and photography workshop on Lummi Island, which I am really excited about. I will definitely be posting pictures from that. I will end the summer with Feast in Portland, which is always a good time!
I worked on a really fun summer themed shoot with Patty Whittmann a few weeks ago. I really am loving how everything turned out. I am noticing now we used a lot of very bright colors, which I love. We collaborated on the props, but she did all the food styling. I really like her idea of creating the blueberry ice cubes. How cool is that?? We had actually met during my internship in Photography school, and I had been wanting to work with her for a long time. She has such a wealth of knowledge is was really cool to talk to her about all of her years of experience in the industry! Hope you enjoyed the photos.
Rachel Grunig and I did another test a few weeks ago. I have been loving the shoots we have been doing. So far 3 in the last few months. I particularly love these oysters we shot, which were Sunset Beach and Kumamoto. It has been really fun to try different types of lighting and angles.
In other news, I am still shooting away and also busy trip planning. One far off trip to Italy in the fall and hopefully a smaller trip to LA over the summer or later this spring. I have also been excited for spring to finally hit here. It seems it just keeps getting colder!!! I am excited to get my garden planted over the weekend though. That is at least the sign that warmer weather is on the way.
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of shooting another project that Desirae Wilkerson owner & principal designer of M.O.I Designs had just completed in West Seattle. I absolutely loved this space. The combination of bright & subtle paint colors, cabinetry, tile, and lighting really pulled this space together in a modern, fresh way. I always love shooting interiors and working with Desirae. Hope you enjoyed the photos!