A lot changes in a decade…

Before I actually lived in downtown Sacramento I would visit it and just explore as a teenager. Between classes or when I had a night off and nothing to do, I would roam the streets of downtown and just take it all in. Having been dragged off to suburbia as a child and raised in what felt like the middle of nowhere, being downtown was an exciting cultural adventure for me. I remember one afternoon,  while going around and experimenting with my camera, I stumbled upon an empty parking lot that backed up to a cool abandoned warehouse. I took some photos around the empty lot and its building, which probably hadn’t been painted since the 50s, and then took a couple snaps of the top of that beautiful old warehouse.

The Historic Lawrence Warehouse, 11th & R streets, Circa 2004-2005
The Historic Lawrence Warehouse, 11th & R streets, Circa 2004-2005

Its 10 years later and I now live in that warehouse. I knew this warehouse looked familiar the second I saw the rooftop structure for the old water tanks. Somewhere deep in my very unorganized basket of negatives and their photos, I knew I had a photo of this building, which is now called the Warehouse Artists Lofts. I’m not sure if its kismet, coincidence, or just meant to be, but so many things lined up perfectly for me and this move. I literally found out about the opportunity to live here for cheap the night before the applications were due. The logo for the building is almost identical to something I made up for my own name when I was like 9, I used to sign all my art and stuff with that damn logo which was basically inspired by the FILA logo where all the letters were connected. That was the most embarrass thing I’ve ever typed, by the way. The final thing that makes me think this was totally meant to be, is this photo. There is something so weirdly historically awesome about living in a random warehouse I photographed a decade ago. I didn’t know that 10 years later that building would be dedicated to the artists of this town and become a historical landmark. I didn’t know that I would be a part of one of the biggest accomplishments for the Sacramento local arts scene. I am so in love with the history of this town and now I get to be a part of it. I get to experience it. I get to leave my mark on this city in one of the coolest ways ever.

Now my real work begins, I need to live up to what is expected of me here and I am terrified, because success is scary as hell, but I am also seriously excited to challenge myself and see what I come up with.

Portrait Practice

You might be tired of my posts about my best friend Krystal and her kids by now, but I’m not. I went down to Hantucky last weekend for a quick two day visit and to shoot some pictures for their family christmas card.  I’ve been needing to practice my portrait skills because I want to be a well rounded photographer and I hadn’t really shot anything in a while so taking their family portraits was a good little leg-stretcher for me. We scoped out a few orchards on our way to get a christmas tree and finally landed on one right in time because the sun was going down, and fast. I immediately regretted not bringing my reflector because of the weird leaf shaped shadows and the fact that we were shooting into the sun at some angles. We made do with what I had and tried to keep all the kids sane and happy. Krystals sister-in-law Vienna was there to help with the kids and kept them pretty entertained. I loved a few of the shots but I realized after developing these how much I still had to learn about shooting not only portraits, but family portraits. Kids are difficult, and getting everyone to smile, without looking constipated or blinking, is a task in itself. Now I fully understand why portrait photographers go digital. It just makes more sense. I loved a few of the pictures that came out even though Krystal probably won’t use them (I can’t blame her), so I decided I’d post them here. The last two were candid shots but ended up being some of my favorites.  Enjoy!

Krys & Emery
Krys & Emery
Victor Thomas & Carlos
Victor Thomas & Carlos
Vic & Carlos
Vic & Carlos

Vossler Farms Pumpkin Patch

Carlos & Mommy, Vossler Farms 2013
Carlos & Mommy, Vossler Farms 2013

So while I was in Hantucky visiting with Krystal and the kids, we went for a little outing to the nearby pumpkin patch in Visalia, which is about 20 minutes outside of Hanford. Every year Krystal makes it a point to visit a pumpkin patch with Emery and take family pictures in the fields, and this was Carlos’ first visit to a pumpkin patch. I’m so glad I got to be there for his first time. Emery was having a blast playing in the dirt (this kid is hilarious I swear), and I was going to town trying to use up the last of my b&w roll of film I had. Emery, being the little ham she is was taking every opportunity to model for Krystal and I, and Carlos was just taking it all in. We tried to get a good shot of Carlos in this cute little pumpkin outfit in the patch but he just wasn’t really having it, I can’t blame him, I wouldn’t want to sit in dirt and weeds too. It was pretty warm out that day and the we were all getting a little fussy so we decided to take a little breather under the tarps where they ended up having the corn pits. I swear to god those corn pits were totally zen for us and the kids, Emery was making corn angels and me and Krystal were just glad to be out of the sun and sitting down for a minute. After relaxing for a few minutes we decided it was time to go, Carlos was starting to get fussy, we were all hungry, and had to be back in town soon. We ended the trip with a stop at our favorite spot In-n-Out and a relaxing drive back into town. Overall it was a really great day, I loved getting to spend time with my favorite people and doing what I love- taking photos.

How can you not love this wildchild?
How can you not love this wildchild?

I wish they made maps for life.

scenic route

Saying I’ve been in a rut would be putting what I’ve been in, lightly. Whatever it is that I’ve been in, it hasn’t been fun and I’m not quite sure where I’m going now or how I’ll get there- I’m lost. I’m learning very quickly that I’m just not good at some things. School. Balancing life/work/health/education all at once, while retaining my sanity. Definitely not good at coping with extreme stress. I’m not great at being consistent.

The only things I’ve ever been good at are photography, and getting back up after being knocked down. I guess you could say that though I lack focus at times and change my mind often, I am persistent about rebounding from my failures, and oh boy have I failed lately. I’m finding myself basically back at square one in almost every aspect of my life and its really hard to be back here. Its kind of like being a drug addict returning to AA/NA after relapsing, relapsing so hard you can barely lift your head to speak of your struggle.

That is where I am right now. I’m trying to get back up and keep fighting for what I want out of life, although right now I’m not quite sure what that means for me. I guess right now it means focusing on surviving, maybe even thriving at work and picking up the camera again and remembering what I love about life, and being here in the moment. Sorry this post is so vague I just don’t really want to bore anyone with my whiney problems, trust me- my fb & twitter pals hear me bitch enough about my shitty situations lately. I just wanted to post and say although I don’t really feel like getting back up and trudging along, I am going to- because I have to, for my own sanity I have to.

<3

Happy Fourth of July!

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government. ”

Patrick Henry