San Francisco Photographer

It's Been a Year // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Last week on Valentine's Day was my one year anniversary living in Seattle.  One year since I got on a plane with my carry on suitcase filled with camera gear, the one trench coat I owned and my sweet parents who insisted on helping me move to my new loft.  I stayed quiet about it because I wanted to feel it first.  I wanted to privately bask in all the memories 2017 brought me.  I thought about how I would blog about it and decided that instead of showcasing street photography of Seattle, I would share some of my favorite personal photos taken on my iphone last year.  Some are grainy and low quality, but I kind of love that.  It's real and imperfect, just like my life.

 

* The first two photos were taken days before the move.  My best friends came to help me pack and it will always be a time I look back on with a full heart.  

I'll never forget a few days before I left L.A I had a shoot in Santa Monica.  The sun was shining, it was 75 degrees and strangely more beautiful than usual.  It was the kind of day people were talking about.  Even my Uber driver had something to say about it. We drove in silence and enjoyed the breeze coming in from the windows.  I hoped she didn't see the tears rolling down my face as I thought about how these sunny, warm days were soon to be limited.  I teared up again on the way home, but tried to enjoy the ride nonetheless. I memorized how the wind made the palm trees sway and how the sun peeked through the leaves making me squint.

I came home, continued to pack and a few days later it was time.  I said goodbye to all my friends, my beloved apartment, sent a million texts to everyone I care about and just like that, touched down in Seattle. My mom hugged me as tears rolled down my face.  I felt nervous, anxious, worried and yet, excited, free and motivated.  It's surreal feeling so many things at once, but I knew it was where I needed to be. 

My parents and I spent the first week getting me settled and walking around downtown together.  We put up shelves, I made them dinner and I thought how very soon I would be making dinner for just myself.  I only knew a few people and had no idea if I would see them often or if I would meet new friends soon (I would and I did).  I started counting down the days until my friends in L.A would come visit me because I already missed them terribly.  I giggle looking back at those early days because almost all of them have now come up to visit.  

As I think about all the things I accomplished last year with my business, I feel such pride.  It's my baby and I protect it with everything I have.  I'm also happy to report that my time here has allowed me to come back to myself without distractions.  I was lost and searching for something and I finally figured some things out.  I've relished in the little things like seeing the leaves change for the first time in my life.  I moved into a workspace/livespace environment like I always wanted.  It's a place I hold shoots, study light, host friends and where I hide from the world when I need to recharge.  It's funny how an extrovert like me still needs a lot of alone time.

There have been really stressful days full of questions and uncertainty, but I pushed through all that and embraced everything that came my way.  I've worked harder than I ever have in my life, I've met some amazing friends and explored a new city that I'm still getting to know.  I've learned that I'm stronger and more resilient than ever before.  Most of all, I'm braver than I ever gave myself credit for and that's something I want to bestow upon everyone I love.

// Be brave, learn to trust yourself and go with your gut.  Things still scare me and I still worry about a lot of things, but the difference is now I do the things that scare me despite the fear.  I feel free and I'll always work hard to keep that sense of peace within myself. 

So, what's next?  I have some ideas, but I think I'll let them marinate for a little while.  For now, I'm going to enjoy where I am at this very moment and stop fighting the urge to eat the pint of ice cream that's in my freezer.

I also just want to say thank you.  There are so many of you that have been following along on this crazy journey.  So much has happened and I'm thankful to have had you with me.  To my people in Seattle, I don't even know what to say to you.  You are my lifeline here and there is NO way I could have had the year I had without you.  You made it fun, you made is safe, you made it special, you made it home.  I'll cherish you always.

Moorea Seal // Seattle Editorial Photographer

Sometimes when I take meetings with new clients, may it be couples or brands, they ask me how I got started in photography.  What was my first inspiration?  The answer is storytelling through fashion meets emotion.  I really think that's the best way to put it?

I always loved dressing up my friends and taking them somewhere in the city and bringing the images in my head onto my camera.  I think that's why I love working with brands so much.  It's an opportunity for me to bring that first love and first instincts to life over and over again.

// Moorea Seal thank you for creating such amazing pieces and consistently bringing together local artists into one place.  Seattle is so lucky to have you.

// THE TEAM \\

Photography >> Elizabeth Zuluaga

Jewelry >> Moorea Seal

HMUA >> Oliver Beauty

Styling >> Claudia Brady

Model >> Emilee West

Alex // Seattle Lifestyle Photographer

Once upon a time,

Two ladies met on Instagram.  They exchanged messages and comments about their love of music, dancing and photography.  They fancied the idea of hanging out in Seattle together and sharing stores over whiskey.  

One day, many days later, those messages and comments turned into in-person conversations.  They shared whiskey at the beach and giggled about how it seemed they had known each other for years.  They began to share playlists and help each other in business and well, in life.  They found themselves dancing on a hill that begins with the word Capital and to this day are known to work out of a bar until its well past happy hour.

They are a safe space for one another and work hard on protecting that space.  This so called space is filled with encouragement, inspiration and laughter.  

Oh, Alex.  I often tell her it's like she is a piece of my soul manifested into a human.  I mean, that sounds so dramatic, but it's also just so true.  She made the last year of my life so special and I'm so thankful I found her.  Find your people, don't let go.

Sailing Through the 4th

My friends and I thought it would be great to spend the 4th of July sailing in San Francisco and watch the fireworks from the boat.  It all sounded so romantic and fun, but alas, we all found out I don't have sea legs so I spent the day dizzy and extremely nauseous.  Has this ever happened to you??  It's pretty awful and I don't think I'll be sailing again any time soon, ha.  I guess what I want to say is thank God for good friends.  They managed to still have a good time despite constantly checking in on me, bringing me water, avoiding the high current as much as possible and helping me in ways I don't even want to get into...I'll spare you the details ;) Annnnywayyyy...I snapped a few photos when the day started (you know, before my world got fuzzy) so I thought I would share.  I'm also excited to share a fresh new look here very soon so stay with me, k?  Here's to good friends and a better 4th next year.

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A Nod to Summer's Ending + Photos from Cancun Mexico

Oh Summer.  It really IS all it's cracked up to be.  Every spring I think to myself, this summer is going to be better than the last and you know what?  I'm usually right.  I was so inspired this summer and I realized that I shot more these past few months than ever before.  I went on more trips, I saw more friends, I threw more parties, I mended a broken heart (including my own), I watched dolphins swim in the ocean and I ate my way through LA.  The list goes on and on.  I hope the following reminds you of your summer and perhaps inspires you in some way.  

* The sun coming in through my window every morning telling me to wake up and get outside.

* Iced coffee I chilled the night before.

* Welcoming home friends that moved back to LA from the east coast and beyond.

* Dinner parties in my apartment filled with music, laughter, hugs and twinkle lights.

* Days at the beach that started at 11am and ended at 7pm (or longer).

* A Road trip with the windows down to watch two of your most special friends get married.

* A Road trip to your cousin's wedding in Palm Springs and being honored with the responsibility of photographing it for her.

* A sweet, short flight to San Francisco to visit your friend that moved and forced everything to change.  That first beer together in the bar never tasted so good.  Maybe it was because we missed each other or maybe it was because catching up over a beer felt familiar and that in itself felt like nothing had changed.

* Driving to the desert to photograph a girl with the most stunning skin I've ever seen and capture that beautiful warm light.

* Allowing myself to cry due to a broken heart, but better yet, allowing a friend in during such a dark time to comfort me (something that is hard for me to do at times).

* Taking walks at night with my girlfriend who lives next door to buy salted caramel ice cream followed by long talks on my couch.  Sometimes we laugh so hard I wonder what life was like before we shared a wall.  There is nothing like a delicious laugh attack.

* Singing on the top of my lungs while driving to orange county with the sun roof open and all the windows down.

* Getting to orange county and being greeted by an old friend who reminds me every single day that I'm worth it.

* Taking a long overdue trip to a beautiful country to lay in the sun with a friend.

* Stumbling upon a new friend at the beach who not only makes everything better, but shares cupcakes with me on a weekly basis and realizing they are one of the best surprises that summer could bring...

* Letting go of the past and allowing that sweet, warm summer air to take the pain away.

* The ocean whispering to keep my heart open because anything can happen if I just listen.

* Watching my bedroom turn bright tangerine orange as the sun sets over the city and then just like that, it is dark, cool and I am fast asleep (kind of like falling in love).

* Getting all your friends together for no reason at all and enjoying cocktails under a blanket of soft lights.  Looking around the room that night my heart was full and never have I been more proud of the friends I have made in my life.

 

Photos I took on my mini digital camera in Cancun last month.  We stayed at The Grand Mayan Riviera Maya and it was by far the most beautiful resort I have ever been to and I can't wait to go back.  We made nothing but warm memories there.  Here's to summer...

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Wanderlust No More - For Now | San Francisco

I think the hardest thing about growing up is seeing your friends move away.  They are so much a part of your every day life for so long and then one day they meet someone, fall in love and move to a new city.  It's happened several times now where close friends of mine move away, but the one thing that has remained the same is our friendship.  I'm proud of the fact that my little circle stays close no matter the distance and I think that's because we just really need each other.  A codependency in the best way!  We may have separate lives, but at the end of the day we still need that phone call or that text or that little weekend trip to reconnect. Last weekend I took that trip to see my friend Matt in San Francisco.  Once upon a time we were having dance parties in his living room every Saturday night and trying out new bars in Silverlake.  Then one day everything changed.  I miss those days, but so happy about his new life.  Cheers to friends, dance parties and new chapters._MG_3481_MG_3487_MG_3488_MG_3492_MG_3496_MG_3500_MG_3502_MG_3507_MG_3518_MG_3524_MG_3531_MG_3532_MG_3538_MG_3554_MG_3555_MG_3561_MG_3569_MG_3572_MG_3576_MG_3585_MG_3593_MG_3620_MG_3632_MG_3637_MG_3639_MG_3658_MG_3667_MG_3669_MG_3674_MG_3680_MG_3688_MG_3691_MG_3692_MG_3695_MG_3706_MG_3707_MG_3711_MG_3712_MG_3714_MG_3715_MG_3726_MG_3728_MG_3731_MG_3733_MG_3734_MG_3747_MG_3760_MG_3763_MG_3768_MG_3770_MG_3774_MG_3776_MG_3792_MG_3794_MG_3798_MG_3847