Spring and New Projects: Denver Folks, I Need You!

Times like these make me want to do things that other people do with their blogs. You know… SEO, social media marketing, etc. You see, I am thinking of starting a new project. Something a little different from what I have been doing for the most part. I think most of my work focuses on single subject portraits that are, how should I put it, pretty serious looking. Which is all great; I do love what I have been doing so far, but, now I want to widen my experiences and style, if I may.

With that in mind, and what with the new season and all, I have decided to work with multiple subjects. A family (or families rather) may be. “Family” sounds too broad. I was thinking may be single mothers with their kids? At their home. An hour long session with fellow Denverites, making photos that represent Spring, family, love, and little joys.

I do not want to rule out single subject all together. I would like to work with ladies/gents but incorporate the same theme: Spring and little joys.

I have the idea, but now I need willings folks to actually work with. So, if you or someone you know is in Denver, and are willing to pose in front of my camera with your kids, or just by yourself, for an hour long session at your house, please feel free to reach out to me! Leave a comment or send me a message! Would love to hear from you, Denver!

With Elizabeth Endicott

Photo session with Elizabeth Endicott, at her cozy little abode in Denver.

Guys… what do you know?! I always find the coolest people on Instagram!! So, about a couple of months ago I somehow ended up on Liz’s Instagram account, and it took me like some 10-12 long swipes across my phone screen to run and get on my laptop and look up Elizabeth Endicott so I could send her a message. I did. She replied. Two months later, I was in her house, taking photos.

Continue reading “With Elizabeth Endicott”

Haruka Sakaguchi, With Regards to Creativity No. 01

An interview with Haruka Sakaguchi of The Denizen Co. for the new interview series.

For a while now I have wanted to interview creatives so I could get a glimpse at the minds behind the work they put forth, and share with my readers. I am so glad to start off the new year with this brand new interview series, with, none other than one of my old time crushes, Haruka Sakaguchi of The Denizen Co.

Haruka (that’s her right above) always felt like an enigma to me. She is the type of person who up and leaves the comfort of NYC and goes on cross country trips on a van, teaches workshops in Japan, takes photos that kick you in your gut, designs websites and magazines for other kickass people… well, I can go on and on, but may be you’d like to read the interview instead! Oh, and while we were corresponding back and forth, she was actually living off the said van, cruising across California, speaking with and taking photos of “Vietnam veterans living with dignity.”

Isn’t she awesome? Continue reading “Haruka Sakaguchi, With Regards to Creativity No. 01”

Year 2016 in Books

I’m still reminiscing 2016. Puuhahahaha… uhm, anyhow. One of the things that totally made 2016 rock was READING! And here’s my personal recommendations to you!

So, here goes my top 10 books read in 2016, in alphabetical order by the Author’s first name.

N.P. by Banana YoshimotoN.P. by Banana Yoshimoto (Translated from Japanese by Ann Sherif)

I’m a sucker for melancholia, and moral ambiguity when it comes to literature. This book has them both, and yet, pulls off one of the most feel-good endings I’ve read this past year. Don’t ask me how. The story is about a dysfunctional family, the weird attachment of it’s members to one girl — our narrator, and vice versa. Great book!

The Vegetarian by Han KangThe Vegetarian by Han Kang (Translated from Korean by Deborah Smith)

Creepy! And awesome! And the winner of last year’s Man Booker International prize. Need I say more? It is a story about a schizophrenic, anorexic girl, told by three different people — her husband, her brother in law, and finally, her sister. Three people tell her story from three very different perspectives, that show three very different sides to her. It’s a really, really smart book, and a haunting one on top of that!

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

Boy oh boy. Where do I even begin with this one?! This is one damn good book if you ask me! And the smartest one of the bunch. You see, our not so reliable narrator here is a Nobel prize winner. He has the temperament of one, and the brains. He tells the story so well, that he manages to even confuse his readers into looking at things from his skewed perspective, albeit for only a minute or two. But tell me now, how many narrators have done that to you, eh? Unreliable narrator, moral ambiguity, damn smart narrator, multilayered characters, an unusual plot and setting, and damn good writing. What else do you need?

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (Translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel)

Love at first book? This is indeed the very first Haruki Murakami book for me, and I fell in love! It’s funny how Murakami spins reality with the elements of magic realism. It is more real than its magical elements, and his characters speak to my heart unlike any others. May be that is why I love his books so much. And this particular book is just especially great, you know! A damn wise talking cat (well, of course! It’s Murakami!), a villain who actually makes you feel bad for him, two main characters who are polar opposites to one another in every whichever way you look at it, and just some really amazing side characters who make you wish you were friends with them. A must read for lovers of all things weird.

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

What I like about Oyeyemi’s books are the way they are written. Her books seem much more character driven than by plot itself. But that’s totally fine with me. In fact, I think White is for Witching is one of her books that has the strongest plot! Which isn’t all that strong, but that’s irrelevant. I just love reading about the characters in her books. This book was no different, and by far, my favorite of the few I have read of Oyeyemi so far. It’s a story about a brother and a sister, and their slightly unusual relationship. It’s a story about a family trying to cope with life and all that’s in it, after a tragedy. It’s a story about an excessively possessive house. Yup, you read that right! Now, go read it!

A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro

It’s Ishiguro’s debut novel, and because of that, I think, it doesn’t get as much rep as some of his other books. But for me though, this was one heck of a book. I had no clue which direction it was headed until the very end of the book… like, until the very last few pages! And suddenly the story became something completely different. And Ishiguro did all of that with just one word! One single use of a pronoun, to be more specific. I love when authors do not belittle their readers, or think of them as stupid. Ishiguro doesn’t. And I love that!

The Face of Another by Kobo Abe (Translated from Japanese by E. Dale Saunders)

This one was one sad one. Like, really, really sad. The narrator was so pained, so frustrated, and so damn pitiful that I felt heart-broken myself! He is an intelligent and accomplished man, who has had an accident that left his face scarred for life. His attempts to find some form of normalcy takes him down a somewhat bizarre path, but all along, we, as readers, see how futile his attempts are. But how do you say that to the face of a man who has lost all hope? All you can really do is watch from the sidelines, and wish for things to not end too badly… one can always hope at least.

Out by Natsuo Kirino (Translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder)

My first book by Natsuo Kirino, and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. The book focuses on four ladies who all have very different circumstances, but are connected by their late night job making bento boxes, until something a little more sinister makes their connection a bit stronger. And weirder. And in all of this, somehow, someone else gets tangled up, someone unexpected. Out is a really good thriller/mystery/crime novel with a really strong female protagonist, albeit a bit different. There is a deep psychological undertone to this book, that you may or may not like. As for me, I loved it!

Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami (Translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder)

This book! THIS BOOK! Was sooo goood! My very first Ryu Murakami book was In the Miso Soup, and I thought that was a-ok. And then after some time, I read an interview of the other Murakami, my favorite Haruki Murakami, on The Paris Review, and there he mentioned this book and how much he loved it. So I figured, well, if Haruki Murakami says he wished he could write a book like this, then I definitely have to check it out! And man, so glad I did. It was one heck of a book that one second made me laugh, next made me angry, then the next minute it made me disgusted, and then it made me sad, and then totally weirded me out, and repeat. But in a strange way, it was not overly done. It was just the right amount of emotional roller coaster that left me wanting for more.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I know, I know, I’m too late in the game, but hey, better late than never, eh? Two things I love when it comes to literary fiction. Unreliable narrator, and moral ambiguity. And as you may (or may not) know, Lolita has ’em both. Better books have been written with similar subject matter, but considering the time and place, I think Nabokov did a great job with Lolita!

Well, that’s that for 2016. I hope 2017 is just as awesome if not better in terms of literature! Wish me luck!

All book cover photos are courtesy of Goodreads.

Sub Rosa Mercantile — A General Store for Hand Crafted, Witchy and Quirky Finds

Sub Rosa Mercantile, a modern day general store for all sorts of quirky and vintagey little finds!

There are stores you walk into and you are mind-blown by the aesthetics and the spot clean interiors. And then you end up leaving empty handed because the price tag is a little over your monthly spending budget and/or you really don’t need the items. You may not even want them much at all! And then there are stores you walk into and you instantly feel at home… like it was a place just for you to hang out and shop at. Sub Rosa Mercantile belongs to this second category.

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Lore — Tea, Textiles, Home Decor, and a Place for the Community to Gather

Lore -- A shop in Denver Colorado that sells tea, textiles, home-goods, and brings the community together by hosting fun classes!

I came across a picture of Lore on somebody else’s Instagram profile on one fateful day. The rustic decor grabbed my attention first, and when I visited their website, I fell in love with the idea. Lore is a tea shop, that also sells home goods, textiles, women’s clothing pieces, and hosts an array of classes, like calligraphy, cooking, tea brewing, etc. It sounded like such a unique place that when Alex and Kiley, the owners, agreed to let me come and take photos of their space, I was beyond ecstatic. Continue reading “Lore — Tea, Textiles, Home Decor, and a Place for the Community to Gather”