Friday, July 25, 2014

Moving Locations


Hi All,

I have decided that I will be now using the blog on my website. You will still be able to follow the photo blog via Bloglovin' or Facebook. It will be easier for me (and you) to view everything in one space.

Goodbye, Blogger.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Photography Website

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My new website is up and running! 

Please check it out and let me know if you see any errors or issues. I haven't decided if I will keep posting here because I have been able to transfer all posts to the website. I will let you know about any changes I make, but for now blogger lives on.

Friday, July 18, 2014

B + W Spring 2014

Some more recent black and white film images from last Spring. The graininess of this film is so dreamy. Landscapes with 400spd black and white are a bit more nightmarish than dreamy, making the California coast to look a bit intimidating:

leaving the beach at sunset
California coast sunset.

California coast rocky shore. 

California beach looking like the moon.

On the Train
One of the few black and white images I shot while in Japan, on a train from somewhere to Matsumoto. I knew as soon as I took this that it would be a favorite of mine. I'm very pleased with the lighting and napping.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer, 2013

Sometimes it takes a year to develop a roll of film. I'm not sure why, but a lot of the photos I took were out of focus. Could be something with the lens or maybe I was just taking shitty pictures with my glasses on. Most of the images are super grainy (love!) because I used 400spd Illford B+W. Here are some highlights from Summer of 2013:

I have no idea where this is. Friends, your thoughts?

Look at that bearded fellow...
Gilroy, CA. At a friends going away party. We are adults and tractors are fun.

Santa Cruz, CA. A portrait of my Love in one of my favorite places.

a cut
Tollhouse, CA. That scrape is now a scar 1 year later.

Brandon with Red Dog
Tollhouse, CA. Brandon and Red Dog.

Monday, July 14, 2014


In a previous post, I mentioned how I am using writing to reflect on the changes I'm going through. Below is something I wrote at the end of June when I was feeling down and being a bit hard on myself for not having found a job yet.


Waiting on One Step

I enjoy feeling prepared, to plan, and to execute steps. I think of multiple ways for plans to go awry and ready any detail to bring plan B, C, or D into action. My mind is like a web; thoughts open into multiple directions and lead me to the best decision. I can back up and start over or change direction from a previous step. In the end, if the execution of plans that I’ve completed were mapped out in my brain, I’m sure it would look something like an upside-down tree.

My mother taught me how to navigate bureaucracy, fill out documents, and how to ask the right questions. She showed me the importance of completing something immediately because not only is that more efficient, procrastination is anxiety inducing. My father taught me how to light a fire, the importance of maintenance of all things mechanical, and to care for plants. He showed me how to figure things out on my own on a very intuitive level. Together, they taught that preparedness is a form of taking care of one’s self.

In theory, this is highly efficient. In my mind, it is difficult to separate when this is a necessary tool and when it is not. Yes, it is great to be prepared while going to the DMV by reading over and gathering what is needed, bringing precautionary documents to prove I exist. No, it is not so necessary to feel overwhelmed for a spur of the moment one night camping trip because you have had less than 24 hours to plan and are afraid of forgetting to bring forks, because good lord, how would you survive without them? Less planning or more planning, it doesn’t matter because I am a clever human being and can devise a fork from whittling a stick if need be or just eat with my hands. Clever is a backup plan, but it’s never fool proof.

So I created a plan to move to a new state and I have flown through each step with flying colors. I was on top of everything that could possibly be done before my arrival. Laying out the steps and reading them as a list is incredibly easy and fulfilling: change car insurance, health insurance, tune up car, change addresses for everything, load items into car, drive to new state, claim residency, change license and registration, find a job, create a budget, find a place to live, get a dog. I excel at making the plan and going through with the plan, but I am impatient when it comes to waiting. Yes, I completed all previous steps, but that doesn’t mean the “find a job” step will come quickly solely because it is next. I can not estimate how long things will take and it bothers me immensely.

The conflict of future plans vs. present patience is an ongoing battle. I work with all the fears I have from this conflict through writing and other creative outlets. However, the releases of these frustrations are very short bursts. I just want, so badly, to release it all with the security of reaching the next step. My plans are consistently getting in the way but are also so necessary that it’s difficult to determine what I should do to keep balanced because one step can make me feel simultaneously miserable and excited.  

I keep moving forward, but what am I if I only think of the end goal? It could destroy me if I don’t get there. It could create an unfathomable determination.  I could miss present opportunities to improve myself as a person because I am waiting on things to happen. I want to reconcile the many steps and things I have done to get to where I am today with what I want in the future. That reconciliation will give me the peace I need to enjoy everything in between.


Since the writing this reflection, I've received a call back for an interview and I've been doing a better job of enjoying the present. Yay!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

American Portraits and Oysters

I have a lot of images to post and catch up on. I have about 4 rolls of film that I need to get developed (each are 36 frames). I have a project that I actually started and am excited to share. I have photos from a wedding that I did last summer but I can't access because they're on my broken laptop. So many things!

I went to an oyster farm back in February with these two great friends, Deivn and Alex. We shucked, we drank tea from a portable burner that Devin almost burned down a picnic table with, we shared the how-to of oyster shucking with tourists, we watched the sunset, made fun of some bros, and then I got really sick from eating too many oysters. It was great!



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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer is Here!

July 4th brought in all the hot weather.

No more jackets after sunset!
All the grilling!
Drinking cold beers on the porch!
Sunlight from 5:30AM - 9PM!

Bring it, Portland.


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I moved to a new state

I moved to Portland, Oregon this past June. I have been planning this move since last winter and went through a great adventure to get here. Since arriving, I have been working through changes, adjustment, and thoughts by writing. Below is an honest reflection of my first week in Portland


Thoughts on Moving to a New State

I moved to a new state 10 days ago. I left Santa Cruz, California, the Bay Area, and a family I have never been more than 40 miles away from for Portland, Oregon. It is not an extreme move; there is no culture shock. I have not moved across the country to an uncomfortable and challenging place. The only thing I feel is a lack of security from not having a job, which is a tangible issue that can be fixed and will go away.

I feel nothing else but numbness. I can only describe it as numbness because moving is far too fresh in my memory, taking up space that I could use to think about my emotional state. In my mind I am still moving, I am still on vacation, I am still in a long distance relationship with my special man friend. I am both consciously aware of the changes I am experiencing by way of a new location and stuck in the moment right before I loaded up my car and hugged my mother as she cried.

I want nothing more than to be conscious of the change from numbness to feeling. I want to be someone who is aware of what is happening around them and how it affects them. I do not want to be a cold, distance away watching the days of my new life as they happen to me.

In the past I have survived on the thoughts that rise in the back of my head. They’re eerie and quiet. I try to ignore or hide from them because they were the kind of thoughts that were always right but very difficult, like a wisdom I just couldn’t handle yet; a learning experience I had to go through before I could understand. It took a long time for me to realize that the thoughts in the back of my mind were my own conscious desire to change and not some stranger giving unwanted advice. I had truly been lost to the point of not recognizing my own thoughts.

In a previous relationship, I heard the thoughts in the back of my mind telling me to leave. They gave me goose bumps down my spine as they drifted in and out of my head, telling me that I was being held back, that there was no love anymore. I ignored those thoughts because I thought I knew better. I was in denial of the facts, lost. I would look at him whenever he turned away, staring at the back of his head and think that it was this time. This time he would change. This time he would make an effort. This time he would turn back, filled with apology while the dark circles of depression below his eyes disappeared.

When I began to make the plans to move to Oregon, I waited for and listened to every thought that came to mind. I would wait days before making a decision, before moving forward. I spoke with my boyfriend, friends, family, coworkers, and even my Gyno regarding my decision to move. I wanted every difficult question thrown in my direction so I could see every angle; find anything I may have missed.

Over and over again I answered the same questions: yes, I will miss my family and friends, my routine, my job, the familiarity of knowing every street in Santa Cruz, the bartender that is confused by whiskey slaps, the barista who knows my bagel order, my large and wonderfully well lit and comfortable bedroom, the quiet bus ride to work. There are so many things to miss; it was easy to answer truthfully.

I thought about the questions and answers every day and late into the night as I stared above at the bedroom ceiling glow-in-the-dark stars. It didn’t matter to me how many times I asked or answered, it was always the same and I didn’t feel sad. I made it a point of maddening sureness during those nights that moving would not be something I could talk myself out of.

The plan to move began last autumn after my boyfriend and I decided that we would continue our relationship. Having been together for a few months, we were not entirely sure if we were ready for the pain of long distance. But we talked every day, fell in love, and wanted to see what would happen. In the following winter I decided that I too, would move to Portland. The plan included quitting my job, traveling in Japan, driving to Portland, living with family friends, finding a job, then finding a place to live and build a life with my boyfriend all before next autumn.

It was a very long, slow, and well thought out plan. I gave myself 6 months of planning so I could back out without scrambling if I changed my mind. I could keep my job. I could stay in Santa Cruz.  I could save my future self. I could stay home and safe, not giving myself the opportunity to travel and experience new things.
Though I had given myself ample time and a sense of ownership over my new direction, once the plan began it was a chain reaction of events. I bought a plane ticket to Japan for 20 days, which would require me to quit my job in order to leave for an extensive time. I gave my notice of resignation at work, went to goodbye parties and chatted quietly with coworkers in offices about our jobs without reservation. I moved out of Santa Cruz, placed all of my belongings into a box and shipped it up to Portland. I lived for a week with my family, then bounced around from couch to couch as I said goodbye to my friends. I put my fish in a jar, my best friend in the passenger seat, and drove eleven hours to the door step of my special man friend.

The plan I created to get to Portland may have been ridiculous on all practical matters: I left a secure job with health insurance, spent a good amount of money on travel, and had no future job prospect in mind.  I believed in my plan, was supported by my friends and family, had hope for a new job, and heard no voice in the back of my mind whispering disappointing mistakes. I was above the practicality of the situation in a motion to do something that felt like a good idea.

I am in limbo, filled with confidence and a sense of loss, in reflection of a life decision and a state of numbness I can’t seem to shake. I want to be conscious of change as it happens to me. I want to hold on to the experience and wisdom I have gained, to experience my past from the distance of learning, to own the decisions I make.  However, if I am going to be aware of change that will happen after the numbness has dispersed, I must also be aware of the possibility that I am just on the edge of being lost again, so soon after my arrival to this new state.

I am sure that I will lose and find myself multiple times throughout my life and I hope that each time that happens I become quicker and stronger when doing it.


I'm much less numb 1 month later, looking for a job, and figuring out what I want to do in this new place. And the best part is that I have no regret in doing this. I'm happy and I love living here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

365 Project from March

I'm getting pretty close to the 100th picture. I will feel accomplished with that number. Small and easy accomplishment, yes, but I'm making myself do this thing every day and keeping up with it makes me feel good about myself. Is that a good enough reason to keep doing this project? Yes. And no one can take that away from me. Woo!

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Doggy pariscope through the moon roof. // Spring blossoms in San Jose.

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The smell of slow cooking meats greets me each morning as I wait at the bust stop. Sometimes I appreciate the smell. Sometimes it makes me feel gross. // I slept there, on that couch, in a sun room. IT WAS MAGICAL! It was like camping in a warm, cozy, bubble.

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I've taken this picture multiple times. I will not stop. // Sunset from my windowsill.

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Finds from an even ocean walk. // Seals aka mermaid dogs in a giant, floating, cuddle pile.

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Crab face. // My foraging buddy found a log with oyster mushrooms.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

365 project from February

I will be taking my 56th photo today. Keeping up with one image a day is becoming more of a habit now. Before, it was a challenge to decide on what to photograph. I was very stuck on only producing what I thought to be "good" images and was trying too hard. Now that things are becoming more routine about 2 months in, I am able to produce a more laid back style of documenting. It's great practice to get out of self-pressure.

Here are some highlights from February:

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This window is my nemesis. I locked myself out of the house again. // The early morning rising shine is making getting up for work a whole lot easier.

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All the baked goods!!!! Handmade dough in Portland // donuts for breakfast in Santa Cruz.

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Being in a long distance relationship is really hard. I find myself giving begrudging looks to my bed and ceiling often. Bed wrinkles for one // stupid happy, magical ceiling.

Full project can be seen on Instagram @letitberaw. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

110 pt 2

I don't remember where I took these images. I also don't remember when, except for the general time of Summer, 2013. But I really, really like them!

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Ok, so I know this last image is of San Francisco. But the other two? Probably Santa Cruz? Maybe? A dream?

The 110 film shines with landscapes and outside images in bright light. I have a few poorly exposed images that I took with a flash that did NOTHING. Also, overcast images did not fair very well, but the darkness and the grain are something I appreciate. Will I use this film again? Probably not. In the end it was too expensive for the outcome, though I did have fun. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

110 Film from Summer of 2012 pt 1

I went through 3 rolls of 110 film rather quickly during the summer of 2012. I photographed with abandon, not expecting the expired film I was using to work, not expecting to find a place to develop it.

The finished rolls sat on a shelf. Every once and a while I would look at them and think about researching places to develop. I would have a circle of thoughts going from, "it will be too expensive, why bother" to "no one will develop it" to "they're probably blank rolls anyways" and then forget about the rolls until this same circle logic returned after I saw the sad little rolls sitting on the shelf again.

Why did this happen? Why did I so thoughtfully procrastinate? I don't know. Maybe I just like the surprise that comes with developing rolls of film after completely forgetting what I shot with them.

So, here I go now in sharing some of the 110 film with you and my attempts at remembering why this picture happened.

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I made a point of taking pictures of lighted signs thinking to myself "this is a photo project I can do!" But, I forgot immediately after taking only 3 pictures of signs. Life long project?

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It only makes sense that I would eventually get around to photographing all that I can within walking distance of my house. This is where I live and the things I see every day that I compulsively photograph. I have multiple pictures of the same images, especially of spaces that are physically the closest to me, like this shelf:

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My intention then with the 110 camera that could possibly be broken with film that had expired was to not think very much about taking different or new images. I took snap shots. This may be the reason why it took me so long to finally develop the film: I see these things every day.

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