April 30, 2017

San Francisco

I just looked up some nicknames for the city of San Francisco to title this post but just decided to stick with something plain and simple. Although one of them that immediately caught my eye was, "The Paris of the West." This is so fitting because I just bought tickets to Paris for a trip this summer (and I booked an Airbnb today which makes it much more real!). I have had a little photography project in the back of my mind since December and this trip to with Kali down to Cali was somewhat of a breakthrough.

I started journaling on my trip to NYC and most of my entries have just been recounts of my days, quotes I find inspiring and motivating, and things I want to remember. Mostly they're dry with a spice of something strange therefore sometimes it feels invasive and uncomfortable to go back and read them. I do remember a specific entry when we were on the plane back to Seattle. I was finishing listing all the places in New York we had visited and all my memories of the people bustling around with so much energy with no time to stop and slow down.

I think one thing that shows in my photography is the way many of my images stop and dare you to dream. I believe photography in general does this but there is an essence or particular way my portraits do this. I'm not sure how, I guess it's just how I decide to shoot in the moment... and who knows where that comes from. So I think some of you can relate to when I say I visualized, literally pictured, this first image in my head. The very moment I made it, I think I screamed or my jaw literally dropped. I can't really remember, it is such a blur. Maybe I should ask Kal. Not sure what happened, but something clicked. It was just one of those moments. The whole reason I photograph, the whole reason I travel, the whole reason my mind, body, and soul are so connected to photography.

After we spent two hours up at this lookout playing with my flowy dress and smiling so wide our faces hurt, we called a Lyft to get back over the bridge to where we were staying for the night. After 50 minutes went by of three drivers getting lost trying to find us, we decided to run. Across the Golden Gate Bridge. I tightened my backpack straps as short as they went and zipped my raincoat all the way up. It was drizzling and windy, dark, and so many cars passed by as we ran across, I truly felt free. This moment was the highlight to the trip after such a positive first experience of booking, planning, and executing a trip without the help of parents or a travel agency. My vans didn't fail me, and we made it to the other side, got an Uber and made it back to USF. When we made it across, it was 9pm on Easter Sunday and we were starving. Not much was open so we just started walking towards Haight. All thinking the same thing, we walked straight into the first place that we saw sold food. It was a classic San Francisco late night classy bar and restaurant and we treated ourselves to much a deserved feast. It was my favorite meal on the trip. Our flight the next morning was at 5:15am so we wanted to be asleep but we had so much adrenaline and we ended on such a HIGH NOTE!

To many more adventures, experiences, and dreams coming true...

xo, Hallie

April 22, 2017

Rows of Smiles


I haven't given spring enough credit in past years, it might just be becoming my favorite season! It's the great awakening of the Earth from the dead and cold of winter. The air is fresh, the colors are brighter, and everyone starts to find all the GOOD life has to offer!

I got back from San Francisco on Monday morning, unpacked, rested, worked out, got some homework done, and headed over to my Dad's. I drove the truck over on the ferry early the next morning and picked up Alissa at SU and we headed north for the Skagit Valley Tulip Fields outside of Mount Vernon! It was supposed to rain the whole day but lucky enough it ended up being overcast, the sun would peek out in between the clouds, and then after walking around taking silly iPhone pictures and enjoying our day outside, it started raining hard for probably 5 minutes. Everyone fled inside to the little market area but I told Alissa that we were staying. And let me tell you, it was so worth it. I love how you can kind of see some raindrops in these last few images. I am proud to walk away with these images. Not going to lie, it took me a while to find the creative energy here because the tulips are so short and flat and it was much smaller than I may have made it seem in these images. ;) You never know when or how inspiration will hit you.

Alissa and I have been finally checking many things off our little bucket list of adventures we talked about doing when we became roommates! On our ferry ride back to drop off the truck at my Dad's, I thought to myself how it's crazy how comfortable you can get around someone. It feels as if Alissa and I have known each other forever. I feel really lucky to gotten to this stage in our friendship because it really means a lot to me. Understanding how others live, and taking note about how even you portray yourself at times is something I've learned this year and it's important to take the time to slow down and recognize what you need to do for yourself to make your days the best they can be. Whenever I'm with Alissa, she teaches me so much about how I see the world. She says somethings that totally resonate with me but I would have never been able to find the words to explain what I was thinking. She feels like a sister I have never had.

xo, Hallie

April 20, 2017

Baked & Burned

Flights were cheap so Kali and I flew down to San Francisco for our long Easter weekend. Going to a Catholic University has its perks! This was my first trip in which I solely planned with out the help or input of parents, Kali and I put it all together and problem solved our way through. I'm really proud of being able to come back and reflect on the many things I learned while walking around alone and experiencing the life of the city. My nose is always on a map while traveling, I love learning all the cross streets and what is close to what, and what's the most efficient way to sight see. 

Thought these first images were fitting to share on April 20... haha... Anyways, Mr. Holmes Bakeshop was our first stop in San Fran! When Kali and I were talking about the places we wanted to make sure to hit on our trip, we both said Mr. Holmes at the same time! It's a classic little neighborhood bakery, doesn't even have a sign outside... when the Uber dropped us off we didn't think we were in the right spot... until we saw the neon sign. ;) We got a delicious treat to start off our trip and then walked down town a while and into Chinatown. Our first two days in the city were so sunny and warm, I totally forgot how harsh the sun can be and got a little burned on my face. Seattle has made me forget that sunscreen is a thing! We managed to hit so many points of interest on the first day and do so much walking, the next two were a little more laid back and we got to focus in on what we wanted to see. After Chinatown we walked to the Port of San Francisco, the Ferry Building, walked along the waterfront up to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square, then after 8 miles of walking we decided to take the bus to the Golden Gate Bridge. We stayed there a while, took it all in and snapped some really fun pictures. This day was full of magic and truly such good energy. 

When I was in London with National Geographic two summers ago, I remember our photo expert, Gianluca Colla, tell us that whenever he goes to a new city he will get on a bus tour so he gets a larger view of the city, he gets to sit and see the sights while fighting the jet lag or sleepiness that may have hit him, and he gets to choose what is worth going back to. I don't know how I've managed to remember something so little like that but I think it's a good idea for getting to know the area and energy of a place. Kali and I didn't hop on a bus but we did just walk around and got to see almost everything on our list. Then the next two days we had more of a solid idea of what we wanted to go back to and shoot.

I'm working on a couple more posts for this trip, I really want to sit with what I learned and share with you them in meaningful words! Let's just say Kali and I got creative on our last night in SFO and it's going to be an evening I will hold close to my heart forever. I'm really really excited to share some of my favorite images I've made here in the next few days.

xo, Hallie

Here's the link to the jumpsuit I'm wearing in these images! I absolutely love it. I have never felt more like myself.

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