las vegas, nv // 2013

and a few from some disposable cameras + iphone:

s’more milkshakes. secret pizza. diplo. unicorn mask. 25 cheeseburgers from in-n-out. new friends. old friends. 7 people in a prius. a wyn on my lap. no ticket! a fake marriage. a real marriage, too! so. much. confetti. pool timez. desert shoot. #nojudgement. #nopants. so much laughter and love. vegas.

i spent the past few days in vegas for a photography convention (wppi) and i’m sitting here and my heart is feeling so full. i miss everyone so much. these are probably the silliest group of photos you’ll ever see on my blog. none of these photos have anything to do with weddings (other than the fact that we’re all wedding photographers), but i need to post them because of how refreshed and loved i feel after this trip. friendship is a wonderful thing. most of my favorite people live in various parts of the country and we finally all got to meet up and hang out. it’s something i look forward to all year. it’s hard to accurately describe how i’m actually feeling right now. mostly thankful. thankful that i have these people in my life. thankful for all of the new friends i met this year. and thankful for how inspired they all make me feel. seriously, i love you all so much. xo.

lauren + sam

there’s just something about the beach in the winter time. the only thing you can hear is the waves crashing. you’re the only one on the beach. it’s a huge contrast from the beach in the summer. there’s just something so romantic about a deserted cold beach.

polaroids from palm springs

shooting more film was on my goal list for this year. i bought a polaroid 440 land camera a few weeks ago along with 6 packs of polaroid film. i packed them all in my suitcase to palm springs not knowing if i’d actually pull it out and use it or not. i had used this camera a few times before the trip and none of the shots really turned out, so i wasn’t SUPER excited about the camera yet. but for some reason, i decided to pull it out and take a few shots with it at the airport on my first day. the results were awesome. i fell in love.

i shot around 60 polaroids on the duration of the trip. a few of them didn’t turn out. a bunch of them are slightly blurry. a lot of them got bent from throwing them in my purse after they turned out. but you know what? that’s what i loved about shooting polaroid film. it’s not perfect. even my scanning of them is not perfect. i think this is one of my sloppiest looking blog posts, but also one of my favorites. this whole series honestly changed me.

i’m kind of a perfectionist. the kind of perfectionist who procrastinates on doing something because i can’t do it perfect in that moment. this camera forced me to move away from that. i never knew what i was going to get with each shot i was taking. it was always a risk. i didn’t know if the exposure would be right or if it would be in focus or if i waited long enough for it to develop. it drove me a little crazy, but in a good way. i learned to trust myself and my judgement a lot more. it somehow gave me more confidence in my photos, both digital and film.

it also urged me to do other things that i’m not used to. i started asking strangers if i could take their photos. at first it became an aesthetic thing. i was simply interested in capturing the culture and life of southern california. i started to notice that i was really connecting to each person i asked to photograph. not only were they interested in what i was doing (as most people haven’t seen a camera like that before), but they were interested in sharing a part of their life with me. i talked for a long time with a good handful of people about where they were from, who they were, and what they did. i loved creating a small connection like that to people around me.

lately i’ve been struggling with having connections and relationships with others. i spend 5 or 6 days out of the week at home, by myself, editing and working. so i guess you could say that interaction with people lately has been very low. i have been wrestling with that for a while now, but after this trip i realized something very important. all you have to do is reach out. for a large part of my life, i have expected others to reach out to me and would get frustrated when no one started conversations with me or asked me to hang out, yet i was doing diddly squat. if i were to just reach out to someone…even by simply saying hello to a stranger, i could feel those little connections every single day.

so, while this post may look like a bunch of under exposed, messy polaroids, please know that it has changed me for the better.