I've been sitting on these images for a month, because I'm not entirely sure how to sum up my experience in Cuba. It's a country full of contradiction: filthy yet beautiful, peaceful but frustrating, simple yet terribly disorganized. Daily tasks and travel logistics take three times as long to complete. The people are some of the nicest in the world, but no two will give you the same answer to even the simplest question. It's easily the most difficult country I've traveled through, but at the same time I'm so thankful I saw it like this. It's changing so quickly (tourism doubled in the last year), but if you get there soon you can still catch a glimpse of an untouched country.
I love that rolling into a new year feels like a fresh start. You get to think about last year's challenges, mistakes, triumphs.. you get to hold on to what worked and let go of anything that didn't. It's a clean slate that makes you feel like anything is possible. Again.
2015 felt pivotal. It was a year that made me realize that life is constantly shifting. Decisions were made that felt all too "adult." My business was so busy that at times it felt overwhelming. Life sped up, and the momentum was difficult to keep up with.
Yet looking back I'm already realizing that it was one of the greatest years of my life.
It was my third year being a full-time wedding photographer, and even after all this time I feel insanely lucky to be able to call this a "job." I spent almost every weekend capturing peoples' happiest day while witnessing love in every form.
Wanderlust crept in and took over me. I visited 6 countries and spent about two and half months of the year traveling for pleasure. It allowed for innumerable experiences that I'll never be able to explain to another person, but I'm forever changed by them.
Now it's a new year, and that brings new clients, more weddings, more love, more travel and all the change. I'll take what I learned from last year and hopefully be better in every area of my life. Here's to a fresh start. I'm ready.
(These images were shot over the last five weeks of the year as I traveled through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I brought one film camera, a 35mm Canon AE-1 from the late 70's, and only a 24mm lens (the same one I brought to Indonesia earlier this year). To say this is limiting would be an understatement, and there were days and places where I never even snapped a photo. It felt good to let go of the need to capture everything at all times while also letting go of the desire for perfection that occurs when shooting digitally.)
I think this film was processed more quickly than my brain has been able to process everything that happened on this trip. I really don't even know where to begin...
I've been wanting to travel to Asia for a long time. A decade? Longer? I had always assumed I would go to India (for yoga) or Thailand (because everyone goes to Thailand), but Bali, or Indonesia in general, had never been on my radar.
I kid you not, I woke up in the morning about two months ago, and my first thought was, "I should buy a ticket to Bali." So I did. THEN I spent the rest of my day actually researching it (thank goodness it wasn't going to be monsoon season!), and I embarked on my two week journey a month and a half later.
I brought an old 35mm Canon AE-1 and shot Portra 400 the entire trip. I truly love the imperfect nature of film, particularly on an imperfect camera. Hell, I even lost an entire roll due to it being jostled in a motorbike accident (I prefer the story over that roll of film any day, but sadly my time at the ashram is not documented).
Honestly, there really isn't much more I can say because I'm still thinking about everything, but here are some snaps that hopefully do it justice.