Wednesday, September 12, 2012

(9/9/12) Hannah

We hadn't seen each other in ten years.

Walking up to her house, I felt apprehensive. "It really has been a long time... I don't even know what she looks like! What if she's really quiet? Oh goodness. This is going to be awkward." I mean, really. Knowing that I'm going to be staying at someone's house for a few days, and I don't even have an inkling of what they're like = instant awkward turtle me.

Hannah and I met when we were... how old? We must have been... two? Our families both lived in Houston, Texas at the time. She and I were great friends (for age two... I mean, how great can friends be when you're two?), but we eventually parted ways when my family moved to Illinois. Life happened. Ten years of it, in fact. Somewhere in those ten years, both the Socolofsky and the Hansen families ended up in sunny California! They settled So Cal, we settled Nor Cal, and, bizarrely, Hannah and I ended up in the same homeschool speech and debate league!

My mum, brother, and I were in So Cal for a tournament in that very league at Concordia University last spring. To cut costs, we decided to stay with another family who was also participating in the tournament -- guess who?

Despite feeling wayyy awkward walking up to their house, right when the door opened we got along like we had seen each other last week. Within ten minutes, Hannah and I were sitting on her rooftop patio laughing our heads off about goats and random phrases. :)

We hit it off so well during those few days at the tournament that I flew down to the LA area to visit her for a week last month. Gelato was devoured, beaches and caves were explored, Sherlock (BBC!) was watched and fangirled over, card games were played intensely, etc, etc. In other words, we had a fantastic week!

Many photoshoots ensued as well, of course! 

She's so, so beautiful.

I'm crazy for this light:

Her dad is a phenomenal photographer, so she's practiced (and fantastic!) at modeling:

Pier pelicans:

Right before decided that he had enough of this photography nonsense and went for me and my camera:
The lovely Pacific on a (very) sunny day:

The Wayfarer's Chapel -- made of redwood and glass.
On the beach!

So lovely:
The very last shot of the trip:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

(9/8/12) Land's End

It feels so good to finally be posting all these images that have been waiting on my computer for so long! I've been shooting a ton lately, so this still isn't the end of it. Catching up feels great, though! :)

Sometimes I feel like I do way too much exploring. I. Explore. Everywhere. I went to San Francisco with my family recently, and foregoing downtown and all the touristy places, we went to Land's End (look it up if you haven't yet; it's beautiful) where I hiked around, got sandy, explored caves, and just generally ruined my new shoes! It really is the formula for fun and adventure. Go somewhere new + bring a camera + don't worry about getting dirty = instant best day ever.

So much wildlife:

 We named him Andrew. He's pretty sociable!

 A new black and white preset I made on Lightroom 4:
 I have no idea where I'm going to explore next, but I'm already looking forward to it!


What would you do if you had an empty summer stretching out before you? Maybe make that an almost-empty summer with a little bit of schoolwork thrown in 'cause you fell behind during the regular school year (in other words, make it my summer). What would you use all those lovely, relaxed, (almost) empty days for? Maybe a little travel, and keeping up with general life, but mostly just enjoying the peace?

Once I learned that I would have three almost-empty months, I did what any insane person would do and immediately began slacking on school, making myself incredibly busy, traveling all over this fine country, working on business stuff, training to become a barista at a local coffee shop, having friends visit from out of town, visiting other friends, learning how to drive, and just generally spreading myself way too thin. Sigh. Trust me to do that!

So, in other words, it's been quite the summer of adventures! Traveling hither, thither, and all over makes for a busy, exhilarated, tired me. Let's just say I can't wait for more routine life to take over. 

My mum and I really got into hiking over the summer, scouting out a few lesser-known trails to explore. We found a trail to Codfish Falls that winds next to the American River up near Weimar. It was a long, steep, pothole-filled drive in a compact car to get to the trailhead, but the falls ended up being absolutely lovely:
When visiting my brother Justice at UC Berkeley, we went hiking in the hills behind campus:

Black and white or color? Sometimes so hard to choose...

Muir Woods, north of San Francisco:

This image isn't one of my best, but it's photographic proof that I braved my intense fear of bees to get this close with a 55mm lens:
Lovely San Francisco from across the bay:

Flying to Illinois to visit family:
The kid in the next row on the plane who seemed very interested in me and my family -- so, so cute:
Nighttime over Colorado:

Nighttime over St. Louis:
There are no photos from my family's trip to Illinois, since I decided to forego documenting the family get-togethers and start participating in them more. However, I still have tons of images from the rest of my summer, all of which I just finished editing and will be posting soon!

One more thing: I got the sweetest note on my blog the other day from a girl my age, who encouraged me so much. Even over a crazy and sometimes discouraging few months, it's encouragement from my friends and even people whom I've never met that keeps me going with photography. Thank you all so much!