Your Creative Solution


While waiting to shoot an engagement on Assateague Island a couple of weeks ago, I ran into some surfers braving some harsh wind and sand. Our mini husky, Drogo, fell in love with them and kept trying to follow them into the surf. We’ll teach him at some point–just not in 40 mile an hour winds. Cheers boys! Wishing you the best of luck and awesome waves!

I decided to take Elizabeth Olwen's class on Skillshare--Pattern Design I: Creating Inspiring Repeats. After browsing the work of other students it spurred me forward to create something of my own.

I'm not a great artist by any means but I found sketching to be calming and very cathartic. First, I gathered images that spoke to my personal style and made a mood board. Then, keeping the mood board close, I began some doodles and drawings. I actually really got into it.

These are some of my sketches so far. I haven't pulled any into Illustrator yet but I'll update when I get the chance to work more on it. I'm excited to continue this project!

If anyone is interested in taking the class, the link is below.

Our family vacation to visit my aunt in uncle in Vermont was perfect. I got the chance to try out the square mask for my Diana F+ to get 16 shots instead of 12. The mask definitely kept the vignetting and lens distortion at bay. I also tested out the premium glass lens and I think it worked beautifully. The images were crisp and sharp while still retaining the dreamy quality the Diana produces.

The hike up the mountain was tough but worth the stunning view. Drogo had a great time meeting other hikers--humans and dog alike.

The black and white images were shot without a mask to get 12 shots. I also used the plastic lens that came with the camera. They were taken on 120 Ilford Delta 400 film at Flagponds Nature park near Calvert Cliffs, Maryland.

Equipment used for this post is detailed below.


Diana F+ with square mask & without
120 Kodak Portra 400 film
120 Ilford Delta 400 Film
Premium Diana 75mm Glass Lens

Scanning and Editing:

Canon Canoscan 9000F Mark II
VueScan Professional
Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop plug-in: ColorPerfect






After hiking to the Washington Monument on the Appalachian Trail, we stopped in Frederick for a refreshing drink. I took some time while we were walking around to do some street photography. My goal for the hike and while photographing the everyday life of the town, was to only use my iPhone 6 plus to take and edit all of my pictures.

When people ask photographers what the best camera they use is, the answer is almost always the "the one you have with you". I decided to leave all my cameras, even the film ones, at home.

I have to admit I felt a little naked. It was strange but I enjoyed the challenge. I'm always up for learning how to get the most out of all my equipment.

I'm glad I gave it a shot, so to speak. Snapping photos on my phone allowed me to blend in and look like just another tourist.

The rules of street photography can be tricky. There is a continuing debate on eye contact in the photos you take. Some believe when the subject looks at you, you've lost your moment and the image loses its power. I'm actually on the opposite side. I tend to love those moments when my subject suddenly turns and glances at my camera because it involves the audience. It adds a more intimate feeling than obliviousness.

All the photos in this post were taken and edited with my iPhone 6 plus. The apps I used were the camera app that came with the phone, VSCO Cam, and Snapseed.

I had the privilege of working with thriving fashionista Kesha Kikaya. She was such a delight and dealt with the humid heat much better than I did. The gorgeous maxi dress certainly is a sign that summer is here to stay--at least for a few months!

Follow her eclectic and beautiful looks here:

Blog: Styled By Kesha




I was very excited to get my Diana F+ camera! I shot a roll of Ilford 120 Delta Professional 400 film last weekend at Flag Ponds in southern Maryland. I can't wait to see how the photos turn out!

As our 2 year wedding anniversary approaches, I can't help but remember how my husband surprised me with our honeymoon spot.

I wanted to go back to Hawaii. My husband hates looking like a tourist so he immediately tossed that idea aside. "Everybody goes there for their honeymoon." He scoffed. "I don't want to look like another haole guy walking around Waikiki with a map and no clue."

"But you'll be with a local girl and I'll show you how to blend in!" I protested.

"No. It's too expensive anyway." He said. And that was that. The case was closed.

As our big day drew closer, my husband kept dropping hints. "You're gonna cry when you find out where I'm taking you." Cry? Oahu would make me cry. My soul ached to be home, surging with Aloha and that calming island spirit. But we weren't going there. "Oh, you'll also need your passport." He told me. Okay. We were definitely not going there.

The day after our wedding my parents drove us to the airport. "You're going to love me even more when you see our tickets." My husband was beaming. He looked like he was about to burst at the seams. Apparently he had told everyone our honeymoon destination and unfortunately everyone had glued their lips tightly shut.

The tickets printed out and I felt my palms getting sweaty. My nerves were doing jumping-jacks. My eyes widened when I saw the airport. "Phoenix? We're going to PHOENIX???" I exclaimed. Panic gripped me. Beach. I had asked for a beach. I'm a Pisces. A fish stuck in the desert? No thank you!

"Keep reading!" My husband urged. "That's just a layover."

"Honolulu International Airport." I breathed. I felt sheepish, silly, but most of all exhilarated. I was going home.

And yes, I did cry--a lot.

Some people think that where you've lived most of your life is your home. I disagree. I've lived the last fifteen years or so in Maryland. But my soul is not here. My heart is not here.

My heart is lost in the waves at Waimanalo. It's flying a kite on Magic Island at Ala Moana. It's searching for beach glass on the North shore and playing in tide pools.

Most of all, it's always looking for a way home.

Started working with the new Canon 9000F Mark II scanner this morning. It's great and produces high quality images.

This is a slide from the 1970s when my parents visited New Mexico. I used VueScan, Lightroom, and a Photoshop plugin: ColorPerfect.

My new reformatted resume.

10 Things I Hate About You was one of my favorite movies growing up. Seeing it again inspired me to make a design around Kat's poem.

I retouched an old photo of my grandma recently. She looks so glamorous! She was a strong woman with a beautiful spirit.

I loved this typography assignment.

We had to choose a typeface that fit a person, a place, and a thing. Then we had to cut out the letters individually and display them in a creative way that added to the word.

These are the strongest pieces. I used watercolor paper for added texture.

I chose a lifeguard-ish typeface and used spray inks diluted with water to create a reef effect. I finished it off with stamping fish to signify depth. Keeping the letters from blowing off the baseline was the most difficult part about this design.

I wanted to keep this design clean and let the type shine on its own. I hand-cut a stencil and added a couple rhinestones for simple elegance.

This project taught me a lot about patience. I had to redo these a few times to get the results I wanted.

What is Lomography?

It's experimenting with plastic cameras and not knowing exactly how your photos will turn out.

Holgas are a classic example. These types of toy cameras create a soft focus, vintage look. Holgas are known for their inconsistency from body to body. Some of them have more vignetting than others. But all of them are famous for light leaks causing some interesting and unpredictable results.

For my first camera though, I think I want to try the Diana F+. The reason being it has one more aperture setting and it also comes with a flash and colored gels. Those gels will come in handy when shooting black and white landscapes.

I'm looking forward to trying it out with some 120 Ilford Delta 400 and 120 Kodak Portra 400.

I created a fun little rule graphic to remind me to have fun and not overthink.

I got the background information and rule set here.

*Note: I did not take the photos used for comparison.

Got an A+ on my Corporate Identity assignment. Very happy! :)
(Logo, business card, letterhead)

Hiked down a bit of the Appalachian Trail. We had beautiful weather and a very happy dog.

Finally picked and printed my photos for portfolio review next week. Here are a few of my favorites.