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29 Portraits Project
Portrait 20 / 29: Kate

Posted on: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

After a relaxing vacay in Hawaii and a wonderful birthday celebration (I’m officially 30 now guys!), I am back with the rest of my portraits from my portrait project. I ended up taking 30 portraits before I turned 30. Goal accomplished! So now it’s time to share.

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These are my portraits of Kate. Kate is someone I find hard to summarize in a blog post, which is maybe why it’s taken me so long to post her photos. Kate and I lived together the first semester of my senior year at Whitman (the second semester she was studying abroad and living in an apartment in Paris being très chic). Our house together was called the Byrdcage and it had amazing old wallpaper and chandeliers, and we filled it with vintage furniture from the thrift stores of Walla Walla. She had lived there over the summer and I when I moved in, she had just started dating Gabe. This last May the two of them got in engaged. They’re currently living up in Humboldt but before that they lived in San Francisco and Seattle and we met up whenever we were in the same area.

Kate calls herself an introvert (I feel I fall into that category as well) but I always love my conversations with her; she is wicked funny and smart. She is also grounded and driven and fun. For awhile she kept a weekly blog documenting Gabe’s outfits, which if you know Gabe, is a pretty hilarious premise for a blog. Mostly though, it was a place for her to share her writing. And Kate is a great writer. I appreciate her humor and insight.

Anyway, towards the end of July, while Gabe was away in France, Kate drove down from Humboldt for a visit and some portraits. She arrived on a Friday night and first thing Saturday morning, after grabbing some coffee and pastries from Verve Coffee, we headed to the Boardwalk.

I love the Boardwalk in the morning–before the crowds, when nothing is running or open yet. It’s technicolor on mute. I’d been wanting to take portraits there for years; Kate humored me and all my ideas. We started by making our way down the nearly empty but vividly colored Boardwalk. Next, we hit up the main beach. As the crowds arrived, we made our way back to my car and drove over to one of my favorite murals in Santa Cruz–a big black and white rendition of the Santa Cruz coastline on the back of a building off of Swift. We ended our photo adventures near a wall of graffiti behind the Jack in the Box. But not before an impromptu photo shoot with some beautiful flowering Oleander shrubs (I think?) that I spotted in a nearby parking lot.

Kate was so much fun to photograph. But mostly I enjoyed catching up with her. She arrived in the evening and we settled in on the couch with Buckwheat and talked about our lives–what we’ve been up to, friends, travel, work… The next day, after portraits, we met up with Christian and talked over a tasty lunch at the Picnic Basket. It was a wonderful reunion with someone I feel I can now call an “old friend”. C and I are planning on visiting her and Gabe up in Humboldt this fall and I can’t wait.

Here are some of my favorite photos of my morning with Kate:

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29 Portraits Project
Portrait 17 / 29: Russ

Posted on: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

So it’s been awhile guys. I feel bad about it. I was busy–at least for a while. My weekends were filled with trips: a weekend in Tahoe, a road trip to Seaside, Oregon, a flight up to Washington (followed by a ferry ride to Whidbey Island). The trips were filled with things I needed: trail runs, secluded beaches, brilliant sunsets, quiet sunrises, old friends, bike rides, bonfires, fresh clams, board games, family… But after each weekend away, it felt like it took me the better part of a work week to get back into my routine–to get back to where I could even begin to be productive again.

Last week though, I finally hunkered down and got back into the groove of photo editing. And now I have several sets of photos that are fully edited and ready to post… I just need to start writing. So here it goes:

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The first weekend of May, C had a conference (more specifically a worm meeting!) up in San Francisco so I decided to catch a ride to the city with him and spend the day with my friend Russ. Russ was a housemate of one of my best friends (Allison), before she moved back to Seattle. Luckily, after she left, Russ continued to hang out with me.

I’m told (by Russ) that we met before this, but I first remember meeting Russ at Bay to Breakers, when he was dressed as a Legends of the Hidden Temple contestant (his costumes since then have been equally clever and cool). In my experience, Russ is game for most anything. He goes to shows with me even if he’s never heard of the band (and has a good time), he can start a dance party pretty much anywhere, and he can gather large groups of people (who mostly don’t know each other) for celebratory weekends in Tahoe that end with everyone having fun (and everyone having some good stories). He’s just super great–friendly, funny, adventurous, interesting, and always entertaining.

This particular day with Russ involved Blue Bottle New Orleans Style Iced Coffees, wandering around the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building, a plate full of oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co., a trek up to Coit Tower through hilly gardens, and a jaunt over to Alamo Square. We were basically tourists for the day and I walked something like 17,000 steps (or so my iPhone told me) and we talked a lot and took some photos and the oysters were delicious and I always love Blue Bottle coffee and I had a very good time.

In conclusion, here are some of my favorites photos of Russ from that day in San Francisco:

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PS: Happy Birthday Russ! Thanks for walking all over San Francisco, letting me take your portraits and being a friend. Can’t wait to see you soon!

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