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.


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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