It’s hard to believe that 2017 is wrapping up already! This year has flown by, and I can’t believe that 2018 will be my last full year in undergraduate school. 2018 promises to be filled with loads of new experiences (including applying for grad schools!), but for now I want to reminisce about 2017. So without further ado, here are some of my most cherished photographs from this year.
Favorite Scenic Photograph:As you may know, my friends and I spent most of our Thanksgiving break road tripping across the country to Colorado. On our first day in Denver, we found ourselves in Eldorado Canyon State Park. This stop wasn’t on our itinerary, and I’m so glad that we found ourselves in the park. We were fortunate enough to be able to see this glorious sunset!
Favorite Portrait (B&W):
For most of this year I have been working on a 52 Weeks of Film Project, where I use at least one roll of film per week to photograph what is happening in my life. Sami and I both rushed our sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, this past semester and once she heard about the project she graciously offered to sit for some portraits. They totally turned out great, and I’m particularly proud of this one!
Favorite at a Botanical Garden:
For some reason this year, I found myself at a variety of different botanical gardens. Maybe it was chance, or maybe it was because during the fall semester I was enrolled in a botany course and became mildly obsessed with plants for about 14 weeks. Either way, my love for plants definitely developed this past year, and I even started a mini succulent garden in my college apartment.
Favorite Portrait (color):
I love being a photographer because I get to meet the coolest people! Ally is no exception! Ally is a life long lover of golf, so of course we had her session at her local course. I had so much fun learning about golf, and getting to know Ally. Best of all, look at how awesome the light is on her face and hair in this shot – proud photog moment for sure!
Favorite Portrait (film):
I’ve been doing digital photography since high school, but I just started doing film this year. The learning curve has been pretty steep, but I think that finally (6 months later!) I’ve finally gotten the hang of it. This photo of my lovely pal was one of the first film portraits that I took that I was remotely proud of.
Favorite Eclectic Photograph:
My photography style typically involves up close headshots, and very little background. However, when Halee wanted to take photos at an adorable antique shop in downtown St. Charles I couldn’t say no to capturing all of the surroundings at the shop!
Favorite Photographs on Campus:
By far the worst thing about going to school in a small town is how suffocating campus can be. Sometimes it feels like you see and do the same things over and over again, until you’re able to leave for a school break. However, I convinced my friends to let me photograph them on campus. Not only did I have a great time hanging out with my friends, but I also loved getting to see my campus in a new light.
Favorite Travel Memory:
I would consider traveling to be one of the best (and important) parts of my life. I think that experiencing new cultures is something that we should all definitely do as much as possible. I’m incredibly lucky that I was able to travel to a variety of new places this year, but my favorite was by far Monterrey, California. My friend and I spent hours and hours exploring the fishermen’s wharf, and it was one of the coolest places that I’ve been in a while.
Favorite Duo Photograph:
I feel like this may be one of my favorite photographs that I have ever taken. I don’t have any reason why in particular, but I just adore it oh so much. Plus, have you seen Mack’s pup – LOVE!
Favorite Candid Photograph:Every September my mom and her boyfriend have a Labor Day celebration at their home. Their hometown has a balloon derby that weekend as well, so it’s always a good time. This year both of my roommates, and my friend from my time at Mizzou and her boyfriend all voyaged to my parents house to hang out and enjoy the last bits of summer together.
Minus the huge amount of snow and wind in Rocky Mountain National Park, the weather was nearly perfect in Denver, especially for late November. In order to take advantage of this, we decided to head to the Denver Botanical Garden on Monday morning. Even for late fall, the garden was spectacular. The tropical conservatory and the Japanese garden were definitely my two favorite sub gardens. The tropical conservatory was obviously indoors, so it wasn’t effected by the upcoming winter in the ways that the outdoor gardens were. They had a wide array of flowers and trees in the indoor space. Unbeknownst to many, we discuss a wide variety of gardens in many art history courses. One of my favorite garden types is the Japanese garden.
We definitely worked up an appetite wandering around all of the paths at the botanical garden, so we headed to Denver Central Market for lunch. There were around 10 spectate vendors in the interior space of the market. They served everything from artisanal chocolates and pastries, to BBQ and Italian cuisine. The interior of the building was decorated with hispter eclecticism. Stainless steel countertops, fashionable lighting, and neon signs stole the show. I decided to get the lemon ravioli at Vero, the Italian joint. In no way was my meal traditional Italian cuisine, but it was so good!
To burn off all of our lunch calories, we headed to the Museum of Science and Nature. Before we even saw the museum, we knew it was going to be crowded! We barley found a parking spot, and nearly ran over several small families who decided that darting across a busy street was a good idea. That being said, I am a museum person, meaning that I could spend my entire life going in and out of museums and be perfectly content. The Science and Nature museum had a wide array of exhibits from astronomy to dinosaurs and the human body. My favorite was Exhibition Health. Basically, when you entered the exhibit you got a little card which was your identification and you swiped it at each station. There were a bunch of different stations that measured your heart rate, your cardiovascular health, your height, and your arm span. But, the show stopper was the Genetics of Taste Lab. We participated in their study, where they are researching savory and sour flavors. The lab gave us each 5 different samples of liquid flavors which were either flavorless, sweet, sour, or savory. We marked how each sample tasted on a program. Most of my samples were flavorless or tasted a lot like beef, which was a wild ride for a 5 year vegetarian.
The sun was setting over Denver as we left the museum, so we walked along a nearby pond to admire the sunset on the mountains before heading to dinner at Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey. Since we went on Monday, it was happy hour and we splurged on guac and some really great margs as well as some of the most tasty tacos ever.
Wanna read more about my Colorado adventure? Check out these posts!
Oh man, oh man.
Thanksgiving break could not come soon enough to satisfy my heart. This semester has truly been a whirlwind for me. Earlier this semester I was initiated into Delta Phi Epsilon. Not only did I join DPhiE this semester, but I also served as the Vice President for my service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Couple my social activities with my upper level classes, and my photography business, you can see why I have been counting down the days until Thanksgiving break.
Two of my friends (Anna and Garren) and I decided to make the twelve hour trek from Missouri to Denver on the first Saturday of our break. We stayed in an AirBnB outside of Denver, in Aurora. The AirBnB mimicked the visual aesthetic that we expected of Colorado. It was oh so rustic, with a cute little loft for a living room.
Our first full day in the Centennial State was Sunday. I was lucky enough to wake up with the sunrise thanks to the skylight in the AirBnB (and snap several photos) before we headed out of Denver and into Estes Park.
Estes is a tiny little town at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park. Before heading into the park we got breakfast at Mountain Home Cafe. The cafe is a rustic joint that shares a shopping mall with a Safeway (throwback to the time that I lived in Oregon, and Safeway’s were on most corners). I ordered the Arizona hash browns. Living in Missouri, I’m way too accustomed to ‘spicy’ food consisting of an entree flavored with a lot of black pepper, and maybe if you’re lucky a splash of red pepper flakes. Thankfully, the hash browns were the perfect amount of spice, and flavor.
After breakfast we finally headed up into the mountains! This wasn’t my first time visiting the mountains, but it was the first time that I have visited in the snowy season. We do get some snow in the dead of winter in Missouri, but never never that much! We saw a bunch of people sledding, and a few people skiing within the park.
Once we had enough of the frigid temperates up in the Rockies, we headed back down into Boulder to get lunch at Happa, where I seriously had the best vegetarian sushi of my life. After lunch we did some window shopping on Pearl Street before heading to Eldorado Canyon State Park to watch the sunset.
Thankfully the park was mostly empty, and we had the beautiful sandstone cliffs mostly to ourselves. Anna and Garren spent a bunch of time climbing the cliffs while I prefer to keep photographed the beautiful scenery. Right as the sun disappeared from the sky for the evening, the sky turned a beautiful color. It was purple, pink, and blue all at the same time, and was swirled with gorgeous gold colored clouds. Never have I ever seen such a beautiful sunset!
Read more of my Colorado experience here and here!