Happy, happy birthday to me! Today I celebrated my 22nd birthday by waking up in our cute AirBnB just outside of Denver! Our first expedition of the day was at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs was a few hours south of our AirBnb, so we decided to set off first thing in the morning (after breakfast of course, because who do you think we are). As soon as we exited the metro area of Denver, the weather took a turn for the worse. It started sleeting, and icing while we were on the highway with semi trucks going 75+ mph. It was hella spooky, but we made it to Garden of the Gods (all in one piece!) right as the sun began to emerge. And man oh man, was it a beautiful site! We spent most of the morning climbing around on the rocks and photographing the surrounding area before heading back to one of the many breweries in Denver.
We decided to go to the Great Divide Brewery. It sort of seemed like it was in a sketchy location because there was a lot of road construction happening on the road outside the brewery. However, the inside of the building was super nice and had a great aesthetic for a beer joint. We hit up the taco truck outside before ordering a round of grapefruit beers and settled in for a rather enjoyable birthday lunch.
The final stop on our Colorado journey was at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Denver. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge art buff (and I’m actually studying art history in college – say whaaaat?). They had a small exhibit which featured Mexican artists throughout the museum.
We were exhausted once we finally returned to the Airbnb, so we simply ordered takeout sushi and ate dinner whilst watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix.
Honestly, I had the coolest birthday weekend, and I can’t wait to see the many adventures that 22 brings.
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!
Ally’s whole family loves golf, and she’s been playing the game since she was a young girl. Now that Ally is in high school, she plays golf for her team. Ally loves the game, and she even hopes to play at the collegiate level. So how fitting for Ally’s session to take place at her local golf course! She drove me (and her adorable pup) to all of her favorite spots around the course on a cute little golf cart. I loved learning about golf with you, and I can’t wait to see all of the things that you’ll do in the future.
Lauren is lucky enough to live surrounded by her families 100 year old farm. And I was even luckier to get the grand tour of it while taking her senior photos. Sprawled around the farm were several barns, gorgeous homes, and so much history. I loved being able to see the gorgeous country landscape, as well as meeting Lauren – who is planning to go to dental school post high school! So fun! Good luck in all of your future endeavors!
The weather is finally cooling off here in northern Missouri, and I personally couldn’t be more thankful. I’ve been dreaming of the leaves changing colors, and bonfires with a warm cup of hot chocolate for what seems like months. Thankfully, Kacy’s session was right on the cusp of this weather change. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better evening to photograph Moberly High Senior, Kacy! There was a small breeze rustling through the trees, and that perfect golden hour glow. We were even lucky enough to see a family of deer roaming through the park’s beach!
Photographing my friends is honestly one of my favorite things to do. I love spending time with them, and laughing at the people giving us awkward stares as they pass by. But, more than anything I love seeing my friends faces light up when they see just how amazing they look in their photos. Kaveri, and Pujita thanks so much for hanging out with me and letting me take these photos.