2017 Year In Review

I was just reading a fellow photographer’s year in review posts and was inspired to create my own. My version will be a list of favorites. Here goes…


Favorite Art Therapy


That time we painted a zen tangle on my living room ceiling. #cooplife #stillinprogress


Favorite Small Town

An Amercian Village (2/8)

Amesville, Ohio.

I spent several months here in the Spring documenting life and culture and portraits of place. I discovered I really like to take portraits of place (i.e. pictures of a scene with no people in them). I also discovered that Amesville is a really cool community.

Favorite Mashup



A mashup up some of my favorite self portraits. #withoutdisguise


Favorite Exhibit

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The time Pete Souza came to town and I got to frame all his photos. Including this one. #rolemodel #photography #heinspiredmetocometogradschool


Favorite Self Portrait

Out of the Box

Out Of The Box


Favorite Adventure

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Hanging out with these two on a cross country road trip. #bestmodels

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Hiking a short trail down into the Grand Canyon to get this view. #nationalparks


Favorite Compliment

“You made god smile.”


Favorite Award

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Winning First Place in the Dith Pran Photo shootout Competition for this picture at the AAJA National Convention in Philly.

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This was my other photo from the rally that I submitted for the contest.  I actually like this one better because I have a thing for portraits.



Favorite Conference

There are so many to choose from. But I think the NLGJA National Convention in Philly was my favorite. I got to be part of the Connect: Student Journalism Training Project, and make some awesome friends and mentors in the process.

Favorite Story I Wrote


Created in God’s Image is the story I reported on as part of Connect. I got to spend some time with Rabbi Ari Lev who is genderqueer and trans and leads a reconstructionist congregation in West Philly. What a cool person.



Favorite Portrait


This is Trio, who I got to interview and photograph for a story about the new law allowing people in California to select a nonbinary gender marker on their IDs and birth certificates. Pronoun is a qtpoc zine I wrote, photographed, designed, and edited.

Favorite Profile


I was photographed by one of my favorite undergrad photographers for a Student Spotlight profile in my department.

Favorite Mentorship Program

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I was honored to be be selected as a mentee in the Inaugural Women Photograph Mentorship Program. @womenphotograph is an awesome organization sheding light on gender disparities in the photojournalism industry and promoting incredibly talented female, nonbinary, and transgender photographers.

My favorite twitter thread is their Week In Pictures Gender Breakdown.  Every Monday they report data on the break up of male vs. non-male photographers highlighted in different publications’ week in picture slideshows. *Spoiler* they are usually heavily male dominated.


Favorite Class Project


Did a project eliciting microagressions from people on post-it notes. Got a lot of good responses and it was very therapeutic. #arttherapy






Your Golden Opportunity Is Coming Shortly

Last Summer, I attended a conference in Philedelphia and got to spend some time with one of my favorite people, K. On Sunday, ate some delicious food at this Malaysian restaurant in China Town.

Afterwards we both opened our fortune cookies (which neither of us could eat because we are both sensitive to gluten.) But we read the fortunes anyway. Mine was quite optimistic and a very apt fortune to receive at the end of a very positive and successfully network heavy conference.

Your Golden Opportunity Is Coming Shortly.

From being selected to attend multiple conferences and workshops to being selected for an awesome mentorship opportunity with Women Photograph, I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to receive multiple golden opportunities over the course of the last few months!

At the beginning of Finals week, I even had an interview for an internship program this summer, so fingers crossed that it becomes another thing on the list of golden opportunities this year!

Wish me luck!

10 Day Breaks

I’ve discovered a tactic to be more balanced this year: Take week long breaks, at least once every month.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend several conferences this semester which have allowed me to travel outside of Athens quite frequently. It’s definitely nice to take mini vacations from school outside of just the major holidays.

Here are some of the awesome opportunities I’ve been able to enjoy so far:

AAJA National Convention, Philadelphia

NLGJA National Convention, Philadelphia
Women Photograph Workshop at Photoville, NYC

10 Day Magazine shoot, California

Atlanta Photojournalism Conference, Atlanta
Thanksgiving Break, Chicago

It’s definitely been a lot of travel. But it’s always nice to get a chance to stuff myself with Malaysian food and gluten free sandwiches, catch up with old friends, and get lots of awesome networking time and inspiration from cool photo speakers.

I’m hoping to keep this trend up for next semester and already have out of town conferences lined up for February and April. With spring break in March, I’ve got all my months covered!

Summer Road Trip #CaliforniaBound


Staying at Thayer’s Parent’s House in Iowa. #friendsparentsarethebest


We are too cool for school #roadtrip #somewhereintheUSA


Most well dressed hikers I ever saw #ontopofarock #somewhereintheUSA


Detour for documentation #mountains #somewhereintheUSA


Sometimes depression hits at the most unexpected places #documentingdepression


Hanging out on the biggest trees in the world #sequoianationalpark


Climbing things #themeofourtrip #somewhereintheUSA #wherethebigtreesare


More Mashups! #experimentalart #expressionism


Mashups are so fun! Great trip with great friends. And my car survived the 3,000 miles. 




A Year in Selfies (Part 2)



Semester 2 began with a fun non-literal photo project. #stilldepressedtho


Some days were harder than others. #documentingdepression


What the button says. #newpronouns #theythem #pronounsmatter


Started working on a new documentary art project. #gonnabemymastersproject


Carrying around all the photo equipment #forthenewproject #foundmyniche


Went to Chicago for an LGBTQ College Conference. #queer #outandproud




That time Pete Souza came to town and I got to frame all his photos. #photorolemodel


First time on a tractor! #thatmudtho




Did I mention about my new pronouns? #theythem


Fresh haircut #arttherapy #shadowselfie


Having fun at a photo shoot. #newdocumentaryartproject #masterprojectinprogress


A photo of me taking a photo of a photo of someone’s door, hanging on their door. #meta #inception


That time I flew home for a weekend wedding, when I thought I might be failing out of school #ididn’tfailtho


Best wedding ever! #highschoolreunion


Walk with Dad and the Dog #newfoundappriciationformydogafterhunting


Another shadow selfie #arttherapy


That time I came out of a meeting determining my future at school. #stressful


One of my favorite photos from the semester when I started to experiment with mashups.


Birthday Mashup


That time I bonded with my room mate by running down the street barefoot to catch the sunset. #cooplife #friendshiphump


That time school was almost over but I wasn’t quite done yet. #doesiteverend


A view of the awesome zen tangle mural on my living room ceiling. #arttherapy #cooplife


That time someone smashed my car but my housemates were there for moral support. #selfiesmakeeverythingbetter


Final Mashup of the semester. One step closer to living my dreams. #arttherapy










A Year in Selfies (Part 1)


Started Grad School in Ohio


Golden Hour selfie with the cohort buddies


Road trip to Geek Fest in D.C. #gradschoolisaboutthecarrides


Lived in a co-op


Went to A’s wedding in D.C.! #kindergartenfriends #madeitjustintime


Favorite Fancy Shoes




Bought a bike before I bought a car. #ofcourseidid


Rest Stop on the way home from Thanksgiving Break with S. and K. on the East Coast. #friends


Started anti-depressants. #documentingdepression


Spent a lot of time being depressed because #gradschool so decided to start taking pictures of the experience. #documentingdepression


Finally Bought a car. Walk home after taking it to the shop for repairs. #arttherapy


End of Semester 1 with a day at the art museum #designtherapy


Winterbreak in S.F. with the Dad. #Ileftmyheartinuniqlo

Why is Rumi just soooo good?

Throw away the passion, envy, and grudges from the heart. Change your bad behavior and bad thoughts. Denying everything harms you, deny little. Affirmation is, on the other hand, useful. Increase your affirmation.


Why is it that often Eastern and Middle Eastern texts are just so much easier to read than Western texts? I’m talking about Rumi. I’m talking about Thich Nhat Hanh. Their words are just so simple and concise. Their words pierce my soul and vibrate like piano strings in my heart.

Sometimes western texts are just too wordy. It’s ironic because in the west we are raised on the western texts. We are raised on white authors, white philosophers, and white theologians. But sometimes their words bore me and I just can’t get through the stuff.

But give me a Rumi poem. I could read it over and over and over again. And never stop smiling. There’s a reason his words get memed all over Facebook with pretty pictures. His stuff sticks.

I’ve recently begun this path of minimalism. And I have a theory that the reason the non-western guys are so good with words is because they’ve got the minimalism thing down. Less is more.

I think there’s also another element. Sometimes I feel like they’ve connected with their heart more. There’s a feeling that comes through their words that is often lacking in the western texts. It’s like in the west everyone is too wrapped up in their heads to really feel with their heart. And poetry isn’t an intellectual exercise. #halfthoughts